Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kit Kemp's New Project (A Book, Not A Hotel)

I was thrilled to read in London's Financial Times yesterday that hotelier Kit Kemp is working on a new project. It's not another hotel this time, but a book. Apparently Ms Kit is collating all her spaces – and her style and design knowledge – into a smartly bound tome, which will no doubt be as beautiful as her hotel suites.

Kit and her husband Tim are the minds (and design hands) behind some of London's most beautiful boutique hotels, including Charlotte Street, Covent Garden (image at very top), Number Sixteen in South Kensington (my favourite), the Haymarket, and Crosby Street in New York directly above). Kit's aesthetic is one part English traditional and one part bold exuberance, the latter no doubt influenced by the English love of eccentricity and mismatching elements. Her style is always different (no hotel looks the same), but her signature elements are colour, pattern and ravishing femininity. With a touch of whimsy on top.

There are also elements of surprise, and this, too, could be seen to be part of the Firmdale signature. For example, the Haymarket Hotel has rooms dressed in sugar pink and lime green. While the Covent Garden Hotel features full-size mannequins in every room – a nod to the tailoring heritage of the neighbourhood. {Image above via Elle Decor; rest via Firmdale Hotels}

Firmdale hotels are some of the most loved in the design industry (interior designers often stay there; the rowdier media crowd prefer Nick Jones' Soho House hideaways), so it will be interesting to see if her book is a compendium of all that is loved about these whimsical and wonderful spaces.

Hardie Grant, an Australian-based publishing company with a branch in London, commissioned the project; kudos to the them. The book, A Living Space, is out in October 2012. Here's Kit working madly on the layout in time for the October publication. {Via Hardie Grant's tumblr/FB} I certainly know what that panic is like! I'm actually surprised there hasn't been more media or blog exposure on this book. I know it was only commissioned last year, so perhaps it's they're trying to expedite it in time for this year's Christmas sales? I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of media reviews soon.

Here's the spiel. And here's one of my favourite Firmdale facades. Look at that antique green. Just beautiful.


Inspiring interiors that have a personal, handcrafted feel. This lavishly photographed interiors book shows how to leave behind design "rules" to create truly beautiful, original interiors. For more than twenty years, Kit Kemp has been at the forefront of the international design community, with her signature style that mixes contemporary elements with antiques and junk-shop finds, luxurious fabrics with printed wallpapers, and hand-finished detailing with collections of simple objects that create impact. She avoids taking design too seriously, playing with scale, color and pattern to create very personal, handcrafted spaces. Alongside the stunning images of room sets and detailed close-ups will be the inspiration behind Kit’s work and her tips for creating your own version of her style at home. Interiors are meant for living in, and the key is to create a space that is comfortable and beautiful and reflects who you really are.


  1. I'll definitely be buying that one - it will have great eye candy! I had dinner at the Covent Garden Hotel when we were in London in March. It was lovely....wish I could have stayed there, rather than the big corporate hotel we were staying in due to my husband's work!

  2. I stayed at their new one, the Dorset Sq I think it was called just two weeks ago, their hotels are the cosiest inLondon.

  3. Ooh! Janelle, you always have the best scoops. I'm off to Booko to hunt it down. J x


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