Meet the Maker: The Keys to Kit Kemp

February 27, 2015

If your winter has been a little lacking in the color department (go away, grey skies and snow, pretty please?) we have a solutionFolkthread, our new home collection from interior designer and hotelier Kit Kemp. Debuting in our March House & Home Journal, the Anthropologie-exclusive pieces, exuberant with pattern and hue, are just the ray of sunshine you’ve been missing. We popped over to Manhattan’s Crosby Street Hotel, which Kit designed and owns with her husband, to chat with the British design superstar and to preview the penthouse suite, which Kit styled using pieces from Folkthread.

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The upholstered pieces in Folkthread really pop with patternany tips on how to layer these into a room for those who might be a tad intimated?

So many homes are lacking in color and character, so something like the Fauntastique Armchair adds incredible life to a room. It’s instant atmosphere when everything else in the room is simple and neutral. Or you can be quite bold about it and use more pattern. Just match one color that’s coming through, like the pink in the Rabbit Rug and Dining Chair, and it starts to become quite easy!

About that Fauntastique Chair¦what’s the inspiration?

It’s based on a Ghanaian Asafo flag, but we’ve taken the motif and made it our own. The orange color is gorgeous and the fabrics are robust and made to last. Fauntastique is made with hand-appliquéd boiled wool and the Dining Chairs are covered in dhurrie, so teenagers, people in jeans and even dogs can sit in them quite happily without ruining them!

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How about the wallpaper? In the suite, you have it framed as a work of art, where else might you put it?

It would be beautiful in a small space like a hallway or a cloakroom. Or in a studyif you pair it with neutral walls, you have quite a powerful room.

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Tell us about the tables in the collection.

I added a brass tape measure detail to the
side tables. I love taking something useful like a tape measure out of its context; you notice it so much more and see it in a totally new light. The coffee tables come in two sizesthe larger is lovely for a tablescape. And I love the solid planks and the way the legs are put in. It’s just beautiful carpentry.

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And the Mirror Shelf?

Overall, I wanted to create pieces that would work well in different areas. The Mirror Shelf is a beautiful example: you could put it over the fireplace as an overmantel, in the bathroom with your toothbrushes, or even in the kitchen filled with fabulous herbs and spiceswhy hide them in a cupboard? Or you could fill it with flowers, it’s just beautiful that way. It’s really an all-purpose piece of furniture!

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As a hotelier, you are constantly receiving new guests. What’s the one thing you recommend doing to make a room feel welcoming?

If a guest is coming in to a room and it’s already dark outside, the room can feel really cold. Having great lighting creates a glowing sense of warmth. It’s the same thing with the collection, really. The warmth comes from the beautiful colors, from a witty print that makes you smile. I just want you to think, How did I ever live without it?

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