At home with legendary decorator Robert Kime
What is the connection between Harry Potter and Marie Antoinette? It is a hard, yellowish lump of matter, a concretion formed in the stomachs of camels and ruminants from indigestible vegetable fibre and hair, which is reputed to have magical properties as an antidote to any poison – a bezoar stone. Harry used one to heal Ron Weasley when he had drunk poison and Marie Antoinette’s spendthrift, playboy brother-in-law – the Comte d’Artois, later King Charles X of France – once owned the large bezoar stone that reposes with its silken cord on a table in the drawing room of this London flat.
Undeniably intriguing, the stone is the least beautiful of the many extraordinary treasures brought together here by owner Robert Kime, the antique dealer and interior decorator, whose clients include the Prince of Wales. The flat overlooks treetops and a church spire. ‘This is the first place I have had on my own since I was 23,’ he says. This was the age he married his late, much missed wife, Helen Nicoll, author of the Meg and Mog children’s stories.
The homes Robert has made for himself and for his discerning clients always have a strong sense of place, are supremely comfortable and full of objects he has found. This flat is the distillation of more than 50 years of looking at beautiful antiques and of a deep knowledge of architecture, history and the decorative arts.
- House & Garden