‘Get into people’s heads and ask the right questions,’ says Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen, award-winning designer and author, believes that asking the right questions and getting inside the customer’s head is the only way to design a home.

In her design practice, she makes her clients complete a 40-page questionnaire about their living habits. Questions include everything from what side of the bed someone sleeps on to how they brush their teeth to dig down to the minutiae of a person’s life to create the ideal design for them.

Kbbreview spoke exclusively with Hoppen at kbb Birmingham. She explained how she conducts her initial meetings when working with a client: “The process is about getting into people’s heads and asking the right questions. I’ve been doing this for a long time and one of the aspects I love is getting into my clients’ heads. People sometimes say: ‘I don’t know what I want’, but by the end of the questions, they have told me exactly what they want, and I just have to design it.

“It is up to us as designers and companies to ask those questions – it is not just about colour and how many are in the family. You have to know what you are doing to be able to find out what they want. I had one client say: ‘I didn’t know I wanted it, but I now do, because you asked me the right questions. So, it is our responsibility to help. That is why they will go to a kitchen showroom.”

Once that process is complete, Hoppen says she can start the design work. She explained: “Once I am in their heads, boom, I can just design.” 

Kelly Hoppen Interiors works in luxury high-end residential and commercial projects across the globe. When she works within people’s homes and with individual clients. 

She said: “I take my job seriously and feel like I have failed if I do not ask them [questions] as it is the most personal thing you can do when you are doing private homes. You become very close to them and learn a lot about them. It is very specific.”

Hoppen made her first in-person appearance as brand ambassador at the Insinkerator stand at kbb Birmingham. Hoppen sees a ‘perfect synergy’ between her and the waste disposal and hot tap brand because of their shared beliefs in clean, sleek, and timeless design.

Hoppen and Insinkerator UK managing director Ashley Munden spoke on the stand to press, designers and retailers about her involvement with the brand, her design inspiration and the products. 

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