Project: Canal View

By Matt Balmer
March 13, 2019

Using local designers and including references to the area’s industrial past, Jigsaw Interior Architecture styled the show flat for the Onyx apartments at Kings Cross

SITUATED ON the Regent’s Canal and part of the newly created N1C postcode, Onyx Apartments is a brick and glass development just moments from Coal Drops Yard and Granary Square. Comprising 117 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, developer Taylor Wimpey Central London (TWCL) turned to Jigsaw Interior Architecture to style the three-bedroom show fl at. “The brief was for a fresh sense of luxury living aimed at young professionals buying into the regenerated Kings Cross area,” says Sarah Barnes at Poole-based Jigsaw. “We wanted pops of colour and luxe details, but also to give potential buyers a sense of what it would be like to live there.”

Jigsaw has collaborated with TWCL before, but this was Barnes’ fi rst project for the developer. As well as working to the brief, her aim was to set Onyx apart from other residential developments in the area. “It is really important to put something memorable into the mix,” she says. “People remember that detail when they later think about what they have seen.”

Against a neutral backdrop, the living room introduces deep petrol blues and heavy charcoals accentuated by brass furniture and accessories to create an industrial-chic look as a small nod to the area’s past.

The theme continues into the main bedroom, with the use of a locker-style cupboard contrasted against a forest green velvet bed – a colour that is repeated in the dining room wallpaper. Marble and mixed metals, including brass and black, feature throughout plus leather bar stools in the kitchen area. “The use of leather and velvet adds to the sensory experience,” adds Barnes. “We like to use a lot of texture in our interiors and we aim to enable the purchaser to visualise living in the apartment so we include accessories, creating a sense that the occupant has just left the room.”

The client was keen to showcase Tom Dixon in acknowledgement of the designer’s new showroom in Coal Drops Yard. They also felt his look would appeal to the target customer, so Barnes included a statement floor-standing lamp in the dining area plus recognisable accessories and room diffusers adding smell to the sensory experience. “You don’t want to overload,” she says. “Just dot a couple around so that the buyer feels comfortable.”

As well as Tom Dixon, work by another London creative – Anna Glover based in E3 – has been used throughout the scheme. Glover fronts a multi-award winning design studio specialising in luxury wallpapers. Her dynamic designs have been used in both bedrooms and the dining room. “We always research the locations of our projects and we were keen to reflect the vibrant nature of Kings Cross in the finished interior,” Barnes says.

Originally, the developer thought the space could be presented as a three bedroom apartment, but Barnes persuaded them to let her dress one of the bedrooms as a dining area. “This is now my favourite room,” she says. “I like to include jungle chic into my interiors – it’s my thing – and in here I love the wallpaper combined with the dark wood, marble and brass. I included a little giraffe somewhere and there is a black monkey light plus a sweet little drinks trolley.”

It is unusual to see a dining room in a modern apartment but the space makes for a memorable feature. The starting point for the design was the dining table, as Barnes explains. “The rooms at Onyx are unusual shapes and I got to play with that in the dining room,” she says. “A square or rectangular table would have looked wrong, so I decided on circular which lead me to the marble topped table with brass legs and the scheme for the dining room came together from there.”