Outstanding Success in the UHNW Luxury Design Market
Established in early 2012, Martin Kemp Design has become a renowned and celebrated presence in the residential interior design sphere, with a portfolio of work that covers private homes, apartments, yachts and planes. Following the firm’s recognition in the 2019 Leading Designers Awards programme – where they were named ‘London’s Leaders in High-End Interior Design’- we spoke with Martin himself for more insight into his work, inspirations, clients and future.
Martin Kemp has made his name in designing for an incredibly niche, and highly discerning, market. Perhaps this simple fact, more than anything else, speaks as testament to his considerable abilities. After all, where others cater to the luxury demographic, Martin has gone a step beyond and focused his efforts on UHNW individuals with projects that demand a singularly innovative and creative talent.
As Martin explains, the nature of his clientele allows for variety, challenges and opportunity. “Our clientele are amongst the world’s elite – such as successful business people, celebrities and entrepreneurs – or just those that are seeking the very best designed environments. We recently completed Clarges Mayfair for British Land, a multi-unit highly exclusive development on Piccadilly, which achieved new prices per sq./ft and made a discreet but celebrated impact on the UHNW market.
“In terms of ongoing projects, we have around twelve private international projects at various stages in the studio: a family estate in England, a very special development in Monaco, two superyachts being built in Germany and Italy, one private plane in Switzerland, two apartments in New York, a classical palatial townhouse in London, and several beautiful holiday homes in the Bahamas – among others.”
Yet, putting aside the firm’s history and portfolio, they have driven their success through a dedication to a client-centric approach to their work. As Martin Kemp Design works with people all over the world, accessibility and mobility have become two weapons in an already considerable arsenal.
“We pride ourselves on providing our clients with a very personalised service, with every detail being well considered, features they hadn’t envisaged are brought to life alongside the style they originally sought. We deliver this with humility as well as formality, attending our projects internationally with ease. Ultimately, we believe in delivering exceptional service at all times.”
But, as Martin takes a moment to emphasise, he doesn’t work alone. Every member of his team act as ambassadors to the firm’s core ethos. “It is a matter of great importance to me that the studio environment is relaxed and friendly, so I take care employing people who share the same ambitions and visions as myself. Indeed, many of my original employees remain with me to this day – almost eight years later. Accordingly, we unite to create a similar vision for our clients and always ensure delivery of that concept is enjoyable as well as professional. Staff need to enjoy the environment in which they work together, looking forward to being at the studio is a catalyst for projects – and MKD – to be successful.
“The family spirit of what we do and the way we do it is simply the most important aspect we endeavour to convey to clients, to our followers and enthusiasts, to consultants who have ambitions of working alongside us. We welcome the evolution of that spirit through repeat collaboration with all of these same people, as that brings healthy changes and a broadening of our horizons too. Our core values remain our proudest accomplishment.”
As a by-product of the market he works in, unlike many of his fellow designers, Martin doesn’t feel a pressure to abide by the latest industry trends or fashions and instead prefers to work entirely to the client’s brief. “We try hard not to follow fashions or trends, preferring to find our inspiration from the client, the building, the location, the geography, and our own imagination. This is what brings originality to our concepts: be it the big picture or the smallest of details.”
One of the developments that the firm is following closely is the ‘rise of sustainability’, as companies across the design sector embrace more environmentally-friendly practices. “Many trades are endeavouring to become more eco-friendly, as recycling and sustainability continue to permeate the industry. This rightly falls upon ourselves also to take responsibility too. We’re lucky in that the luxury sector tends to only use ‘natural’ materials such as wood, stone, and leather for example – though it is vital that we source these materials from sustainable origins and manufacture in safe/non-toxic ways to minimise impact on the environment.
“On a different note, I hope we see more international enquiries, as this has certainly been increasing in recent years and, accordingly, we have now become fully compliant with many foreign tax laws, legalities of contracts and building regulations. It is important for us to keep pace with building regulations when commissioning and working abroad. At the end of the day, keeping abreast of foreign law and tax changes is vital for financial success.”
All in all, Martin Kemp Design has an incredibly promising future ahead of it as they look towards building on the groundwork and reputation they’ve worked hard to create and nurture over the last seven years. “For us growth has been consistent – we’re now a team of 25, though may increase this a little more subject to projects. We react to interest in the studio instead of consciously planning the next big thing. There are a few plans coming along which unfortunately I am not at liberty to discuss just yet owing to their confidential nature – however, it would be fair and right to say that all we generally seek are pleasant clients who make our days enjoyable, bringing us rewarding and fun projects.”
Name: Martin Kemp
Telephone: +44 020 7183 3885