For 28 years the world-renowned interior designer Bunny Williams has been involved in a passionate love affair with an18th-century New England manor house that she found in sad repair. From the moment she walked up the driveway and her palms began to perspire, Williams knew she wanted the affair to last forever. In her sumptuous new book, An Affair with a House, the venerable decorator describes in detail how she and her husband, antiques dealer John Rosselli, rescued, nurtured, renovated, and decorated the well-worn house, giving it new life as they restored each room, resurrected the abandoned gardens, and filled this weekend home with family and friends.
Date Published 10/1/2005
Rated By: Foodie NYC
From: New York, New York
Comments: A Must Have for Every Coffee Table If you love home decorating and interior design, this is a must read. Filled with wonderful anecdotes and useful tips on decorating any room in the house (there are even recipes for entertaining out of town guests), this visually stunning book deserves a place on every coffee table. Ms. Williams shares her decorating expertise with readers while taking them on a tour of her magnificent country house. Along the way, we learn everything from setting the perfect table, hanging art on the wall, arranging flowers, the art of placement, and where to find the best antiques and other furniture finds. This is a book you can read over and over again.
Rated By: C. G. Riggs "love to decorate"
From: Baytown, TX
Comments: WOW! WOULDNT IT BE NICE !! I've enjoyed seeing other decorating by Bunny Williams in various magazines. A couple of years ago I saw her conservatory dining room featured in a magazine and fell in love with it. Wonderful!!! I understand the concept of the "decorating" done in the main house but wish it would have been a little more - can't think of a good word - maybe polished. Would love to see the whole compound. Especially loved the Barn. What a wonderful room to enjoy alone or with lots of friends. I am much in favor of a large room with difference sitting areas. Makes much more sense for enjoying and entertaining when everyone can gather together in one area rather than in 2 or 3 rooms. LOVE IT!
Rated By: B. Kleeb "Book Lover"
Comments: Lover of Books WOW! This gorgeous book was absolutely worth waiting for (two months)! The text is so informative and interesting to read and I love the way Bunny talks to you like you are sitting across from her having a cup of tea. I have never enjoyed a decorating book more (and I have hundreds of them) and the entertainment and knowledge learned while reading this outstanding book. I cannot wait to sit down again and slowly pour over each beautiful page. Thanks Bunny, your home is amazing!
Rated By: Lightman
From: New York
Comments: Many Dimensions of Excellence "I am not sure if I believe in destiny, but I do know that after years of looking for a house, my palms began to perspire as I turned onto a tree-lined driveway in a small New England village." This is the beginning of a beautiful tale that grows in the telling, as Bunny Williams invites the reader into a creative journey that is uncommonly rich, deep, and satisfying.
The author has in fact woven a number of story lines together into a seamless fabric of exceptional beauty. Each chapter begins with a piece of the actual love story - the room by room accounting of how Williams transformed a dilapidated 18th century manor house and the property on which it stands into a masterpiece of surpassing elegance and style. This is followed by a photographic exploration of each area in which every image is a composition that would stand on its own as fine art. Captions to the illustrations are instructive and helpful without deconstructing the harmony of the spaces that Williams has created. And, interspersed throughout it all, are practical tips and advice on a variety of subjects such as hunting for antiques, arranging flowers, and even setting up for a picnic.
Totally absent is the self absorbed, prissy, and obsessive tone that often attaches itself to the work of great decorators. Instead, this is an intimate celebration of life complete with dogs, chickens, vegetables, flowers, and a very beloved husband. Williams makes the point that a zest for living and a keen understanding of human behavior underscore every successful design.
This book is beautifully conceived, beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, and beautifully executed in every aspect. I give it my highest recommendation.
Rated By: Kirsty
Comments: Bunny has created a Perfect World This is a really beautiful coffee table book and inspires you to rush out and make your own home cosier and more gorgeous. Bunny lives in a world of perfection- even the dogs look divine. It reminded me a lot of the format in the Martha Stewart gardening book- some anecdotes, some history of the house and garden, entertainment tips, how she gardens, recipes, that type of thing. It is clear that a staff helps Bunny maintain all this beauty and we do see a gardener in a potting shed. I love this book, it is a truly lovely coffee table book with some nice recipes and fantastic photos. You will not be disappointed.
Rated By: David J. Alexander
From: New York, New York
Comments: Move over, Martha Stewart Not only is this a lovely book about Ms. Williams' and Mr. Roselli's country estate, it is a wonderful lifestyle manual with great ideas for entertaining, setting the table, cooking and a host of other ideas. This is a book where you will actually become engrossed in the text (unlike many books where only the photos are interesting). In a totally down to earth, unpreachy tone, Ms. Williams takes us on a chapter by chapter tour of the entire property, and what a property it is. But the greatest part of this volume is the total comfort radiating from every page. Other designers and decorators should take note, for this kind of decorating, so full of talent and experience, is very difficult to achieve. Congratulations, Bunny!! This book is a must have.
Rated By: W. Oliver "scudder"
Comments: A sumptuous book This lavish book is a document of the author's 30-year restoration of her sprawling 18th century country house in Connecticut, complete with a guest barn, pool house and aviary. While many of us don't have the access or funds for beautiful antiques or a head gardener, Williams is refreshingly unpretentious. She wisely took her time, taking each room in her home at a time, lovingly creating rooms with vibrant color and immense charm. Outstanding photography and design make this a book to savor and return to again and again for inspiration. In addition to the outstanding photographs, there are recipes, advice on living with dogs, and integrating exotic plants into the garden.
Rated By: D. Kirkpatrick "Ena Kirkpatrick"
From: Columbus, OH
Comments: An Affair with a House Normally, I would study the photos in a coffee table book;skimming the print, not so with this. I read every word and hated that it came to an end! Please Bunny Williams, get another in the works ASAP! This was great.
Rated By: Mariana Thompson "Mariana"
Comments: Beautiful and Classy Book If you are interested in gardening and decorating this is a book that will motivate you to do something with your own home. There are good ideas and tips for those of us that are not as talented in interior design.
Rated By: W. Conway
From: Chicago, IL
Comments: A hint disappointed The exterior shots are wonderful. This book is very well written-I enjoyed the written journey. Maybe I had too high expectations for this book, but there were interior photos that I flipped thru really quickly in a ho-hum fashion. I really wanted to love this book bit by bit. Usually I pick one book per year and share with all my friends for gift giving; I regret this will not be the one.
Rated By: Historic homeowner
From: Southern US
Comments: Thank you Bunny Williams for writing this wonderful book! This book attracted me because I'd heard of Bunny Williams, but also because I'd recently moved into an 18th cent. house in the South which somewhat resembles hers. As someone with a new/old house, I found this far more helpful than any other book I've seen yet. While she doesn't walk through plans and tactics, clear themes emerge -- these themes are far more helpful than books which take a more direct 'how to' approach, since they provide pathways for one's own self-expression, without being a bit rigid. Examples: make the gardens a series of surprises; find a unifying principle for your collections; choose fabrics that go together but aren't all matchy-matchy. I also love that she is realistic about how long it takes to get something that feels wonderful to you. I'll be referring to this book for years, as I make my new house into a wonderful home for me and my family for the rest of our lives, one that respects the 200+ year history of the place, and one that is constantly changing and bringing us all deeper levels of happiness and fulfillment.
Rated By: Geneva
Comments: I felt like a well looked after house guest What a great read. I didn't feel like I read a book. I felt like I'd been a house guest and a well looked after one at that. Written in a warm and inviting way, it was as though I'd actually spent time visiting in each of the rooms.
Rated By: Chris Plunkett
From: New York
Comments: An Affair with a House After many years of being a fan of Bunny Williams work, both at Treillage, Gumps, and several decorator show houses, it was great to compare her personal taste to that of her work. Neither is a disapointment. Her sage wisdom in decorating is what makes her house a home. I looked at the pages of this book and never once thought the house had that all too omnipresent "done" look that I see in so often in many decorators work. Not only was it beautiful, but it was a good read. What a treat!
Rated By: Joni Mahoney "Joni Mahoney"
From: West Vancouver BC
Comments: I could not put this book down This book is a masterpiece- I loved every word and every picture. I have always wanted to renovate an old historic home-this book gives me the impetus to get going. I LOVED IT...
Rated By: Teacats
From: Dallas, Texas
Comments: Every page is a treasure! Just adore this book -- I keep it by my bedside to review as often as possible. Can't wait for the next book!! Thanks Bunny!!