THOUGHTFULLY REIMAGINING TRADITIONAL WEST INDIAN DESIGN

by Gina May Mair || Photography by James Mitchell, Brie Williams, Round Hill Hotel & Villas and RRD Team

In the rural countryside of Galloway, Southwest Scotland, a little girl from a long line of builders, artisans and farmers grew up under the influence of the actors, artists, architects, designers and musicians that lived at the commune just down the road. Later, when as a young adult, she moved to the city to attend art college, Rachael Robson tapped into that creative inspiration and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Art and Design. Although she would go on to work as a designer (and continue her studies with a postgraduate in Interior Architecture), her desire to travel could not be ignored.

Having already travelled much of Europe, she ventured further afield to the USA as a summer camp design lecturer, followed by a tour with Greenpeace and eventually Jamaica where in 1993, Robson took part in an exchange programme as a teacher. The previous travels of the 22 year old had not
however, prepared her for the realities of living and working in a developing country. “There were eight of us who came that year to teach,“ Robson reminisces, “I was the only one who stayed. Anchovy Secondary School was an eye opener. Thankfully very early on I met a teacher on the school’s board
who, along with her husband, took me under their wing.“

With over 20 years of interior design under her belt and more time spent here than in the country of her birth, Rachael Robson now sits proudly at the helm of her own company Rachael Robson Design (RRD) — a successful Jamaican interior architecture and design studio that she started in 2012. Specializing in small-scale hospitality — boutique hotels and villas — Rachael and her team at RRD have worked on several 5-star villas, commercial properties as well as multi-million dollar hotel developments and refurbishment projects. Her company’s portfolio reads like an episode of “Dream Homes in Paradise“ — rooms and cottages at GoldenEye, villas at The Tryall Club and Round Hill Hotel and Villas where her works encompass 13 villas and the refurbishment of the Pineapple