When moving to London, England those forced to downsize their accommodations quickly discover that space is quite a commodity. Rather than cram one’s flat with unnecessary and bulky furniture other options are available and affordable. There are many cultural differences in housing between the States and the UK and knowing about them before moving to London, England, will prevent a lot of problems and misunderstanding, and most likely, will save a good deal of money as well.
Moving to London, England – Size Matters
The biggest shock American expats have when viewing flats is the small size of them in comparison to US apartments. It is not uncommon for a single person in America to rent an affordable apartment with one thousand square feet including a living room with eating area, large kitchen, large bedroom with walk-in closet and bathroom, guest bedroom or office and another bathroom in the hall. While that might be the norm in the US it most definitely is not the norm in England! Understanding that it is quite normal and acceptable for a single person to live in a flat measuring around five hundred square feet will save lots of time and trouble after the move.
Moving to London, England – Where Are the Closets?
Most flats in London do not have closets. If they do it will be one, very small closet. This means, of course, that one must find creative ways to store items and clothing in their new flat. Most British use wardrobes in the bedroom as the closet but they can be large and if moving into a small apartment it may not be the best use of space. Many stores cater to British flats and have a large selection of space savers for every room and purpose. One famous store that offers many space utilization items is IKEA which is quite popular in London.
Moving to London, England – Beds
In a small flat where to put the bed becomes a big issue. In America it is common to use futons so that the bed can double as a couch. One can be relieved to know futons are also a popular choice for the small flat. Another option is a Murphy bed, or a Wall Bed as they say over there, which folds up neatly into the wall when not being used. Many Wall Beds offer storage inside the unit which makes them even more space saving. They are attractive and add a modern flare to any flat.