A winner of NYCxDESIGN and Interior Design’s annual Best of Year Award, Alison Rose is a master of creating both modern and historically influenced luxury pieces. Par Excellence had the chance to chat with this acclaimed interior and furniture designer. 

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From her immersed childhood in New York’s most renowned museums, Alison remembers falling in love “It was a love that was instant – a fascination that was deeply rooted in my earliest days before I knew what IT was.” As a matter of fact, Alison’s mother was the CFO of The American Museum of Natural History before she went on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This immersion in these cultural spaces heightened Alison’s sensibility towards architecture, art and design. “I remember sitting on the floor looking up as the backdrops of the installations were erected – the birds were placed in the trees, the natives were draped in their pelts of fur to prepare for the coldest days of winter… worlds literally came to life around me”.

Spending her formative years in this creative environment stimulated Alison’s vision and artistry at a very young age. She quickly became captivated by the influence of space – “My fascination with space began. The Grand Halls of the museum were enormous, and my innate understanding of scale and materiality developed”.

This fascination for space, geometry and science is still a deep source of inspiration and is particularly reflected in the two collections Alison recently designed for Artistic Tile. “I come from a lineage of strong women who make things happen – my grandmother worked for the IRS, and my mom, a CFO – numbers are in my blood. My father was a biology teacher,  so yes… all the dots have been connected … math is considered the purest of all the sciences.”

“Each and every project is an opportunity to expand my visual narrative through materiality and scale. The collections are simply born through a vision that is internal. Client projects are informed by their specific program, their global location, their lifestyle, their loves… and their narrative is filtered through my lenses. Each project is expressed with a clear voice – all very connected, and incredibly rewarding” – Alison Rose

Alongside her strong understanding of space, Alison’s innate talent to mix materials is also striking. For her collection named Euclid, Alison worked with stones and ancient marbles. The designer manipulates raw materials and combines them in a way that has a bit of tension. “Tension that simply pleases the eye and soul through specific patina, mix of color, texture, refinement and rawness. Understanding the inherent qualities and pushing the boundaries – metal, lime plaster, marble, silk, wool – I approach each element with a curious eye and push to see its greatest potential, with the same consideration”.

Her natural ability to manipulate and juxtapose materials allows her to interact and connect with passionate craftspeople that share her vision and sensibilities. “There is such a beautiful balance between form, structure and decoration that is very personal and we constantly learn from each other. We celebrate and push past the practice to reveal the next discovery – it is the exploration that is ever expanding the vocabulary of the work”.

As we try to immerse ourselves into Alison Rose’s universe, we scroll through her Instagram account where she has created a unique visual identity from modernist interiors with strict lines and raw materials to the most colourful and vibrant ones. We catch a glimpse of the influences of her youth spent in New York’s museums amongst art pieces, paintings and singular creations.

Alison Rose's Instagram Account

Talking about New York and urban inspirations, we ask Alison, a born and bred New Yorker, how the city figures in her creative process. To the designer, it is a wonderland; “It is the backdrop that guides my intuitive process. The incredible history of New York landmarks alongside the modernist glass towers- it’s the beauty of balance… or sometimes the imbalance that is exciting”. Alison Rose’s studio recently completed a marble sculpture in Miami that focused on the exploration of balance, and imbalance around the globe. “This concept has always fascinated me”.

“I am not a creature of habit- each day I can walk down a different street, and may notice a unique brick pattern on a facade, or see a beautiful shadow that reveals a sparkle in the pavement – every drop is inspiration. NYC has a soul that’s unable to be duplicated. My informed eye scans the landscape –  whether in the city, the country… the seaside… the exploration and curiosity doesn’t stop” – Alison Rose

Her love for the city that forged her passion for architecture and design is true! When asking Alison where she would go if she had to move outside of New York City, the designer chooses another very well-known place for its incredible history and culture: Japan!

“I have a wonderful client in Tokyo who introduced me to so much of their beautiful culture. We first began designing their family residence in NYC about 10 years ago. Then their main residence in Tokyo a few years ago, and their mountain retreat outside the city. There is a wonderful balance of modernity and tradition, and the food is my absolute favorite…”

Alison Rose’s future is bright. The renowned interior designer is working on a few collections and 2020 will mark the launch of her eponymous furniture line. “These new collections are a cultivation of my true loves. Through scale, modularity, and form, we are introducing a home collection that balances vintage and contemporary influences. Produced with the finest craftsmanship, materiality, and detail – and no pre-conceived “back” and front” to the furnishings. This concept allows for maximum possibilities of placement in a space, as modularity also lends itself too”.

“When pieces are able to be experienced, and enjoyed as a sculpture – to be lived on, and lived with… that is extremely fulfilling” – Alison Rose

The interior designer has a lot of eclectic projects coming up, from a large renovation of her country home to exciting client projects that span the country from east to west including a NYC loft, and a penthouse in Houston. On top of that, Alison is working on her furniture line, decorative objects and is expanding her marble tile collections with Artistic Tile.

Taking into account that her first collection in collaboration with Artistic Tile, “Euclid”, was selected as a NYCxDESIGN award honoree, and that her second collection “Zephyr” received the INTERIOR DESIGN BEST OF YEAR AWARD of 2019, Alison Rose is set on an impressive and inspiring path.