Warehouse living is a great way to make loads of friends. Especially when you move to a new city. The comparatively low rent that you have to pay, lends itself to being an attractive living option.
Major cities such as Berlin, London, Manchester and New York have seen major surges in the amount of people living in a warehouse. For people searching for an alternative way to live, warehouse living answers many people’s needs. As it’s the warm community environment means sometimes people up living there for years!
Spending over three years living in a warehouse in North London, I wanted to go through some advantages and disadvantages of warehouse living.
You can make your home environment exactly the way you like it. It gives you freedom to decorate. You can paint your room how you like it, and make it into a room version of yourself.
The living conditions are extremely spacious, in the light of living in a big city you come to appreciate this enormously. The large communal area makes it easy to have reunions (like birthdays) without feeling you are getting in anyone else’s way, People can easily stay in their rooms, most of the time away from any noise. The large kitchen, when its clean is large and provides enough room to create any culinary masterpiece you want. The rooms themselves are large as you can see above. Rooms include a mezzanine (not always) and a downstairs which holds more than a enough space to chill out in.
Most of the time people who live in this type of living situation are laid back, creating a nice environment to live in where everyone gets on. In my experience housemates have held votes (a bit like big brother or love island) as to who they want in the house. This has led to a fairly stressful time for the hopeful person who would like to move in, as flatmates ask every question under the sun in an effort to get to know them.
With over 25 flatmates, the chances are high that you quite like the look of one of them or absolutely hate the guts of another. BOTH OF THESE SITUATIONS NEVER END WELL.
The great thing about living in a warehouse is you can steal anyone’s butter etc.. this can also be a negative as well. People are always cooking and most of the time will be more than willing to share food with you, just make sure you return the favor. Food on the kitchen counter is fair game as well, so make sure you keep your food in the fridge.
The parties kick off every weekend and in the warehouse I stayed in, it was in a complex of over twenty other warehouses so the party scene was endless really.
Staying in tonight?
With so many of you, there really is no need to go out. Watch movies on the projector (Just don’t let your flatmates see your porn history when your laptop is connected to the big screen) and drink beer…every night.
Variety of people
Flatmates you’ll find in a warehouse space will generally speaking be alternative, younger (We had a few in their thirties) and be into a creative line of work. From flamboyant fashion designers to hip marketing execs, flatmates may share different jobs but on the main are all chilled out and open-minded.
The high living costs in London make warehouse living an attractive proposition. Situated in Manor House and costing £570 per month, it is definitely worth it for all the space you get.
Respecting each other
Housemates will normally do their best to respect each other’s schedules. For example we had a no sound rule after 12 am on a weekday, meant most of us could have a decent nights sleep.
Finding something or someone
The warehouse community (all warehouses over London) has a Facebook group, where people ask for favors. Such as jobs being done, or looking for something in particular for an art show for example. You will no doubt find what you are looking for, because normally the warehouse community is very welcoming and only too willing to do what they can do to help.
As you can imagine living with so many people, there were some essentials that we needed on a regular basis. The fair system of the kitty is designed to make sure people equally contribute to the funding of these important items.
Living in a complex with lots of other warehouses of a similar size, meant there was a real community vibe. Christmas dinners and open air cinemas were highlights.
You remember when I said people taking butter is a good thing, but its just sometimes when you reach for your own butter there may not be anything in there. This causes arguments!
With so many people living in one place, the living space can get really messy, especially in the kitchen area. We tried to have a rota but those things never really work with so many people. This messiness includes the bins, people tended to have the thinking that someone else can take them out. This means that the bins are constantly overflowing and smell really bad.
Toilets and Showers
With so many people living in one place and half of those people usually being girls the plugholes get blocked often. With so many flatmates the toilets can also get into a bit of a state and there was hardly ever toilet paper. (Some flatmates did help out more than others, and they were a godsend).
The warehouses are generally speaking converted to a cheap standard meaning the walls are very thin. So as you can probably tell you’ll be able to hear everything.
Constant threat of eviction
In my time living in the warehouses, we constantly heard rumors that we were going to kicked out due to safety concerns. This can be stressful principally when you have just moved in, and having an uncertain living situation is not what you are after. In my experience I didn’t sign a contract and landlords can pretty much act with impunity.
No natural light
In my warehouse only half the rooms had windows, and in my first year I didn’t. Having no natural light for so long can emotionally grind you down and at times can you make you feel down at times.
Depending on what you are looking for, warehouse house living could be for you. So if you like a lively living situation and don’t mind a bit of mess and noise then its for sure for you!
Check out some more pictures of warehouses.
Links to find warehouse accommodation in London. https://www.gumtree.com/property-to-share/manor-house/warehouse