Remember the London Olympics? I do, I watched them on tv. No, I wasn't there (despite living in London) as we didn't manage to get tickets through the 'lottery' system...
This time, however, I had a front-row seat! I had been invited by Get Living London to view the former athletes' accommodation. Now, if it was just the the athletes' accommodation, it would have obviously been a little bland. No, this is what has happened since Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Mo Farah and co. have packed their bags and left the site.
These are the fabulous interiors of the brand new converted 1 and 2-bed apartments as well as 3 and 4-bed townhouses which are now being offered to renters. The site is on the doorstep of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the properties have access to communal courtyards which are just being finished with some great landscaping. Homes will be offered unfurnished or furnished at no extra cost (not bad, eh?), depending on needs and the furnishing has been overseen by no other than Wayne Hemingway MBE (see 2nd pic, with his daughter Tilly who put in the finishing touches) and the HemmingwayDesign team.
The homes feature great quality pieces by some of Britain's leading designers such as Matthew Hilton, iconic British brand G Plan and items from HemingwayDesign's own range. Everything had been put together taking into consideration that these apartments will be living spaces for actual people and not just show homes.
As somebody who would rather stick a fork in her eyes than move into a new built home in the UK (tried it once, it was hell), I was seriously impressed. These homes feel 'solid' and homey. The built-in kitchens are of great quality with beautiful finishes, light floods in from large windows and there is enough storage space for all those things (like ironing boards or suitcases) regular developers seem to (in)conveniently forget most people have.
And there's another big plus. The UK rental market is a nightmare overrun with rogue landlords (though we're very lucky to have a great one) demanding sky-high rents for sub-standard accommodation and having all the power to kick tenants out with short-term leases. This one is very different. There are now fees or hidden costs, the tenancies are flexible and long term with a residents-only break clause, and there are no estate agents involved (woohoo!). I think that, combined with great interiors, is as good as it gets, non?