Worthy Mom's: Robin Heller

April 04, 2024

Worthy Threads blog subject

Allow us to introduce you to a vibrant creative force in the world of interior design, Robin Heller. While she might have made her mark in the marketing and public relations space, Robin’s true passion lies in the world of colors and aesthetics, and her unique perspective on spaces is nothing short of inspiring.

Robin's career has been a colorful journey itself. With an obsession for hues and a flair for design, she has seamlessly transitioned from the realms of marketing and PR to the world of interior decoration. Her innate ability to breathe life and vibrancy into spaces has garnered her new-found success and accolades. Her approach to design is a testament to her innovative thinking and passion for all things beautiful.

Robin is not your typical interior decorator; she is a visionary who knows how to blend colors, textures, and elements to create spaces that tell captivating stories. Her unique point of view and perspective on interiors add a fresh and exciting dimension to the field. As we embark on this journey into the world of Robin Heller’s creations, you'll find that her obsession with color is a driving force behind her designs, transforming spaces into vibrant works of art.

Join us in exploring the mind of an interior decorator who's not just transforming spaces but painting them with her unique, colorful strokes of creativity. Robin’s love for color is an adventure waiting to be shared, and we can't wait to uncover the vibrant world she's created for all of us to enjoy.


You have a rapidly growing design firm which places an emphasis on color and unique pieces & spaces. You’ve garnered a lot of attention from publications profiling you, your own house and your partner in business. What recommendations can you give to anyone looking to break into a new career and specifically the design space?

I think that the most important thing to do, in any career, but specifically in the design space, is to have a strong point of view. I remind myself daily that we don't have to be everyone's taste. People will hire you because you bring something interesting and unique to the table which we most certainly do for our clients at Surrounded By Color. 

What did you do prior to designing? 

Before I started Surrounded By Color, I had a bustling career in Marketing and Public Relations. I worked for Rolling Stone Magazine out of college and then became the Director of PR for Lucky Magazine. After that, I transitioned into Marketing and helped open many Madewell stores at J.Crew. Feels like a different lifetime! I had 3 babies in between my New York City life and now and the time off from working really helped me find my true passion - Interior Design. 

Have you always loved interiors? 

Yes! Always! My mom says that my first word was "turquoise" - I remember choosing turquoise carpet and purple and red striped wallpaper for my childhood room. The theme of my Bat Mitzvah was "color!" I painted every single rental apartment I ever had with bright yellow stripes. When I met my husband, he opened me up to a world of mid-century modern furniture and now we go hard on the auction sites.  Does this make us the perfect pair or a dangerous duo? I'm not sure! 

If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be?

At this point, I'd probably have my contractor license and be building houses.  I love the gritty hands-on part of it all. 

How has social media affected your business? 

I never really expected social media to have a huge effect on my business, but it turns out that it's a perfectly efficient and beautiful way to share an aesthetic point of view. Our Surrounded By Color Instagram (@Surroundedbycolor_) allows us to collect every image that inspires us and share it. What a gift.  We regularly post design round ups on various themes like color or design ideas. We can obviously share our own design projects, and we do, but the inspiration is so endless and gives us an opportunity to showcase the kind of work we're jonesing to do. We've signed many clients from Instagram! 

Would you ever want to come out with your own line? What would it be?

Yes! We talk a lot at Surrounded By Color about what a furniture or textile collection would look like.  We haven't dug into it yet, but I can tell you, it will include classic shapes with unexpected colors and patterns. 

Most unique design element you have used for designing a difficult space?

We renovated an open concept kitchen a couple of years ago and the challenge was that it was a skinny room that opened directly into the den. Our clients have lots of dinner parties but also cook a lot, so they wanted a large island for cooking, but had no room for a kitchen table. We built a custom island/table with hidden utensil drawers and room for 6 seats.  

Coolest space you have designed to date?

This is a tough one because it's like choosing a favorite child. I really think that all of our projects are so cool and fun. We are about to put the finishing touches on two kid rooms, side by side that are really just going for it. We went all in on fabric and wallpaper patterns with bright contrasting color furniture. I love the idea that these kiddos will always remember their childhood bedrooms and that it could somehow inform their design taste as adults. What an honor. 

Where do you pull inspiration from when designing for a project?

All over the place, really. It'll sound so corny, but I think that this is why I named my business Surrounded By Color. Inspiration is truly everywhere around us - in the fall leaves on the pavement, to the pile of kids clothes in the hamper, to the incredible artists here in Baltimore. It's endless.  Our designs layer colors and patterns in exciting new ways, at least that's our mission, so we're always pulling inspiration from the most obscure places. 

Can you walk everyone through the process of designing a space? What steps do you take before coming up with a fully designed space?

It's such a fun process. First, we require our clients to send us even the simplest of design references or images so we can have a jumping off point for their taste. And then we're off and running. Jen and I talk it through very thoroughly before we sit down amidst our colors and fabrics. We browse tons of images until we're locked into a vibe. Once we choose the color palette we usually begin with one of the rooms and let it anchor the rest of the design. 

As a mom and a busy decorator, you are on the road a lot, what are your favorite snacks to keep on you for yourself and your boys?

Trader Joe's bags of nuts! The ones with the chocolate chunks!  

Favorite mom hack to keep everyone organized and on schedule?

LOL. We fly by the seat of our pants. I'll take all of your hacks please!  

Go to weeknight dinners?

Our airfryer is the hero of this house. We are obsessed with teriyaki chicken thighs (they get so crispy and carmelized in the air fryer) with rice and broccoli. Truly a family favorite.  

Favorite restaurant?

Dylan's Oyster Cellar and Little Donna's are Baltimore gems!  

What is your favorite thing to do after a busy week?

Snuggle into bed and watch baking shows with my three boys.  

Favorite fall purchase so far?

I was just in Paris and bought an amazing wool trench from Les Prairies de Paris and oh. my. goodness. I'm obsessed.  

Go-to baby gift?

Jeni's Ice Cream. We always send ice cream to new parents.  

Favorite gift you’ve ever been given?

My best friends got me a record player for my birthday and they each sent me a record to go with it. It was so thoughtful and incredibly useful!  

Are you team sweet or salty?

Can I be on both teams? Sweet directly after salty, please. 

What can’t you live without?

Art and 8 hours of sleep.

Favorite follow on IG? 

Sally Breer @sallybreerworld - her designs are so playful and well done. I love watching her process. She inspires me big time.  

Favorite Worthy Threads piece?

I'm obsessed with the Dark Green hoodie - I love this color so much and I love a hood layered under a chic jacket for winter.  


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