Design specialist and Firmdale Hotels co-owner Kit Kemp is getting more settled in at Bergdorf Goodman. Building on the success of the “World of Kit Kemp” pop-up there earlier this year, the creative has imagined a “Secret Garden” vignette in a corridor on the retailer’s seventh floor. As of Aug. 18, a selection of her wallpaper with Andrew Martin, home accessories, tableware and other select items will be sold.
With the help of New York florist Lewis Miller Design, Kemp wants shoppers to be seeing green — literally — thanks to real trees and other greenery. Secret Garden is her latest installment for the luxury retailer, having had a pop-up that covered a bedroom, a drawing room and dining room from April until now. As part of the store’s English Country Manor, the Secret Garden gives way with two stone dogs garlanded with flowers, Kemp said. For a treelike effect, there are fabrics and wallpapers including “Racine,” which was inspired by French botanical posters from the Fifties. A shell table, a mosaic bird bath, custom chairs in neutral-colored felts with appliqué of florals and plants, a little pull-up stool, a collection of bird boxes and African lamps made with hundreds of tiny white beads and a table with pineapple-shaped legs. There are also other wallpapers, weaves and fabrics made by Christopher Farr or distributed by Kravet.
The alliance with Bergdorf Goodman seems to be developing into an ongoing one. Kemp said, “I think they are interested in doing it because it is almost like an antibranding thing. It’s getting away from big names and more toward craftspeople and makers of things. Craft was always second to art but now it’s really establishing itself as something that people really want to have and they are appreciating.”
Another means for “art, craft, color, textile and anything to do with the loom and weaving” can be found in her book, “Design Thread,” which is available at Bergdorf Goodman. Kemp will also use her word skills to guest edit the October issue of “Hospitality Design.”
With eight hotels in London and two in New York — the Crosby Street Hotel and the Whitby Hotel — Firmdale is building a third one in Manhattan in TriBeCa. The Warren Street Hotel will be a 70-room operation, but there won’t be any Bergdorf Goodman products sold there or at any other Firmdale Hotels.
“Actually, I don’t think our hotels would be big enough for that,” Kemp said.