There’s something I’ve noticed recently about interviews with interior designers: in response to the unoriginal question at the end of ‘who is the designer who’s most influenced your style?’, Bunny Williams seems to feature in a helluva lot of answers. She’s been hugely influential in the land of interior design since the 60’s and I’ve always, very incorrectly it turns out, assumed that her style is way too traditional for me.
I’ve been reading up on her a little bit recently, and have noticed she always refers to the fact that the properties she designs are all about the clients, and that it’s not about creating a signature style that she wants to be known for. Given how totally and utterly bonkers famous she is I was really struck by this show of humility, especially as that is precisely what every other big name designer is trying to do for themselves.
The current edition of Elle Décor features a Manhattan penthouse designed by Bunny. The clients bought the flat directly above their existing one and have converted it into a guest suite – it’s quite interesting having the focus of the article on the studies/guest bedrooms/interconnecting staircase etc. rather than the usual kitchen/living room/master bedroom deal. Anyway, I love the whole space but am particularly enamoured with the blue glass/zinc beams combo incorporated into the ceilings throughout, the zinc wall surrounding the fireplace/TV in the living room, the just totally crazy steel/glass staircase and the simply enormous range of furnishings used, from antique Ionic columns dating from the 1800s to the 1960’s lucite-legged coffee table in the living room.
A back issue of Lonny featured a beach house she designed on Sea Island – it is the perfect mix of relaxed furnishings, a calming colour palette and elegant details, and couldn’t be more of a contrast to the penthouse above.
She mentions in the article that the intensity of sunlight really impacts her use of colour – this is something I’ve been wondering about on and off, how in the Caribbean you seem to be able to get away with hugely saturated bright colours which just seem way too much for a home in, say, London. She also talks about how she ensures rooms never look too ‘styled’, as if they’ve evolved over time instead of being meticulously detailed, by using a range of materials, textures and colours so that you can add artwork and other accessories over time without ruining the overall scheme. She also advises that you should use at least one older/vintage/antique piece, whether it be an item of furniture, rug or lighting fixture.
This decorative screen/chaise longue combo is making me giddy:
And the use of two very different bedside tables here is an interesting idea:
Loving the interesting focal point here, and the four poster looks like a beaut!
The classic orange/blue combo here is really ping-y – I guess the neutral walls and sisal flooring allow it to grab your attention and inject energy into the room, without overpowering the scheme.
And lastly, the current edition of Lonny features her office, which is also pretty flipping gorgeous:
She has two product lines to her name: Beeline Home for indoors and Treillage for outdoors – and here are my picks!