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Kelly Hoppen Q&A: Her Newest Book Guides Readers in Home Design

Out this July, Essential Style Solutions for Every Home shares tips and tricks from the veteran interior designer for creating the space of your dreams.

By Rachel Gallaher

book cover Kelly Hoppen's Essential Style Solutions for Every Home with portrait of Kelly Hoppen in designer chair on black, white gray, chevron flooring

After more than 40 years in the industry, British interior designer Kelly Hoppen, CBE knows how to style a home. Known for turning out spaces that deeply reflect her clients (personalization is one of her top priorities for every project), Hoppen has been dubbed the “Queen of Taupe” for her signature use of neutral tones and optimization of organic shapes, textures, and the interplay between materials. An author, the host of her own podcast, and former participant on BBC’s Dragon’s Den (a show where budding entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists to persuade them to invest), Hoppen will be releasing her 9th book, Essential Style Solutions for Every Home, on July 24 through Frances Lincoln. A bright and poppy page-turner, the book is divided into three sections: Introduction (going over scale, proportion, focal points, etc.), First Principles of Style (an overview of décor elements including lighting, color, texture, mirrors, and yes, there is even a section dedicated to taupe), and Room by Room (walking readers through all the rooms in the room). Advice, tips, and anecdotes appear on every page, along with accompanying photographs from Hoppen’s project archives that help illustrate how to balance a room, why scale is important, and the best way to combine patterns and textures.

In anticipation of next week’s release, GRAY reached out to Hoppen to learn more about Essential Style Solutions for Every Home.

What makes this book different from your other publications?

Essential Style Solutions for Every Home is a completely new format for me... it's smaller compared to my hardcover books. This book can be used as a notebook, so it’s easy for readers to carry around and use while choosing designs for their homes as it includes an easy index for literally everything you need. I also worked on the book during the lockdown as I believe that now more than ever, our home is our sanctuary.

What can readers expect inside?

I have shared my top tips alongside my tried-and-tested design techniques to help readers make their ideas come to life and create a home they’ve only dared to dream about. I discuss all the design stages covering color, texture, lighting, layering, and final touches. There is also a dedicated chapter for each room of the house and a very helpful index at the end to help you navigate through the book.

What are the top three tips that you apply to every project?

—When it comes to residential design, the first thing is to get to know the client fully. We go through a rigorous briefing session until I get inside the client’s head and understand exactly how they want to live.

—I then apply my East Meets West philosophy and style to fulfill the client’s needs. This involves creating a balanced and harmonious interior scheme with amazing textures and layout to match my style alongside the client’s personal touches to make the space their own.

—Lighting is a huge part of my approach to design, as I believe it will make or break the space. Lighting should be regarded as another layer that accentuates the characteristics of the space, materials, and textures. It helps bring out the nuances of color and tone, adding to the theatrical element of the room, as well as creating a feeling of warmth.

Where should people put their money during a remodel or redecorating (the splurge or investment) and where is it okay to cut corners?

It very much depends on the project, but you can’t go wrong with the basics. For example, the build is important, and so is investing in high-quality furniture. I particularly love vintage pieces as this will help make your interior timeless and, of course, I also love art. If you do your research and curate your art selection carefully, this will only add more value to your home.

Great lighting should also be well considered, as this is key to making the space

work. The key thing to consider is to not follow trends as they come and go. Instead, invest in things that you absolutely love that will stand the test of time.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself as a designer over your four-decade career?

Having a passion for what you do is the key and enjoying the projects with your clients is everything. Self-belief and confidence are the most important things. If you don’t have faith in your project or yourself, how will anybody else? If you have confidence in your design and ability, paired with tenacious determination, you will only grow.


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