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How to turn your house into a home by Daniel Hopwood – part 1

Daniel Hopwood, interior designer, former President of the British Institute of Interior Design and judge on BBC Two’s ‘The Great Interior Design Challenge’, is one of the top interior designers in the UK. His work is recognised for its fearless style around the world and regularly features in publications worldwide. Daniel is a great believer that good design should not be exclusive but instead should be made accessible to all. He is passionate about his interiors reflecting the client, their personal style and the architecturally context of the building he’s working on. The designer extraordinaire shared his ideas on how to turn your house into a home in the Spring issue of our Art of Living magazine.

Your home should reflect your story

As an interior designer, I believe that no matter what your personal style might be, everyone wants an effortlessly beautiful home. Considering the plethora of online retailers and products at our fingertips today, it’s safe to say that this is now an achievable goal to have. A winning home is not a sterile show-home, but somewhere that reflects the story of the people that live there — a person- able and engaging space for living. To add that extra dimension, think of the age-old adage, “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” In interior design terms that means not acquiring furnishings from just one source, but instead going for a curated mix.

Every good home must have at least one old piece, be it vintage or antique

These help break the monotony of modern furniture. I love trawling through the internet for old furniture and artefacts. For the glamorous and expensive, 1stdibs is the destination — although much that is for sale on the website is in the US, so do keep that in mind. For more localised sourcing I head straight to Panomo, where I recently sourced a 19th-century Venetian bombe commode, which you can see in the bedroom of my own home. Naturally, you have to try Ebay too. Most recently I found a pair of French 19th-century gilded armchairs with perfect upholstery. The cost? £500. Need I say more? I do of course wrench myself away from a computer screen to indulge in more traditional auctions. My favourite is Lots Road, where I have found pieces that have spent their life sitting in grand Chelsea houses. One thing to bear in mind whenever pur- chasing these focal pieces is to make sure that you buy the best that you can afford, as that single antique will become the centre of attention.

Modern furniture should be seen, not heard

I like new furniture to be sleek, as if it’s floating off the floor — low slung and usually Italian. Modern furniture for me should be seen but not heard, timeless pieces that can be dressed in different ways to change the feel of a room, acting as a backdrop for more characterful furniture. When it comes to modern, I like to grace my clients’ homes with beauties from B&B Italia and Minotti. The secret to doing this within a set budget? Mix these investment pieces with more mid-range brands that supply great value elegant furniture that can fit right into your scheme.

Are you looking for more tips on how to turn your house into a home? Stay tuned for the second part of our interview with Daniel Hopwood going out next week!

Daniel designed a stunning penthouse that is currently on sale with Kingsley Hamilton Estates, in the luxurious Dollar Bay development. If you would like to work with Daniel, please visit or email To arrange a viewing of the Dollar Bay penthouse please contact