Thomas Hope 1769-1831
Thomas Hope was seen as one of the most influential and learned of all interior designers in early 19th century England. Born into a Dutch family of bankers of Scottish decent, Thomas Hope was able, through his family’s immense wealth, to devote his life to the scholarly collection of art, interior design and the patronage of the best artists and craftsmen available to him. His extensive travels around Europe from 1787 onwards, lasted over eight years and gave him an unprecedented insight into all types of architecture and history but it was the overtly classical that inspired him the most. The house he eventually settled in, in Duchess Street, London was expanded and opened to the public as a pinnacle of classical idealism and taste as well as Deepdene in Surrey, a Georgian mansion he Italianised. His furniture design was inspired by all his trips around Europe and the orient and heavily influenced the tastes of the aristocratic patrons in England. His book “Household Furniture and Interior Decoration” published in 1807 was also enormously influential.