It’s official. The Lee W. Robinson Company is returning to Palm Beach. I’ve recently invited a bright, young, creative interior decorator to join the team. I’m excited to introduce you all to Kyle Johnson, Design Manager for the Lee W. Robinson Company, in the Palm Beach market. While I’ll be working directly with Kyle on her projects, she will be in Palm Beach nurturing her relationships. Let me tell you a bit about Kyle and why I feel this dynamo is the perfect fit to help us grow.
Kyle brings to the team a wide range of experience, most recently at RH as Senior Designer. But there’s way more to Kyle than a job title. She began her love of design in her hometown of Louisville, KY where she spent time at local design shops with her family, learning about the great fabric houses, the best ways to mix pattern and how to have an eye for color. She attended Wittenberg University and then spent time in London where she determined her calling toward design and returned to the US as a graduate student at Harrington College of Design where she earned her Master’s Degree. Though much of her study focused on commercial design, her eye was continually drawn toward high-end residential design. We have this in common.
Eventually, Kyle found herself in Palm Beach working on redecorating the home of a family member. Perhaps it was all those cold Chicago winters that sent her looking for a world where she could wear open-toed shoes, enjoy a convertible and sip a margarita on the patio of a favorite restaurant year-round – who could blame her? Whatever the impetus, Palm Beach took hold of her and she’s never left. She found her way to the design floor of RH and from there, began realizing her true goal in this industry.
Kyle has the knowledge and education of any great designer. She and I can talk age of columns and quality of textiles for hours. But what really draws her in is the relationship building – and this is where she and I really gel. “There’s something about the relationship you build with someone when you’re working with their home that is personal and connected,” she says. Kyle’s past few years have been spent developing and nurturing her relationships. Many of her clients are buying or building their second, third or fourth vacation home. They aren’t spending every day of the year in Palm Beach, so they rely on her to get to know them well enough that she can make decisions in their stead. Many live in other parts of the country (New York, Connecticut, North Carolina to name a few) or travel internationally to spend time in Palm Beach. She has clients from all over the globe including Europe, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.
Her attention to detail is on par with… well.. me, which is why we make a great fit. She understands the importance of connecting the interior to the exterior of the home. Her opinion is that a book on a coffee table’s purpose is to unify the furniture in the room. I love that theory! She’s dealt with challenges through the years such as remodeling a home entirely mirrored on the interior (can you even imagine?). While mirrors ended up playing a role in the end design, she brought that element back with taste and simplicity. She’s also worked with clients wanting indoor gardens where city permits are necessary to get the tall trees down the street. So it’s safe to say she doesn’t shy away from a difficult project which makes me feel confident that she’ll be the feet on the ground in Palm Beach on our behalf.
Her most interesting theory is the way she states the overlap between time, space and function. “Space can take on a new role throughout the day… a kitchen can be for breakfast but then becomes the homework spot later in the day, or a place transformed into a home office and then a gathering place again by dinnertime. That same space changes its role through the years. What used to be the perfect spot for a high chair later becomes the homework station and even later a perfect place to display art from recent travel,” she says. “Truly understanding my clients’ current and future needs helps guide the path.”
Kyle’s mission is to recreate what it means to work with a decorator. This is yet another way in which we are on the same page. She wants her clients to see the design team differently. Working with The Lee W. Robinson Company is an entire experience – not just a transactional relationship where we work on a project and that’s the end of it. She wants people to feel at home in their home.
Kyle is also a person who feels obligated to get involved in her local community of Palm Beach. Most recently, she was named to the Heart Ball Junior Committee for the American Heart Association’s Palm Beach Heart Ball held each year on Valentine’s Day at The Breakers.
Kyle and I will be out and about in Palm Beach mid-September. You might find us at some of Kyle’s favorite hot spots such as Taboo, Bricktops, St. Ambroeus or Coyo Taco. If you’re in the market for the perfect design team, let us know and we can set up an appointment anywhere on the East Coast of Florida.