“Modern man associates himself with the ancient world, not in order to reflect, like a mirror, but to capture its spirit and apply it in a modern way.”
-- Palladio, 1564 A.D. Raymond Waites, 1994 A.D.
Raymond Waites was born in Demopolis, Alabama on May 28, 1940 and passed on November 7, 2023, in High Point, NC, the city he loved.
He was the brother of Joyce Waites. He was predeceased by his wife, Nancy Moulton Waites.
Early life was simple in Alabama. Raymond spent his time helping his father demonstrating Evinrude motors on the lake, working in the service station and playing football.
Raymond 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.
Raymond 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, Raymond 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, Raymond founded Gear-Holdings with Bettye Martin. Raymond developed the first coordinated program of home furnishings for Sears. Raymond designed and merchandised coordinated Collections across the home furnishings departments, an innovation which had never been in the industry.
In 1986 Raymond joined the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) as part of the New York Chapter. He was very active in the Association and often participated in panel discussions, educational seminars, and was very active in mentoring students.
In 1994, Raymond founded Raymond Waites Design creating products that produced $4.5 billion of branded and private label products. In 1995 he was awarded the top IFDA honor of International Trailblazer.
In 2007, he added Remix Atelier, a design and licensing company with his partner Russell Berge.
In 2012 Raymond retired and relocated to High Point, NC where he continued to be active in the industry and IFDA.
Raymond 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 many other Internationally known vendors in the Home Industry.
Raymond was also an author penning 6 books:
American Country, Clarkson Potter, Living Home, Country Style, American View, Harper & Row, Small Pleasures, Festive Tables, Little Brown.
He is the recognized leader and founder of The American Country movement in home furnishings in the 80’s and Vintage Home in the 90s.
Raymond Waites designs are still available today. Branded vintage items are available on 1st Dibs and Charish.
Raymond’s hands have inspired many generations of designers and makers of home furnishings.
A Raymond Waites Scholarship is being set up at IFDA EF (International Furnishings & Design Association Educational Foundation) so students and industry professionals can explore the world of design that he and his wife, Nancy, loved.