Required Reading: Stylist Hilary Robertson’s Nomad At Home

Even if you don’t know the name Hilary Robertson chances are you’ve admired her work. An in-demand creative director and interior stylist, she has been deftly “moving furniture around,” since childhood. Raised in England and now based in Brooklyn, Hilary, aka Mrs. Robertson, has created memorable visuals for a dizzying list of clients, from Elle Decoration and Vogue Living to Crate & Barrel and Benjamin Moore, and she served as product developer for the late lamented Bloomist.

Hilary’s look is that hard-to-achieve mix of minimalist and lived in, pale but alive with patinated surfaces and sculptural bits of nature. And she likes to have a hand from start to finish: along the way, she’s conceived, art directed, and written five interiors books, including The Stuff of Life and  The Monochrome Home. Her latest, the just-published Nomad At Home, “dissects the desire to wander from the point of view of the design-led traveler.” The featured houses belong to two main types of wanderers: those who have furnished their home bases with souvenirs, and transplants who fell in love with far-away places—in Hilary’s case, a former schoolhouse in Connecticut—and decided to stay put. Both use travel inspiration to inform how they live.

One of our favorite examples of the latter belongs to American interior designer September Moore and her South African husband, Colin Moore, who move to France from Florida, and for years have been overhauling crumbling dwellings in the Languedoc. Hilary describes September as “a dab hand at creating an elegant atmosphere with simple ingredients: her rooms, always in ancient French buildings, are the decorating equivalent of ‘le mot juste.’” Join us for a tour Chez Moore with Hilary are our guide.

Featured photography by Anna Malmberg for Nomad at Home by Hilary Robertson (@hilaryrobertson), courtesy of Ryland Peters & Small.

the case for dual patterns and revealed layers of paint.  september&#8 9
Above: The case for dual patterns and revealed layers of paint.  September’s starting point for the project were the color choices.

She and Colin sold their former house by posting tantalizing photos of it on Instagram (@septembermooreprojects) and moved into the historic residence where Colin’s chiropractic office had been located. “They then acquired a second fixer-upper on the corner of that same street,” reports Hilary and currently live in both places—and have recently started renovating a house in Mallorca.

the moores installed a compact, stained plywood kitchen with a preserved french 10
Above: The Moores installed a compact, stained plywood kitchen with a preserved French casement window. “September insists that a smaller kitchen is easy to work in, with everything close at hand,” says Hilary.

September and Colin have become such practiced hands at remodeling that they tackle much of the work themselves: “When it comes to furniture and lighting, September’s mantra is ‘find
it (vintage), build it, or make it.’”

“september’s trademark colors have always been those mu 11
Above: “September’s trademark colors have always been those muted, chalky, subtle shades reminiscent of Cézanne landscapes and Morandi still lifes,” writes Hilary. For this remodel, September’s friend Bronwyn Riedel, joint founder of limewash specialists Bauwerk Colour, happened to be visiting and helped select the palette. The dining room is 

Go to Remodelista 101 for everything you need to know about limewash paint.

what hilary terms the “rough luxe good looks” come cou 12
Above: What Hilary terms the “rough-luxe good looks” come courtesy of scraped old wood, raw concrete, and lime-painted walls.
in one of the bedrooms, the moores introduced a paneled wood wall as &#82 13
Above: In one of the bedrooms, the Moores introduced a paneled wood wall as “a texture break from limewash.”
another bedroom with a hearth is painted in bauwerk’s marrakech. pa 14
Above: Another bedroom with a hearth is painted in Bauwerk’s Marrakech. Paper globe lights, “the minimalist’s go-to lampshade,” notes Robertson, appear in just about every room in different shapes and sizes.
september’s home office completes her bona fides as what hilary cal 15
Above: September’s home office completes her bona fides as what Hilary calls “an essentialist.” It comes with a “flash of green” out the window, “that brings the room alive.
raw concrete, terra cotta tile, and subtle black accents in the shower room. 16
Above: Raw concrete, terra-cotta tile, and subtle black accents in the shower room.
nomad at home, $45, published by ryland peters & small, is now in bookstor 17
Above: Nomad At Home, $45, published by Ryland Peters & Small, is now in bookstores everywhere.

More Required Reading:

And consider pre-ordering our forthcoming book, Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home.