Two Decades of Design in the Middle East 14th May 2024 | IN EXPERT INSIGHT | BY SBID

This year, we are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Katharine Pooley Design Studio and our Chelsea Boutique. As I reflect on two decades of creating beautiful interior and architecture projects around the world, it is immediately clear to me how many flagship projects have come to life in the Middle East, or in Europe for Middle Eastern clients – this is something I am immensely proud of.

design, Two Decades of Design in the Middle East

I have a deep personal affinity with the area having spent most of my childhood in Bahrain. My mother lived there for over forty years, and so many of my formative years were experienced in this corner of the world. This is undoubtedly why I have always found the region to be an inspiration in many of my designs. From the ancient architecture of Petra and Medina, the Souks of Muscat, to the contemporary majesty of the Emirates, the rich culture feels familiar to me, and its landscape has been the backdrop to many of my happiest memories.

design, Two Decades of Design in the Middle East
design, Two Decades of Design in the Middle East

I have crafted an array of beautiful properties across Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Oman. My talented team have also been honoured with commissions to design Middle Eastern embassy properties, including a private residence in London as featured in AD Middle East.

Altogether the KP Studio has designed hundreds of thousands sq ft of residential and commercial space in the Middle East, reflecting a breadth of work unmatched by any other European Interior Design Studio. Many of these projects remain unpublished due to confidentiality, as respecting the privacy of my clients is a central pillar of the Design Studio’s ethos.

design, Two Decades of Design in the Middle East

The brief for the stunning Kuwait project featured in this article was to create a contemporary, eclectic, interior with a light and fresh feel. I wanted to showcase individual sculptural pieces and draw you through the space with spectacular feature walls, and lighting installations. We selected an array of large artworks to anchor the design of each individual room. There is an array of unexpected natural materials, luxurious fabrics, and commissioned bespoke pieces utilising centuries old techniques like embroidery, marquetry and glass-blowing to create a layered and diverse interior with a myriad of inspirations.

design, Two Decades of Design in the Middle East

I have had so many wonderful experiences working on a variety of projects for clients based in the Middle East. They truly understand the importance of quality, craftsmanship and longevity. Their passion and enthusiasm for design, and complete trust in my vision, has inspired me to create some of my strongest projects to date. From the Opera House and Wadis of Oman, the galleries and museums of Doha, the restaurants and exuberant energy of Dubai, the antiquities and raw desert splendour of Saudi, and the warmth and sophistication of Kuwait, I have been lucky enough to spend a great deal of time in many corners of this part of the world.

I am greatly looking forward to giving a headline speech at a worldwide conference in May at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh and am also taking the opportunity to spend time visiting AlUla, which I hear from many friends is mesmerisingly beautiful. Please get in touch if you have a property you would like me to view, or to discuss other potential opportunities in interior design.

About Katharine Pooley London

Recently named ‘British Interior Designer of the Decade’, ‘International Designer of the Year in Asia’ and ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Katharine Pooley has in a short space of time become one of Europe’s leading designers. Her portfolio encompasses a multitude of interior styles and architectural genres and her design ethos is one of luxurious eclecticism. No two projects are ever alike, but they are universally beautiful and timeless.

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