Hidden in the stones that make up London's rich history are myriad architectural gems and design secrets. From Victorian townhouses to Tudor mansions, Georgian piles to modernist flats, there's no better city to soak up the finest in interior decor.
But forget about the palaces, some of the most interesting houses are tucked in between everyday London life. To see the most stylish real London homes then check out this year's Livingetc House Tours 2016 but if you can't join us on September 30th, then these wonderful open houses will satisfy your interior design needs...
This incredible Georgian building was built in the 1770s and was lived in under the grand title of One London by the Duke of Wellington, who bought it in 1817. The house was restored by the V&A Museum to how it would have looked under Wellington's ownership and houses his incredible collection of art, furniture and ornaments.
Hendrix & Handel House
A seemingly strange pairing, but both musicians called this Mayfair block home which has been open to the public since February 2016. The flat Jimi Hendrix lived in between 1968 and 1969 has been faithfully restored to how he decorated it in collaboration with his then live-in girlfriend complete with hippy-chicwall hangings.
The bottom two floors where Handel lived have been fairly well restored to how a modest London townhouse would have been at that time.
575 Wandsworth Road
For some really unusual interiors, head to Clapham North, to the former residence of Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006). He was a Kenyan-born poet, novelist, philosopher of mathematics and British civil servant. He bought the house in 1981 while working at the Treasury, and over a period of 20 years turned his home into a work of art.
For a wonderful overview of how styles have changed through history, the best place to visit is this East London museum dedicated to the history of middle class homes in London over the ages.
For something a little more interactive, head to Spitalfields. Originally from California, Severs created a bizarre experience for visitors, somewhere between a museum and an interactive play. The tour begins with visitors interrupting a family of Huguenot weavers and you follow their experience through the rooms in the house, decorated as they would have been in the 18th century.
2 Willow Road
Ernö Goldfinger's 1930s modernist home in Hampstead is a fantastic place to visit for striking design. Designed as a family home of his own, Goldfinger's plans caused controversy for being 'out of keeping' with the rest of the area.
Built in the 17th century and later transformed into a neoclassical villa by Robert Adam, this stately home has changed hands several times since, and has become a mix of historic styles. It also now houses a huge collection of fine art.
Dr Samuel Johnson's House
Inside this grade 1 listed building are many original features and carefully restored interiors of the 300 year old home, built in the heart of the city of London. Dr Johnson was a weighty literary figure in his day, compiling the first dictionary of the English language and is credited with the quote 'When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life'. And with all these beautiful places to visit, we reckon he's right.
This September Livingetc House Tours 2016 will be opening the doors of some of South west London's most stylish homes for an exclusive one day event. See up to seven of our handpicked homes from modern apartments to period townhouses showcasing the best of interior design. Tickets cost £35, see more information and book them on the Livingetc House Tours 2016 event website.
Like this? Check out The best design shops in London.
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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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