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Ham Yard, a splashy new hotel cutting through London’s Soho fog, is the latest from hotelier Kit Kemp, who is known for her bright colors and flea market finds. Our favorite space? The drawing room off the bar, which, Kemp says, “feels like your glamorous, well-traveled aunt’s home.”


The walls are actually covered in terra-cotta-colored linen from British upholstery company Osborne & Little. “Paint constantly needs touching up, and wallpaper can tear,” she says. “But fabric is hard wearing.” it also adds a layer of soundproofing.


Kemp scours flea markets when she travels. Her most recent buys: the wooden chest and carved bird statue above, both of which she picked up on a recent scouting trip to India. Kemp brought 13 of her favorite shops to the hotel’s courtyard as well, including Sydney’s Dinosaur Designs.


For this space, Kemp reupholstered antiques with four wildly different fabrics, including the Amazonia print (bottom left) from Clarence House and fabrics from her line for Chelsea textiles. “Don’t be afraid of color and loud patterns,” she says. “One rule, though: never use a fabric you wouldn’t sit on in the nude.”

Planning a trip to London? Check out AFAR’s comprehensive guide. 

Photo by Simon Brown, courtesy of Firmdale Hotels

This appeared in the October 2014 issue.