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Design Threads – Collage


In our 35 years in the world of hospitality and design, some of the most remarkable moments have been when the design community comes together during uncertain times. We are all looking for a little brightness in our day, and so, to thread the needle and stitch us all together in creative unity, we have created #DesignThreads.

This will be a series of posts about creativity when self-isolating, sharing tips to keep us all busy and imaginative while we spend more time at home. Each post will also come with a book recommendation carefully chosen by our dear friends at Much Ado Books, who like many independent stores, will value all our support over the next few months.

We would love to see what you all get up to, so please share all your creative pursuits and stay in touch with us on Instagram, tag @KitKempDesignThread and use the hashtag #DesignThreads, we can’t wait to see what you all get up to and we will re-post our favourites!

We will be kicking off this week with collage, we hope you enjoy.

We love the art of collage, and if like us you keep your old copies of World of Interiors, save theatre tickets and scraps from your travels – now is a perfect time to tap into collaging and scrapbooking.

We love the work of artist Ruby Kean – each of our hotels has its own unique collage all created from images of the hotel, coat tags, pieces of wallpaper, ribbon and ephemera that evokes the life and soul of each property.

The Dorset Square Hotel collage, is of course, cricket themed, and Charlotte Street Hotel‘s is Bloomsbury inspired. Choosing a theme is a great way to start when collaging.

We love Ruby’s piece ‘Trinket’ – encapsulating the faded memories of a beloved holiday, the scraps and trinkets preciously guarded to keep the memories of lazy days and magic moments alive. It’s a lovely way to be reminded of happy memories and a fun twist on a photo album.

Another collage artist we admire is Jo Waterhouse – her  pieces draw heavily on her surroundings and British folk traditions. Her characterful illustrations are rich with patterns, textures and surprising details.

We love the layering of different hand crafted papers and materials. It’s a lovely reminder that we can find beauty in just about anything, whether it be the subject matter or the materials you use.

We do hope this inspires you to get creating and to make something beautiful out of things you have collected, or bits and pieces you have at home.

Weekly Book Recommendation from Much Ado Books

Much Ado Books is an award-winning independent bookshop offering both new and old books from a compound in Alfriston, East Sussex.

There, you can find a warm welcome and books spread through two floors of a former builders’ yard – with more books in a Shepherds Hut (near the shop’s henhouse) and a stylish cabin devoted to Arts and Letters.

Owners Cate Olson and Nash Robbins bring a distinctive style to their shop design, their unique displays and especially to their hand-picked range of books.

“We love visiting Firmdale Hotels whenever we’re in London” says Cate. “Kit Kemp’s flair is completely inspirational for us. She makes wonderful art and design part of life, and we want to share some of that spirit with our customers.”

The pair run a social enterprise named Prospero’s Project. “We believe in the power of books to entertain, to comfort, to teach and to inspire,” says Cate. “We want to share that power with as many people as we can.”

Last year the couple gave more than 3,000 books to local foodbanks, and also supported a community library and schools.

“We are so excited to work with Firmdale to offer wonderful books,” says Cate. “And we’ll be able to devote a portion of the profits to the social enterprise, helping more people share in the pleasures of books!”

The Collage Ideas Books – Alannah Moore

We love collages, and making them requires no practical skills or experience – anyone can do it, with anything you happen to have to hand. That makes it perfect for people who might not quite know where and how to start.

We’ve picked Alannah Moore’s The Collage Ideas Book for this week because it is a brilliant introduction, a guide for anyone unsure of their path, and a wonderful inspiration with page after page of wonderful designs.

Simple themes and concepts build to sophisticated projects, but every page offers support for anyone who doesn’t quite know where to start. It is a great kitchen-table craft, and one parents can enjoy with children.

To get people started, we will be offering a free pack of ephemera with each copy. The packet will include scraps and pieces we’ve collected over the years, so you can include them in your own designs. You might find illustrations, book pages, maps, photographs, advertisements, leaflets, scraps of wallpaper – a unique mix of bits and pieces to inspire!

CLICK HERE to purchase The Collage Ideas Book on Much Ado Book’s website.

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