Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bunny Williams for Ballard Designs

I was delighted to discover that design master Bunny Williams has created a product line for Ballard Designs.  I have always admired her ability to mix form and function as she employs her classic-yet-glamorous style while keeping a pragmatic perspective...When I read the interview the Ballard team conducted with Bunny, I loved her comparison of tablescape to painting... I could not agree more! 

"I have always thought in life that if you have everything matching, it's a real bore. You don't get dressed and put on a purple shirt, purple pants, purple shoes, purple jewelry. It's ridiculous. What makes anything interesting is a mixture. It's a mixture of color, it's a mixture of texture, it's different things put together. So you want some silver, you want pottery, you want china, you want brass. Yes, you can mix brass and silver and different metals. That's when you get something that's more interesting. It's really like painting in a way - the mixture of paint textures on a canvas. So it's part texture, it's part color, and it's high and low design. I think it's really beautiful to have something fancy with something that's simple. When you do contrast, you end up with a more relaxed look and a more interesting look. When you match everything, it's stiff, it's too perfect. I'm hoping when someone sits down at the table, it's this mixture that makes it - I call it, "perfect imperfection." "

About Bunny Williams from Ballard,  

"With a reverence for the classic and a passion for the unexpected, Bunny Williams brings her unique aesthetic home in a signature assortment for Ballard Designs.  Inspired by her own treasures collected from around the world, these exclusive products invite you to enjoy a taste of her unforgettable style at en extraordinary value.

Bunny Williams is a designer with a modern vision, a sense of history, and the confidence to take the unexpected path. Both a trailblazer and a tastemaker, Williams’ style is classic, but never predictable.
A native of Charlottesville, VA, Williams began her career at Stair & Co., the prestigious English antiques dealer, followed by 22 years with the venerable firm, Parish-Hadley Associates. She formed her own firm, Bunny Williams Inc. in 1988. Today she not only runs her design firm, but with her husband John Rosselli, owns Treillage Ltd., a shop selling garden objects, antiques, and decorative accessories, based in New York. In 2008 she introduced a celebrated home furnishings collection, Bunny Williams Home, which continues to expand online ( and in showrooms across the country. New collections are introduced annually. Williams’ fourth book, “Scrapbook for Living” was published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang in November 2010.
William’s work has been published around the world both in print and online. She has received numerous honors and awards including: the Interior Design Hall of Fame, House Beautiful Giants of Design, Elle Décor’s A List, Timeless Design Award from the Royal Oak Society, Living Landmarks from the NY Landmarks Conservancy, the Etoile award from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and several Design Innovator awards from CT Cottages & Gardens. Williams has been named to the AD 100 list and has served as Chairman of the Kips Bay Designer Show House several years running."

Bunny Williams

Bunny Williams' An Affair with a House
Some more photos of her home in Falls Village, CT, on the cover of this iconic book, thanks to the talented Mary Carroll from Little Red House blog...
Boxwoods line the walk way of Bunny's country home
I am in LOVE with these rows of lush boxwoods.  They perfectly frame the quaint brick walkway...


This photograph is so beautiful for so many reasons...the capture of depth and scale, light/dark contrast, concentration of color, not sure which is more impressive, the photograph or the home! I love the quiet shade provided by this enormous tree and the sprawling green grass...and again, the row of boxwoods is dreamy!


We have been using the same patio furniture over the last 10 or so years, throughout 5 different homes: two sets of round iron tables + 4 chairs = seats 8 people...Although I appreciate its proven durability, I have been thinking of switching to one larger rectangular table with wicker chairs such as these...It just seems more practical for entertaining....


How stunning are these beautiful hydrangeas!?!



Below are a series of photos of her new product line for Ballard Design....

For more on her interview with Ballard, click here:
Melange Dinnerware
Bunny states, "I consider setting the table a work of art. I like to have a patterned tablecloth with the blue and white china, but then the next night I might have a white cloth with the same china. So that's what makes setting the table fun, and each time you're doing it, you're kind of creating a little still life."

Bunny Williams' collection for Ballard Designs, 2008 Timeless Design honoree Royal Oak Foundation
Bunny discusses her love of china: "I love entertaining and I love having people over, so I like to buy china. And I've bought china in the most bizarre places, like thrift shops and tag sales. I've never really been a fan of one style of china. When I got married the first time, I registered and got 14 plates and salad plates and bowls, everything all the same. Every time you set the table, everything was all the same - and it was just so boring I couldn't believe it. So years and years ago my friends and I swapped china. I gave somebody my dinner plates, and I got some different dessert plates. Early on I thought it was much more interesting to mix it up."
Bunny Williams Melange Dinnerware Set
Bunny Williams Melange Dinnerware Set
(I particularly love the Green Trellis design and the Mugs & Saucers) 

Bunny Williams Paris Flea Market Flatware
Bunny Williams Paris Flea Market Flatware

Bunny Williams' Collection for Ballard Designs
Bunny Williams Campbell House Dinnerware, Kitchen Hearth Tablecloth,  and Pinched Bag Cachepot

Her take on what makes the right mix work..."What makes it work is that you have a color theme. All of the plates have different patterns, but it's all blue and white. There's another collection that's white and beige, and some of the plates have a little bit of green and orange in it. But you can mix it all. You could make it all beige and white one day and add in the blue and white on another day. You kind of think about the colors that you're putting together, and as you buy your china, you can keep adding to that color. Then you find when you set the table, it all works together - and it's more interesting than looking at the same silly pattern on every single plate that you own."

Bunny Williams' Collection for Ballard Designs
Bunny Williams Melange Flatware, Leaves Salt & Pepper Holders,  Pail & Shovel Salt & Pepper Holders, and Watering Can Place Card Holders

Regarding the Pail Salt & Pepper Holders, she states, "I have the original sterling silver ones I found in an antique shop. They're these little miniature buckets with spoons that look like a little shovel. I have this attachment to anything that looks like it belonged in the garden or the farm, and I think it's kind of chic when you have something that's really rural, like a bucket, made in sterling silver.  These are not sterling silver, but they're fantastic copies. I remember the originals were quite expensive, and they're something I really treasure. So to see them beautifully made and available at a much more reasonable price is fantastic. And if you have a beautiful table, you don't want the box of Morton's salt or a plastic salt shaker."

brass cachepots
Bunny Williams Rectangular Metal Cachepot Light

Interestingly, she states, "We've taken on flower containers, which I find very difficult to find when you go out into the market. There are a lot of glass glower vases that are about four feet tall and open at the top. They're impossible to do flowers in. So I went to my collection, took some of the containers that I do flowers in all the time, and reproduced those for this collection...I've designed these cachepots, so you can go to the grocery store, pick up something, such as an azalea or even succulents, and drop it into the cachepot."

On 'What is a cachepot?'... "It's a decorative container that hides a rough flowerpot. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they were porcelain and they hid very utilitarian terracotta pots. If you were going to bring something into your house, into a fancy house, you needed a fancier vehicle for it. And today, of course, so many of our plants come in plastic flowerpots, and you don't want to put that on the table. So having a cachepot helps you hide it - and it elevates the look. I also use them to hold my flower arrangements."
Bunny has a huge personal collection of cachepots that she uses to turn simple plants and stems into little works of art. Her Pinched Bag Cachepot is based on one of her favorites.
Bunny Williams Pinched Bag Cachepot

Her take on flower arranging, "It helps to learn how to arrange flowers quickly - I'm very, very fast. Get a container with a narrow neck, cut the stems short and put them in there with some greenery, and you've got a flower arrangement. I tend to like shades of one color. I like yellows and oranges, or I like pinks and reds. I don't really like flower arrangements that have a blue flower, a yellow flower, a red flower, and every color of the rainbow. I find it just too busy. So if you do flowers with all whites and creams or all pinks and reds, it's going to look very pretty with your table setting. They're also very welcoming on  the front all table - they say, "I'm happy you're here.""
Bunny has an oval lattice-style cachepot like this one resting on the mantel in her New York apartment.
Bunny Williams Lattice Oval Cachepot
The pineapple is a traditional symbol of hospitality. Bunny Williams designed these timeless Pineapple lidded boxes as welcoming accents for your entry, kitchen or guest room to help make visitors feel at home.
Bunny Williams Pineapple Trio
(A "welcoming symbol for guests")

Bunny Williams' Collection for Ballard Designs
Bunny Williams Signature Scented Candle

Her take on candles, "You want to have things in your home that create ambiance, and one thing that adds ambiance is a wonderful scent. When you walk into a room and something smells good, it makes you feel good. It's psychological. It's not even something that you have to do visually. So we've designed a candle that can be lit, put it in your front hall or in the living room. You'll have this wonderful fresh scent. ...and I want the candle in a pretty container - it just adds to the whole character of the house."

Bunny Williams | quote, interior design

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