Kelly Hoppen: the design of a perfect home gym

Kelly Hoppen is one of the most celebrated and sought after interior and product designers in the world, with over 41 years’ experience at the forefront of the design industry.
Kelly’s globally renowned and ever-evolving style is underpinned by a subtle coordinated fusion of East meets West; clean lines and neutral tones, blended with charming warmth and sumptuous opulence. She has put her stamp on the homes, yachts and jets of private clients all over the world, as well as commercial projects including hotels, bars, restaurants, offices, and tower blocks.

An obvious way to incorporate wellness into your home is through designing your own home gym. A beautifully-designed home gym, which is both visually appealing and motivating, makes the prospect of a workout far more attractive.

The incorporation of wellness into the interior design of a home has become key in recent years as the health and wellness trend has boomed; home spaces and décor are now being designed to help us lead healthier lives. For Kelly, integrating wellness into the home doesn’t need to be complicated.

The basic elements of home gym

The interior design of your home gym – the lighting, colours, decorations and acoustics – are just as important as the equipment you choose. These elements help you create a space that matches your specific needs: whether you prefer the space to be tranquil and calming or motivating and high energy.
The design of Cross Personal for the perfect gym


If you are limited on space, lighting and colour palettes are key. An ideal space would also have natural light filtering through windows or glass doors, which makes the space look larger. However, you can easily create a more open, airy feel with soft white bulbs, and white walls. Comfortable lighting is a must - you don’t want light shining in your eyes if you are doing mat work, son consider having floor-level light sources that shoot upwards instead. Ideally, one wall should be mirrored, so you can see exactly what you’re doing and correct your posture if necessary. Mirrors also provide the illusion of additional space.


Colours can have a huge impact on our mood: light colours can help to create a calming environment, whilst bright colours can increase the room’s energy, and in turn boost your own motivation. Artificial lighting is also important to consider for your specific workout style: some people like bright, natural light for its energising effect, whereas others prefer dimmer light and coloured hues.


If you prefer a calm, tranquil environment, include a couple of ferns or bamboo palms to enhance this ambience. They will also boost oxygen levels and purify the air in the room for an added bonus.


Some people like to have bit of entertainment to keep them motivated during a workout. You can put a TV up on the wall or invest in equipment with an integrated TV screen. I have the Technogym Cross Personal and Run Personal in my home gym, both of which feature Technogym’s digital screen which I use to watch live TV or movies on Netflix, and even make Skype calls using the inbuilt webcam.


Music is another way to keep yourself motivated during a workout, so great acoustics are important. My Cross Personal has integrated Dolby Surround speakers so I’m able to blast my favourite playlist directly from the equipment using the in-built music app while I train.


Design is a fundamental feature of Technogym’s Personal Line. Designed in collaboration with renowned Italian architect and designer, Antonio Citterio, this line of equipment is the obvious choice for anyone designing a home gym. Far more detracting from its environment, or needing to be hidden away when not in use, Personal Line sits completely naturally alongside other pieces of furniture. You do not need to have a huge variety of equipment to be able to do a full body workout. Versatile equipment such as Technogym’s Kinesis Personal offer so much variety in a small space – you can easily do different full body workouts every day. It also doubles up as a mirror while not in use.
Home gym: question and answer
We asked Kelly for some information about her home gym that could be useful for anyone as a starting point to design their own.
What were the key elements when you designed your own home gym?
I exercise every morning, I absolutely love it, so for me, it was vital that I had enough room to do my core exercises. I do two weights sessions a week with my trainer Efua Baker, strength training with Joslyn Thompson, Pilates with Kamran Bedi, and I run too. So there needed to be space for me to do all of this. Comfortable lighting was a must, as was an AV system as for me, great music is essential for fitness.
working out with style
What are the key considerations when you design gyms for client homes?
Every client is unique, and everyone has a different workout style, so the most important thing to take into consideration is what they will use their gym for. Most people like to have a cross trainer, a running machine, and a floor mat, but they might also want space for Swiss-ball work, a barre for ballet, a set of weights, a rowing machine and so on. There is no point incorporating a treadmill if they’re not keen runners, and if their workouts are primarily dance or pilates based, there needs to be ample floor space.
Why would you recommend Technogym Personal Line? What sets it apart from other fitness equipment brands?
I love Kinesis Personal, it’s great for resistance training. Gym equipment first and foremost has to be functional, which means certain things such as size can’t be compromised, but what I love about Technogym equipment is that the aesthetic also factors heavily into the design. What I love about my Technogym pieces at home is that they feature mirrors, which creates an optical illusion that tricks the eye into making larger pieces appear smaller than they actually are - this is fantastic for smaller spaces such a gyms.
What are your top tips for anyone creating their own home gym?
In order to design a gym that is perfect for you, first be honest about what you will actually do there and the equipment you need. When drawing up the floor plan, be practical about the size of the room you have and what will fit in comfortably. You won’t enjoy exercising if everything is too close together and you haven’t left enough space for Pilates, yoga or stretching. Add a few individual touches, something to make the space personal to you, such as wonderful wall-hung photographs.

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