Design and creativity are resolutely at the core of the Cuckooz brand. Each of our eight 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 Kelly Jackson, artist, designer and creative mind behind our beautiful soon-to-be-launched Bloomsbuty apartments; to discuss her inspiration for the project, past work and plans for the future...
Cuckooz: Tell us a bit about yourself – what’s your background in design and where do your interests lie?
Kelly: I’m a multidisciplinary Artist & Designer as well as founder of the ONLY CHILD brand and studio. Originally I come from an art & fashion background, I graduated in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design UAL, and got my break in the fashion industry working as a Print Designer at Alexander McQueen in 2009, designing hand-drawn printed textiles. I have a real passion for drawing and have been bringing it back into my recent work, including for the Bloomsbury apartments! You can check out some of my work at kellyonlychild.com.
C: What was your inspiration behind the design of the Bloomsbury apartments?
K: When I first started designing the apartments, I was very mindful of how steeped in history the immediate area is. The British Museum is literally just a few steps away as well as other museums and collections, the printing press, the old dairy next door and the famous St George’s Church just around the corner with it’s huge lion and unicorn sculptures crawling around it’s spire, there is a lot to feel inspired by. I love the restoration story behind the lions and unicorns on St George’s and used this as my main source of inspiration for the custom designed textile prints as well as the ballpoint pen drawings I produced for the bespoke art prints. The steeple of the church is featured in Hogarth’s ‘Gin Lane’ print produced in 1791 and I wanted to reference this in the apartments via the decorative items such as the vintage glass gin bottles.
C: What's your favourite design piece in the apartments?
K: I think my favourite pieces in the apartments are the scalloped velvet headboards, I custom designed them and each one is a different colour. I’m also a huge fan of the green ombré stools in the bedrooms.
C: You created your brand Only Child in 2011. How did the idea start and how has the company grown since then?
K: It started as an idea whilst chatting to some mates at Glastonbury festival, I’d been making my own jewellery for a while and had worked in fashion for a couple of years by then and decided to take a chance on it, using some money I had saved to go travelling. Instead, I made some samples, took some photos and made myself a look book and got offered a free pop-up shop in Boxpark in Shoreditch that ended up getting a really positive response. Since then the brand has been picked up by global retailers, including a collaboration with ASOS for a couple of seasons, been worn by A list celebrities including Cara Delevingne, Rita Ora, Little Mix, Ellie Goulding etc and been featured in national and international press as well as showing at fashion weeks in London and Paris.
C: Your personal brand is heavily influenced by electronic music and London’s underground clubbing scene. Where are your favourite spots for a night out?
K: I tend to go for slightly tamer nights out these days and can usually be found in a pub or a bar somewhere in Hackney! I’m originally from Leeds and I’ve always thought it’s hard to beat for a night out clubbing wise.
C: Is collaboration an important part of your process as a designer?
K: I find collaborating is an amazing way to work on some unique and interesting projects and really challenge myself as a designer. Collaborating with Cuckooz on the Bloomsbury apartments has genuinely been one of my favourite projects to date. I’m just in the process of launching ONLY CHILD Studio, a service that provides original art and design services for any project, space or product with a focus on interiors and bespoke artwork. Hopefully the result will be many more collabs and cool projects.
C: Given an unlimited budget and choice of spaces, what would be your dream project to work on?
K: I’d love to have gone back in time designed the sets for retro futuristic films like Logan’s Run, I’m a bit obsessed with that kind of dystopian sci-fi genre of the 70s, but since that’s basically impossible I’d settle for designing a pineapple shaped house on the beach for me to live in ha!