Palm Tree Floor Light


We met in July. For me it was love at first sight. I didn’t even care about the price tag. I had to have it. I photographed it and instagrammed it and stared at it. But it was out of stock. September they said. Wait until September. I told my husband that I had fallen for another. He was disbelieving.

“We’ve had that burgundy Habitat Spindle light for years,” he said. “We love that light.”

I was mutinous: “I love the Palm now.”

“OK, ” he said. “If you love it that much.”

And then: “Let’s see when it’s back in stock.”


September rolled round and out again. The lamp was late. He didn’t mention it. He thought I’d forgotten. I hadn’t. I am quietly elephantine like that.

October burst in, all crisp mornings and a chill in the air. Then an email. The Palm had arrived.

I bought the Palm Tree floor light. I said nothing. I arranged delivery. I said nothing. I bought some bulbs. I said nothing. But I had mistakenly bought them from the joint account.

There was a text: “Why are we spending nearly £45 on light bulbs?” it said.

I told him the Palm was coming the next day. “Hmm,” he said.


The children came home from school. They are teenage boys. They are instinctively cautious.

“That light is AWESOME,” said the 15-year-old (mind you he’d been in the room twice without saying anything and I had to point it out to him before he saw it. I know).

“That’s so cool. Can it go in my room when Dad hates it,” said the 13-year-old.

Evening fell. He came home. He went into the sitting room. We waited in silence in the kitchen.

“I don’t like the light it gives,” he said of the 50 quid LEDs.

“I’ll change the bulbs,” I squeaked.


It’s been a week now. The bulbs have been changed. They are not the LEDs which were too bright. They are old fashioned bulbs with pretty filaments.

We are all happy (if slightly bankrupt). We all love the light.

On a more practical note, I have said before that every room should have that one amazing piece. This is that. It is a light that will stay in the family for ever but equally I can imagine that it might move around the house as the mood takes me. In the corner of the bedroom for example. Who wouldn’t smile to open their eyes and see a palm tree? In the spare room just visible as you go up the stairs.

We all love the light. It is from Rockett St George of course. The original palm tree lights were by French company Maison Jansen in the 1960s. They are extraordinary and you can still buy them – for around £3,500. Suddenly mine is much more affordable.


Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. I notice – while ogling that amazing lamp – that you have bottom up blinds in your window. Could you tell me where they are from? Thank you.

    1. Hi Sophie, they are actually normal blinds fixed to the sash so that we can open the window and the blind goes too – seemed like the easiest solution. Have also done in the bathroom upstairs too. We bought them from Ikea and they are one down from blackout so they offer privacy but filter the light through. I guess it would only work if you have a sash window though. XK

  2. I am looking forward to the day when I fall in love with something and just have to have it. I see things I like but I haven’t fallen in love (except with hubby of course) with anything yet. I just wanted to say that you certainly did the right thing and I wish you and your lovely lamp a happy Life together.

  3. Love it. Adore it. My face is that of a toddler seeing a train for the first time.
    I have a photo somewhere of one of the antique versions from a Paris flea market that I saw a few years ago.
    I’d never get the spend past Himself but lordy do I love that lamp.

  4. I saw this light in the catalogue at rocket and felt the same! However I don’t think I can convince my husband which is very sad? We need new sofas he says, which I want also want but I also think accessories can make a room especially a statement light like this. I bought your book and love it. I aim to go grey too! And maybe one day I will get the lamp!

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