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A calm home oasis for Melbourne's Queen of PR, Susie Robinson.

The Property Addict / Distinct Dwellings

Dec 06 2016

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EDITORIAL: Maggie Kelly PHOTOGRAPHY: Regina Karon   Susie Robinson is a force of nature. With her signature blonde beehive and gift of the gab, this PR powerhouse has been a mainstay in the Melbourne scene for many years now. So when we were given the chance to peek inside her Kooyong home, it was hard to know what to expect. Disco balls? Framed photos of herself and Andy Warhol? An Oscar? But for all of Susie's whirlwind work life, her home is actually the complete opposite: calm and peaceful, white washed and crisp, a sanctuary of serenity that is designed to be the quiet home ying to her bustling work yang.   [caption id="attachment_4772" align="alignnone" width="810"]The glamorous living room. (Image: Regina Karon) The glamorous living room. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   There's those who you would describe as a "Ë?people person', and then there's Susie Robinson. The founder of Melbourne PR firm PR Darling, Susie has enticed countless clients with her ready laugh, extraordinary storytelling ability, and no-bull approach to the art of PR. With silver-tongued manners and a wild sense of humor, Susie is JUST the person you want representing your brand. No-one likes boring. But wait, there's more. As if heading up a PR agency wasn't enough, Susie also branched out into running events;  and, in a natural progression, added a boutique staffing agency into the mix, called Our Boys And Girls. "Finding the right "brand appropriate" staff to work at these events became paramount"¦ and tricky," says Susie. "At the time, I couldn't find anyone who would entertain my fanciful requests for very specific types of staff so I started Our Boys & Girls." Her team of hospitality staff now cover everything from private dinner parties to the swankiest of Melbourne Cup marquees.   [caption id="attachment_4781" align="alignnone" width="470"]Every corner of the home is quintessential Susie. (Image: Regina Karon) Every corner of the home is quintessential Susie. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_4785" align="alignnone" width="810"]The crisp palette of whites and neutral shades give a calming sense to the apartment. (Image: Regina Karon) The crisp palette of whites and neutral shades give a calming sense to the apartment. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   Exhausted yet? So are we. But Susie Robinson doesn't get tired, so when she had the chance to run for local parliament as the Stonnington council representative, she dived in head first. "I've always had a casual interest in politics - one of my personal heroes is Fiona Patten - but I hadn't really thought about it for myself," says Susie. "However, an opportunity presented itself through a friend of mine and I thought to myself "SELF! GO FOR IT!" So with 3 weeks to go before the election, I was given a crash course in local government, ran an epic PR campaign which saw our little group of 3 independents on the news and in the papers."   [caption id="attachment_4775" align="alignnone" width="471"]Susie relaxes in her serenely light and bright living room. (Image: Regina Karon) Susie relaxes in her serenely light and bright living room. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   Susie recounts with awe the level of amazing support that she experienced in her few short weeks running for council. Unfortunately, she did not get the votes and missed out - a fact sorely resented by her leagues of local fans who saw their blonde, beehived friend as the natural queen of the southside...a role she already has in her sights. "Maybe next time I'll aim a little higher," she says, "Queen perhaps?" Reigning Queen of Kooyong is a title that Susie has been preparing for her whole life, having lived, worked, and played on the south side, well, forever. "I'm a south side gal through and through," says Susie. "I grew up in Hawthorn, went to school in Armadale, the majority of my friends live in the south, my clients are here, and there are plentiful wine bars. There is something hilariously "small country town" about the south - there is this overarching feeling that your parents or their friends are keeping an eye on the area, and on you. I love that."   [caption id="attachment_4786" align="alignnone" width="810"]Dream bed? We think so. (Image: Regina Karon) Dream bed? We think so. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   And on a quiet, leafy street in Kooyong is her beautiful, single story apartment building that is Melbourne art deco beauty at it's finest. This era of architecture is a real throwback to a simpler time: quaint picture windows, tiled bathrooms, ornate glass cupboards, and a patio for two. Susie has maintained the essence of the original architecture beautifully, worked with the theme in a decor that is simple, girlish, and crisp. To open up the space, Susie has opted for a neutral palette of cream and white, offset with quiet hues of dove-grey and khaki; giving the place an overall sense of peace and serenity. Like her signature white-blonde beehive, Susie only chooses all-white accessories in the apartment...including the flowers! "When I'm organised, there's flowers - always and only in white and green," she says. "Lilies are my go to - they smell like happiness, dinner parties and Christmas."   [caption id="attachment_4777" align="alignnone" width="810"]Bedside details. (Image: Regina Karon) Bedside details. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   You get the sense that everything in this house has been chosen as carefully as the lilies for their sense of joy, memory, or emotion. Framed, hand-drawn pictures. Piles of books. A black sequinned evening gown, and a string of pearls, hanging on the wall. But our favourite - the two jars in her kitchen: one with blank slips of paper labelled "Ë?Good things waiting to happen', another with folded slips of paper that have been written on that's labelled "Ë?Good things that have happened'. This is a woman who has made her home a living reminder to live joyfully.   [caption id="attachment_4782" align="alignnone" width="810"]One of the daily reminders in Susie's home to live joyfully. (Image: Regina Karon) One of the daily reminders in Susie's home to live joyfully. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   Like all good Melbourne apartments, a functional entertaining area is a must. Susie has optimised the space with light furniture - white table, clear chairs - and a stunning Sophia Szilagyi painting that looks like ocean on a canvas. Surprisingly, the apartment boasts a roomy kitchen that is dinner-party friendly. And, in every nook and cranny, luxury candles - needless to say, the place smells amazing.   [caption id="attachment_4773" align="alignnone" width="810"]The stunning Sophia Szilagyi painting that adorns the living room wall. (Image: Regina Karon) The stunning Sophia Szilagyi painting that adorns the living room wall. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   But for Susie, the best part of her deco dream pad is the 1950's original blush-pink bathroom: "I don't know anyone else who has a pink toilet, sink and bath. LUSH!" The kooky pink bath, matching blush tiles, and original vanity/basin is very Jane Mansfield, and is every girl's dream. Give us a pair of fluffy slippers, and the look is complete...   [caption id="attachment_4778" align="alignnone" width="810"]THAT pink bathroom. (Image: Regina Karon) THAT pink bathroom. (Image: Regina Karon)[/caption]   Looking ahead and Susie Robinson is showing no signs of slowing down. "I'll be ringing in the new year in Iceland," says Susie, "and then taking a run at the year like a rugby player - head down, and at full speed, stopping for no one." We can't wait to see who she sets in her sights next.Â



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