A simple farm building and outbuildings formed the basis of the project and Robert admired and sympathized with the client who wanted the house's origins to be squarely dealt with, not hidden - making the history intelligible to others while working successfully as a residence.
Standing on rough, sloping ground, high in the valley, post project, the house's origins as a farm are completely present today. Practical suggestions, like placing the bathroom nearer the bedroom were met with the same enthusiasm as those that supported the history of the building. Its early life as a working farm is noted throughout - and Robert worked easily with the client to support her program. Simple textiles (stripes and weaves) are gathered on antique benches and unlined Field Poppy curtains blow breezily in the master bedroom. Colourful runners lead the eye along hallways and furniture in the main living space is strong and comfortable to complement the scheme. A long drawing room, with distempered walls and pale matting looks out onto the courtyard. A very rural simplicity resides upstairs - where Robert's Apt fabric makes up the half-tester master bed and rugs and antique textiles decorate the guest room. The scullery's rustic foundation sets the scene for the lush kitchen garden just out of doors.
With a focus on creating an environment that reflects the interests and tastes of the client, with inspiration from their travels and collections, this project, in a handsome London neighbourhood was led first by identifying the structural changes that would enhance the livability of the house, followed by a full interior design project.
A garden square flat in a building designed by Sir Thomas Cubitt, showing lofty ceilings and doors out to a tree-filled terrace lent itself to significant renovation to create an elegant London home for clients who returned to Robert Kime Design for a second project.
Ardagh, in County Cork, is a beautifully built granite cottage, with rough-cast render and a two up, two down floor plan. Originally built by an Englishman in the mid-nineteenth century; high ceilings and spacious rooms provided good scope for a holiday home.
Upper Farm, where for many years Robert lived and from which he ran his growing business, was in an enviable position, just half a mile up a drive on the way to a Roman fort. The house and farm buildings ripe for conversion provide the context against which Robert created one of his most well-known projects.
Swangrove - a hunting lodge, a maison de plaisance, built in 1703 for the second Duke of Beaufort sits on the edge of Badminton Park and sports a distinctive symmetrical design of castellations and tall chimneys. In 1996, the then Duke of Beaufort approached Robert for his help in reclaiming it as a hunting lodge.
When La Gonette was acquired in 1999, this house was a "perfect ruin" - a sound roof with a magical facade and hundred foot terrace, but no floors nor much for doors or walls. Not deterred, by the project's end the burnt-out shell had been transformed into a magnificent house, full of comfort, attention to the vernacular style and rivalled gardens.
Paradise Island, in the Bahamas, was home to an unusual project - a day house - “a private, safe and comfortable house” for retreat from the busy life in the main house. Designed from the ground up by Robert, a typical Bahamian house on the exterior, with a light-filled and unexpected bohemian richness within.
A long, convergent terrace, on the edge of Calton Hill in Edinburgh was conceived in the 1820s by the architect William Playfair. Behind the classical rustication is an 1850s mansion interior with commanding proportions.
South Wraxall Manor, is a venerable house in Wiltshire, with the earliest parts of the house dated to the 15th century and nothing later than 1650. The ensuing two-year restoration, decoration and furnishing project stands today as a strong testament to the relationship between designer, client, architect and restorer.
An 18th century building with fine proportions and a good staircase; only the front had been doctored in the 19th century, sits a hundred yards from the British Museum. Within view of the eccentric steeple of nearby Saint George’s Bloomsbury, a glass ceiling was inserted by Robert at the far end of the ground floor of the building so this remarkable Hawksmoor church built in the late 1720s could be easily admired.
An abandoned village hall in Wiltshire had a strong appeal as a project - set in a quiet spot, with virtually no traffic was thought "wonderfully tranquil". Fields with long views of farmland behind and a building in disrepair were reimagined as a comfortable, safe haven.
Docker Nook - in Longsleddale, described as a "farmhouse and outbuildings, probably originally cowhouse under granary, under one roof. Late seventeenth, early eighteenth century. Lime-washed stone rubble" occupies an enviable position within the Lake District National Park. Following the purchase, a full restoration and redecoration project ensued.
The Gunton Arms is situated in the one thousand acre deer park which surrounds Gunton Hall near Cromer, Norfolk. The park was created in the early eighteenth century by the Harbord family and was comparable in scale to the parks of the estates to the west, Holkham and Houghton. A pub with bedrooms brought back to life by art dealer Ivor Braka; the public spaces and bedrooms at The Gunton Arms are all designed by Robert Kime and team, mixing Kime’s signature style with Braka’s extensive art collection.