Kit Kemp's New Blog Goes Behind the Scenes of Her Vibrant Designs

Timothy Latterner

Like any expert, Kit Kemp gets asked a lot of questions. Fans of her world-renowned design work pepper her with everything from “Do these pillows go with these drapes?” to “What kind of sofa works best for my living room?” and “How long will this terrazzo trend actually last?” With questions flooding into her boat faster than she can bail out the answers, she’s decided to add another title to her already impressive résumé: editor.

With the launch of her new website, Kit Kemp’s Design Thread, today, Kemp is addressing topics ranging from trends and decorating styles to materials she loves working with, as well as shoppable sections for fans to get the look exactly right. Accessible through KitKemp.com, the new site and blog features videos, image galleries, and the digital styling one previously could only have experienced in a room she has designed.

“I’m often asked whether I would decorate someone’s house or apartment. It’s not something I would really wish to do because it’s not my thing,” Kemp tells AD PRO. “With Design Thread, I get to teach."

Kemp with Andrew Martin. Her collection for his textile company is featured on the blog.
Photo: Dominic Blackmore

While the site largely explores interior design for residential homes and spaces, Kemp’s true expertise comes from the hotel industry. She’s the owner of Firmdale Hotels, a collection of boutique hotels in London and New York—including the beloved Crosby Street, Whitby, Ham Yard—each with its own unique flair.

“I think you can be more adventurous in a hotel, more theatrical," Kemp explains. "As long as its harmonious and congruent, you can be more colorful. In your home, you’re going to be a lot more practical and sentimental—pictures and things your children or partner have made, things like that."

Her work in New York in particular, with the Crosby Street Hotel downtown and the Whitby Hotel in midtown, continue to push New York further into the shift of luxury hotels stepping away from the somewhat staid locales of yesteryear and embracing designs that celebrate tradition with a more contemporary twist, and a dose of personal style.

Patchwork toys by Kemp.
Photo: Simon Brown

According to Kemp, “There’s always a hotel for you. You can bring back that spirit of adventure in travel. I think that’s what lots of these hotels lost. When you open the front door, you’re just met by a sea of taupe, and not much else. I think people are actually much quirkier and adventurous. When they arrive, there has to be something that piques their curiosity.”

Each vignette in any one of her hotels is a smaller-scale diorama of sorts, a portal that any guest can learn from to repurpose into his or her own home—something Design Thread looks to educate people on how to render.

“The ethos is the same. What I find people often forget about are the spaces in between: our hallways, little colloquiums, insides of cupboards. If you make all those little areas into an adventure or an experience, you’re enlarging your house and space immediately. Any little hints like that where you can give something make a difference."

The site will be full of Kemp’s own insights, interests, and directions for the perfectly curated home’s she herself loves. Through recurring articles, informative films featuring the designer, and information to act as a glossary of taste for newcomers to the design world, Design Thread is conceived to be a resource.

While Kemp insisted that more tips will always be available on the site, she did leave us with the one comment she most often advises people: “Remember to light the corners. There are so many dark corners in places that it’s important to get that lighting right. And: Bring your own personality into the room!"

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