13 questions on style, dinner parties and leisure with legendary interior designer Kelly Hoppen

Reecha Kulkarni / April 17, 2018

Even in the world of high-profile interior decorators, Kelly Hoppen orbits in a rarefied atmosphere. The aesthete’s happy clients run the gamut from English Actor Martin Shaw to the modern day royalty that is the Beckham family. Perfectly comfortable in the spotlight, Kelly’s acclaimed portfolio includes revamping celebrity homes, fronting multiple television shows like ’Superior Interiors with Kelly Hoppen’ and turning author with her coffee table bibles like the Art Of Interior Design. In time for the launch of her most recent project in India, ‘Villas by Kelly Hoppen for Yoo’ in Pune, the blonde bosslady  plays 13 questions with us, talking about her glossy career, signature style, weekend plans and dinner party essentials.

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How would you describe your design philosophy?

My design philosophy has always been creating timeless and understated elegance, whilst fusing the eastern principles of simplicity with the western taste for sumptuous textures and luxurious finishes.

What was your first project like?

As a child, my mother said I was constantly shifting furniture around our home and displaying everything at its best. I began properly when I was 16, when my father’s friend asked me to design his kitchen. It was my first assignment and I haven’t looked back since. The passion grew stronger and the projects bigger.

If upcoming designers were to ask you for one tip on networking, what would it be?

Don’t be shy.

What are your cardinal rules for hosting a dinner party to make contacts?

Decorate your table well, put together a great playlist, fill your room with (fragrances) and above all — make the evening fun.

What is something you’d like to do in your career, but haven’t?

I would love to design a train.

If you could pick anyone in the world to spend a day with, who would it be?

It would have to be with the Obamas.

What has remained a constant in your style from when you began your career?

The classic Kelly Hoppen look is defined by straight symmetric lines and the use of my classic neutral colour scheme. I always start with a neutral base, and I build on that.  However, I do love to complement the calm palette with accents of colour, which can also transform a room.

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What is your go-to monochrome colour scheme?

Blonde, taupe, black and greys, all mixed together. Instead of (choosing) black and white, it’s a mixture of textures leading to a full spectrum of monochrome.

A tried and tested tip on de-cluttering.

Don’t overdo trends… and remember that there can be too much of a good thing. Overkill is never a good look.

On a Sunday, we could find you…

I keep the weekends for relaxing with my family and friends in the countryside. It’s a time when I love to cook, watch films and just be with the people who matter most to me.

Where would you go, if you could escape the world for a month?

Los Angeles — I’ve gone a couple of times in the last year and I’ve really enjoyed it.

Kelly Hoppen
The bedroom at the Yoo Pune Villas by Kelly Hoppen

How did you incorporate elementsof India into the Yoo Pune villas?

India is an exciting country and presents an incredible canvas for modern design. For this particular project, I was asked to bring my style to India. My design philosophy has always been influenced by different flavours – be it from customs and architecture to the very essence of a place.

How was it different from your other collaborations with Yoo?

This project is located in a different country. Every project that we work on is bespoke to the location and client’s requirements. Of course, my signature (style) can be experienced throughout the design but many elements are bespoke to the location.

Photographs courtesy Kelly Hoppen


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