Did the annual Living etc House Tours meet expectations?

tourEvery March Living etc, the best-selling modern homes magazine in the U.K., organises tours in London of its readers’ homes with proceeds donated to charity.  These tours are very popular and spaces are limited.  There are 3 tours, one each in South London, North London and West London, with 6-7 houses in each tour.

I’d like to share with you my experience of the tours from this year.  They provided lots of fascinating insights into how affluent, professional Londoners style their homes and live their lives.

First, let’s look at the the pros and cons of the tours themselves.  The photos below are from the individual Living etc feature that the house appeared in.

The best reasons to go on the Living etc House Tours:

  • The houses and areas on the tours were diverse and different.  They ranged from  period family house in South London to urban loft living in North London.
photo:  Living etc.

photo: Living etc.

  • I loved that being inside the rooms allowed you to see details easily overlooked in the magazine photo spreads.
Photo: Living etc.

Photo: Living etc.

  • The architect/interior designed houses were inspirational in their use of space, light and colour.
Photo:  Living etc.

Photo: Living etc.

  • Each house was staffed with volunteers to help with security and crowd control.  These volunteers were friendly and efficient.
Photo:  Living etc.

Photo: Living etc.

  • My favourite houses had an owner present who was happy to answer questions.  Their enthusiasm for their living space was infectious and made the experience “real” in a way a magazine feature never could.

Photo:  Living etc.

Photo: Living etc.

Certain organisational aspects of the tours I found disappointing:
  • Some houses had a large number of rooms unavailable to the public.  After trekking through the cold and the rain to find the house, it was disappointing to be done with the house after seeing a small portion of it.
Photo:  Living etc.

Photo: Living etc.

  • I like to look at the feature articles on the houses visited.  Some houses, however, were featured in back issues from 2007-8 making it difficult to obtain even online copies.  Certain houses were not featured at all in the magazine.
Photo:  Living etc.

Photo: Living etc.

  • The South London houses were very far from each other and not near public transport. I was able to finish the West and North London tours but not the South London tour.  Of the 3 houses I didn’t see on the South London tour, 2 were featured in 2007 issues and one was not featured at all.  So, I have no idea what I missed seeing.
Photo:  Living etc.

Photo: Living etc.

Overall:  I really enjoyed the house tours and would do them again. Three days, however, is a big commitment and If I had to skip one tour next year, it would be the South London tour.

Evaluation survey

I’ll post separately on some of the styling inspiration I gained from these tours.  Stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “Did the annual Living etc House Tours meet expectations?

  1. Denise

    Have you seen the price of 2014 house tour £75 for one day . Very expensive . I know some goes to charity but 3 times the amount of last years

      1. missy

        Indeed very disappointed overall with this year 2014 NOTTING HILL TOUR. £75 and you got 2 see 2 houses filled from head to to with white walls, very bare in term of decorative input (albeit some artwork). This was house No3 & 4.

        The other 2 owner houses (No1&2) were much more inspiring decoratively with various use of colours, textures, accessories (unlike the other houses). One was an actual converted basement floor in a big house, the owner was there and a very passionate man, it showed throughout his home.

        The LIVING ETC was just ok, with some hit and miss.
        The talk was one of the biggest let downs for me but I truly enjoyed the comfy seat at the electric cinema.
        Managed to find my way from one house to another with my map, and I was done by 2pm, having started at 10am.
        was it worth £75? No.

      2. nylonliving Post author

        I’m sorry to hear that. I didn’t go this year because I thought £75 was fairly steep for a one day affair and it could be hit or miss. I hope they go back to the old format next year. I like looking at houses that are in the magazine so you can see how things ‘really’ look without the gloss of a magazine format.

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