The Aesthete: Rose Uniacke talks personal taste

Interior decorator, antiques dealer and furniture designer Rose Uniacke has built a world-class reputation on elegant, refined and visually rich spaces

Rose Uniacke at home in London
Rose Uniacke at home in London | Image: Jake Curtis

My personal style signifier is bare feet. I dress quite simply – I wear few colours and tend not to go for pattern – but if there’s something that people associate with me, it’s that I prefer to leave my feet bare.

Her Egg on Plate photograph by Josef Sudek
Her Egg on Plate photograph by Josef Sudek | Image: Josef Sudek, Egg on Plate, DACS 2018

The last thing I bought and loved was a photograph by Josef Sudek called Egg on Plate. It’s a small black and white print from 1950. I love the purity of the egg and the simplicity of the image – it’s not symmetrical but it’s so perfectly balanced. Stephen Daiter Gallery, 230 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60654 (+1312-787 3350; stephendaitergallery.com).

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The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a navy-blue peacoat from Holland & Holland, which is classic, very beautiful and fantastically warm. I love the feel of the label since Stella Tennant and Isabella Cawdor reinvented it. £990; 33 Bruton Street, London W1 (020-7499 4411; hollandandholland.com).

Uniacke’s Holland & Holland peacoat, £990
Uniacke’s Holland & Holland peacoat, £990 | Image: Jake Curtis

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a first edition of Casino Royale. Fleming came up with the design for the artwork himself. I have the rest of the collection, so for many years I have had an eye open, in quite an idle way, to find it. broughttobook.com.

Riding in Patagonia
Riding in Patagonia | Image: Shutterstock

My favourite room in my house is our study, which always feels welcoming. It’s an extended octagonal room with egg-yellow curtains and pretty views over treetops and a church. There’s a Georgian revival chimneypiece that I’ve left partially stripped, a remnant of the years of neglect the house suffered. There are two Petersham sofas from my own Editions range and an octagonal Regency gothic-revival desk. And I found a lovely 17th-century Moghul carpet from a friend, antiques dealer James Graham-Stewart, that just happened to fit perfectly. jamesgraham-stewart.com.

A guestroom at The Ashram, Mallorca
A guestroom at The Ashram, Mallorca

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Patagonia, where I went on a riding and camping holiday with my family. It’s so varied, with wild landscapes, snowcapped mountains, clear lakes, meadows and forests. And we visited Bariloche, where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out.

Jamón Ibérico at Sabor in Mayfair
Jamón Ibérico at Sabor in Mayfair

The place I rely on for personal wellbeing is The Ashram in Mallorca. It’s based in California but comes to the island for three months a year. I try to have a restorative week each year and I also love the challenging hill-walking. It’s beautiful too. theashrammallorca.com.

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The best gift I’ve received recently is a sewing room. My children are really creative present-givers – they often design and make things – and they set up a room for me at home with a sewing machine, a mannequin and a basket of fabrics. I used to sew years ago and they knew I wanted to start again.

A recent “find” is Sabor in Mayfair, founded by the brilliant chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho with José Etura – it has a great atmosphere and the food is superb. When I first went, I had to return the next day; I loved it that much. Try the sardines. 35-37 Heddon St, London W1 (020-3319 8130; saborrestaurants.co.uk). 

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Pimlico, because 20th-century design and antiques are both at the heart of the Pimlico Road. Hemisphere is great for 20th-century pieces; the antiques dealer Jamb has a particular interest in fireplaces; and Soane Britain’s furniture is beautiful. Robert Kime recently came to the area, which is a treat, and my mother, Hilary Batstone, has her decorative antiques shop nearby on Holbein Place. Hemisphere, 97 Lower Sloane Street (020-7730 9810; hemispheregallery.com). Hilary Batstone, 8 Holbein Place (020-7730 5335; hilarybatstone.com). Jamb, 95-97 Pimlico Road (020-7730 2122; jamb.co.uk). Robert Kime, 190-192 Ebury Street (020-7831 6066; robertkime.com). Soane Britain, 50-52 Pimlico Road (020-7730 6400; soane.co.uk).

My favourite app is Childline’s For Me. I’ve supported them for several years and they think their app, launched last year, is making a difference. Professionally, I like Concepts, a drawing app, and Wunderlist – it’s great for managing multiple projects.

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