• Profile: David Oliver

    by  • 26 Jul ’10 • david oliver, paint and paper library, profile • 12 Comments

    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 Responses to Profile: David Oliver

    1. The-Countrypolitan
      26 Jul ’10 at 8:10 pm

      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

    2. Pink Julep Abroad
      26 Jul ’10 at 8:55 pm

      Wow! What a great opportunity!

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

    3. Kwana
      26 Jul ’10 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks for this behind the scenes peek.

    4. Kwana
      26 Jul ’10 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks for this behind the scenes peek.

    5. Kelly Green
      27 Jul ’10 at 1:12 am

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

    6. ALL THE BEST
      27 Jul ’10 at 2:19 am

      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.

    7. mary
      27 Jul ’10 at 2:50 pm

      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.

    8. Dovecote Decor
      28 Jul ’10 at 1:10 pm

      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.

    9. eclecticentertaining
      28 Jul ’10 at 2:28 pm

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

    10. Danielle
      29 Jul ’10 at 1:39 am

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

    11. Hardwood Flooring Gal
      29 Jul ’10 at 8:24 pm

      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!

    12. Kimberly Grigg
      2 Aug ’10 at 3:04 am

      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!

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