Kelly Hoppen is probably the chicest name in the interior design world. Since launching her career at the tender age of 16 by remodelling the kitchen of a family friend, Hoppen has been commissioned by A-listers David and Victoria Beckham, and actor Martin Shaw to craft their homes.

Mastering an elegant, East-meets-West style, she has defined the Kelly Hoppen look: clean lines, neutral colour palettes harmoniously juxtaposed in timeless fashion. Her trademark style is so iconic that an adjective has been coined to describe it: Hoppenic.

Based in London, the South-African-born designer has created yachts and jets for private clients, as well as commercial projects from furniture to restaurants and offices across the globe. Her latest addition is the high-end resort Lux Grand Gaube in Mauritius.

I love traditional watches. I would focus particularly on bringing that retro element into the design

“Luxury in any space is what it means to you – it is difficult to define. To me, it is all about mixing finishes, materials, textures and colours to create something that is pleasing to the eye yet functional,” she says.

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This philosophy applies to her imagination in creating a timekeeper. “I love traditional watches. I would focus particularly on bringing that retro element into the design. As for colour, I would stick to a neutral palette, to give the watch a timeless feel. I’d go for a design that embodies timeless luxury, rather than a trendy vibe. The design element would affect the strap but would be led by the face of the watches’ design,” Hoppen says.

Juggling a bustling professional life and personal commitments, she aims to strike a life-work balance and enjoy every second of it.

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“Every day is non-stop from the moment I wake up,” Hoppen admits. She divides her time, devoting 95 per cent of it to an armful of projects while savouring the chance to relax during the other 5 per cent.

“I always finds time for my loved ones, because they’re the most important thing in my life,” Hoppen says.

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The most memorable moment in her career came in 2009, when Britain’s Queen Elizabeth awarded her an MBE for her contribution to the design industry. Now, almost a decade later, she is looking to the future by establishing her own design awards to encourage young talent entering the industry. The launch will involve a ceremony in Shanghai next year.

“If there’s a chance of time travel, I would relish the opportunity to travel to the future and learn how the world of design is going to evolve,” Hoppen notes.

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