Rose Uniacke is an interior designer, a designer of furniture and lighting – for individual clients as well as for her showroom – and a dealer in both antiques and pieces by other, usually well known, designers. In this article, we will talk about the serene interiors from Rose Uniacke!
Rose Uniacke believes strongly in combining the old and the new. It’s one of the defining characteristics of her style as an interior designer and curator of spaces. She and her team work internationally but are based in Pimlico, in central London, in spacious premises that serve as a showroom and, below stairs, a design studio and offices. They also work with independent craftspeople in different parts of the country. The Sunday Times has called Rose The Queen of Serene. What Rose’s interiors have in common is warmth, weightlessness, character and an extraordinary serenity. In 2013, Rose won the Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year Award, often described as the Oscar of the interior design world.
Rose Uniacke leads all design projects and is a central figure in all client relationships. Whether it’s a residential or commercial project, getting to know clients, understanding their needs and preferences. No two clients have the same lives, tastes or dreams, just as no two interiors have the same light, proportions, history or personality. Rose’s interiors, therefore, differ markedly from one another. However, they all reflect her personal aesthetic: her predilection for light, air and space; her pursuit of both simplicity and refinement; her emphasis not only on restraint but also on softness; and the importance she attaches to materials and to texture.
Rose Uniacke – Richmond House
This imposing manor house in Richmond, London typifies Rose Uniacke’ sensitive approach to the restoration of an important listed building, originally built during the reign of Charles 11 then extended during the Georgian period. Taking her queue from the purity of the houses historic features, the wide oak boards, impressive Adam fireplaces and cornicing, Rose embarked on a process of peeling away subsequent decorative layers to reveal the buildings’ original proportion and authentic spirit. This is a light filled, restful family home where the past and the present harmoniously co-exist, with calm uncluttered spaces and an understated atmosphere of refinement and elegance. Modern luxury is respectfully and unobtrusively integrated within the structure of the old building.The subtle sunny palette and organic textures of marble, wood, slate and linen contribute warmth, authenticity, and serenity. An important collection of African art injects a contemporary energy, juxtaposed with the more traditional Georgian elements of furniture and panelling.This masterful blend of traditional and modern materials, artworks and finishes and striking combinations of antique with contemporary pieces, including many of Rose Uniacke‘s own design – has resulted in an effortlessly comfortable retreat, celebrating the building’s historical integrity whilst delivering a timeless modernity and freshness.
Rose Uniacke – Mayfair Apartment
Open fires, open shelving, opulent materials and natural textures combine to create a restful, gracious, quietly English home. Rose Uniacke was asked to design this apartment by a private client who wanted a simple, comfortable retreat. It is set in the attic space of a period building in Mayfair, in central London, that had lost many of its original period details. Rose Uniacke’s goal was to create an interior of interest, charm and softness within a relatively minimal setting. Her design included, in the main living space, a fireplace wall with inbuilt bookshelves and log storage; and a custom-built wood and marble kitchen that can be partitioned from the dining area with rich yet unobtrusive drapes. Fine antiques and opulent, yet understated, materials lend the apartment depth and graciousness. Meanwhile, a refined palette, subtle lighting, open shelving and a mix of natural textures such as wood, plaster and the finest linens together create a harmonious interior that is warm, welcoming and restful.
Rose Uniacke – Battersea House
The creation of a contemporary London home without disturbing the building’s Victorian history or context. The client knew he wanted a fairly contemporary approach, and he had started working on joining the two buildings together with architects Eldridge Smerin. “I came in on the project after the plans had been drawn up, and they’d done a really nice job, but my thought was, Let’s do more”. Rose’s approach to this interior goes beyond delivering a captivating curation of furniture, textiles and accessories. Rose Uniacke‘s “more” included gutting then integrating the two buildings to create a unified living space for the client and his family. This approach lead to the creation of a contemporary London home without disturbing the building’s Victorian history or context.
Rose Uniacke – Pimlico House
A major restoration, this grand private house combines comfort and friendliness with grandeur and elegance. This exceptionally large nineteenth century London house was originally a professional artist’s combined studio, gallery and private residence. Rose undertook a complete renovation of the property and turned it back into a family house: a single dwelling with an internal courtyard, cinema, wine cellar, spa and pool. It was a major project, requiring extensive restoration work. This included the removal of a heavy, unsympathetic staircase, installed following bomb damage in the Second World War, and its replacement with a 12-ton cantilevered stone staircase, more typical of the original building. A restrained, subtle palette, a pared-back approach to furnishings and decoration, and organic, untreated textures such as marble, untreated wooden floorboards, limestone slabs and rough linens work together to give the house warmth, energy and serenity. So, too, does the mix of old and new art; and old and new furniture: fine, elegant antiques and pieces of Rose Uniacke‘s own design. Undeniably one of the loveliest houses in London, this is at once a modern house, a historic house and a house that has been given back its soul.
Rose Uniacke – The Buckingham
Every aspect of this design has been meticulously considered, to form a remarkably light and bright apartment. Rose Uniacke was commissioned to design an interior that puts gentle contemporary twists on a classic style. Every aspect of the layout and design has been carefully considered from the grand first floor drawing room, positioned to overlook the neighbouring Palace, that creates an unparalleled formal entertaining space, to the vast floor to ceiling windows, allowing light to flood into both living spaces and bedrooms.
Rose Uniacke – Holland Park Apartment
Rose Uniacke is an internationally renowned designer, known for her mastery of light and space, and her pursuit of purity and refinement. Detailed yet apparently simple, Rose Uniacke’s work draws upon historical inﬂuences, combining restrained richness of character with warmth, serenity and a timeless elegance. The vision for Holland Park Villas is one of understated luxury and reﬁnement. Using natural materials and organic textures Rose links the interior spaces to their dramatic exterior context. Soft drapes frame verdant park views through the full-height windows, blurring the boundaries between inside and out. Impeccable workmanship and superlative organic materials unify the scheme of stone, marble, leather, velvet and cashmere, linen and hard-woods. To complete the scheme, the walls throughout have been softened with a specialist paint ﬁnish and hung with an expertly curated collection of signiﬁcant artworks and photography including pieces by Michael Landy, Anish Kapoor, Ibrahim El-Salahi and Victor Passmore. This juxtaposition of old with the new is characteristic of the eﬀortless blending of antique and modern elements that has formed the cornerstone of Rose Uniacke‘s international reputation. The organic narrative is established in the masculine retreat of the study where textured linen upholstery and full soft curtains are oﬀset by a striking Terrão Bench by the Brazilian designer Domingos Tótora.
Rose Uniacke – Jo Malone Headquarters
A luxury fragrance and lifestyle company, for which Rose Uniacke has created a fresh, light, airy interior that is both tranquil and uplifting. It is a space that is understated yet characterful, with some dramatic details and distinctive, high quality antiques. Jo Malone commissioned Rose Uniacke to design their global headquarters: a Regency town house, in central London, comprising offices, a generous drawing room, a room for large meetings and a smaller, cosier garden room for more intimate gatherings. It is an interior of interesting contrasts: some subtle, some more striking. It is a space that is understated yet characterful, with some dramatic details and distinctive, high quality antiques. The reclaimed wood floors and wild greenery soften the architecturally imposing setting and hint at the botanical origins of the brand’s renowned perfumes, candles and cosmetics. Its pale walls and generally neutral palette contrast excitingly with the black detailing that appear throughout, an allusion to Jo Malone’s product packaging; they are also the perfect foil for the opulent fabrics, distinctive antique furniture and intricate mouldings that are important features of the scheme. The definition of understated luxury, it pays subtle homage to the 18th-century grandeur of the townhouse in which the offices are located.
Rose Uniacke – King’s Road Apartment
Young and fresh, yet refined, no detail has been overlooked in this smart, meticulously conceived apartment. The brief for this apartment on London’s King’s Road was to design an open, modern living space. Twentieth century furniture, lighting and artwork combine with striped textiles, custom-built wooden blinds and a compact but well specified kitchen to create a young, comfortable interior that is at once informal and beautifully finished.
Rose Uniacke – Chelsea Apartment
This apartment beautifully combines design classics and industrial detailing. It is practical, understated and enduringly stylish. This open plan apartment in London’s Chelsea has an urban, industrial and contemporary feel. It features exposed brickwork and ceiling joists, reclaimed cast iron radiators and wooden floors, in addition to well chosen pieces of twentieth century furniture. There is also a hidden projector that allows the living area to double as a screening room.
Rose Uniacke – Marylebone Apartment
An important collection is given the space to breathe – and shine – in this beautifully balanced apartment. This 1940s apartment in central London required substantial renovation. The brief was to design an open, spacious setting in which to house and display the client’s extensive collection of art, books and music. Rose Uniacke created a beautifully, cleverly balanced interior that is at one and the same time lively and relaxing. On the one hand, it is an interior with white walls, black floors, a number of black accents and “statement” lighting. The floors are the original parquet floors from the 1940s. Commodious, comfortable sofas, generous neutral drapery and the mix of antique and modern or contemporary furnishings – including bespoke built-in cabinetry in the kitchen and bedroom – together create a peaceful, reassuring interior of real softness.
Rose Uniacke – Brook Green House
Dramatic details and monochrome accents provide a thrilling backdrop for family life in this strikingly sophisticated house. This is a house with walls and detailing that are predominantly white or black; in which modern lighting and artwork and painted industrial-style radiators are balanced by distinctive antiques, including chandeliers and mirrors; and whose carefully considered practical details – for example, its open shelving, generous throws and removable slip covers – are amongst its many comforts. It is a vibrant but welcoming house that works perfectly as a family home.
Rose Uniacke – A Godwin House
A famous E.W. Godwin interior restored for the twenty-first century. The house was originally built by E.W. Godwin between 1878-1879 for Frank Miles, a society portraitist and friend of Oscar Wilde. The current homeowners wanted to acknowledge and respect its history – and they also wanted to create a home appropriate for a busy, modern family. This was not an academic historical re-creation. Using the wealth of archive material as a starting point, Rose Uniacke peeled away the layers and additions, restoring the spaces purity, architectural integrity and authentic spirit whilst delivering a fresh timeless quality and new functionality. This project was featured in the January 2018 issue of AD100.
To see more the the serene interiors from Rose Uniacke projects, visit their website!
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