Interior Designer, Robert Kime creates decorating schemes for an illustrious, discreet and world-wide clientèle. Having helped curate the wonderful collection at Hollycombe House, here he takes a look at textiles and rugs and offers his insight into how to utilise and incorporate these into your home.
In anticipation of the sale, 'Hollycombe House: The Collection of Tim and Virginia Hoare', I have been reflecting on the opportunity I had to work on some of the interiors at Hollycombe. Having met and worked with the owners Tim and Virginia Hoare more than 30 years ago, it is also interesting to me to see the evolution of the spaces and the work we did on this project.
The Round Room | Hollycombe House
The sort of layered decor that the Hoares desired and I like to do...
Hollycombe is a beautiful house with lovely rooms and amazing painted ceilings, many with the original paint. The house had good bones that lend themselves to the sort of layered decor that the Hoares desired and I like to do and they came to the project with many good acquisitions that set the base for the work we would go on to do.
The Inner Hall | Hollycombe House
We used tapestries and rugs to manage scale and create an atmosphere...
In retrospect, I felt particularly interested in the textiles and rugs that we used throughout the project - even in rooms that we didn’t work on as a design team, we brought those elements in and I believe they have stood the test of time and make for some interesting opportunities in this sale. The Inner Hall and Stairs in the house are very striking, with wonderful natural light and we used tapestries and rugs to manage scale and create an atmosphere of comfort and colour. This is always the most important quality in any project and particularly in a home as grand as Hollycombe, one must bear in mind that it is a family home.
Drawing Room | Robert Kime's London Home from 'British Designers at Home' by Jenny Rose-Innes (Hardie Grant) Photography ©Simon Griffiths
Rugs give so much direction to what will happen in a room...
When we set off to begin any design project, we invariably start with the rug. Rugs give so much direction to what will happen in a room as we begin to develop the rest of it - from wall colour to fabrics, antiques to lighting. They can be the most expensive piece, but they can also make or break a room, so it is important to get it right from the start. One of my favourite purchases is a 16th Century Oushak carpet, which I have in my drawing room in London. It is vast, and was bought in a complete state. I pined after it whilst it was painstakingly restored in Turkey, but it was worth every second when I had it laid down.
Hollycombe House | Lot 49: An Ushak carpet | Est. £5,000-8,000 (+fees)
Tapestries have always intrigued me...
In the same way, we consider what will hang on the walls and whilst art is wonderful, and my own home is filled with it, tapestries have always intrigued me too. They provide the scale required for large rooms and houses, telling wonderful stories and giving texture in a definitive way. They are also excellent value. By definition, tapestries were expensive items when they were made as at least a year’s work went into them. Today, you can’t buy a good picture or drawing for what you would pay for a tapestry, certainly nothing of that size. I found a most wonderful tapestry whilst working in Clarence House, which I could spend hours looking at, always discovering something new to study, so I’ve always held a soft spot for them.
Hollycombe House | Lot 70: An Aubusson verdure tapestry, probably first half 17th century | Est. £8,000-12,000
These are the sort of pieces that I am keen to watch in the sale...
At Hollycombe, tapestries and textiles offer their intriguing stories - a sofa covered in a Turkish cloth we sourced, the Aubusson tapestry in the Great Hall and many rugs including a raspberry-tinged Ushak that has continued to catch my eye for its break from the more traditional Turkish red. These are the sort of pieces that I am keen to watch in the sale, recalling the interest and layer they lent to Hollycombe.
Hollycombe House | Lot 31: Y A large William IV rosewood and upholstered sofa, circa 1835 | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+fees)
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The auction will take place at Dreweatts (not Hollycombe House):
Berkshire RG14 2JE
Day 1 – Lots 1-286: Tuesday 15 June (10.30am)
Day 2 – Lots 287-430: Wednesday 16 June (10.30am)
VIEWING AT HOLLYCOMBE HOUSE:
Viewing dates: Wednesday 9 June - Sunday 13 June 2021: 9am - 5pm
Viewing is strictly by appointment only and in accordance with government Covid-19 regulations. Please do not turn up without having pre-booked an appointment. Entrance with catalogue only (to purchase a catalogue see below). Please note there is no viewing on the day of the auctions. If you are wanting to view on Saturday or Sunday, please ensure you have booked your appointment by 12 noon on Friday 11 June, and that you have received an email confirmation of your appointment from us. To book an appointment to view, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 44 (0) 1635 553 553.
DREWEATTS 360 VIRTUAL AUCTION TOUR:
The Dreweatts 360 Virtual Auction Tour will be available from Friday 28 May. The service provides a virtual tour of the rooms at Hollycombe House, allowing you to walk through each room, browsing and interacting with the lots as you go, just as if you were there in person, all from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace and at a time that suits you!
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