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Passport from: Paris

I’ve just returned from Paris, where I visited with some of my design team as part of a trip to seek inspiration from the city and from Maison Objet – which I’ve attended in the past. It was a fantastic trip and we got to see some new designs, but I was more interested in the vintage finds Paris had to offer.

Maison Objet in Paris

We visited Maison Objet, which is held on the outskirts of Paris. It’s a huge trade fair and there is usually heaps of inspirational pieces here, with new designs and ideas. However, it saddens me to say that this year it wasn’t the case. I was disappointed by the lack of newness and for an event that is supposed to be synonymous with design and creativity, there was just the same old same old. I’d rather go to just one hall of complete newness than walk around a whole fair of things I’ve already seen. There were several inspirational new companies full of great design and newness who did not simply borrow from others, so it was worth going for that. For me, I need new and unique designs as it’s what I and my clients expect. However, it gave me a taster for Maison in Singapore – where I’ll be launching my fantastic range of design-led baths with Apaiser. More to come on that soon!

Vintage Markets in Paris

I absolutely loved walking around the vintage stores and markets in Paris on the hunt for antique finds. I got loads of inspiration here and there’s something satisfying about rummaging around in what could potentially be a pile of junk, only to find a spectacular piece. It got me thinking about how amazing design has been through the ages. How do we catch up with iconic pieces from the past and bring the innovative creativity back to what we see in the present day. I saw loads here and it will keep my creative brain ticking over for a while. I would recommend visiting Les Puces market at Saint Ouen. Sometimes you see something that is simply part of an antique that can create a new design idea in your head.

My design team in Paris

As well as design hunting, it was a great opportunity to spend some time with some of my design team. I’m very close to my team and we all work together when we’re happy – and nothing satisfies more than good food! We visited Le Voltaire which is one of my favourite restaurant in Paris that I loved as a child. And reminds me of my father We also went to a particularly chic restaurant called La Societe and a few other places for lunch – which were all fantastic.

For me, Paris is the definitely a destination for design inspiration. Stick to the vintage markets and antique dealers to find the best pieces, but have some cash in your pocket as they can be quite expensive. I’m now looking ahead to my trip to Asia, visiting Shanghai as an ambassador of the GREAT Campaign and opening Maison Objet in Singapore – I hope to get lots of great ideas from this trip and I’ll be sure to keep you updated with all the details before I go!

Love Kelly x

The Samsung Home Innovation Space

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that I have recently teamed up with Samsung to launch a fantastic new live home experience in Harrods. It is a project that I am very proud of and excited to tell you all about – The Samsung Home Innovation Space.

I have designed a sleek, luxurious environment, that marries perfectly with Samsung’s belief in mixing form and function to complement our homes and make our lives easier. This was achieved by using neutral colours and contrasting textures to surround and envelope the sleek design of Samsung’s luxury technology, like their NEO cooking series.

In my opinion, our homes are one of the most important aspects of our lives! The most important thing that I wanted to showcase with this project is how style and technology can absolutely go hand in hand.

I hope that you go and enjoy the experience at Harrods, on the second floor.

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Paris -> Shanghai -> Taipei

A lot of my work involves travel, whether I am meeting clients or visiting trade fairs, giving lectures, and September has been a great example of how these extended trips work.

The trip started on 8th September with a 3 day trip to Maison Objet in Paris launching the new furniture pieces within my furniture collection. My stand looked amazing, it really gives you an insight as to how the collection can work within a living space, either as single pieces or as a whole.

The fair is a great time to meet potential suppliers and resources for my own studio as well as displaying my products to potential stockists as well as meeting the world media who are all there to find the latest ‘it’ product.

From Maison I flew onto the China Furniture Fair in Shanghai to launch the new pieces in my furniture collection. I love spending time in Asia and am always overwhelmed at the reception that I receive.

I stayed at the PuLi hotel which was an absolute joy to my senses. The interiors are fantastic, calming, clean lines, amazing symmetry. As i have always said East Meets West Rocks!

After a full day at the fair i headed to a welcome party and book signing at Alexandre’s Heng Shan Store. Alexandre are a major stockist of my collection within Asia.

The following day after a morning at the fair I then headed on to an amazing event at the Agricultural Bank of China where i designed the VIP room for their clients and held a seminar on my design style.

After my talk I headed to a whirlwind of press interviews and TV appearances.

The hospitality of my Asian friends and fans never ceases to amaze me. I was given so many beautiful bunches of flowers and gifts I am always looked after.

After a very eventful trip in Shanghai I travelled on a night flight to Taipei. It was my first time in Taiwan so I was feeling very excited about the trip, even though it was to be a flying yet very packed visit.

Well I never expected to receive the welcome that I did as i arrived into Taipei airport! I felt like a rock star! thank you so much to all that came out to support me, I am so hugely touched and will never forget it.

Taipei is an amazing city! I stayed in a beautiful suite at Le Meridien and quickly headed to bed in preparation for a very busy day ahead.

The following day, I met with some of my interiors clients before heading to an amazing event at Alexandre.

The book signing was so exciting, there was literally a mob of lovely faces all waving their books ready for me to sign.

During the evening I was honoured to be invited to dinner by the director of the National Palace of Taipei. It was incredible to spend time with such interesting and knowledgeable people.

I have also been given the honour of viewing the palace archives for an inspirational design trip during my next visit to Taipei which is amazing!

The following day I met with some new clients and viewed the site of our new development. It is always fascinating to see an empty plot of land and the proposed plans of what we are trying to create within the space. It is very inspiring for all involved.

I would like to thank everyone involved in making the section of my trip such a wonderful experience. I will be back soon! Kelly x

Next stop ——-> Moscow 18th September 2011

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Art on Demand

I am passionate about photography which is why I was so excited to be able to offer a range of beautiful photographs for you in my Print on Demand service.

Art plays such an important role in the home but sometimes finding pieces that work well in your home is difficult. Working with Magnolia to create a range of beautiful pieces that could be printed in any size on canvas or fine art paper to the exact specifications of the client is beyond mass produced art prints… It’s a bespoke service. Using the latest technology so you can get what you want and get it shipped anywhere in the world within 10 days.

I really wanted to focus on black and white photography as I feel it can work well in any space regardless of the colour scheme. Quality was a key point for me so Fine Art Pearl Paper from The Hahnemühle mill is used for the paper prints. The mill was founded in Germany in 1584 and has long been renowned for its fine quality and immaculate finish which guarantees your artwork is of the highest standard. Actually, because of the paper the prints are an archival standard which means they will really last.

Beauty can be found in even the most seemingly ordinary objects so on my collection you will see stunning images of bowls, books, Buddha’s, vintage cameras, playing cards, coral, crystals, cutlery, dominos, flowers, glass, nudes, plates and tea pots. The pieces work well on their own or as a series because they are so elegant in their simplicity.

For me it’s the clean lines and striking black and white contrasts that are sure to add a touch of chic to any home especially when you can print them to any size you want so they fit perfectly in your space.

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Get Kelly to Decorate your home!

Britain’s first lady of interior design, Kelly Hoppen MBE, is looking for people for a new TV series*!

Are you passionate about the interior of your home, but struggling to get the perfect look you’re after?

Do you want rooms that make a statement, but worry that they’re saying all the wrong things?

If you’d like to take part – and have Kelly Hoppen decorate some of your home – please email hoppen@optomen.com

*The show is filmed in the UK so participants must be UK residents

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My First Blog Post!

This is the first post on my new blog and I’m quickly learning that blogging is a very personal expression. I followed the recent Design Democracy Blog Awards hosted by My Deco and was actually asked to be a part of the judging panel which picked ‘Best Interior Design Dlog in Great Britain’… what an honour and a challenge! Over 7500 people cast their votes for their favourite commercial, independent and newcomer blogs with the prizes being awarded to Puff & Flock, We Heart and Arianna Interiors respectively.

I really enjoy looking at the nominated blogs but judging them for merit was another thing completely because each one was so unique and clearly the voice and vision of the blogger. Lobster and Swan, PopArtRockGirlYeah! and Confessions of a Design Geek were on our short list and ultimately Confessions of a Design Geek was awarded the prize for Best Interior Design Blog in Great Britain.
This is a wonderful example of how blogging should be, Katie is clearly passionate about her subject and her posts show real enthusiasm.

She offers an interesting mix of architecture, interiors and creative resources and her blog really is a great read. A look at my blog list shows that I love looking at a variety of blogs, design and otherwise, on the web and each one presents a distinct point of view which is ultimately really personal as they are talking about the things they are most passionate about. I hope that my blog will come to sit comfortably among them and become a place where I can share my thoughts, inspiration, insights and tips which help to inspire others just as the amazing blogs I follow inspire me.