For anyone who uses Instagram, what began as an idle way to while away an evening has almost certainly become an infinitely useful creative tool – a rich source of design ideas, stores and niche brands that we might otherwise never have discovered. Recently, when I was dreaming up new bedroom décor and had been fruitlessly searching for interesting lampshades, the app led me to London-based Rosi de Ruig.
It was a similarly frustrating search that prompted de Ruig to launch her business two years ago. With a new house to decorate, she realised how difficult it was to source well-designed paper lampshades, and set about looking for intriguing papers to create elegant shades.
Via her website you can browse Indian and Japanese papers, as well as marbled and other decorative designs for shades (from £55), all of which can then be applied to de Ruig’s wide selection of bases (from £55), which include everything from diminutive wall lights to chic “Stromboli” shapes and large 45cm models for standard lamps. Made-to-order designs can be created in approximately four to six weeks – although there are also ready-made shades on the site, available in five to seven working days. The elegant petite oval wall light (£60) in delicious Green Turkish Spot paper is my pick for a calming guest bedroom.
Bespoke shapes are available too, for which a wider selection of papers can be sourced from the artists de Ruig works with. Some customers have even come with their own materials. “Clients have sent me sheets of gorgeous marbled paper they have picked up on trips to Italy,” says de Ruig. “The variety keeps my work interesting. Every order seems to have some element that is different from the last.”
Her most popular papers in the marbled collection are “Italian”, from Cambridgeshire firm Payhembury, and “Pink Stormont”, from Wiltshire-based Jemma Lewis – but de Ruig searches for exotic papers all over the world too, always buying direct from the makers. “It is terribly important to me that I find them at source,” adds de Ruig. “I recently went to Venice and found this wonderful man who has been screenprinting papers for decades and sells them in his little, very low-key shop. I was fortunate enough be taken there by a local – I would otherwise never have found it.”