Having worked from home for 16 years, I understand the challenges of finding or creating the ideal live/work space, and was reminded of this recently when friends returned to Edinburgh and began searching for a home that would also offer a showroom for their incredible collection of mid-century furniture and design objects. They couldn’t find a rental property that was suitable, and ended renting up a flat and (at last count) three storage units for their furniture. It wasn’t ideal.
And for me, when I was looking for a flat to rent nine years ago, my office space was the priority. When you say to someone that you’re looking for a home office, the suggestions can get comical. The window-less box room? Really, no. While this might be fine if you need a space to sit for an hour of an evening to catch up on emails, if you’re self employed and needing somewhere where you can work and think and be creative, it helps if that space has lots of natural light and feels inspiring.
Which brings me to this property located just a short walk from Lordship Lane in London – and ten minutes from East Dulwich train station. This space grabbed me as soon as I laid eyes on it. This property was formerly a bakery, and the staircase that leads between the two floors features the original white bakery tiles and metal-framed windows.
In the current layout, the ground level – which is accessed via a courtyard garden – includes two bedrooms and a utility room, while the large entrance hall is used as a library and general living area. The upper level has a fantastic living space that’s drenched in light from the large roof light. There’s also a kitchen and a shower room. The second floor gives access to the rooftop with vistas to Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge.
Interestingly, this property already has planning permission in place to remodel the current interior and add a third floor, to a design by Waugh Thistleton Architects. You can see the plans for the new design on the property’s listing with The Modern House. This arrangement would create a library, study and snug on the ground level, with three bedrooms (one en-suite) and a bathroom and office on the first floor, while the new upper level would offer a wonderful open plan kitchen, dining and living space, with the latter opening onto a terrace.
This could be such an exciting house, and the configuration on the ground level would create a really fantastic work space. As it is, there’s no denying that this interior feels cool and edgy, but there’s also a great project here that’s just waiting to happen.