Welcome back to my blog series “Country Homes Around The World,” where I spotlight an inspirational country home and homemaker from around the world! This time around, I’m inviting you into the beautiful life of Robyn and her an idyllic country house in Southern Florida.
I have actually met Robyn and her husband, quite a few years ago when they spent a day in Normandy with me. It was one of those rare days when absolutely ALL the planets align, and I can safely say that we had some pretty extraordinary moments. Not the least of which involved Robyn’s husband playing to us on a grand piano, in the salon of a beautiful chateau. The piano had previously been played on by the composer Ravel, and the chateau owners were thrilled to hear it sing again. What the French would call ‘un moment de grâce’ .
Robyn runs Robyn’s French Nest, which offers services ranging from complete home design and decorating to smaller-scale projects to special events and more. Also a wife, a mother, a teacher, a tastemaker and a blogger, she spins a lot of plates, and you might wonder how she possibly can find time for her own design and DIY projects. But passion always wins, and this is evident in the cozy, stunning country home that Robyn has created for her family.
I had the pleasure of interviewing her – read it below!
What part of the world are you in, and how would you describe this part of the country?
We live in South Florida, United States of America. As we are about a mile from the Atlantic Ocean, we have a warm (sometimes really hot!), tropical climate. We laugh that we live in a place where the rest of America likes to vacation!
Tell us a little bit about the character of your home. How did it come to you?
We purchased our home almost four years ago now. We were considering a different home when this one became available, and we fell in love with the close proximity to the school where our children attend and where I teach, as well. The property also has a large yard space for our kids to play.
How old is your home, and how long have you lived there?
It was built in 1970, and we have lived here for almost 4 years.
How did you “meet” your house?
Our realtor called to tell us we probably wouldn’t be interested, but, just in case, we may want to take a look at “this house down the street.” The bathrooms featured olive green toilets, 70s blue tiling and a host of other issues, both cosmetic and functional. The kitchen was equally bad. But I fell in love with what it “could be!”
Who do you share your home with?
I am blessed to share our home with my husband and our three children, ages 13, 10 and 7.
What is your favourite room or space in the home and why?
My favorite space in our home is the one that seemed the most useless at first. Our home has a large room that runs 50 feet along the back of the house that has sliders across the whole side and windows at the end, so it is always sunny and bright, even on a rainy day. We blew out walls and opened doorways to make this large space part of our everyday living. I love that the sunshine streams in. We also created an extra living room and dining space, where our family eats most evenings.
How did you create spaces for family life?
One of our favorite things about our home is the open floor plan and large living areas. There is plenty of space for everyone to spread out and enjoy their activities while still feeling like we are together. We had the option of taking a large side room and creating more bedrooms, but we decided, instead, to make that a large playroom and creative space for our kids. With a comfy sofa, vintage pieces for toy storage and a table for art, it is a busy space that makes me happy!
How would you describe your style of decorating?
My decor style is anything vintage! I love finding furniture pieces with original paint and patina and pairing them with slip-covered sofas and chairs, warm wood tones and neutral colors. I incorporate as many vintage French pieces as I can find! I also love to collect vintage books, brass candlesticks, apothecary items, such as mortars and pestles, and old signs.
What is your favourite season at home, and how do you celebrate?
Each season feels so special and unique, and I love decorating for all of them! Christmas is particularly special and we decorate every room of our home! Our family celebrates with a lot of music. My husband and I are both musicians, and all three of our children take lessons now, so there is constant Christmas music streaming through our home, whether it’s piano, trumpet, violin, or singing! One of our favorite Christmas traditions are these gigantic, 3-foot stockings that we fill to overflowing with little gifts. We all enjoy that even more than the regular presents!
Any special tips for creating the feeling of “home?”
Creating a home takes time. Home isn’t an instant “look” but rather pieces curated over time, wrapped in memories and enjoyed. I am passionate about creating spaces that function first and look pretty second. This allows us to enjoy our home in a livable, everyday way. I think creating a feeling begins when you start with pieces that you truly love and add to them over time, always adjusting for what functions best for you and your family!
What does “country home” mean to you?
In America, there are lots of different “country” styles, depending on the region you visit. I grew up in the Midwest, in the middle of wheat fields and cow pastures, but I currently live in a very modern, Southern Florida environment. For me, “country” is really a feeling of being curated over time, well-loved on and well-lived in and space where family gathers and memories are made. A country aesthetic isn’t overdone but features worn, functional pieces. Beauty is celebrated in simple, everyday items!
Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous home with me, Robyn!
All photography by Robyn.