I love a reality TV show, me. Such is my love for the genre, in fact, that pre-Pink House Husband I even featured on a reality TV dating show in which I moved in with a posh bloke I'd never met before and lived with him for two weeks in Wandsworth. And yes; I'm afraid I did. Which was unfortunate as by the time the programme aired on prime time Channel 4, I'd been dating PHH for a month. So THAT was awkward, and would have precipitated endless Whatsapping of the sweating-yet-smiling emoji, had it, or Whatsapp, existed in 2002.
The producer behind my programme (which was called Perfect Match, for all of you gagging to get Googling) is a man called Stephen Lambert - the same dude who now makes BBC2's The Great Interior Design Challenge (GIDC) - the final three days of which air this week (Tues 17th Jan - Thurs 19th Jan). And although the latter doesn't include quite so much footage of me on a boat eating spaghetti (yes that's a euphemism) with a very posh boy, it's still excellent viewing. I particularly enjoy shouting at the screen when the interior decor horrors are revealed, cheering when the best man or lady gets through, and listening to the judges' scathing comments.
Speaking of which, I'm delighted to announce that the very fabulous GIDC judge Kelly Hoppen has shared her thoughts on all things interiors, toilet roll and taupe with The Pink House. And not a strand of spaghetti or posh boy (except Daniel Hopwood) in sight...
EM: Hi Kelly! Can you briefly describe your home - location, style, etc?
KH: I always start with a neutral base and build on that. For my newest home, I started with the structures, the panels and the staircase in the main space. I had fabulous bespoke pieces designed for the house and complemented these with vintage gems I'd found along the way, as well as my personal art collection.
EM: What's your best interior design tip?
KH: Planning and time! Good planning is essential when designing a space. You have to be certain about and comfortable with every aspect and quick fire decisions often don’t pan out as expected. Take your time and do the research into finding the products, colours, fabrics, textures etc you really want. Create mood boards, Pinterest boards – anything that shows your visions and wish lists together in one place so you can see what to keep and what to eliminate.
EM: What do you look for in a GIDC winner?
KH: Of course I want the person to be creative and have amazing design skills, but I also need them to be passionate. That is such a big aspect of success in my eyes. I want them to be taking part because they love what they do, and are constantly looking for new ways to challenge themselves and push design boundaries. Other qualities I like to see include: tenacious, hard working, organised, time-aware and humble. Essentially I am looking for perfection...no room for error here.
EM: What's your interior pet hate?
KH: I really dislike over-cluttered spaces – nothing's worse than not being able to see or appreciate the beauty of a room or a space when it's filled with countless ornaments and irrelevant furniture pieces. Loo roll covers are also a major no-no for me.
EM: What do you love most about working in interiors?
It may seem obvious but the design aspect is my favourite part. I love going into my studio every day with my team and a fresh project to get started on. My design room is my safe haven and often my escape from my international business which keeps me super busy. I love taking time to design things; get my creative juices flowing – after all that's what working in interior design is all about!
EM: Which products from Kelly Hoppen London do you have in your own home?
These maze storage baskets (below)...
This rose vase (below)
And this taupe lambswool throw (below)
EM: What's your favourite colour?
KH: I would think after 40 years in the business championing the same favourite colour palette this would be obvious! It is of course taupe! But I do love other colours, like greys and khakis…
EM: Just thought I'd check in case you'd had a change of heart...least favourite?
KH: My nightmare has to be the blue-and-brown combo you see some people go for sometimes. That makes me itch slightly!
EM: Candles or bubble bath?
EM: Tell us a secret...
KH: I'm secretly a fan of florals – not all the time and not overdone but just subtle hints throughout a neutral space.
EM: Last holiday destination?
EM: What's your favourite hotel?
KH: I really am a fan of the LUX Resorts in Mauritius
EM: What was the last book you read?
KH: 5 Languages of Love by Gary D. Chapman
EM: What do you have planned for 2017?
KH: So many things! I am very excited to have worked on an exclusive project, which launches in 2017 – sorry I can’t tell you more right now, but please do keep an eye out for announcements, especially around March. I will continue to design new products for both my online store, Kelly Hoppen London, and my collection with Resource Décor. I have a glasses range that just launched in Boots and a new wallpaper range launching on Homebase’s website shortly with Graham & Brown. Plenty going on, never a dull moment; I'm excited for 2017 and what it has to bring!
EM: Thanks so much for chatting to The Pink House, Kelly. Even though we don't agree on our favourite colour, you're still fabulous!