Mad About… Rose Uniacke Interiors

Who? I hear many of you asking. Well, in the simplest terms, she’s the interior designer who has just been asked to do up the Beckham house in West London.


Yes it was Kelly Hoppen for the “first phase” apparently and now it’s Rose Uniacke. Now like many of you, I imagine, I had no idea who she was. But when I looked at her work, I can see why Victoria, who is these days (or strives to be  -depending on your point of view)  regarded as *a person of taste*, chose her.


At first glance these images are all beige and neutral and tasteful but they’re a long way removed from the bland good taste of a Hoppen house. Uniacke trained first as a furniture restorer before becoming known as someone who could source fabulous pieces. Gradually her reputation as someone who could also create fabulous interiors began to spread.


I love all these rooms, because I love the mix of old and new. Each room almost looks like a still life painting – although that may be partly down to Simon Upton’s skill with a camera. She’s also a paint specialist and it’s the effect on the walls that I particularly like – they all look like polished plaster.

white bedroom

The colours are muted, the furniture simple but she makes the most of all the natural features and there is nothing remotely footballer’s wife about any of it.

sweeping staircase by simon upton for rose uniacke

Some of these pictures are of her own home – all 14,000 sq ft of it (yes I know, but she is also married to David Heyman, the producer of the Harry Potter films, and they do have five children).

bath in alcove by simon upton for rose uniacke

It’s basically all very simple with luxury in the details – the architectural detailing, the beautiful antique carved chair by the side of the freestanding bath that contrasts with the raw floorboards.

freestanding bath by simon upton for rose uniacke

These pictures are a mix of projects she has done and her own house and while we might not all have the space, the proportions or (let’s be honest) the budget to recreate something on such a grand scale as this, there is inspiration to be had and lessons to be learnt.

kitchen with red velvet curtain rose uniacke image by simon upton

On a practical note, I’m not sure that a red velvet curtain separating the kitchen from the dining room is a great idea – it might need regular cleaning, but for drama and separation of the space it’s pretty fantastic. Actually, looking closely I can’t even see a hob there so perhaps the steak frying is done elsewhere.

rose uniacke interiors

I love this conservatory and also how the addition of a simple wooden bench has turned this corridor into somewhere I could quite happily sit with a book for an hour.

reading areas by rose uniacke

In fact, I wonder if that’s the secret? So many interior designed homes seem to lack personality. There are artfully arranged pebbles on worktops and huge vases of flowers and outsize bowls of fruit. But Uniacke has books in many of her rooms so you really do feel you could move in and unpack.

What do you think?





Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. gorgeous style and like someone said it appears ‘effortless’ which is of course the charm. A very interesting comment from Heather and given the world we live in she may be right!
    Whatever the reason however it is certainly going to do wonders for Rose Uniacke’s career and is inspiring for new start up designers like me who are not ‘traditionally trained’.
    If anyone now questions my credentials I can reply….if it’s good enough for the Beckhams……..

  2. I really do think these are beautiful images Kate and am grateful for the share and re-share! Thank you. I too love her wall finishes and the contemporary feel of these traditional spaces (space being the operative word!). Although not every project can offer such proportions there are useful details. I love the symmetry, the simplicity, the relative sparseness of the designs, the muted colour ways, the juxtaposition of simple, high quality modern lighting with more traditional floor finishes and architecture. Love. Beautiful. An inspired choice by the Beckhams. Much as I enjoy KH’s designs too, those that I have seen represent quite an understated, formal and neutral approach and perhaps Rose is less restrained, more individual and will at the end of the day provide a look that’s aspirational and unique, which I imagine is the attraction to VB and to many of my clients. Why follow the crowd?

  3. Rose Uniacke gives her clients a close to blank canvas with this kind of style, allowing works like the Beckham’s Damien Hirst pic to fit right in. It reminds me of the fading French chateaus the travel expert Alistair Sawday has on his books. Although it is quite safe it is clever and thoughtful. Customers won’t have to look like their house has been over-designed. It will appear to people entering that they have found many of the pieces in antique markets around the world. If you like this kind of style you can stay in a room in many amazing places with this style of faded glamour all around France for about £40 a night. I do when I can.

    Lucy Ryder Richardson

    1. I was thinking the same Lisa… shame I would have loved to provide a simple and elegant back splash to compliment this sort of style…

      1. If anyone has an idea about the name of the range featured in her kitchen I would appreciate it. I am thinking it is probably La Cornue or Lacanche? On a side note thanks for the pictures, her house is so dreamy…

  4. Rose Uniacke has recently shot to the attention of her peers thanks to her winning 2013/14 Andrew Martin Interior Design Award. Her restraint for simplicity by allowing the full architectural character to be paired with sparing but beautifully matched antiques is masterly. Kate you’re quite right at first it’s such a simple approach her rooms could almost be disregarded as hardly designed at all. That’s what is so clever. The blend of all elements feel as if they’ve been in harmony for decades.
    Personally, I like a touch more ‘modern comfort’ and probably in Roses eyes ‘crass opulence’ of a splash of colour and materials. I’m glad we’re all different and yet can appreciate good design.

  5. Personally, I’m a fan of Victoria Beckham: her fashion designs are both flattering to the curved female form whilst being defiantly chic – a unique pairing not often seen, in fashion. With that said, I’m a little surprised by their choice in interior designers – both Kelly Hoppen and Rose Uniacke. Victoria’s personal style is so exact and…well, tight, that it seems at odds with the understated-chic that is Rose Uniacke’s style.

    I am interested to see their home: I wonder whether they hired the designer based on the vernacular rather than their personal taste. I’m thinking of the Damian Hirst piece that they bought for their daughter – a MASSIVE collage of pink butterflies/hearts? I’m curious to see how a Damian Hirst piece, fits in with a Rose Uniacke’s interior – but, perhaps that’s why they’ve elected to hire a designer who is not traditionally trained.

    Interesting to know this – thanks. You will let us know, should you get an insider’s scoop, I hope?

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Heather, I didn’t know about the Damian Hirst piece so you raise an interesting point. I dream of having the insider’s scoop and if I ever do I promise to share!

  6. I love these pictures. To me the rooms are best described as simplistically elegant. Nothing over the top, just beautiful muted tones with the perfect balance between old and new. The spaces look glamorous but homely. A few choice feature pieces of furniture framed by stunning floor finishes and light fixtures. Gorgeous.

  7. I’m so pleased you’ve featured Rose Uniacke – I stand outside her lovely store in Chelsea to catch a bus to work every morning and gaze at the beautiful antiques in the window, fantasising about winning the lottery and buying them all!

  8. If I was going to hire an interior designer, I’d hire Rose Uniacke. Loved looking at her inspiring interiors and her very fitting mix of old and new. Thanks.

  9. Its all a matter of personal taste, beauty in the eye of the beholder……but she strikes a chord with me, I have heard of her, I stumbled upon her work a few years ago. In my book she has incredible talent and vision. Love her simplicity, obviously, like you say, having a beautiful structure to work with helps enormously however, she pulls off a look that makes my heart sing!!!
    Thanks for sharing.

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