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Interior designers Robert Kime and Orlando Atty are bringing their fine eye and classical tastes to Pimlico Road and the wider world.
It’s the middle of February when we meet interior designers Robert Kime and Orlando Atty, of Robert Kime Ltd. The sun is shining outside on Orange Square, and inside 190-192 Ebury Street, Robert and Orlando are each sitting comfortably on one of the many treasured pieces that the showroom has to offer.
Robert began his career as an antiques dealer, before gradually moving on to combine his passion for both antiques and decorating after working for Miriam Rothschild at Sotheby’s, selling pieces for her. His first shop was in Northamptonshire, later setting up another branch in Kensington Church Street and Bloomsbury’s Museum Street, before opening this shop in Pimlico Road earlier this year. Despite this shop only having been open for the around three months, it already feels comfortable and established due to Robert’s keen eye for goods – not to mention an eclectic selection of his own fabrics.
Robert’s always been a keen textile collector, and says he learned the art himself when he saw it starting to die out. “I began to make my own because people stopped, and so quite simply I had to” he says. His pieces are now recognisable by their slightly quirky takes on vintage patterns, offering both a classical and relaxed feel.
This level of personal commitment to his work is also evident in Robert’s portfolio and various client relationships – which have even extended to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Beaufort. Examples of Robert’s style are now dotted around the globe, across myriad climates and cultures from London to Provence, Ireland and the Bahamas – typically characterised by a combination of antiques, textiles and interesting artistic pieces. “We also have to adapt our style to match the client,” Robert says. “The end result is always different and completely depends on the project. I think the key is fostering good relationships with them – they have to like us as much as we like them, so we can work together to create something brilliant.”
Where do Robert and Orlando find such extraordinary pieces? “Everywhere,” Orlando tells me. “We’re off to Italy next week to an antique fair. At a fair, we tend to find a stall where we like lots of the items because the person curating them has a certain style, whereas others we’ll struggle to find anything of interest.” This fine eye for detail and precious items surely stems from spending years in the business – Robert himself has 40 years of experience under his belt.
And what a collection the store is – from sofas to chaise lounges, dining tables to lamps and dressing tables to wardrobes, the shop floor is bursting with colour and variety. Intricately woven rugs, sumptuous curtains and sophisticated lampshades add to the compendium of quality that fills the space, and ancient wine urns turned into flowerpots make for eye-catching statement pieces. When we ask Robert and Orlando what they like most, we are met with faces of contemplation. “The tapestry I love,” Robert finally says, pointing to an enormous piece of fabric hanging towards the back. “I love unusual pieces.”
The Pimlico Road shop is a welcome addition to the local area, and Robert praises the area’s atmosphere, saying: “It’s like a small town in a big city.” With Eaton Square not far away and home just around the corner, it’s a perfect location for the timeless style that Robert Kime and his team offer – whether it’s for a pair of curtains for a Belgravia flat or a re-design for a home in the Bahamas.