Every 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.
- I loved that being inside the rooms allowed you to see details easily overlooked in the magazine photo spreads.
- The architect/interior designed houses were inspirational in their use of space, light and colour.
- Each house was staffed with volunteers to help with security and crowd control. These volunteers were friendly and efficient.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.