We’ve long coveted Rosi de Ruig’s exquisite handmade lampshades and colourful glossy lamps. Now we meet the maker to find out all about life at her eponymous lighting business, as well as her insider interiors’ tips and decorating haunts:
What’s the atmosphere like in your West London studio?
Highly creative and at times rather busy. We are a small team of three often working to tight deadlines. Everything must be made properly, checked precisely and packed up with great care.
Can you explain a bit about the process of making your shades, from conception to finished product?
Everything is handmade from scratch in my studio. Once the template is cut and the paper is attached I roll the shape around the rings and secure everything with the coloured cotton trims (also handmade here). I need to work with paper which not only inspires me but can add layers of interest to other people’s homes.
Where do you source your beautiful papers?
I source all the papers from designers from here in the UK to Craft Boat in India and I strive to find patterns which haven’t been used in the lighting medium before. I’m in constant awe of pattern makers, it is terribly important that they get the credit they deserve.
What are the current trends in lighting?
It is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore the importance of sustainability in design. Greater thought is being given to the materials used and emphasis on whether the product can be made here in the UK. There is also a growing demand to have well made things which should last the test of time. The right long life light bulbs are key!
We just love your glossy lamps – why did you decide to make those?
I adore lacquer, I think there is something deeply pleasing and extravagant about the smooth super shiny surface and deep colour which comes from the layer upon layer of paint work. Put a lacquer lamp against almost any pattern and it just looks wonderful.
Where in London are your favourite interiors?
For a local breakfast the recently opened Elder Press Café (designed by Kate Guiness) near Chiswick Mall (above).
For a day out, The VIP room at 2019 Decorex designed by Nicola Harding of Harding & Read was a sight to behold – the transformation was truly inspiring.
And a recent dinner at The Garrick in Covent Garden, it has the prettiest of club interiors.
What are the best places for interiors shopping?
For me the small independent shop is the best. I like Brassica Mercantile (Beaminster, Dorset), Jessica Buckley (Edinburgh), Pascale Store (Woodbridge) and The Edition 94 (London). So much thought and careful attention has been given to stocking these small but beautifully curated spaces.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I tend to feel most inspired when I am relaxed – be it gardening visiting an exhibition or discussing ideas with friends. Colour and pattern constantly surprises me in the most unlikely places. The ultimate treat is to have a couple of days in a new city and just having time to wander its streets, galleries and independent shops.
What are your feelings about Instagram and which accounts do you love to follow?
Instagram has increased my global reach and benefited my small business immeasurably. To share images of my lampshades and lamps (@rosideruig) in such varied interior context has been invaluable and it is always such a delight to see my work in situ. It does help pull together ideas which otherwise can feel quite scattered. I have enjoyed making many new friends through Instagram but without question getting out and about to see things first hand and meeting people in person should always be, where possible, an essential part of the design process.
@sean_anthony_pritchard – beautiful pictures from his home (above)
@atelier.ellis – handmade paint
@thegarnered – on trend beautiful high end craft
What peps you up in the face of January blues?
Taking my much-loved dog Peggy for a blustery walk along the coastal path in West Dorset. Be it a misty, cloudy or even rainy day, it’s beauty never ceases to lift my spirits.
And finally, which are your 3 favourite shades and where would you put them?
An oversized chandelier filled with a mixture of colours from my pin sewn collection (shown above).
A very large marbled Italian lampshade sitting on a beautiful round hall table.
A playful Ottoline lampshade on one of my glossy lamps for a children’s bedside table.