50 Shades
Holland Park

A family in Holland Park asked me to furnish their newly renovated home. The furnishing selection was very high end but not too scary as the clients were able to take advantage of my trade discounts.

I sourced furniture at the Milan and Paris trade shows but also worked with Ikea which I customised. As is the fashion, the clients wanted a scheme completely based on grey, to keep it interesting various textures from shiny satins to crunchy velvets were used. With the help of Warhol and Damien Hirst, I punched in some colour.

Town House

I was appointed to create a pied a terre in London for an Italian family in a tiny Chelsea Town House.

My first presentation took place in their glorious home in Rome, there I discovered a family brimming with personality each wanting a little part of their London home. Consequently each room was quite different from the other. From a little girl's room where we designed a fairy tale castle to a meditation room laid out with tatami mats and bells. Those bells, what research. Quite a number were rung before we found the right one.

The family was not afraid to commission and looked to have a British feel. Not afraid of a bit of cushion fun I designed a pair with skull union flags which they love.

Funny isn’t it how I might have overseen a large building project and yet those cushions are still the stars of the show.

Two Grand Drawing Rooms

I was very lucky enough to be commissioned to turn two very grand drawing rooms in neighbouring houses into one lateral apartment.

I used a few modern ideas to breathe life into those wonderful tall rooms. Respectful but not too respectful and I hope slightly naughty too.

The challenge was to create a modern living space without losing the integrity of the original architecture.

“Let it be” Penthouse

Given a neglected flat not touched since the 70’s apart from a few botched attempts, our clients wanted us to turn it into high yielding rental which we achieved with some smart spatial planning and great finishes.

The size of the flat is 170SqM. The budget was set at £220,000 including fees and VAT which works out to be £1294.00 per metre, a reasonable cost for renovation in central London for a luxury flat. The works were completed within time and budget.

Here are before and after shots to show the transformation. The owners let the flat immediately after completion.

A Prized Possession

Occasionally a jewel of a project comes through where a client allows creative freedom within their brief. Here is such a commission: designed to house a collection of glass and porcelain as well as the TV and inspired by the work of Eileen Gray.

Shelf supports are made of sandblasted perspex and act as lighting. Simplicity in design can be complex to achieve, this piece took three days to install following off site construction. The piece is unique and has made the sitting room. The cost including design and installation? £8000. Not bad for something that is bespoke. Designer, cabinet maker and client are deeply satisfied.

Memories of China
Holland Park Avenue

Having lived in his London pied-á-terre as a student, the Singapore based client liked the flat but as it was in the eaves of the building, it seemed fairly small. His wife, from China, was less keen especially when they discovered they were expecting a baby.

Studio Hopwood were called in to help and Daniel used his experience to introduce some clever techniques which made the apartment appear bigger. Colours, furniture and decoration were also used to introduce a Chinese feel to the flat.

As their first child was on the way, and the apartment was regularly used by friends and family while the couple were away, durability was an important factor in the redesign. Daniel made some seemingly small changes, which had a major impact on the perceived size and space in the flat.

A wall in the entrance hall was removed and replaced with a glass balustrade; all doorways were made taller so the rooms appeared to flow into one another; rugs were dropped into the oak floor so they sat flush and radiators were installed into wall recesses.  All helped to give the apartment a more spacious look and feel.

Other changes included using a living-room console table as a hall table and adding two chairs to transform it into a dining table. A fold-down desk was added to the second bedroom so it could double as a study and a connecting door between that room and the master bedroom meant it could also function as a dressing room.

According to Feng Shui principles, the television disappears into a panel above the fireplace. By using black lacquer, gold and bronze wallpapers and a “touch of red here and there”, the apartment has Chinese style without being laboured.

Think Big, Live Small

This is a classic exercise in small apartment living. Located next to a square in Bayswater, this is Dan’s own home. Resisting the temptation to squeeze in two bedrooms, the flat was reconfigured from a wreck into a spacious 1 bedroom home. A sombre hallway with very tall double doors veneered in macassar ebony is in deliberate contrast to the bedroom and sitting room to make them feel even lighter and fresher. It is possible to leave the doors open and see from one end of the flat to the other, extending the eye and making the flat feel bigger.

The kitchen was handmade to squeeze into a fairly tight alcove and to wrap around next door’s staircase and yet was still good value. The key to successful small flat living is decent storage and here extensive joinery has been installed which tailors around the space for maximum effect.

Not wanting to lose the high ceiling in the bathroom yet also wanting to keep the proportions of the room, Dan created a pyramid top which was then up lit, perfect for mood lighting when taking an evening bath. Consistency of light colour with splashes of orange and green throughout the flat has kept it bright and friendly. The furniture is a collection of twentieth century classics combined with vintage glass and pottery.

Design for Living

We designed this London apartment with the intention to create a place where the owners could entertain lavishly. The result was inspired by Halston’s radical 70s New York apartment, layered in tones of white with a limited palette of materials.

The kitchen was relocated from the rear of the apartment and brought into the reception area to encourage open-plan living and to gain more bedroom space. Designed to fit an awkward space, crafted by hand using materials that would last, it was half the cost of leading designer brands.

We had fun transforming the small room where the kitchen used to live into a library with charcoal grey walls, bespoke bookcases and new sliding doors to a terrace. This became an intimate space, where evenings in front of the TV would be more inviting.

We convinced the client that the dining/entertaining space should be in the double-volume front room, which was perfect for their frequent parties. Lighting integrated into the bottom of built-in seating on the outer edge of the room, echoes with concealed lighting around the perimeter of the ceiling, and visually integrates the mezzanine study into the reception below.

In order to maximise floor space we managed to find some ingenious stairs that were lightweight, ready-made and good value. We worked with a talented woodsman to create a sculptural wall of rough-hewn oak, which harmonises the two floors.

The bathroom was reconfigured in order to install a large shower and hide the wc from view of the bedroom. We continued the layering of white tones, this time adding texture in the tiles.

The master bedroom is fitted with bespoke book-matched oak panels and an upholstered headboard inspired by Mies Van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona chair.

Completion date: July 2012. Total cost including bespoke joinery (excluding furniture) £160,000.

Chelsea Suite
The Berkeley Hotel

The Berkeley Hotel has always been one of the coolest and most discreet hotels in London.

I was asked to take a look at the Chelsea Suite. I found it charming and original but the layout was wasteful and there was no circulation. I resolved to retain the charm but bring the layout up to date and return the glamour that once made the suite Peter Ustinov’s choice of residence when in town.

By removing the secondary entrance hall, I could double the size of the bathroom. Double doors were placed between the bedroom, bathroom and sitting room to improve flow in the suite.

With the spatial planning problems resolved, the suite’s décor could be reinvigorated, retaining the beautiful period features and introducing modern sophistication and style.

The bespoke interior incorporates a carpet evocative of 50’s “Mayfair Regency” that we specially designed for the suite and the curtains are made in a textile that is a revival of a 1930’s Venetian design by Rubelli.

A cast bronze bar was designed in the studio and made by Based Upon, a London-based team of artists and designers known for their large-scale artworks and sculptural furniture.

Crocodile-skin covered chairs have a hint of rock-star glamour; the aesthetic repeated in the bedroom with a wall upholstered in a satin fabric.

The bathroom was decorated with black granite and handcrafted marble mosaic tiles. This room was also given a secondary door as a “secret escape” into the entrance hall.

The redecoration of the Chelsea Suite has proven to be a great success for the Berkeley Hotel, with a new generation of celebrities – the staff whispered to me that it’s the favourite stop over for David and Victoria Beckham.

Regency House

A Regency house which featured in House & Garden in the 1970’s had been purchased by a newly married couple ready to start their family life. Whilst stunning in its time, the house had become tired and needed updating, which paved the way for the rooms to be reconfigured to maximise space and views of the beautiful garden to the rear of the property.

Still learning the parameters of each other’s design tastes and wanting to achieve the best for the long-term, every detail needed to be considered from practical spatial requirements to selecting the right furnishings, so we were engaged to guide them through the possibilities and processes of this undertaking.

Evenings were spent with them pouring over drawings and samples in order to fully understand their needs, and to get a feeling of what they really wanted from their home. This process highlighted their differing tastes and shared desire to have a uniquely crafted interior with character, rather than relying on recognisable designer brands.

The key was to create rooms with individual personalities that would unite with consideration and attention to detail in material and colour choices. It would be a marriage of individuality and craftsmanship, with carefully sourced craftsmen and artists creating commissioned pieces for various rooms.

Spaces were configured to create specific areas for formal entertaining as well as private spaces for relaxation. The ground floor was the main family space with a kitchen that led into a conservatory-style dining room with doors leading out to the garden. These rooms were painted in a tranquil grey, soft greens contrasted with the striking red chairs in the conservatory, and black granite surfaces in the kitchen offset the bespoke cabinetry by Plain English. There is something re-assuring and familiar about the drawing room without it being old fashioned.


Salone Del Mobile, Milano

Daniel Hopwood Salone Del Mobile. Milano

In town I discovered the new micro mosaics by Michaell Anastassiades for Brix and a beautifully made cabinet called Madison at Rosato. The collection by Nika Zupanc for Se confirmed my inkling that we are about to embrace glamour one more time, perhaps with an underlying fifties feel.

In that light, I was delighted to discover the revival of Gio Ponti’s work at Molenti. Very La Dolce Vita. However, there is an emerging style, an interpretation of Memphis, with the strong geometrics and bold furniture as seen at the very affordable Hay.

Salone Del Mobile, Milano

Daniel Hopwood Salone Del Mobile. Milano

Each year I visit Milan to see the furniture fair.  It must be the world’s greatest with around 3,000  large stands dressed to show each manufacturer at their best. With the city embracing the event, the various satellite shows feature smaller or emerging designers, students and prototype work. It takes a week to see everything but it’s worth it. “There was no doubt that glamour is back this year”, I thought as I viewed Kartell’s plastic furniture dipped in gold.  Bold Geometric patterns in emerald greens, petrol blues in the fabrics of Lorenzo Castillo, two colours seen right across the show with neutrals in soft skin tones edging on terracotta.  My favourite stand, as always, was Baxter, an eclectic mix which would work well in any home. Bathrooms and kitchens were on show with copper taps and even brass, plus geometric tiles and suites in colours especially graphites. I met with Alain Ellouz, and saw his exquisite work in illuminated alabaster.


Daniel Hopwood Masterclass Attendees g

Eleven people joined us for a Masterclass this Saturday. Each came with photos and dimensions of a room and four of us assisted in pulling a scheme together. It was a pretty full on and everyone realised how much work is put into designing.  It must have been fun though as I received a message saying, “Thank you both for such an enjoyable productive day.  I thoroughly enjoyed it all but the time went too quickly! It gave me just the right focus on how to begin the design process and I shall look forward to using the knowledge.”  There are plans for further masterclasses in October. Do contact early as they do fill up and I like to keep numbers low.

Being Green Doesn’t Need to be Seen

Daniel Hopwood Grand Drawing Room Gold Chaise

This was one of my first: the grand floor of a stately Bayswater Terraced House, destroyed by the local council in the seventies. “I don’t care if I sleep in a cupboard, all I want is a grand drawing room”, I was briefed. With passion and fear, after all it was early days in my career, I worked on both putting back the character and creating a liveable London home. Today twenty years on, it is still the same with the addition of a warm patina reflecting the life lived in it. Perhaps, I’ve been thinking, true sustainability is making places that last.
The owners are still happily living there. My parents.

Blokey Homes

Daniel Hopwood TRNK

Are you one of those poor chaps who has to sleep under a floral pink duvet and fight off a pile of decorative cushions?  No more, I say. Men today want to be involved in the interior design of their homes.  Getting a say may be a bit challenging and so I have found a solution on how to get it, our very own web site which covers interior design suitable to men’s taste.



Founded by Daniel Hopwood in 1993, the studio is a multi-disciplinary practice that includes interior designers as well as architects and landscape architects. The aim is to remain a small, bespoke studio offering clients a creative and practical, but ultimately very personal, design service.

Projects are a mixture of residential and commercial work. Over the years we have worked on restaurants, both budget and Michelin starred, hotels from boutique to luxury 5-star, and private members’ clubs.

Personal recommendations form a great part of our heritage and private clients often return when they move home or their family grows.


The majority of the team has been part of the studio for many years, however, when possible, we welcome newly qualified design professionals as they bring in fresh ideas and skills.

The team has extensive professional experience and works efficiently within specific budgets and time frames. We always ensure that all possible costs and obstacles are identified and discussed before work commences on a project.

Presentations are created using a combination of 3D visuals, AutoCAD drawings and presentation boards created from our extensive in-studio reference and sample libraries.


We know that every client values their home and wants it to reflect their individual tastes and personality. Whether they want to be very hands-on, have little free time or live abroad, we adapt accordingly and deliver projects that combine the client’s vision with seductive glamour, cool subtlety and originality.

We believe that it is very important to engage and spend time with our clients during the evolution of the project, making the process enjoyable, accessible and fun for everyone involved .


We always ensure that the skeleton of the building is in good shape before dressing it. As much of our work is in based in central London, we have a wealth of experience with old and listed buildings.

Collaboration with the on-site team is essential so site visits are frequent and every detail of a completed project is quality checked before we hand it over to the client as the finished product, their home.


As well as visiting the main European trade shows including London, Milan and Paris, we are in close contact with the best ateliers and workshops, always looking for the most exquisite new and vintage products. To ensure our clients are guaranteed the best value, we pass on all trade prices on furnishings directly to them.

We also have access to an enviable collection of talented craftsmen and accomplished tradesmen, many of whom have worked with us for a number of years.


Occasionally some clients like to direct their own projects, with a little help and experienced guidance. The studio then acts as a backup team – being able to supply drawings, as a connection for trade purchasing, or even just as someone with whom they can bounce ideas. We aim to ensure that you leave our studio with a fully considered and designed scheme ready for implementation.

For this service, we charge by the day for working with us in-house and using our facilities.


Daniel Hopwood

Aware Interior Design is a career that requires both education and experience, I decided early on to enjoy the experience of getting there. I started as an assistant to a furniture buyer, learning how to recognise quality and where to find it.

As an admirer of beautiful craftsmanship, I spent a year learning stone and wood carving, gilding and polychrome work. Working for restorers, I gained knowledge of European antiques, which I still use today.

Graduating with a degree in Architecture, tutored in the Corbusian manner, I then joined the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture where I gained a classical training. I worked in various architects' offices, including the award-winning Hampshire County Architects. I had an opportunity to find and design an apartment for an architectural critic, and took the chance setting up on my own in 1993.

With years of valuable experience, the BIID has recently appointed me as Director of Continuing Professional Development. I am a guest tutor at the KLC School of Design and have worked as a trends consultant for Dulux. I often give talks at trade shows such as Decorex and 100% Design. I write about design for magazines and presented a series of "Britain's Best Homes" for Channel 4. I am happiest, however, working on projects either in the Studio, on site, or meeting with clients.

Bashir Khwaja

After graduating with both a BA Hons and Post Graduate Diploma in Architecture in London, Bashir has worked as an architect in the construction industry since 1999. He went on to qualify as a Chartered Architect in 2007 after gaining much experience in various architects’ offices.

Dan and Bash have worked together on a wide variety of projects for over 15 years and know exactly how each other works and complement each other very well. While specialising in delivering high-end residential properties, commercial projects have included working with clients such as the Dhamecha Food Group, ICICI Bank Plc and Bestway Holdings Plc. Over the years he has gained a wealth of experience delivering projects on short deadlines, and with his personable demeanour and strong communication skills, he takes pride in his work adding value to clients’ projects.

Bashir is a Registered Architect with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board. He is also a Health & Safety CDM Coordinator and Party Wall Surveyor.

Marc Theron

Marc graduated with a Diploma in Interior Design from KLC School of Design in 2006. He immediately joined the Studio where he has honed his skills as an all-round designer with a practical, hands-on approach to interior design.

He works closely on all aspects of a project from design conceptualisation to installation and completion, and is equally at home when meeting with clients, liaising with contractors and suppliers, or rolling up his sleeves and getting on with the preparation of specifications, drawings, budgets and FF&E procurement.

Prior to joining Daniel Hopwood, Marc worked in event management and hospitality for eleven years which laid the foundations for a thorough understanding of administration, project coordination and customer service.

Gordon Evans

With his BA Hons and Post Graduate Diploma in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, Gordon went on to complete his MBA through the Westminster Business School.

Gordon has an in-depth knowledge of current housing regulations and, while focussing on sustainability, specialises in creating high-end solutions across a range of projects, from basement conversions to zero carbon schemes. He is often called upon as a guest speaker at trade and industry conferences, and has been featured in a number of building magazines.

Gordon is a Registered Architect with the Architects Registration Board. He is also a member of the Association of MBA Alumni and an alumnus of University College London.

John Micklethwaite-Howe

With a BA in Landscape Architecture from the highly regarded School of Landscape at Leeds and a Post Graduate Diploma from Manchester, John has worked as a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer in private practice for the majority of his career. His portfolio includes projects throughout the UK, in Europe, the USA and the Middle East.

Passionate about design in general and the quality of our external environment in particular John has provided specialist landscape input on behalf of niche commercial developers and upscale residential properties for private clients. With a belief that client relationships are fundamental to the success of any project John has built his reputation around the traditional values of understanding client needs and a focus on spatial relationships. Allied to strong communication skills he brings experience and professional expertise to deliver thoughtful projects of integrity.

John is a Chartered member of the Landscape Institute in the UK and an active member of several design and environment forums.

Wioletta Wesolowska

Wioletta has recently joined the Studio as an Interior Designer specialising in 3D visuals.

She has a degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Lodz, during which she spent an exchange year with the prestigious University of Eindhoven.

Wioletta followed this with an MA in interior design and has a number of years’ experience working in Architectural and Structural Engineers’ offices.

Carole Buck

Carole was the administrator for Leith's Restaurants for many years and has looked after finances in the Studio for the last ten years. She is a crucial lynch pin here as we are often entrusted with the responsibility of handling clients’ money.

Fiona Knight

Fe has taken on her first role as Interior Designer in the Studio having recently graduated with a Diploma from the KLC School of Design.

After working for over 20 years in the finance and IT sectors she took the giant leap of changing careers to fulfil a long-held desire to work in design. She grew up living on building sites as her parents were both keen building and furniture renovators, so was inevitably destined to spend her life creating beautiful spaces. “Nothing gives me more pleasure than transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary be it with floral, landscape or interior design”.