Designers + Stylists

I Heart Kelly Hoppen

August 27, 2008

Hello! My name is Ruth. I am so very glad Holly invited me to guest blog. I love decor8 ? I check out this blog every single day, and sometimes several times in one day! (So I must have done something really good to be here blogging now.) Thank you Holly!

I?ll do a quick introduction and then I?ll write a little about one of my all time favourite designers.

I?m a full-time Singaporean mummy and we?ve just moved China (my husband had a good job opportunity and I?m always up for a chance to experience a new culture! So, ta-da!). I cannot get enough of pretty interiors, pretty home d?cor and pretty things for the house. Which explains why I?m nuts over decor8.

I have a blog too, Chickedee, named after my favourite cookie when I was a pre-teen. I also run a small store on etsy, selling handmade buttons and some craft supplies. So now that you know what I do: go visit my blog and get all your buttons from me. *grin *

I Heart Kelly Hoppen

Now about one of my all time fave designers: Kelly Hoppen. To me, her designs are plain awesome, and here?s why:

  • Her designs are neat. Literally. In all her interiors and retail products, there is order. No complicated designs, no clutter. She has an amazing eye for symmetry and balance. She?s minimalistic but not austere. To me, Zen living is minimalistic but sometimes a little cold. I like some life in a room, and a Hoppen room does it for me.
  • Kelly is all about luxury. But not over the top, it?s SIMPLE understated luxury for every day living. (I?m one of those who cannot appreciate Versace interiors. I love West Elm but not always Pottery Barn). Luxury is good. Its allows you to enjoy what you have better. Simple is good. Simple keeps me calm. Like aspirin to a headache. So, simple luxury can give you a long, happy stress-free life. At least according to me. :) You see, I believe that your emotional wellbeing is definitely supported by your surroundings. And so I could probably be a much more serene wife and patient mother if Kelly Hoppen designed my home. Hmmmmmmm.
  • She’s concerned with comfort. Her designs are live-able, practical, and enjoyable not just in magazines and books but also in person! I love that in a design. I don?t want couture, I want something I can see my family lounging in comfortably.
  • I also like how she mixes textures – the strong with the light. It adds a unique feel to the room. There is warmth.

I Heart Kelly Hoppen Kelly’s flat in London.

Don’t know who Kelly Hoppen is? That’s okay because I’m writing this post to introduce you to her and tell you why I love her designs so much! So here is your quick two minutes on Ms. Hoppen:

  • She was born in South Africa but lives in England.
  • She?s dating one of Britain’s foremost hair stylists, Nicky Clarke (How awesome is that? No more bad hair days ever!)
  • She launched her business at 17 years old. (What the heck was I up to at 17?)
  • Kelly is the first designer to receive the Andrew Martin “International Designer of the Year” award
  • She designed the Beckham?s LA home
  • Know Sienna Miller? She’s her stepmother
  • She designed the first class cabin for British Airways
  • Oh and she also done international works for yachts, ski chalets, a sports centre, hotels and corporate spaces and manages 30 projects around the world at any one time!
  • Kelly has shops in London and Dubai
  • She won’t accept a client job for less then ?300,000 (that’s around $600,000 USD).

I Heart Kelly Hoppen

But for us common folks, we can still have a bit of Kelly Hoppen in our homes with the Hoppen products: Furniture line at Century, Paints (the range is called Perfect Neutrals), Homeware line, including a Wedgewood collection, Fabrics at Saville Row, Carpets at Wool Classics, and The Kelly Hoppen Design School.

I Heart Kelly Hoppen

I Heart Kelly Hoppen

I Heart Kelly Hoppen

Hotel Murmuri in Barcelona.

Or just read her books. In her latest book, Kelly Hoppen Home: From Concept To Reality, she shares her philosophy, and secrets, and takes the reader from concept to decision making, to implementation. That?s like having her all to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you want, for only $26!

I Heart Kelly Hoppen Hotel Murmuri in Barcelona.

Before I go, here?s some of Kelly?s house rules I found on a backdated article in the Telegraph. I think we all can learn from these rules, don’t you?

Kelly’s House Rules:

  • Create balance on mantelpieces and other surfaces by juxtaposing one overscaled object with two or three miniature ones
  • Mix old and new antique and vintage, against the clean lines of stark contemporary pieces
  • Introduce texture as without it, a neutral scheme will look flat and dead.
  • Start with linen as your first choice of fabric: without it, a scheme will never feel quite right.
  • Unblock energy within the home using crystals, colour, candles, music and chainmail curtains made of small metal balls.
  • Create symmetry, if a fireplace is off-centre in a room, make sure you line the sofa up with it.

You can also find more inspirational photos of Hoppen-designed spaces on flickr here: Gaile Guevara.

Please do share your thoughts on Kelly Hoppen. I?d love to hear them!

Thank you again Holly for inviting me, and thank you everyone, for having me!

(images from kelly hoppen)


  • Reply mandy August 27, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Kelly Hoppen’s designs are definetly pleasing to the eye, and she certainly has a head for business. However, everytime I look at one of her spaces I feel like I am looking at a retail space – she tends to line up objects in rows all over the place (candles, flowers, pillows etc). The easiest thing to do is place three vases of flowers on a counter to make a space look done. It’s much harder to under stage a space and make it interesting. That’s why I think she is a good designer but not especially creative.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente August 27, 2008 at 10:11 am

    So fresh and light…..thank you for the introduction!

    Melissa de la Fuentes last blog post: Ellie

  • Reply Jacqui August 27, 2008 at 10:41 am

    This was a great read, I enjoyed it very much. Just enough info balanced with beautiful photographs and your own personal opinions – nice job Ruth!

    Jacquis last blog post: Mums – tons of great links

  • Reply Valisa August 27, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    My favourite Kelly Hoppen’s book is East Meets West. And I also have In touch and Style. I feel that she speaks to me because she totally understands symmetry, textures and space. Her space actually reminds me of great literature – when the writers understand that what is not said often times speak louder. And that a great designer doesn’t just know colour but feels and thinks and celebrates editing.

    Valisas last blog post: Laksa Lemak for Merdeka Open House 2008

  • Reply Jesska August 27, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I have to agree with the first commenter above… Kelly Hoppen to me has always embodied the phrase “symphony of beige”. Although I will say that some of the products she began selling retail (I think at John Lewis or similar) are nice, and actually don’t cost the earth.

  • Reply ChrysRT August 28, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I also have to agree with the first commenter…Too sterile for my liking. But I checked your store on Etsy and you have a delightful choice of the cutest buttons ever!

  • Reply Bianca August 28, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. I had never heard of Kelly before, but her design style is fabulous. I love the simplicity, exactly my type of style. If only I had the money ;) to buy all the funiture that is…I like decorating my own house.

  • Reply Andrea August 28, 2008 at 5:20 am

    Thanks! I really like the style of Kelly Hoppen. Her Designs are made for a special style group who love to live with very clean lines. Of course this is nothing for people who love creative decoration with pattern and colour and style mix.

    Andreas last blog post: Wohnideen f?r die Wand: Fliesen Tattoos von Mibo

  • Reply mandy August 28, 2008 at 11:19 am

    After reading some of the comments I just wanted to add a follow up to my original. I am a modernist – love simplicity and neutrals, so I lean towards kelly Hoppen’s style. But you can do clean and simple without all the embellishment, staging and symmetry that you typically find in kelly hoppen’s work. Look at the work of architect John Pawson. He does so much with so little. He doesn’t rely on symmetry and fluff and his environments are sublime. Christian Liagre is another example.

  • Reply ruth August 28, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Everyone!

    A quick note to say that its good to hear from you! This is my first guest blog and I’m certainly glad to have comments!

    The bit about Kelly Hoppen that really appeals to me is her touch of luxury. Understated luxury. I love it. And I can’t seem to find it in other designers.

    You could also take a look at Ken Fulk : and

    Vicente Wolf

    They’re also about clean lines but without Kelly H’s symmetry.

    Thank you Mandy for introducing Christian Liaigre and John Pawson – I took a quick look – they’ve got clean lines alright! I’ll look more when my kid naps.

    ChrysRT – I’m glad you like my buttons! *beam* its makes my day! Thank you!

    Thank you everyone! Keep writing!

    ruths last blog post: Heather

  • Reply Andrea August 29, 2008 at 3:47 am

    Yes, I know what you mean. Christian Liagre?work is adorable. I love most puristic style in combination with selected pieces in a rustical & natural style.

    Andreas last blog post: Designtrends: Einrichten mit Illusionen von Front Design

  • Reply Maryellen September 11, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Does anyone recognize the white chairs in the dining room (with the zebra rug)? Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks, Ruth, for sharing this with us. I love the mix of reviews and wanted to add my own two cents: I think what’s wonderful about these interiors is that, while they are highly stylized now, they could be easily tweaked to suit many personalities.

  • Reply william May 18, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Maryellen, i know its two years late but i do recognise those chairs, theyre actuall Kelly hoppens own design she did for a furniture company a while back. im pretty sure it was for century. you should all look at kellys newest designs, theyre so much better than the ones on this blog! shes such an inspiration :D

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