Designer Profile: Max Rollitt

Probably the most effective set of skills underpinning the credentials associated with a gifted designer is really a deep and hands-on education allied with impeccable instinct. The very first could be developed with focus, curiosity and determination, the 2nd may be refined with time but can’t be trained.

Over nearly 30 years of running their own business, dealer/decorator Max Rollitt has won respect and admiration, on sides from the Atlantic, for work that demonstrates a sensitive balance of both.

His inspirational showroom and HQ is found in the Hampshire countryside, easily close to Winchester yet inside a secluded rural setting. Interior planning professionals visit from everywhere to source classical antiques and builder-made furniture and also to peruse the elegant room sets that showcase them. Within the converted barn, the interest to detail within the authentically scaled rooms means you could be easily convinced to be situated in a Georgian country house or chic city terrace.


Born for an antiques dealer, touring fairs created an earlier and subliminal a part of Max Rollitt’s education. ‘My mother owned an old-fashioned shop, and so i increased up around a constantly-altering parade of antiques,’ he states. Yet his schooling came him to pursue mathematics, physics and financial aspects. College demonstrated unappealing by their own admission he ‘dropped out’. ‘I’m a visible person – I learn visually I do not learn educationally. There is a significant good mathematical brain, a significant good scientific brain but so far as learning it’s all visual,’ Max explains.

An opportunity meeting ignited the love for furniture design: an occupation that attracted mind, hands and eye. ‘I met Kevin May who known as themself a “barn dancer”: he accustomed to take lower old barns in Wales and rebuild them in your home counties. He earned reproduction Elizabethan furniture using the wastes there was something about his enthusiasm that applied off on i and me thought I’d enjoy to utilize wood.’

Max began act as a student polisher of antiques after which, at age 21, enrolled on the one-year furniture maker’s course in the respected Rycotewood College. ‘This is how I truly began developing my attention and my understanding of design,’ he reveals. On graduation he grew to become a junior furniture maker after which labored being an apprentice restorer with Frearson and Hewlett, an old-fashioned furniture restoration workshop supporting the very best London trade.

After nearly eight years understanding the craft he launched their own shop and workshop in 1994 and started making their own furniture range in 1998. The inside decoration came later, organically, using the first project caused by a person request to create all of their home in the year 2006.

Mind & HEART

Max’s unique profession has unquestionably fostered the capability to create both right and left brain into creative business. His honed knowledge of context, form and ‘making’ is underscored by a creative sensibility, along with a amount of romance.

Speaking of furniture design he reveals, ‘I could possibly be the detective and understand what’s right and what’s wrong having a furniture piece. Things don’t always need to be right, meaning to be authentically of the period but when something is totally new it’s essential that the shape is true and well-balanced.’

He procedes to say: ‘Nowadays we could connect to the sketches, compare and understand them with the enormous library from the internet which, from your academic perspective, informs comprehending the wholesomeness of form and just how a bit could have been designed, but it is also vital that you consider the way a piece continues to be handled making.’

‘Actually the wonder is incorporated in the way it’s made and keeping that integrity,’ he adds. ‘Making a bit look great but additionally keeping its integrity is actually hard. For example, you may make a Windsor chair on the machine but it features a different feel to when it’s produced by hands. We keep your process authentic, we don’t make and try a bit perfect – simply because they never were perfect.’

The Skill Of DESIGN

With regards to sourcing, Max is ‘attracted by patination of antiques and also the tales they tell.’ Those are the pivot point for everything he is doing. ‘Antiques will always be my focus and therefore are intertwined using the other strands from the business,’ Max states.

He procedes to describe his design aesthetic as ‘layered, educated, elegant and joyful’, and places great concentrate on color, texture, comfort and magnificence. Here, his marriage of mathematical and artistic sensibilities involves the forefront. His forte is the opportunity to imagine and envisage an area at length. They can picture an environment in plan form plus all elevations, yet requires a painterly method of composition, saying, ‘I consider interiors as a bit of art, like a painting basically. Design may be the pencil line, after which I’m infilling it with color, texture and form.’

Resolute on the significance of hearing instinct., Max states: ‘Design must be very well rooted in something. Being an interior designer you need some really strong basis, may it be in architecture, art, fashion. Sturdy really delving deep into something and then having the ability to transfer individuals skills… but you need to reach that time where you stand making strong aesthetic decisions and they’re originating from your gut.’ He later adds, ‘You need to follow your instinct to get at the very best result. If you think you’re compromising, or feel compromised, it makes sense not going to be rather right.’


‘As a young child, I recall being looking forward to a house that my parents were contemplating buying and imagining the way i would alter the layout and style the rooms. It’s the very first time I recall realizing just how much I enjoyed carrying this out. My second professional interior planning job – in which the clients requested me to revamp the interior architecture of the home – seemed to be key. I contacted it with trepidation but ultimately the outcomes were, I believe, excellent which boosted my confidence enormously to keep being an interior designer.’


‘I’m constantly collecting ideas and filing things away i believe – from historic homes, museums and galleries I visit, or films I watch and books I just read to folks I meet. I usually go back to Charles Saumarez-Smith’s book, 18th Century Decoration: Design and also the Domestic Interior in England.