The subtle influence a room has on our subconscious, and what we can do to enhance the positive feeling and create the right energy
Interview with Anne Robley, The Room Whisperer, Switzerland
Anne Robley left Canada and moved to Switzerland for the love of a Swiss ice hockey player. When their romance was over Anne stayed and fell in love all over again, only this time she fell in love with the country that had so generously loved her back.
Shirley’s Girl is an interior design company with a twist; Anne is a Room Whisperer!! She has studied interior design as well as Feng Shui, but it is her innate, natural ability for the feel of a room and her sense of humour and lightheartedness that bring a unique freedom and artistic flare to her projects. Not just typical tape-measure-by-the-book-graphics.
She works mainly, but not exclusive, in the Zürich region, transforming individual rooms, homes, apartments and small offices so that they create a positive energy and help bring more love, laughter, peace and beauty into people’s lives. Her services range from DIY consults, straight design consults and Feng Shui recommendations to complete designing, planning and implementation of projects from start to finish. She prides herself on providing customized recommendations, designs, plans and resources to fit individual desires and needs.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in people and their homes. I used to walk around with my mum, at dusk, when the lights go on, but people still have their curtains open, and we would ‘window shop’ and pick and comment on the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly. I still enjoy doing this, so if you are in the Zürich area, you’ve been warned, there’s a decor-stalker out there!! I can also vividly remember how places in my life have made me feel when I was growing up and believe this gives me my love and bias of colour and 50/60/70s retro… though living in Europe has definitely had an influence on my taste, especially the French and Scandinavian styles”.
For over 30 years Anne was a dental hygienist while designing and renovating home interiors, apartments and even furniture as a hobby on the side… Shirley’s Girl marks her first foray into the entrepreneurial world, spurred on by a good friend who insisted she ought to charge for her work. A concept Anne felt was quite strange to begin with, as she puts it “It didn’t make sense to charge for something I loved doing”. It took some encouragement (and probably a little arm twisting) to convince Anne that her flair for interior design was a gift which should not be squandered. She needed to step out of her comfort zone and look at her hobby as a serious proposition.
“As much as I enjoyed worked in the dental profession and loved being engaged in one on one relationships with my patients, it did take its toll on my body. I have suffered, at times excruciatingly, from chronic back pain as well as RSI on the entire right side of my body. I was having an especially hard time with the pain and doctors were all saying the same thing… that I needed to stop and change careers and I was encouraged to explore other lines of work.
I was turning 50 and I thought, I can either play it safe living out my life until retirement in a dental office with less physically demanding rolls, like reception and consults, OR I could completely change directions and career paths and do something totally exciting (and scary!).
I founded Shirley’s Girl as a way to share my gift to help busy, stressed women to create beautiful, personalized and really comfortable/feel-good rooms to live in, but really anyone who wants a change in their home space, small office, or even life, could benefit from working with me!
Many people don’t realize, the subtle influence a room has on our subconscious, or they get used to it, like background noise that you only notice when the noise is gone! I have a sense of that energy in a room and I alter it by moving or changing objects around and working with colour, textiles or materials that help to enhance the positive feeling and create the right energy.
I am helping with long standing irritants in your home that still need fixing or changing, with the frustration of things staying the same, with the lack of time to make any changes, with a void of imagination or shortage of ideas and knowledge on how or what to do, with the feelings of being overwhelmed from too many choices so there is no coherent plan for what you really want. I can even help to some degree, with feelings of unease or of being ‘stuck’ as Feng Shui can help toward business success, love-life/ partner attraction or health.
I use this natural ‘room whispering’ ability, my joy of transforming things into beautiful versions of themselves and my sense of lightness and fun, to create unique places of beauty and function that people love and are happy to come home to!”
Why Shirley’s Girl?
I named the company after my mother. She is the person I admire most in this world and the most amazing and courageous woman I know. She is stylish and beautiful and has always kept a great sense of humour, been honest and true to herself and been brave enough to do what was necessary to overcome the many hardships in her life. She is my beautiful, feisty hero and I strive to be Shirley’s Girl not only in name but through my actions and integrity as well. To be brave, gracious, generous, and love life and live it to its fullest!