Natural Beauties: How and why to bring more natural materials into your home and lighting

natural beauties

Pooky’s Natural Beauties range showcases lights made with beautiful natural materials such as alabaster, marble and even ethical, sustainable bone.

Here are five reasons why we love lamps handcrafted from interesting, unusual natural materials  and why they make your home, and your life, that little bit better. Plus tips on more ways to bring natural materials into your interior decor…

1. Natural materials provide texture

Natural materials are the perfect way to bring texture into a room. And we’re not just talking about running a finger idly along a piece of smooth cool marble as you pass, but the interior design concept of texture, which is about how something ‘feels to the eye’.

It’s a slightly strange notion because it blends two senses: touch and sight, but somehow, when we look at a particular surface, our brains take the memory of the touch of that material and it affects our visual response. We can ‘see’ that things are soft, hard, silky rough, bumpy, and so on.

You can read a lot more about all this in our guide to texture in interior design, but the short version is: if you mix and match lots of different materials you’ll create a richly-textured, layered and visually interesting room.

descartes wall light
The Descartes wall light is entirely hand carved from a block of raw hewn alabaster, a craft that requires immense skill and dexterity.

2. We feel an innate connection to natural beauty

Of course plastics and machine-made objects can be beautiful, but quite often there’s an intellectual element to that beauty: the same one that underpins the aesthetics of modernism and geometrical order. Natural beauty does something a little different: it taps into our deepest responses to the natural world.

If something looks like it’s been hewn from a rock or woven from a plant we can feel an almost primitive connection to it.

hew table lampThe Hew table lamp in white marble is half polished, but the top and bottom are rough and unfinished, reminding us that the base was hewn from the earth. 


3. Handcrafted objects have the human touch

Decorative objects made from natural materials are very often handcrafted. When someone has made something by hand you can feel the skill, care and, yes, the love that’s gone into it. There may be little imperfections and marks: the human touches that make the piece feel unique and special.

nanga table lamp boneThe Nanga table lamp in bone is hand carved from a piece of sustainable, ethical buffalo bone. Every piece is unique and has its own minute variation of colour. 

4.Natural objects can improve with age

The Japanese famously have a concept of ‘wabi-sabi’ which celebrates imperfection and the beauty of natural ageing, but we all understand the idea of something ‘weathering'. Natural materials like wood, terracotta or bone can acquire little nicks, scratches and changes in colour over the years, which only adds to their beauty. They can grow into their looks.

With the Kamela wall fitting in white we were quite particular that the hand carved marble florettes were not glossy and polished, but had an understated, natural looking matt finish.

5. Nature is good for us

We all know that having plants around, going for walks in the fresh air and resting our eyes in shades of green are proven ways to de-stress and find some inner calm. There’s plenty of science to back up the theory that connecting with nature is good for our mental and physical health, and we don’t need to turn our sitting rooms into jungles to do it.

Natural fabrics in a bedroom will make it a more restful space, while a mix of natural textures – wood, stone, fibres and so on will make any room a happier, healthier and more welcoming place to be.

leela wall lightThe Leela alabaster wall light caught the eye of all designers at the last Decorex fair  first the light is diffused through the natural beauty of the alabaster stone, and then reflected off the round brass back plate.


Pooky’s natural lighting materials

samson table lamp black marble
The Samson table lamp is carved in beautiful Nero Falaka, a rich veined black marble

At Pooky we love finding interesting materials for our lights and shades, and you can search our ranges by your preferred materials. Our table lamp bases include alabaster, marble, cane, ceramic, rattan, seagrass, wood and ethical, sustainable buffalo bone.

And there’s no simpler or more effective way to bring some instant texture and visual impact into a room than by changing up your lampshades. Pooky’s lampshade ranges include rattan, silk, linen, cotton and jute.

Other interesting ways to bring natural materials into your home...

Tiles – terracotta, marble, porcelain… tiles are a wonderful, lasting way to bring natural textures into your home, whether it’s a bathroom, a hallway floor or a kitchen splashback. (We love Bert & May, who design beautiful reclaimed and handmade tiles with a gorgeous, natural colour palette  read our interview with Bert & May founder Lee Thornley here)

Rugs – for a classic textural contrast, pair your tiled or wooden floor with a rug woven from a natural fibre. There’s good old wool, or why not go for something unusual like jute, bamboo or hemp?

Driftwood – It doesn’t get more rustic than a piece of furniture handcrafted from bits of weathered driftwood. Do a bit of googling and you can find everything from sculptured objets d’art to coffee tables and wardrobes.

Ceramics – Support your local potter! Handmade pots, cups and kitchenware can elevate your worktops into art galleries.

Living walls – essentially planters in the shape of a book shelf, living walls are a lovely way to bring a big hit of the outdoors into an indoor space. You can use them for herbs, succulents... anything you can grow indoors, really.

gwyneth table lampThe Gwyneth table lamp features two natural colours of ethical, sustainable, hand carved buffalo bone


Browse Pooky’s Natural Beauties range of lights made from lovely natural materials here.


See also:

Classic interior design styles and how to light them: Japandi (for more about wabi sabi and natural imperfections)
How lights can make you happy
The seven elements of interior design: texture
How to develop an ‘eye’ for interior design