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From Home Furnishing Business

Inspirational Designer Raymond Waites Passes Away at 83

“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 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 Caldwell 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, 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 in 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 Oy. Raymond was responsible for the design direction and opening retail stores in the United States, Japan and around the world.

In 1973, Raymond founded Gear-Holdings with Betty Martin. Raymond developed the first coordinated program of home furnishings for Sears. Raymond designed and merchandised coordinated Collections across the home furnishings departments which was a brand new innovation in the industry.

In 1994, Raymond founded Raymond Waites Design creating products that produced $4.5 billion of branded and private label products. In 2007, he added Remix Atelier, a design and licensing company with his partner Russell Berge.

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. Raymonds hands have inspired many generations of designers and makers of home furnishings. He is survived by his partner Russell and his close friend Lynn Courtade. 

In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Furniture Hall of Fame in High Point, North Carolina. 

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