by Laura Clark Daily Mail
An interior designer who worked on a home renovation project for Mary Richardson Kennedy, has revealed how the late wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. instructed her to demand that contractors provide their services for free or at massively discounted rates.
Designer Robin Wilson was hired by Mary Richardson Kennedy when she was rebuilding the family’s mold-infested 1920s house in Bedford, New York State, into a green showpiece home.
Wilson has told The New York Post, that part of her job with the Kennedys was to secure products and services for ‘free or as free as possible’ during the renovation project, which lasted from 2008 to 2010.
During the remodeling of the seven-bedroom mansion, the Kennedys amassed more than $1.3 million in free products including high-end appliances, dual flush toilets, solid brass and zinc faucets, hardwood flooring, and hypoallergenic rugs. In addition, the family used their influence to secure massive discounts from the builder and other contractors.
Builder Jim Blansfield, who led the two-year construction project, said he charged ‘very, very much less than what I would normally charge. I felt the project had great merit.’
However his work on the house did not lead to an increase in business.
Many contractors were promised free publicity and credit in a television show for NBC, which never aired.
The kitchen was designed free-of-charge, and the craftsman who did the bookcases and fireplace mantels charged half his usual rate.
Energy-efficient windows were provided by a local distributor for a Minnesota company, Marvin Windows and Doors, at a discount of more than $100,000.
But Richardson called Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat and an ally of her husband, and asked him to force the company to donate the windows.
‘Mary reached out to many people and corporations, including Al Franken,’ Wilson told The New York Post. A spokesman for Franken denied the claim.