Design and creativity are resolutely at the core of the Cuckooz brand. Each of our seven locations have been distinctively designed by established names in the interiors field. Once we have sourced the right designer for the project location, we empower them to take creative control, but ask that their design process takes a nod to the site's heritage - something which is integral to our 'Live Local' brand ethos.
Cuckooz work with Conran for each of our design projects. This has allowed us to strengthen our professional relationship with the brand, as a team of designers work alongside our chosen overarching designer to place furniture of the highest quality and durability in our apartments. As for the finishing touches - it has been a great pleasure of Cuckooz to support local artists and designers when and where we can. Past projects have seen us work with printmaker Libby Needham, artist Joe Gamble, artist and furniture maker Graham Sayle and art network Creative Debut (supporting emerging artists) to create unique pieces for our homes which help promote local talent.
Our goal when designing apartments has always been to create an authentic home from home. Environment can have a powerful impact on our spiritual and mental wellbeing. We create homes which offer much more than a hotel room.
This week we had the pleasure of catching up with Nicola Bianchi, designer behind our stunning Kings Cross apartments; to discuss her inspiration for the project, past work and plans for the future...
I have always been a creative character, however while other children drew pictures and made collages; you could find me doodling plans for a castle and how big my turret of a bedroom would be! My father had a property development business and I was on site from an early age. It was a fun family hobby to look at potential spaces and imagine the best potential for each one. Architecture naturally became evident in all of my creative endeavours throughout school and led onto University.
All great interiors start with great planning! Consider the volume well, the light, its purpose, how people will use and interact with it. If the plan works, the details can be layered in to make it beautiful.
I love the area, it's close to where I call home and so I have learn a lot about the history over the years. The building at Kings Cross and St.Pancras were monumental to the industrial revolution of Victorian London. The golden age of travel descended upon the city and when delving deeper into the archives I fell in love with the grandeur of the station hotels and the luxury of the train carriages themselves. Heritage bold colours and luxurious velvets were so prominent I knew I had to use them.
I worked on a tiny speak easy bar which was all based on Japanese Whiskey. It's not often you have such a clear brief that sets such immediate visual queues. We didn't have a budget as such and we definitely got creative! We lined the walls with traditional Shibori fabric (Japanese tie dye in dark indigo with tiny uniform tied knots). The lighting was low, the seating close and cosy, it was a truly unique concept.
I am a massive food lover and it's always been a dream of mine to design a Michelin star restaurant. In regards to where, the space would have to be old! Pre-1920's, grand, stuffed with period details to work with and compliment. Nobody likes to work with a plain white modern box. It's the wonky corners, and quirks that truly offer a canvas for inspiration!
For more information on Nicola's fabulous work, click here.