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The Tiger Who Came to Tea: Cats in Design


At the Kit Kemp Design Studio, we are known for our dogs – it’s no secret that I’m a dog lover through and through with my brood of King Charles Cavalier spaniels. But another creature that finds its way into our designs is the king of the jungle, the master of the house, the tom of the streets – the cat.

Historically, in art and design cats represent independence, liberty, spiritual enlightenment, intuition, balance, and hope. To us, they represent the simple luxury of lounging, relaxing and living your best life.

Here at Crosby Street Hotel, whilst man’s best friend is grappling for your attention, our lobby cats are sitting back, cool calm and collected, watching the hustle and bustle of daily life in our gallery-like reception area. This stone sculpture is such a delight, hanging over the branch of this organic wood bench, he’s sniffing the spring flowers below.

This Ardmore sofa is a favourite of our guests to take a perch, but its main inhabitant is this majestic leopard. He’s got a cheeky smile as if he’s got a secret to tell.

Before you even enter our lobby you are met with Crosby the Cat. He’s the star of the show… a 12-foot bronze sculpture. Botero makes god size sculptures not life size, they have a magical feel about them.

I found this beautiful lion’s head at an antiques market and fell in love with it instantly. After a little tender love and care, he now sits pride of place in our Oak Leaf Suite at Ham Yard Hotel.

If you look closely, cats appear just about anywhere in our hotels and properties. This pair of lamps add a sculptural focus to this console table at Covent Garden Hotel.

In the drawing room of the Terrace Suite at The Soho Hotel, two leopards stand guard over the light-filled room. These wood carvings are a very strong point within the room and they make the space feel more witty and light-hearted.

We adore this feline figurine by Ramiro Fernandez Saus of a Jack Russell riding a tiger. Ramiro’s fantastical world invites us in and we are captivated by his heightened sense of reality.

Here, my cat Kipper is holding court with our spaniels from her palatial cat house.

Mimi de Biarittz’s theatrical cardboard cat houses are hand painted and embellished with so many exquisite details.

We love interesting pieces like these feline features, which might make you turn back to glance into a room again. Playful details like these are my favourite way to make a space memorable.

Look out for some new designs cat box on Shop Kit Kemp or in our pop-up at Bergdorf Goodman.

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