My design hero: Robert Kime on Geoffrey Bennison

Geoffrey Bennison educated on the Slade Faculty of Artwork, earlier than turning into a London antiques vendor within the Nineteen Fifties and 60s. He was an inside designer with a world clientele, too. © James Mortimer from GEOFFREY BENNISON: MASTER DECORATOR, BY GILLIAN NEWBERRY (RIZZOLI, 2015)

Esteemed inside designer and antiques vendor Robert Kime on designer Geoffrey Bennison

I was already conscious of Geoffrey Bennison’s status once I met him in my twenties. It was when he visited my first antiques store. This was 50 years in the past! He was a delicate, variety man and really beneficiant together with his recommendation. Over time, he continued to go to my store and we turned good pals and colleagues.

Geoffrey was well-known as a grand worldwide decorator, however he was additionally a improbable antiques vendor. If he favored one thing, he’d ask the value. He was a simple business man, all the time knew precisely what the market was doing, and was spot-on with pricing. I realized so much about enterprise from him.

Within the drawing room at Wraxall Manor, designed by Robert Kime, a pair of Georgian sofas, lined in nineteenth-century needlework, teamed with a lightweight Bologna carpet, echoes Bennison’s distinctive layered model. © Tessa Traeger

In fact, he additionally had a beautiful eye for ornamental objects – his style was flawless. He had sense for what was attention-grabbing, he’d select various things to most decorators. In addition to a fantastic sense of color and wonderful spatial consciousness, he had his personal distinctive tackle how he’d organize every thing. The gadgets he selected weren’t essentially pricey. For instance, he may come into my store and purchase a desk for £20, then put it into room, subsequent to one thing costly, in a intelligent strategy to complement the merchandise. He might all the time see the potential of an ornamental piece.

This elegant Parisian house shows Geoffrey Bennison’s expertise for mixing French and English antiques, along with superbly layered materials and patterns. © Oberto Giu

Geoffrey’s interiors model was very relaxed, though he went to artwork faculty, so he additionally understood symmetry. He created rooms naturally, they by no means seemed studied. Equally I prefer to design rooms that look as in the event that they’ve all the time been there. The secret is to start out with the carpet, place the gadgets, and solely then to color partitions a color.I like rooms to look ‘settled’.

Geoffrey died in 1984 and I nonetheless miss him. He was a really humorous man, so I’m stuffed with smiles once I bear in mind him.”

Characteristic by Judith Wilson, from July 2020

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