Naturally-Derived Niche

Lifestyle

Talented member of the American Society of Interior Designers and principal designer of Silhouette Studio, Robyn Stevens has been creating beautiful interior designs since 1997. Integrating her knowledge of architecture with her keen interior design tactics, Robyn creates sophisticated and chic, yet functional spaces for her clients. 

Robyn broke into the interior design world in Manhattan where she spent the first fifteen years of her career. Presenting impressive work from the beginning, Robyn had the privilege of designing for some of the most prestigious residential designers in Manhattan including Naomi Leff and David Kleinberg. During her time in Manhattan, Robyn learned how to formulate beautiful spaces in varying architectural shells and decorating styles. About ten years ago, Robyn went off on her own to take on a more intimate and personal approach to projects and have more detail-oriented involvement with her clients. 

While designing her own home, Robyn wanted her concept of a “modernist who values tradition” to be apparent throughout. Drawing inspiration from great decorators in American history, Parisian silhouettes and modern furniture, Robyn was able to embody an elegantly grand theme. Her home was about 30 years old when it was purchased, so it did need some work, but it was a perfect palette to work with. “The home already had great bones and architectural detail,” Robyn explained, “I wanted to respect the integrity of the architecture and incorporate modern updates.”

In the foyer stands what Robyn considers the most important piece of furniture in the home. A gilded Escalier Cristal de Paris table, procured by private sale, sets the tone for the rest of the home. Topped with white crystalline marble and an Italian bubble glass mirror encased in a brass framework above, this luxurious table’s tones, shapes and elegance are carried in detail throughout the home. Moving through you are led into the airy and open living room, which is able to hold 50 for cocktails. The Palladian window invites light in and accentuates the barrel vaulted ceiling. The living room features many influences from 1940’s French design, including an antique metal coffee table by furniture maker, Maison Jansen. “I like to punctuate a space with art,” said Robyn, “I rely on shapes and forms derived from nature.” 

There is a subtle theme of water in this room with the silk and wool accent rug that anchors the main seating area and emulates flowing water. As if Robyn’s design tactics were not impressive enough, Robyn actually did all of the oil paintings featured in her home, including the two that flank the fireplace in the living room. To break up the wall panels, Robyn included several 1960’s bronze wall sculptures by Curtis Jere. The bar is topped with marble that has shades of gold and mixed metals. Four 1940’s bar stools lacquered in ivory white with accents of silver leaf and brass footrests encompass the bar and compliment the white plaster Grecian urn sitting on the bar. A peacock perched on the fireplace is a definite talking point when entertaining, but it also adds a glimpse of “surreal fantasy”, completing the stunning room.

Shifting into the home office, the aura transitions into a warmer feel with the rich tones and aristocratic forms. Robyn took the room’s original millwork and relacquered it in an espresso brown with a satin sheen. The furniture is a combination of Louis XV and Empire styles, punctuated with modern and jewel-shaped pieces. The ottoman is a custom-designed piece with a geometric pedestal in a bronzed silver leaf finish. The ceiling of the office was made to mimic the marbleized lining paper of an antique book by using a warm, gilded swirl wall covering, sourced from London. Finishing off the room are two striking paintings by Robyn. 

The piano room includes soft, watery tones. Pale grays, silvery lavenders and pearly oyster shades dress the space. A custom Stark Carpet silk and wool rug and silk Manuel Canovas soften the room and absorb sound, making it perfect for piano playing. Modern sculptural pieces and contemporary paintings balance out the mainly traditional space. The plaster palm trees on the wall are sconces and allow the glow of the light to be apparent without seeing the light source.

“Beautiful rooms glow from within,” said Robyn, “People don’t intellectualize it but they feel good in a warm and inviting room because the light supports you in a way that makes you feel uplifted.” Robyn went on to explain how she loves to educate people on lighting because once one is aware of how a room is lit, it affects how one experiences the space. 

Moving through to the dining room, a cozy and intimate vibe is found. Dappled, silvery pearl Phillip Jeffries wallpaper compliments the silk wall covering which was custom made by De Gournay and incorporates a whimsical element into the room. Guests never seem to want to leave the bronze mounted, black lacquered Maison Jansen dining table and the 1940’s-French-inspired chairs. The old rock crystal chandelier carries cloudy and mysterious notes and provides a comfortably soft glow at night. 

In the master bedroom, everything is soft, serene and restful, featuring colors that are pleasant to wake up to. This room is home to a white satin wall covering inside the millwork panels, lush velvet upholstery and plaster accents. “Plaster allows one to really see and appreciate pure art forms without the distraction of color or pattern,” Robyn explained, “It is elegance in its purest form.”

The master bedroom also includes a stunning French 1940’s plaster console table and plaster mirror, against a silver leaf accent wall. A contemporary coffee table ties together the traditionally-based, modernly accented space. 

 “The powder room was a basic blank box originally, but I wanted it to feel like a vintage tuxedo,” said Robyn. Robyn painted the powder room onyx black and graphite gray and installed Mother of Pearl wall tiles inside of the panels, completely transforming this space into a jewel box. The vanity is a black marble with brass legs, a hammered brass sink and an old gilded mirror.

“When something is antiqued or worn, it makes people feel a little bit more relaxed,” Robyn explained. The antique theme throughout the home is used to create a beautiful space but also helps guests feel comfortable. 

Enchanting to any classic movie lover is the stairway leading into the TV room. Mounted along the walls are photos of every movie star imaginable from 1930 to 1980. This warm and casual space doubles as an entertaining area. Soft flannel fabrics, a tweed wall covering and stitched leather pillows create the ideal space in which to retire each night before bed. 

To finish off the house tour, Robyn takes us to her garage turned drive-in movie theater. Robyn’s husband has a passion for vintage American cars and slick Italian exotics. Mixing in some pops of color within a basic garage structure created a complete 1950’s drive-in feel. Incorporating a snack bar and projector to watch movies as you sit in the car, this garage is a dream for young and old. Robyn’s philosophy of using subtle patterns, luxurious textiles and nature-derived color tones is on full-display not only in her own home, but in the beautiful designs she curates. If you are looking for inspiration, or are starting a new home project, visit http://silhouettestudiollc.com/ to learn more. 

Photo Credits: SGM Photography

By Brianna Robertiello

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