Clara and Mikka Rocchia’s home on the edge of Paris has an uplifting feel. And not just because of the sunlight that floods in through the glass doors. The Fun Radio host and the director of communications agency Clara RP live here with their three children in a building that feels like a holiday home. This haven away from their busy professional lives “ticks all the boxes”, from its original three-storey design to its location near the banks of the Marne River where they love to go for walks. And the house faces south, with a soundtrack of laughter and a record-collection backdrop! They often spontaneously dance to their varied music collection. “I wanted my future family home to be somewhere we would dance, but I also had a certain kind of family home in mind,” explains Clara. Their home is a place of life and movement; sometimes a little chaos. Although Thelma, Pio and Lou are lucky enough to have their own floor. Each child can enjoy their own space, allowing their parents to keep the communal areas nice and calm. This is the first property the couple have bought. They share a passion for interior design that both have inherited from their mothers, but have put their own spin on this joint interest. Clara has always travelled widely, and has displayed souvenirs of different getaways. Mikka thinks about layouts like a theatre director, taking into consideration his native south and its traditional dwellings that open to the outside. All this has made the house a comforting haven featuring their favourite materials like rattan and waxed concrete, from which they’re already dreaming up their next escape… There might well be another joint project in Italy in the pipeline…
Gioia… The name of our brand new lamp is as soft as the light that emanates from it. Gioia. Joy. The joy of casting a gentle glow over a mantelpiece, at the end of a sofa or on a bedside table. The Gioia will become indispensable, wherever you place it. With its sophisticated design, the sculptural form of its base suggesting a flower and its pleated shade reminiscent of an elegant dress, Gioia is a signature piece. A shining example of the savoir-faire so dear to our hearts at The Socialite Family which is exemplified in the choice of materials and finishes. The shiny lacquer juxtaposed with and enhancing the wood and the matt cotton which set the tone. The promise of a piece that is madly modern, yet retro at the same time.
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We thought of our house as a holiday home, a place to live inspired by our travels both in the scenography and in the materials.
My name is Clara Rocchia; I am 34 years old. I am passionate about Italy, travel and the memories that linger. I’m the founder of a communications agency specialising in press relations, Clara RP. I work with talented people from the world of gourmet food, tourism and decoration in their communications in France and abroad. A successful entrepreneur, in love for 11 years, married (in Italy) in 2017, I’m the happy mum of Thelma, who is eight, and Pio and Lou, who are three.
My name is Mikka Rocchia, and I’m 37 years old. I’ve been an author and radio host for 15 years now. I was born in Nice. I grew up in my native south before moving to Paris to work in radio and TV. I am passionate about music, travel, and especially Italy, where my family comes from. My favourite job: being a father to Thelma, Pio and Lou.
From the beginning of our search, I knew what I was looking for: a house, with outside space, in an area close to Paris, with lots of light. But above all, I was looking for a house that was out of the ordinary, original, either in its design or in its style. When we visited this property, we had to really use our imagination. I could tell from Clara’s look that she wasn’t in love with it. As for me, I could immediately see myself living here. The house ticked a lot of boxes: a garden, a large bay window that bathes the south-facing living room in light, an unusual three-storey design, distinctive proportions (it’s a house built lengthways), and above all, this location 15 minutes from Paris on a good day (OK, so 30 minutes, we’re not going to lie). I imagined what we could do with it by modifying the spaces, the materials, the colours, and by adding our own decorative elements.
We thought of our house as a holiday home, a place to live inspired by our travels both in the scenography and in the materials. We wanted to use stone and wood, with rattan as a common thread. The alcoves add a lot of curves. Our home consists of three floors, each with its own function. The ground floor includes the entrance, which we have imagined as a “box”, using India Yellow (F&B). We then have an area for us with a dressing room/laundry room and a master suite renovated by Mikka. On the first floor of the house, the living space is very open with the kitchen, the dining room, the lounge and my office. The second floor is dedicated to the children with their bedrooms and their own bathroom, the only unchanged room in the house.
The advantage of a property like this is that nothing is fixed. We talked about the possibility of hiring an interior designer, but in the end, we decided to trust our own judgment. Who better than ourselves to consider the design and decoration of our own home? Most of the work was done by a contractor when we bought it, and he respected our vision, but what I like here is that our home evolves according to our desires… We love living there and adapting it according to our changing needs, our tastes of the moment, our inspirations picked up here and there during our travels.
Light is central here, and we’re lucky to have large bay windows throughout the living room. So we prioritised white on the wall to give ourselves the freedom to have fun. The colours of our house: wood, rattan, waxed concrete and mineral white. The polished concrete floor immediately gives it a “holiday home” look. We fell in love with it as a flooring material when we were staying at the Etosoto Hotel in Formentera. Even before we bought this, we knew that it would be the centre of our future decorative scheme. We also have Tine K Home lampshades that we spotted in the same hotel. You’ll find other treasured items here: a photograph of our wedding at the Villa Lena in 2017 (a hotel in Tuscany), a wooden bird brought back from our trip to Comporta when Thelma was born, a rattan jar that belonged to my parents when they lived in Dubai (a symbol of memories from our childhood), and a l’Atelier Perche magazine rack that reminds us of a stay in the countryside in Normandy (the Airbnb host was a carpenter, and we ordered the same one). Another piece we couldn’t do without: a Ligne Roset Togo, in Camel, which we’ll take with us wherever we move to in future. Our second Ikea sofa is covered with a slipcover (Comfort works) inspired by Maison Acacia in La Ciotat. Other highlights include Mikka’s creations (when we can’t find what we’re looking for), a bespoke bookcase/TV cabinet with a holiday feel – and our bathroom with its white polished concrete/cork combination that I’ve never seen anywhere else and that we thought up together.
Light is central here, and we’re lucky to have large bay windows throughout the living room. So we prioritised white on the wall to give ourselves the freedom to have fun.
We have dedicated one floor of the house to our children; it’s their environment. So everyone has their own space, and we meet in the centre of the house, in the living area. To access the children’s floor, we made the staircase safe with a custom-made metal railing. Fun, well-design and, above all, practical so that they can hold on to it and get up and down in complete safety. We chose to have Pio and Lou sleep in the same room – designed as a hut with beautiful Tenue de Ville wallpaper, and an old rose on the ceiling – to keep a room where they can be together, both as a playroom and a friends’ room (loaded with toys). This space gives us the chance to have (really) tidy children’s rooms every day. The only decorative piece in this playroom is a Toulemonde Bochart rug. WE decorated Thelma’s room in earth tones (F&B Picture Gallery is the wall colour) and neutrals to reflect what she likes. She spends a lot of time making things and singing in her “music” corner.
We love music, so we’ve set up a space in our living room that brings us together: the corner with the turntable and the family’s vinyl records. We very often dance together as a family. My vision for my future home with my family is a house where we dance. That could be our definition of a family home. We also let the interior evolve as the children grow (we now have a coffee table with things on it that can safely stay where they are). Over the years, the three youngsters have made it their own, and it also represents the memory of their family trips for them.
Photography : Jeanne Perrotte – Text : Juliette Bruneau @thesocialitefamily