Robyn Glaser studied acting at New York University for a year before she realised that her dramatic instincts were reserved for designing sets rather than emoting on stage. These days she creates some of the most beautiful and interesting sets for major advertising campaigns. It’s no surprise then that the home she shares with her husband, Arnie Razumny, is exquisitely dramatic. Yet she also manages to make it highly liveable by keeping the mood serene at the same time.
“I wanted the place to be contemporary, but with an element of something unexpected,” says Robyn. “People who come here for the first time are always startled by the entry hall,” she explains while leading the visitor down the narrow hallway covered in patterns of larger-than-life black and white cow parsley. An unexpected curve in the wall and hidden doors heighten the sense of mystery. The Alice in Wonderland-like effect is slightly surreal, which is exactly the reason Robyn settled on her choice of wallpaper, after having considered two other patterns. “It makes me feel like I’m in a forest, so dark and dramatic.”
This mood pervades the main open living and dining space of the apartment. The long dark green wall turns almost black as the light dims at the end of the day. “When the wall was white, I always felt that this room was a place for passing through. The dark colour just holds the space together and makes you want to stay in the room. When my friends come over, they just want to linger here.” They can spend the time leafing through part of Robyn’s amazing collection of art and graphics books, all casually piled on the floor along the wall. “I buy books all the time, vintage and new ones, partly for my work, but also because I lam obsessed with printed matter.”
In contrast with the dark and dramatic living space, the mood of the rest of the apartment is light and airy. “I want the apartment to be well designed but functional at the same time,” explains Robyn. So the walls are kept white and the windows are covered with simple white shades that block out the busy cityscape while allowing light to flood into the rooms. The effect is a sense