Interior designer Rose Uniacke on art supplies, first editions and bare feet
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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.
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 St, Chicago, IL 60654 (stephendaitergallery.com).
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 St, London W1 (hollandandholland.com).
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
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
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.
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
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 (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 St (hemispheregallery.com). Hilary Batstone, 8 Holbein Pl (hilarybatstone.com). Jamb, 95-97 Pimlico Rd (jamb.co.uk). Robert Kime, 190-192 Ebury St (robertkime.com). Soane Britain, 50-52 Pimlico Rd (soane.co.uk).
My style icon is Eugenia Errázuriz, a pioneer of modernism. She was way ahead of her time, stripping grandiosity out of interiors at a time when that was unheard of – and in doing so, she elevated simplicity to an art form. She was also mentor to Jean-Michel Frank, who said he owed everything he did to her. Late in life she became a lay nun, outfitted in a plain black habit designed by another minimalist, Coco Chanel.
The beauty staple I’m never without is Sisley skincare – especially the All Day All Year cream, which I use just as instructed. I’ve also worn Santa Maria Novella’s Zagara cologne for a long time – I’ve no idea what’s in it, but I like it. All Day All Year cream, £257 for 50ml, sisley-paris.com. Zagara eau de cologne, £90 for 100ml, smnovella.com
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.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Francisco de Zurbarán, a largely self-taught 17th-century Spanish painter – there’s something monastic about his work. I would surround myself with his still-life paintings if I could.
An object I would never part with is a keyring my mother gave me on the day I opened my shop on Pimlico Road. It’s silver and has a slide with a small black stone that allows it to open. She had it made by the Italian designer Barbara Bertagnolli. barbara-bertagnolli.co.uk
The last meal that truly impressed me was in Modena. We happened to be driving through the city at lunchtime and turned up at Osteria Francescana – and, of course, we couldn’t get a table. The manager said that there was this little place nearby called Trattoria Bianca, and he led us there in his car. We were greeted by huge chunks of Parmesan and homemade cherry jam on the table, and it was followed by fantastic pasta. It was such a wonderful lunch and it happened in the most unexpected way. Osteria Francescana, Via Stella, 22, 41121 Modena (osteriafrancescana.it). Trattoria Bianca, 24 Via Giovanni Battista Spaccini, 41122 Modena (trattoriabianca.it)
An indulgence I would never forgo is my trips to my favourite art shop, Green & Stone on the King’s Road. It has every pen, pencil and paper you could want. I’ve been going ever since I moved to London in 1981 and it’s still such a treat. 259 King’s Rd, London SW3 (greenandstone.com)
The best souvenirs I’ve brought home include a Jenaer Glaswerk tea set that I discovered in a very full, old and dark antique shop when I was roaming the streets of Buenos Aires. There’s an early 1930s example by Wilhelm Wagenfeld in the Museum of Modern Art in New York; I’m not sure of the exact date of mine though. It was fun to bring it back to Europe. Also, a small 1960s concertina book, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, by Ed Ruscha, which I bought from a vintage bookseller in LA this summer. It stretches to about 7.5m, showing a continuous photographic view of Sunset Boulevard – both sides of the street. jenaerglas-shop.de
The best book I’ve read in the past year is My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. It’s such a beautiful story of the complexities of love, particularly between a mother and a daughter. I went on to read everything else she had written.
The best gift I’ve given recently was an Arsenal season ticket that I bought for my husband. When he was opening it, I think he thought I was giving him a tour of the stadium or something and was trying to look pleased. When he realised what it was, he got such a shock. arsenal.com
In my fridge, you’ll always find just about anything. My fridge is unusual – it’s a walk-in cold room. I built it into a tricky corner, so it’s triangular, and it’s so spacious that I can use the bottom shelf to store pots, pans and baking tins while still having room for food, mostly bought from the Pimlico Road farmers’ market on a Saturday. The only things you won’t find in there are coffee and eggs, since somebody told me you shouldn’t keep them cold. lfm.org.uk/markets/pimlico-road
The last music I downloaded was Doug Seegers’ Going Down to the River. I love the story of how he was discovered when he was homeless in Nashville by a Swedish country singer, who was making a documentary and who eventually helped him get the song recorded. It got his life going again.
If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is New York. I love the energy and the feeling of possibility, and my best friend lives there. There’s a little place called Bohemian on Great Jones Street with only a few seats – you can’s stay for long but the food is wonderful. I like the Neue Galerie, which has a very specialised collection of German and Austrian art. It stages great shows such as the Wiener Werkstätte, which finished earlier this year. I also really like the Bowery Hotel, which always feels welcoming and cosy. Bohemian, 57 Great Jones St, NY 10012 (reservations by referral only). Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery, NY 10003 (theboweryhotel.com). Neue Gallerie, 1048 5th Ave, NY 10028 (neuegalerie.org)
If I weren’t doing what I do, I can’t imagine another career. I really love what I do and I don’t want to change – my days are very varied and creative and fun.
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