Anouska Hempel

hempel-portraitANOUSKA HEMPEL has had the career most interior designers can only dream of. She’s self taught. She’s relentlessly ambitious. She’s a perfectionist. She’s no-holds barred. She’s designed everything from furniture to gardens to hotels with a perceptive eye and sophisticated harmony. Probably best known for hotels like the BLAKES and HEMPEL in London and BLAKES Amsterdam, Anouska’s creative reach expands to every continent with that sense of romance and vivid imagination that touches everything she designs.

hempel book

In the new book ANOUSKA HEMPEL published by Rizzoli this month, Marcus Binney describes Anouska’s signature projects with the detail and scale that have become her trademarks. If I were an up-and-coming interior designer, I would inhale every page to understand how Anouska breaks paradigms with her particular work process and her visual inspirations that are often unconventional and improbable, yet thoroughly impressive. After all, how many interior designers are inspired by a Zen temple in Kyoto, the light on an Egyptian pyramid or the Elizabethans and are able to translate that into a functional, real-life design?

Without question Anouska’s projects are unique with Asian, Rococo and Art Deco influences, but more than anything they’re a reflection of her uncompromising work ethic and unwavering desire to enhance our sensory experience. After reading this gorgeous book over the weekend, I believe Anouska’s secret to success is this: dare to dream, dream big, imagine the impossible, innovate and keep moving the process forward whether in design or in life.

The BLAKES AMSTERDAM (now The Dylan) was one of my favorites of all Anouska’s design projects and here’s a peek at the original design inspired by the spice trade of the Dutch East India Company and Dutch baroque paintings.


Editor’s Note: An advanced copy of Anouska Hempel’s book was provided by Rizzoli USA for this review.

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