Kate Hume’s book Élan shows how she puts her colour-filled designs together


The name Kate Hume, for me, conjures up images of exquisite, organic, hand-blown glass pieces in intense jewel-like colours. Clearly, I had skipped the intervening years where she had developed a high-end interior design business working with clients from Moscow to London, from her base in Amsterdam.

A vignette from Kate Hume's French holiday home: pairing a bronze sculpture with a charcoal sketch, both by artist Tim Bickerton.

A vignette from Kate Hume’s French holiday home: pairing a bronze sculpture with a charcoal sketch, both by artist Tim Bickerton.

Each interior is a highly personalised expression of her client, and Hume’s way of working relies so heavily on this approach that she admits: “If we are working on a commercial property I sometimes even invent a client, so that I can have a mental conversation with this imaginary person.

“I think this comes from my years in the commercial film business, where we would try to portray a character by the environment we created for them.”

In her new coffee-table book Élan, she unravels the process of her colour-filled projects, layered with objects and art, fabrics and furniture, much of it custom designed. “I talk in the book about finding a porcelain plate at the Marché aux Puces [flea market] in Paris, and designing a whole house around it,” she says.