ROCKY ROCHON focuses way beyond the aesthetic – whether it’s for his design services, his paint and furnishings lines, or his studio of collected décor pieces. His process has always involved helping people dig deep, think about process, consider what problem is at hand to solve, and then solving that problem -- his biggest takeaway from his studies of interior design and interior architecture at University of Washington. Fortunately, it’s also how his mind naturally works.
After university, Rocky began in high-end residential design, as the only assistant to a highly regarded designer in the Seattle region. He moved to San Francisco in the early 1980s, falling in love with the city and soon finding work with various firms. Within six years he was the design director of one of the largest commercial design firms in the Bay Area, and as a project designer, he designed everything from very high-end residences to hotels to high-tech interiors, learning the principles of urban design and city planning along the way.
Rocky earned a national award for his work on the Apple company store and library, after which Steve Jobs hired his firm to design their Executive Offices. At 34, he was recruited by an even larger Bay Area design firm (RMW) to be their design director. He garnered a number of AIA Awards for his work during these years.
With a strong desire to reconnect directly with clients one-on-one, Rocky moved back to Seattle and dived back into residential design. Having worked in SF for a very high-level clientele of mostly visionary thinkers who love process, much of his residential clientele were, and still are, similarly attracted to delving into what needs to be ‘solved’. The context of the site, the budget and schedule, and the clients’ aesthetic are all pulled into this process to create a strong, cohesive design concept, and then that concept is carried to the completion of the project.
As part of his ‘problem-solving’ philosophy and love of painting from a very young age, Rocky launched The Paint Laboratory in 2010. Wanting an extensive breadth of colors, he started by creating a collection that offered stepped values of the same color; then expanded to collections of vivids, whites and blacks, special finishes, and finally custom coloring, a variety of special textures, floor paint, and the 2020 expansion into ‘wall tiles’.
For Rocky’s process-oriented mind, it is Metamerism, the science of the reflection of light and its impact on how color is defined, that is one of the most foremost aspects that guides his approach to The Paint Laboratory. Rocky approaches his design projects by identifying the programmatic criteria and fuses those components with the client’s aesthetic to create a unique environment.
“Don’t focus on how you want a room to look, but how you want it to feel.” – Rocky Rochon