I met Elizabeth (‘Libby’) through dear friend and photographer, Rachael Smith, who had been shooting Libby’s colourful home for Homes & Antiques. Over two years, Libby and I exchanged numerous ideas for colour and narrative collaborations, when one day, she said she had been working hard on two palettes for a range of hand-painted lampshades, inspired by a love of all things French, including people, places and paintings close to her heart. Limiting the colours to eight per palette, Libby couldn’t quite pick the final set, having created so many beautiful hues of blue, green, yellow, brown and orange. I offered to help, and very soon I was down in Dorset. What unfolded was an inspiring insight into the workings of a designer harnessing colour and narrative for herself and her clients. My task was to help and advise.

Elizabeth Rose of Atelier Elizabeth Rose

Elizabeth Rose

Brand history

Elizabeth Rose is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Dorset whose practice encompasses fine art, interior design and bespoke pieces for the home. She holds a degree in Fine Art from City & Guilds of London Art School and a Distinction Certificate in Interior Design & Decoration from the Inchbald School of Design. Elizabeth took her artwork beyond the canvas when she started painting lampshades in her distinctive style during the renovation of her Dorset cottage in 2020. Since then she has been  painting shades for interior designers and private clients alike, including commissions for The Ned for Soho House, interior designer Max Rollitt, and photographer Marte Marie Forsberg.

Brand style

Combining over 20 years experience in interior design, and her fine art background and drawing on her values of timelessness, natural materials and her passion for French art and culture, Elizabeth’s characteristic style and palette, expressive and bold brushwork offer a fresh, approach to art as a functional object.

The new Stripes & Waves Collection borrows elements of the same brushwork and palette as Elizabeth’s Landscape Lampshades. The hand-painted Landscape Lampshades, expand upon her preoccupation with recording and responding to the landscape. Each lampshade reveals a seamless panoramic field, composed of swift and spontaneous abstract marks. The viewer is encouraged to look at each unique work in the round as one would similarly contemplate the landscape.

Palette observations

The choices of colour for Libby’s two palettes carried two dominant themes, the hues blending in perfect symphony, of one cooler and one warmer. Each palette consisted of darker, grounding shades, lighter mid-shades that changed in hue, and a vibrant energetic accent. Each colour carried a purpose in the brushstroke — the waves, lines and dots being Libby’s signature style. Whatever the colour, the pigment content was rich, resulting in a scheme of high chromatic value.

Working process

Absorbing her studio space, filled with colourful references of artworks, musings, work and palettes, gifted me a glimpse into the inspiration behind Libby’s ideas. Paintings and drawings adorned the walls along with open pages of books, clippings, experimental colour schemes and visual information to immerse in. Brushes of every size, hand-drawn palette shapes, brushstrokes and art materials decorated her work table where the process was mid-flow.

We spoke about what was important in a palette and how to balance colours, and what did it mean to balance the colours? Identifying a rhythm to one palette might help determine a rhythm for the next, I wondered. The colours in Libby’s lampshades represent a story of landscape, emotion and place so it was important to ensure the balance also reflected these elements. Cuttings of colour were moved about, each time evaluating the entire scheme and relationship between the hues, with Libby mixing and creating colours as we spoke. As we explored combinations and exchanged thoughts, I noticed a pattern began to emerge: two dark, two deep, two mid-shade with more pigment, one brighter and one accent pop of high chroma.

Shuffling the combinations around, Libby settled on the two palette formulas that enabled her brush strokes to sing their purpose in creating her Landscape Lampshades. Since our time spent together, Libby has further edited the paint colours to seven per palette, in addition to offering carefully selected accents of colour in material trims.

Elizabeth Rose studio materials

Elizabeth Rose studio materials

The results

Elizabeth Rose warm palette by Fiona de Lys, colour consultant

Elizabeth Rose warm palette

Elizabeth Rose cool palette by Fiona de Lys, colour consultant

Elizabeth Rose cool palette

Elizabeth Rose raffia shades

Raffia shades

Elizabeth Rose Landscape Lampshade

Landscape Lampshade

Elizabeth Rose Landscape Lampshade detail

Landscape Lampshade detail

Landscape Lampshade for The Ned, Doha

Landscape Lampshade for The Ned, Doha

Explore a few of my colour consultancy projects

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