Katharine Pooley discusses her most recent project in Kuwait – an airy villa that showcases an important and unique collection of far eastern antiques and objet d’art. To view this property in full click here.
I kept the architectural detailing of the vast entrance hall clean and linear, and the palate of finishes light and tonal to best display a pair of highly collectable kam tin cabinets in natural turquoise and brass.
Turquoise and jade play a prominent role in my design throughout the property – echoing the colours of many of the far eastern antiquities.
A turquoise beaded chandelier hangs above a large antique bronze temple bell from Thailand. I designed a Verdigris finish plinth to elevate and display it to maximum effect.
A collection of carved amber and alabaster jars and pots are symmetrically positioned to the top of each cabinet. I find that putting smaller antiques in artfully placed groupings maximises impact.
A well-chosen antique adds interest to an unused hallway corner. Hung on the wall to the right is a qing dynasty embroidered collar with matching horseshoe cuffs mounted on silk cocoons.
I find that metallic accents really help to lift antique finishes and bring a space to life. A silver tray table completes this small seating area in the main entrance hall.
The grand dining room features a pair of black lacquer 19th century Chinese cabinets, they add weight and depth to an exceedingly large room. Further stand out details include a large thai bronze gong and silver dragon candlesticks to the table.
I love the juxtaposition of old with new. The balance of antiquity and modern design makes each seem more interesting. This intricately carved box, set against contemporary hexagonal wall mirrors, is a perfect example of this approach.
In the main living room rock crystal candle holders and shagreen boxes sit upon an agate inlaid coffee table in the style of jean claude dresse. I find that European mid-century pieces work incredibly well mixed in with far eastern antiques.
Chinese glazed stools make terrific side tables and the glazes come in such beautiful colours. Celadon is always my favourite.
Bespoke joinery displays a collection of Chinese blue and white ginger jars, a pair of grand temple jars (circa 1840), a collection of Chinesemiao necklace and, most beautiful of all, jade handled calligraphy brushes.
A red qing dynasty food container adds a splash of colour below a pair of Burmese gold monk’s fans. I always find that displaying singular antiques with pairs helps them feel part of a greater whole.
A vast red lacquered Chinese temple drum made a perfect display table for a collection of antique taqiyya hats. Displaying a collection in an unusual and unexpected way creates a real wow feature.
The embroidery workmanship is incredible, so intricate – no two pieces are completely alike. This is one of the reasons I love to incorporate antiques of all periods into my interiors, they add a wealth of detail and every piece has its own unique history and story to tell.
One of the great pleasures in my life is the diversity of clients, properties and locations I get to design for. This palatial home was several years in the making and a real labour of love.
To view my middle eastern accessories from my boutique, click