Kelly Hoppen MBE: interior designer to the glitterati, product designer, author, teacher and now tv presenter.
Britain's first lady of interior design, Kelly has spent decades transforming the houses and yachts of the rich and famous with her signature minimalist yet opulent style.
Known for her unswerving devotion to neutrals, she is about to turn her attentions to re-styling the homes of the Great British public in a brand new five-part series for Channel 5, Superior Interiors with Kelly Hoppen. We caught up with Kelly to talk home style:
1. Kelly, where do you call home?
I live in a house in Notting Hill, where I've been for three years, but I am actually selling my house at the moment - I am ready to design a new project for myself.
2. What drew you there and to your current house in particular?
I have my design studio in Notting Hill, where I run my business and design school from and I love the vibe in Notting Hill. The house itself has great proportions, big windows and I was able to rework the interior space to incorporate everything I love best – a kitchen/diner which is great for socialising; a living room that can be cosy or glam; a tranquil bedroom and a gym for early morning workouts.
3. A friend is popping round for a cuppa and a catch-up. Is it a frantic tidy-up or are you more 'take me as you find me'?
Whilst I was filming the TV show, I'd have loved to have time for a friend to pop in, but I was frantic, and it would definitely have been a case of 'take me as you find me'! A strong believer in feng shui, on the whole I'm fairly tidy, so there isn't usually too much to tidy up.
4. What three words would you most like people to use if describing your home?
Sensuous, timeless and luxurious.
5. Which of the hundreds of homes you've designed would you most like to live in and why?
I think that aesthetically they are all beautiful, but they are designed for my clients, for the way that they live and as a reflection of them rather than a reflection of me.
6. Which are your "go-to" interiors shops?
I love the flea markets in Paris, where each piece is one-off. I also exhibited at Maison et Objet in Paris this month, which I love, but it's trade only.
7. Could you describe your signature interior design style in five words or less?
My home is the perfect example of my signature interior design style, so again I'd say elegant, textural, show stopping.
8. You're an interior designer, product designer, author, teacher and now tv presenter. Which aspect of your work gives you most pleasure?
Honestly, I love it all – except that when I'm trying to do so many things, I rarely have time to enjoy the moment. Having been an interior designer since I was a teenager, it is the most pleasurable aspect for me, and I'm lucky that my projects take me all over the world – I am currently designing a 'new concept' hotel in Mauritius, so that is another groundbreaking project for me.
9. What's the most you've ever splurged on a single item of furniture – for yourself or for a client?
I like one of a kind pieces, but this does not necessarily have to mean expensive. I have found the most amazing items at Kempton Antiques fair for minimal amounts of money. They may need to be reupholstered or given a good clean, but that is part of the fun.
10. What's the most amazing furniture bargain you've ever found?
I found an amazing Willy Rizzo coffee table in Paris. It was damaged but I had it restored and it's as good as new now.
11. You've been quoted as saying: "I absolutely believe that people should wake up in neutrals and go to sleep in neutrals." What is it you so love about neutrals?
They set the tone and mood of the home or room, and can easily be adapted by your possessions and lighting - bright for day time and functionality, and more muted and moody for an evening alone or with company.
12. Is a garden important to you – are you green fingered?
My garden has been designed in tandem with the rest of my house, with a mix of hard and soft landscaping, furniture to compliment the space, and also consideration for both views – from the inside looking out, and from the outside looking in. Flowers are not as important as the form, texture and scale of plants and trees. I tend to work closely with garden designers.
13. Where do you tend to spend most time when you're at home?
In my bedroom at the moment, having been so busy that I'm hardly there in waking hours! Otherwise, my kitchen is the heart of the home, and where I love to eat, work and entertain.
14. What would be your dream interior design commission?
15. Which of your interior design jobs are you most proud of?
The BA first class cabins, it really did put my brand out there globally.
16. Who are your favourite fashion designers?
17. Which objects in your home are most precious to you?
My monochrome photography prints and my family photos.
18. Where and what would be your ultimate fantasy home?
I have spent a lot of time in Mauritius, and love the weather and the outdoor lifestyle – I'd have a home large enough to invite friends to stay.
19. What's the last thing we're likely to find in a Kelly Hoppen home?
A pet – I'm away too much.
20. No home should be without what?
A table large enough for the whole family to share meals around.