After having designed hundreds of homes in the capital, we put together a list of the 6 things city dwellers need to live the good life in Londontown.
Bar cart styling by the wonderful Little Big Bell
1. Multi-Functional Spaces
A typical morning commute in London takes more than 36 minutes and Londoners are always on the quest to find a new, shorter route to introduce more efficiency to their routine. It is fair to say that Londoners are allergic to wasting time. Similarly, due to the sheer shortage of living space, being efficient with one's limited square footage, Londoners design their homes for maximum efficiency, from micro flats to spaces with many different purposes. No dining room? No problem! A simple area defining rug creates a sense of separation and accent ottomans give that extra bit of seating without taking over too much space. Unexpected house guest? Londoners know that one of the most valuable pieces of furniture is a sofa bed in the living room. It’s all about practicality and innovative pieces like the Delkatig sofa which designer Tom Dixon developed for IKEA take multi-purpose to a whole new level - the sofa is customisable and you can transform it into a chaise and attach a side table, light or bed headboard.
2. Smart Storage
Super efficient homes require clever ways of using space. Enter a London favourite: Furniture that doubles as storage. From media units to beds, if a piece of furniture has built-in storage you can be sure to find it in many London homes. Even accessories such as baskets, decorative boxes and an ottoman with lift-up compartments serve two purposes by decorating and housing those cables, magazines and extra duvets.
3. Making the Most of Your Narrow Hall
Raise your hand if you live in a flat that greets you with a wall of steps as soon as you open the door, or a hallway so narrow you wonder if it was designed by a human or a cat. The elegance of Victorian terraced homes is undeniable but it sometimes seems as though the flats inside them have been carved out of the most peculiar spaces. Once again, Londoners have adapted with extra thin sideboards and extra-large art for narrow hallways and accent chairs to fill those awkward little corners. Fun tip: Hang a single shelf one third of the way up on your hallway wall to create a floating sideboard.
4. All of the Lights
You will be hard pressed to find a London flat that is not decorated with at least two mirrors. They are fantastic at reflecting natural light and can send it deep into a space no matter how small the windows. We are also big fans of big lights. Tall, thin floor lamps are the perfect way to add some comforting brightness, without eating up a ton of space.
5. Drowning Out the Noise
Londoners are experts at drowning out the little annoyances around them. Rugs can go a long way when trying to sound proof the neighbours’ footsteps echoing through the walls. Curtains can be noise cancelling as well as an efficient addition to your home to keep the warmth and dinner conversations inside your home.
6. The Perfect Bar Trolley
A G&T belongs to London almost as much as the Tower, Oxford Circus or your Oyster card. Apart from the many great locations to explore to find the perfect drink Londoners can bring their favourites home and assemble them on a beautiful - and fully stocked - brass bar cart. Decorative, practical, quintessentially London and the ultimate interior accessory to make hosting and relaxing fun.