Kit Kemp's rule of 5 'C's is the secret to a unique and well-curated space

In an interview with H&G, the designer revealed the key to a home that is memorable – for all the right reasons

Room designed by Kit Kemp
(Image credit: Kit Kemp Design Studio)

When it comes to colorful, well-balanced interiors, few spaces rival those designed by Kit Kemp. 

The owner of the eponymously named design studio (and creative director of Firmdale Hotels) is unmatched in regard to her bold use of pattern and daring color ideas. So, when it comes to making a home memorable, it is inevitable to turn to her for advice. 

In an exclusive interview with H&G, Kit Kemp shared that the key to a well-designed (but nonetheless personal) space comes down to her rule of 5 'C's: color, comfort, character, craft, and curation. 

Sitting alongside Massachusetts-based designer Annie Selke, Kit Kemp shared everything you need to know about the 5 'C's – and how these interior design tips will ensure a memorable space that will leave your guests talking (for all the right reasons).

Kit Kemp's rule of 5 'C's

Room designed by Kit Kemp

(Image credit: Kit Kemp Design Studio)

'Every room should have color, comfort, character, craft, and be well-curated,' Kit explains. 

According to the designer, these five elements contribute to how 'memorable' your home appears. However, being remembered for the right reasons involves pairing these five decorating ideas with a unique, often individual focal point. 

'What I love in a room is a decoy focal point that [is] usually craft,' Kit says. 'This could be something that you’ve made yourself or something that is custom-made.' 

Finding, and showcasing a memorable piece is one way to bring a sense of individuality to your '5 'C's – whether it is a family heirloom or personal artwork. 'It breaks the ice because you have something to talk about,' she adds. 'But it also says something about who you are. I think that’s very important because it could just be a cushion that you’ve made yourself.'

Room designed by Kit Kemp

(Image credit: Kit Kemp Design Studio)

Annie Selke, the Pittsfield-based designer (who worked with Kit on her aptly-named Kit Kemp Collection) mirrors her teaching. 

'I always like a room with a sense of humor, and something personal to the homeowner,' Annie says. 'There are layers of a life.' This can be seen through your art ideas, what you put on your floor, or whatever makes you comfortable. It’s more about what you take away than what is inside your space. 

'If you can take away a feeling from a room, that to me is more memorable. [It makes] you just want to go back to that space. Try to create a welcoming spot. And that can happen in so many different ways. There is not one way,' the designer adds. 

Room designed by Kit Kemp

(Image credit: Kit Kemp Design Studio)

Kit and Annie have just given us permission to decorate with antiques and bring our most personal possessions into the forefront of our home – for a personal space that is always memorable.

You can view more information about the Kit Kemp Collection for Annie Selke online. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.