Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Want To Be Bunny Williams

Yes, I know my Blogger profile states that I would like to be an international supermodel, or a forest ranger or a jockey, but I'd really like to be Bunny Williams. Can you imagine a childhood in the rolling hills of the Virginia countryside, and a first job at Stair & Co., the English antiques dealers in New York city, cataloguing glorious furniture? And then on to work at the great interior design firm of Parrish, Hadley?

It doesn't get any better than that!

Of course now Bunny Williams is a renowned interior designer in her own right; with her own very successful decorating firm and a fabled garden decor shop, Treillage, which she owns with her husband, John Rosselli. And she has three absolutely beautiful homes: in Connecticut, New York City and Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic.

She has written three great decorating books, including An Affair With A House, which is my all-time favorite. I can't tell you how much I love this book. It's the one I never tire of reading cover to cover, as much for the text as for the pictures.

Her third book, Bunny William's Point of View, was under the Christmas tree at our Little Red House this year, and I can honestly say that it will soon be as well-thumbed as my copies of her earlier books. Every page is a feast for the eyes, with stunning photos by Fritz Von Der Schulenburg. But more than that, it is wonderfully well-written, with clear, concise and easy-to-follow advice that will be helpful even if you are not decorating the mansions that many of her clients own.

Chapters include Floor Plans, Color, Lighting and Furniture, as well as Fabric, Inspiration and Layering . Each is beautifully illustrated with pictures of rooms Ms. Williams has designed. The rooms are gorgeous and lush, layered with fabulous old books, paintings, bibelots and objets d'art. You could spend hours (and I have) just poring over every room. The final chapter is a tour of her house in Punta Cana, called La Colina (The Hill). This could be a book in itself. I have never coveted any house by the ocean until I saw this one. All I can say is, "Wow!"

So I realize I'm never going to be Bunny Williams, and my Little Red House is a far cry from the beautiful homes she helps create, but her passion for old books and beautiful fabrics and glorious dishes shines through on every page. So in a strange way, I feel a real kinship with her, and in the end, that's what makes her books so enjoyable. Get these books if you can; I know you'll love them.


  1. I can hardly wait to see these books. We have a wonderful Barnes and Noble here and I am sure I might find her lovely books.
    I, too, can spend an entire afternoon with books such as these. It is seldom I HAVE an entire afternoon to do this but one great thing about recouping from a surgery is that there's much more time for pleasures....now...if I can only get out of Blogland long enuf to go buy one of her books!!!!! lol
    Thanks for a wonderful post, Mary.
    hugs, bj

  2. Mary,
    I love her books too, although I don't own any. Isn't it great when you can find a comfy chair at Borders with a Mocha and some decorating books?


  3. these books look fab! i will have to look into getting some of them!
    you should just love being you. The intermational super model that you are! featured on the covers of both sports illustrated, and Victorias secrets christmas catolog.
    There ya go.

  4. Hi Mary,
    The books look and sound fabulous. I think I might try to find An Affair with a House, to start out with. I love to sit and enjoy going through decorating books too. Oh to dream!
    Have a good day!

  5. Hi Mary
    I have always loved Bunny Williams decorating style. I am only familiar with her from magazines, so I'll have to check out her books. I remember years ago I had a book my Dorothy Rodgers (wife of the Rodgers of Rodgers & Hammerstein, the guys who wrote musicals) It was called My Favorite Things and I poured over that book, just enjoying the pictures and they way she spoke about how she loved her home. I think that's how you are with Bunny Williams books.
    These cold days are perfectly suited to curling up in a comfy chair with a cup of something hot and enjoying a beautiful book. Rhondi

  6. Mary,
    I loved An Affair With A House and on your recommendation will add her Ms. Williams new book to my wish list. Thanks for the informative review.

  7. I just love the upholstry in your house! I like her books! I've always wanted a mural in my living, diningroom or hallway!

  8. I do covet a house by the ocean. :)

  9. Hi Mary
    I did not know "Fritz von der Schulenburg " consciously, and has straight investigated...
    over various German Buchshops found I three different books, and with the next Shopping gladly one of its books will regard.
    I wish you much joy in this marvelous book.
    to thanks for the recommendation - Barbara

  10. Oh heavens no! LOL! It's all I can do to get through a magazine without drooling. Imagine what those books would reduce me to.

  11. Good Morning Mary! Oooo... I just love traditonal wall murals.. the kind that fade gracefully into the background but lead you to another place.. Very lovely! I'll have to peek at some of her books.. I had wanted to be an interior designer, but once I had made up my mind that's what I'd love to do, I was married with a child and the closest school was over 2 hours away. (in Boston) Humm.. fate is a mysterious thing.. I think you are a fabulous 'NJ Mary Bunny'!

  12. Hi, Mary, I'm sure I would enjoy this book too. I've never read any of Bunny's books, but do admire her work. She has a great style.

    Oh, I love your kitchen, just browsed back to look at it. Beautiful!


  13. Girl you could be! I would hire you in a second. I mean when I told you that you could write your own magazine.You have hands that when they touch anything it is beautiful even if it is just junk to others.

  14. Another gorgeous book for me to look for, Mary! How have I managed not to own one of her books? ~ hugs, Lynda xo

  15. Those books sound wonderful! Next time I am in Barnes and Noble, I will check them out!

    Mary, Bunny has nothing on you, though. Your home is warm, gracious and welcoming. Everytime I get a little glimpse of your Little Red House, I am inspired.

  16. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for sharing~I will check out the books for sure. I also have a bookcase full of decorating books and cookbooks only!~Smiles, Rosemary

  17. Hi Mary,

    I'm going to have to go look for her books now. The pictures are beautiful! Hope you are having a great afternoon.


  18. I too, am a big fan of Bunny Williams. I have An Affair With a House. I believe I'll see about buying the others. I saw the latest at Amazon and wish now I had ordered it!


  19. Thanks for the recommendations, Mary. Actually, I think you should write a book. You take lovely pictures. The first one could be called "My Love Affair with Dishes". I know it would be a best seller :-)

    xoxo Rosie

  20. Sounds like fabulous books by Bunny Williams.

  21. After reading this post sweetie, I had to go online to see if our Library had any of Bunny's books. They have the gardening one only. So I will be on the hunt now for her books! I also wanted to tell you that your last post is full of so many gorgeous things Mary, I just love them all!
    Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

  22. I loved "An Affair with A House' -- and even the receipes are wonderful! The second book -- just out for this past Christmas wasn't as warm and cozy. The difference struck me as her "country" and "city" books -- even her own photo is radically different! As if she was trying on a "rich designer" persona with her wealthy clients! I wasn't as keen on the latest book -- but I still read "An Affair with A House" every week!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage and a decor book addict

  23. I so love her books...and the home is glorious isn't it?
    Oh how comfy that chair looks. Just right for settling in and reading.
    Thank you for the address...I have something I found that I think would be a little gift for the little red house.
    I will get it in the mail soon...
    Love and hugs,

  24. I'm just learning about Bunny Williams, but after reading your blog post, I think everyone who has read her books have the same decree, well from what I can tell anyway, and that is - BUY THE BOOK! I'll run out and get that tomorrow! Great blog!


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