Style secrets from Kelly Hoppen

Interior designer and author Kelly Hoppen gives us an insight into some of her best style tips

Kelly Hoppen

If you had just £100 to give a room a new look, what would you do?


With a small budget like that it’s best to think little and lots. You’ll be surprised at the impact that changing small accessories, such as vases and photo frames, can have on a room, especially if you’re working with a neutral base. Re-designing the space and its layout can also make a huge difference – perhaps you can look at moving your biggest piece of furniture in the room to a different area or dressing it in a different fabric. Changes don’t always have to mean massive budgets or complex design either – it can be as simple as buying new cushions for the sofa and dressing the window in a new material such as linen.

What’s worth investing in, and what’s better bought bargain-style?

I would always invest in things that you would like to keep for a substantial amount of time. Accessories can be chopped and changed because they can be found at the lower end of the budget and are also dispensable. Beds, sofas, kitchen areas and larger pieces of furniture around the home are what you spend most of your time using or sitting on – therefore you should aim for quality with them.

Any words of wisdom for readers tackling a big project? How do you approach a new project?

Patience and planning are both key. So many people rush into a project like their home and end up making terrible mistakes that they then have to live with until more budget arises. Create mood boards, use Pinterest, rip things out of magazines – do whatever you can in order to lay out what your plans are and then wait on them a little while. There is no point in doing something spontaneously if you are only going to regret it.

Any tricks for making a room feel bigger and brighter?

Mirrors! They do absolute wonders if you can place them in the right place. Natural light is the most obvious thing but people really do take it for granted. Even a small window in a space can make all the difference if it’s utilised in the right way (with a mirror for example!) Try to avoid going dark and heavy in smaller spaces. Instead keep your materials, textures and colours light and fresh. You can always accessorize it with darker tones if that is your individual style, but start with a neutral back drop. Finally, don’t over crowd!

What are your current favourite colour combos?

I have so many! I’m all about textures at the moment. I love the layering of stones, metals and marbles and anything else I can find to be honest. The natural colouring fits so well together if the right pieces are chosen. I also really love Dark Corals and Foliage Greens, there is something so fresh about them, especially when you mix them with whites, and different textures such as linen.

How can readers introduce colour and character into their property without committing to a bold wallpaper?

Well, a bold wallpaper isn’t always a bad plan! However, how about trying to incorporate art work into the design? It is the simplest injection of colour but can be done in such a diplomatic way that it isn’t horrendously obvious. I also find the use of materials to be very useful. Adding layers of rich velvets or chunky knits to a bed or a sofa can create a different dimension and add character without doing anything too drastic and permanent. In terms of colour for the living room, why not try a colourful side table – just a splash of colour, yet something that is fun!


Lead image courtesy of Harveys