A cozy place to call home

By Ariana Crisafulli 2019-01-09 14:41:06

The Robinsons' home is one that makes you want to curl up fireside with a good book

The Robinson residence is one you walk into and immediately feel at home. The large, open space of the dining room/living room with the cozy couches, the piles of books, the view into the backyard, and the functional fireplace all give a sense of cozy belonging. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to light a fire in the fireplace and curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and a page-turner.


In fact, this space is Tess Robinson’s favorite part about the house.

“I love the living room. I pile up all the books and magazines I am reading, and whenever I have a moment I am on the sofa, facing the garden and reading all I can.”


Tess and her husband, Bruce, moved to Shanghai 14 years ago on what was meant to be a one year getaway while her husband opened a Shanghai branch of a New York investment firm. “It has been a very long year!” jokes Tess about their continued presence in China.

The pair originally lived in a different Shanghai neighborhood when their three boys, Miles (22), Spencer (20), and Oliver (17) were little ones and needed a place with no cars and lots of green grass for three rambunctious boys to run around. When the boys got old enough to watch out for cars, the family moved to their current home, which Tess says was chosen for its openness. That, and because the club house, pool, and tennis court in the neighborhood give the place an air of holiday, “and I love being on holiday every day at home!” says this mother of three.

Tess has a real eye for design and it shows in the décor. She especially likes mixing antique furniture with modern pieces. “I suppose it’s a mix of old and new - sentimentality and practicality - but all very comfortable so it feels classic and fresh at the same time.”



Some of the pieces include two 1920s American camelback sofas, an ottoman made in the UK in 1860, a 1900s Chinese table as a sideboard, and a white dish cupboard that Tess designed herself.

Although her two oldest boys are away at university in California - where the family is originally from – Tess says the family sees their Shanghai house as home.

“We have been in Shanghai 14 years and seven of those in this house, and we have loved every minute of it. Our kids see this as our home, filled with warm memories, good smells, and great food. We hope to be here for some time to come.”