Kit Kemp shares her insights on embracing individuality in interiors
The internationally acclaimed inside designer Equipment Kemp talks to Oonagh Turner about embracing individuality
“As a designer you’re going to have your personal handwriting,” says Equipment Kemp, the mastermind behind the joyous interiors at Firmdale Lodges. And Kemp’s handwriting is definitely distinctive. Playful and vibrant, incorporating color, texture, arts and crafts and historical past, the London lodges are brimming with character and carry the spirits of all those that set foot inside. “My work is recognisable,” she says “however folks ought to really feel that the lodges are additionally completely particular person. Interiors is an natural course of that takes it step-by-step, room by room.”
A technique Kemp builds this individuality and character is by capturing a way of historical past. At Charlotte Road Lodge, historical past is mirrored in design, incorporating references to the Bloomsbury Group, a set of intellectuals who lived within the space through the early twentieth century.
The Soho Lodge is one other instance. Kemp commissioned artist Alex Hollweg to create a mural that embraced its previous life as an outdated automotive park. “I cherished the thought of a Rousseau-esque portray however with an outdated automotive wreck to reference the constructing’s historical past, it’s nice!” Hollweg is only one of many gifted makers and artists that Kemp commissions so as to add allure to her designs. “As quickly as one thing is handmade, it routinely provides character to your interiors,” she says.
It’s to not be left to the professionals both, and Kemp urges everybody to get inventive at dwelling, whether or not it’s making Victorian-style paper puzzles, mirrors framed with shells picked from the seaside, and even potato block prints which are “image good of their imperfections”. “It’s beautiful once you see issues that have gotten loads of character however don’t seem like they’ve been purchased. They have your identify on it, that’s what’s vital.”
This 12 months specifically, Kemp has seen folks embracing crafts like by no means earlier than. “Everybody was in such a rush however there has all the time been this curiosity that has actually come to the fore. Individuals have been capable of get away from the drudgery of workplace life and hopefully created one thing lasting.”
Equipment Kemp’s favorite supplies
For Kemp, textiles and materials are additionally important for bringing drama and showmanship to an area. “Textiles had been my past love and I’m by no means happier than on the ground surrounded by completely different materials,” she says. “I really like that second the place they’re proven for the primary time, the embroidery, the ornament and the embellishment,” she says. “I’d advocate layering textures to make rooms come alive, whereas embroidery is an excellent artwork kind that makes a room really feel handcrafted and might present a spotlight level in a room,” she provides.
Characterful interiors will also be one thing on a regular basis and mundane, like the standard bookshelf. Within the Studying Room at The Whitby Lodge in New York, a curated assortment of books on backlit cabinets spans the complete wall, whereas at Ham Yard in Soho, Kemp had Phillip Blackwell of Blackwell’s bookshop put collectively a reference library. “I made a decision to simply take all of the covers off so you possibly can see the precise backbone. I believe they appear lovelier. I believe he was just a little upset however he obtained over it!”
Kemp additionally advises hanging work in entrance of bookcases so the books turn into a backdrop to artwork. Artwork is regularly used throughout all ten of her lodges, however the designer retains her interpretations of artwork broad. “Every little thing is usually a murals,” she says. “It doesn’t need to be on the wall, it may be a curtain or a headboard or some sort of mad chair within the room.”
By way of beginning a set, “fabulous artwork needn’t be costly” advises Kemp. “it’s about discovering these younger artists who’re doing their diploma exhibits and utilizing them.” It’s typically not the artwork in itself, but in addition how you place your personal stamp on a bit too. “It’s the best way you body it, even when it’s only a postcard.”
Equipment Kemp’s wheel of color
Key to Kemp’s interiors is an considerable use of color. Assume yellows and greens to affect a optimistic temper. “Should you put your key within the lock and open your entrance door and it’s vibrant yellow once you are available in – it’s everlasting spring shine,” she says. “And inexperienced is the color of life, hope, power and nature, so I typically use it to breathe contemporary air right into a room.”
You should definitely act with confidence, she provides. “You’ve obtained to be daring and never go half-hearted with it. Individuals gained’t all the time like all color selections however maintain your floor and wait till the ultimate lick goes on as a result of there might be a stability.” And at dwelling, concentrate on the small areas, says Kemp: “the staircase, the alleyway going into the following room. Should you may give them a color and a personality of their very own, you’ve made the area really feel larger. It’s these to not be forgotten areas, they’re the areas to dream.”
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Function taken from The London Journal, June 2021 difficulty
To take pleasure in a few of her beneficiant behind-the-scenes insights on the inspiration behind rooms on the Soho Lodge, watch Kemp’s personal insightful video right here through which she describes the method of designing the Terrace Suite.
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