Kelly Hoppen on Taupe Over Trends & ‘Reigniting’ the Fireplace

From Dragons’ Den to designing celebrity cruise ships, there’s nothing Notting Hill’s Kelly Hoppen can’t turn her talented hand to. Here, she tells The Resident about four exhilarating decades in the business and her latest collaboration with Chesneys

Kelly Hoppen’s Notting Hill home is an eye opener. It’s full of unusual lighting designs and quirky accessories, yet feels remarkably warm and inviting – and is a real showcase for taupe.

‘My style evolves on an on-going basis, but my core design principles remain the same – I will always champion taupe!’ she laughs. ‘I’ve never been driven by trends, instead I believe in classic, luxurious design that stands the test of time.

‘It’s East meets West, with a modern edge. The style of my furnishings has definitely gone in different directions over the last four decades.’

Remarkably, it’s 41 years since Hoppen first started plying her trade in the interior design world and, today, her expertise is used in everything from hotels and cruise ships, to her own accessories range that is lovingly on show in her London and West Yorkshire showrooms.

‘Every different project presents a unique challenge, and for someone who has been in the business for 41 years now, I love delving into new areas of design.’

Currently, Hoppen is enjoying the fruits of a collaboration with Chesneys, which creates high end fireplaces: ‘I have worked with Chesneys before and they’re a fantastic company to work with,’ she says.

‘The fireplace has been an item that simply sits in the home and we design a balance of furniture around it. I wanted to reignite the love of the fireplace and its accessories to make it the focus of the room, in so much as it could stand alone, as a table does in a hall, and be seen as a work of art.’

The new collection features eight different designs, with The Bradley – all £13,500 of it – really standing out.

‘The fireplace has been an item that simply sits in the home and we design a balance of furniture around it. I wanted to reignite the love of the fireplace and make it the focus of the room’

‘The Bradley is decadent and traditional with a contemporary twist,’ Hoppen says. ‘The beautiful, cushioned design gives the stone or marble a softness, and is offset by a thin trim of brushed nickel on the inside, giving it a modern edge.’

Going solo, was it always her ambition to design her own pieces when she started out four decades ago?

‘It wasn’t necessarily an ambition, but it was a natural progression,’ she considers. ‘I often have a vision of a particular piece in mind when designing an interior, but sometimes those pieces don’t exist, or they would have to be commissioned. It made sense therefore to make them myself!

‘There are some beautiful decorative pieces like the green Myrtle Vase and the Casablanca Hurricane, as well as luxurious sofas like The Darcey and The Matilda,’ she says.

‘I also have a new retrospective collection of over 100 pieces, to celebrate 40 years in the business, with Resource Décor. I was able to let my imagination run free and design pieces that I had been dreaming about for years.’

Talking about her recent projects, it becomes clear why she turned her back on Dragons’ Den after two series in 2015, having designed the interiors of the Celebrity Cruise Edge ship, the LUX* Grand Gaube in Mauritius, and continuing her ambassadorial roles for The Prince’s Trust and GREAT campaign.


The grand reception room in Kelly Hoppen’s beautiful London (photo © Mel Yates, courtesy of Kelly Hoppen)

Hoppen is a busy bee indeed, but it is a shame she that’s she’s no longer on our screens. ‘Never say never,’ she smiles. ‘I’m definitely not closing the door on TV projects and there are a few things in discussion…’