We met Paul Rochford and Michael Violante through “The South Capitol Treehouse:” their moniker for the second home and rental property they own at 111 East Santa Fe Avenue. Paul’s persistent good nature, preternatural politeness, and highly attuned sense of responsibility made me want to know more about him. In time, I met Michael–gracious and attentive–and learned that the two had just conjoined their talents and style to create VR Interiors: an interior design and staging company. Work ethic, integrity, and professionalism merit the pair a blog mention and wave of the quill from this champion of local creatives.
Paul, a Santa Fe native, has owned and sold several successful local businesses (restaurant, catering company, and Canyon Road art gallery, among others) over the past 18 years. He began his entrepreneur career as small fry selling his arts and crafts roadside and door to door. His charm and moxie were so effective, the neighbors finally called his mom begging to have their finances rescued from the kid they couldn’t refuse. Around age 9 or 10, he started trolling antique stores with friends, identifying an early passion for design. After graduating from B-school, he turned his golden touch to a series of business that all did well, despite being opened in strange economic times. Michael, meanwhile, developed and expanded his creative strengths as VP of Design for ACC (AKA American Country Collection) for 17 years.
” What we ideally like to do is clean lines and a mixture of contemporary and antiques, bridging the old with the modern, because much of the new and contemporary has been inspired by the ancient.” Yet while they “enjoy exposing people to new things, new ideas,” the best designs “depend on the clients’ sensibilities. We [commit] the time to find out how they live.”
“A big part of what we do is bringing someone’s past into their present. Michael is really brilliant at figuring out how to bring a quirky sentimental item into context,” says Paul.
Violante & Rochford make strong efforts to be Green, both in their use of sustainable materials and their support of local artisans and craftspeople. “Even though the world is our oyster and it can be very much easier to go to a manufacturer, part of our definition of being Green is supporting the local economy.”
Their clients’ homes, and their own rental properties, range through some of downtown Santa Fe and Santa Fe county’s most beautiful neighborhoods. “We love South Capitol. It’s charming, sleepy, beautiful, moody, with well established gardens. The area is so different from anywhere else and yet completely appropriate to Santa Fe.”
No website yet, but Violante & Rochford Interiors can be contacted at: 983.3912 where you will most likely reach their assistant, Natasha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
***UPDATE: Violante & Rochford Interiors now has a website that’s attractive, clean and easy to navigate.
This week in Santa Fe’s alt/indie/emerging cultural scene….
“Bah Humbug: Twelve Artists Take on Christmas”opens this Friday at 5 PM at GF Contemporary, 707 Canyon Road. This first annual group exhibition and benefit in support of The Food Depot and The Empty Stocking Fund involves some pretty fabulous talents in the local alt/indie cultural scene. For more information, go to the BANG! Art Gallery website.
Red Cell calls High Mayhem “consistently interesting” and “the reason I didn’t just leave Santa Fe after a year.” High Mayhem describes itself as “a not-for-profit emerging arts facility, record label and multimedia production collective based in Santa Fe. Join them this Saturday at 9 PM for Duos! Two very different possibilities in the world of drum and bass duos. With Ray Charles Ives (RCI), MVIII Los Duo and Creatures of Routine. 2811 Siler Lane, Santa Fe. Cost: $10.
Check out MyHungryEye™: the online home and selected works of Jenna Gersbach, an artist and photographer currently living and working in Santa Fe. Jenna’s has strong creative muscles and manic professionalism. Smart, driven, delightful and decent, she is one to watch.
And, finally, another shameless plug for The End of Being: an esoteric guide to difficult and unusual art, music, film, people and ideas (because any city worth its grit needs someone willing to explore such things….) Powered by Red Cell and Patricia Sautoff.
Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale. Currently displaying work by Mark Frossard, Laird Hovland, Jonathan Tercero at 133 Sombrio in Casa Solana, downtown Santa Fe. To schedule an appointment, call: 231.7598.