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 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 the imitiable Sarah Bagner (aka Supermarket Sarah), stylist of our beautiful Camden apartments and author of 'East London Homes' and 'Supermarket Sarah's Wonder Walls' to find out a bit more about how she makes the magic happen...
Cuckooz: Hi Sarah! Tell us a bit about your past experience and how you came to be an interior designer…
Sarah: I studied Graphic Design at Brighton University and worked as a creative in digital advertising after graduating. My passion for vintage and interiors then led me to explore the world of interior styling. I started a blog and web platform called Supermarket Sarah in 2009 which went live from my very own living room and soon spread into major department stores including, Selfridges, John Lewis, Monki and Top Shop. I no longer retail but concentrate on residential and commercial interior projects as well as shooting with brands. My debut interiors book – Wonder Walls, Supermarket Sarah's Guide to Display, was published by CICO Books and has been translated into three languages and my recent book East London Homes is out now and published by the Hoxton Mini Press, with photography by Jon Aaron Green. You can purchase the book in all good book stores or online here.
C: What are the main challenges you face as a stylist and how do you overcome them?
S: I think one of the main challenges for a stylist is to push and develop the clients so that it feels true to what the client wants yet is still inspiring and bold. It’s hard when deadlines and budgets are tight to keep the momentum but I think the key to overcoming that is to create a mix of cheaper vintage items and high street finds dotted in with designer and hand-made pieces and lots of greenery! I think the key to beautiful interiors is in making them look inspiring yet natural. I like to have an overarching theme, as we did for Cuckooz Camden which was “Modern Macabre” but I also always want my interiors to feel eclectic and natural and not forced. One of the main things we worked on for Camden was to soften the very hard and clinical looking walls using lots of textures and rugs.
C: Who do you look to for design inspiration when you're facing a creative block?
S: I love flicking through the pages of Luncheon Magazine and follow artists like Anton Alvarez. The current Antony Gormley show at the Royal Academy took my breath away.
C: Is there any up and coming talent in the industry you have your eye on?
S: Spicer and Wood furniture where we got the candle holders with faces on, I love!
C: Where are your favourite spots in London to spend a day off??
S: I love swimming in London Fields Lido. “You never regret a swim” is my mother’s motto and Its true you always feel wonderful afterwards, especially after an outdoor swim.
C: If you were given an unlimited budget and any choice of spaces to curate in the world, where would you choose and what would you do?
S: I would love to curate a tree house in a forest in Sweden! My parents are Swedish and I love the Swedish style of simplicity and natural materials blended with modern, clean lines and quirky flea market finds. I love the idea of house which is a beautiful play house but that also functions for day to day living. Swedish Flea markets or ‘Loppis’ are amazing and whether it’s a fun quirky item or an unusual texture or material I always like to create a smile in the mind somewhere in my work.