Sunday, February 22, 2015

Furnishing the Garden with Bunny Williams

What could be more enjoyable than spending the afternoon with Interior Designer Bunny Williams touring her gardens and listening to her talk about her passion?  That is just what happened  at DCOTA's Winter Market.

Bunny Williams in her Connecticut garden.
Bunny shared her insights into what creates a beautiful garden and ways to add a bit of charm.  Of course it's the plants and trees and flowers but there is so much that can go into making a garden wonderful place to spend time.

One of the first things she mentioned was the idea of creating a focal point with sculpture or an architectural element.
Placing a large "finial" in this bed of roses immediately draws your eye and gives
that part of the garden importance.

The placement of this large urn anchors this more formal garden.
An old fountain can also serve as a focal point.
There are many ways to draw attention to a garden path.

Frame an arbor with animal statues.

Create an entrance with a beautiful gate.

A rock wall and steps flanked by cement newel posts make us want to follow this quiet pathway.

Line a pathway with pots of vivid flowers such as hydrangea.  Potted trees, like lemon trees, work equally as well.
(When I first saw this image I thought it was a painting.)

Bunny's philosphy is that whatever is placed in the garden, especially furniture, should blend with nature.   Wood benches that turn gray with age, painted furniture in rust or bronze, all become part of the garden in a very natural way.

See how beautiful this bench has become as it is over grown with moss.

How seamlessly this weathered teak blends with this pretty garden.  It really appears to belong there.

Image result for bunny williams garden style
Stone furniture or tables topped with stone also work well to accent a natural surrounding.

A garden is also a wonderful place to introduce a touch of whimsy.  These mushroom sculptures are a delightful surprise.

In keeping with the idea of harmonizing with nature, Bunny also suggests using "faux bois" furniture, or pieces that are made to look like real wood like these shown below.

It is hard to tell if this bench has actual tree trunks for legs.

The settee above is designed in a more traditional style but made to look like it is created from real wood.  In fact the whole subject of "Faux Bois" is very intriguing.

Of course using natural wood furniture is the most authentic way to blend with the outdoors. 

It is hard to tell where the grape vines stop and this bench begins.

In fact even a large structure like the gazebo below still seems to be part of the forest because it is built from the trees themselves.

That is precisely the idea behind the way Bunny Williams designed and constructed her amazing pool house.

Bunny said she "wanted the building to feel like it had just waltzed out of the woodland and formed a greek temple."

She used stone to border the pool in keeping with the surroundings.  Inside the feeling continues with the furnishings she chose.

It was wonderful to hear Bunny speak about her passion and equally wonderful to see how she has woven these ideas and inspirations into the landscape of her lovely home.  Now she has designed a line of outdoor funiture for Century Furniture that exemplifies her style.

How pretty is her teak sitting group?  It will weather into a soft gray patina just like the ones in her garden.

The pieces above are wrought iron but made to look like bamboo.  The dark finish will work nicely in a garden or to bring the outdoors in.

Some of the things I took away from what Bunny shared were that the garden is really another beautiful space to furnish.  Just as in interiors, creating a focal point is important and adding a touch of whimsy makes it fun.
One other thing she said was that not only is it nice to have seating to gaze out to the scenery, but she also finds having a place to look back upon your home is lovely too.

What is the view looking back at your home?  It's even fun to see it at night.

So inviting.

I hope you enjoyed this garden tour and found some ideas to inspire you.  How would you add whimsy to your garden?  What would you do to draw attention to a pathway?  Where would you like to have a comfortable sitting area to enjoy whatever your view may be?

As always I invite you to share your experiences and thoughts in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Decorating!

If you would like assistance with a decorating project please email me at 

(The photos in this post are from Google Images, including several depicting Bunny Williams' home and gardens, or from the library of Picture Pretty Interiors.)

No comments:

Post a Comment