Hi! I’m Joanna and this is the bit about me.

I created @roomcocktail  to document the fun I'm having while gently restoring our 1930s home in Hertfordshire, to feel ‘ours’ again, after a year of renting it out whilst on sabbatical abroad. It is a new chapter for me, as this time round, my husband and I are living here with our 18 months old son, Max, and naturally, things kicked off with his nursery design.

So why interiors...?  When one evening my mum invited me to our dining table, to join her and our architect and discuss ideas for the house built we had been planning for some time, little did I know that this moment will spark my lifelong fascination with interiors.  I was eleven years old and my mum trusted me to contribute ideas to the design of our dream home.  At that point I would read every design and interiors magazine mum bought and knew exactly how our dream house would fit around our family’s lifestyle.  I had opinions on what architectural style the building should be, how many bedrooms and bathrooms we needed and how to make the most of the south-western orientation of our land and the beautiful mountain views surrounding us.  From choosing the right windows and doors, to designing the tiles layout, I was 100% involved in every step of the build and it felt exhilarating.

Fast forward a few years, I was exposed to somewhat different sort of interiors, when as a Hotel Management student, I visited countless hotel properties and fell in love with travel.  I found that each hotel had its own unique personality expressed through it’s interior colour palette, furniture style, lighting, bedding selection, stationery, background music or even the chosen lobby scent.  It was aspirational, indulgent and exuded character.  I knew that in order to create that irresistible feeling you experience in a space, every design detail mattered. 

Travel and literature remained a strong inspiration throughout and my personal style has been heavily influenced by a variety of genres; the beauty of art deco New York, the lush interiors  of the roaring 20’s, speciousness and calm of South-East Asian retreats and greenery and relaxed vibes  of colonial dwelling. The latter emerged particularly after visiting the home of Ernest Hemingway outside of Havana, in Cuba.  Having seen THAT abode and its leafy setting, my interiors heart was full.

Working in roles that allowed me to travel extensively and stay at (mostly) beautiful locations, I continued to find inspiration in local architecture, culture and lifestyle and it has become my passion to create interiors that reflect all of those elements in spaces I design or style.  

Thank you for taking the time to read my bio and explore my page.


Jo x

P.S. Feel free to get in touch if you would like to collaborate on a project (design, styling or otherwise). Simply drop me a line at jddarvell@gmail.com

or visit 'Contact' page for more details. I look forward to meeting you soon!

 
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