Refresh Your Space

Refresh Your Space

World, Interiors –

Renowned British designer KATHARINE POOLEY shares tips on how to perk up your living space that has been stagnant in your vision for days during this pandemic

One beautiful item will lift an entire room. These handcrafted twisted glass lamps draw the eye and elevate the entire space

Katharine Pooley is one of the most sought-after interior designers in the United Kingdom and commissions for landmark commercial and residential properties around the world. Having once worked in finance, Katharine has grown Katharine Pooley Ltd from a UK firm undertaking predominantly domestic projects to an internationally respected brand and design studio encompassing architectural design, interior design, product design and property development. Overseeing her team of 45 interior designers and architects Katharine’s personal approach ensures a loyal international fan base for her designs. She also has a flagship showroom in Doha and clients based in North America and The Middle East

Katharine Pooley:”If you can spend a little more, new throw cushions, scented candles and some large scale art will completely transform the space.”

“I totally refreshed my living room recently in a matter of days by adding a large artwork, silk ikat cushions and large vases of spring flowers and it looked like a completely new space.”


1.    What is the fastest thing you can do yourself to refresh a small interior space while being stuck at home during this pandemic?

Add a beautiful vase with fresh flowers or a beautiful pot with an orchid – plants and flowers are so relaxing and will brighten your home. Other small changes that make a big difference would be to print and frame photos of loved ones to draw the eye and lift the mood.  I love shagreen frames and frames made from semi-precious stones like malachite or agate.

2.   What materials do you like to work with?

I love natural materials, but always with a luxurious twist. Italian marbles, timber parquetry, and semi-precious stones like selenite and rock crystals are all featured extensively in my interiors but I balance them with soft linens, cashmere and silk wallpapers for an elegant and timelessly chic feel. 

3.   What colours are in vogue this year?

Right now I love soft colours in cool tones. This year I feel we all want our homes to be peaceful, serene and calming spaces. Light Blues, touches of Emerald, and a base of Ivory and Light Grey are good for living spaces. Soft yellows, dusky Lilacs or (my favourite) accents of light Celadon, all work well for bedrooms. Warmer splashes of colour in burnt orange, aubergine or bronze also bring depth and richness to game and study rooms.

4.   How do you relax after a hard day at work?

I love to finish the day with a stroll around the gardens with my boys and our dogs, hear about their day, look at what flowers have opened in all this glorious sunshine and check to see if the chickens have laid any eggs.

“After the hectic pace of running installations, developments and building sites around the world and keeping my 47 designers on target (all from my dining room table in lock down!) it is lovely to completely switch off and take in all of nature’s beauty at this time of the year.”


Katharine Pooley’s project shows how to effectively combine a mixture of styles for a fresh and contemporary look in a classical property.

The house is built of traditional brick construction, has an iconic pilastered doorway and an ornamental balcony on the first floor which enjoys magnificent views over the private gardens of Egerton Crescent to which the house has access. Katharine used a peaceful, tonal design palette that combined white Portland stone with soft dove grey marble, polished plaster and natural fabrics including linens, silk velvets and woven textures throughout the house, giving it a sophisticated yet classic feel.

(Left) First impressions are everything. Update a classic stucco facade with a high gloss black front door and contemporary plants; (Right) I like to balance an ornate antique piece, like this gilt chinoiserie mirror, with more modern and sculptural upholstered shapes

Glamorous lighting, like these crystal and nickel pendants, instantly update a kitchen. I chose Farrow & Ball Skimming Stone for the cabinetry to create and airy and serene feel
Symmetry and flow is everything. Adapt the layout so that spaces feel more generous and all door openings sit centrally to each other
‘Modern’ should not mean devoid of detail. Add a little luxury with a chevron stone tile to speak to the building’s history

Don’t let small secondary spaces become dark and cluttered – choose only one key feature like a beautiful fabric or wallpaper and pare everything else right back

Interview by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of Katharine Pooley Ltd