Inspired by her recent travels around South-East Asia, Katharine Pooley has curated an exclusive collection of new products. Every piece has been hand-picked by Katharine, each synonymous with her classical contemporary style.
Katharine, opened her first boutique in the Middle East last year, at the prestigious Gate Mall in Doha, Qatar. I had an exclusive interview with the designer to learn more about her draw to the middle east and where she draws her inspiration.
Katharine Pooley Doha Qatar Boutique
Katharine Pooley, Doha Qatar Showroom interior
LB: Tell me briefly about yourself and your company.
KP: I am a British interior designer creating and offering full Interior Design service. I am an intrepid traveler and have visited more than 250 countries. However, what may come as surprising is the fact I have summited many of the world’s highest mountains, driven a team of dogs on a sled to the North Pole and crossed the Sahara on horseback, so one begins to form a picture of a truly original and adventurous interior designer.
I have lived and worked in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam, returning to England after more than two decades abroad to pursue my passion for interior design. I established my design office and boutique in Knightsbridge and a prestigious concession in Harrods.
Few of my recent London assignments include properties in many of London’s most prestigious addresses, the interiors for the Royal and VIP Lounges at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, a large apartment in the heart of Singapore, a chalet in Verbier and palaces in Kuwait and Qatar.
Katharine Pooley designed Bathroom
LB: What was your first experience with design?
KP: I started in property development. When I left Asia we bought four houses in four different continents and did them up all within the same year – it was exhausting but terrific fun. After this I moved to London where I decided to open a shop selling beautiful accessories from around the world. Within two years I had opened my Interiors side of the business. This year is my 10th anniversary and I now employ 40 staff.
Contemporary kitchen designed by Katharine Pooley
LB: How would you describe your style?
KP: We have done many different styles of homes but I would say we are classical contemporary with unique and timeless beauty. Our craftsmanship is outstanding and there is always a remarkable life time service.
Katharine Pooley designed Bedroom
LB: Who or what has influenced your style?
KP: My travel experience has impacted my style the most as it is the source of my inspirations. While visiting other countries and cultures I gain new ideas for new projects, especially the Asian cultures have always fascinated me and are reflected in some of my pieces of work.
Minimalist and sleek Hyde Park Living Room, designed by Katharine Pooley
LB: Do you have any specific design philosophy or mantra?
KP: I appreciate quality, exception craftsmanship and understand the element of home and comfort.
20 minute hourglass by Katharine Pooley – the perfect timekeeper for managing office tasks and hours.
LB: What keeps you energized and focused?
KP: I love travelling; it has always been a passion of mine. Telluride Colorado is one of the most beautiful places I have been to – the outdoor activities are spectacular, the vast landscapes, the rolling mountains which I love to climb…it’s my special place to really reflect. Another way to keep energized is to walk my dogs or to watch a movie.
Luxury Living room, designed by Katharine Pooley
Mayfair residence bedroom, designed by Katharine Pooley
LB: What designers of past and present do you admire most?
KP: I have always admired Ralph Lauren for his quality of timeless energy for everyone’s taste.
LB: What books are currently on your bedside or coffee table?
KP: Raulph Fiennes “Cold to remind me always to have adventures”
“The Impossible Collection of Cars”
Royal Palm Shagreen Frame Set by Katharine Pooley
LB: Who are your typical clients?
KP: I have a variety of clients around the world – everyone has different taste that’s what makes my job so exciting.
Marble and rose gold bathroom designed by Katharine Pooley.
LB: What is your connection to Qatar and what do you find different about design in Doha?
KP: I grew up in Bahrain but I was fortunate enough to meet my business partner Nasser Al Ansari in London and he invited me to explore Qatar.
Villa in Qatar designed by Katharine Pooley. This majlis is a mix of traditional Arabic elements with contemporary materials and taste.
LB: How does the design scene in Qatar compare to the UK?
KP: Qatar has a diverse taste and in some ways it is still finding its direction but that makes it quite exciting to have many different designs from the old to the new generations.
Sterling Silver Falcon by Katharine Pooley. An iconic accessory that represents the true passions of Qatari heritage and culture. A rich history of falcon hunting in the region, loved by the Emir and his people.
LB: How does the cultural context influence your projects?
KP: I am inspired by everywhere I have visited but Asia is particularly important to me as I had the pleasure of living there for 16 years. I admire the exquisite craftsmanship within Oriental designs that we love to use, such as chinoiserie, wood carving and lacquer, as well as rich palettes and clean lines typical of Asian design. We are also working on a number of developments in Asia including several private homes in Singapore currently. Each country in Asia is fascinating to work in; with their cultural differences is a learning experience I thrive on.
An Arabic coffee pot in Sterling Silver, design by Katharine Pooley.
LB: What part of your work do you love the most and why?
KP: I’ve always loved interior design and my experience in banking has helped me to develop into a structured, organised, hard working person. I enjoy listening to the client first to understand what it is they want, and then to creatively implement their wishes.
LB: What are the current projects you’re working on?
KP: Right now I am working on a hotel/F3 race track in China. Another current project is a 49,000 square foot house development in St James and additionally a house in Doha and Kuwait.
Thank you Katharine!
~Laura of Arabia~