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I Heart Kelly Hoppen

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 *

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.

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).

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.

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!

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)

Posted in designers, guest bloggers on August 27, 2008

Decorator Shannon Fricke

Shannon Fricke wrote to me about her beautiful blog and as I scrolled down the page I found myself seeing many new things, then realizing why – Shannon is lives and works in Australia. Shannon is a decorator and I fully embrace her design philosophy, “I believe that the way you decorate your home can influence the way that you feel about your life and so I love to inspire people to create a home that suits their individuality”. Right on, Shannon!

I cannot figure out if these are windows to another room or mirrors.Then I thought if they are mirrors then this look is easy to duplicate with full length mirrors sold at any big box store. I don’t think I would have thought to arrange so many together on a single wall like this…

In addition to her blog, she has a lovely website containing a plethora of images that surely will inspire you this morning. Seems she makes regular television appearances, conducts decorating workshops, and has a series of books (that I want just when I thought I was all set with book purchases for the next few months). Here are some images from her blog so you are able to get a sense of the style Shannon gravitates towards, much like that of my own – laid back, natural meets bohemian with lots of natural elements in the mix. There is a cottage meets the sea feel with a dash of urban through in to make things feel a bit edgy.

Kids art offers an affordable (and cherished!) option for adorning the walls. A cute, perfectly placed, pastel yellow bike never hurts along with polished cement floors!

I’m so attracted to the look of a tiled back splash. Subway tiles, hand painted ethnic patterns from faraway lands, it’s all good.

Note: I don’t believe that these are rooms that Shannon has styled or anything but are sources of her own inspiration taken from various places that I found on her blog.

Thank you Shannon for sharing a glimpse of your world, I’ll be turning into your blog regularly now that is for sure!

(images from the blog of shannon fricke)

Posted in blogs, designers on July 31, 2008

Thom Felicia Interiors – W San Diego Redux

I was sent over some renderings from Thom Felicia Interiors (of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame and current host of Dress My Nest – which I love) that I thought you’d like to take a peek at since I know so many of you, like me, are Thom fans. He is currently working on the upcoming redesign of the W Hotel in San Diego, California. I was at this hotel in June 2005 for my anniversary and thought their current lounge areas were lovely, but it really did need to be freshened up a bit. I really liked the bar area so I’m glad to see that they’re leaving it in the same position as before near the stairs. I think it’s quite exciting that the redesign will be complete in June, perhaps I will have to fly out and stay there this summer for our wedding anniversary all over again.


I love all the bold prints and was told that they are going with organic materials and interior cabanas lined with rich wood louver paneling. Sounds very luxurious and sophisticated. The new lounge areas will also feature one-of-a-kind art installations inspired by the culture of southern California, an eye-in-the-sky DJ booth, and a redesigned poolside bar and sundeck. I can’t wait to see the finished photos in June, I’ll make sure to post them here on decor8 and hopefully even get an interview with Thom himself if he’d be interested in visiting design blog land to hang with us. :)

What do you think? Would you stay at a hotel that looks like this? I hope that this is a new trend, for hotel chains to start commissioning high end ‘celeb’ designers to update their look. So many need major help. I think the color palettes and furnishings in most hotels I stay at feel so cut n paste boring. I’d also like to see more hotels work with local artists to pull together unique one-of-a-kind rooms that feel a bit more quirky, like Hotel Fox in Copenhagen or the Arte Luise Kunsthotel in Berlin.

(images from TFI)

Posted in designers on April 15, 2008

Pop Pervert – Your Opinion?

Your opinion is needed for this budding new surface pattern designer… Alexandra Bedoya is based in Spain and is not only the resident Barcelona editor for Luxe City Guides but also runs a design studio called Pop Pervert that just launched a new line of over 120 prints and patterns & prints that can be applied to jewelry, textiles, wall paper, ceramics. The designer is her business partner, Ana Montiel.


Though Pop Pervert is still in the beginner’s stage (no product for purchasing), Alex contacted me to present their work here on decor8 to see what type of reaction it gets from readers. A little market research. :) They really wants to get Pop Pervert out there and could really use your feedback, or if you are in a position to discuss something project-related, feel free to contact her for that too. What do you think, would you like to help? All I can say is that if Smeg produces refrigerators with their patterns on them, I will definitely order one. I would love to see washers and dryers go this route too, a little surface pattern would make for a great touch to otherwise boring appliances. Especially patterns that you can apply to that can be removed and replaced with other patterns, like giant decals or those shrink wrap ads you see on public transportation.


Pop Perverty has a very creative website that you may enjoy browsing too. I love that they took the time to show renderings because it really gives me a solid idea of what she as a designer is looking to do with their work, hers creative vision for it — but also helps me to better see it in a real world environment and to see the scale of the patterns because on paper a print may look great but once on the wall, the print is much smaller or larger than you envisioned which is sometimes a negative. This way, you can see things how Ana and Alex would like them to be. They pulled together an extremely professional pdf file (download it here for your viewing pleasure) with her patterns and renderings that I think makes for the perfect presentation to show to potential buyers, I love what they’ve done and am thankful for the sneak peek.


What do you think of Pop Pervert? Again, they encourage your participation if you feel so inclined… Thank you Alex for sharing these with us.

(images from pop pervert)

Posted in designers, inspiration, small business on April 14, 2008

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