Design Icon Raymond Waites Passes, 83

November 7, 2023

Raymond Waites
Raymond Waites

HIGH POINT, NC— Raymond Waites, the recognized leader and founder of The American Country movement in home furnishings in the 80’s and Vintage Home in the 90s passed away here November 7 after a brief illness.
Waites was born in Demopolis, Alabama on May 28, 1940. He was the brother of Joyce Waites and was predeceased by his wife, Nancy Caldwell Waites.
In 1994, he founded Raymond Waites Design creating products that reportedly produced $4.5 billion of branded and private label products.
In his long career, Waites designed and coordinated collections of bedding, textiles, wall coverings, area rugs, lamps and chandeliers, ceramics, porcelain, framed art and other accessories for LaneVenture, Toyo Trading and other internationally known suppliers.
He was also the author of six books: American Country, Living Home, Country Style, American View, Small Pleasures, Festive and Tables.
His early life in Alabama was spent helping his father demonstrate Evinrude motors on the lake, working in the service station and playing football.
Waites graduated from Auburn in 1964, where he received his bachelor’s degree in visual arts and graphic and fine Art.
He received the President’s Award of Top Graduate in the School of the Arts & Architecture.
He was then accepted to Pratt Institute in New York where he earned his Fellowship in the master’s Program.
His next step was working in the Art Department at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer I Columbus, Georgia. While working at the Ledger-Enquirer, he became involved in the Columbus Little Theater and was part of the group that helped save the Springer Opera House from the wrecking ball.
After caring for his mother, he then entered the larger world as he accepted the position in Finland of Creative VP of Design Research- Marimekko. Raymond was responsible for the design direction and opening retail stores in the United States and Japan and around the world.
In 1973, Waites founded Gear-Holdings with Betty Martin.
He developed the first coordinated program of home furnishings for Sears Roebuck & Co. where he designed and merchandised coordinated collections across the home furnishings departments which at the time was an idea considered a first in the industry.
In 2007, he added Remix Atelier, a design and licensing company with his partner Russell Berge.
A Raymond Waites Scholarship is being set up at IFDA (International Furnishings & Design Association)

IFDA Educational Fund
In memory of Raymond Waites
7908 Lasley Forest Road
Lewisville, NC 27023


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