How would you describe your decorating style?
Max Rollitt: Deeply eclectic and layered, immediately comfortable to the eye, amusing and joyful. Objects and furniture drawn from a 400-year span of world art, melded with my own unique range of traditionally inspired soft furnishings, each design given my individual twist. My style is a curious mix of classically influenced post war interior designers, such as Christopher Gibbs, David Hicks and Robert Kime.
How did you evolve from dealer to decorator?
I realised that it was inevitable when all my clients at art fairs were decorators and they were the ‘right ones’ — Michael Smith, Colefax and Fowler, Axel Vervoordt. Then a customer asked me to help with their house, and one job led to another.
Who is your design hero?
The artists who designed the marble inlaid floors arranged in geometric patterns in St Marks Cathedral, Venice.
A mahogany centre table amassed with shells
An elegant French fauteuil
What is the best-designed space on the planet, in your opinion?
The Pantheon, Rome — or my ash framed yurt, which my wife bought me for my 40th birthday.
What was the first piece you bought?
A George III red walnut bureau when I was 15. I sold it to buy a classic car — a mistake I have repeated too many times!
What is your most treasured possession?
A cutlery tray carved by a Bristol lamp lighter, the sides depicting animals that he must have seen at Bristol zoo. The ends inscribed with ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way’ and ‘Keep your lights always bright’.
Handmade dressing table and stool, circa 1960
Max sits on a library sofa from his bespoke range
What do you think will be the next interiors look?
Opulence and grandeur — I envisage interiors becoming richer with more colour and ornament.
How do you source your buys?
Everywhere: From dealers, auction houses, the Internet, private treaty, fairs and runners. I have all bases covered.
Which period of time in history do you find most inspiring?
What is your top tip for collecting/decorating?
Get educated; study the form. Buy from the heart – if you fall in love with it you won’t regret it, even if it hurts your wallet!
For more information visit maxrollitt.com. Main image at top: Max stands in front of an 18th century mahogany breakfront-bookcase, filled with ceramics that he sells as part of his bespoke range
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