Quick Five questions with Anouska Hempel
2nd November 2023
Your work and design span the world, how do you manage to juggle so many different aesthetics from culture to culture ?
With great difficulty! However, my team are used to going this way and that way with me, I feel that the world is getting closer and closer and the differences are less and less. I have always been under the influence of eastern cultures and aesthetics and I am finding that I can now use them more clearly than before. The most important thing to me is the lighting; the mood and the shadows that can be created across an otherwise dull palette.
Some of your incredible design has a Venetian influence. When did you fall in love with Venice?
I have loved Venice since a small child, looking at magazines when I was growing up I would see these fantastic men steering gondolas and it stuck with me, it has always been part of the mirror image that I thought life would be when I was very young. Again, the lighting that the Venetians concocted throughout their whole heritage has always been interesting to me and still is. Intrigue.
You often talk of ‘collections’ [ you taught me to not just stop at one object but to really amass an array of pieces !] Is there anything you wish you had collected that you haven’t got your hands on yet ?
It would have to be a fantastic Japanese Inro collection
. I love the Japanese Inro because they are extremely rare, many don’t understand them. They were used all over Japan and were hung onto peoples’ Obi’s, they became popular for travelling merchants, and it was part of a spiritual story of where each person had travelled, what they had seen that I am attracted to.
Do you have a preference for hotel design vs private homes or does creating an entire hotel give you a much broader canvas to paint on ?
They are one of the other. I really enjoy both. They all intertwine – a home should have aspects of a hotel a hotel should have aspects of a home. I fuse and dovetail them (a ‘carpentry Term’ Tim you taught me, you have taught me an awful lot).
Your garden design is as spectacular as your interiors and architecture. When did you first get a passion for gardens?
My father taught me how to plant cabbages in a row. Everything in a proper line, straight, aligned and defined.