Robert Kim’s personal collection is drawn from his magnificent homes in London and Provence

Joe Robinson was planning to meet Robert Kim the same week that the legendary English interior designer, collector, dealer and AD100 Hall of Famer died in 2022 at the age of 76. “I missed it so much,” Robinson, head of home sales and private collections at Dreweatts, tells AD PRO. However, Kime’s relationship with Dreweatts has been long-standing, and Berkshire Auctions has been commissioned to sell Robert Kime: The Personal Collection – a massive online auction (think 918 lots in total) spanning three days starting on October 4.

The harmonious interiors Kim curated for the likes of King Charles III and Andrew Lloyd Webber captivated with their elegant look and the calm aura they evoked. His intelligence for combining seemingly contradictory yet attractive elements was always profound, and his two residences – an urban retreat in Warwick Square in London’s Pimlico district and a historic pile in the south of France – were thoroughly considered.

The residences are filled with treasures Kim collected during his varied stays (he was particularly fascinated with textiles), and the auction will highlight hundreds of those one-of-a-kind items, from Arts and Crafts furniture to Islamic ceramics, that offer attendees the coveted opportunity to see something that once held great meaning. For Kime.

Robert Kim at La Jeunet, his Provençal country house

Tessa Traeger

He was “one of the original and incredibly rare interior designers whose aesthetic was not driven by instant gratification,” says Robinson. Instead, he was driven by intuition, buying what he liked and living with it. The result was the accumulation of a large and interesting collection of objects that illuminated cultural traditions.

London interior designer Nina Campbell, who became one of Kim’s good friends after a chance conversation on the plane, agrees that his intimate approach to crafting spaces is what made him stand out. “I think what was great about his taste was that he didn’t believe in taste or design,” she says. “I went to his house, and he was comfortable. He didn’t yell at you.” She shares that precious antiques like 18th-century chairs were meant to be used and enjoyed—and not taken too seriously. “He wore his knowledge lightly and never shoved it down your throat, but you seemed to leave feeling smarter than when you arrived.”

When Robinson entered Warwick Arena for the first time, he was amazed by its size. It was very impressive, but it had nothing to do with greatness; It was the measure of the vision of something beautiful and livable. It was almost an exhibition of things. The walls, doors, and handles were all very precise.

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