Q&A with Nicola Buxton on Arthouse Project

Nicola buxton is the design manager at hux. here she talks about a recent project for a timeless contemporary apartment home in kings cross.

Q: congratulations on THE arthouse project. Please give us an introduction TO the project.

A: We worked with Katie McCrum and her team on this Arthouse project in Kings Cross. They provided us with a detailed brief and design intent which we then developed and advised on technical details. The apartment home was redesigned and styled for a family living abroad at the time. To suit their needs as a family, we created a bespoke kitchen, wardrobes, a shelving unit and a dressing table that maximise storage space. The colour palette is soft and muted, combining different textured finishes to create a luxurious and timeless feel.

Q: Please tell us about the kitchen

A: The kitchen sits on one wall in the main living space of the flat, directly behind a seating area where the clients would watch the TV and relax. It has all the necessary appliances, including an induction hob with an integrated extraction hood, a built-in microwave oven, a fridge freezer, a single oven, and a tap with an undermount sink. The contemporary kitchen design features a mix of micro-shaker and flush door designs. We used a satin spray finish for the kitchen’s external finish to match the contemporary door styles.

We mixed plant-on handles with an integrated handle by chamfering the edge of the base cabinet doors. The handleless base cabinets work well in a small kitchen and keep the design minimalist and understated. The Joseph Giles brushed brass handles fit perfectly with the brass tap to bring modern luxury into the kitchen. The client wanted a simple, white stone to match the light feel of the cabinetry. Caesarstone Frosty Carrina is an ivory white composite worktop with minimal grey veining.

To break up the run of wall cabinets, we installed a grey-toned timber effect Xylocleaf shelf with an antique mirrored back panel. The mirror adds dimension to the kitchen, while the bronze tone contrasts with the light colour of the cabinetry. We paired the Little Greene French Grey Pale No.161 externals with a grey Egger MFC for the internal cabinets. Egger is a hardwearing, easy-to-clean, cost-effective finish, great for kitchens.

Q: What’s the craftsmanship behind the wardrobes, shelving Unit and dressing table?

A: We worked on sliding door wardrobes for three rooms, a shelving unit, and a dressing table. The doors and panels were all constructed from various Xylocleaf finishes with Egger MFC internal carcasses.

The wardrobe doors were flush with recessed Joseph Giles handles. We installed large silver mirrors on two wardrobe doors. This helped make the rooms look bigger and allowed light to flow around the room.

We worked closely with the interior designers to minimise visible join lines on scribes and the shaker frames and to specify the grain direction of the laminates, particularly on the dressing table.

The dressing table drawers were constructed from two different laminate boards recessed into one another and edged to conceal the joins. We used the two complimentary Xylocleafs and contemporary micro-shaker door style to achieve an inset fabric panel look for the drawer fronts.⁠

Q: Did you have any particular challenge that you were able to find the solution for? 

A: At the start of the project, there were some existing wardrobes that the client wanted us to evaluate whether we could retain the carcasses and sliding door mechanisms and only replace the doors. We usually don’t recommend retrofitting new doors to old carcasses as we believe you will achieve a better finished product by replacing the carcasses and doors.

However, with instances like this, we would always recommend a thorough investigation of existing cabinetry and hardware. We visited the site multiple times to review the state of the existing carcasses and sliding door mechanisms. As a result, we were able to retain the existing carcasses in two rooms and reuse one of the sliding door mechanisms. We did decide that we needed to replace one of the sliding door mechanisms, which gave us more control over the design and construction of the doors.

Q: What’s your favourite memory when working on the project? 

A: It was wonderful to see the joinery installed and completed with Katie McCrum when she styled the flat for the client’s arrival. After looking at the designs in detail on SketchUp and seeing the joinery in person, you can imagine the clients living in the spaces and enjoying the cabinetry we have installed. 3D modelling is an enormously valuable tool; however, seeing and feeling the different material combinations was a memorable moment.

If our designs and work inspire you, please get in touch and we would be delighted to help you with your upcoming kitchen and joinery projects.