The East Finchley car showroom adding an unexpected new product to the range

PUBLISHED: 11:35 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:35 02 December 2016

Racheline Michaels

Racheline Michaels


Meet Hexagon Classics, the husband and wife team hoping to create a design destination in the hinterland between their home in Highgate, Bishops Avenue and East Finchley.

Ceramics and homewares in Hexagon Classic DesignCeramics and homewares in Hexagon Classic Design

What do you get when you combine a classic car specialist and a pot dealer? No, this is not a bad gag about slow motion car crashes.

Instead interior designer and gallerist Racheline Michaels and her husband, Paul, a classic car dealer and former Formula One team owner, have joined forces on the site of the classic car showroom on Great North Road.

As unlikely as it may seem, once visitors walk across the forecourt lined with covetable little roadsters, and in through the front door of the vast car dealership, they’re greeted by the sight of Racheline’s carefully curated modern furniture and ceramics gallery and shop.

“One of us is car mad, the other is pot mad,” laughs Racheline. “I’m known as a potaholic. Classic design, whether it’s cars or furniture, should be about people loving what they own and choosing longevity and quality over quantity and quick fixes.”

Wooden boardsWooden boards

A north Londoner through and through, Paul’s passion for the world’s finest cars started in a garage in Daleham Mews in Belsize Park in the area’s glamorous ‘60s heyday. He moved on to North Hill in Highgate in 1966 and bought the current premises 20 years ago.

Hexagon ventured into the glamorous world of racing and even fielded a Formula One team in 1973/74.

During this period, the company was also amassing an art collection to display on the premises, with a collection that includes such highly appropriate gems as a series of Richard Hamilton tyre canvases, bought by Paul in the 1970s.

“We’ve been into iconic art and furniture for a long time. We’ve had Matthew Hilton chairs and Miro rugs for decades,” he says.

Cars in the showroom at HexagonCars in the showroom at Hexagon

Meanwhile, since the 1980s Racheline was running a successful interior design business from the couple’s Highgate home, adding her stylish touch to properties throughout north London.

Five years ago, she opened a ceramics gallery in a studio built in the back garden, which enabled to do more of what she loved, commissioning ceramic artists to create large-scale work, which they would be unlikely to be able to afford without her backing. The garden is still filled with large contemporary sculptures, a testament to that time.

When the space at Paul’s showroom became available the couple decided to join forces and combine their efforts in one location.

“It’s a pretty unique concept,” says Racheline. “We want people to pass by and pop in for a look at the cars and furniture, not necessarily with the idea of buying.”

Ceramics and homewares in Hexagon Classic DesignCeramics and homewares in Hexagon Classic Design

What the two ventures have in common is the intention that buyers – or visiting browsers – love and appreciate them as something to hold onto for life.

“Classic cars become part of the family. All the people we sell classic cars to have either aspired to them forever or they want something they can love,” says Paul.

“All our kids had a classic car when they were 17 because they’re safer. I bought my son an old Volvo because I know he’d have an accident and when he did hit a transit van he came off much better than he would have done in a small new car.”

While the impressive range of vintage Porsches, Ferraris and other quality marques are a draw for car fanatics, the prestigious pieces by Knoll, Carl Hansen and ceramicists including David Roberts, Ashraf Hanna and Nicholas Lees offer the ideal counterpoint for those who are more lukewarm about motors.

Work by Julian Stair behind the desk at Hexagon Classic DesignWork by Julian Stair behind the desk at Hexagon Classic Design

Serious interiors buyers are sure to add the venue to their little black books as a destination for rare or specially commissioned ceramics and sculpture, including large-scale 100-piece works by Yuta Segawa and 2.5 metre-tall ceramic trees by Fausto Salvi.

The space should prove equally popular with those accompanying a car fanatic on a browse or the casual passerby, who can pick up attractive homewares for as little as £20 – from wooden chopping boards to sets of nesting bowls by Daniel Smith.

The Michaels’s plans for the future are even more ambitious, with the ultimate goal being a leisure hub offering restaurants and a coffee bar alongside the car showroom, interiors shop and gallery and a book collection on a stretch of road not currently considered much of a lifestyle destination, despite its proximity to so many popular neighbourhoods.

“It’s walking distance from East Finchley, and we’ve even had people visiting us as part of a walk on the Heath and Kenwood,” points out Racheline.

For anyone who’s ever bemoaned the lack of things to do around the Bishops Avenue, the evolving site is a must visit.

Hexagon is hosting a Christmas open day on Saturday, December 3 from 10am to 3pm. Coffee served. Children welcome.

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

Revealed: the most popular postcodes in north London

Where are north London’s movers and shakers, and what postcodes do people prefer to stay true to? India Block puts the Royal Mail moving map data to the test

A room with a BMW: the industrial apartment with a suprise in its garage

A modern mews house currently for sale in Camden Town is putting pedal to the metal by including a car in the asking price

King’s Cross area guide: Harry Potter, restaurants, shops and the station

Your guide to all the things to do in King’s Cross, including the best shops, cafes, pubs and schools. PLUS our guide to property in N1C

Top 3 properties for sale in King’s Cross

This week in King’s Cross there’s a balcony flat, new build with a wrap around roof terrace and a home on a historic crescent

The renting politician: what Sian Berry keeps on her shelf

Sian Berry, 42, was the Green candidate for Mayor in 2008 and in 2016 (coming third). She is a member of the London Assembly and she rents in Archway. Check out her ‘shelfie’ here

Hot properties in Highgate, Stroud Green, Dartmouth Park and Archway

This week’s property picks include an entertaining haven, a stained glass window in Stroud Green and a stunning gothic church conversion

Modernist marvel: a socialist dream and a slice of history

This historic housing block was revered by the modernist masters when it was built, and it’s back on the market for a modern price tag

Property of the week: contemporary apartment with views out over the Heath

A glass balustrade and folding glass doors give uninterrupted views over the pond and Hampstead Heath in this week’s star buy

Centre court: how courtyard architecture can transform your living space

Are courtyards only the preserve of a warm, sunny climate? Belsize Architects’ Shahriar Nasser says no

Pot luck: how to protect your garden pots from breaking

You needn’t go potty over broken pots. Instead, give your terracotta a little TLC

Top tips for designing your dream spiral staircase

Don’t let your stairs spiral out of control with our five tips for designing a new staircase

Camden named as one of least affordable places to buy property in UK

Camden workers have to pay 19.6 times their annual earnings to buy a property in the borough, as UK house prices reach peak un-affordability

Houses in Haringey earn £91k more than their owners do

Homeowners in Haringey could be quids in, with the average home earning £91,000 MORE than residents earn in two years, but those hoping to buy in to the area are left out in the cold.

Your design diary: the best London architecture exhibitions, walks and events to inspire you in 2017

From an imagined 1920s Moscow at the Design Museum to Japanese inspiration at the Barbican, here’s our pick of exhibitions and events to visit

Fix up look sharp: a masterclass in caring for your gardening tools

A good gardener never blames their tools. Ruth Pavey shares an expert’s tips for tool care, plus a tribute to a remarkable woman

Ham OR High: which is the best place to live?

A new Sunday Times poll snubbed Hampstead to crown Highgate one of the best places to live in the UK. Tell us if you agree with our own poll

Crouch end area guide: schools, vintage shops, cinema and pubs

Your guide to all the things to do in Crouch End, including the best shops, cafes, pubs and schools. PLUS our guide to property in N8

Top 3 properties for sale in Crouch End

A five bedroom family home, garden flat, and a mansion block apartment make up the top three properties on offer in Crouch End this week

Best of the bunch: pick yourself a Mother’s Day bouquet masterclass

Make your own beautiful bespoke bouquet for Mother’s Day with royal florist Moyses Stevens’ St Pancras masterclass

Comment: the business rates rise in London is all of our business

There was no reprieve for businesses in Philip Hammond’s budget last week, and for north London locals it’s personal

George Michael’s Highgate house reported to have been handed down to older sister ahead of star’s funeral

Singer’s £10 million Highgate home is reported to have been kept in the family as relatives plan the late star’s funeral, which is expected to take place in Highgate Cemetery

Hot properties: homes for sale in Hampstead village, Crouch End, Highgate and Chalk Farm

This week’s top picks include a Victorian maisonette, a nine bedroom rental property and a charming Grade II listed family home

Property of the week: a Beverly Hills style mansion for just under £12 million

Grab a slice of Hollywood hills living in Highgate with this modern home that comes with its own cinema, gym, swimming pool and wine cellar

Rental role reversal: how stamp duty has shifted north London’s prime property market

Stamp duty has been causing headaches for north London agents and homeowners alike, and now we have the data to prove it. Read the report from the new property landscape in Hampstead and Highgate, where the prime renter is king.

Horticultural Holidays

Need to get away this springtime? Here are the best gardens to see as the weather warms up

The heat is on: 5 top tips for central heating

As winter turns to spring, here are five top tips for fitting, retrofitting and replacing your central heating

How to buy a home with your partner – without risking the relationship

Thinking about taking the plunge and buying a property with a partner? Make sure you have read Simon Gerrard’s expert advice on thinking with your head, not your heart

Green is the new black: why you need to eco-chic your home now

With turbulent times for the environment ahead, meet the enterprising Highgate group who are helping homeowners go green

St John’s Wood property: auctioneer’s highest ever lot sells for above asking price

The semi-detached Victorian house sold above its guide price for £3.25 million

Hampstead Garden Suburb area guide: history, schools, library, synagogue

Your guide to all the things to do in Hampstead Garden Suburb, including the best schools, shops, bars, cafes and culture. PLUS our guide to property in NW11

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2016 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant