What is Co-Living?
Well according to the brand FOLK, it’s a way of renting that brings people together by way of shared communal spaces. Last week, Harrow Online went over to The Palm House, Wealdstone to find out more about the venue and what exactly co-living really means.
Upon arriving on site, I was pleasantly greeted by Emil on the reception desk, the first thing I noted was how luxurious the foyer looked. A lot of glass and beam work mixed with rich colours and vibrant furniture. There is a 24 hour concierge, CCTV and you need your pass to operate lifts and access your relevant floor.
I looked around the foyer, reading the events board and respective signage, and my first feeling was that this experience was very similar to a hostel, although a thousand times more lush. My room was up on the third floor and noted a neighbour who nodded me. The room was actually a stylish and compact studio. Fully equipped with a kitchen, TV, shower room, desk space, storage and wardrobe. The finishes and decoration were to a high standard and I instantly felt comfortable. By this time my feelings had shifted from hostel-to-serviced apartment as I tried to find a way to describe it.
Using my pass, I went straight upstairs to the industrial sized kitchen to eat dinner and was greeted by other residents who were cooking and chatting. This kitchen is designed for many people to use at once, or partake in the monthly cooking classes within the event package. I was watching the residents interact and listened to their conversation, they were asking each other about their views on culture and life experience abroad. This was nice to see, because much of this model is about integrating and sharing.
There was a pool competition taking place in the games area with some of the residents, beer was flowing and everyone was in good spirits. Referring back to the events listing, this was another perk at the palm; entertainment included. After dinner, they left and I was totally content on nosing every communal cookbook, ornament and utensil. Folk have really paid attention to detail and thought about what people actually use and need.
I went back to my room, had a shower and went to bed. The next morning it was a real treat to wake up, crawl down just two flights of stairs, and enter the gym within three minutes from my bed. The gym has a really decent range of equipment including a smith machine, TRX and cables. You can easily do a full workout here and burn a sweat.
Back to the shower and then straight to 8th floor, because even though I had my own kitchen, who doesn’t want to have their morning coffee with this view? What a great start to the day.
The Duty Manager, Rob, came to meet me and showed me around the entire building, spaces included; the library, games area, movie (complete with PS5) and a second terrace. Rob explained, “We want people to feel like they are at home”. These facilities looked fantastic and again, had the attention to detail, the little things were all there and considered.
I headed to the ground floor to one of the 70 co-working hot desks to get logged on and start work. It was a perfect set up, power for the laptop as well as a modern USB-C outlet for my phone. The co- working space also offers several break out areas for collaboration and informal catch ups. Meeting rooms that can be booked out, and privacy booths for sensitive conversations. Again the décor was really elegant and modern, I was really impressed by this space and felt very comfortable.
So who actually lives here?
I asked Rob this question, and based on his answers and my own observations, it seems anyone in full time work from 18 -50! I would agree there has been an inclusive approach to the design. I was sitting in the foyer and approached two people; one moving in and one collecting his post. The young man moving in said he was 19, and he was moving here from West Sussex because he will be working in London. His dad then advised that the onboarding experience via the app was seamless and made everything so easy.
“Are you excited?” I asked. His eyes sparkled a “Yes” and he nodded, and I felt excited for him. The second man was balancing his Amazon parcels trying not to drop them whilst giving me a few minutes of his time. He was 32 and said he’d been here for 4 months and “Loved it”. He advised with the next energy hike due in October, he much preferred this model and way of living because he could accurately account for his outgoings.
So what’s the catch?
Well there isn’t one. All amenity and cost is detailed in the package.
So what is the package, and what do I get?
Prices start at £1300 per month, and you will get;
- Studio Rent including all bills (utilities/council tax and unlimited Wi-Fi)
- Cleaner for communal areas
- 24/7 Concierge, Mail room
- Coffee Bar & Cocktail lounge on the ground floor
- Access to these spaces;
- The Library
- The Snug
- Bake off style Kitchen
- Laundry room, Iron
- Games Room
- Movie Cinema
- Gym, including classes
- Higher and Lower Roof Terraces
- Secure Bicycle storage
- Hot Desks, Offices
- Entertainment/Social Events
- Secure cycle storage and secure mail room.
I really enjoyed my experience at the Palm and I think this model of renting is new, it’s exciting and can be as sociable or solitary as you want it to be. There is an abundance of space and every time I turned a corner, there was another little area for socialising, reflection or just to enjoy.
This is a fantastic way to meet people, try new things and just get out there and live. Rental terms can be as short as three months. For more information, please visit FOLK website.