20 QUESTIONS, 9 CREATIVES
AU Bespoke Founder: Anna Unwin
antique and textiles private atelier, off-grid showroom, online retailer, minimalist, sustainable thinker, new breed of dealer, secret source (just...)
Anna has long been regarded as a tastemaker: a graduate from Chelsea College of Arts, a successful interior stylist and founder of the fashionable Primrose Hill store, Maiden, back in the early 2000's. Her latest initiative - the launch of AU Bespoke - a private atelier sourcing unique and timeless pieces that complement more minimalist, sophisticated spaces. Anna's discerning edit includes antique, mid-century and vintage: furniture and objects united by their design sensibilities and quality of craftsmanship. Less is definitely more and her look is attracting a lot of attention behind the scenes, from some serious interior names. Pieces you can expect to find: think marble coffee tables, Willi Rizzo dining tables, vintage sheepskin covered chairs, unique lamps, stone bowls, pottery and covetable vintage textiles. Selling both online and by private appointment from her home, this is an exciting business to watch. Be quick if you find something you love, these beautiful one-offs sell quickly.
How has your home evolved during lockdown? I feel that we are using much more of the house than we ever did, it's been wonderful to move around the rooms throughout the day depending on whether we are homeschooling, exercising, eating family meals together or working.
How has your work had to adapt? Having an online business has been a blessing for me. I have had to stop showroom visits, but I have taken clients on virtual tours of my showroom to discuss pieces that they might be interested in, which has worked wonderfully.
What projects have you been dreaming up? Lots of house renovation plans and evolving business plans... it's been lovely to actually have the time to focus on these things.
How has your neighbourhood come together? There is a lovely sense of community in our neighbourhood everyone is looking out for each other and we have been shopping for the more vulnerable members of the village. Local farm shops are doing well, we have a local fishmonger and milkman and someone who delivers free range eggs... we are really incredibly lucky.
Acts of kindness - to you / by you? It was my birthday during lockdown and I was blown away by the kindness and love from my family and friends...a very different birthday this year. The focus was on the simple things in life - I received hand made cards, bunches of wild flowers and love letters. I felt incredibly blessed.
Favourite space in the house to escape to? My bedroom, the light is so wonderful in the morning. I have worked hard to create a calm sanctuary with lots of gorgeous smells and no technology at all.
Jobs in the house ticked off the list? We have been enjoying the wonderful weather and have been doing lots of gardening, that we sadly never had time to do before.
New daily rituals? Meditation - I’ve been doing Oprah and Deepak’s daily meditation and evening yoga religiously. It helps settle my busy mind.
Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? I have been running most mornings, feeling so blessed to be able to do so. Living in the countryside has enabled me to run in solitude and breathe...
What’s in your vase? Wildflowers and huge branches of greenery from my garden.
What’s on the menu? Actually I’m following an anti inflammatory diet at the moment so am keeping inspired by the daily recipes from @rosemaryferguson_.
Favourite tipple to get you through? Kombucha - I'm addicted to them and the girls have been juicing a lot, so I’m treated to a fresh juice most mornings.
What book is on your bedside? Piles of interior and fashion magazines.
What tunes are playing? Indian Sitar music - I find it incredibly relaxing.
Which IG accounts have inspired you? My lovely friend Louisa Grey’s Instagram. We met when we were doing our degree in textiles at Chelsea College of Arts and have always shared a very similar ethos, so @houseofgreylondon for the serene, carefully curated, calming imagery; @pernille_lind_studio_ for her pared back interiors; @emmamilnewatson for a glimpse into her ever stylish life in the countryside - a smattering of everything I love from interiors to fashion.
What have you missed the most? My family and friends - without a doubt that has been the hardest part so far as we are a very close family. I have a strong network of friends so not being able to have that human contact has made me feel incredibly sad. Although very thankful for technology, nothing beats a hug.
What distractions are getting you through? My gorgeous girls and their infectious laughter.
Zoom backview? A pair of huge commissioned paintings by my lovely friend @oliver_hilton_art.
What has your home meant to you over this time? Everything. I have fallen back in love with my home and the charming village we live in, I know its a cliché but I feel blessed daily, to live where we do and have the space that we enjoy.
Shop at: AU Bespoke