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Enter the Whimsical World of Interior Designer Kit Kemp

28th August 2019

Kit Kemp has forged herself as an internationally acclaimed design icon with her transformative interiors having firmly established themselves as a design style in their own right. Celebrated for her captivating living spaces whose colourful fabrics, eclectic home accessories and exciting artwork invite guests on a joyful journey of discovery. Join us on our voyage into the whimsical world of Kit Kemp design to learn how to achieve her look in your own home...

Kit Kemp Interior Design

Interior designer Kit Kemp has been developing inspiring, vibrant interiors for almost three decades. With a background in graphic design, this self taught creative is one half of the husband and wife duo that co-founded the Firmdale Hotels group.

 A collection of boutique hotels in London and New York, Kit Kemp is the creative force behind their award winning interiors. With each enjoying its own distinctive style that celebrates the properties unique features and quirky characters, rooms are transformed into fresh, modern spaces that are equally as beautiful as they are comfortable.

Her quintessential British style has led her to collaborate with big names including Andrew Martin and Christopher Farr to create her very own beautiful range of fabrics and wallpapers. Her passion for home-grown talent and celebration of quality craftsmanship has seen her become a global influencer and proud ambassador of British design.

Achieving that Kit Kemp Style

The Kit Kemp look has taken the design world by storm with her trademark technicolor living spaces seeing the most unlikely combinations placed alongside each other as she blurs and blends traditional interior styles. Although they are each as unique as the next, underneath the kaleidoscope of pattern and colour there are guidelines that govern her signature style. Follow these simple design tips to create your very own Kit Kemp inspired living space.

Room Layout & Furnishings

The success to Kit Kemp's style is that sense of equilibrium one feels as they enter a room. Spaces feel balanced, calm and stable. This can be realized by the clever placement of your furniture. Start by defining the different areas within a room to give you a better idea of the space you have to work with. Your central point, often a sofa or bed, should be the largest item of furniture around which other small items are placed.

You will notice that Kit Kemp often uses side tables and occasional chairs to define the boundary of an area, sometimes forming a sub-section within the room. A fine example of this can be seen in her collaboration with Andrew Martin featuring Cavalat stripe fabric. By placing the same item of furniture on both sides of the room, she creates a visual mirror that results in the room looking well proportioned and pleasing to the eye.

The multi coloured assortment of tones and patterns that feature within Kit Kemp's schemes push the boundaries of traditional design. She favours an eclectic mix that sees geometric fabric, floral fabric, colourful plain fabric and abstract prints jar alongside each other in perfect harmony.

Begin by sampling an array of different designs, colours and pattern sizes to see what they look like together. Kit Kemp is clever in her choice of fabrics as she selects designs that enhance the features of a room. Keep in mind the spaces that they are set to occupy, for example a large print curtain fabric can increase the height of your windows as the pattern cascades from floor to ceiling. On the other hand, patterns with a smaller design can make cushions look plumper as the compact scale makes the surface appear fuller.

If you are struggling with where to begin, start by looking to a piece of artwork or embroidered fabric that will feature in your room. By using their colours to inform your palette, you can build a scheme that combines a medley of fabrics that will relate to one another through the artwork.

Her iconic statement headboards has become synonymous with Kit Kemp bedrooms. This larger than life example at the Ham Yard Hotel draws your eye to the centre of a room with the vibrant Carousel fabric contrasting beautifully against the blue textured wallpaper.

The jarring combination of a bold geometric upholstery fabric and a modern floral curtain fabric works so beautifully together because they share the same colours and pattern size. The rest of the scheme is kept relatively neutral to allow these commanding colours to pop against the calmer white canvas that surrounds them.

A fan of fabulous prints and patterns, Kit Kemp's creativity really comes into its own when challenged with finding a way to feature a favourite fabric within a room. Her trademark upholstered armchairs are often seen sporting two or sometimes three different fabrics, upgrading these chairs from a piece of furniture into a work of art.

The perfect opportunity to use delicate weaves or embroidered fabrics that are less suitable for high trafficked areas, these cloths can be featured on areas of chair where they are protected from wear and tear. 

Wallpaper Your walls

Kit Kemp rooms are often wallpapered rather than painted to achieve that smart and tailored finish. A perfect opportunity to add further colour and texture to a space, her artistic wall features make sure that the walls are not forgotten within the overall design.

Her collaboration with artist Melissa White on her illustrious hand-painted murals showcase how walls can become the focal point of a space. By opting for softer, more neutral fabrics across furnishings it will allow the artistry to command the room. As wall murals can be printed to a bespoke size they are also a flexible option for spaces that have an unusual layout as they provide continuity across the walls.

Another design trick that we have seen in Kit Kemp interiors time and time again is using paper backed fabric on the walls to create a luxurious effect unlike any other wall treatment. The stunning geometric fabric by Jim Thompson is featured on both the curtains and the walls as a matching design which flawlessly ties the room together in both pattern and colour.

If you are looking for something to create a calmer, more airy atmosphere then wallpapers with a subtle textural finish are ideal to achieve that polished look. This Chambray Linen Wallpaper provides that flush appearance of a plain wallpaper whilst adding tactile interest to the surface. By continuing these subtle textures across the upholstery and curtains within the room, it binds the overall scheme with a sophisticated and stylish finish.

The Finish

The finishing touches and eccentric accessories are what makes Kit Kemp interiors so enchanting to the eye. Each piece is personal to the room, creating interesting spaces that invite you to explore. Items reveal places that have been travelled to and books that have been enjoyed, adding a sense of familiarity that makes her rooms feel homely.

Kit Kemp designs rooms to be both stylish and functional and her choice in lighting is a fine example of how she achieves this. Table lamps provide a practical source of light whilst doubling as pieces of sculpture. Their unique shapes and various materials add textures and colour to the room.

Vibrant artwork is a dominant feature within Kit Kemp interiors and is purposefully hung in an area that can be admired from all areas the room. Whilst being a beautiful addition to the walls, it often shares its colour palette with the rest of the room and helps to links the overall scheme together.

Whilst not all finishing touches are quite as prominent, they still play a huge role in achieving that polished Kit Kemp look. Look closely and you will notice that upholstery and cushions are adorned with trimmings to give neat edges and a tailored finish.

A great excuse to add extra splashed of colour, we often see Kit Kemp choosing contrasting tones that appear across other areas of the room. This helps to work stand-alone pieces into a scheme whilst maintaining their individuality.

The Designers

A proud ambassador of home-grown talent, Kit Kemp showcases the best of British designers. Respected for their industry knowledge and commitment to quality materials, these brands share her passion for beautiful fabrics and wallpapers.

Their individual styles and unique colour palettes means that each brand brings its own look to the table. This treasure trove of luxury materials and creative patterns are all you need to create that signature Kit Kemp look at home... 

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