Kit Kemp: Ev­ery Room Tells a Story

NZ House & Garden - - ART, BOOKS & BLOGS -

“I’m more fright­ened of beige than any other colour in the spec­trum,” says in­te­rior de­signer Kit Kemp, rather disin­gen­u­ously, per­haps. Among de­sign pro­fes­sion­als, trash­ing beige seems to be more about putting an aes­thetic stake in the sand rather than ac­tu­ally banishing that in­of­fen­sive and use­ful neu­tral. But Kemp, co-owner with hus­band Tim of a group of lux­ury ho­tels in Lon­don and NYC, is cer­tainly all about bold. This beau­ti­fully pho­tographed and pro­duced book is a deftly or­ches­trated riot of colour and pat­tern, as dis­played in rooms and re­cep­tion spa­ces through­out their small but per­fectly formed em­pire. She’s also mod­ishly in­ter­ested in “telling the story” of her var­i­ous de­sign col­lab­o­ra­tors, in­clud­ing Mimi of Biar­ritz, who “looks like a lit­tle spar­row” and sugar (al­beit un­re­fined) ei­ther. Just as well, be­cause cook­ing ve­gan is com­pli­cated enough. Her egg re­place­ments are sim­ple, gloopy con­coc­tions made with ei­ther ground flaxseeds or chia seeds. In fact, all her recipes are pretty sim­ple and prac­ti­cal. You could start with a Wal­nut Ca­cao Smoothie for break­fast, graze on Sun­flower Seed Pâté, tuck into Pis­ta­chio & Broc­coli Pi­laf for lunch, then en­joy hearty Spaghetti & Quinoa “Meat­balls” for din­ner and per­haps a lick of Lu­cuma Ice Cream for later. Cer­tainly wouldn’t be a bor­ing way to eat. All recipes come with a nu­tri­tional break­down. Sally But­ters is NZ House & Gar­den’s food editor The first thing you no­tice upon vis­it­ing Joy Cho’s epony­mous blog (ohjoy.blogs. com) is the ex­u­ber­ant use of colour. Oh Joy! started life as a graphic de­sign stu­dio and now in­cludes prod­uct lines, how-to life­style videos as well as a daily blog, cel­e­brat­ing bright and bold de­sign, decor, fash­ion and even food (the rain­bow­striped, fruity frozen ice cubes are my favourite and would go down a treat at par­ties). I love her colour­ful round-ups of decor items (a re­cent post fea­tured 10 quirky cush­ions, in­clud­ing one that looked like a poached egg) and prac­ti­cal dec­o­rat­ing tips, such as re­pur­pos­ing old ves­sels as vases. An­drea Warm­ing­ton creates shell and mo­saic-en­crusted won­ders, the South African-based cre­ators of her fab­u­lously chunky mud-bead chan­de­liers, one-off fab­ric-mak­ers and em­broi­der­ers, favourite painters and many more. Their work gives her vi­brant in­te­ri­ors an edge of in­di­vid­u­al­ity that al­most lifts them right out of the com­mer­cial realm. Though where else would the bud­get run to them? Jan Chilwell is a NZ House & Gar­den sub-editor

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