Anouska Hempel - Spaces that Speak

Calling herself "like a grasshopper" who can jump between various design themes easily, Anouska Hempel, or Lady Weinberg, gives a feast to our eyes with her book which chronicles some of her most beautiful projects

By: Soumya Jain

Posted on: November 4, 2014

Calling herself “like a grasshopper” who can jump between various design themes quite easily, Anouska Hempel, or Lady Weinberg, gives a feast to our eyes with her book which chronicles some of her most beautiful projects
Hotel or home. Restaurant or yacht. Minimalist white or vibrant Thai hues. Anouska Hempel, also known as Lady Weinberg, understands her clients - much like a fine actor would get into the character of his role - and designs spaces which are breathtakingly splendid. And more importantly, unique. 
While most designers have a signature style, Hempel chooses to be different with each space. And probably, that design diversity is her signature. Counting clients such as The Baccarat hotel, Oxford Gardens, stores of Van Cleef & Arpels and Louis Vuitton, and a magnificent yacht named Beluga, Lady Weinberg knows luxury interiors like the back of her hand. 
To bring all that beauty in one location, a book was recently released to celebrate the creativity of Hempel. A stunning coffee table book showcasing double spread upon double spread of gorgeous halls and lush gardens, we took opportunity of this occasion to interview her in London.
Soumya Jain: The book is very interesting! What was the purpose behind commissioning it? 
Lady Weinberg: My husband Sir Mark [Weinberg] commissioned it. It was a delightful surprise!
SJ: I can see rich Victorian designs, minimalist white designs, Thai inspired designs, and more varied themes. How do you manage to shift your thought process from here to there?
LW: I can crossover very quickly. I am like a grasshopper. I don’t have trouble hopping from here to there!
SJ: From all those projects listed in the book, which was your most favorite one and why?
LW: I can’t really say which is my favourite because I work with so many people. Everyone gets upset if you like one more than the other so in this case I’ll be diplomatic.
SJ: How was doing the yacht different from doing a house?
LW: It’s not really much different. It depends on the expanse, one is stable and one is still. I have the same attitude to both things.

SJ: Chicago has an artistic vibe, while New York is more fast-paced. What elements would you add in a house in these 2 cities ideally?
LW: It really depends on the client. In New York, the design might be more carefree. In Chicago, more historical. But it really depends on the client and whether its a high rise or a low level house. I think it’s very corporate in many ways but it totally depends on who you are working with, a client or a friend.
SJ: I read that you find the grey skies of London most challenging. How do you counteract that in all your projects?
LW: It depends on the client again (as always), but we must counteract the grey skies with sudare blinds. Grey skies are not good for design or for yourself!
SJ: Finally, what does luxury mean to you?
LW: Time to do what I am good at, time to do it well, and areas where in which I can excel.

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