Design Services
Kit Kemp
A celebrated interior and homeware designer, renowned for her colourful, handcrafted spaces

Internationally acclaimed interior designer Kit Kemp MBE is perhaps best known for her role as co-owner and creative director of Firmdale Hotels, but she is also a successful textiles, fragrance and homeware designer – and a champion of British art, craft and sculpture.

Sit down for cocktails at The Whitby Hotel in New York for instance (it’s the second Firmdale hotel in the city, the first was Crosby Street Hotel) and there’s a collection of woven baskets, sourced in association with London’s Mayfair store, The New Craftsmen, hanging over the pewter bar, plus porcelain vessels by artist Martha Freud in the light-filled orangery. And at Ham Yard Hotel in London, afternoon tea is served on Sailor’s Farewell, a new collection of blue and gold bone china that Kit specially designed for Wedgwood, her second collection for them.

A celebrated interior and homeware designer, renowned for her colourful, handcrafted spaces

Since 1985 and the opening of the Dorset Square Hotel (there are currently ten under the Firmdale umbrella), Kit, together with her husband Tim, has continually reshaped the industry with her innovative take on the hotel experience. Celebrated for her original approach to design, she transforms and arranges buildings with colourful and detailed storytelling. These unique narratives are the subject of her recently- published third book, Design Thread, which reveals the inspiration behind the creative process of her tailored spaces, ranging from a city pied-à-terre to a Manhattan penthouse and a Caribbean beach bar.

‘I’m always looking for pieces that tell a unique story: maybe of a person or a time in history, of a particular handcrafted technique, or even just something with a combination of colour or pattern, or a found object repurposed in an unusual way that takes you unawares. These are the threads I like to weave throughout all the interiors I design,’ explains Kit. The same storytelling approach is applied to her collaborations with leading global design brands, which include the likes of Fine Cell Work, Chelsea Textiles, Anthropologie and Wilton Carpets.

More recently, Kit has created a collection of woven, Belgian-made fabrics for Christopher Farr Cloth and a modern range of wallpapers and fabrics for Andrew Martin. Produced in an array of painterly colourways, each of the latter embodies a lyrical, folklore spirit – the original design ideas stemmed from magical creatures depicted on 15th and 16th-century tapestries as well as Native American art and American folk art. Until mid- August 2019 she is also partnering with luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, to reimagine the loft space on the seventh floor as three hotel suite-like vignettes: a bedroom, drawing room and dining room. Among the furniture, fabrics, textiles and home accessories showcased, there will be her signature statement headboards with specially-embroidered motifs, her edit of collectable art and some one-off found items.

It’s not only in Bergdorf where customers can buy Kit Kemp design products: for the last two years an online shop has been a key part of the Firmdale website and, in addition, Kit has launched a new blog, where she shares insights into her current projects and day- to-day happenings. ‘Every living space should have elements to capture the imagination and enchant,’ says Kit. Which is exactly what her brilliant, creative and vibrant designs always achieve.

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