Wednesday 8 November 2017

Design Interview with Kelly Hoppen- Where East Meets West!

With over 4 decades of experience in the interior design industry, Kelly Hoppen is one of the most sought after interior designers in the world. She started her creative entrepreneurial venture at the tender age of 16 and quickly turned her passion into an award winning interior design business.

Kelly’s globally renowned style is a subtle combination of East meets West with seamless clean lines, warm neutral tones, blended with opulence and luxury. She has put her stamp on homes, yachts and jets of private clients all over the world and now focuses on commercial projects including resorts, hotels, bars, restaurants, offices, and tower blocks.Recently, Kelly joined hands with Mauritian architect Jean-Francois Adam to reinvent the new LUX* Grand Gaube in Mauritius, into an eclectic retro-chic tropical retreat, launching this December. With an innovative approach to style, this new look 186 room resort and spa set in lush tropical Mauritian gardens, edging two beaches, features 6 innovative restaurants and 5 bars, a luxe-for-less boutique, indoor cinema and sporting events.

Following a $40million AUD renovation, the resort has been cleverly remodelled to greet arriving guests with staggering views of the Indian Ocean, contemporary spaces with generous volumes, precise lines and an unpretentious style. Kelly has dressed the LUX* Grand Gaube in timeless understated glamour, gently layering looks with tactile ceramics, hand-picked accessories, vintage rattan and beautiful soft furnishings. Artistic flair is also on show with French street-artist Jace sharing his famous Gouzou illustrations around the resort and brightly-coloured murals by French artist Camille Walala.

Every sea-view bedroom in this luxury hotel, opens onto peaceful terraces, some with outdoor baths or sundecks edged by soft sand. All eight room categories are fitted with LUX* Sleeptight mattresses, soft linens and pillows, robes and slippers — all designed for the best night’s sleep you’ll ever have. Huge doors treat the living spaces to lots of natural light and generous wardrobe and dressing space that enhance the loft-style feel. Spindrift-white bedrooms feature hand-painted navy-blue lines and unexpected home-away-from-home touches, such as succulents in ceramic pots. Geometric encaustic tiles add graphic-design personality to ensuites, and many bathrooms feature bespoke Victorian bathtubs. The top level accommodation is the signature two-bedroom LUX* Villa, which sleeps a family of four in a beautiful blend of modern styling and classic retro chic.

Apart from being a pioneer in the field of design and a successful entrepreneur, Kelly is also an author and educator. Her motto, "A home should be where you feel joy and happiness. It should feel like your own space, reflective of the spirit, life and loves of the people who live there."

Below is Kelly's interview with La Maison Jolie.

How did you end up getting commissioned to do the LUX Grand Gaube Resort project in Mauritius?

Mauritius is one of my favourite places. This is the second hotel I have done for Lux. I have known Paul Jones from many years and I did the interior for the Lux* Belle Mare. Paul Jones is an incredibly inspiring visionary with hotels and working with him on this project has just been equally amazing. Paul Jones has the ability to incorporate everyone into his bubble, and when you are in this bubble you create the excitement.

The people in Mauritius are everything, they are so inviting and warm and are very encouraged by change. When you go there with new ideas, they’re excited and want to take on that change.Recently while designing the LUX Grand Gaube Resort in Mauritius you were working alongside architect, Jean-Francois Adam. How was the experience?

Because he lives in Mauritius it was amazing and inspiring to work with him on all the different materials, textures and the different lighting. There really is such a great team behind this project, everybody was so excited, it created a wonderful and exciting atmosphere to work in.

How did you envision the end result?

With designing a hotel, there are so many different layers, so many different people involved. When you’re designing a project like a hotel it is really important to recognise that you’re designing something for a lot of people, rather than doing a private home for one individual. Because I travel a lot, I try to think about every single aspect of the hotel, with comfort and ease being the most important. My team are brilliant with this; it’s not just the room, it’s walking to the beach, to the restaurant, the surrounding details, the first moment you arrive or when you get your coffee. Every single detail is extremely important, you immerse yourself into the experience, imagining what every single person is going to feel and more, and that is what is so exciting! The whole Lux* space makes you forget about all your worries, you are in that experience and in that moment.

I simply fell in love with the energy of Grand Gaube. I went there and walked around the site. It reminded me of where I was born, Africa. It was a taste, the smell, the air. That is the beauty of designing something in Mauritius, using the different elements and utilising them. I knew immediately in my head what I was going to do and within seconds I had my palette and I knew this was the road I would take. Do you have a favourite area in the resort?

No, again my design is all about the experience. From the minute you arrive to the minute you leave. There are so many mysteries and exciting things that unfold as you are there. As I design, I try to design imagining how I would be in it, how I would get dressed, how I would sleep, how I would swim, what drink I would want, at what time of the day, what is the light going to do to the textures or fabrics, it’s all about the experience!

How did your design and that of the architect compliment each other?

We both wanted to introduce an innovative approach to the style and hospitality in Mauritius. Jean-Francois Adam wanted to design comfortable tropical living in a contemporary space, whilst preserving the natural setting. His artistic talent and rational mind brings life to his designs. I really wanted to create a feel-good factor and therefore used tactile ceramics, hand-picked accessories, vintage rattan and residential-quality soft furnishings in order to provide an uplifting style and soul to the place, whilst ensuring elements of nature were also incorporated inside. The nature and the incredible vast space was extremely inspiring. Wherever you sit at any angle, it has to be perfect, the ergonomics are just as important as the aesthetics.
Tell us a little about your choice of colour palette. 

My design philosophy has always been to create timeless and understated elegance whilst fusing the eastern principles of simplicity and the western taste for sumptuous textures and luxurious finishes. I always start with my neutral base, and I build on that. However, I do love to complement my calming and neutral shade palette with great accents of colour which can also transform a room.
You have also published several books. Please tell us more about these.

Every time I publish a new book I feel that a new chapter is beginning. I love sharing everything that I know. I stick to what I know and what I am good at and have a very classic way of designing the interior of a home. My books contain simple explanations and talk about every aspect of a room, down to the very last details. People like how in-depth they are and how much time and effort I put into writing them.

You have designed homes, yachts, restaurants and even aircraft. Which is your favorite area of expertise?

I would have to say they are all equally my favourite!
You have come so far since your first design job at the tender age of 16. What is your recipe for success?

The secret to my success is quite simple really; hard work and passion. I love and am proud of what I do, so it’s easy to put all my efforts into it. I work equally hard on every assignment; they’re all so different and unique. When each is finished, I get a sense of immense pride. But I always find time for loved ones; they’re the most important thing. I also value my business, so it’s never far behind. There's a lot to do but I enjoy every bit of it and my family and amazing team’s support makes things a lot easier. I think it’s about putting all that you have into your projects 95% of the time and making sure the other 5% is the most incredible holiday or time out!
What are your decorating tips for 2017/2018?

It is really important to find your style, you have to train yourself. If you’re creative and you love being creative, just feel confident at what you’re doing!
Till next time... check out Kelly's designs at the luxurious Grand Gaube Resort!

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