An author of a two-time Amazon best-selling book, a real-estate developer, and of course, a fantastic interior designer, Robin Wilson is a multifaceted entrepreneur who has dipped her toes into many areas within the interiors industry. Wilson’s design principles are centered around wellness and sustainability, making sure each one of her clients is being served with furnishings that are both good for you and the environment. It helps that she founded Clean Design Home, which provides hypoallergenic home goods that follow her Clean Design protocol, where she works to educate consumers about hypoallergenic, sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle options. She’s been featured in countless publications like O Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Good Housekeeping, and now aspire design and home. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Robin Wilson.
The living room in this New Jersey home was made to put emphasis on the ample natural light that pours through the original windows. Since the floor is made of tile, Robin wanted to choose furnishings that were warm and welcoming.
Andrew Joseph: You’re the newest Crayola color. What color are you and why?
Robin Wilson: I truly am one of the newest Crayola colors: KOKO. I was gifted a box of crayons for my daughter and learned about an amazing child, Bellen Wood, who recognized that multicultural crayons were needed and created a “More than Peach” crayon line. When the kit arrived, my daughter and I compared which crayon color matched our skin. It is so exciting because when I was a child, this was not an option – and now my child will see an option when she completes a self portrait in her drawing tablet.
Andrew: Must have clothing item everyone should have in their closet?
Robin: Basic black shirt and pants. Any style, with some stretch in the pants! This is a go-to outfit for installation of jobs, travel, child pickup and photo shoots. At one point, I had what I call a NY closet. Multiple shades of grey and black for everything, with pops of color from accessories. Now that I live in the suburbs and my daughter is older, after she referenced that I was dressing like Wednesday from the Addams Family, I have started to increase the brightness for day-to-day.
The master bedroom of this home is an escape from the bustle of the rest of the home. Adorned with Clean Design Home bedding, the space is hypoallergenic and encourages a good night’s rest.
Andrew: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Robin: I survived domestic violence. For the past seven years, I have worked to rebuild my business. There are so many people who have guided and supported my journey and I am so grateful every day – and for everyone in my world who focuses on kindness. There is a metaphor from Maya Angelou: People tell you who they are. You just have to listen.
Andrew: What about your design style has shifted post-quarantine?
Robin: One of the things that I know is the lexicon for “home” has changed. For so many of us, it was a place to set your keys, store condiments in the refrigerator and sleep. And when we were locked down during the pandemic, we had to look around and determine what furniture, art, pillows, towels were working and what needed to be donated or disposed of – and many of us gave charitable donations to nonprofits than ever! Most of my clients did virtual consultations – a “thing” that was unheard of prior to the pandemic. And it took some adjusting. I learned to ask people to set up their phone on a tripod (sent to clients with a return envelope) and they can just turn a phone around slowly so that I could see the entire room. And I learned to design geometrically with a clear understanding of proportion and computer design tools. It is fantastic to send a client a drawing of a space based on a floorplan and a virtual tour…and have them say “yes, you got it!” Plus, there is less willingness to hop on a train or plane to visit a location unless absolutely necessary. That has saved a bit of energy that allows me to do more things in my life – and allowed me time to refinish a piece of furniture and hire my carpenter to do some work in my residence.
With gorgeous hardwood floors like these, you don’t need much to make the space pop. But the dramatic sapphire blue chairs definitely add dimension and a modern element to this otherwise traditional setting.
Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Robin: I took that advice – and it was “explore the world and remember home will always be there” – and have traveled globally, and am so grateful that I had that opportunity given the recent pandemic. It will be interesting to see if the world opens up again like before. Another thing that I wish I had been given as a teenager would have been “invest in DELL and Apple” stock!
Andrew: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Robin: My superpower would be teleporting – like Star Trek – so that I could go to places quickly and efficiently. Imagine being able to enter a museum for an hour anywhere in the world, or to attend a tennis match anywhere in the world and then return home without traffic. And it could also apply to work – a quick meeting with a client and then lunch with a friend in a different city. Of course, that would really require a ‘home’ so that you have some roots somewhere.
About The Designer | Robin Wilson is a nationally recognized eco-friendly residential and commercial designer. She is self taught with a Masters in Real Estate Finance (NYU), she works primarily with developers to design spaces, to create concepts and color palettes, and to maximize ROI for investment projects. In addition, she has built a lucrative brand licensing business which has launched at retail and online, with a focus on hypoallergenic and sustainable products.
Robin’s work has been featured in House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping, Elle Décor, Black Enterprise; in addition to television. Recently, RW HOME LLC was selected to design a 100-acre subdivision in Austin, Texas (her hometown!).
Robin is actively involved in efforts to support survivors of domestic violence.
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