03.24.22

 Creating the Ideal Family Home with Robin Pelissier

As a beloved and sought-after interior designer, her work has been celebrated in the pages of Traditional Home, Better Homes & Gardens and The Boston Globe Magazine (to name only a few), but Robin Pelissier is perhaps best known for her ability to design homes that are not only gorgeous but ready to be lived in by the whole family, or as she puts it, a space that “reflects the spirit of the family.”

Photography by Dan Cutrona

This skill is one that she began to hone when her own sons were small but has carried through to this day. “Being the mother of four young men that once were 4 crazy boys, taught me trial by fire. I was unwilling to wait until they were older to immerse myself in beauty and comfort. I listened to my mentors when they advised me to invest in the pieces that will get used the most. The buy right, buy once philosophy. Over time this has proven to be so true.”

Photography by Michael J. Lee

Her perspective that a home is meant to be enjoyed by all members of the family, naturally includes the adults as well, making her a wonderful fit for clients with or without children in the home. “The sofa in my living room today is a Ferrell Mittman piece upholstered in the exact same fabric and trim as when I purchased it 30 years ago from The Boston Design Center! It has a couple of red wine stains buried under a cushion that refuses to budge but it does remind me of some pretty fabulous soirees!!!” It is clear that easy to clean upholstery and a healthy dose of joie de vivre are both elements that this designer is well equipped to advise on.

Photography by Dan Cutrona

One of the ways that she implements this goal of putting livability at the forefront of her designs is through what she calls “The Essentials,” examples of which include: “a quiet place to sit and read, a place to put your feet up, good lighting and a side table nestled within reach.” All elements we can most definitely get behind.

Photography by Michael J. Lee

A prime example of this is her love of a specific type of seating. “Two of my new words…. swivel rocker. It has become a big part of our vocabulary. No one can resist sitting on them. They are age appropriate, and versatile. The great news is that dogs don’t love them because they don’t trust the swivel.” Another critical element of creating a soothing experience: good lighting. “Good lighting has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I used to put a few pink 60-watt bulbs into lamps during an installation. The light was so divine, except it simply wasn’t enough. We are, as a team, very cognoscente of the role that lighting plays in a space.”

Photography by Michael J. Lee

Of course, finding the right pieces to make a home feel special is hugely important as well. Often this means shopping for vintage and antique pieces. “I just returned from the Antiques and Garden Show in Nashville where I purchased some antique bamboo hat racks. They are so delightful, and this aged bamboo paired with white ship lap wall and studded with straw hats and dog leashes is just the kind of mixed, loved, lived in, evolved look I adore. If you’re into it, a piece at a time, an antique serapi lying a top a sisal …layered luscious and oh so sophisticated and boho chic and tell me to stop!”

Photography by Michael J. Lee

Not only is this a pastime that results in finding pieces for her clients (or for her own home), but it is also a major source of inspiration as well and is an important part of her creative process. “Devouring magazines and design books feed my creative spirit. Traveling always renews my outlook and inspires new ideas. Business of Home, shoutout Sean Low, is an excellent trade resource filled with valuable info and I scour. I check out The Local Vault daily and shop like it’s Black Friday at Walmart. I have a storefront where I collect the pieces I love.”

Photography by Dan Cutrona

While she loves many styles and eras, there is one in particular she is always one the lookout for when shopping. “Don’t laugh. I LOVED the eighties (obviously I was quite young to have such a strong appreciation) but really, never have I ever loved anything as much. English bump used as interlining, portières, Austrian blinds, trims, damasks, down filled cushions, embroidered linen cocktail napkins, ashtrays (!), Rigaud Cypress candles, cocktails, Cheez Wiz on a Triscuit with a sliced olive atop. Living in NYC in the mid-eighties, early nineties introduced me to a whole new perspective of glamour.”

Photography by Michael J. Lee

Despite the style she is working with on any given project, she loves to keep things unique, comfortable and above all, personal for each client. “My absolute favorite thing to do when working with a family is to bring as much of their spirit into the space as possible. One of the many ways we love surprising a client by creating a photo gallery in their home, perhaps taking over a small hallway or even a stairwell. We can do remarkably fun things with family photos… we can have them enlarged, converted from color to sepia tone or capture little vignettes like little toes in the sand. We can “My absolute favorite thing to do when working with a family is to bring as much of their spirit into the space as possible. One of the many ways we do this is to surprise a client by creating a photo gallery in their home, perhaps taking over a small hallway or even a stair well. We can do remarkably fun things with family photos… we can have them enlarged, converted from color to sepia tone or capture little vignettes like little toes in the sand. We can frame with recycled driftwood and even sea glass. We once took a family photo and had it made into wallpaper to cover an entire wall (good looking kids)… My number one goal is to introduce my client to new and innovative ways to use their space and also to consider how to take advantage of all aspects of each space with regards to light, comfort and practicality.”frame with recycled driftwood and even sea glass. We have taken a family photo and made into wallpaper to cover a wall as they enter their workout space… My numero uno goal is to introduce my client to new and innovative ways to use their current space and to consider how to take advantage of all aspects of each space with regards to light, comfort and practicality.”

Photography by Dan Cutrona

In her own home, she has a collection of pieces that hold a particularly special significance. “I love to collect artwork in all mediums but my most beloved are the paintings done by my mother, artist Patricia McCarthy whose colorful watercolors sprinkle my home with happiness.”

Photography by Dan Cutrona

Her work is sophisticated, polished and elegant, but perhaps most of all, we love how the spaces this designer works on feel as though they are sprinkled with happiness as well.

 

Photography by Michael J. Lee

 

5 Questions with Design Robin Pelissier

TLV: Do you have a go to color combination? Or most beloved pattern?

RP:A rich golden mustard yellow and a deep raspberry pink, is my all-time favorite color combo. My go to resources for patterns I adore are Bennison, Schumacher, Sister Parish, Anna French, Ferrick Mason just to name a few… I can go alphabetically if you’d like.

TLV: What is your favorite place to travel?

RP: I get more design inspo by studying people when we travel…. Dare I say gawk… The Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes… divine. The Ritz in Paris (honeymoon) so very romantic. We attended a surprise party in St Tropez a few years ago and my husband claims I didn’t listen to a word he said for the entire week because I was too busy eavesdropping on anyone that sat by us. I must say lunch at Club 55 is etched in my memory for life… to dine on a beach under a canopy, sip rose in bathing suit and a sarong and pretend I’m not watching everyone else is sublime. The Amalfi Coast is nothing to sneeze at either. This is inspiring me to make travel plans. Heading to the Greek Islands in September – WOOT!

Photography by Dan Cutrona

 

TLV: What are the must-have items in your carry on?

RP: I wish I could say some luxurious hand cream or lip balm. People Magazine, Vanity Fair, Town and County, WSJ, (Friday mansions section) ok and a little Burt’s Bees lip balm.

 

TLV: Favorite way to pass the time on a flight?
RP: Reading up on all salacious gossip and fashion that’s fit to print or any story that has to do with reckless human behaviors.

 

TLV: Most memorable keepsake from or piece purchased on a trip?

RP: Artwork that my husband and I purchased in Paris and Provence. The frames have been altered or regilded to fit the mood of the room they adorn.

Photos Courtesy of Robin Pelissier / Profile Photo by Irish Eyes Photography/ Text by Liana Hayles Newton

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TLV is about sharing, supporting and discovering all that's great about the community we live in. We strive to inspire, enlighten and sometimes entertain. Our team of tastemakers are mothers, wives, sisters and friends, and together we share our musings about love, life and home.
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