August 14, 2017
Katharine Pooley's 'Journey by Design' is a Compendium of Beautiful Interiors Around the World
Katharine Pooley's new monograph—which hits bookstores September 20th—explores her sophisticated aesthetic, applied to luxurious properties around the globe.
by New York Spaces
NYS: Tell us about your new book Journey by Design. How many interiors do you feature?
Katharine Pooley: It has been a pleasure to create my new book and it was a process I have truly enjoyed. I selected nineteen projects, which display a variety of designs from the interiors of a magnificent Middle Eastern villa on the Palm Islands in Dubai, to a historic Castle located in the Scottish Highlands. No two projects are the same as I take inspiration from each client's individual style and personality as well as from each property's unique location. Alongside the project imagery I have depicted the main inspirations behind my designs.
NYS: What are some of the more far-flung exotic locations you have featured in the book?
Katharine Pooley: I am thrilled to have an extensive range of projects, which allow me to travel to a wide range of remarkable locations. I am particularly fond of the setting for a project I completed upon a cliff edge in Cape Town. It is surrounded by the dramatic scenery of the mountains and the ocean below—it is a truly breathtaking property.
NYS: Is there a favorite interior in your book? If so, which one and why?
Katharine Pooley: It really is impossible to select a favorite design! I become fully immersed in each project and become rather attached to the character of each. The design of the Kuwait property which is featured in the book is particularly close to my heart as I was able to take inspiration from the client's unique antiques and relics which she had sourced in the Far East. To complement the client's taste I specifically sourced one-off articles on my travels in Asia to include within the scheme.
NYS: When does the book come out and where can our readers purchase it?
Katharine Pooley: I am delighted to announce that my book will launch here in the UK on the 20th of September. I have various other launches taking place across the globe including New York which I am very much looking forward to. The book will be available in a wide selection of renowned retailers as well as within the Katharine Pooley Boutique on Walton Street. And of course at the prestigious stores of my publisher, Assouline.
NYS: What inspires your interiors?
Katharine Pooley: The interiors I design are inspired by so many different influences and inspirations. I have always had an eye that was drawn to interesting details and colours, sometimes in the most unusual forms and locations. During my extensive travels around the world I am and always have been looking for new inspiration in nature, architecture, art, jewellery, fashion, and interiors. I believe that it is important to keep a curious mind and a keen eye on your surroundings as inspiration can be found in very unexpected locations!
NYS: How do your designs vary by locale or country?
Katharine Pooley: The designs vary greatly from project to project, and country to country, as I like to take inspiration from and work with the architecture, location and topography of the property. Wide views of the ocean beside Cape Town will naturally inspire a different approach than the lush plant filled internal courtyard of a palace in Kuwait. In this way the landscaping or architectural detailing will often lead the design into a unique and original direction completely of its own.
NYS: We love the idea of designing for a residence in the Scottish Highlands. Tell us about your design for Forter Castle?
Katharine Pooley: Designing for Forter Castle was a labour of love as the building itself was in terribly bad condition and meant a great deal to me personally. Originally built in 1560 as a fortified tower house in the Scottish Highlands, it had fallen into a state of serious dilapidation. It required full and very sympathetic refurbishment by myself and a team of craftsmen. Original features like the stone spiral staircases and huge mantle piece and painted ceiling in the Great Hall now sit within a rich comfortable interior of swaged four-poster beds, cut-crystal decanters, cashmere throws, butter soft leather upholstery, and layers of soft woollen tartans and tweeds—as befits the ancient and grand architecture. It's a very hard place to leave when you are there!
NYS: Tell us about the private residence in Doha, Qatar you designed, we are so intrigued! What led to that job?
Katharine Pooley: My eponymous boutique in Knightsbridge, London, has built up the most fantastic following over the last 15 years. I use it to showcase new design ideas and any interesting objets, furniture, and art I find on my travels. Many projects and clients are first introduced to the Katharine Pooley aesthetic in this way and the private residence in Doha, Qatar is a fantastic example. It was a wonderful project to undertake—the property is an amazing space with a huge double-height entrance and sweeping staircases. The family who owns it have become close friends.
NYS: If you could design your dream home anywhere, what would it look like and where would it be?
Katharine Pooley: 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 pallet 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.
NYS: What does a contemporary beach villa on The Palm in Dubai look like?
Katharine Pooley: Dubai is the most incredible ever-changing place and the Palm is its jewel. The views from every villa on this collection of exclusive islands are dominated by the huge azure sea and sky. We created a truly beautiful understated interior against this backdrop, very contemporary with organic natural textures, soft linens, sandblasted timbers, and sculptural modernist shapes. It became a very soulful calming space with some amazing artwork from the client's private collection carefully placed throughout the interconnecting rooms to punctuate the soft layers of the scheme.
NYS: Where do you source your materials when designing interiors in different countries?
Katharine Pooley: I source materials from all around the world and try to prioritize sourcing trips throughout the year to ensure our clients only get the most beautiful and most interesting finishes and individual pieces. Europe still contains the most marvelous fabrics and furniture makers, while the Far East is perfect for semi-precious stones and shells, America has some ground breaking lighting designers, Nepal is still a must for hand-knotted rugs, Hong Kong for art and Asian antiques, and of course I still believe the best of the best can be found in London and the United Kingdom. We have the most incredible network of specialist cabinetry makers, artists and craftspeople, and upholsterers working on all of our projects.
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