Friday, May 24, 2024

Kelly Hoppen: Bright and Beautiful

Kelly Hoppen MBE, Interior Designer

Kelly Hoppen MBE has come a long way since her first project—designing a family friend’s kitchen in 1975 when she was 16. In the 40 celebrated and award-winning years since then, she has created designs for commercial projects (such as British Airways’ first-class cabins) and celebrities around the world, including British actor Martin Shaw, and power couple David and Victoria Beckham. Hoppen was eventually appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her contributions to the interior design industry.

Born in South Africa, Hoppen and her family moved to Chelsea in Britain when she was 2 years old. At 16, her father died, which was one of the biggest motivations for Hoppen to start her own business. Using money she inherited, Hoppen designed her own apartment to use as a display. “To me, this felt like a no-brainer…My biggest motivation was to be able to stand on my own two feet and prove to everyone that I was independent and successful despite going through such a tough time,” Hoppen noted. By 1996, her fearless and go-getter work ethic had earned her the Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year Award, considered the Oscars of the design industry.

Her favourite addition to any interior, flowers can be used to include a feeling of connectedness and depth in any space.

Setting the Mood

According to Hoppen, interior design is about designing calm, balanced environments. Her signature design characteristics lean toward a neutral colour palette, such as taupe and beige, with beautiful textures focused around “East meets West aesthetics”. The end goal is to design a space where all the design components enhance, emphasise and complement each other to create a feeling of calm, cosiness, comfort and warmth.

Hoppen explains that in creating the perfect interior, the fundamental factor is how the home or room feels, more than just how it looks. “I design all my homes with this in mind because I believe it is important for the energy of a space to flow positively, which helps create the feeling and mood your home needs,” she said, pointing out that the mood of a home is a crucial component because it adds a layer of sensuality and is a finishing touch.

Designs such as this one in St. Moritz in Switzerland reflect the designer’s understanding of effective colour and texture combination.
A beautiful combination of vintage and contemporary, the Hoppen-designed room features interesting components that accessorise and add highlights to the space.

To accomplish this, Hoppen incorporates scents, which she explains is one of the most evocative tools to create any mood, and flowers. The latter is particularly essential as they are natural and represent various colours and moods. Flowers, available in different vibrant varieties can also be utilised in various ways to add scale and depth to rooms. Some of
Hoppen’s favourites are white flowers, predominantly orchids and lilies, and green succulents because of their simplicity. She also applies flowers in repetition displays, adhering to simple, exquisite arrangements.

The designer combines greys, blacks and beige with bright and vibrant colours in this game-winning recreations room.

The Showcase

With displays, Hoppen advises that the designated area should be empty to create a blank canvas. “Decide the colourcode you want to use. The items you are using must have a relationship between them. The key to a good display is to keep it simple and fluid and only use the pieces you are most proud of,” she said, adding that one no-no is placing a large piece in the middle with other smaller components on either side. The trick is to start with the tallest piece on one end and the other items positioned in decreasing order.

Overlap and layer photographs of different sizes to create depth and interest, rather than creating a single line row with the same size frames. In addition, frames should not be placed at angles to each other, leaving enough space around each display to avoid an overcrowded look and allow each piece to be admired independently. Hoppen points out that the most important advice “is to be brave! Interior design is an expression of yourself, so be creative and don’t be afraid to move things around every few months to keep giving your home a fresh, new feel.”

Neutral blues, beige and flowers arranged to create an exquisite and homely feel is signature Kelly Hoppen.

What are some of Hoppen’s House Rules? Well, start by creating symmetry by aligning the sofa with a central point of a room, and use neutral colours and contrasting textures—
such as dark-grey and ivory—in a yin and yang mix of dark and pale. Floor-length, neutral-coloured curtains and blinds should be used for a romantic atmosphere, with brightly coloured accessories, such as pillows, vases and paintings, to help with the finishing touches.

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