Although the 2,000-square-foot space set on eight acres is an early-19th-century cottage, Robshaw made a point to decorate in counterpoint. “I enjoy that kind of collage in which things don’t quite make sense,” he says.
Robshaw began his career as a painter and traveled to India in the 1990s to create indigo washed textiles and block prints to be used as canvases. But he soon discovered his passion was for the fabric itself and has since created beddings, fabric, and accessories he sells on his own website. Along the way he helped stimulate the current appetite for richly colored and patterned interiors that use Asian and tribal geometrics in new ways. Current collaborations are with artisans from Zimbabwe to Laos.
“Left to my own devices, I am definitely extreme,” Robshaw admits. That’s why he engaged interior designer Sara Bengur to help bring him down to earth. “She reminds me that you have to have some negative space. You can’t just endlessly layer.”
Cases in point
A closer look at the home’s side entry reveals those plain white walls pave the way for the show-stopping, custom-made coral settee with a whimsical Byzantine back.
The living room sofa and its fabric are from Robshaw’s collection for Duralee. The armchair, banquettes, and bone inlay side table were all designed by him as well. The coffee table is from India, and the dhurrie rug is a custom design.
And how about that lavender fireplace? I’m swooning over that one.
The striped dhurries in the adjacent dining room are by Robshaw, and the armchair in the background and its fabric is also from his collection for Duralee. The vintage light is from India.
I love the bookcases AND their color.
The kitchen is an eclectic mix tied together with Benjamin Moore’s Rose Quartz on the walls and Starry Night on the cabinets. Robshaw is as much a mixmaster with paint as he is with pattern.
The Rose Quartz walls make a striking backdrop for Dutch plates from Sri Lanka and turbans custom-made in India. The chair is also Indian.
More of Robshaw’s textile designs outfit the master bedroom bed, windows and floor. The crimson chest is a Tibetan antique trunk.
Although the ceilings are low, which is typical of homes built during this period, Robshaw hasn’t let that stop him from making tall statements with furniture, such as the guest room headboard, which, in shape, echoes the settee in the side entry. The fabric covering it, as well as the bedding and drapery fabric, are from Robshaw’s collection.
The stunning sink cabinet in the upstairs bath came from Syria, and the shower curtain and rug are from Robshaw’s collection.
If you want more…
I most likely can’t wangle you an invite to kick back with Robshaw on his Litchfield County, CT, patio. But you can…
- Continue your tour of his home in the July/August issue of Elle Décor magazine, or read Nancy Hass’ interview with Robshaw on the ED website.
- Explore John Robshaw’s designs on his website.
- Check out interior designer Sara Bengur’s portfolio on her website.
- Shop (and follow!) my Etsy store, BoHo Home By Susan, for vintage finds and a few of my boho DIYs. I have vintage and home décor items for sale on ebay too! New merchandise gets added daily, so check both places often.
- Sign up to have BoHo Home posts sent to your inbox using the subscription link in the sidebar (top right). Or follow with Bloglovin, a social-media platform that allows you to set up an account and access all the blogs you want to read in one place.
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