By now you know that I have really gone gaga for Bunny Williams. I still have at least two more posts pending about my visit to her garden. (Just humor me, OK?)
Seeing this beautiful garden was a dream come true for me. But when I realized that her renovated barn was also open, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. lol
Originally built in 1840, the barn has a concrete floor with a grid of old, rough boards. It is 22 feet to the ridgepole, and most of the space is taken up by a large living room, filled with several conversation areas. If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the barn's hand hewn, beamed ceiling in that beautiful English bulls-eye mirror.
A pair of beautiful arched windows flank the 1840's mantel. You will notice the unusual arrangement of the panes here -- the muntins are staggered instead of being aligned evenly. In front of the windows are a pair of matching tables with lamps made from old wooden balusters.
The 30 X 50 ft. room is filled with large scale furniture, including this Italian marble-topped table, with it's huge flower arrangement. The chair behind it is also Italian, and still has it's original needlework. Look closely and you will see one of three family dogs -- all well-loved. There are many paintings and statues and pillows with a canine-theme in the room as well.
I have to tell you that I felt a little uncomfortable taking pictures in here at first. Miss Williams' husband, John Roselli, was stationed here, talking to some of the people who were visiting. I really should have taken my time, and taken more (and better) photos, but all I can say is that I was overwhelmed at the opportunity, and just slightly uncomfortable. After all, I cannot imagine how I would feel if strangers were poring into my living room with cameras.
We actually walked through once, went out into the rest of the garden, and came back again. I still wish I had taken more time to set up shots and change lenses for some close-ups. Ah well, maybe next year! ;)
(We're going back next year, right, honey?)
In her book, An Affair With a House, Miss Williams relates that the barn renovation was a joint effort between her and her husband, John Roselli. Mr. Roselli is a world-renowned antiques expert, and his love of large-scale pieces is on display here. There are also several wonderful smaller antique chairs, including this beautiful specimen shown above. Note how the circle and the square in the back appear to be intertwined. What a lovely detail!
Although we did not see Bunny Williams, we did get to chat with Mr. Roselli for a few minutes. We learned that he grew up in our home state of New Jersey, and that Miss Williams decorated the house where my mother worked!
This last photo was taken from the staircase that leads to a small guest bedroom and bathroom on the upper level. Below these rooms are a small kitchen, a bathroom and a mud room. There were so many people in the bedroom that I couldn't get a decent photo. I actually missed seeing the downstairs bathroom.
See, we really do have to return next year! :)