Judith Kit Kemp MBE (born 1950), is a British interior designer, and founder of Firmdale Hotels,[1] a chain of ten hotels in London and New York. She is married to Tim Kemp. They were jointly awarded an MBE in 2012.[2]

Kit Kemp
Portrait of Kit Kemp.jpg
Judith Kit Kemp

1950 (age 72–73)
Southampton, England
OccupationInterior designer
SpouseTim Kemp


Kemp commenced working for an auctioneer, and then for Polish architect Leszek Nowicki. She met her husband Tim Kemp through the architectural practice in the 1980s, and together they started the concept of boutique hotels.[3]

Kemp's first establishment was Dorset Square Hotel in 1985. Firmdale has 10 properties, with eight hotels in London including Ham Yard Hotel, the Soho Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel, Haymarket Hotel, Number Sixteen Hotel and Knightsbridge Hotel, and two in New York, The Whitby Hotel and Crosby Street Hotel.

Kit Kemp and her husband Tim Kemp have converted properties such as warehouses[4] and car parks into hotels.[5] In 2007, they were awarded the Crown Estate's Urban Business Award for the regeneration of Haymarket Hotel.[6] They have received press coverage for the Soho Hotel and Ham Yard Hotel[7] in London, as well as Crosby Street Hotel[8] and The Whitby Hotel in New York.[9]

She has won awards for her work including House & Garden's Hotel Designer of the Year, Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year[10] and Conde Nast Traveller’s Best Hotel in the World for Design.[citation needed]

Kemp has collaborated with brands including Wedgwood,[11] Wilton Carpets,[12] Andrew Martin International,[13] Anthropologie,[14] Christopher Farr,[15] Chelsea Textiles,[16] C P Hart,[17] Porta Romana and Fine Cell Work.[18]


In 2012, Kemp published her first book, A Living Space.[19] This was followed by Every Room Tells A Story[20] which was published in 2015. Her third book, Design Thread, was published in February 2019.[21][22] Kemp has been a guest editor for Homes & Gardens[23] (UK) and Hospitality Design (US).[24]

She is a trustee of Fine Cell Work[25] and the Heritage of London Trust.[26]


  1. ^ "Kit Kemp on why designers should stick to their guns". businessofhome.com. May 6, 2019.
  2. ^ "Queen's Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours List: Firmdale Hotels co-founders and Patrick Dempsey among hospitality figures recognised". bighospitality.co.uk. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  3. ^ McCarthy, Fiona (23 May 2019). "Inside Kit Kemp's colour-filled pop-up at Bergdorf Goodman". Vogue Australia. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  4. ^ Joyce, Tabitha. "The Soho Hotel, London: More Brooklyn warehouse than Soho five star". CN Traveller.
  5. ^ "Top 100 Tim and Kit Kemp Firmdale Hotels". The Caterer. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 Tim and Kit Kemp..." The Caterer. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  7. ^ Wogan, John. "Inside London's New Ham Yard Hotel". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  8. ^ "24-hour room service: Crosby Street Hotel, New York City". The Independent. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  9. ^ "How The Whitby Hotel is redefining luxury in midtown Manhattan". Evening Standard. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Interior Designer of the Year Award Winner Profile: Kit Kemp MBE". Andrew Martin. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  11. ^ Brown, Simon. "Wedgwood Partners With Hotelier Kit Kemp". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  12. ^ "Kit Kemp, Wilton Carpets create exciting carpet collection". Hotel Designs. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  13. ^ Brouwer, Lotte. "10 Autumn Interiors Collections To Get Excited About". livingetc.com. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  14. ^ Martin, Hannah. "Kit Kemp for Anthropologie: Folklore Turned Fabulous". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  15. ^ Akkam, Alia. "15 Must-Sees in Paris During Maison & Objet and Deco Off". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Kit Kemp | Fabrics". Chelsea Textiles. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Luxury Bathroom Showrooms". www.cphart.co.uk. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  18. ^ Owens, Mitchell. "How One Design Company Is Empowering the Incarcerated". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  19. ^ "Pure Inspiration: Kit Kemp's New Interiors Book 'A Living Space'". Harper's BAZAAR. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  20. ^ Flanagan, Kristen. "Designer and Hotelier Kit Kemp Shares Her Secrets for Creating Colorful and Carefree Interiors". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  21. ^ Luckel, Madeleine. "Kit Kemp's New Book, Design Thread, Showcases Her Eye for Color and Collecting". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  22. ^ Brooke Theis (28 February 2019). "Kit Kemp's whimsical interiors blend the classic and the contemporary". Town & Country. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Kit Kemp's favourite makers – meet the key artists in her design address book". homesandgardens.com. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  24. ^ "Hospitality Design - November 2019". www.nxtbook.com. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  25. ^ "Interiors: Fine Cell Work is a charity harnessing the sewing talents of prisoners to make exquisite embroidery". CityAM. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  26. ^ Slingsby, Alan (16 September 2016). "Brixton barrows reborn". Brixton Blog. Retrieved 8 November 2020.