Interior Design

Designer Kit Kemp shares her light-enhancing secret of glass on glass

The key to an ambient space is simple – the esteemed hotelier reveals what you need to know

Glass cabinet and pink paint in The Orangery by Firmdale Hotels, designed by Kit Kemp
(Image credit: The Whitby Hotel by Firmdale Hotels / Kit Kemp)

As the co-owner and Creative Director for Firmdale Hotels, Kit Kemp knows how to curate a perfectly ambient space. Her boutique spaces combine fearless hues with vibrant textiles, which are brought to life with light and thus allure travelers worldwide. 

The master of design, Kit knows exactly how to emphasize light and create an atmospheric space that exudes the distinct allure of a hotel. Here, she reveals her interior design tip – and her secret is refreshingly simple. 

In a recent post, Kit penned a love letter to glass – the timeless material that has radiated light for centuries. However, her light-enhancing tip goes one step further, as Kit encourages us to experiment with glass on glass – because more glass means more light. 

Mirrored cabinet in Crosby Street Hotel by Firmdale Hotels, designed by Kit Kemp

(Image credit: ‘Lafayette’ in Crosby Street Hotel by Firmdale Hotels / Kit Kemp)

‘Glass is such a wonderful material to work with. Whilst we are known for our vast Crittall windows, statement mirrors, and mirrored walls, the way we use glass in our design extends much further,’ Kit begins.

‘One thing that goes very well with glass, is glass! We often like to place a beautiful glass accessory in front of a mirrored wall or mirror-lined cabinet. Whether mirror, colored glass or clear, layering adds that sense of harnessing and playing with light that all designers covet.’ 

Kit encourages you to rethink our modern living room ideas by layering glass furnishings, mirrors, and accessories, as demonstrated in the Lafayette room in Crosby Street Hotel (above) and The Whitby Hotel in New York (below). 

Glass cabinet designed by Kit Kemp in The Orangery by Firmdale Hotels

(Image credit: The Whitby Hotel by Firmdale Hotels / Kit Kemp)

‘Catching the light and creating ambiance, glass is a material long used to enhance design, beauty and harness light,’ Kit explains. And how can we accentuate her glass on glass tip even further? With more glass, of course. Or, more specifically, a glass chandelier. 

‘When I’m looking at the initial concept for a building, often the grand statement that I’m going to make with a chandelier or lighting scheme is one of the first places I start,’ Kit shares. 

This statement will not only inject a hotel-style statement into your scheme but will also harmonize with your other glass-on-glass pairings and make your space feel even more radiant. 

Mirrored cabinet in a Firmdale Hotel by Kit Kemp

(Image credit: Firmdale Hotels / Kit Kemp)

Kit has just given us every excuse we need to spend the weekend sourcing new glass pieces. It’s time to try and recreate Firmdale's elegance in our own scheme, and our living room lighting ideas have never felt quite so exciting.  

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.