HOME meets Kit Kemp, the woman behind the most fabulous Ham Yard Hotel
Words Eve Herbert
How would you describe your style?
Colourful and carefree but deceivingly detailed.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I love folk art, handmade crafts and natural materials.
What was the vision behind Ham Yard?
It’s a little village in the heart of London with shops and restaurants set around a central courtyard with five fully grown oak trees we had craned in place.
How does designing a hotel differ from working on personal projects?
Surprisingly little. I would never put anything in a hotel that I didn’t want to use in my home, but I can be more adventurous and slightly more theatrical with the hotels.
You collaborated recently with Anthropologie. How does their vision tally with your style?
It’s a good fusion because they love handcrafted, hand-sewn pieces and they also love colour. The whole world is our oyster, we look all round the world for our inspiration.
Much of your work is in the States, where you are seen as having a very British style. What does that mean?
They are very open-minded in the States and much more interested in the British look than we are over here.
Where do you live and why? What is your own home like?
I live in Chelsea and when I shut the door as I get home I want to feel in a comfortable and happy atmosphere. The right colours always make you feel happy even on a dull winters day.
Do you have a style icon?
I wish there was one person, it would be so easy.
What is your favourite interior anywhere in the world?
Charleston House in Sussex. Every wall is painted in every colour and they have made their own carpets. It’s a work of art; I just wish it had central heating.