Jen Long, who works in tech, and Mike Zhang, who works in finance. The couple previously rented separate flats – Mike in Russell Square and Jen in Caledonian Road – before renting a flat in a building next door together. This is the first home they have bought together.
A flat on the second floor of a five-storey warehouse building in Clerkenwell. The front door opens into a library-hallway space. There is a main bedroom with dressing room and en-suite bathroom, a second bedroom, used as a gym and home office, a pantry and main bathroom. The rest of the space is open-plan and contains the kitchen, dining and lounge areas.
When Jen Long and Mike Zhang’s Clerkenwell flat first came on the market it didn’t want for admirers. A rare example of an almost entirely untouched warehouse flat, its lack of walls, plaster or modernisation gave it a raw appeal. ‘The seller had accepted another offer but the buyer’s chain broke down, meaning our offer was later accepted. We were given a strict timeline so we had a mad dash to get everything lined up in time for the sale,’ Mike recalls. The couple had been searching all over London for many months before striking gold. ‘Clerkenwell is extremely convenient for us. We both work in central London but our friends are mostly east so this location bridges the two,’ Mike explains.
While owners of the surrounding flats in the old factory building had succumbed to slick modernisation, Jen and Mike’s flat retained its bare bricks and roughly hewn concrete pillars echoing the vigorous industry of the site a hundred years prior. ‘The fact that the bare fabric of the building was intact appealed to us,’ Mike says. ‘With every other flat we looked at we would have to start taking things out, whereas with this one we would be effectively working from the ground up,’ Jen adds. An unassuming commercial exterior sealed the deal. ‘You enter through a small lobby and lift so you don’t expect the flat to be particularly exciting but then you walk in and it opens up into all this impressive space. That contrast really hooked us,’ Mike describes.
Living at Jen’s Caledonian Road property, the couple were eager to get the flat configured to their needs rapidly. Not only did they wish to avoid paying more rent but looking for an architect in March 2020, they realised the global pandemic would also stymie their plans. It meant they appointed their architects, Emma and Ross Perkin of Emil Eve, without even meeting them in the flesh. ‘We spoke to them on the phone and we had a really good feeling about them,’ Jen says.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Across the divide
Swedish photographer Kalle Gustafsson turned his hand to carpentry to create the ultimate in broken-plan living
Blue and Green
The dreamiest of colours, these two shades are oh-so soothing to live with, as shown in Sally Denning’s new book
Andrea and Giuseppe’s classic Milanese apartment has had a deft mid-century makeover that includes a few joy-inducing master strokes
In the pink
Creative couple Gemma Ruse and Xavier Sheriff have designed their dream home – one that juxtaposes the patina of age and contemporary lines absolutely brilliantly
THE LOWDOWN ON BUILDING A KITCHEN EXTENSTION
FROM NAVIGATING THE PLANNING PROCESS TO THE CORRECT PROCEDURE FOR BUILDING REGULATIONS, ARCHITECT JAMES DALE OUTLINES THE BEST APPROACH
KIT KEMP ON THE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE A HOME
MATERIAL OF THE MOMENT... EXTERIOR GLAZED TILES
THIS COLOURFUL AND HARD-WEARING OPTION HAS MADE ITS WAY FROM THE DESIGN LANGUAGE OF COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TO RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS
LONDON RESTAURANT SUCRE IS SERVING SERIOUSLY GLAM STYLE ALONGSIDE ITS LATIN AMERICAN FOOD. FOUNDER GREG GODIK SHARES ITS DECOR SECRETS
Small but beautifully formed, designer Christian Bense’s London apartment heralds a high-low approach that sparkles with original ideas and festive flourishes
How to... dress your home with foliage
FRESH AND FRAGRANT, EVERGREENS AND SEASONAL STEMS MAKE FOR A SENSATIONAL CHRISTMAS SCHEME – OUR EXPERTS PICK THEIR FAVOURITE IDEAS
BAREFACED - One10T Cabinet
A new Barefaced cab? Kev Sanders feels the quality
MISSISSIPPI UNVEILS MOBILE ID PROGRAM: AN APP FOR PHONES
Mississippi is unveiling a new app that’s designed to store someone’s driver license on their phone.
SENDING UP A FLARE
Sedulous tone maverick explains how simply recording big, hairy, gnarly guitar riffs into his iPhone became his “life raft for sanity,” getting him out of his bunker, forging new connections and birthing a creative oasis amid the chaos
Revenge is an exceptionally powerful human emotion. It has started wars, has been the main plot point of countless horror slashers and has served as the driving force behind some intense music, including Mike’s Dead’s most recent EP.
CARRIE'S CAREER KICKING MIKE TO THE CURB!
Former pro athlete hubby tired of playing Mr. Mom
GH, ANDROGENS, CREATINE:Separating Fact From Fiction
For avid readers of Muscular Development, I think it’s a blessing that you are privy to the science of anabolic agents.
It's All Coming Back To Me Now, GENERAL HOSPITAL
Aside from portrayer Maurice Benard’s 1997-98 break from playing Sonny, daytime’s most beloved mobster has been a fixture in Port Charles since his debut in 1993 — that is, until he was presumed dead last December, and spent the lion’s share of 2021 carving out a simpler life as amnesiac “Mike” in folksy Nixon Falls.
TEMPLE OF TONE
John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band record Leftover Feelings at Nashville’s country music shrine.
SUZY JEFFRIES SHARES HER SELF-RELIANCE PREPS
ON THE ROAD, AT WORK OR IN A TORNADO, SHE’S READY FOR ANYTHING!
Mike Horn – Extreme Expeditionist
South African-Swiss explorer Mike Horn has conquered both poles and the Amazon. Here’s how he’s built the fortitude to thrive in extreme environments.