Paul Pensom on picking a space to set up your studio

In his latest column on life as an independent designer, Paul Pensom discusses the importance of finding the right premises to establish your studio, and how this can be achieved 

Perhaps the first thing to consider after crossing the Rubicon from freelancery to studiohood is the subject of property; for what better symbolises the difference between the two than a new address with a sign on the door?

When I made the leap, premises were the starting point of my research. Rent, I reasoned, is the key expense to account for in a budget of running costs, so my first step was to find out the local average.

There are as many different rental environments as there are designers of course, and I can only speak for London, but wherever you’re looking, the same considerations will apply: