Interior Design

Designer Kit Kemp reveals the rug pattern that will create the illusion of space in any room

This is how to change the dimensions of your room – the Ham Yard Hotel way

Ham Yard Hotel room with striped rug
(Image credit: Kit Kemp / Ham Yard Hotel)

If we’re going to take lessons in pattern from anybody, it is Kit Kemp. The co-owner and Creative Director for Firmdale Hotels has curated some of the most vibrantly printed spaces on both sides of the Atlantic – and she’s reshaped everything we know about pattern in the process. 

Among Kit Kemp's most synonymous statements is her timeless use of stripes – from a horizontal headboard in her Charlotte Street Hotel to a striped rug in London’s Ham Yard Hotel. The latter offers a lesson in the power of rugs – and how this pattern can promote the illusion of size in any space. Sharing her interior design tips in a recent post, Kit reveals the secret to a successful stripe. 

Striped rug designed by Kit Kemp

(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

In the discussion of the Terrace Suite (below), Kit explains the importance of creating a contrast by laying a striped rug against a simple floor – which is a light wooden color in this case. 

‘Using a striped rug against an otherwise plain background is a powerful tool in interior architecture – it redirects the eye and can reshape a space. In the Terrace Suite at Ham Yard Hotel, the living and dining area is a long rectangle. By having the stripes of the rug run horizontally, the room looks well-proportioned,’ Kit explains. 

‘Don’t underestimate the power of a stripe. We think they get a bit of a bad rep for being boring, but used in the right way, stripes are a versatile, elegant, and timeless resource to use in your interiors,’ she adds – while reshaping our living room rug ideas.

Ham Yard Hotel room with striped rug

(Image credit: Kit Kemp / Ham Yard Hotel)

However, Kit is not exclusive in her adoration for this age-old pattern. Andy Guard, Creative Director at Roger Oates Design, reinforces the stripe’s size-enhancing power whilst suggesting the print can define areas and ‘adjust the perspective of a room.’ Similar to Kit, Andy recommends combining the pattern with ‘wooden floors’, along with ‘tessellated tiles and even floral wallpaper.’ 

He continues, sharing his striped hallway ideas: ‘There is a stripe for everyone. You can use stripes to change the perspective of a hall. Stripes along the hall will lengthen it while stripes across the hall will make it appear wider.’

Striped carpet in a hallway

(Image credit: Future / Jon Day Photography)

Will a stripy rug recreate Kit’s boutique ambiance in our interiors? We’ll bring Ham Yard into our home, one stripe at a time.  

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.