Designer Spotlight: Robert Kime

Robert Kime is the premiere interior designer and antique dealer in England. His most famous work is his redecoration of Clarence House from 2002-2003. This job earned him the title as Interior Designer for Prince Charles by Royal Appointment. In order for even the non-titled to be able to have his influence in their homes, he started his own high-end fabrics line. His fabrics have a timeless, undated appeal that has been acclaimed as the best quality and most inspired design in the UK, if not the world.

The Man:

  • Robert Kime was born in 1949 to a relatively wealthy family in Hampshire, England. At the early age of sixteen, he left school to go work on archeological digs in Greece and Israel. After two years, he returned to England to study history at Oxford. While at the University, Kime melded his great loves by sourcing antiques to sell to the Oxford deans and his fellows to finance his schooling.
  • After graduation, he worked for Dame Miriam Rothschild, whom he first met at a party. She was in the process of removing two stories from her house, in order to convert it into a bungalow. When she jokingly threatened to burn her excess furniture, Kime jumped at the opportunity to run her antique shop. Later on, he also worked for Sotheby’s auction house.
  • Kime gradually started his own career as an independent antique dealer. Since at the time a career in design was looked down upon, he started out by taking Fridays off work to pursue his dream. Eventually, his own style evolved into a studiously un-designed look that is characterized by loose coordination. As Nancy Reagan delightedly exclaimed, “This is madly clever- nothing matches!” Instead, Kime strives to achieve the same organic progression as would have a home that has been lived in for generations. He blends old and new for a look that becomes timeless by deliberately eschewing styles and fads, instead seeking true beauty and comfort.
Fun Facts
  • Robert Kime has dyslexia to the degree that he is unable to read the handwriting of himself or any other person. He makes up for that handicap, however, by his photographic memory of every item, room, and client he has ever dealt with. This is all the more impressive considering the tens of thousands of jobs he has done during his decades in the business.
  • On one of his worldwide trips for inspiration, Kime stopped at a booth in Egypt that sold delicate gauzy cottons. Unaware that these were actually traditional winding sheets, he asked the merchant how much for the entire lot. “What?” the man gasped. “Are you planning a massacre?”
  • Although Kime is known for his ‘look’ of classic English elegance, he is nonetheless firmly planted in the modern world. When asked what the focal point of any living room should be, he responded, “Oh, without doubt- the television.” On the other hand, he is irritated by the trend of hiding the TV in a cabinet- “What’s the point of that?”

Robert Kime’s designer fabric line is based off timeless principals that make them into a worthwhile investment that will be treasured for years. His ‘style’- if one dares call it that- ranges from whimsical to formal, traditional to modern. Take for instance, the pillows on our Etsy site. The charming bird print is a perennially popular style for year round. However, as our seamstress remarked, with a few changes in the room, they would be equally beautiful in a woodlands or traditional Christmas theme.

Designer Spotlight: Robert Kime

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