LA Showroom Manager Lorraine Nazareth Gives an Inside Look to the Must Have Pieces for Your Home
Written By: Alexandra Huynh Learn How to Re-Vamp Your Home with Roche Bobois
Photographed By: Hunter Cole
Name: Lorraine Nazareth
Credentials: Los Angeles Showroom Manager of Roche Bobois
Interesting Fact: Nazareth is the first woman to manage Roche Bobois, Los Angeles—all of her predecessors were French men
The most appealing impression the Roche Bobois showroom offers is the abundance of character. The collection emulates different eras and varied cultures. Sleek designs and modern technology are juxtaposed with warm textures, hues and nuances of Moroccan and Middle Eastern influences, with a European flair. The contemporary designs have a timeless and welcoming feel to them.
Lorraine Nazareth, manager of Roche Bobois Los Angeles, is equally warm and inviting. Her vivacious passion for the role she plays mirrors the atmosphere of the store. She points to their bestseller, a polychromatic modular collection known as the Mah Jong, introduced in the early ’70s. This composition invites the users to configure the components to suit their lifestyle. It sits low to the floor or can be double-stacked if necessary and weaves intricate designs of the East with a brilliant scheme of bright hues, creating a psychedelic experience that has attracted A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Seth Rogen.
Toward the back of the showroom in a cozy display, vintage artwork hangs above the romantic Cherche Midi bed. The soft curves of the tufted leather bed frame are accented by the antique bedside lamps. Nazareth explains that the bed can be produced in all-American as well as European sizes in a variety of options on the leather, nubuck and wood nightstands.
The second floor reveals more beautiful pieces: expandable glass-top dining tables, cocktail tables and luxurious sectionals built for design and comfort and boasting technological innovation. The features on this seating include remote-controlled relax mechanisms and a smartphone charger! As I walked through the bedroom areas, the subdued and quiet feel surprised me. The handsomely designed furniture with metal and leather materials brought a certain warmth through the softer shapes of the pieces. The one next to it was constructed of mostly whites and contemporary artwork to create a clean-cut elegance. Tribal art is mixed with metallic tones and contemporary furniture, yet it all somehow works. There is something here for everyone. Every room showcases a different aesthetic that seems to cater to a different personality and taste. There is a distinct charm about the collection—a sleek eclecticism one would find in a family home.
It is the personal client interaction, from the discovery to installation phase, that Nazareth enjoys most about her work. Hers is a multi-faceted job she and her team delight in as they personalize spaces to suit the taste of their discerning clientele. Her responsibilities also include bi-annual meetings to headquarters in Paris to vote on selections for the upcoming seasonal showcases. She finds her role challenging, stimulating and extremely rewarding.
Q: Can you describe the style of the brand and the pieces that you offer?
Lorraine Nazareth: Perusing the showroom, you will discover our collection is globally-inspired. The pieces transport you to different parts of the world. We offer different pieces for different cultures, so everyone finds something they like. We have a big mix of things, with the vintage rugs next to something modern—it’s the combination of the new and old and the soft and the hard shapes. The 1980s heralded the expansion of the Roche Bobois range with the introduction of the Les Provinciales line. It offered distinctive designs, completely customizable and produced from natural materials with a know-how developed over the years. The next span of 10 years brought with it an ethnic style and the commencement of the Les Voyages pieces; a clear indication of the brand’s commitment to keep evolving with the times. This collection housed furniture inspired by far-off lands, transporting one without the need for travel. Years later these two collections merged to form the timeless and distinct Nouveaux Classiques.
Q: How was the company started? Where did the name Roche Bobois come from?
LN: Roche Bobois emanated from the amalgamation of two families, Roche and Chouchan, in 1950. Jacques Roche, with his sons, Philippe and François, inspired the company’s dynamic blueprint. They dealt primarily with renowned Bauhaus pieces by Minvielle, Steiner and Airbourne. Coincidentally, the Chouchan family (also in Paris at the time) displayed their contemporary collection at the Au Beau Bois furniture showroom. A decade later, the two families encountered each other and realized the common goal in their businesses. They merged properties to inaugurate their national franchise, which led to the birth of the Roche Bobois brand.
Q: You have stores worldwide, an online website where people can order the furniture, and also an interior design service?
LN: Yes, it’s a full service thing, so it’s not just meeting with the client. If they need more pieces or if they can’t visualize something we offer to do house calls. We take the dimensions, we take pictures, and then in the design studio we do a three-dimensional rendering of the room, so it’s really involved. Sometimes I’ll go on the house call if it’s a big project or if the team sales person is new.
Q: You’ve been with the company for a while now, correct?
LN: Yes, I started in design and sales at the Orange County location over a decade ago. After three years there, I was invited to assist the LA team; I continue to grow and learn here every day as the brand develops around the world.
Q: Do you get a lot of celebrity clientele?
LN: We do. We’ve worked with Bryan Cranston, Quincey Jones, Ludacris, Gwyneth Paltrow, Melanie Griffith and Robert Downey, Jr., to name a few. However, each client receives VIP treatment no matter the title they bear!
Q: What is different about the style of your products as opposed to others?
LN: A wealth of expertise, artistry, workmanship and the brand’s savoir-faire come together to produce notable pieces from remarkable wood, superior leather and extraordinary fabric. Our resourceful panel of designers, who give life to these materials and finishes with creative and meticulous minds, contributes to making us unique in the world of elite furniture.
Q: What kind of work goes into furnishing a client’s home?
LN: At Roche Bobois we want to ensure the client’s complete satisfaction. We consult with them and together hone in on a selection of furniture that will work in regard to their personal preference, the design and size and color, etc. The design team does an in-home consultation that leads to a 3D presentation of the client’s actual space showcasing their choices.
Q: What’s the most interesting part of your job?
LN: It’s always a different day, there’s never a predictable day. I love the work here and the design team is the best. We take on the privilege and challenge that our distinct and diverse clientele provides us with, in terms of integrating our furniture while personalizing their homes. They typically have an open mind regarding fashion, art and design and are savvy world travelers. Fortified with warm smiles, product expertise and experience, our team guides them through the sale process to thoroughly explore their needs and discover innovative ways to transform their house into their dream home.
Q: What is your most popular item?
LN: The Mah Jong collection, created by Hans Hopfer in the ’70s, is truly a noteworthy icon. It was the introduction of the well-known modular low seating. It provides the end user countless possibilities of arrangements and juxtapositions from sofa to chaise to guest bed or conversation pit. Forward-thinking over 40 years ago and still iconic today, the Mah Jong has been showcased in marvelous Kenzo, Missoni, Jean Paul Gaultier and Sonia Rykiel fabrics. It is handmade in Italy using techniques and skills of the haute couture fashion industry. Taking home your very own custom designed Mah Jong not only means you have a part, but in fact the very heart, of Roche Bobois!
Q: Has the increase in technology over the years had an impact on your designs at all?
LN: We always try to stay on the cutting edge of technology. For example, we have a sectional that was introduced initially with manually adjustable headrests. As technology evolved, the sofa developed. Now the head and foot mechanisms are remote-controlled and you can plug in your smartphone! We also offer the Astrolab remote-controlled dining tables. David Guetta and Ludacris, among others, have one. This table base started off with wood legs with the manually expanding glass tops. Consequently, the remote control was introduced; clients love watching how the press of a button expands the glass leaves gracefully and effortlessly.
Q: Is all your furniture customizable?
LN: Yes, of course, we want our clients to personalize their selections to suit their preferences. They can select materials, colors, and we offer a variety of sizes as well.
Q: Who are some designers you have worked with?
LN: We have collaborated with distinguished designers such as Hans Hopfer, Ora-Ïto, Cédric Ragot, Sacha Lakic, Christophe Delcourt, just to name a few, and with international fashion gurus like Kenzo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel and Missoni and most recently, Rachel Zoe.
Q: What other locations do you have?
LN: Primarily France, but now, we are worldwide! Italy, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Switzerland, China, India, Korea, etc.! Roche Bobois is currently present in 50 countries with a worldwide link of over 250 showrooms.
Q: What are some current styling trends that people seem to gravitate toward?
LN: Roche Bobois has been modernizing select furniture pieces to maximize comfort in truly aesthetic forms. Elegant, mechanized panels and remote control options allow sofas and tables to morph into luxurious, comfy, flexible pieces. Innovation is a great part of leadership and our brand continues to be a catalyst in trends, while creating timeless designs.
Lorraine Nazareth’s Top Must-have Items:
The Ava chair: It has long tapering limbs and resembles a dragon-like avatar transformed into a chair—a fine yet strong specimen almost like a giant ant. It is the introduction of plastic injection-created design from Roche Bobois that bridges high-tech purity with organic form. The chair is available in a variety of delightful color options and is sure to complement any decor.
Cute Cut table: These tables are a fun and whimsical addition and add vibrancy to the space. Available in an assortment of hues and finishes, these smooth pebble-like pieces may be enjoyed indoors or outdoors.
Roche Bobois Los Angeles
8850 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310.274.6520 | www.roche-bobois.com
D I R E /// Bonjour to Roche Bobois, a Globally Inspired and Culturally Eclectic Furniture Design Store.