‘New Brights’ decoration at Ham Yard Hotel, London W1

Bright wall covering and frame at Ham Yard Hotel, photograph taken on Iphone, Chariswhite.com

There has always been room in interior decorating for ‘Brights’, these are the colours which are the antithesis of neutral and dark – but how to interpret them in 2016?

Drawing Room at Ham Yard Hotel, photograph with Iphone, Chariswhite.com

Hotels if they are done well, can be the leaders of the pack when it comes to inspirational interiors and boy does Ham Yard Hotel, just off Shaftesbury Avenue in London, (designed by Interior Designer Kit Kemp), blow your socks off!  There is delicious colour and pattern everywhere, original art, as well as bespoke lighting.  It is a master class in reinterpreting the ‘Brights’, colours such as pink, orange, lime green, turquoise and yellow. Kit has cleverly teamed these brights with neutrals and earthy tones.

Hotel bar at Ham Yard Hotel, photograph taken with Iphone, Chariswhite.com

I have to admit, I have been dying to see the hotel since it opened in 2014 but was lucky enough to do so today courtesy of Next’s Spring/Summer 2016 press show.  Whilst I didn’t see the bedrooms which I know to have been decorated in many different sorts of colour schemes, I did see the ground floor and basement of the hotel.

Kit Kemp has played with scale of prints on wallcoverings and has put together perfect combinations of colours. There are so many ideas for pictures, what to put on your walls, how to hang, where to hang.  None of it is stuffy, but all of the materials used are of high quality design and finish. Kit has achieved a very ‘carefree’ atmosphere whilst still adhering to traditions that work, such as having a library of books, grand Chandeliers with coloured lampshades, solid great shaped armchairs – Chesterfield sofas – all covered in the most surprising coloured and patterned fabrics designed by Kit.

If you are looking for inspiration for your own home, I would suggest you take your camera/notebook with you.  Start with Afternoon Tea (well priced from £19.50 per person) in either the restaurant or ‘Drawing Room’ (very cosy sitting room) in daylight just so that you can see clearly all the colour everywhere.  Hang around for the cocktail hour, as the Hotel Bar in the basement is something else! Be warned, you may never leave.

Rather than taking the lift, walk down to the bar because as you go, the scale of the Rick Rack pattern on the walls hand painted by De Gournay just gets larger, and everywhere there is great modern art and more amazing prints on the walls.  Just before the basement, you can look down into the bar area from railings, where you will see the top of a superlarge chandelier, neon signs on the wall and a really long bar.  Sitting on the bar are beautiful lamps which look similar to the ‘Maasai’ design by www.Ochre.net.  

Hotel bar at Ham Yard Hotel, photograph taken with Iphone, Chariswhite.com

The bar hosts the longest helter skelter delivering oranges for a juicing machine I have ever seen. If stretched out in a line, it must be at least 9 metres in length.  The main decoration here is in pink and orange.  Some of the chairs are upholstered and appliqued with swirly and zig zag fabric designs reminiscent of early 20th Century Ballet Russe costumes – I was in heaven … Waiter!

Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7DT.

Tel: 0203 642 2000 https://www.firmdalehotels.com/

Raw materials for ‘Bright’ decorating:

Designers Guild – fabrics, paint, wallpaper and furniture

Harlequin – fabric, wallpaper and bedlinen

Zara Home – Tableware, bedlinen, curtains, accessories

Bhs – Lighting

Ochre – Lighting

Dulux – Paint





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