St Quintin Avenue, W10
There is a part of the very fabric of North Kensington’s rich history that is defined by its residents, past and present. This is a home that was once owned by Molly Parkin, an original if ever there was once. An art scholar at a time when the country had just emerged from war, she wrote the Fifty Shades of Grey of her time and shocked literary circles by depicting half-naked women on the covers of her books.
Tucked away down a leafy side street away from the hustle and bustle of Ladbroke Grove, there is now little left of Molly Parkin and her dubious past and this house has been reinvented as the most desirable family home, designed for entertaining, lifestyle and to simply admire. If these walls could talk they would say, "come in, close the door and kick back". It is this perfect simplicity that defines North Kensington style and here the owner has managed to achieve the kind of relaxed comfort that can generally only be achieved after a lifetime is invested in a home.
The foundation for this beautiful house are great bones and the double-height ceilings, original decorative detailing, huge windows and pools of natural light are the perfect foil for an interior that can best be described as 21st-century modern English.
The heart of this home is a superb kitchen designed by 2013 Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year, Rose Uniacke. Currently riding high on a wave of fame as decorator to the Beckhams, Uniacke has designed a proper cooks kitchen complete with a full-range cooker, endless storage and a scrubbed kitchen table. Double doors lead to a classic London sitting room while the more formal reception room on the first floor continues the tradition of ‘retiring upstairs ‘after dinner. The top floors house three bedrooms and a master bedroom suite and like an ‘all seeing eye’ the attic room is defined by its huge circular window which gives the greatest birds-eye view of the world.
Throughout the house, rooms have an element of subtle drama about them and are dressed for display. A wealth of velvet, silk and linen hangs at the windows, oversized rugs huddle against the glossy grain of polished [original] wood floors and a palette of tonal neutrals that add just a whisper of colour to the walls creating a backdrop for a lifestyle that needs no explanation.
Completing the picture, like the cherry on top of the cake are front and rear gardens that are just waiting for the children to take over. More than 20m of grassed lawns in a secure environment completely frame the house and support its local role as a very lovely and desirable family house.
Rose Uniacke, 76-84 Pimlico Road, London SW1W; roseuniacke.com
Discover more about Rose Uniacke on the Domus Nova Design Guide