Bunny Williams Rejuvenates Treillage, Her Celebrated Upper East Side Garden Shop
The designer reimagines the beloved design destination and introduces a new collection of rattan furniture
“If you have a shop—I don’t care if you’re selling furniture or clothing—you have to make it worth going there,” says designer Bunny Williams, who last week welcomed guests to her new location inside New York’s Interior Arts Building on East 61st Street. Not only is the studio filled with the latest pieces from her Bunny Williams Home collection, it also marks the welcome return of Treillage, a wonderland-like garden store she ran with antiques dealer and husband John Rosselli for more than 25 years until it closed in 2015.
“One of the things that we did for this showroom is to really try to create this atmosphere so when you walk in, you feel that you’re walking into a combination of my furniture and my design aesthetic,” Williams tells Galerie. “It should be an experience. We’ll serve you some iced tea, give you a cookie, just to get people back to the idea that shopping is enjoyable.”
The original Treillage came about when Williams and Rosselli traveled to England for the annual Chelsea Flower Show. While browsing the beautiful floral installations, Williams remarked it was a shame Manhattan didn’t have a great garden shop. To which, Rosselli suggested they open one. He already had a partial space in an old carriage house on East 75th Street between York and First Avenues, so together they took over the entire building, transforming a worse-for-wear welding shop into a vibrant garden boutique. “It was very romantic; the space had incredible atmosphere,” recalls Williams. “You didn’t feel like you were in New York when you were there.”
The original Treillage featured unique discoveries found on buying trips across Europe. “We had everything from big stone garden tables to huge terracotta urns to plates and glasses—anything we wanted we bought and put in,” says Williams, who brought a similar curated atmosphere to the new showroom where a weathered, bleached oak table shares floor space with a selection of potting tables that would be equally chic in a conservatory or repurposed for a unique home bar. “They have character,” says the designer of the pieces. “I’m always looking for furniture with character.”
Paintings by John Funt among others punctuate the creamy white walls while sofas, lamps, and assorted furnishings mix with pedestals holding oversized urns bursting with flowers and foliage. Tobacco-colored stripes add visual interest to the showroom’s wood floors—a design element that continues into Williams’s adjacent office. “The shop is a curated eye,” says the designer. “We’ve also introduced one-of-a-kinds, which is the way I decorate. It’s not just Bunny Williams Home, so you can walk in and really get a sense of how to put things together.”
But most prominently, there’s Treillage, Williams’s new collection of garden-glorious furnishings, including the teak Graham dining table that features a curvaceous base, the intricately woven Kinley rattan armchair, pagoda-like Brighton mirror, and the beautiful Kingston bench that features a design inspired by a style found at Versailles. “There are so few eclectic showrooms. What I’m trying to show is you can put something modern with something old with something transitional,” says Williams. “Mix it up and you’re going to have a room that’s much more interesting.”