Nick grew up in deepest Hampshire, raised in the village of Steep where his artistic and creative spirit began. Steep, with its Arts and Crafts, other periods and contemporary styles, is also well known for the war poet Edward Thomas and for Bedales School with its liberal philosophy. The Edward Barnsley Work Shop and the famous Horder House Studio (an early commission for Edward Cullinan) were nearby and they captivated Nick from an early age. Even Steep’s garage was endorsed for good design by Prince Charles in his ‘Vision for Britain’. With this heritage Nick remembers:
“I have hugely evocative memories of escaping from the footpaths and scrambling wildly through woodland undergrowth up to the stilted Studio, peering in awe through the vast single-pane windows at the minimalist furniture, so unusual and impressive to a boy. Day after day I would hack on horseback around lanes straining to see over hedges and admiring other styles of architecture nestling in the gorgeous valley of Steep and surrounding villages. I now realise how lucky I was to be so stimulated and enchanted by those rich, varied, classic and contemporary, styles. The early experiences gave me a marvellous appreciation of design and a lifelong passion for creating and experimenting with the old, the new, and the entirely original”
Nick studied at Portsmouth College of Art and Design and was possibly one of the youngest subscribers to House and Garden magazine, also poring over the images of architecture in Country Life.
Drawn magnetically to that world, his career began with estate agents Messenger May Baverstock, later to become Hamptons International, and operated for a decade in Hampshire, Surrey, London, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset, all the time viewing and mentally re-designing a huge range of different styles of property. Nick’s pleasure and excitement were increased by helping clients to secure and visualise their new homes.
Those years broadened him with experience in lettings and property management, exposing him to further ranges of property.
He knew his obsession was for life.
Moving on to full-time design as a freelance, Nick worked and trained with Ian Lieber Designs and Gordon & Cohen Associates, followed by two years running the Interior Design Department for Smallbone of Devizes. With these ever-broadening skills he then formed a property search and refurbishing service, teaming up with Ronnie Cohen under the Gordon & Cohen Associates banner, focusing his new projects in Central London.
Now offering a wide portfolio of personal services, Nick established his own business. For 20 years he has engaged in his own and his clients’ projects in Devon, East Anglia, the Midlands, Hampshire and Central London, the most recent being in the Cotswolds.
Depending on the type of scheme and the client’s preferences, Nick liaises with, advises, sources, supervises and often manages architects, builders, suppliers, specialist and niche craftsmen and local authorities: full ‘design and implementation’ projects.
Nick Cook with his extensive experience and his highly-developed instinct and creative insight can enter a room, rooms, a floor, a whole building, a plot of land and see it turned upside down and inside out. He can imagine it laid out in numerous ways with a variety of solutions and can provide structural schemes, designs, colours, etc. and with the aid of 3D perspectives can bring it to visual life. Then he gets it done.
Proud owners of properties Nick has worked on are proud indeed!