Fancy a sneak peek into a resident’s apartment? We spoke to Catalina about how she's made her 1-bed apartment at Union Wharf, Greenwich a home.

What first drew you to the area?

Once we sat on a hill in Greenwich Park with a fantastic view of the Canary Wharf skyscrapers. After that, my partner said: "You should now look for housing in Greenwich", even though we hadn’t considered this area before.

Do you use your Essential Living discount? If so, what is your favorite participating local business?

I love eating pizza from Wandercrust and buying candles from Tailor and Forge.

What has been your favorite moment of your move-in day?

After we checked out of our last long-term flat in another country, it took two months until we checked into our apartment from Essential Living. So the feeling that we finally have our first cosy nest here in London was a relief and pure happiness in itself. Also, it was such a lovely gesture from Essential Living to leave us a box with a move-in kit.

What does Essential Living do that you haven’t seen in another landlord before?

I really appreciate the opportunity to contact the team for any issue and get help quickly. I have come across landlords who ignore messages and are very slow in solving problems.

How have you chosen to decorate your apartment?

My partner and I are both from the tech world: he is a software developer, and I am a UI/UX designer. That's why we wanted to give our place a slightly futuristic touch. Smart lighting was the main helper in achieving this effect. At any time, from classic warm yellow, we can switch to cyberpunk blue or Twin Peaks red, and thus immerse ourselves in a completely different vibe. We carefully approached the choice of lighting resources, and now our home is decorated with a Japanese-style floor lamp, a table lamp we call doughnut, DIY candleholders, and Christmas lights.

I'm a huge fan of handmade things that carry a piece of history, it's the soul of any flat. Since we used to travel a lot, our home is now filled with the pictures we painted in Australia, the cups we made in Taiwan, and the candleholders I made from wine bottles from around the world.

I am a designer by profession and a storyteller at heart, so even for our plants — Matilda, Melbourne, and Mercury — I created stories that I happily told our guests before the second lockdown and looking forward to doing it again.

What do you enjoy cooking most in your kitchen?

Definitely breakfasts. This is the religion of our home. I love to cook breakfast meals from different cuisines of the world. These are Ukrainian syrnyky (curd cheese pancakes), Mexican huevos rancheros, Balinese smoothie bowls, American pancakes, English breakfast, Australian fritters, Californian avo toasts, French omelettes and much more.

How have you found living in your apartment during Covid-19?

Lockdown taught us the importance of having a multi-functional living space. So now we have a cosy chilling corner, a home office, a coffee station with a V60, Chemex, and an espresso machine (yes, we are coffee geeks :)), a cinema theatre with a film projector, and a mini wine cellar for special hedonistic evenings.

What amenity space do you enjoy using the most?

I adore my morning workouts at the gym and walk down the terrace afterward with panoramic views of the best parts of London.

What space do you get the most use out of?

Pool table space because I win most of the games haha :)

What do your team do for you, that you could now not live without?

It is extremely helpful that I don’t have to be at home to wait for the courier, because the team receives all the packages for me.

Do you like the location of your building, if so why?

I appreciate that our building is so well located that it offers a panoramic view of all London’s areas with skyscrapers and even St. Paul's Cathedral could be seen from our window. Since we live on the border of Deptford and Greenwich, it's great to feel different vibes depending on the current mood: sometimes I want to walk around historic Greenwich, and other times I like the gentrified Deptford with Brooklyn-style streets. Also, DLR and trains are my favourite kinds of transport in London, so it's nice to live close to the stations.

Have you made any friends in the building?

Yes, I found our friends on Instagram searching by the Union Wharf geotag before we moved in. And now we live on the same floor and spend a lot of time together. I couldn't be more grateful to the "terrible age of technology" :)

Are you part of the Facebook resident group, what do you like about being part of the community?

I really love our tradition of sharing treats or unnecessary things (books, dishes, cosmetics, etc.) by leaving them at the front door instead of throwing them away. We post each such ad in our Facebook group. I find it eco-friendly and just friendly towards the neighbors.

How do you feel about the building being pet friendly?

We do not have a pet yet, but we are considering to enlarge our family with a beautiful four-legged creature. I was faced with the fact that it is difficult to find pet-friendly housing in London, so Essential Living is a true gem on the local real estate market.