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Interviews  |  10 March 2023

An exclusive interview with Victoria Pembroke: Part 2

In this second part of our Q&A with Interior Designer Victoria Pembroke, we find out more on her historic home and the inspiration behind her schemes and when sourcing for projects.

For those that don’t know about Wilton House, can you explain why it is such an important piece of British architecture and design?

Wilton House has been described as being the best example of Palladian architecture in the UK, its Single and Double Cube Rooms have been described as being the finest staterooms in England, and its collection of van Dyck paintings has been described as the best in the world.

The house dates back as far as 1542, when The 1st Earl of Pembroke was gifted the 9th Century Wilton Abbey along with its land by Henry VIII following the dissolution of the monasteries. After the Herberts took ownership the house went through a number of different guises and iterations, including Gothic, Tudor, and most famously Palladian, led by the leading architects of the era. All these architectural phases of the house are still visible today on the different facades of the building, which have gone on to influence the design of some of the grandest stately homes in the country.

Roger Oates Design is an entirely British production, with our flatweave made by a team of skilled craftspeople using traditional techniques and the best possible materials – can you tell us why this is important to you?

It is incredibly important to me to support British companies as much as possible, especially in this current climate. So much today is mass produced with traditional, skilled artisans far and few between. It is so important to help, support and ensure that the traditional heritage and longevity of these unique skills are maintained for future generations. The quality of your flatweave, from the weaving process to the actual fitting, is second to none.

With a historic building like Wilton House there must have been challenges. How important was it to be sympathetic to its architectural and interior history? 

The harmony between the architectural and interior history is integral to the uniqueness of Wilton House.  The property has benefited from a plethora of designers and artists, the interiors evolving with the fashions of the time and the needs of the family. These encompass a huge span of great names, including Inigo Jones to Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler, to name a few. Whilst respecting how all these masters have influenced the interiors, there are areas we have modernised to work best for the family, whilst others like the State Room, we have respected every inch of, restoring it to its original glory.

Where do you like to start when building an interior scheme for one of your clients?

I like to really understand my clients. The style of their homes and even how they dress can really help me understand their tastes in design and the traditions that are important to them. As I’ve mentioned before I like to make sure all rooms somehow compliment each other, that there is a flow throughout the house. It always starts from one key room and grows from there. Using a combination of different mediums through materials, wallpapers, rugs, lampshades and artwork make an interior space and home interesting, exciting and luxurious. The use of colour is incredibly important to me, I believe one must feel uplifted yet calm when they walk through their home.

The building architecture and interior design of Wilton House is perfect for TV and film, can you tell us more about the filming that has taken place?

We have had quite a few films over the years. We are usually the perfect setting for period dramas, some of which include The Madness of King George, Pride and Prejudice, The Crown, and Bridgerton. However, we have also seen a few action films like Johnny English and Tomb Raider take place here. Although there is considerable disruption that goes with it, the crew are always extremely conscientious.

As an interior designer what do you look for when sourcing interior furnishings for period houses?

With so much choice of quality craftsmanship and furniture, one of the key things is to choose items that are well made yet sympathetic to their surroundings. The materials must compliment one another, from both past and present. However, this doesn’t mean everything has to always be top quality or brand new – you can get away with many an Ebay purchase!

Are there any upcoming or recent projects in which you have chosen to use Roger Oates, if so which design and why?

I am working on a Manor House in Sussex and have chosen two of your gorgeous runners. Sudbury Brick will run up the main oak staircase, with the vibrant Chatham Multi fitted on the back stairs off the playroom. They are due to be fitted in May, and compliment the house perfectly.

To find out more about Victoria and her Interior Design service and portfolio, you can visit her website and Instagram to discover more about her stunning projects. Wilton House will be open to the public over Easter 2023, to pre-book your tickets you can visit the website here and browse the exhibitions and opening times.

We want to say a big thank you to Victoria for giving us a fascinating insight into her home, work and life.



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