Talking design: John Rocha

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• Were you aware of the serviced apartment sector before this job, and is the Cheval Three Quays Debenhams apartment the first serviced apartment design commission you have had?
"Not at all, it isn't an area I was familiar with, but it makes so much sense! As an all too frequent traveller, I can completely understand the value of coming 'home' to somewhere every evening, rather than the traditional hotel. While I have worked on several residential apartment developments, Cheval Three Quays is my first commission in the serviced apartment sector."
• How did this project differ from designing hotel interiors, and how did you adapt your approach?
"As I mentioned I have worked on several apartment projects and also designed hotel interiors, and for me the principle is always the same, to create spaces that make people feel comfortable, at ease, and, I hope, a little inspired. I think it is hugely important that people can relax in the spaces I create. I want them to enjoy a sense of quiet luxury, in everything from the cushions and rugs to bed linens and tableware."
• The products from your Debenhams range which have been chosen for the apartment seem to sit very naturally there - giving it a very 'liveable' feel. What was your thinking behind which colours/textiles/accessories etc to choose?
"I always start to work with a natural, neutral palette, and then layer in textures and little elements of colour and pattern. I think this really helps create that liveable feel. Nothing is too overwhelming, and yet it all feels quite luxurious."
• What would be your main design tips and hints for serviced apartment companies when they plan interiors and fittings for their units?
"In all the spaces I create, including my own homes, I always use a core selection of materials throughout the scheme. So, the same flooring usually a dark wood, the same wall colour - a variant of jasmine white, and the same surfaces, marble or stone used everywhere. I find this creates a really strong yet muted background that I can then work in to with texture, pattern and colour. I think this would work very well with the serviced apartment model -  allowing for occasional or seasonal updates simply by changing cushions and textiles or decorative accessories like vases and bowls."
• Would you be interested in further serviced apartment projects?
"Yes, I think it would be really interesting to create home away from homes for people. After all, for me all good design is about creating beautiful things, spaces for people to use and enjoy.

The John Rocha Apartment at Cheval Three Quays is available for bookings until 30th November.


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