Kennedy Green House

By Matthew


On Tuesday June 15th, 7W New York invited us to one of their designer talks, this time featuring nationally renowned eco-healthy designer Robin Wilson. She’s got a slew of notable projects under her belt including Good Housekeeping’s LEED certified house (2008) and Esquire’s Ultimate Bachelor Apartment (2007) AND has appeared on CBS, ABC, CNN and HGTV. When we heard she was going to be the speaker, we knew we were in for a real treat. Robin started off by introducing some of her local work, such as a low budget renovation of a Manhattan apartment, proving that green can be reasonable.  She then went on to describe her foundation-to-the-furniture approach to design, explaining that with all her projects she takes a hands on approach from the very start until the last candlestick has been placed on the dinner table. Her signature style combines contemporary city living with more classic designs influenced by her childhood in Austin, TX.

After this brief introduction Robin moved on to the reason we were all there, her new book “the Kennedy Green House.” Starting in 2008 Robin worked on rebuilding Bobby and Mary Kennedy’s home into a LEED certified home after black mold attacked the entire house. To meet the Gold LEED status requirements the house had to use maximum energy and water efficiency and include the latest in green technologies, products and furniture. The Kennedy’s goal was to extend their own environmental commitments into their home, as well as inspire others to follow suit. Beyond the obvious green choices such as LED lighting and eco-friendly faucets, showers and toilets, Robin enlightened us on a whole array of other green options. In the foyer an eight-foot long church pew was used, costing only $250, rather than designing a custom made bench. Mrs. Kennedy rescued a marble countertop through Green Demolitions, and other counter tops are made from Paper Stone, made from 100% post-consumer paper products.

It is said that the Kennedy’s “live under the roof of a mental institution,” and this is in fact true, the roof tiles on the house are recycled from an old institution. With unique ideas like these it is no wonder Robin was named 56 by the New York Post on their list of New York’s most successful women, yet she remains humble stating, “my team is my reason for success.”

Su Hilty of 7W with Robin Wilson

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