Call it cool, calm, and collected. Call it East meets West. Call it contemporary with a hint of spiritual depth. Or, simply resist the need to label and acknowledge that the Kelly Hoppen look is the look of the early 21st century. The crème de la crème, from style-struck superstars to royalty and international corporations, want it. And the British designer is happy to oblige. Her aim has always been to "bring Europe to the U.S.A." Kelly has an idealist approach in fusing the old world European Classicism with a breath of modern, thus creating a timeless elegance. Small wonder, then, that she has placed her ever-more-coveted name on an impressive range of products for the home…and now, that list includes furniture.
Kelly Hoppen for Century--a collection of fabrics, upholstery, wood and metal case goods created by the celebrated British interior designer--was introduced at the Century Furniture showroom during the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point this April. That means the serene, contemporary gestalt that Hoppen has brought to her exclusive roster of high profile clients and their internationally acclaimed homes will now grace the showrooms of finer furniture stores nationwide.
This furniture is targeted to a sophisticated and design savvy consumer. It's coolly simple. Its disciplined elegance is based on Asian ideals like balance and symmetry. It's diminutive in scale yet comfortable in a restrained way. People will either "get it" or they won't--and that's fine with Hoppen.
"The last thing I ever want to do is impose my vision on anyone," she asserts. "I believe designing one's home is a deeply personal journey. That's why Century and I have made these pieces so pure and clean. They invite interpretation--and that is what I love. I want people to feel comfortable with the pieces, and use them as they wish. Choose only what connects with your senses, your mind, your heart. If it touches you in a real way, if it makes you feel happy and at peace, you can't go wrong."
Much of the collection is crafted in Flormorado and white oak veneers and enhanced with areas of upholstery, steel, or black glass. The wood is finished in either Natural or Black--uncomplicated colors appropriate for a designer heralded for her use of neutrals. (Small wonder the media has dubbed Hoppen the "Queen of Taupe"!)
Several tables and chests feature inlaid steel "runners" that fold over the tops of the pieces to become legs. This is an allusion to Hoppen's trademark use of fabric runners on tables and other surfaces in the interiors she designs. The use of steel also conveys a look of strength and surety--deeply important to the safe, secure, "grounded in reality" look that she believes people want in their homes.
The "runner" motif appears in another form on the collection's classic panel bed. Its tall rectangular headboard features a horizontal panel upholstered in ivory leather--an effect that, characteristically, juxtaposes linear and geometric forms and mixes sensuous textures.
The upholstered seating in the collection further reveals the designer's love of texture and sudden, surprising splashes of color. The fabrics in the collection exude luxury and timelessness--linens, silk mohairs, velvets, suedes, plain and exotic leathers and silks are always used in a subtle and sophisticated way. These fabrics are the building blocks of her intimate environments. Kelly approaches fabrics like a couturier would dress a client. Detail, quality, and finish are the keys to her success.
Several "statement pieces" dazzle the eye. An Art Deco triple screen features mirrored panels that produce dramatic, multiple reflections of the room in which it's stationed. A six-legged coffee table offers traditional Asian woodworking joinery and a top of semi-transparent dark glass. An upholstered French-influenced settee and chair duo are skirted with an almost "industrial" fringe of stainless steel.
The furniture will be displayed with other licensed Kelly Hoppen merchandise such as bedding, lighting, window treatments, and accessories. The idea is to allow a Century retailer to create a "boutique" that attracts upscale customers and gently immerses them in Hoppen's serene and sophisticated world.
"Kelly Hoppen is on the front end of a design trend that started in Europe and is slowly emerging on this side of the Atlantic," says Edward M. Tashjian, Century's Vice President of Marketing. "She is redefining luxury. And, of course, the Century name has always been synonymous with luxury. So this really is the perfect marriage of brands and talents."
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