Hilary Robertson: Home is a Feeling (When You’re a Nomad at Heart)

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Being Home With Hunker is a podcast where each week we chat with designers, artists, and creatives in the spaces that express and shape their identities: their homes.

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About the Episode

"I also like there to be, you know, things that look as if they don't belong. I don't want everything to be too perfect or too match-y. You know, I like there to be a surprise." – Hilary Robertson

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Oh, to have the eye of interiors stylist Hilary Robertson. Everything she puts together is chef's kiss.

I can't tell you how many times over the past years I've seen an image on Instagram, in a catalog, or in a magazine that I've loved — and when I've investigated it, I've come to find out that Hilary Robertson is behind it.

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Hilary is an interiors expert — she's involved with creative direction, art direction, interior styling, product development (I have my eye on one of her gorgeous chain links that you can find online at Bloomist), and she is an author of five books, including Monochrome Home and her latest Nomad at Home which examines the influence of travel on home design. Her client list is vast, and includes Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Town and Country, Vogue Living, and Metropolitan Home, to name a few.

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I was so delighted when Hilary said yes to being a guest on our podcast — but then my delight multiplied tenfold when the day before I was to talk with her, I found out that she's also the style director for Leanne Ford's new magazine FEEL FREE. If you want to know more about that magazine, listen to the latest interview I just did with Leanne.

It all came together so beautifully because I was able to talk with Hilary about her work with the magazine, her latest book ‌Nomad at Home‌, the impact of travel in her life, and so much more. Read the full transcript below.

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Learn More About Hilary Robertson, Interiors Stylist

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Transcript of the Show

(Edited slightly for clarity.)

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

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I wanted to talk to you about your book, Nomad at Home. But before we do, I want to say "Congratulations" on your role as Style Director for Leanne Ford's new magazine, Feel Free.

Hilary Robertson:

Thank you. Yes. It's really fun. I mean, Leanne have been- and I have been working together, I don't know, for I guess, like, four or five years on shoots for her collection and, um, anyway, we just get on really well so it's always fun to work with a friend.

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Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay. A couple things I'm wondering here.

Hilary Robertson:

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Mm-hmm?

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

You work together as a stylist with her projects?

Hilary Robertson:

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Yeah. So, basically my books are parts of what I do. My background's in magazines. So that's where I kind of learnt my trade as a stylist but really as an editor.

Laurie Gunning Grossman‌:

Okay.

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Hilary Robertson:

So, you know, covering trends and then maybe going to Maison&Objet, the big interiors trade show in Paris and then bringing back the trends and then translating those for the readers of magazines -- market piece or think pieces or whatever it might be. And I am slightly unusual in that I both write and design.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

I mean, there are people who do that in England but not so many, really not so many here. And it's rare to have a background in magazines here now because there aren't enough magazines.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

It's so true. It is so true. So your role as a Style Director on Feel Free, what does that mean? What are you doing with the magazine.

Hilary Robertson:

Basically, I don't know, I supposed I'm just a sort of Deputy Editor looking for ideas, gathering ideas, executing ideas. I mean, that's what I know how to do.

Laurie Gunning Grossman‌:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

You know, hiring photographers, deciding how we're going to shoot, you know, how we're going to present the story, whether it's a long story, a short story, what kind of story is it? You know, making those connections, art directing, all that stuff.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay. It sounds like so much fun and ...

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Is it? Yes?

Hilary Robertson:‌ It is.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

One thing I heard that you and Leanne were talking about, which has to do with the name of the magazine, is helping people feel freedom to create and anti-perfectionism, allowing ourselves to make mistakes, which I'd love for you to talk about. First, I wanted to hear, is this something that was modeled to you in your childhood?

Hilary Robertson:

Oh, Gosh, I, no, not really. I mean, my mother's a musician, actually... but if anything, probably the opposite. (laughs)

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Oh really? Yes. Yeah. Wait. What does she play? What's her instrument?

Hilary Robertson:

She's a pianist and a singer, and she had a choir for 55 years or something, so.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay. Wow. So not modeled by your musician mom. No?

Hilary Robertson:

No. I have two perfectionist parents, to be honest.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

So then how did you find it within yourself to go against the grain and embrace the mistakes? And, I think you had mentioned what you call "the beautiful oops". Is that-

Hilary Robertson:

Oh, that's Leanne's phrase, yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

It's basically, it's about taking, you know, things that happen accidentally and then turning it into something else. I mean, the surrealists talked about objects of chance. So basically, in a sense, that's just as good a reason as any to, to make something, to embrace that instead of thinking, "Oh dear. I smashed my mirror."

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mm-hmm.

Hilary Robertson:

...this friend of Leanne's put the mirror back together in a really interesting mosaic kind of way.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

You know, just thinking out of the box, basically.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah. So did you have artists or writers, any type of creatives...

Hilary Robertson:

I mean, yes. My father, he was a university professor and he wrote a column for a magazine and wrote in the newspapers in his sort of spare time. You know, I mean, I just grew up with, you know, lots of creative people around me.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

But I also lived in a very, you know, kind of normal, boring, suburban place outside London and, you know, we had a big mixture of friends and family. We traveled a lot. You know, both my parents were teachers so, yeah, I was always aware of friends who did interesting things.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah. So you mentioned that you grew up- you said it was, I don't know if you said it was boring. You said it was suburban.

Hilary Robertson:

Oh, it was boring!

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay. (laughs)

Hilary Robertson:

You know, I'm a metropolitan person. I like to be in a city.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

We lived just outside London. It was very accessible but, even from the age of about, I think about ten, I was going on the bus with my friends to walk around London just for the hell of it.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Oh.

Hilary Robertson:

A bit of shopping or look at houses or go to museums or whatever. So I was very adventurous and I liked to get to the city as much as I could. My stimulus is that. I do like to be, you know, in the countryside and nature as well but I couldn't live without a city.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Couldn't live without a city. So let's get to talking about your book because I feel like this ties in with it, Nomad at Home.

Hilary Robertson:

Yep.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

I have a copy. It is so beautiful.

Hilary Robertson:

Oh, thanks.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

I just wanna live within the pages...

Hilary Robertson:

(laughs) Thanks.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

...I wanna sit in the chairs or out along the garden or just, like, touching the walls. It's so beautiful, Hilary. So this book, for anyone who hasn't picked it up yet, it examines the influence of travel on home design. So can you talk a bit about what the inspiration was behind the book?

Hilary Robertson:

Yes. I mean, I am a sort of restless traveler. Every time I go somewhere I always think, "Oh, can I live here?" Even if it's not really remotely possible, I always think about it if it's somewhere that I like or connect with. And I always end up looking at real estate. My husband's exactly the same. And I have a lot of friends who have figured out how to move to other places. And I also think the travel influence in design is huge. I think it, especially at the moment, after people haven't been able to travel for a long time.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

So I think, uh, wanderlust is probably at a height. But also there are so many interesting ways to stay in Airbnb's or, you- we don't just have to stay in hotels now, so I think that means that the influence of, you know, the materials in the place like Morocco or Italy, you know- there, there's, also there's things that are more accessible to us and we see them when we travel, when we're staying in hotels, you know, you can either take that all home with you or you, you know, if you're like me, you start thinking about how you could live somewhere else. Always as a child I wanted to live somewhere else. Always.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

You did? And did you have a chance to travel a lot when you were younger?

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

You mentioned something about that in your book. It sounded like you were having some summers living with other families?

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. My parents ... I mean, you know, they were both, my father at university, my mother taught in a school so they had long holidays, so, you know, we would travel always. And, and, you know, it's very when you live in Europe. It's really easy to get to France. It's really easy to get to Italy.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

It's a two hour flight but we used to drive.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

And, yes, it's very common when you learn language in England that you go and stay with a family. You do what we call a exchange. Ah, the school would authorize that. So, yeah, I did that. I actually did it with my mother's, with the exchange family. She exchanged as well. She was probably, like, thirteen or fourteen.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Oh, wow.

Hilary Robertson:

So, you know, I did the same with Germany and, um, well, you know, we traveled a lot and my father worked in Tasmania, not all the time but on holidays and I would go with him. I went to school in Denmark and then, later in life I lived in Denmark. I lived at Copenhagen. I lived also in the north of Denmark in Jutland.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

So, you know, I speak several languages and, um, that's what I like to do.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

And you're based in Brooklyn-

Hilary Robertson:

Yes.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

...and then you also have a home in Connecticut which is featured in Nomad at Home.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. Yeah. It was in Martha Stewart Living as well.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

It's so beautiful.

Hilary Robertson:

Thank you. (laughs)

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah, it's- well, that's with my husband because he's a country person and I'm a city person so-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

...he needs a garden and he, he never stops. He's, he doesn't sit still so he has to have a big garden to work it and build things and-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah, so he had an upstate home and then that was a little too far so, once Gus, my son, was about 12, he didn't really want to go any more. So we found this magical place in Connecticut. It's really quite special and it was owned, it has a really interesting history. It was owned by a gay couple in the, I suppose, late 50s early 60s, [inaudible 00:10:55] put it together. They were both photographers, which is quite funny.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

And I found an archive of their negatives and prints in the garage. Because the guy we bought it from was only the second owner ever of the house and he didn't really know what he had.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Wow.

Hilary Robertson:

I feel connected to the house.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Meant to be. So do you find that, since you have this house in Connecticut, you live in Brooklyn, do you not travel as much since have this place to go to? Or you travel as much?

Hilary Robertson:

Just as much?

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

You do?

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. I mean, for me, I, a lot of my work on set, on shoots, is not in New York. I travel a lot for work.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

But also, you know, when I'm shooting or [inaudible 00:11:35] editorial story or whatever, I'm always traveling.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

Now this summer I took, I took more time off because I'd really been doing two jobs for the past couple of years because I'll write my book at the weekends and do my set work in the week. So it's pretty full on.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

(laughs) Yeah. Keepin' busy. I read in your bio that it says, "Hilary has not been able to resist moving other people's-

Hilary Robertson:

(laughs)

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

"...furniture around since her mother allowed her to redecorate her childhood bedroom, age eight."

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Which I love. So has this just been an innate need and then also a talent that started, you know, back when you were eight?

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. I mean, my mother is actually very elegant and has excellent taste and was always very interested in design and was always beautifully turned out. So I was always interested in those aesthetic interests of hers, you know?

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yes. Yes.

Hilary Robertson:

So yeah. I mean, I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah. I would love to talk a little bit about styling with you, interior styling.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

So as you're working, do you have any rules of your own that you follow?

Hilary Robertson:

I mean, I don't like the idea of a rule.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

I have some habits or an approach.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Oh, let's go. I, I love habits. Go.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. So really [inaudible 00:13:06] what I'm looking for, A, it starts with the light. So, you know, when I'm out working on a shoot, it doesn't matter how beautiful the room is-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

...if the light isn't beautiful and that's what creates the mood, then that's what I collaborate on with the photographer.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

But then I sort of try to make a shape with interest. So it's like a triangle.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

So your eye travels up and down and across.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

I would say that that idea of making this triangle for the eye to travel is, I think I always do that.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

That's so neat. So when you say in "a triangle", are you saying that you're imagining how it looks in an image and that's where we see, like, a triangle?

Hilary Robertson:

If we frame up a room, if we've got the ceiling, the floor, whatever is in the middle-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mm-hmm?

Hilary Robertson:

...it's all about your eye must travel around the picture and I feel that's what I am looking for, to make this shape.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

Otherwise, a lot of it is instinct, you know? And that is based on references from movies and books and illustration and paintings and everything that you've ever seen in your life because your eye is a camera, basically.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

I also like there to be, you know, things to look as though they don't belong. I don't want everything to be too perfect or too matchy or too- you know, I like there to be a sort surprise.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

Sometimes it's hard. It depends. It depends who you're working with.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right. It's so interesting because I had a thought that you would start with light.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

That's really cool.

Hilary Robertson:

Yes.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

So is that something that's super important to you in your own space?

Hilary Robertson:

Oh, yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

I mean, I love a dark color on a wall or dark texture, as long as there is ambient light.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

I just can't live anywhere dark. Light is very important to me.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

So are you like, "I need a candle over here and a table lamp and then another floor lamp and then-"

Hilary Robertson:

Yes.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah. Everywhere.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. I mean, definitely when it comes to that kind of lighting, yeah, I hardly ever use any over lights [inaudible 00:15:08] In fact, I don't have overhead lights. None.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Cool. Okay. And then, where you live, like, say when you bought your place in Connecticut, the light and the windows, ‌that was important to you?

Hilary Robertson:

Yes. I mean, just magic. Yeah. Yeah. That's something that, on a daily basis will delight me. You know, even on a bad day, if I can see some magic light and maybe shoot it on my phone camera, that makes me happy.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Magic light. I love that. When you're decorating, when you're doing interior styling work, do you think in terms of trends or are trends never a thing for you?

Hilary Robertson:

I enjoy trends. I think trends are really fun. I mean, I am an Aquarian and for me, you know, I live in the future. I feel like (laughs) that's my nature.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

So what do you think's comin' up in the new year? Do you have your own predictions of trends?

Hilary Robertson:

I, I mean, you know, I usually will find there's, like, colors that I'm gravitating towards-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

...and, you know, textures, colors-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Ooo.

Hilary Robertson:

Um, there are also things that I always like.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Ooo. Okay. Like what?

Hilary Robertson:

I mean, at the moment I'm working with a lot of lime paint. I love lime paint. I'm going to actually collaborate with a company that makes lime paint and do my own colors.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Beautiful.

Hilary Robertson:

I've always been obsessed with its, you know, plaster and concrete, stone and, I mean, those kind of substance. I talk about that in the book.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mm-hmm.

Hilary Robertson:

I love concrete.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yes.

Hilary Robertson:

I think that, you know, for me neutrals are always going to be interesting. You know I have my book Monochrome Home and I still love that look but I can't quite resist playing with color, too.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

Unlike Leanne. I mean, she, she does enjoy some color -- she's letting some color in.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Oh.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay. Now what is it about lime paint that you love so much. And, can you describe lime paint?

Hilary Robertson:

Well, basically it's made from slaked lime and mixed with water so it's very eco friendly, no VOCs, it can come in powdered form and you, you mix it yourself. It lasts forever. You don't have to think about, you know, it's very difficult to get rid of conventional paint. But it's harder work because it has movement in it-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

...and so you have to learn how you want to apply it. So it's not, you know, rollering on something.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

You have to work a bit harder. But it's very beautiful and, you know, the way light falls on it, you know, there's, there's some shadows and some movement. But you can choose how much of that you want. I don't like it to be too crazy but I do really enjoy the way like falls on it, so. It's very matte and subtle, you know, the pigments that you add to make the color, they look natural. They look as if they're-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yes.

Hilary Robertson:

...from the natural world, not synthetic. I enjoy that part.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah. Yeah. They really are beautiful and that's exciting that you have your own paint line coming out. You're working with a paint line on it?

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. It's been on the cards for a long time and so I, but I've been using their products a lot and I love using them. Because, especially in a space that's quite cold and modern-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

...it just gives it some, you know, some depth.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yes. Oh yeah. That, that's all just so beautiful. And, as you mentioned, it, you do talk about this in your book, Nomad at Home, and again, the photos are gorgeous. People are gonna wanna just step inside these places. How did you find the places that you photographed and featured?

Hilary Robertson:

That's my editorial training from magazines and newspapers.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

I mean, people always ask me that and I think, "Well, it's obvious." (laughs)

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah, yeah. It's not. (laughs)

Hilary Robertson:

I mean, I, you know, I meet people at design shows ...

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

...you know, through all the things that I do, um, makers, artists, designers and I'm always curious about where people live. Um, I think that several people in the book have been able to live in a new place because they are running as a Airbnb or small hotel.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

But usually these people are also, you know, design people who, they've embraced the place and the style and that becomes their sort of way of life. So there's a couple, Colin and September Moore. They were in, uh, my book, Stuff of Life as well. They always have, like, at least two properties that they're renovating. They had a beautiful place which they ran, I think probably for about, it must have been at least ten years, and then they sold that place, to [inaudible 00:19:47].

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Whoa.

Hilary Robertson:

...and now they have an incredible place in Majorca that they've almost finished that's stunning. And I can't wait to do another book so I can put it in that.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

When you do a book, how long do you prep for it? How long does it normally take for you, from conception to publication?

Hilary Robertson:

Normally, I'm pretty quick.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Oh.

Hilary Robertson:

But the last one was really difficult 'cause I started it before lockdown.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

I was in Italy shooting in Rome and everyone started to get nervous about COVID and I was supposed to go, after Rome, to Sicily and my husband was like, "You've got to come home. You've go to come home. You've got to come home." So, so that book, actually, was interrupted for about, well really, almost for, like, two years, actually.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

So it, it is a long time coming, that one.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

Normally I'm much, much quicker. Usually I'll take maybe, max, max a year to do a book.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Wow. Amazing.

Hilary Robertson:

But I always know what the next one is, really. And I've always already worked on the locations and- But doing the locations is like running a war. I don't have an infinite budget and I do all the production myself.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm. Right.

Hilary Robertson:

So it's, it's really comical (laughs), actually. That part of it's really hard because it's just figuring out if I can get myself and the photographer to the places we need to go, a timeframe that we can afford, you know, so.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

It's rough. I mean, sometimes I wish I wasn't doing it. But it's always all right at the end.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

It seems like it's something so glamorous, though.

Hilary Robertson:

Oh, no! (laughs)

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

It really does.

Hilary Robertson:

It is a very lovely way of life.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

And I meet incredible people. I am interested in, you know, why they do what they do and how they-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Did it.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. It's so interesting.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

I bet. You like to peek into their homes.

Hilary Robertson:

Of course! (laughs)

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right? So fun.

Hilary Robertson:

(laughs)

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

(laughs) I think that's why so many readers love design books, because you're giving us access into people's homes or to their backyard. It's just fun to see. Okay, so I want to do a couple of fill in the blank questions with you that are about styling.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay. So the first one is, I could never go wrong if I style a room with...

Hilary Robertson:

Mmm. Lime paint.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay. Beautiful. My favorite objects to use when styling are...

Hilary Robertson:

Mmm. Ceramics.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Ceramics.

Hilary Robertson:

I mean handmade.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay. Do you have favorite ceramicists or do you just find them wherever you go?

Hilary Robertson:

I kind of find them wherever I go. I mean, yes, I mean, I was just in, um, Greece, and I found this guy called Todd Marshard, who's American but lives in this little built up town in Paros.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

Incredible. Beautiful work. I mean, honestly, there's an explosion of beautiful ceramics. So many good people. For me, the most important thing is the envelope of the room. So it's the floor-

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mm-hmm.

Hilary Robertson:

...and the walls.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

And it's how that envelope comes together. Because, you know, if you have a horrible floor, it doesn't matter how great the walls are. That is really important. I mean, if you're in a rental, maybe you can throw some rugs down. I've certainly done that in the past.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Right.

Hilary Robertson:

But I don't have my ideal floors. My ideal floors would be Dinesen lined oak floors. Are you familiar with those?

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

No. Say the name of those floors again.

Hilary Robertson:

Dinesen. D-I-N-E-S-E-N.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Okay.

Hilary Robertson:

They make a sort of, it's a kind of floor treatment that sort of whitewashes your floors.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

They have a couple of ways to do it but I like pale floors.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

You do?

Hilary Robertson:

Yep. Or I will paint them. I mean, I'll just paint them white. But that's very important to me, the envelope of the room, so that's where I would start.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

The envelope of the room. I love that expression.

Hilary Robertson:

Yeah. For me, that's very important.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Love it. Okay. My favorite materials to mix together are...

Hilary Robertson:

Ooo. I do love concrete. I like, like rough and smooth, so, you know, a concrete wall with there's also wood and there's also softness and a daggy rug or silk or something that bounces light around. Matte and shiny and rough smooth. I think a mixture of textiles. I mean, you can do that completely in monochrome and it will look stunning.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Ooo.

Hilary Robertson:

That's what I really like. The tension between the textures.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Beautiful. Okay. My design styling philosophy is...

Hilary Robertson:

Ooo. Mmm. Mix it up. I hate just one period or one note or one- - I mean, I love old and new and things that you found.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm.

Hilary Robertson:

I have a painting in my living room that my husband just found on the street. And then I have a very expensive painting behind me that a friend made and I saved up for. You know, high and low, just mix everything.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mix everything. I love it! Okay. And then, my final question to you is, our podcast is called Being Home with Hunker. What does Being Home mean to you?

Hilary Robertson:

Ooo. That's a really good question. So me, it's a feeling because I, I like, as we've established, I like moving around. But I have lived in my place in Brooklyn for twelve years. I think home is just a mixture of things that you really want to look at and touch and that feel really comfortable. I love that feeling of, you know, your eye wandering around the room and seeing things by friends or, you know, books that you love or, just everything you love in one place.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Mmm. I love it. You're delightful, Hilary. I know so many people respect you.

Hilary Robertson:

Oh, thank you.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

So many people respect you and your talent and your vision and your books. And, and now, a new magazine for us to all look at.

Hilary Robertson:

I know. It's so exciting.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

I'm so excited about this.

Hilary Robertson:

Thank you. Thanks.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

Yeah.

Hilary Robertson:

We've got so many ideas, so.

Laurie Gunning Grossman:

I bet. This is very cool. Well thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me on this podcast. I so appreciate it.

Hilary Robertson:

Thank you for having me.

About the Podcast

Being Home With Hunker is a podcast where we explore the idea of "home" – not just as a place where you live, but as an expression of your identity. Each week we talk with designers, creatives, and artists about who they are, how they create meaningful spaces, and what "being home" means to them.

If you like what you hear, please rate and review the podcast, hit subscribe/follow, and share with a friend. When it comes to podcasts word of mouth is how most people will find the show. It really does help. Visit Hunker.com/podcast where you can find, follow, and listen to our show.

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