Monday, July 26

Profile: David Oliver

A few weeks ago I was invited by my friend Elizabeth Blitzer to come to London to meet color guru David Oliver, proprietor of Paper and Paint Library. The occasion was Simon Upton’s photo shoot of David and Veere Grenney’s home for an upcoming issue of Veranda.

David and Veere have long been among my favorite talents. Christened the “Rock Star of Color” by the New York Times, the Australian native is equal parts talent and charm.

David has an amazing understanding of color and a wonderful library of vintage books filled with samples of wallpaper and paint colors from the early 1900s, that we were fortunate enough to browse. Each book, complete with rubbed binding and wear from repeated use, are little gems.

A lover of color, patterns and texture, David makes the process of selecting paint colors sound exceedingly simple and exciting. His paints are now available in the US through Stark Paint, under the label “Colours by David Oliver.” David also penned "Paint and Paper: In Decoration," a gorgeous book with stunning, colourful interiors. It is easy to see why he is the choice of such clients as Chelsea Clinton and Tony Blair.

Thank you to David, Simon and Dara Caponigro for allowing me to snap a few behind the scenes shots of the photo shoot.

What is your favorite luxury in life? 

A box of sharpened lead pencils or a blue fountain pen.

How would you describe your personal style?

Natural, loyal, confident, passionate.



What is your most prized possession? 

My eyesight. 20/20 vision I’m highly visual.



What is your idea of earthly happiness? 

Spring and watching my garden grow—unleashing it’s inner blonde and being summerlicious.

What is the one thing in life you cannot live without? 

My Camera 



What inspires your creativity and designs? 

People, art, cinema, travel, graphics in everyday objects.


Who are your style icons? 


Queen Elizabeth II - Jewelry

Robert Taylor - Architect

Billy Baldwin - Interior designer

Helmut Newton - Photographer

Pedro Almodovar - Film Director

Isabella Rossellini - Actress

Guru Danger - Showgirl

Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project? 

The Prince of Wales



What books are currently on your bedside table? 

Prince Felix Youssoupoff—Lost Splendour
Caroline Moorehead—Dancing to the Precipice
Matt Albiani—Lifeguards on Duty

5th July 2010 The Royal Opera House Programme—Simon Boccanegra


Past or present who has most influenced your direction in life?

Veere Grenney and my children Edward and Cosmo Oliver.

Interior Photos and Profile by Ronda Carman

12 comments:

The-Countrypolitan said...

I went over to the Stark website to look at his paints and his color palette is REALLY nice. I look forward to the showroom getting the product in... ~Terri

Pink Julep Abroad said...

Wow! What a great opportunity!

By the way, I'm an American moving to the UK too!

Kwana said...

Thanks for this behind the scenes peek.

Kwana said...

Thanks for this behind the scenes peek.

Kelly Green said...

Looks like an amazing day - lovely interview and oh so interesting! KG

ALL THE BEST said...

Diane - I cannot find your comment...I am so sorry. If you follow my blog, then you will know that I ask the same question of each person that I interview, as I find it interesting to see how each individual approaches the questions.

mary said...

This is a fantastic interview and photos--I can almost feel his presence. Thanks. Mary
I wonder what shade of gray is on the walls with the tall bookcase? It is wonderfully perfect.

Dovecote Decor said...

We just visited the fantastic Stark Carpet Outlet in Charlotte and Tim talked to us with great enthusiasm about the quality of the paint, which is truly 0 VOC. The palette is perfection. Hats off to the color wizard.

eclecticentertaining said...

This has been one of my favorite interviews of yours! Good post

Danielle said...

I believe that this is one of my favorite profiles. His responses seem so grounded. It's lovely.

Hardwood Flooring Gal said...

Interesting interview of David Oliver. Really interesting perspective from the color guru. Loved the last 3 photos, those spaces look very well balanced with amazing touches of color, beautiful flooring and area rugs and cool furniture (especially that white chair!). Thanks for sharing this inspirational post!

Kimberly Grigg said...

David had the most concise, yet inspiring, responses I think I have yet to read. Amazing how he can use so few words to express such complete answers. Truly enjoyed it! Thanks for your fab blog!