Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen is no stranger to innovative design and quirky twists. The Dragons’ Den designer welcomes The Resident inside her new west London home to take a peek
Words: Mark Kebble
Don’t tell Kelly Hoppen not to take her work home with her. ‘I am definitely a tough client,’ she smiles, ‘but I would never present a client with something I was unhappy with, so when it is for myself I am even tougher! It’s not necessarily different from my day-to-day job, but it is always harder to make choices on certain things when they are for yourself. Thankfully, I absolutely love what I do, so it is never a chore – even when it does follow me home.’
For long-term readers of The Hill Resident, you will recall that Hoppen was our Guest Editor for a special anniversary edition in 2013, so when we heard she was upping sticks from her west London home we must admit we panicked. Surely our favourite local design queen wasn’t moving away?
Of course not. ‘My new house is in Bayswater,’ she explains. ‘I have always loved that area and when I started to think about moving I just couldn’t picture myself anywhere else. It has a great vibe and brilliant people, it’s a very inspiring place to be.’
The open space completely won me over. It was completely bare apart from these huge pillars, which I could immediately see huge potential in
Her search came to a premature end, however, when she first laid eyes on this property. ‘The open space [completely won me over],’ she enthuses. ‘I have looked for a space like this for a long time and as soon as I walked in, I knew it was the right place for me. It was all that I was picturing and more. It was completely bare apart from these huge pillars, which I could immediately see huge potential in. As soon as I walked in my ideas were so abundant and overflowing that I knew I needed this space to create my new home.’
The former ‘dragon’ certainly has many strings to her bow these days, from the large (interior design) to the small (creating accessories), so it’s little surprise when being taken through the property that there is so much that catches the eye. Hoppen’s love of the space is never so more apparent than in the main reception space and dining area, which is certainly not designed for small intimate dinners judging by the number of seating options dotted around.
I really love to throw big dinner parties. Great people, brilliant food, smart networking and lots of cocktails… I try to throw one dinner party a month with new friends, old friends, and friends of friends!
‘I really love to throw big dinner parties,’ Hoppen explains. ‘Great people, brilliant food, smart networking and lots of cocktails… I try to throw one dinner party a month with new friends, old friends, and friends of friends! My dining room table seats 30, so there’s always plenty of room. I also have a mixologist, Freddie, who spoils us with drinks all night long, and my daughter from Honestly Healthy [Natasha Corrett] does the food. My Sunday night dinners with family are also a way where we can all get together after a busy week, so a big open dining space is most definitely key in my house.
‘I like to feel a great sense of warmth in my house,’ Hoppen continues, ‘cocooned in comfort and surrounded by gorgeous pieces that I have discovered in order to create a sense of calm and relaxation within my home. Linen, velvets and leather are materials that I use a lot, and I love using accessories in these textures to add the perfect amount of sensuality and depth. Taupe is my favourite colour – I use lots and lots of taupe!’
The lighting stands out immediately. ‘That is an important element and getting the lighting right is crucial to setting the mood and the tone of any room,’ says Hoppen. ‘I would say natural light is always best, but it isn’t always an option, so beautiful maps and uplighters can help bring a room to life. I love vintage pieces and I have tried to use a few throughout the house, but most of the lighting you see I designed and had made especially for the house.’
From looking up to down, the mix of marble and wooden flooring also catches the eye. ‘I am a huge fan of both styles,’ Hoppen says. ‘The wooden floor took me a long time to create as it was made especially for me. It is a mix of sand and taupe, so essentially it looks like a really amazing lady’s highlights job! I am famously known for mixing textures, so I combined two that really complement each other, and that is why it is seen all throughout the house.
‘[The master bedroom and bathroom] should be all about creating harmony. It is where you retreat to every night after busy days and should be completely serene. The bath is from my range with by apaiser. That was something I worked on last year and really enjoyed. It is really like a sculpture, a really beautiful piece that takes centre stage.’
Despite all of the aforementioned design touches, it’s something close to Hoppen’s heart that sees her break out into the biggest smile. ‘A fabulous dressing room is something I think most women dream of – I have dreamt about what mine would look like since I started in the industry 40 years ago! I wanted that to be a big feature of the house. That’s definitely my favourite room, it’s where I can escape and really indulge myself. No boys, no football talk, just total girly time.’
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