This London Rental Manages to Fit a Giant Cat Tree into the Design Beautifully

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Name: Sruthi Ramesh, my husband, Anuj, and cat, Oslo
Location: London, United Kingdom
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband and I moved to London from California in 2019 and initally were planning on staying here for a year or two max, so we rented a small furnished flat. I didn’t let myself really decorate the space or get too attached to it since we knew we’d only be there temporarily (which is what I’d told myself for all of my past apartments as well). However, last year we decided we loved living in London and signed a longer lease in a bigger flat. Our current flat is a 700-square-foot one-bedroom (large for central London!) and is a warehouse conversion from what used to be a spice warehouse in the Victorian era. The flat is naturally quite beautiful with large windows, lots of natural light, and exposed brick, and it immediately felt like home.

I try to fill my home with things that are personal to me or remind me of a moment in time. One of the reasons we moved to London was to easily travel around Europe, which we did plenty of before the pandemic, so I have a Soviet-era poster of Laika from Kiev, some ceramic Dutch houses from Amsterdam, and a painting from Prague. I work full-time as a designer, but in my free time I like to walk around London and take pictures, so the prints I have above my TV are my own (free art!)

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Warm, functional, comfortable, hygge

What is your favorite room and why? My living room is where I spend the majority of my day. We moved into this flat in October, when the days were getting shorter, so my priority was to create a space that felt cozy and warm in the dark. The sun sets at 4 p.m. here in the winter and it’s normally overcast for the little time it is out, so I wanted light textiles, a mirror for light to bounce off of, and nice lighting — my bubble floor lamp from FB Marketplace really does the trick.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My cat tree! I’ve always struggled with finding nicer but affordable cat furniture. I found this one on Etsy and both my cat and I love it! It takes up way less space than a traditional cat tree and lets my cat look out the window all day.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Balance purely aesthetic pieces with functional ones. I originally wanted a much sleeker and low profile couch, but when I went to try it in person, I realized the slightly clunkier but infinitely comfier couch was right for us. Now I spend hours on it daily and couldn’t think of a better purchase. On the other hand, I have a lot of decorative items, like my vase of pampas grass, that serve no purpose other than bringing me joy.

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