Firmdale Hotels’ most ambitious project yet – not least because it is the firm’s first newly built property – Ham Yard hotel occupies a hidden spot in the middle of teeming Soho. Kit Kemp, the hotel’s co-owner along with her husband Tim, is responsible for the interiors; a self-taught designer, her style is bold and eclectic. Although recognisably English, Ham Yard in fact takes in design from all over the world, from South African firm Ardmore’s animal-print sofa to Indian block-prints.
Similarly, the interiors mix up styles from all areas, bringing life and a sense of history to the brand-new shell of a building: huge wire urns in the manner of fashionable Regency examples, and traditional Chesterfield sofas, albeit dressed in wild prints. Handmade elements add texture and a sense of vibrancy, and include original artwork, chunky rustic coffee tables and clusters of woven pendants by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón, made in Colombia from of discarded plastic bottles.
Finally, Kit’s self-designed textiles and wallpaper also feature heavily, including her wool and jute rugs for Christopher Farr and fabrics for Chelsea Textiles. Sumptuous fabric-wrapped walls and clashing prints make the mood fun and exuberant – an open invitation for guests to have a good time.