The New Year, The New You: Renowned Eco-Designer Robin Wilson Talks Sustainable Kitchen Recycling, Hypoallergenic Materials and Removable Wallpaper

The interior design influencer and author, who has designed for President Clinton and The White House, is known as a thought leader on clean design construction, sustainable kitchen cabinetry and much more.

With 2020 right around the corner, many of the nation’s top interior designers are preparing to revamp their client’s spaces for the new year. Robin Wilson, entrepreneur, author, eco-designer and founder of Robin Wilson Home, is eager to see what the new year holds and has plenty of plans to keep things fresh in 2020.

According to Wilson, her path into the design world was a bit unconventional. While receiving her master's degree in real estate finance from NYU, she founded her eponymous design firm in 2000 with a focus on project management and interior design for residential clients.
 
“As an interior designer, I set myself apart from the crowd because instead of simply buying a client a $20,000 table, I take a holistic approach to find out what the client needs,” said Wilson. “Many people from a certain era of the design world were trained to do markups instead of working with the client. When I started my company 20 years ago, I made sure to create a model in which the client and I are on the same side of the table.”
 
This client-centric approach to the design business has proven to be successful. Wilson has done work for President Clinton's Harlem office, the White House Fellows organization, the Good Housekeeping Showhouse and, in 2014, she completed the EcoBungalow-LA project to rebuild a home for a family who lost everything in a fire. As a designer, her passion for and commitment to hypoallergenic and clean design comes from her personal struggle with allergies and asthma.
 
That focus on clean design doesn’t deter Wilson from keeping up with current trends.
 
“Over the past two decades, I’ve seen design clients move away from saturated colors and toward monochromatic shades of grey,” she said. “This includes the use of off-white, Behr Marquee neutral colors like ‘drizzle grey.’ These colors are very palatable and ideal for mass-market sales.”
 
As Wilson explained, the cause of this 2019 trend can be boiled down to one thing: Instagram.
 
“While we used to see more emphasis on the actual walls, now the emphasis is on unique artwork, furnishings and decor,” she said. “Clients have become more aware of how to make a space Instagram-able and are therefore opting for neutral shades that allow them to point attention on themselves and their belongings.”
 
Looking toward the future, Wilson is excited for a commercial hotel project that may be utilizing her textiles and hypoallergenic features in the design, including hardwood floors, ceramics and low-VOC paints. She has become known for integrating eco-friendly design, hypoallergenic products and sustainability in work for showhouses, residential and commercial clients, even endorsing the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to serve her community at large.
 
One of the trends that Wilson hopes to rise in popularity in 2020 is reusable and sustainable design.
 
“For over a decade, we’ve had an amazing partnership with Renovation Angel, America’s premier recycler of luxury pre-owned kitchens and renovation items,” she said. “The company allows clients to recycle their whole kitchen, appliances, bath, lighting or furniture and save it from going into landfills. Not only are they saving the environment, but the company also funds a nonprofit division that helps with youth-at-risk, addiction recovery, job creation and social entrepreneurship.
 
Another design trend that Wilson has seen gain traction lately is removable wallpaper.
 
“The younger generation is renting more than they are owning and no one wants to lose a security deposit,” she said. “By utilizing wallpaper strips, renters can choose any color they want, either covering the whole wall or using it as an accent. Removable wallpaper is a great way for renters to freshen up their space without worrying about when it is time to leave.”
 
“As more and more people recognize that they can repurpose their furniture and find ways to be eco-friendly in their designs, the sustainability model is set to become a huge trend,” said Wilson. “I can’t wait to bring these practices to my clients in 2020 and beyond.”