A Small London Flat’s Garden and Backyard Studio Are So Dreamy
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Name: Tori Linton-Renwick, my husband Fraser, and our cat Llywellyn
Location: Walthamstow — East London, UK
Size: 600 square feet (including the studio in the backyard!)
Years lived in: 4 years
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband and I have lived in the flat for the last four years. We adopted our little black cat Llywellyn when we moved in—there was already a cat flap in the door so obviously the flat needed a cat! Before we even moved in, we ripped out the old laminate floors and tore down a wall dividing the kitchen and living room. The garden was a “jungle” the first year, too, and our first annual 4th of July party was spent trying to figure out where to put any patio furniture!
Because the flat itself is quite small, we spend as much time as possible out in the garden when the weather allows.
There are a couple different living spaces outside and I started a vegetable patch a couple years ago that gives us lots of veggies and herbs all summer.
Originally, there were two sheds at the far end of the garden. Two years ago, we took these down (they were falling apart) and built the “studio” that is there now.
We love the mid-century modern yet still garden-y feel about it. It’s great for working from home, or as a place for guests to stay when they visit.
As we have gotten older, we’ve tried to incorporate more art into the house from our trips abroad that reminds us of places that are important to us. I love my Ansel Adams photograph in the living room, and on our last trip to New Mexico (where I am from), we bought the little landscape painting that is now in the studio. I had a great photograph of my grandparents in the Grand Canyon blown up that’s now framed in the bedroom next to a photo I took on a trip to Venice.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic London meets American West
What is your favorite room and why? There are only about three rooms to choose from! I love the living room/kitchen because it is so open and allows us to spend time together no matter what we are doing. There is enough space to have a tulip dining table for entertaining friends and a big enough kitchen for us to cook dinner together.
My parents helped put in the wall shelves, which are probably the main feature in the room and it’s nice to be able to change up the decor with the season whether it’s cactus vases in the summer or sheepskin rugs in the winter. We wall-mounted the TV which saves space, and the dining table can easily be tucked away during the week.
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Double the size…?!
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We found the 1940s chest of drawers on Shpock for £60 this winter and picked it up from a village outside London. We used to have a wall-mounted desk for working from home, but once we built the studio, it just held clutter. I like the history behind the piece and it hides all my handbags, papers etc.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Our home feels very “layered”—some of the things we have had for years and quite a lot of it has been passed down from my husband’s family. I love going to charity shops for mix-and-match plates and glasses. There is also a good mix of IKEA, Wayfair, and Notting Hill secondhand combined together. My advice would be to not rush decorating and add things only when you find something you really love.