On May 29 I was in Moscow for the launch of my Barkli Virgin House project. This is my second project with Yoo, and my first project with them in Russia.
The event was sheer opulence but was fitting of such an important project. Perhaps the escort of men dressed as British Soldiers and Policemen was a bit much…but that’s Russia!
The Barkli Virgin House is a one of a kind project and something very new for the Russian market. Similar to 1 Hyde Park here in London, The Barkli Virgin House has a premier location, stunning views and luxurious interior design to match.
I’m personally thrilled with what we’ve done in the lobby as there is nothing like it in any other Russian property development. It gives a welcoming sense of space through muted lighting to emphasise natural luxury. A marble stone runner creates a distinctive perspective cutting through a black lacquered timber floor. The timber slatted arches along the main axis in the hallway echo the stone arch in the front of the building and cast shadows on the dark grey marble walls. My furniture is used throughout the space and it is complimented by large pendant chandeliers and accessories specifically selected for the space.
Entrance to lobby
Seating Area in Lobby
The Penthouse suites offers 360 degree panorama of Moscow including views of the Kremlin, Zachatevsky Monastery, and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The amazing historical buildings and churches are a perfect contrast to the modern luxury of the building’s interiors.
For the event we painted the one of the Penthouse apartments white so that everyone could really take in the vistas. The leading lights in Russian Society were at the event and it was truly an incredible evening!
The building has 19 apartments in four signature styles (Urban, Vintage, Sea Breeze and Green) each of which use contrasting materials and luxurious fabrics and furnishings. Half the apartments are already sold but after last night’s event I’m sure the rest will be sold in no time.
The press event earlier in the day was a bit surreal as the compare was a Russian TV personality and I was getting real-time translation in one ear while trying to follow what was being said at the same time. I also held a book signing which was fantastic. I always love hearing how my books have helped people.
With such a whirlwind trip I’m a bit jet lagged today but I was thrilled to be a part of the launch of the Barkli Virgin House. With the opening of our Moscow office for Kelly Hoppen Interiors I’m looking forward to more trips to this incredible city.
We receive some unusual charity/art project requests here at the Kelly Hoppen Interiors office but this request was definitely up there in the ‘random but great fun’ category!
Kelly was asked to customise a Dunlop table tennis table for the Vintage Festival at the South Bank http://www.vintagebyhemingway.co.uk curated by Wayne Hemmingway. This great festival brought vintage and vintage inspired sellers from across the UK to the sunny banks of the Thames last weekend. There were loads of fun free activities and exhibitions as well as a great showing from some UK charities doing great work.
Kelly’s design saw the table lacquered in taupe with black runners and the netting replaced with vintage lace. We LOVE the lace shadow created on the table by the sunlight!
Not your average table tennis table is it! Kelly’s table will be auctioned off for charity. Special thanks to Peter Thomson (www.thomson-schultz.co.uk) & Peter Mandel www.peterlind.co.uk
Just had to share the latest drawings from my Kata Rocks project which is under construction in Phuket Thailand at the moment. Enjoy!
One view of the bedroom
Reception area for the spa
I started this month with a trip to Asia and I am ending it with a trip to Russia so March has been quite the month!
I always love going to Asia because it is such a dynamic modern place to do business while at the same time having such a rich cultural history and sense of aesthetics. This juxtaposition works seamlessly so when I wrote my book East Meets West a few years ago I had no doubt I’d be able to intertwine my own love two distinct traditions of interiors design by finding a sense of balance which borrowed from each of them.
My first stop was Hong Kong which I adore and always make a point of visiting en route to other destinations in Asia.
Then it was off to Shenzhen in mainland China to visit luxury furniture retailer Alexandre who are stocking my new furniture collection with Halo.
The store was an incredible 70,0000 sq feet but it was the people at Alexandre who really stood out. They were so welcoming and really enthusiastic about the new line which is really important to me after investing so much time and effort into getting it just right.
When they asked me to sign a few of the leather trunks to make them ‘special editions’ I had a moment of panic….who would want to mark that beautiful surface! In the end I gave in so a few lucky people will have these ‘one time only’ signed trunks as I won’t be in a hurry to do that again.
I also wanted to make sure the customers at Alexandre had signed copies of my books so made short work of what seemed like a mountain of books. It was so overwhelming to have the people at the launch event coming up to me with copies of my old books and telling me how they were inspired to change their own homes. I was really overwhelmed by the support of the Chinese fans and can’t wait to go back for my lecture series.
Then it was off to Singapore for the IFFS Tradeshow. I attended Maison & Objet in January but it was great to be able to speak to interiors profiessionals from Asia Pacific about my new collection. I’ve mentioned it before that even though I believe the digital space empowers us as professionals by allowing us to make connections all over the world nothing can compare to being able to meet people and speak them face to face about your collection.
Next week I’m off to Russia for the ground breaking of an exciting new project. Can’t wait to share my thoughts on it with you.
On Friday my twitter friends @Modenus @tkpleslie and @designmilk (Veronika Miller, Leslie Carothers and Jaime Derringer respectively) were chatting about the somewhat unrealistic expectations people have of what twitter or blogs can do for them and that it should be seen as more of a showcase of your perspective, skills and projects.
I couldn’t agree more! When I looked to set up my own blog it was about connecting with people, communicating about all sorts of things (including some of my projects) and pulling together a great list of my favourite blogs so others could be inspired by them too. I love writing for my blog and being able to connect with others but again I want to quote my friends when it comes to the importance of life offline to your business.
Veronika (@Modenus) posted on twitter:
I couldn’t agree more! In March alone I have trips planned to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Russia so that I can meet suppliers, licensees and new partners face to face. Though it is really tiring travelling abroad it is really important to be there for the beginning of a project or business relationship because not only is it exciting but it’s really nice to mark the occasion.
For me Trade shows like Maison & Objet in Paris are important when showcasing new product, they are where buyers and press assemble to find the next big thing and to assemble the trends of the season.
But mostly I love meeting my retailers, it makes the process more personal, I can fully brief them on my inspiration tell them how the collection works together etc so that we are all on the same page. The retailers are an extension of my brand.
It’s also great hearing what people think about the collections and seeing people’s reactions because when you work so hard and over an extended period of time on a collection seeing it in situ and talking about it is wonderful….the hard work is worth it!
Since Maison & Objet Show in Paris is a trade show and not everyone is able to attend I made sure to get a few images posted on my Facebook and I even put up a YouTube video so everyone could see what my stand looked like and the projects I’ve been working on. Her are a few of those pictures…I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!
In the meantime as great as twitter is for chatting with amazing people around the world nothing beats taking those relationships offline and meeting them in person so I hope I’ll be able to meet my twitter friends in person soon.
We had such a great response to the images of The Loft that we shared on Friday we thought we’d share a few images of a project Kelly worked on with Regal Homes. Enjoy!
Kelly is back to work and pulling together a post on the 2010 trends with staying power which she’ll be sharing with you soon. In the meantime I thought it would be great to take a look at one of her high profile projects for a bit of inspiration on a Friday afternoon.
I’ve told you before about my own search for the perfect place in the country but now I thought I’d share a few pictures of my blog of the project I worked on for Yoo.
The Lakes by Yoo project was all about adding a bit of urban style to a country setting. I used vintage pieces, loose linen throws and gorgeous textures so that anyone would feel instantly at home in the space. The stunning location and oustanding vision of John Hitchcox and the rest of the Yoo team made this a great project to be a part of.
Image Credit: All these beautiful photos were taken by Mel Yates
Here is a quick look at the Eight Over Eight restaurant in London that I worked on.