Talking Art Deco with Katharine Pooley for the ‘Gatsby Suite’ at London Design Week

Story / Talking Shades / Fiona Blake / 26 Mar 2019

The ‘Gatsby Suite’ at London Design Week was inspired by all things Art Deco and Katharine Pooley designed some very special lampshades with art deco pleats, beautiful shapes and delicate passementerie. We met with Katharine to talk about Art Deco and designing lampshades:

A Shade Above have really enjoyed working with you on this Great Gatsby theme.  How much of an impact did the lighting have on the space?

The design for ‘The Gatsby Suite’ was  about creating a mood as much as an interior. I wanted to transport guests to another time, 1920’s Long Island, and in particular into the evocative and atmospheric world created for Gatsby & Daisy to inhabit by F Scott Fitzgerald.  Lighting was a very important consideration as I wanted a slightly theatrical, darker space with pools of soft light to illuminate key pieces of furniture and the scattering of Art Deco accessories and antiques throughout.

Talking about the lampshades, what did you most enjoy about designing the lampshades?

The lampshades were a key addition to the space as I wanted very soft low level light to balance out the magnificent central crystal antique chandelier. I really enjoyed picking the perfect fabrics from Turnell & Gigon for the lamp shades, they were super delicate, with a  mixture of  pleated chiffons and silks with soft iridescent fabric linings for a defused glow. The lampshades reminded me of 1920’s fashions and the vertical rushe-ing of flapper style dresses in particular, feminine delicate and  very glamorous.

In terms of lampshades, what would you say defines an “Art Deco” style?

There is an opulence to Art Deco style lampshades, a lot of ruched fabric is used and it is of the highest quality to allow a degree of opacity. The clean lines of deco are still embraced but their is a warmth and richness to the style as with detailing in other areas.

How do you think this revival of “Art Deco” might influence lampshade design as a trend over the next few years?  And how about trends within your studio?

The tactile and glamorous feel of the Art Deco style lampshades reminded me that with the correct fabric choices this style of lampshade can add warmth and interest in an unfussy style.  I think this will be especially useful for bedrooms and dressing rooms where soft and flattering light works so well. I will certainly be encouraging my designers to embrace richer lampshade styles for more contemporary projects.

Katharine Pooley

Turnell and Gigon

Floodgate Films