Kelly Hoppen Reveals Where to Find Inspiration |
Kelly Hoppen Reveals Where to Find Inspiration For Design

Kelly Hoppen Reveals Where to Find Inspiration For Design

We met up with interior designer Kelly Hoppen for an interview

Isobel McKenzie
Written by –
Isobel McKenzie
on March 27th 2018
Originally from London, Isobel is enthralled by the curves and lines that make up a city. It's fascinating to see how modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks muddle together. Her Instagram feed @Isobel_McKenzie is usually full of spiral staircases and tall buildings. Can also be found on Twitter.. sometimes.

Timeless classic elegance is a cornerstone of London-based interior designer Kelly Hoppen’s work. sat down with Hoppen in her ‘Retrospective’ showcase at this year’s Shanghai Design event.


Her collection features her signature blend of metals and woods, balancing around a neutral color palette. Since publishing her first book “East Meets West” she has gone on to become synonymous with global contemporary design. Each piece in her retrospective collection reflects on items and styles from her designs. We discussed how design evolves, and; what it is that sparks imagination for design?

Interview with Kelly Hoppen

Good design is timeless. But what is there right now that fascinates and shapes your design?


Kelly Hoppen

I think for me, you know, design is evolving every day depending on my mood and where I am. This trip will evoke something new when I get back, and something that I design. But I think for me, you know, a lot of my design comes from music now. You know, I love listening to music and that’s probably where most of my inspiration comes from. It’s a bit out there, not everyone understands that because I try not to look at anything specific.


I love vintage shopping, old furniture, vintage clothing. All kinds of things. But there wasn’t one specific thing because I don’t follow trends, so I am kind of the worst person to ask.

What kind of music do you listen to?


Kelly Hoppen

Everything. I mean I am into jazz, funk, soul, opera, some classics. Those are the kinds of music I always loved. Music inspires me. Music makes my imagination go off in places that nothing else can do. So that’s kind of the way that I can describe.


I generally come up with designs when I am not really designing. When I am listening to music, or if I am taking time off. If I go to an opera, or if I go to the theatre, I am the worst person to ask about the opera or the theatre. Because I’ve actually been designing something. It’s the music that allows me to go off. It sounds very odd, but it all happens in my mind. So I’ll come out of an opera like I did the other day, and I said to my other half, I’ve just designed this incredible apartment in wherever it was. He went “What are you like?”


But the music took me off into something. That’s how I best design. Then with that in my head, I’ll go studio and actually sketch it up.

Any other inspirations?


Kelly Hoppen

People, laughter, I don’t know, a piece of jewelry. But mainly, music is the best form of taking me somewhere else.


And that’s going back to your very first question, I feel it’s a shame that people don’t do more of that. Just using your imagination to design, it’s not about copying off the internet.

Many thanks to Hoppen for taking the time to sit down with us for an interview. You can find out more about her work on Kelly Hoppen Interiors.


Looking for more interviews and interior design tips? Check out our interview with architects and designers Lim + Lu discussing carpet creations, or how Australian mythology stories influence designer Trent Jansen to create his curious monster furniture pieces.


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