The WOW!house at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is a collection of 20 rooms by renowned designers. Kit and Minnie Kemp were asked to design the Day Room and together, they have turned this space into a world of wonder.
Inspired by Mimi de Biarritz‘s unique collection of hand-crafted hats, the room was transformed into ‘Mimi’s Atelier’. This immersive space tells the story of a milliner living in the cobbled streets of Paris. Her small workshop is full of grand ideas and the les belles dames du Paris all hope to be photographed in her fantastical creations. It was our intention to create a space of creative expression that revels in craft. It was an absolute delight for us to work on this exciting project. Join us as we take a closer look at this whimsical scheme…
Mimi’s hat creations are decorative pieces made from paper mache, cardboard and found objects which bring a wealth of character and sculptural flair. We have showcased twenty of her eclectic hats and they are also available to purchase from Artists Corner at Shop Kit Kemp.
For the curtains, we have used Zennor Arbour linen fabric in Jade created in the Liberty Fabrics design studio. The bold, ultra-saturated shades of the Jade colour draws inspiration from Japanese and Chinese 19th century artworks and textiles. Formed from original pencil sketches of flowers that build into a widely branching rose tree, we love how floral elements of the original appear reimagined in a mono-coloured interpretation. It was such a joy to introduce this fabric into our scheme.
We partnered with Clockhouse Furniture to create a tented wardrobe and covered each panel with an all-time favourite fabric by Pierre Frey which depicts life-sized embroidered figures. We love how this contrasts with the wardrobe’s roof, which has been covered with Jim Thompson’s ‘Night and Day’ fabric. Accompanying the wardrobe is one of our signature mannequins. It features intricately detailed flowers and butterflies which were all hand appliqued by sustainable fashion designer Clio Peppiatt.
Henry Neville Wood is an artist who works with sustainably sourced green wood using traditional techniques to create balanced sculptural pieces and his signature ‘explorers’. We commissioned Henry to create a sculpture of Jim Thompson, an explorer who went for a walk in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia and never returned. Theories about Jim’s disappearance suggest kidnapping, assassinations and tiger attacks. Unfortunately his body was never found and this commission is an ode to his legacy.
We have included an assortment of different lights, including a floor ladder light by Tegen Williams, a Bloomsbury inspired table lamp by Amy Balfour with a lampshade by BeauVamp and for the ceiling, a Rockin’ Robin light from our collection for Porta Romana.
We say that ‘every room tells a story’ and ‘Mimi’s Atelier’ brings a tale that transports us to Paris. Creating this wondrous scheme wouldn’t have been possible without our friends and suppliers, so we would like to give a very special thank you to all who joined the journey with us:
Clock House Furniture
Gaston y Daniela
Henry Neville Wood
Mimi de Biarritz
Nicola de Selincourt
Visit The WOW!house
The WOW!house is open from June 1st to July 1st. Tickets are available from £20, with a proportion being contributed to their chosen charity Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity. For more information and tickets, click here.