The Glam Pad was deeply saddened to learn of the August 17th passing of Robert Kime, antiques dealer, textile collector, and celebrated interior designer. The British designer and “king of English classic decor” was born in 1946, and was well known as Prince Charles’s decorator of choice. His expansive design legacy includes six homes for the Prince of Wales —including Clarence House— numerous residences for the British aristocracy, and manor houses across the English countryside. When the antique textiles he loved became scarce, he created his own line. “I just love old textiles,” he explained to Elle Decor. “And when I couldn’t find enough of them anymore, I started my own fabric line.” His extensive line of fabrics, wallpaper, lighting, and furniture were all steeped in the tradition of classic English decor.
House & Garden produced a beautiful video interview with Kime and tour of his London flat in 2020 that we highly recommend watching. It is a delightful snapshot into the exquisite life of an exceptional man (below).
“In a funny way, I never thought of myself – I still don’t actually – as a decorator,” Kime told House & Garden . “I don’t see it different from anything that I do all the time anyway, so it doesn’t seem to be a job. It’s just something that I can do, and have always done.” An collector at heart, when Kime first widened his practice as a decorator, he described it as “a Friday job because I would deal all week and do decorating on Fridays.” (source)
Kime inherited his passion for collecting from his mother. “I don’t have things because they are valuable, but because of what they represent at the time. Nothing is very valuable anyway….” (source) He says in his book, Robert Kime, “A room should represent the absent owner, its arrangement is the owner’s memory. The association of people with things is important and romantic; it is to do with what they value.”
Elaborating on the concept of romance, Kime explains to House & Garden. “I don’t know how you describe romance actually, but some objects have it. They just have something that makes them more than themselves… And it’s just magic. It’s just how life is.”
In celebration of Kime’s life, let’s enjoy a few of the beautiful examples from his extensive portfolio.
Kime believed it essential that a home should convey a sense of safety and a feeling of permanence. His rooms were designed as sanctuaries from the busy world, and not only are they beautiful, but they are also supremely comfortable. “It is also of importance to him that they resonate with the past, with real or imagined memories, writes Alastair Langlands in the book, Robert Kime. “He uses furniture and antiques that bequeath their own layers of history, and he uses fabrics that are either old, or seem ageless, to add a hint of wider exotic world. In this way, by being associated with the past and the present, his rooms become timeless.”
Robert Kime’s work exudes romance. It was infused into everything he did, and The Glam Pad hopes his legacy and timeless designs will continue to live on and inspire future generations.