Interior designer to the stars Kelly Hoppen has long been known for her casual yet considered interiors, characterised by pops of natural texture, refined upholstery and, of course, a neutral palette. So who better to advise on how to combine the best of Western and Eastern design?
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The rise of Wabi Sabi has ensured that the Orient is front and centre of the decorating world, but there is always a danger of overdoing things and ending up with a pastiche of a look. Follow Kelly’s style rules, however, and you will be on track to pared-back perfection.
1. Incorporate a Chinoiserie print
This delicate blossom motif is lent opulence by its gold backdrop, but Kelly is careful to keep to a monochrome palette elsewhere. As she goes on to explain ‘Pattern needs to be handled with restraint in an East-West style.’
2. Don’t overindulge in pattern
‘I rarely use more than one dominant pattern in a room and my choice will be discerning,’ says Kelly, who will avoid chintzy florals or simple Provencal patterns in favour of jacquards or toile.
3. Create an element of surprise
Kelly is not known for her bold use of colour, which is why the shots of red here are so unexpected. But they are hugely meaningful in an east-meets-west scheme – in China, red is traditionally symbolic of happiness.
4. Stick with a simple backdrop
This is a signature look from Kelly, with its pleasing symmetry, strong lines and elegant upholstery. A clean palette offers the opportunity
5. Respect natural materials
‘In Japan, there is a huge respect for the way that natural tones and textures work without adornment,’ says Kelly, whose sparing use of colour allows such hues and weaves to shine.
6. Mix in elements of country style
There’s definitely an eastern feel to this headboard’s scalloped design, but the blush colourway speaks ‘English rose’.
7. Make indigo blue your go-to accent colour
If in doubt, add just a splash of this deep blue, which as Kelly explains ‘still defines Japanese style today’.
8. Combine the simple with the opulent
Mixing the opulent looks of the west with the simplicity of the east is a sure-fire route to success. Think clean pale wood panelled walls and doors and unfussy tiled flooring, enhanced by dramatic glass light fittings and door furniture, and upholstery with fine buttoned detailing.
Follow Kelly @kellyhoppen