When I was asked to meet Kenny Roach the designer and get a ‘feel’ for what he did, I was expecting to just meet a furniture designer, but instead, I met a multi-talented artist/designer who had an interest in arts, crafts and design from every discipline. Not only does he have an interest, he seems to have a natural talent for all of them as well.
When I knocked on the door of his cottage I was greeted by a bright, warm smile and a sparkle in his eyes. He was dressed in a pristine white cotton shirt, a pair of amazing jeans and a bandanna, all of which he had designed himself. There was no shaking of hands with him, just an all encompassing bear hug and an offer of a cuppa tea.
His cottage has two reasonable size reception rooms which were filled with examples of his work. Kenny has a particular liking for working with denim, which is reflected in some of his designs which are currently on display in Nash Interiors, a trendy furniture shop in the Hockley area of Nottingham. Telephone Kenny for details on the next time he will be exhibiting at Nash or when any of his other outlets will be hosting an evening for him.
His sitting room has the quirkiest pair of curtains I’ve ever seen. They are made from a pair of Jeans and a denim jacket. The way in which they have been constructed means that when they are drawn they become a whole outfit. These fabulous curtains hang from ‘poles’ made from garden tools, a hoe and……. However, the design does not stop there. The tiebacks are made from a recognisable pair of beautiful soft leather shoes. Much love and attention to detail has gone into dressing this window and this attention to detail is replicated elsewhere in his home.
Kenny has tried every type of art and crafts in his time and seems to have mastered them all. He showed me examples of fabric printing, needle point, embroidery, pottery and jewellery which he had made. He has a passion for recycling anything and everything but the amazing thing is, everything he makes has a functional use.
His workshops are situated at the back of the house and are crammed full with fabrics, wood, and old furniture waiting to have his creative hands laid upon them. He gets his inspiration from life itself and everything around him. His bespoke beds command in the region of £3,ooo but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, he has a range of Shabby Chic furniture at a fraction of the price.
One thing’s for sure, you should own a piece of Kenny Roach art, craft or furniture now as it is sure to be an investment for the future. My favourite piece on the day was a Chaise Longue covered in denim which had a leather belt threaded through the loops of what was once the waistband of a pair of jeans.
It was a pleasure to meet such an innovative man and he will happily meet with you. Kenny admits he only checks his emails once a week, so if you need to contact him, use the telephone. He is happy to accommodate anyone wishing to visit his workshops. He’ll even make you a cuppa tea!.