In­te­rior de­sign

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Run­ners, rugs and fab­ric de­signer Roger Oats (p67), a Ben Pen­treath kitchen ( p68), the lat­est news ( p72) and High­land flour­ishes for the house ( p74)

Roger and Fay oates have been de­sign­ing and hand-pro­duc­ing pure-wool Vene­tian flatweave rugs and run­ners for more than 20 years. With back­grounds in tex­tiles, both were in­spired by the Vene­tian run­ners they found in mu­seum col­lec­tions, which were al­ways striped. ‘We like stripes and you can weave them eas­ily. From there, we de­vel­oped from tra­di­tional de­signs to more con­tem­po­rary bright ones, such as Fitzroy Bright ( cen­tre),’ says roger.

ev­ery­thing is wo­ven by hand, so the cou­ple can be flex­i­ble and take the time to get things right. ‘Some­one I’ve al­ways ad­mired is the fash­ion de­signer Jean Muir,’ he con­tin­ues. ‘ev­ery col­lec­tion was con­nected. They were sim­ple, so­phis­ti­cated and chic and that’s what we’re aim­ing for, through the con­tin­u­ous fine-tun­ing that we do.’

Some say that roger oates is the ‘Hoover of stair car­pets’, the go-to man­u­fac­turer, and this is par­tic­u­larly true for those look­ing to in­tro­duce something vi­brant and iconic to their house. ‘To us, the hall is a very sep­a­rate part of the house,’ ex­plains roger. ‘Yes, it con­nects ev­ery­thing, but it’s the part that you wel­come some­one into, so it can be in­di­vid­ual and take a cer­tain amount of colour.’

Un­til a few years ago, the com­pany used New Zea­land wool, which it then spun, dyed, wove and fin­ished on its premises on the east­nor Cas­tle es­tate in Here­ford­shire. As busi­ness has grown, it’s been able to work with solely Bri­tish sup­pli­ers from the Shet­lands to the Che­viots—an achieve­ment roger is proud of. ‘Wool is such a beau­ti­ful fi­bre. Its value has been de­based, but we’re keen to build up its rep­u­ta­tion. ob­vi­ously, it’s ex­pen­sive to pro­duce here, so if peo­ple are go­ing to pay more for the prod­uct, they need to un­der­stand the qual­ity of their in­vest­ment.’ Ara­bella Youens (020–7351 2288;

Photograph by Richard Can­non

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