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March 4, 2024 —

Love What You Do: Flora Roberts

Scottish artist and designer Flora Roberts' enchanting flower paintings come from sensitive observation, and pure passion for nature. From murals to wallpaper and textiles, her atmospheric work captures the ethereal magic of the botanical world
Wallpaper designer Flora Roberts in front of floral green wallpaper
Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts
Sine Fleet - contributingeditor of 91 Magazine
Sine Fleet
91 Magazine contributing editor,

Photography

Tom Teasdale
Photographer,
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Hi Flora, how would you describe your work?

Flowers are a recurring theme. I love painting them from life, trying to capture their colours and moving shapes. Flowers never stay still!

Wallpaper designer Flora Roberts in front of floral green wallpaper
Photo: Lisa Linder

What inspired the idea of setting up your business? 

I first started painting murals after I repaired one in a house my sister moved to. Something about the way the house took on the spirit of its inherited decoration really got me hooked and I later became more involved with designing wallpapers.

What did you do before setting up your business?

I’ve always been thinking about decoration. I studied textile design, more specifically for fashion. I had a work placement at World of Interiors magazine when I was a teenager, and this was a turning point which led me down the designing for homes route.

Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts

LWYD Flora Roberts 91 Magazine 13 1

“I try to find inspiration outside the interiors world”

Where do you find creative inspiration?

I go to lots of exhibitions. I love films. I try to find inspiration outside the interiors world as I feel it will lead to more original pieces in my design work.

How would you describe your style?

Unashamedly romantic and unapologetically pretty.

Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts

Are there themes or influences that run through your work?

Nostalgic colour palettes. Always something hand painted rather than strongly graphic.

Could you tell us a little about your creative process?

More often than not I’m painting flowers from life. I collect lots of inspiring images, scraps of  antique fabric, or anything that takes my interest. These seem to feed into what I’m doing on an unconscious level.

Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts

How did you first discover your love for what you do?

I have since I can remember painted flowers. I used to pick wildflowers with my mum and look them up in a book called Flora Britannica. These were black outlined drawings, you’d colour them in and date them when you found the flower. I still have the book, it belonged to my grandmother. It’s a wonderful flower diary spanning three generations.

Could you describe a typical working day?

My most productive time is in the morning. I tend to lose track of time if I am painting. Afternoon I find it more conducive to thinking and researching. But if I have a specific project on, I’m chasing deadlines!

Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts

“I really want to create something which feels familiar but is also unique”

 

What is the ethos behind your business?

I really want to create something which feels familiar but is also unique. It’s a challenging balance which I really enjoy trying to achieve.

Is there an element of your work that you love the most?

I love it when I find a delicious combination of colours that I really like but don’t know exactly why.

Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts

How valuable is the online community to your work?

I have really enjoyed interacting with people who follow my work. It’s really satisfying when people send me a room covered with my wallpaper. I used to work for many different companies, but now I exclusively sell my designs through Hamilton Weston Wallpapers Ltd.

 

“I go at my own pace, I can make mistakes – often so integral to good work”

 

What do you enjoy most about working as an independent artist?

I go at my own pace, I can make mistakes – often so integral to good work – and I feel like my creativity isn’t being limited by anything. I do value collaborations as they take you to places in projects that you can’t find necessarily on your own.

Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts

Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts

What’s one thing people would be surprised you do in your work?

I can’t talk at the same time. As soon as I stop I’m a chatterbox!

Do you have any creative pastimes or hobbies?

I love the cinema.

Floral wallpaper by Scottish wallpaper designer Flora Roberts

What does the next year hold for you?

I have some exhibitions coming up. They are in three different places but I’m currently redoing my website to make the work for them available online to buy. These will be at the end of May until the end of June. During Chelsea Flower week I’m exhibiting a few in the window and around the interior of the wonderful Notting Hill store, Couverture & the Garbstore.

 

QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS

 

Books I love: For classics, I remember enjoying Daphne de Maurier’s Rebecca, and George Elliot’s Middlemarch. I listen to endless audio books while I’m doing more meticulous design work. I’ve lately really enjoyed the audio of The Slow Horses books by Mick Herron. 

Creative Heroes: The flower painter Winifred Nicholson. Most musicians. 

Shops I love: Couverture & the Garbstore. Caramel Mother & Child. Dover Street Market for something more unexpected. Liberty’s I find comforting because I used to go to the one in Edinburgh with my mum and can’t explain why. Maybe it’s the Arts & Crafts aspect of the interior and knowing everything in it has been really carefully chosen. I love shops like that. A place that is really respected and admired by the people working there too. 

Inspirational places: London and New York. I’m always inspired by these two cities. Early spring in Cornwall, and other parts of the West Country are very special. 

Instagrammers I love: I love following flower growers and people who use flowers in their artwork. Artists like @harrietparryflowers are always interesting and I dream about having flowers growing like @milliproust.

Floraroberts.co.uk

@flora.roberts

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