I prioritise interiors and decor over pretty much all other factors. The food can be great in a restaurant, but if the interiors are awful I'll never go back. I'll always choose a design-led bar over a standard place to grab a drink. Therefore, when it comes to renting a room for a night, the interior stakes have to be pretty high for me to be satisfied! The thing is, unless you can afford one of London's premier hotels, chances are for a decently priced night in the city you'll be stuck in a sterile small white box room with a cheap MDF desk and one bed for company.
This is where Cuckooz have cleverly noticed a gap in the market. They have created a number of design-led apartments around the city that you can rent for around £200 a night for a two bed. The idea is that you can stay in a stylish apartment in an interesting area of town, using the apartment as a homely base as you explore the vibrant local area. I stayed with Cuckooz in their Kings X apartment a few weeks ago during Design Junction, which was being held a 5 minute walk away in Granary Square.
As well as the new Kings X apartment, Cuckooz also has rentals in Hoxton (styled in true Hoxton fashion by Camille Walala), Shoreditch (designed by Natalie Papageorgiadis) and Aldgate East (designed by the lovely 2LG), which are all vibrants parts of East London.
So what are they like inside? My apartment interior was kitted up in deep moody hues. The living space was painted a deep forest green, contrasted with a cobalt blue velvet sofa with yellow and grey cushions.
The apartment had two bedrooms, with the double master room having a en-suite. I loved the decor of the second bedroom which was painted black with this amazing red velvet headboard. Even though I wouldn't paint a bedroom completely black in my own home, I loved it in the apartment as it felt so cozy. When you book to stay somewhere for a night you really want to get a good nights sleep, and in this room you felt like it was already cocooning you.
Rather than bulky freestanding or built-in wardrobes that can feel imposing and take up space, the designer of this Cucooz apartment, Nicola Bianchi, has cleverly used simple curved metal pipes to create an area to hang clothes with an open yet industrial edge.
The master bedroom was painted 'colour-of-the-moment' mustard, and featured these pretty botanical prints which worked well against the wall colour.
One of the great things about Cuckooz is that they have partnered with Refuge – the UK's largest single provider of specialist domestic violence services which support women and children escaping from living with violence and fear. If you book a night at a Cuckooz apartment, they will donate £2 from each night you stay to Refuge.