Bunny Williams: Refined Beauty, Livable Appeal and Attention To Detail

Bunny Williams: Refined Beauty, Livable Appeal and Attention To Detail

For three decades Bunny Williams has built a legacy of superior design. Renowned for balancing refined beauty with welcoming livable appeal, her firm (Bunny Williams Interior Design) is widely recognized and championed as an industry leader. Rooted in long-lasting and valued relationships with clientele, Williams’ ability to mentor yet another generation of talented designers firmly establishes her firm as one of the most important voices in the evolving history of design.

Considered one of the most talented names in design, Bunny is also an accomplished businesswoman, entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. A lover of dogs, gardens, and china, Bunny’s knowledge and expertise is on par with her enjoyment of life. Her eponymous firm — launched in 1988 following a 22-year apprenticeship with the esteemed Parish-Hadley Associates — has wrought its own indelible imprint and legacy.

Bunny Williams Associates is renowned for balancing refined beauty, welcoming livable appeal, and attention to detail. While the creation of delightful rooms is Bunny’s passion, her firm’s success above all, is anchored in long-lasting and valued relationships with its clientele. The resulting commissions over three decades — many for repeat homeowners — are found across the United States and abroad, in city apartments, country estates and cottages; in the mountains and by the water. Bunny’s own houses and her long career have provided ample material and inspiration for six books to date, and she is a sought-after speaker and mentor on design, decoration, gardening, and entertaining.

Bunny grew up in the countryside near Charlottesville, Virginia. Her parents encouraged her passion for the arts and led her to Garland Junior College in Boston, where she studied interior design. A watershed moment at age 15 was visiting the Dorothy Draper-decorated Greenbrier Resort, which had a color palette unlike anything Bunny had ever seen. “It really opened my eyes and the lesson I learned was not to play it safe,” shares Bunny.

Upon moving to New York, Bunny worked at Stair & Co., an antiques gallery frequented by Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. Bunny subsequently joined Parish-Hadley and remained at the venerable firm for 22 years. “I was honored to work there and was exposed to so much; their extraordinary projects and partnership, the design process, everything. By the time I left, I’d been the secretary, an assistant, and a buyer. I had the tools and experience to run my own enterprise, which I did — starting with three people working out of my guest bedroom!”

Shortly thereafter, fueled by her devotion to gardening, Bunny opened Treillage in 1991 along with her husband, the antiques dealer John Rosselli. Considered both groundbreaking and industry-changing, Treillage drew A-list designers, editors, and tastemakers to its off-the-beaten-track, Upper East Side destination for the ultimate in-home and garden. “Twenty-five years ago, Treillage was something entirely new, but all good things come to an end. Now, with Bunny Williams Home, I’m proud to show an entire line under one roof and we’re creating accessories with the aim of becoming a complete home-furnishings company.”

Never one to rest on her many awards, accolades, and honors, Bunny keeps her eye on what’s next, whether it’s her collaborations with Ballard Designs, Bunny Williams Home, or her next book. Forward-thinking always, Bunny says, “While it’s certainly nice to look back on one’s accomplishments, it’s more interesting for me to look ahead. The firm, while instilled with my expectations and objectives, is taking on an exciting new dimension with Elizabeth Lawrence as my partner. Together, we are all part of a greater legacy that branches out from Parish-Hadley and it feels very relevant in our fast-paced world. She completes my vision and takes it a step further: we work hard and have fun in the process.”

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