If designer Bunny Williams has any spare time, there’s a superior prospect one particular may well come across her engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle. As a longtime pal, I can individually vouch that she under no circumstances gets bored by the challenge of a sophisticated hand-lower wooden puzzle. It is a pursuit that usually takes a keen eye, endurance, and a willingness to collaborate—the identical capabilities Williams employs professionally, no matter if working for customers or herself.
On the personal front her most up-to-date venture, concluded past August, is a new bedroom addition for her dwelling in Falls Village, Connecticut, in which she lives with her husband, John Rosselli. “Since I want to live listed here eternally, the choice to make a downstairs bedroom seemed rather rational,” Williams clarifies. Planning the one particular-home addition in maintaining with the 19th-century Federal household was two yrs in the making.
The only doable web-site was to the right of the major aspect entrance to the residence, previously household to a smaller laundry home, a flower arranging place, and a potting drop that would have to be moved. Comprehending the relevance of sight lines, Williams realized the new roof really should be pitched in the reverse route of the roof of the existing residence. She was also adamant that the addition not disturb a path that one-way links the parterre at the rear of the barn to a formal sunken backyard on the much side of the property or encroach on 3 majestic 10-foot-substantial yew topiaries, planted close to the dwelling additional than 35 several years in the past.
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Operating in just these constraints Williams envisaged a space that actions 20-by-26 ft, with a ceiling peak of 18 feet “since John and I specifically love top in a area.” With area taken up by an adjoining dressing space and toilet, the bed room becomes a spectacular cube, its classical proportions building reference to 17th-century English architect Inigo Jones. Four oversize windows pay for generous yard views whilst an imposing hearth, framed by an intricately carved 19th-century period mantel she uncovered on Instagram (and identical to people in the existing house), delivers a robust focal position. And simply because the proportions of the room are strictly formal, Williams preferred the whimsical illusion of a marble flooring. “Swedish, stylized, and imprecise” had been her instructions to Bob Christian, a attractive painter from Savannah, Ga, who has labored with her on many faux flooring around the many years.
The colour palette is a pale neutral grey, intentionally picked out considering the fact that Williams realized that in addition to paintings, the walls would be home to lots of items of her husband’s beloved blue and white porcelain. A comfortable sitting area occupies one particular-third of the room while the remaining area is dominated by a spectacular mahogany 4-poster mattress, the present of Furlow Gatewood, a beloved good friend and for several decades Rosselli’s partner in their joint antique small business. Williams thinks he ought to have guessed how a great deal she had often admired the bed, as one working day he only declared, “I assume it is time you acquire it.” Considering that the bed’s toile canopy was in tatters, a decorative Cowtan & Tout material replaces it, with a classic patchwork quilt she observed at Brimfield Antique Flea Market covering the bed. The room is elegant and exuberant.“It is,” as Williams likes to position out to company,“the perfect bedsit.” Not surprisingly it is also the excellent venue for a jigsaw puzzle.
“Working for myself is in some cases tricky,” Williams admits. “John is the other part of the equation, and he is a person with amazing taste. Although we really do not normally agree, this can make for an remarkable interchange and collaboration.” In the yard this form of precious collaboration will come from a near partnership with head gardener Robert Reimer. Because his arrival 4 a long time in the past, he has been editing the present backyard, bringing it to a new degree of professionalism. This has been significantly recognizable in the greenhouse, which gives a breathtaking calendar year-spherical display of tropical plant collections, which include scented geraniums, unusual succulents, and many types of begonias and pelargoniums. The potting shed has been successfully repositioned up coming to the greenhouse and the kitchen area backyard, now under the professional treatment of master gardener Tricia van Oers.
Williams, who techniques a backyard with the very same sensibility as she would an inside house, pays as significantly focus to the linkages and transitions as to the garden rooms they link. A single example is an undulating yew hedge that borders a large expanse of lawn. I was with Williams and a couple friends in Belgium some many years ago, searching at gardens built by Jacques Wirtz. Motivated by his use of hedging, she right away planted the beginnings of a prolonged double-sided hedge with swooping wavelike contours. At initially, her close friends (me included) had been not certain what she was up to. But she knew what she was accomplishing, and now, completely grown, it is undoubtedly one of the garden’s most remarkable options. An additional transition is effected by an archway main from the formal sunken back garden to a burgeoning birdhouse village, established in a shaded glade of indigenous trees and planted with oat grass. “What I like is the tension involving these two,” states Williams. And it’s minimal wonder: As with the rooms of a household, what significantly engages her awareness is fitting jointly the contrasting spots of the garden as neatly as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Highlighted in the March/April 2023 issue of VERANDA. Interior, architectural, and landscape style by Bunny Williams Images by Annie Schlechter Created by Dayle Wood Penned by Jane Garmey