In the heart of Pimlico you’ll find Warwick Square, a leafy private garden surrounded by white fronted Georgian homes. Nestled amongst these lies the stripped back villa owned by antiques dealer turned interior designer Rose Uniacke.
This exceptional villa, often described by Rose as ‘monastery meets Venetian palazzo’ was once an artists studio, commissioned by society painter James Rannie Swinton in the late 1850’s and is thought to be one of the first purpose built artists studios in London.
Nestled amongst the highly polished, tall and narrow glossy townhouses of Warwick Square, the house with it’s vast proportions almost looks out of place with its grandly understand facade and subtle patina.
Having been converted from Swinton’s residence and studio, the villa underwent numerous renovations and in recent years, converted into a smaller house and four apartments.
Inside, the house opens up to a vast hallway with intricate mouldings, a fireplace and a sweeping stone staircase installed by Rose and her husband David Heyman, more typical of the original building.
The property has a restrained elegance throughout, with paired back furnishings and a subtle stone coloured palette carrying you room to room. Though paired back, a combination of organic, untreated textures such as marble,wood, limestone and rough linens work together to give the house warmth and energy.
One of the houses unique assets is the winter garden, a room flooded with natural light and leaves ascending to exposed wooden beams, giving an almost surreal moment in the heart of London. The room has always been centre stage, originally used a gallery by Swinton, designed to lead guests to the formal rooms, encouraging a sale a two
Rather than highlighting the buildings proportions and drawing the eye to every architectural detail, a decision was made to ground these characteristics, using a textured, neutral palette the rooms provide a backdrop to the old and new art and furnishings, a mix of fine antiques and Rose’s own design.
Rose has designed projects on both sides of the Atlantic, including a West Coast house furnished with a significant collection of twentieth-century furniture, the company HQ for perfumer Jo Malone and recently, a Holland Park mansion for David and Victoria Beckham, an estimated £6 million renovation which took several years.
Creating environments that have an obvious function, be lived in with a robust quality, is something Rose has mastered.
All images via Rose Uniacke