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10 Minutes with the Director - Tim Noblett

10 Minutes with the Director - Tim Noblett
As long standing Northern Ireland Establishment; Noblett's Of North Street have been a huge part of the High street for over 80 years.
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We sat down with our Company Director Tim Noblett for a chat about his memories, changes in the industry and which patterns he hopes NEVER come back into style! 
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Q1. Hi Tim, Can you give us a bit of the history of Noblett's?

My Great Grandfather, Richard Noblett, worked in sales for Crown Paints and Wallcoverings at their head office in Darwen Lancashire. He was asked to fill in for the Irish sales rep on a temporary basis and moved with his family to Belfast. By all accounts they loved it and chose to stay and move here permanently.
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While he travelled the country for Crown, In the late 1930’s, his son Harry opened a wallpaper and Paint store on the Lisburn Road Belfast. He built the business, developing a reputation for having the best range and value of any retailer in the country. 
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By the end of the 1980’s there were 13 stores in and around the Belfast area.  Harry retired in 1989 and his sons Harold (my Dad) and Roger, took charge and continued the family passion for interior design.
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Q2. What is it about the Home Décor industry that inspires you the most?

It’s super exciting. It’s constantly changing and it puts me in contact with amazing, creative and passionate people.  Those I work with; the customers that come out of their way to shop with us and our suppliers whom we get our latest designs from.
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The people associated with Interior Design Industry are so enthusiastic and energised by all things design and style making it hard not to get caught up in it.
Our customers are amazing. I love to hear about projects they are working on in their homes. It gives me such a buzz to engage with them and listen to their experiences. Knowing that we have helped them achieve a look that is an expression of themselves and their individualism.  
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Check out our Real Rooms Album sent in by our customers
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Noblett's Real Rooms
 

Q3. How have you seen the Home Décor Industry develop over the decades?

There has been so much change; but one thing that has remained is that the people of Northern Ireland have always, and remain passionate about their homes.
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Styles and fashions have changed significantly over the last 30 years that I’ve seen. People are certainly more daring. They are more willing to experiment with different styles and looks. With definitely more choice in terms of wallpaper designs and colours. There’s a more global style offering which incorporates influences from all over the world.
 

Q4. What's your favourite style of Wallpaper & Why?

I’m a big fan of statement wallpaper. I like designs that grab you. So many times I’ve seen wallpaper designs that look OTT on the roll or on a small sample but look absolutely amazing on the wall.
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I’m definitely a firm believer in taking a chance. Going with your instinct, being more daring can make for an amazing look that just knocks your socks off!
Passepartout Ink floral Wallpaper Passepartout Ink Floral Wallpaper
 

Q5. What style of design would you like to make a comeback or see more variations of in the future?

I love bold brash statement colour and design wallpapers. 3D geometric patterns in a larger pattern repeat, creating a larger scale feature design on the wall are amazing.
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Being a child of the 80’s I’ve a real soft spot for the influences of the late 70’s early 80’s. Bold, brash greens, oranges and browns I’d love to see more of.
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Retro 70's Wallpaper
 

Q6. What design would you like to lock away in the sin bin never to see the light of day again?

I never like to judge, Everyone’s style is different. It’s such a unique expression of an individual’s personality and influences; if I don’t quite get it that’s fine. If it makes someone happy that’s amazing!
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What I’d like to lock away is not a design or style but seconds or imperfect wallpapers. In the 80’s and 90’s, when I first joined the company, we offered selection of sale wallpapers sold by manufacturers as being slight seconds.
Wallpapers that hadn’t passed quality control and had minor flaws. 99% of them were alright but without opening every roll it was impossible to guarantee.
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Selling these wallpapers always made me uncomfortable. It may have made available some new designs that customers might not have been able to afford otherwise, but it did make me feel uneasy.
That and The Spice Girls wallpaper. :) 
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Spice Girls Wallpaper Bedroom
 

Q7. What changes have you seen in the Home Décor industry over the past 12 months of the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Firstly, we’ve seen a real change in supply. In terms of wallpaper being printed in the factories, which had to close and also new designs that have been offered to us this year. Being a global industry we receive wallpapers from all over the world.
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For example, summer 2020 zero wallpapers left Italy for at least 12 weeks. Factories closed and when they did open again it took a considerable time for them to ramp up production and catch up with demand.
There was a definite spike in the need for exterior paint and decorating supplies.
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With the good weather of last year and people being at home for an extended time seemed to spur customers on to paint fences and walls. There was a period of time that suppliers had to ration fence paint because there just wasn't enough to go around.
 

Q8. What's your favourite wallpaper pattern at this precise moment & Why?

Cristiana Masi Tendenza Black/White Wallpaper
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I really love this Cristiana Masi Tendenza Design at the moment. Its bold and 3D and has a real hotel look. Perfect for a feature wall or highlighting an alcove or niche.
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 We see so many papers here. There is literally a new one every week!
 

Q9. What are your style predictions for 2021?

After the year that we’ve had I think the trends and styles move towards an expression of our desire to be outside and not cooped up. 
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SO the outside in. Lots of foliage designs, anything green and lush. Moving away from more muted greys and neutrals.
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Tropical Palm Green Wallpaper
 

Whatever is in store I’m super excited about the future.

 

Tim Noblett 

 
 

Comments

Jill Thistlethwaite

Just received my samples and I am now really spoilt for choice! Great size pieces to place on wall to get a good idea. Have a whole house to redecorate so do expect an order- not so soon as I am hopeless at making decisions. Got to you via looking up wallpapers seen on Interior Design Challenge. Email a couple of days ago much appreciated- very friendly and undemanding- sort of company I want to do business with. Thanks Jill

Suzette Butler

I’ve just finished papering my dining room and it was effortless due to the quality of the paper. I’m delighted with the service, communication and generous sized samples. Thankyou.

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