PaperCity Magazine

October 2018- Dallas

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126 M inimal isn't in Kit K e m p 's d e s i g n vocabulary. "My husband, Tim, has tried to make me see things his way — he's a minimalist who would love to live like a monk. But we've worn him down, I think," says the British interior designer known for packing rooms with color and pattern. Together, Kit and Tim Kemp own Firmdale Hotels, a growing stable of stylish escapes that includes London's The Soho, Covent Garden; Charlotte Street; Haymarket; Ham Yard; and Number Sixteen in Knightsbridge and Dorset Square. Firmdale has received prestigious design awards including Condé Nast Traveler's Best Hotel in the World for design for Ham Yard. The Crosby Street Hotel in Soho and The Whitby Hotel in Manhattan, which opened in 2017, rank among New York's most fashionable accommodations. Firmdale's niche is to take overlooked, dilapidated buildings and turn them into five-star hotels. As design director, Kit puts her stamp on each — a look steeped in traditional English design that also feels very now. Kit has filled Firmdale properties with art by contemporary artists from around the world. Design for Charlotte Street Hotel was inspired by the Bloomsbury Set, an influential group of London artists in the first half of the 20th century. Rooms and public spaces are filled with antiques and Kit's own furniture designs, tableware, wallpaper, fabric, and rug collections. It all comes together in an explosion of color and pattern, with a mix of embroideries and appliqués. Folklore, especially from 17th-century England, is a leitmotif, as are woodblock prints from India and Japanese kimono fabrics. Ikats, plaids, tweeds, florals — they all work together in Kit Kemp's world. KIT TALK RECYCLING. Never take things at face value — update old furniture with new fabrics, and be bold as you dare. LIVE AT THE WHITBY. Hotels should be living things, not stuffy institutions KIT CHAT: MUSINGS FROM LONDON WHY WE ARE OBSESSED WITH KIT KEMP, THE MAXED-OUT BRITISH DESIGNER B Y R E B E C C A S H E R M A N The Whitby Bar, The Whitby Hotel, NYC The Whitby Hotel, NYC Kit Kemp

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