When I profiled Kelly Hoppen in our August 2015 issue, she already had a prolific portfolio. She is about as well known a designer as you can get, transcending industries: hospitality, residential, home goods, TV, not to mention her work as an ambassador for the UK’s Great Britain campaign, where she promotes British creativity, business, and design overseas. In that interview, she mentioned that she was looking forward to celebrating a retrospective in collaboration with Resource Decor of her work, 40 years in the making, in 2016.
Last week, she did just that in New York for the global launch of her 150-piece collection for Sonder Living (and debuting her new book Kelly Hoppen: The Art of Interior Design) at ABC Carpet & Home.
What inspired this collection?
Oh, everything. [The pieces are] all very different. We have done a lot of rose gold, a real mix of metals. I love using silver with gold and rose gold. All the chairs are very much based on vintage. [Some are feminine], and some are masculine because of the color. Homes should have a yin and yang. They should have a balance.
What’s your design process like?
Well, I can’t stop designing. I design so much. That’s the way my brain works. I can’t stop once I start.
Do you prefer designing products over interiors?
I love both. I’m very into designing product at the moment. I really do love it. I like the whole consumer end. People are purchasing it and loving it. My type of clientele has been so bespoke and so hidden, and it’s nice to produce something for [all consumers] to enjoy.
Do you have any design tips?
The one thing that people find difficult is accessorizing their home. They really struggle with it. I use the analogy of fashion; people can understand that because it’s what they put on their bodies. The home is a little more removed, and you can go into panic mode. People make the mistake of not planning what they’re doing. They just buy. You need to plan your homes like you do your wardrobe. In the world of Kelly, there’s enough content that people can find something that works for them. You don’t want to intimidate anyone else.
What is your design aesthetic?
I love neutrals. I love textures. I like combinations. If you look at the body of my work, in every piece, there are five or six different combinations. For me, I look at [design] a bit like cooking. A great chef just keeps changing the spices and the herbs until you get that kick.
What are you working on now?
We’re doing a big hotel in Mauritius at the moment, the Lux Belle Mare. We’ve got a very big project that is being announced soon. I have a glasses collection coming out. I have a new TV show in January, the Great Interior Design Challenge that will be on the BBC.
Any residential projects on the boards?
I have decided to give up residential. I’ve done it for 40 years, and it’s exhausting. We have all these other projects, which are like residential but you don’t have to work with individuals. But the minute you say you aren’t doing something, everyone wants you.
What do you like about hotel design?
I love staying in hotels, and I’m always disappointed because I’m so critical. When I design a hotel or something for hospitality, I think of everything. I don’t want to search on hands and knees for [an outlet]. I don’t want to not be able to put my phone next to my bed. I want simplicity. It’s about the experience.