Interiors Spotlight: Artist Nigel Atkinson's Kings Cross Apartment

Written by: Sophie Taylor

This post was kindly sponsored by Davies & Davies Estate Agents.

Artist Nigel Atkinson and architect Simon Agate began their relationship with the beautiful St Pauls Crescent garden flat 35 years ago. They originally bought the flat at auction with a sitting tenant on the top floor who remembered moving into the building by horse and cart.

Simon then began to restore and modernise the mid-Victorian terrace, originally as a whole house but always with a view to having the flexibility of an independent garden flat with a maisonette above.

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Based in Shoreditch, Simon works in a partnership of architects, Project 5 Architecture, specialising in converting period properties to make them feel more modern and comfortable while retaining the best of their period character. Both Nigel and Simon share an interest in Japanese aesthetics, particularly the relationship between interior and exterior spaces.

“The garden flat certainly reflects that… you are always aware of the light streaming in through the glass back extension, the kitchen, in which you feel like you are in the garden, and the views onto it from the living room. At night the garden is subtly lit to highlight the mature Japanese trees and leafy shrubs.”

Do you have a favourite piece of furniture?

“The overall feeling of the space is more important to us than specific pieces of furniture, but we are fond of the low antique Japanese tansu storage unit with sliding doors.”

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How did you choose the artwork?

“The paintings are mine. I specialise in textiles but I’m interested in the crossovers between different art forms. My studio is in Kilburn (Kingsgate Workshops). I chose these particular paintings to create a feeling of calm.”

Where do you both like to go out for dinner nearby?

“We are totally spoilt for choice in terms of great places to eat and hang out, especially since the development of Kings Cross just a short walk to the South. We love CôBa, a trendy Australian/ Vietnamese restaurant on the corner of Agar Grove and York Way. For vegetarian, Mildred’s (a few doors down from Tri Yoga) is a firm favourite.”

How about places to unwind?

“Oh, Granary Square for the fountains and people watching and maybe even a swim in the outdoor natural pool surrounded by wild flowers, followed by breakfast at Caravan. Then to the West, Camden.”

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The lock and the canal are our favourite places, just a short walk from the flat. Delightful.

Nigel and Simon are surrounded by artistic history, the areas of Kings Cross and Camden are steeped in cultural heritage. Nigel explains how the vicinity has long been the home and workplace of many artists, architects, and musicians.

“Most famously, Amy Winehouse, David Chipperfield, Anthony Caro, William Turnball, Lilian Lijin and Anthony Gormley, to name a few.”

Fancy a slice of this renovated Victorian utopia for yourself? This beautiful apartment was marketed by Davies & Davies Estate Agents, who are based in Finsbury Park. You might have missed your chance to live in this artist’s residence but check out the sparkly new Davies & Davies website for more properties across Inner North London.

Photos: Michael Barry

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