INTERVIEW: KELLY HOPPEN

BATD ON Jan 07, 2014 AT 4:00 pm

by Annie Vischer

Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen MBE is not only a renowned designer, former Dragon’s Den dragon and owner of her own Kelly Hoppen Interiors, she has also taken on a role as Design Consultant at Kleenex, through which she is able to work to help young up and coming designers nurture their talents.

In her role as Kleenex Design Consultant, British designer Kelly assisted with the briefing and selection of three unique and trend-led Kleenex Limited Edition Collection Cubes which are available from all major retailers MRSP £1.88. (See the final designs at the end of the interview).

How fulfilling was the process of working with the young creative talent to bring together the designs for Kleenex? – Very fulfilling. I love to help the younger generation of designers that we have and to explore the young creative talent that is out there nowadays. It really opens your eyes and is inspiring to myself and I am sure to others.

How important is nurturing talent like this amongst younger people who are perhaps only just starting to think about the design industry as their future? – Very important, mentoring helps to give them confidence which is key in the design industry.  Nurturing their talent inspires them to carry on and push themselves to the best they can be which is always fantastic!

How did you get into design yourself? How did you know it was the right career path for you? – I started when I was 16 and a half by designing a family friends kitchen. From there I knew that it was the right career path for me. Creative design had always been an interest of mine – even when I was much younger. I always wanted to move things around in my room or re decorate my bedroom but after get my first official project it all became crystal clear that interior design was what I wanted to do. I was so passionate about it, it just felt right.

How would you describe your signature design style? -Well I am known for my signature colour palette of black, white, and taupe. I also love the East-meet-west trends with vintage inspired aspects.

Do you find that your preferences as an interior designer translate through to your wardrobe and personal style? How so? – Yes my style has changed a lot over the years. I realise that the older you get the less confidence you have so you feel like you have to try harder with your wardrobe choices.

What are your design obsessions at the moment? Ie are there any prints/home accessories/gadgets/styles that are proving a real inspiration at the moment, or that you are just discovering? - I’m totally obsessed the accessories I’ve designed for my new collection, I love them, they are so versatile.

What has been the most unusual space that you have worked on? - I would have to say working with BA and their First Class Cabins was the most unual and definitely one of the most exciting. How many people can say they have helped design an airplanes interior!

As well, of course, as creativity and imagination, what other qualities make a great designer? – Confidence is of course key. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will. You have to be slightly brave and be willing to take a few risks along the way – it is how you learn after all.  There are so many qualities that make a great designer however apart from creativity and imagination, I feel the above are most key.

Where is your favourite space to relax and what is it like? Did you design it?My own home is one of my favourite spaces, which of course I designed myself. It is like my haven that I retreat back to at the end of a busy day. Or my home in the country – that is always extra relaxing and peaceful.

Where should we look for inspiration if we are thinking of giving one of our rooms a style overhaul?Anywhere and everywhere. Inspiration is all around us on a day to day basis. Books, magazines, online, other peoples home, television, parks, tubes, busy places. When looking at giving a room a style over haul you should take time to carefully choose which style you are going for, make wise choices.

What will it mean to you when you walk past one of the Kleenex boxes you worked on, on the shop self?A lot! It was such a great project to be a part of so it will be wonderful to see such a fantastic finished products on our shelves.

The final Kelly Hoppen for Kleenex designs.

The final Kelly Hoppen for Kleenex designs.

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