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Colour, Featured, New Designs  |  16 September 2018

Abigail Ahern for Roger Oates Design

Queen of cool Abigail Ahern talks to us about her influences, decorating with dark colour and our brand new collaboration of runners and rugs.

You are renowned for your dark mysterious palette, when did you first go over to the dark side?

I experimented with the smallest wall in the house, an alcove in fact and just instantly loved the transformation. The rest is kind of history – the result was so magical I knew the whole house had to go.


On instagram: @abigailahern

How do dark colours make you feel?

Cocooned, cosy, sanctuary like. I feel edgier, cooler, happier and more inspired. Clever hey when it’s literally paint!


What were/are your main influences on colour?

Funnily enough my time spent in NYC, (I lived in the States for 4 years) and it played a huge influence. Lots of little underground bars and tiny restaurants, cafes embracing a really inky palette inspired me.

Masai Smoke as a hallway runner

If someone were just dipping a toe into using a strong interiors palette, where would you advise them to start?

Start small. Firstly it feels less overwhelming and secondly it’s super easy to pull off quickly. Do what I did – paint a small wall out, embrace a dark palette in your accessories like textiles and rugs. The great thing about decorating with accessories in darker hues is it has the same effect as the little black dress, it literally transforms a space.


How did you choose the colours for the collection?

That’s the most fun part. As I’m drawn to super sludgy pigments I was immediately drawn to the incredible array of darker hues Roger Oates has, all in the most sublime colours. It was really hard to whittle down but I have to say it’s the most exciting collab I have done to date. Having just had my staircase and hallway laid in the new collection it’s upped the style ratings like I wouldn’t believe, it’s so transformative.


How did you choose which design to have in your own home?

That was the hardest thing since each one is so beautiful. In the end it came down to my colour palette on the walls which is a soft brown so I knew adding a mostly black stair runner would knock that area out of the park. And it did!

Malton Cinder on the stairs in London Abigail’s home, with Bedford Brown on the walls and floor.

How does your Roger Oates runner complement your design style?

It’s like the most perfect marriage because the quality is incredible, the colour palette is amazing and the subtle pattern in each of the rugs and runners adds immediate pizazz to any room. It transforms, it makes jaws hit floors and it makes you linger longer – I love this collab!

How your Roger Oates runner changed the vibe in your house?

Totally. Before the rugs and runners went down I one hundred percent did not realise what a game changer it would be to this space. My hallway now feels like the coolest room in the house. It’s glamorous, it’s sophisticated and underfoot it’s amazing. The hallway is your entry point to your world and although it’s a transitional area it now feels as sumptuous and as beautiful as every other room in the house. Game changer!

“It’s glamorous, it’s sophisticated and underfoot it’s amazing” – Malton Cinder

Do you have any other hallway tips?

Firstly I would encourage everyone to think about runners for stairs because it really is quite incredible how transformative they are. They add such a layer of softness and texture to a space and as anyone who has been to one of my day design classes knows, texture is one of the most transformative things you can do to a space. Conversely once the stairs have been given the A-lister treatment you then find yourself getting obsessed with the walls and adding lovely mirrors, paintings, the odd occasional table!

This bespoke hallway runner is 100cm wide and finished with linen tape. Note the matching travel bag available from our lifestyle store.

What is your favourite room in your house? Why?

Hallway! Used to be lower ground floor but now to have a hallway that looks so luxurious, glamorous and super cool I swapped allegiance.


Do you have any tips on how to use rugs in sitting rooms and in bedrooms?

Rugs add such an incredible layer of softness to a space; every room in my house has them, in fact more than one. My biggest tip is to add a rug with texture or pattern, that way it will instantly elevate your floors.

What is the best complement you have had about your Roger Oates runner?

My classes taking pictures of my hallway and wanting to share them all over Instagram. As they were laid a little time before the launch I almost had to make them sign an non disclosure agreement not to share!

What do you think will be the emerging interiors trend for 2018/19?

There are so many from rich tones, big flouncy florals to artisan inspired pieces. Pieces that tell a narrative so you almost see the work from the hands that crafted and created them!

The Abigail Ahern for Roger Oates Design collection is a creative partnership between Abigail Ahern and Andy Guard, Head of Design at Roger Oates.

The collection retains the iconic Roger Oates handwriting and adds dark and intense colour elements to the already extensive palette. Embracing ‘the dark side’, this capsule flatweave collection includes Malton, Masai, Fitzroy and Kobe reinterpreted in deep, mysterious shades.

Find out more and order swatches at

L-R: Masai Smoke, Malton Cinder, Fitzroy Rosebriar, Kobe Plum




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