Tuesday, 19 October 2010

In Conversation with Kelly Hoppen

image Kelly Hoppen


You can't even have a design conversation without the mention of Kelly Hoppen nowadays; Since starting her business at sixteen and a half years old, the British Designer has created an empire for herself including not only her design services, but also a retail shop where she designs rugs, fabrics, paint, ceramics, shutters and bath fixtures… oh, and did I mention that she is also an author? For heaven's sake, this woman is so accomplished, she even received an MBE from the Queen in 2009!


Tailored, refined, simple, classic, crisp, luxurious, sophisticated, opulent… all are words that come to mind when asked about Kelly's designs. She runs the gambit from residential, commercial, architectural, hospitality, yacht and product design - she has even designed the interior for the first class of British Airways! Of course, each project is different but they all seem to share an aesthetic that is uniquely Kelly Hoppen; featuring clean lines and soft palettes with accents of antiques, colour or texture.


Kelly is so good at what she does that she even has her very own design school, "Kelly Hoppen Design School" is located in her studio at Notting Hill. Students are able to catch a glimpse of Kelly's design process and learn several of her trade secrets and sources. If you can't afford to fly to England to study at the design school, Kelly offers great design insight in her books, "Close Up", "Kelly Hoppen Home", "Table Chic", "East Meets West", "Kelly Hoppen Style" or "In Touch". She has also been featured in countless magazines globally including Metropolitan Home, Architectural Digest, Casa, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Instyle and Interior Design (US and Japan).



So let's get on with it!, I know you are all dying to dive in so please read on to get in on the conversation…


Iván Meade - What was your first experience with design?


Kelly Hoppen -  My first experience of design was a project for a friend of my father, I designed his kitchen, I think i was around 17 at the time.


Interior Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván Meade - What is your approach to lifestyle and design?


Kelly Hoppen -  Design wants you want and love, but design using how you want to live as the inspiration rather than solely aesthetics


image  Interior Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván Meade - You always respect the traditional with a fusion of modernity.  I believe this is what makes your work stand out and remain current.  How do you achieve this?


Kelly Hoppen -  I have always kept true to my design principles rather than being led but a current trend, and this in turn has created the 'Hoppen' style, I want my designs to be timeless and elegant.


image British Airways Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván Meade - You have accomplished something very unique in the interior design world creating a strong, extremely well recognized and beautiful signature style - In this same manner your style keeps evolving - How or where do you find your inspiration?


Kelly Hoppen -  My inspiration comes from my down time, when I am relaxing it just comes to me. 


Yacht Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván Meade - You are also known as the "Queen of Taupe" - Do you have a new colour in your repertoire that is really speaking to you?


Kelly Hoppen -  I do not have an aversion to colour, I just feel that you should design around a base of neutrals that will not date your home and then accent in colour perhaps using fabrics, a star furniture piece or even art.


image Hotel Murmuri Barcelona designed by Kelly Hoppen


Iván Meade - I had the pleasure of reading all your books, they are not just beautifully designed,  they also contain very valuable information.  Are you planning to write more books?


Kelly Hoppen -  I am currently in the final stages of writing my new design book which will be released in February.  I am also working on a business book as well as my autobiography.


image Furniture Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván Meade - How would you describe the value of design?


Kelly Hoppen -  I feel that design is very important, especially in the home. Home is your sanctuary, it should reflect who you are and how you live your life. It should be the most important place to you.


Interior Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván - Which project are you most proud of?

Kelly Hoppen - My latest project for a private client, the end result is phenomenal.


Interior Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván - Who would you like to design something for?


Kelly Hoppen -  Cheryl Cole, I could create the perfect nurturing sanctuary for her after everything that she has been through in the past year.


Interior Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván Meade - What is your newest venture in design?


Kelly Hoppen - I am constantly trying new things, from designing my fashion range with Earth Couture, designing wall art for Graham & Brown, designing a Kelly Hoppen Boat for Pearl Yachts the list goes on!


image Wallpaper Design by Kelly Hoppen


Iván Meade - You have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles, what would you like your legacy to be?


Kelly Hoppen -  I would like to be remembered for pioneering a style, the 'Hoppen' style. For creating a way for people to live that is timeless, elegant and Taupe ;-)




MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011


Michelle said...

OMG Ivan...I can't believe the caliber of your interviews...great questions btw!

I agree with the Taupe thing...I've tried...but it's tough for me to commit to any one colour...it's neutrals forever for me I'm afraid.

Congrats on snagging such a talented interviewee! I'll be looking for her new book on business.


Unknown said...


Hope all is well with you.
I also love Kelly Hoppen's body of work and her books are like classes themselves you're right. Great interview and I will be looking out for her new books to come. I love taupe also. It came into my life as my everyday eyeshadow color for my green eyes. So I experienced taupe everyday and I never leave home without it.

Kelly is a favorite designer and I follow her on twitter and enjoy hearing about her projects.


Brillante Interiors said...

When I see new posts from you I am happy! and particularly when I see interviews of this level. Take care, amico mio caro...

susan said...

Kudos to you, Ivan for getting this interview. Your questions were very thoughtful and probing, reflecting a deep appreciation of her work. Her answers are as restrained as her interiors!

Sahar said...

Thank you for interviewing Kelly Hoppen, she is such a great designer and a school in style. I am happy she is getting more social media exposure, people out there ought to learn how to be minimal yet vibrant and classy when it comes to putting things together.


Jacqueline said...

First time poster here at your blog --- please keep it up! I'm enjoying the reads.

Echo said...

Fabulous interview, it was a great read :)

As you know, I am also guilty for having taupe be the launching point in most of my concepts - but it's so versatile and timeless, you can easily acheive very different looks and feelings with the same base, Kelly is obviously the master of this concept.

I am also looking forward to her new books and can't wait to see what she does next, she always seems to take advantage of her opportunities which is great; from furniture to wallpaper and yachts to jets... very cool.

Tara McHugh Flora said...

I am so happy for you to have done this interview, I know she has been inspirational for you!

teebarnes said...

Wow! Awesome get Ivan! Great Interview! Love Kelly Hoppen's work. I have two of her books, looking forward to her latest.

Unknown said...

What a great interview and insight into the mind of a woman who has singlehandedly branded herself into a household word!

JASR said...

when i first saw her book a year ago, i thought she was really special... such passion for designing... from designing spaces, to decors, writing books and even putting up a design school... such an inspiration...

btw, i'm really glad i stumble upon this blog... i've been reading great stuffs from designers that i've known from the past and been introduced to new ones.. really great!