In A Living Space, internationally acclaimed interior designer and co-owner of the Firmdale Hotels group, Kit Kemp, shares the tools of here trade.
The book gives an insight into her passion for fabrics and embroidery, wood and stone; the innovative way she dares to mix colour and pattern with old and new furniture, textiles and objects; the joy in the wit and humour of contemporary art, dogs and details; and most importantly, her ethos that design is not something to fear, but instead embrace.
Beautiful photographs showcase her design process, with advice on mixing antique and modern and using the elements of intrigue and curiosity to create a sense of adventure. Snippets of styling and design advice reaffirm the importance of creating a space that is beautiful, comfortable and reflects your personality.
Kit’s style is carefree and colourful, courageous and comfortable. With a love of fabrics (Kit uses their texture, colour and tone to inform the creative process), the award-winning hotel designer gives advice on the ‘senses’ of design and other practical tips. The result is encouragement for all budding decorators.
“In this book, I hope you will find a myriad of ideas and encouragement to listen to your heart and trust your own instinct. I have one rule design and that is, there are no rules. If I can give you any advice, it is don’t be afraid to give it a go.
If someone comes in halfway through the design process and has an opinion contrary to yours, then send them away until you are done. And always remember to keep it personal – I would never have anything in our hotels that I wouldn’t have in my own home.
One of my key design mantras has always been ‘never use a fabric you would not sit on in the nude’. Design is a private, intimate process and you have to embrace the many twists and turns it takes to create an exciting, inspiring, but ultimately liveable space.”
Throughout, Kit showcases her signature style – an attractive blend of contemporary and commissioned elements with antiques and junk-shop finds, luxurious fabrics with printed wallpapers and hand-finished detailing with collections of simple objects that create impact.
Kit also invites readers into her own countryside cottage to show how she makes the best use of design, while accommodating the needs of her own family. And with an emphasis on having fun, Kit reveals how to play with scale, colour and pattern to create personal, handcrafted spaces.
Several of Kemp’s Firmdale hotels – Charlotte Street Hotel, Haymarket Hotel, Knightsbridge Hotel, and The Soho Hotel – feature in our top 10 London design hotels feature, while Crosby Street Hotel is included in the best design hotels in New York.
Published by Hardie Grant
Format: 20cm x 28cm
Features: 260 pages, full colour, hardback