Katharine Pooley – designer extraordinaire, industry expert, brand founder, castle restorer, seasoned treasure sourcer, world traveller and now book subject. The London-based designer is always running at breakneck speed and, with her first book releasing soon (by luxury book publisher Assouline), this year’s been even busier. We stole five minutes of her time for a catch up.
Q: What is the one thing you source for your projects that instantly elevates its design?
I think finishing touches instantly elevate a room. These can be anything from beautiful curtain tie backs and trimmings to throws and cushions. The Hermes range of interior fabrics stocked by Dedar includes some beautiful mid-size patterns – perfect for statement cushions.
Q: What has been the greatest highlight of this year?
Working on my book with Assouline, which is released this autumn, and completing an office move!
Q: What are the three most important signs of quality you look for?
Originality of design, seamless finish and intricate detailing
Q: What is the best thing you’ve ever bought for your home?
I have always loved my silver antique bowl from one of my travels to Burma – it makes the perfect vase for housing special orchids. The engraving is so spectacular.
Q: Which interior design style has been most inspirational to you and your work?
I wouldn’t say there’s one particular style, but I’m incredibly inspired by travel, having visited [many] countries. However for me the starting point is always to listen to the clients and work with them throughout the journey. I travel with them and absorb their tastes. It is very important, from the start, that I work closely together with the client.
Q: Why do you never get bored of designing homes?
No two projects are the same as I take inspiration from each client’s individual style and personality as well as taking influences from each property’s unique location. I also love working with our trusted suppliers on each project and discovering new ones.
Q: If you could design any property, what would it be and why?
A dream of mine has always been to create a beautiful safari lodge in Africa. I have enjoyed many safaris and the landscape is unsurpassable in its beauty. I would be inspired to use a palette of natural tones, fabrics and textures in a luxurious yet timeless combination. De Le Cuona fabrics have an amazing African-influenced range with beautiful textures, including their sumptuous sheers and signature washed linens which would work perfectly in the scheme. I would also love the opportunity to design a yacht or another private jet.
Q: This year I’m most excited about…
Sculptural furniture because there are some really interesting designs available at the moment. In our boutique, we stock a number of console style tables. One of my favourite pieces is the Earl Console featuring a gold leaf frame and antique mirror top.
Q: The most fail-proof colour to design with is…
Ivory or any other neutral colour because you can create a lovely, layered scheme by mixing textured fabrics and raw organic finishes.
Q: The quickest way to refresh your space is…
Q: The greatest designer who ever lived was…
[English designers] David Hicks
Q: In my opinion, interior design should be more…
Practical. Having children helps me with design, as it’s often about understanding the demands of real life and choosing things that are going to be durable.