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Join me here in explorations of the places and people who inspire my passion for interiors. I’m always on the hunt for outstanding design, ancient, modern, natural and crafted.

May 16th, 2017

A Weaver’s Tale

In these uncertain economic times, it’s inspirational to come across a man like Roger Oates. His quiet passion for weaving became a thriving business. He’s spent the last forty years making a living doing what he most loves. This month he came to the Fashion and Textile Museum in London to talk with Giles Kime, Interiors Editor of Country Life and I went along.

Roger Oates and Giles Kime, Interior Design Seminar

Roger Oates and Giles Kime

He began in the 70s weaving rugs as an antidote to the ubiquitous fitted carpet.

Early rug, Roger Oates

Early rug, Roger Oates

He started developing longer rugs for hallways and eventually his style evolved…

Early runner, Roger Oates

Early runner, Roger Oates

Into the contemporary classic stair runners which are now his signature designs.

My first Roger Oates runner

My first Roger Oates stair runner, “Sudbury Brick” design

He loves the idea of taking a complete unit (the stair runner) and finding the endless variables within it. Oates still works with pure wool on hand looms and the traditional flatweave process he favours. By changing his colours, stripes and borders, he doesn’t follow trends but creates a timeless product that constantly appeals. He reminds us that we can afford to be bold with hallway colour schemes and designs, because entrances are there to make an impact and welcome us – we don’t live in them.

Chatham Mallow - Roger Oates Design

Chatham Mallow – Roger Oates Design

One of my favourite contemporary designs: Fitzroy Bright - Roger Oates Design

One of my favourite contemporary designs: Fitzroy Bright – Roger Oates Design

March 6th, 2013

Yellow sitting room: sunny & vibrant or too much of a good thing?

Continuing the recent theme of “Inspiration”, last month I revisited the Soane museum in London’s Lincoln’s Inn Fields with a good design friend of mine. It’s well worth a visit, packed full of ideas and also some interesting stories as to how it became a museum. Given the current lack of sunshine, this particular room cheered me up, although possibly too much of a good thing (?). It’s the south drawing room painted in “Turner’s Patent Yellow”, a fashionable pigment of the day!  Farrow and Ball have several equivalents (try Babouche no 223 or Dayroom Yellow 233). It has to be one of the brightest yellow rooms I have come across in a while.


Yellow drawing room, Soane Museum
Martin Charles, Courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum

If you like it (not too much of a good thing?) here is the modern day version, the lobby of the Haymarket Hotel London  This really works, especially on a grey London day.

haymarket hotel, yellow hallway

Lobby, Haymarket Hotel, London

If you’re not that brave, but love an accent of yellow and want to ring the changes as Spring approaches, try something like this…

yellow bedroom

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