Written by Anna Tobin
Interior designer Kelly Hoppen MBEs signature style can be found imprinted on homes, yachts, private jets, hotels, and restaurants across the world. She tells Anna Tobin what inspires and motivates her.
Kelly Hoppen’s simple yet opulent style has made her the go-to designer for international celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, and Gwyneth Paltrow. She has created an instantly recognisable style that is unique to her. The Kelly Hoppen look fuses neutral palettes and sumptuously tactile textures. I would describe my signature style as simple yet elegant, explains Kelly. I love using neutral tones and beautiful contrasting textures to create classic, timeless interiors.
This talent for creating beautiful interior schemes that never seem to date is what has catapulted Kelly to the top of her field, not just in the United Kingdom, where her business is based, but worldwide. She has worked her visual wonders on everything from a ski chalet in Zermatt to a beachside villa in Barbados; a pied-à-terre in London to a spacious home in Beirut.
She has worked on large commercial projects too. Anyone who has teed off at the Royal Mougins Golf Course in the South of France, eaten in Rhodes W1 restaurant in London, or stayed at the 5-star Lux Belle Mare resort in Mauritius will notice she has left her mark.
Taupe colours make up the background colour, the rooms layouts are all about symmetry and balance, and furniture is always well dressed. Kelly’s style crosses continents so well because it draws on key elements from both the West and the Orient.
“I’m inspired by the simplicity of Eastern philosophy and incorporate this into my designs by use of clean lines and symmetry,” she explains.
“My core East-meets-West aesthetic has remained constant, but over the years, however, Ive worked to find a balance and seek new inspirations.”
Constantly travelling, meeting different clients, and learning about new innovations ensures that Kelly is never short of ideas and is always at the front of emerging trends.
For 2014 you’ll see the use of more modular and structured designs, she predicts, whilst individuals will become much more aware of the importance of lighting in the home. Kelly also highlights, however, the importance of striking the right balance when it comes to technological advancements. It is easy to get carried away with all the options and advancements in home technology, but you have to decide what works for you and fits in with your lifestyle, she says. Decide how you want to feel in your home and what you want to use each space for, then choose functional appliances, lighting, and gadgets that reflect this.
The launch of Kelly Hoppen homewares
The demand for Kelly’s style has led the designer to create her own line of furniture, home accessories, linen, towels, and wallpaper. Kelly Hoppen London pieces are about injecting your home with her little touches of subtle opulence. Explaining the thinking behind the range, Kelly says: Ive always wanted people to feel a great sense of warmth in their home, cocooned in comfort and surrounded by gorgeous pieces that Ive discovered, all of which help to enhance those feelings of calm and relaxation.
Anyone wanting to garner further tips from this design guru can easily lose themselves for days in one of her design books. Somehow or other she has managed to find the time to write eight interior design books. In her latest, Design Masterclass, Kelly shares her professional secrets on the practical and aesthetic aspects needed to create a wonderful interior scheme.
“It is very common to feel overwhelmed when you start out on a new interior project, whether it be one room or a whole property, and in this instance having a great interior designer on hand can prove invaluable in helping you to work out exactly how you want your space to look, function, and feel.”
“In this situation I try and get the homeowner to connect with how they want the space to feel once it is completed, reveals Kelly. Using our emotions is an effective way to discover our priorities and what we really want. Once this is established its about working together to plan realistic goals and a mutual vision for the project.”
Despite having worked on hundreds of projects all over the world, and now working on various television and charity projects too, Kelly never tires of her first love: design; and she still gets excited about every new commission.
Juggling different work is all about having fantastic management skills and knowing how to prioritise. I usually visualise the completion of my projects, organise tasks, and set a structured timeline in place to work towards my goals. I love the challenge that a new commission brings and the excitement of a unique new experience. I always look forward to building relationships with clients and sharing my passion for design to deliver a project they love.
With so many of her clients coming back for more, Kelly obviously does exactly that.