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Home Tour: Orly Robinson | Chedva | November 3, 2011

I couldn’t really talk about design books without touching base with Orly Robinson, one of the very few design book authors in Israel and almost a pioneer in her field. Orly’s latest book is about design and architecture inspired by the houses in the Bible – a fascinating and daring concept, in my opinion. So are you ready for the grand tour?

Designer Amit Galor's home, photos courtesy of Orly Robinson | Photography: Shay Adam

Rooms and Words: How did you get started writing design books, especially back when no one else did that?

Orly Robinson: I was always interested in architecture – my father was an architect, I myself studied architecture and even started a firm at my home in Ein Vered, but still, I had this longing for writing. I channelled it into writing for magazines. I had my own column about design in one, and I wrote for a few. My dream was to write a book, and I was pretty vocal about it, I guess [she laughs]. Until one day I got a call from my younger brother, telling me he’s made an appointment for me with one of the most important publishers at the time. Well, of course I prepared a detailed pitch… and within 3 minutes he told me I got the deal.

RW: Three minutes? Amazing. What do you think convinced him?

OR: Well, I think my approach to writing a design book was different than usual. I’ve always been interested in the home aspect of the house, You know, what makes these four walls and the furniture within them a home? How do you acheive that?

Amit's home | Photos by Shay Adam, courtesy of Orly Robinson

RW: I get the feeling that it’s still something’s that important to you.

OR: Definitely. I think that happiness is something you have to work at, and a happy home is a part of it. What makes my childhood room a part of my existence? I want to explore that. I’m also very passionate about the delicate weave of home-work-family-life… It’s so important and tangible these days, when we’re all working so many hours, and personally, I feel my home and office, which we built next to each other in Ein Vered, have a role in acheiving that. And you know, th budget doesn’t have to be obscene. We actually reused and re-utilized a lot. It’s a message I want to put out there.

Home-office-family-life | Photos by Shay Adam, courtesy of Orly Robinson

RW: Is any of your next projects about this message? What are you working on right now?

OR: The first project I and my team are working on now is actually about that. It’s a book about those “organic” homes that don’t necessarily follow any design rules. The second project is a book about apartments and houses in Tel Aviv, which will be divided by the areas of  the city: Jaffa, Neve Tzedek, the center and then the towers and houses. It’s interesting to see that in Jaffa and Neve Tzedek – which I call “the Tel Aviv Soho” – there are a lot of homes that were’nt decorated with any kind of big budgets, and yet they’re so unique and alive.

Homes that are unique and alive | Photos by Shay Adam, courtesy of Orly Robinson

RW: You recently published a book about homes inspired by Genesis, which I find so refreshingly different from… any other design book, really.

OR: It’s actually the first time I’ve written a book with translation and global audience in mind. We actually went looking for houses in the desert, the styling was very different than usual, too.

Details that make a home | Photos by Shay Adam, courtesy of Orly Robinson

RW: Looking back to your first book, published a decade ago, how do you feel?

OR: My first book was very Israeli, very naive, even its design was so naive and colorful, and I think that’s what made it such a best seller. It was called Rooms: Design from Within, and ten years later I’m very much going back to that notion. I believe in working on your home and happiness each day, one day at a time.


The photos in this post were taken in designer Amit Galor‘s home for Orly Robinson’s book


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