British interior designer Kelly Hoppen transforms a 19th Century Townhouse in the heart of London into the very picture of modern elegance.

Originally built in 1845, this gorgeous Georgian four-storey terrace house located in a residential area in the historical heart of London was designed as the perfect backdrop to accommodate a family’s art collection. One of Britain’s most well-known interior designers, South African-born Kelly Hoppen (who is also an author, educator, investor and entrepreneur who runs a successful interiors business for private and commercial commissions and a home furnishings line) was called in to rework the interiors, together with her in-house architect, John Cameron.

“My design philosophy has always been to create timeless and understated elegance,” Hoppen says. “Trends fade but my designs last the test of time. People know my style when they take me on. I obviously adapt it to my clients’ lives, but my design philosophy and basic methodology tend to remain the same. I had a head start when working on the London townhouse as I had already worked with these clients many years ago. However, people’s needs and desires change. The process was about modernising the home, using my style, and creating a space for their art and entertainment. My East meets West philosophy was applied, as well as my neutral palette.” 

Eye For Design

Clients seek out Hoppen for her chic, classic contemporary aesthetic, where each room is transformed into a glamorous monochromatic sanctuary. As the brief for the London townhouse was to respect the room layout centred around the original staircase while adding modern elements, she introduced black bamboo floors throughout, complemented by joinery that brings strong, clean lines to the design, which together connect the rooms in a seamless way. 

The Walkthrough

Completed in 2014, the house is composed of two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a conservatory, gym and outdoor space. On the first storey, rooms link to one another in a linear way. The clients’ own traditional chandelier hangs over a dining table from B&B Italia accompanied by Christian Liaigre chairs in the dining room, which also showcases Absolute Flower vases, customised doors featuring a geometric motif and a bespoke B&D Design fireplace housing a one-off fire sculpture by Tunisian artist Cathy Azria. Leading off from the dining area is a kitchen equipped with Boffi cabinets and taps and Gaggenau appliances, followed by a conservatory decorated with a purple chair by Warren Platner for Knoll (one of the few splashes of colour), a specially-built bench by Doreen Scott and candles and bowls from Hoppen’s eponymous brand. 

The eye is drawn to a tailor-made floating shelf by Annie Pate in the entrance hall, where a carpet runner covers the stairs that lead up to the second-floor landing. Here, a Robert Rauschenberg painting looms large beside wall lights by Kevin Reilly. Hoppen discloses, “I love the simplicity of the living room. It is not cluttered with furniture and really breathes as a result. This also makes it the perfect space for the wonderful art and sculptures that it houses. It allows people to really focus on the works of art in the room. In addition, the sumptuous textures and fabrics add to the undeniable luxury of the room, and the clear Eastern influence brings serenity to the space.”

Symmetry Rules

Hoppen describes some of the customised pieces of furniture that stand out, “A lot of the storage and shelving throughout the house is custom-made, but I particularly like the custom-made bed-end bench in the master bedroom by Smith & Brown Cabinetmakers Ltd, and I love the custom-made glass table in the kitchen made by Il Laboratorio Dell’imperfetto.” Touches of vibrant hues, like a bright pink armchair, have been introduced to the dressing area to bring colour to the interiors, while the bathrooms are extremely modern and understated.

A staircase in the entrance hall takes visitors down to the guest bedroom, gym and garden. Shutters from Shutterly Fabulous and a massive Doreen Scott wardrobe illuminated by a Tom Dixon hanging lamp dominate the guest bedroom connected to a bathroom furnished with Grohe, Agape and Rexa fittings. Finally, the garden provides a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban living, where the homeowners can escape to while admiring the luscious greenery on a warm summer day.

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