Rocky Rochon | Has designs on us
The Seattle interior designer has a who's who client list that he won't divulge. But he's been making grand homes around town more elegant for almost 14 years now. Before that he worked his magic in San Francisco.
Q: Which group did you hang with in high school?
A: I ran with the library kids, and I ran with the wild kids, the ones who stole cars.
Q: What's your favorite color for comfort, passion, sophistication?
A: This is one of my pet-peeve questions. Because I don't believe in color prejudice. Color is all based on life experiences and preferences. If your mother put you in a yellow crib, then it will be comforting to you if she's loving, if she's not Joan Crawford. But if she got hit by a school bus . . .
Q: Do you watch those design shows on TV?
A: I do. I'm kind of addicted, and they're so tacky.
Q: The White House: Remodel or raze?
A: Remodel. I'm a conservationist. In fact, I don't think we hold onto our history enough, especially in this city.
Q: What is the cheapest piece in your home that you've just gotta have?
A: Kosher salt.
Q: Most expensive piece?
A: One of my favorite things is a Giacometti etching I got at a thrift store for $45, and my Louis XV parlor set I bought 20 years go.
Q: What was your room like when you were a kid, and did you share it?
A: I shared a room with my brother until I was about 13. When I was 10 or 11 was the first time I designed my room. I painted it acidic lime green. The house was a rambler, but I put rough cedar beams in the ceiling. It had kind of orange and brown shag carpet. Then, the week after the carpet got put in I was doing an India-ink sketch in my room and I spilled it. So I cut a square out of the carpet in the back of the closet and put it down. But I didn't tape it, and my mother sucked it up in the vacuum.
Q: Any pets?
A: I have a 14-year-old son! A golden retriever and a Belgium lop-eared bunny.
Q: Ideal party?
A: When I lived in San Francisco, my wife and I did a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and this party is still talked about. We invited our friends as either a rich or famous person we thought they most encapsulated. We ended up having three Lucille Balls, which was hysterical. Q: Favorite guilty pleasures?
A: Fixing things that are broken, rescuing things, solitaire on the computer and crossword puzzles.
Q: How can we figure out what we want in a house?
A: I use visual imagery. It's a visual language, it's a visual business. I bring tons and tons and tons of magazines and books. And people have to go through all of them. I tell them to tag the things that make them feel good. One customer tagged an ad for chocolate, and that was great.
Rebecca Teagarden is assistant editor of Pacific Northwest magazine. Benjamin Benschneider is a magazine staff photographer.
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