A 450-Square-Foot London Rental Fits A Lot of Function in a Small Space

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Credit: Daisy Baldwin

Name: Daisy Baldwin, and my boyfriend Ben, during the lockdown
Location: Vauxhall — London, England
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 450 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

Credit: Daisy Baldwin
So many windows! The kitchen is in a little L-shape off the living room, which gives a nice separation.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’ve lived here for just over a year now. It’s the first apartment I’ve lived in by myself (it’s relatively uncommon in London because of the high rental costs). This was the very first one I saw—I fell in love with the big Gothic window. The building was built at the same time as the church next door and used to be an orphanage… it has a very cheerful atmosphere though! The building backs onto the park and the Vauxhall City Farm, so despite being a 20-minute walk from Westminster, I wake up to the sound of roosters, ducks, and sheep! I’ve felt happy here from the moment I moved in and I feel so lucky to have found something quirky, spacious, and within my price range.

Credit: Daisy Baldwin

What is your favorite room and why? I love the living room, which is so light filled and airy with the high ceilings and windows on three sides. But since lockdown I’ve also been loving the little hallway—I moved an ottoman beneath the window there as it has the best view, and I call it my reading nook. It’s great for curling up and listening to the birdsong, or watching the squirrels clowning about in the trees outside.

Credit: Daisy Baldwin
My new favourite spot, a cosy nook under the hallway window.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern, cheerful, and eclectic.

Credit: Daisy Baldwin
I've started to get used to working from home now and make an effort to leave the desk area only for working hours. It helps with my work / life balance.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A piano! My partner, Ben, is a professional musician, and we usually live in separate apartments on different sides of the city. He tutors piano and guitar as well as performing, so when we realized he was going to need to move in, I knew a piano was essential! Luckily I’ve always wanted to own one, so it was a good excuse to fulfill a lifelong ambition!

Credit: Daisy Baldwin
I love listening to the piano while reading in the hall.

When Ben moved in I rearranged a lot of the furniture (including the bed, tables, and all my plants) so that we could each have our own spaces. I think that’s important, especially under the circumstances! Now Ben has a music corner/recording studio/virtual tutoring setup in the bedroom and I have a desk tucked into the living area where I work from home. Plus, we still had space for the little bistro table area where we eat.

Credit: Daisy Baldwin
I like to drink my morning cup of tea in bed with the door open to look out of the hallway window.

Any advice for creating a home you love? The standard one, about taking your time and not worrying about what other people might think so long as you like it. It’s also important to think about how you’ll be using the space—is it practical? In a one-bed apartment you need to make the space work for you.

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.