Paris-based interior designer Pierre–Yves Rochon is leading the design on the multi-year renovation of the iconic Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, which will comprise both a luxury hotel and high-end condominiums once it’s complete.
Mr. Rochon’s eponymous firm has made a name for itself designing some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, including the Savoy in London, the Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah and the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C.
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, which Pierre-Yves Rochon, Inc. designed, invoking the Hollywood glamour of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, had its ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration late last month.
The company also recently designed the interiors and amenity spaces at the Jade Signature luxury residential condo tower in Miami, which will open this fall.
According to the firm, Mr. Rochon’s “vast knowledge of European classicism, especially French style and culture, are at the core of each project’s design.”
We caught up with Mr. Rochon to talk about how a great home is like a first love, and the importance of quality and simplicity over expense and excess.
Mansion Global: Describe your dream property.
Pierre-Yves Rochon: [My] personal dream property is one that [I’m] already working on—a historic landmarked stone manor in [my] home region of Brittany, France. [I love it] for its characteristics such as: being by the sea where [my wife and I] can enjoy the serenity and movement of the water. It is situated within expansive gardens, allowing for lush landscaping, many types of flower growth… the natural tranquility and being surrounded by wildlife—from small rabbits in the garden to oysters from the sea just beyond his gardens. The home has high ceilings and windows. [My] office/personal studio where [I do my] hand sketches is located in the former chapel of the manor. Also of importance are the specially selected furnishings; comfortable, rich fabrics; warm lighting; artwork and accessories for that final touch.
MG: Do you have a real estate property that got away?
PYR: There have been a few promising projects over the years that went away due to economic factors out of our control. But I try not to dwell on the past too much. I am very pleased with the projects that our practice is working on—in the U.S., the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills opens this summer on the West Coast, the design of the Waldorf Astoria New York is underway on the East Coast, and the Jade Signature residential tower in the South will open this year as well. In Europe, we have many special, historic properties where we can add a modern twist. In Asia and the Middle East, where they build most things new and big, we are seeing great advancements in architecture and engineering, so it is also fun to design interiors that speak to a more modern architectural language.
MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?
PYR: Before location, I think the best luxury homes are dependent on their volume and layout, because the sense of space in a home is, for me, the criteria for luxury above all. Then it is the surrounding environment and location, which are all different choices, depending on the personality of the owners and their lifestyles.
Living in an urban environment like Paris or New York when one needs to be at the heart of a given profession or activity may be the best choice. On the other hand, living in a house by the sea may be another. There are so many extraordinary properties around the world; by the sea, in the countryside or in the mountains. There is no one best place because it simply depends on what your needs are.
MG: What does luxury mean to you?
PYR: Sometimes people assume luxury means only having expensive and excessive things. To me, luxury is based more on quality and simplicity. That is, the quality of a place, its environment, and the choice of authentic and appropriate materials applied with a skilled hand. It is the simplicity in design, done thoughtfully with the details. These elements bring richness to a space and help tell a story. This makes any place more memorable.
MG: What’s your favorite part of your home?
PYR: My wife and I are fortunate enough to live both in Paris, in an apartment, and in Brittany, in a historic home by the edge of the sea. I love the location of our Paris home. It is located in a Haussmann building in the Champs Elysees district, five minutes walking from my office. In Brittany, our home is made of granite, adorned with many local Breton symbols, with an extraordinary view of the ocean and surrounded by a beautiful park that we love. That view from the first floor is my favorite.
MG: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?
PYR: My best real estate advice is to listen to your heart and the initial attraction—like the feeling of having a crush. When you visit a place you want to acquire, you have to love it and truly appreciate it for what it is. Of course, you also have to be reasonable and then assess its location, its architectural quality and its resale value.
MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?
PYR: Light and accessibility to the outdoors. I love homes with great exposure and light that allows the atmosphere of the interior to change throughout the day. Nothing is lovelier than morning light streaming through soft curtains, or the evening glow as lights inside the house begin to create a life of its own. Light is such a dynamic element that can completely change the character of a home.
Follow Mansion Global:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Messenger
Write to us: email@example.com