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Coffee With... Flora Roberts

28th May 2024

Painter, mural artist, and the designer behind many wonderful fabric and wallpaper designs, Flora Roberts’ distinctive work uniquely combine colour, light and feeling. Painting flowers from 'life' that follow the seasons as they come and go, their realistic quality has captivated interior designers and homeowners alike.

Growing up in rural Scotland, with keen gardeners as parents, Flora was always interested in, and surrounded by flowers from a very young age. Combining her passion for nature, and her natural artistic talents, she began her career working in textile design for the fashion industry. Moving into fabric and wallpaper designs, her successful collaborations with brands such as Lewis & Wood and GP & J Baker saw her subsequently launch her first collection of wallpapers, in partnership with Hamilton Weston and available from F&P Interiors.

In this interview, we talk about the inspirations behind her paintings, her favourite room in her own home, and what single piece of advice she would offer to other inspiring creatives. Join us as we share a coffee with the delightful, Flora Roberts...

The natural world obviously has a huge influence in your work. Have flowers and nature always been a big part of your life?

Yes right from the beginning my parents noticed my love for flowers. I inherited a book called ‘Flora Britannica’. It’s a black and white encyclopaedia of British wild flowers.

When you find one, you colour it in, and name and date it. It has lovely flowers painted by my grandmother in the 1950s.

What is your earliest memory of drawing the natural world?

I remember drawing a true to life image of snowdrops in a vase at primary school. My mum told me later that my teacher rang as it did seem strangely accomplished.

I drew all day; I was just really able to zone in from an early age, with varying degrees of success. I just really enjoyed representing nature, as I still do now. 

You mention that you prefer to paint from life, rather than photographs. What difference do you think this makes to your work?

When I’m in front of flower it’s not just how it looks in a single moment. It’s how it smells, the shapes it moves into and its colours which change in different lights.

These things help me find the essence of something rather than just presenting a photographic representation.

Cottage Garden WallpaperCottage Garden Wallpaper

What is the best piece of advice you were given as an artist, and one that you would like to pass on to inspiring creatives?

Keep at it. Just do! Even if you really don’t feel like it. Tell pepole  about yourself too even if that doesn’t come naturally. You’ll always learn more when you make mistakes. 

From delicate perfume bottles to vast wall murals, your designs translate wonderfully to any scale. Is your creative process always the same, or does the size of the design influence how you begin?

I do tend to always paint slightly bigger than life size. I really like being challenged to take different approaches. Wallpaper designs always bring about fun new directions.

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Your Eve's Garden design is one that particularly stands out to us here at F&P Interiors. Can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind creating such an extraordinary mural wallpaper?

I was inspired by ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ by John Singer Sargent. I wanted to create something which has the feeling of that painting, changing the flowers, but exploring a similar colour palette. 

What is your favourite flower to draw, and why?

 I love the Iris at the moment . When I look at the them I can’t believe they exist. They are so magical aren’t they.

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If you weren’t an artist and designer, what job do you think you would be doing?

A performer of some kind. A dancer. I don’t have any ability in that area but I would find a way in nevertheless!

What is your favourite room in your home, and why?

At the moment it’s my sitting room. It has the most pattern . The mantelpiece ‘objet-art’ moves around constantly. Mini exhibits like shells , fossils, feathers and other trinkets find their way there...

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What can we expect to see next from Flora Roberts?

I’m very excited to have just launched my first fabric collection with Hamilton Weston, and I’m planning some more wallpaper designs.

What’s your favourite thing about F&P Interiors?

I think it’s modern and joyful, whilst having a wink to the past. Really exciting!

Scheming with Flora Roberts Wallpaper

Join Emma as she creates a stunning bedroom moodboard, featuring a mixture of fun fabrics and luxury trimmings to complement the stunning Peony Garden Wallpaper by Flora Roberts. With every design available to shop online, choose your favourites and order your samples today...

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