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How We Find Our Inspiration at the Kit Kemp Design Studio


As we enter 2021, and yet ANOTHER national lockdown, it can seem hard to find design inspiration, especially because we don’t have the luxury of weekly visits from our favourite fabric houses showing us their new collections or exhibitions where we would usually soak in the art, sculpture and lighting design.

However, on a positive note, the Kit Kemp design team are currently working on a couple of exciting residential projects abroad and collaborating with several brands. We need to keep our minds creative and although we may not be able to travel, we look for inspiration wherever we can. As the New Year arrives, we are full of new dreams, hopes and resolutions, and we would love nothing more than to share with you where to find inspiration during these challenging times.

1. NATURE

Unable to travel, the only excursions we are able to take are walks around our local parks. Nature has always inspired poets, writers and artists over the years. We use nature, such as fruits, flowers and leaves to observe extraordinary colour combinations that work together. For example, look at this fallen leaf we found in the garden this morning.

The below colour chart is the varying tones we found within the leaf – don’t they work brilliantly together?

We designed a whole bedroom scheme around these autumnal colour tones.

If you crack open a watermelon, you will see red and green. However, if you look more closely – and observe the different tones within, you will see varying shades from watery white to shell pink to a yellow grey/green.

It is the way these colours tone through from one to the other that gives us ideas of creating a harmonious colour palette.

Where do you think we got our inspiration from for Rossferry House in Barbados…

2. BUILDINGS & ARCHITECTURE

On your daily stroll, take a moment to look closely at architectural details. Look at the stonework, woodwork, window panes, shapes of windows, front doors, architraves, railings, ironmongery … there is so much to observe and inspire!

Here at the studio, we are also designing a brand new hotel in New York. We are continuously looking for inspiration to create a ‘wow factor’ and spaces that will stimulate conversation between guests.

During lockdown, we have been walking the streets of London and New York gazing at architecture and shop fronts for inspiration. For example, look at the façade of clothing shop All Saints. The vintage collection of well-worn sewing machines lines the window fronts creating interest.

Another one of our favourites is the Churchill Arms pub in Notting Hill. This façade is so beautiful and makes such an impact.

There are so many more exterior examples we could share with you, but we want to keep this short and sweet. It is these architectural facades that have kept us inspired and working towards creating something spectacular. Watch this space!

3. ONLINE

Nowadays, everything is only a click away: masterclasses, inspiration boards and social media. Pinterest and Instagram are great resources to find inspiration. The design team all follow thousands of artisans, interior designers, fabric houses, textile designers, fashion designers and homeware brands… we could go on all day. We are constantly saving images of objects and patterns we like and are inspired by.

Recently, we designed a rug from a fabric we loved by Colefax and Fowler. We came across this fabric called ‘Floriana’ online as we are unable to visit our beloved Chelsea Harbour.

This ‘Floriana’ fabric inspired us to design our own jute rug using the colour tones within the textile. We cannot wait to see them together once installed.

4. BOOKS & MAGAZINES

We are very lucky that we get monthly subscriptions to House & Garden, Livingetc, World of Interiors and Homes & Gardens. These keep us up to date on what is going on in the world of design. Kit has also written three books which also help inspire the team and are filled with knowledge and inspiration. Click here to get your own. Furthermore, we are very excited to announce that Kit has written a new book which will be released next spring.

5. LISTEN AND COMMUNICATE

Our friends and colleagues are without a doubt our most valuable sources of inspiration, even if we cannot see each other physically. We have had countless phone calls and zoom meetings, and there is never a dull moment. Constant communication with fellow designer friends: Martin Waller from Andrew Martin, Mona Perlhagen from Chelsea Textiles, Michal Silver from Christopher Farr and Nina Campbell, have kept the team excited and inspired to carry on creating during this difficult time.

Picasso famously said ‘inspiration exists, but it has to find you working’, meaning you can spend days sitting on your doorstep, waiting for inspiration to knock or you can go out there, grab it by its tail and bring it into whatever it is that you’re trying to do. It takes effort and hard work. Be inspired, and take the opportunity to reflect, experiment and see where it takes you!

We love hearing from you – please message us on Instagram telling us what is keeping you inspired during this crazy time. We hope this post inspires you too.

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