My husband, daughter, son and I share a 1970s modernist maisonette in the heart of London. Our floor space measures some 900 square feet. In addition to using the space for family living, my husband and I both work out of our home on a part-time basis.
Many fellow Londoners and us alike would actually consider our home to be quite large. Friends who live in the suburbs, in the countryside or abroad, on the other hand, find it hard to imagine having to share such a small space with their spouse and two children. The thought of a single bathroom alone, can send panic shivers down their spines.
Size is relative, however. It tends to correlate with the population density of the city, town or village you live in. It is also dependent on the stage you are at in your life. But every family that I have ever met or read about, who have consciously chosen to live in a smallish home, have one thing in common: They have fully embraced the community their home is based in.
For us, living in the centre of London takes precedence over the available floor space in our house. The city is our home. From the moment we walk out of our front door, its busy, diverse and colourful blanket wraps itself around us. Yes, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the river Thames are all just a short stroll away. But even closer than those landmarks are our delightful neighbours who feel like the nearest relatives to our children; Ricky the bin man who is always up for a friendly chat and joke; Alicia at the coffee shop who steams my matcha latte as soon as she sees me walk in the door. They form our community. They are our London.
We embrace and celebrate London’s vibrational energy when we are out and about. We constantly learn from our exposure to such an unrelenting variety of visual, audible and tangible treats. But city living can be extremely stimulating and intoxicating. That is why we have kept our home’s atmosphere calm, simple and visually peaceful. We leave London’s clutter behind when we pull up the drawbridge of our curbside castle.
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