Designer Jonathan Rachman Shares the Details of Design in Luxury Travel

Singapore Airlines - at the airport & in flight

Greetings from 38,000 feet high up in the air!  As I look out the window during one of the longest flights in the world, a 17.5 hour nonstop from San Francisco to Singapore, I can’t help but think what a luxury it is to be able to fly on an airline that sets the bar in the airline industry.  I’m tended to by gracious flight attendants in the original sarong uniform designed by the icon himself, Pierre Balmain; it is definitely the most unique uniform in the business.

Flight attendant aboard Singapore Airlines in the original sarong uniform designed by Pierre Balmain

The endless options of fresh cuisine designed by noted chefs of the world, the unparalleled service, the amenities, and the luxurious comfortable bedding — Singapore Airlines is the epitome of authentic luxury and is one of my favorites in the world.

Aerial shots of Indonesian islands & a computer rendering of upcoming Rachman's luxury project

On this journey, I am visiting two projects I’m working on including a luxury penthouse project in Jakarta, as well as a luxury villa complex on the island of Bali.

The Jakarta project will feature the ROHL Acqui Bath Series in an Unlacquered Brass finish in the bathrooms

On this trip, I’m meeting with my clients, local architects, and builders to check our progress, to approve materials and samples, and to lay out the gorgeous marble that I selected from Italy.

Lifestyle shot of pink jungle print de Gournay wallpaper

I’m also excited to meet with de Gournay’s head designer, Jemma Cave, and director, Hannah Cecil Gurney.

De Gournay is my “go-to” purveyor for bespoke custom hand painted wallpaper. The brand was started by Claud Cecil Gurney over three decades ago in London and continues to create the most luxurious hand-painted wallpaper in chinoiserie, modern, or avant-garde style.

Lavish Rachman room design with original de Gournay collaboration silk wallpaper called "Silk Tree"

In 2017, I participated in the San Francisco Decorator Showcase and collaborated with De Gournay to create a “Silk Tree” collection using silk wallpaper. Each panel was customized to the room’s elevation, and was hand-painted and hand-embroidered.  The details, the craftsmanship, and the luxurious feel of this wallpaper transcends into and sets the mood for the entire room of this Pacific Height mansion.

Computer rendering & photograph, respectively, of two luxury Rachman projects with wallpaper by de Gournay

I’m currently working with both ROHL and the de Gournay team on the Bali project, as well as a new resort in the Dominican Republic. Our current plans for both projects include an original wallpaper design from de Gournay which reflects each local culture while remaining elegant, yet approachable. The Michael Berman Graceline Collection from ROHL in a French Brass finish is our pick for the bathrooms.

Like ROHL, de Gournay highly regards the work of its artisans. I’m fortunate on this trip to visit the artisans where this opulent wallpaper is produced, glazed, treated, hand-painted and finished with embroidery, beading and sequins, as well as bejeweled! For each of these hospitality projects we will fine tune our colorways, as well as each detailed story portrayed in each branch, flora and fauna, each sunset, and each shade of the Indian Ocean.

Just like the ROHL definition of Authentic Luxury, “When original design and a commitment to craft come together, connecting touch of hand, truth in materials and place of origin,” we will continue to be original, to be authentic, and continue the world of luxury in hospitality.

Jonathan Rachman lounging back aboard Singapore Airlines, enjoying a Singapore Sling

So, sit back and relax.  While I sip my Singapore Sling, I hope you will join me on this exciting journey and enjoy the scenery!

As one of the Bay Area’s most celebrated interior designers, Jonathan Rachman brings an international story to all of his work.

Born in Sumatra, Jonathan developed an appreciation of Indonesia’s natural beauty and attention to detail in the craftsmanship of their furniture, textiles, and sculpture. An education in Switzerland afforded him the luxury of traveling across Europe to some of the best antiques markets in the world. Living in Paris, he frequented its famed flea market and developed a keen eye for collections-something for which he’s now well regarded.

Rachman is also known for the buying trips he takes with clients around the world. His knowledge of other countries, their markets, and their languages gives him confidence to lead clients to the best each place has to offer.

He opened his first antiques and floral design shop in the heart of San Francisco. It became a favorite of design enthusiasts and the media alike, and Rachman began giving patrons advice on interior design. That led him to start his own design firm.