The genesis and evolution of Pimlico Road

By Sujata Burman

“In the 17th century, Belgravia was a swampland. Hard to believe now looking at its Georgian and Regency architecture, where wetlands have been replaced by plush garden squares, mews houses and some of London’s best boutiques and restaurants.”

There’s a varied and vibrant experience to be had in the South West London neighbourhood – one of which is Pimlico Road, the home of British interior design. Back in the 1960s, Pimlico Road wasn’t the design haven it is today. It started with a sole antique shop, Ossowski, run by the Ossowski family, who arrived in London after WW2 and are now world-specialists in English 18th-century gilded furniture. They have been based at 83 Pimlico Road for over 50 years, where you can still visit to experience a piece of design history. This is where the legacy of Pimlico Road began – the street has now evolved into an epicentre of British interior design excellence.

This energy began to draw others to the neighbourhood. And so, Pimlico Road grew into a contemporary design hub, with a variety of studios popping up along the street – from fabrics to paint, rugs to furniture; like FBC London, Linley and Rose Uniacke. The area has been labelled one of “community, craft and creativity”, where there’s opportunity to explore and learn about making, en route to visiting the restaurants nearby.

There’s a circularity to Pimlico Road’s makers, too. Its essence is rooted in British design, with the majority of brands on the street showcasing products made in the UK. This is encouraged with the latest development here, Newson’s Yard, which sees London’s oldest timber yard, created by John Newson, transformed into a seven-unit retail space. Until recently, it was owned by building merchants Travis Perkins; now, the units will host studios for making and selling. In addition, there is an exhibition space for smaller brands and the next generation of designers.