The grande dame of California interiors readies the next edition of her outpost for unique furniture and antiques
Words by KELSEY McKINNON
Rose Tarlow opened her namesake antiques shop on Melrose Place in 1976, back when the street was a sleepy enclave of design stores. “I used to leave the door open and hope that those from other shops would fall in by accident,” she says modestly. Tarlow’s eye for curating antiques and later producing her own pieces would eventually come to define classic California style as we know it.
“Everything has to have special meaning”
With clients such as David Geffen, Eli and Edythe Broad and Oprah, she is nothing short of a living legend in the interiors world — albeit an elusive one (she is notoriously selective with design projects and participates in very few press interviews). But times have changed. Tarlow explains that Melrose has become too “fashion-oriented” and no longer feels like it’s the right fit. And with that, she is debuting the next iteration of Rose Tarlow Melrose House on Robertson Boulevard (yes, the name is coming too).
Architect Marc Appleton was enlisted to construct Tarlow’s vision of a contemporary white barn with a dramatic three-pitched roof. Double-height ceilings, a giant clerestory window and European white oak floorboards set the scene for her collection of handpicked antiques and Tarlow’s in-house line of handcrafted furniture, textiles, rugs and lighting.
The move is even more exciting given the fact that Tarlow had all but retired in 2008 when she sold her company to a private equity firm. Six years later, she realized she wasn’t quite ready to retreat from the professional realm and bought back her company.
These days, she is in the office four days a week overseeing new designs. She splits her time between residences in Bel Air and Montecito, plus a few months of every year in London and near Aix-en-Provence, France — “where I relax and feed my obsession of searching for treasures,” she says.
Tarlow says her penchant for discovery continues to drive her, and that building a furniture collection should be done “out of appreciation and love.” She continues, “With the [same] intensity that one looks at a painting, one should study a furniture piece. We buy things that we want to live with forever, so everything has to have special meaning.”
425 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood.
Feature image: A collection of antiques in ROSE TARLOW’s Bel Air kitchen.
This story originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of C Magazine.
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