“The client is actually my very best friend,” designer Robin Anderson exclaims when introducing us to some of her recent work. “She, her husband, and their four children live in the Back Bay neighborhood in Boston. The apartment was one that they bought from a friend and completely renovated it a few years before I got involved.” The home overlooks the Public Library and many famed Boston landmarks, and the family loves living in the city where the children’s school is located. Robin explains, “They are doing everything they can to make this apartment work as the kids grow to avoid a move to the suburbs.” When Robin was first hired, the goal was to make the home reflect the family. “After their renovation, they were fearful of making the ‘wrong’ decision, so everything came out very neutral. Tan walls, with tan carpet, with a tan sofa and wood accessories. It was a beautiful space but it didn’t feel like home to the couple.” Since Robin knew the family so well, she felt like it would be an easy vision to bring to life!
From the beginning, her first goal was to bring a bit of glamour. “The family is so vibrant and they have so much class, I really just wanted their home to feel the same way,” she says. Robin wanted to start with a clean slate, so the walls were brightened with Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee. She brought in color and pattern to each of the common areas, most notably with the emerald green sofa. “The one requirement my friend had with the design of the home was that they had a sofa that was big enough to fit everyone in her family,” Robin explains. “I knew it was a big risk in that it would be the focal point of the majority of the home, but luckily, my friend jumped on board and in the end I think it absolutely made the design! Now, I can’t imagine that room with any other sofa in it!”
The master bedroom received a gorgeous built-in closet, custom drapery, and a statement headboard, all channeling a beautiful hotel room in Paris. “During the day my friend and I will often light a fire and we spend a lot of time in there,” Robin shares. “It also makes me so proud that I was able to create such a beautiful space for her and her husband to escape to at night! With four kids, this has become such an oasis!”
Though the children weren’t too involved with the design of their rooms, Robin felt confident she could create spaces they would love. “I’ve known these kids their entire lives, I felt like I had a good idea of what they would want,” she laughs. The rooms are gender specific, but are still sophisticated enough to easily evolve as they grow up.
Of course, friendships aside, there were still challenges with the process — namely, the demo phase. Robin recalls, “We pretty much demo’d both kids rooms, taking down walls and adding the built-is which meant that for about a month the children and all of their belongings were moved to the rest of the house. The family ended up sleeping all together, and on the floor which was not ideal but everyone was so great about it. They knew the end result would be worth it and trusted me completely!”
This ended up being one of Robin’s favorite projects yet. “From beginning to end this project was an absolute dream,” she smiles. “It forced my friend and I to spend so much time together and designing this home something that I will remember forever. From the beginning the couple (and the kids) completely trusted my vision and I think that is the main reason why the design turned out so well.”