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December 23, 2018

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Home » Sunday » Home and Design

Unusual, unexpected, unique

WHO is she?

Katharine Pooley is one of the most sought-after interior design­ers in the United Kingdom who commissions for landmark com­mercial and residential properties around the world. She founded her company in 2004, overseeing a team of 45 interior designers and architects. She immerses herself in every detail of her client’s complex projects — ensuring a loyal interna­tional fan base of her designs.

Please share with us some of your works.

In the last 14 years I have worked on some incredible projects for im­portant clients all over the world. Examples that stand out include a futuristic luxury hotel in Shaoxing, China’s Zhejiang Province, a rich and ornate palatial private villa in Kuwait, contemporary beach houses in Hong Kong, Cape Town and Dubai, and castles and chalets across Europe and America. The projects are all very different, re­flecting the unique brief of each client and the architectural style and location of the property — this is something I love, no day is the same, I travel the world and my de­sign ethos is continually evolving and developing.

Are you currently involved with any projects?

The next six months is very busy. I am completing another large private villa in Kuwait, two beach properties on the Pearl in Qatar, a family villa in KL and a large office in Hong Kong as well as many city residences in London. I am so excited to have a trip to see old clients and meet new clients in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore in March too.

What is your design style?

Quality, luxury and individuality are very important to me. British craftsmanship is central to all of my projects, while a timeless elegance with comfort at its heart is a com­mon theme. For me the design must always be incredible, awe-inspiring and beautiful — as the best design is — but a house must be a home, not an exhibition space, and must be comfortable, functional and per­sonally detailed for the client and their family to enjoy.

Where are you most creative?

I am always on the move — I travel constantly and find inspira­tion can strike anywhere — travel and a global outlook are key influ­ences on my aesthetic and, with my phone, I can document any creative thoughts or inspiration as I see them. But where am I most creative? Definitely the KPL studio in Knightsbridge, London. I have extended it recently to include a huge double-height library housing my incredible collection of finishes, details, fabrics, books and images — all perfectly catalogued — it is truly unmatched and is a very in­spiring space to design in.

What does your home mean to you?

I am lucky to live in very elegant and comfortable surroundings and love to update them so they always look beautiful, however, home for me is not furniture or accessories, although they are a great passion, but my two sons and my husband Dan. Wherever they are is home.

What do you collect?

If you ask what I do not collect, there might be a quicker answer. I am a complete magpie and there are many things that draw my eye. I love antique and mid-century furni­ture. Curating and collecting art is a big passion. And on all my travels interesting jewelry, silverware and home furnishings somehow jump into my suitcase. My boutique show­cases my ever-evolving collection of home accessories, art and fur­niture and is renowned in London for being the place to find one-of-a-kind pieces that are truly, uniquely luxurious.

Where would you like to visit most in Shanghai and why?

Like many travelers to Shanghai I am chasing the dream plate of xiaolongbao. I lived in Asia for 14 years and I’m always trying to find the same food in London. I can’t wait to visit restaurants such as Im­perial Treasure and The Yongfoo Elite. Then maybe I will see what is adorning the walls at ShanghART or perhaps fit in one of the Changji­ang motorcycle tours and see how the city has changed since my last trip. It’s exhilarating but perfectly in tune with my fast pace. Life is short and there is so much to do.

What will be the next big design trend?

Craftsmanship, hand finishing and personalization will continue to be pivotal in separating truly luxurious design from the mass made and the homogenous mid market ‘for everybody and any­body’ design. Our clients want what everyone else can not have — abso­lute comfort and beauty, made for them and tailored to their unique needs, and with entirely person­alized content and detailing. This could mean unexpected color choices, old master paintings in a contemporary setting, a handmade desk or dressing table to house a personal collection, or chandeliers that double as incredible abstract sculptures.

For 2019 I see a trend toward the unusual, the unexpected and the truly unique.


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