DECORATOR INDEX DANIEL HOPWOOD
We talk to our favourite interior designers about their work and ask them to share their styling tips
Who is he? Anyone who has watched Daniel Hopwood as a judge on BBC 2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge will know that he has an affinity for colour. Growing up, he was instinctively drawn to the world of interiors. ‘I was one of the lucky few – I always knew that I wanted to go into interior architecture, but that definition didn’t exist when I started,’ recalls Hopwood, who set up his London studio nearly 15 years ago. He trained as an architect at the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster) – ‘ but focused on the inside of buildings’. He also studied the crafts of gilding and carving, and spent several months at the Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture learning about classical architecture, which led to his first commission: designing a house for Colin Amery, an advisor to the Prince of Wales at the time. What’s his style? His projects differ wildly – from a bold bachelor pad to a grand stucco terraced house with a muted colour palette – but what unites them is his collaborative way of working. ‘I’m there to celebrate someone’s personality through their home, and I want them to be a part of the process,’ says Hopwood, who often asks clients to make a Pinterest board of interior images that they like and dislike. ‘My job is to encourage people to be self-expressive in their homes, but also practical.’ Any recent projects? Hopwood’s work is usually residential, but earlier this year, he completed a penthouse showroom apartment at the new Dollar Bay development in Canary Wharf. ‘Commercial projects don’t have a personality to push against, so I often invent one belonging to the sort of person who might buy that home,’ he says. This year, Hopwood also updated his own home in Marylebone (above and near left) and injected some tropical pattern into the home of a newly married couple in London (far left).
What is he currently working on?
The interior of Alimentum, a top restaurant in Cambridge. ‘It’s going to be classy with a little cheekiness,’ he promises. He says: ‘Always remember – it’s only paint. If you try purple in the hallway and hate it, you can paint over it.’ (danielhopwood.com).
‘I’m there to celebrate someone’s personality through their home, and I want them to be a part of the process’