A Small London Flat Has the Cutest Little Backyard Garden Shed Escape

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Living room with bookshelves and a blue fireplace

Name: Sarah Jane Park and my fiancé, Steve
Location: Harringay Ladder, Haringay, North London — London, United Kingdom
Type of home: Flat (Victorian conversion)
Size: 686 square feet
Years lived in: 7.5 years, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: This was my first home purchase. Until that point, as a single woman, I’d rented tiny studio flats in San Francisco, Seoul, Tokyo and London, so in the beginning, being able to run from one room into the next simply amazed me.

Garden looking at flat

Seven and half years later, we have also bought a house in a little Suffolk market town called Saxmundham and now divide our time between both places. We love the cosiness of this flat and the multi-cultural offerings of our predominantly Greek Cypriot, along with Bulgarian, Romanian, and Polish neighbourhood. 

Just recently we put this flat on the market (link in the photo credits!) in order to be able to renovate our new house without worrying about how much it will all cost. There is something that will always be special about your “first” — though at the time of buying this flat, I didn’t go into it as a starter home; I asked myself whether I could see me happily living here alone as an 85-year-old woman, and my resounding yes was what sold it for me. 

Main bedroom

In the same way that I am simultaneously a product of my traditional Korean and American values as well as being quirky and a bit unconventional underneath, my flat is not dissimilar: sympathetic to the traditional Victorian style with bits of oddities and unexpectedly modern elements all thrown in together.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Rustic cottage meets boho

What is your favorite room and why? The garden shed, my most recent addition. I jumped on the post-pandemic bandwagon last year after staring at a dilapidated little bike shed that could barely fit two bikes, never mind people. If I’m sitting in there, it means I’m unwinding with a good book and glass of wine looking out at trees and sky. Even though it’s my same back garden, just changing the perspective makes me feel like I’m on holiday or somewhere away from home.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? This Fike teak wood lounge chair. Not the cheapest of purchases and the question I’m often asked in a somewhat dubious tone is, ‘But is it comfortable?’ I think it’s quite handsome, ties the room together, and allows for additional seating for guests.

Credit: David Key & Philip Alexander Estate Agents
Dining room/spare room

Any advice for creating a home you love? If you pay attention to every individual item, even dishtowels and drawer knobs, and only buy things you really love and can see lasting a long time, if not forever, then all those pieces together will beautifully make up your “look” or style.

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