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Anouska Hempel by Marcus Binney: A Brilliant Foray Into the Mind of a Design Genius

I have been a fan of Anouska Hempel for over 20 years so I was thrilled to discover the new book Anouska Hempel by Marcus Binney, Rizzoli New York 2015. I could not help scouring through the beautiful pages of the first book to look in-depth at Hempel’s body of work–which spans across architecture, furniture, landscape, and graphics to products and fashion.

Anouska Hempel is one of the world’s most celebrated designers, but she is perhaps most well-known for her three groundbreaking boutique hotels: Blakes London, Blakes Amsterdam, and The Hempel.

I first stayed at her hotel, Blakes London, which was the origin of the high style, chic boutique hotel movement that is so prevalent around the world today. I can still vividly remember the decadence of its rich black and gold interiors. It all began when Anouska purchased a row of townhouses and created a wonderfully kooky hotel that was all the rage for wealthy entertainment folk and people of means who did not want the ‘tired’ grand hotel experience.

Anouska Hempel, written by architecture critic and author Marcus Binney, is also the first book to explore the sources of her inspiration while showcasing her opulent, yet idiosyncratic aesthetic.

The gorgeous images allow the reader to step into the luxurious spaces that she creates and see first-hand her signature style that combines magnificence with comfort and livability. One can begin to truly understand her startling range of inspiration, which includes austere Zen temples, a fancy for visual games, a love of the color red—which I can very much appreciate. The book is a stunning visual tour and a must read for design lovers.