The Style Files: Bunny Williams

Bunny Williams Portrait

I almost feel silly writing an introduction for Bunny Williams because she surely doesn’t need one. The design doyenne is considered one of the most important interior designers of our time and has been incredibly influential to many of the best interior designers working today. When interior designers are asked which of their fellow designers they most admire and have had the greatest influence over their own work, the name Bunny Williams always comes up. Known for her relaxed approach to elegance, Bunny creates beautiful spaces that are timeless, chic, and inviting. Never one to do something avant-garde or solely because of the way it looks, the rooms designed by Bunny are effortlessly livable.

After working with the late Albert Hadley at the legendary Parish-Hadley Associates for twenty-two years, Bunny struck out on her own, establishing Bunny Williams Associates in 1988. Since then, the Bunny Williams brand has grown to include an interior design firm, Treillage— the store she owns with husband, John Rosselli, four best-selling books with a fifth one on the way, and Bunny Williams Home which includes furniture, upholstery, lighting, mirrors, rugs, and soon– a line of fabrics with Lee Jofa. I am honored and thrilled that Bunny took the time to let me interview her for The Style Files. I am certain you will be completely inspired as I am. Enjoy!

Bunny Style Files


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Bunny Williams: Comfortable and elegant.



PC: What does each of your homes say about you?

BW: They are the embodiment of a relaxed and generous spirit.

bunny williams punta cana

{Bunny’s Iconic Home in Punta Cana}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

BW: Everywhere. Museums, old movies, and travel.


PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

BW: My garden.

08-07-14 BW 0102

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

BW: Honesty


PC: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

BW: It’s often the small things that matter the most.

bunny john DR

{Image byFritz von der Schulenberg via Mark D. Sikes}

PC: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

BW: My friends and my efforts for organizations, such as Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.

2009 Kips Bay Showhouse: Room by Bunny Williams

{A Room Designed by Bunny Williams for the Kips Bay Showhouse}

PC: Who has been your greatest professional influence?

BW: My mother and Albert Hadley

albert hadley

PC: What is your idea of “la dolce vita”?

BW: Friends gathered at my house in the Dominican Republic

bunny williams john rosseli dr

{The Dominican Home of Bunny Williams and John Rosselli | Image byFritz von der Schulenberg via Mark D. Sikes}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

BW: My garden book in the spring (Pre-Order Here), fabrics for Lee Jofa. more products for Ballard and new beds for BW Home.


{Bunny’s Forthcoming Book, On Garden Style (available in March) and New Lighting, Upholstery, and Lacquer Pieces from Bunny Williams Home}



Go-To Outfit: Black pants, white shirt, and great earrings

Style Mantra: Keep it simple.

Scent: Jo Malone, Pear & Freesia

Piece of Jewelry: Gold Bangle bracelet, given to me by John

Color I Never Tire Of: Moss green

Flower: Tuberose, Dahlias

Indispensable Design Element: Books

Era for Design: Now

Fabric/Textile: Hand-blocked chintz from Claremont or Linen prints from Robert Kime

Hostess Gift: Homemade cookies.

Meal: Chopped salad (always on a diet)

Drink: Soda & bitters (when good), Bourbon when bad.


Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Play with my dogs.

3 Things I Love About My City: Central Park, Metropolitan Museum, Film Forum.

Weekend Destination: Our house in Connecticut

Hotel: Hotel Verhaegen, Gent, Belgium. La Mirande, Avignon, France

City: Paris, Beirut, Rome

Museum: The Met, Victoria & Albert

Artist: Matisse

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Anything by Al Green

Actor/Actress: Catherine Deneuve

Risk Worth Taking: Adopting a mutt

Greatest Extravagance: My garden

Go-To Color Palette: Moss green, turquoise blue

Rule to Break: Frankly, I hate rules.

Movie Set Design: ‘Merchant Ivory’ & ‘Out of Africa’

I can never have too many…: Good friends


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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. Paloma, this is a wonderful interview with Bunny. I always love learning more about people that I admire. She is indeed an iconic figure in the world of design!

    The Arts by Karena

  2. Love that she included Beirut as one of her favorite cities! I go as often as I can to see my family and I love going every time! It’s such a beautiful country. Great interview Paloma! Also, congrats on your Domino cover! Love it!