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Dialogues on Design with Bunny Williams and Elizabeth Lawrence

  • New York School of Interior Design 170 East 70 Street New York United States (map)

Dialogues on Design consists of a series of four moderated conversations with prominent interior designers where each discusses their approach to their own work — their inspiration and influences, their response to trends, and the evolution of the field, accompanied by a reception.

Thank you to our sponsors Ingrid Edelman, Susan Zises Green, Ellen Kravet/Kravet, Inc., Benjamin Moore & Co., and Peter Pennoyer.

For more information, contact Samantha Fingleton at 212-472-1500, ext. 431 or by email at sfingleton@nysid.edu.


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About Bunny Williams

Considered one of the most talented names in design, Bunny is also an accomplished businesswoman, entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. A lover of dogs, gardens, and china, Bunny’s knowledge and expertise is on par with her enjoyment of life. Her eponymous firm — launched in 1988 following a 22-year apprenticeship with the esteemed Parish-Hadley Associates — has wrought its own indelible imprint and legacy.

Bunny Williams Associates is renowned for balancing refined beauty, welcoming livable appeal, and attention to detail. While the creation of delightful rooms is Bunny’s passion, her firm’s success above all, is anchored in long-lasting and valued relationships with its clientele. The resulting commissions over three decades — many for repeat homeowners — are found across the United States and abroad, in city apartments, country estates and cottages; in the mountains and by the water. Bunny’s own houses and her long career have provided ample material and inspiration for six books to date, and she is a sought-after speaker and mentor on design, decoration, gardening, and entertaining.

Bunny grew up in the countryside near Charlottesville, Virginia. Her parents encouraged her passion for the arts and led her to Garland Junior College in Boston, where she studied interior design. A watershed moment at age 15 was visiting the Dorothy Draper-decorated Greenbrier Resort, which had a color palette unlike anything Bunny had ever seen. “It really opened my eyes and the lesson I learned was not to play it safe,” shares Bunny.

Upon moving to New York, Bunny worked at Stair & Co., an antiques gallery frequented by Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. Bunny subsequently joined Parish-Hadley and remained at the venerable firm for 22 years. “I was honored to work there and was exposed to so much; their extraordinary projects and partnership, the design process, everything. By the time I left, I’d been the secretary, an assistant, and a buyer. I had the tools and experience to run my own enterprise, which I did — starting with three people working out of my guest bedroom!”

Shortly thereafter, fueled by her devotion to gardening, Bunny opened Treillage in 1991 along with her husband, the antiques dealer John Rosselli. Considered both ground breaking and industry changing, Treillage drew A-list designers, editors, and tastemakers to its off-the-beaten track, Upper East Side destination for the ultimate in home and garden. “Twenty-five years ago, Treillage was something entirely new, but all good things come to an end. Now, with Bunny Williams Home, I’m proud to show an entire line under one roof and we’re creating accessories with the aim of becoming a complete home-furnishings company.”

Never one to rest on her many awards, accolades, and honors, Bunny keeps her eye on what’s next, whether it’s her collaborations with Ballard Designs, Bunny Williams Home, or her next book. Forward thinking always, Bunny says, “While it’s certainly nice to look back on one’s accomplishments, it’s more interesting for me to look ahead. The firm, while instilled with my expectations and objectives, is taking on an exciting new dimension with Elizabeth Lawrence as my partner. Together, we are all part of a greater legacy that branches out from Parish-Hadley and it feels very relevant in our fast-paced world. She completes my vision and takes it a step further: we work hard and have fun in the process.”

For additional information, contact Chesie Breen at chesie@chesiebreen.com or visit www.bunnywilliams.com.

Follow @bunneys_eye and @bunnywilliams_interiordesign on Instagram

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About Elizabeth Lawrence

Elizabeth Lawrence was named partner of Bunny Williams Associates in 2017 after a 14-year tenure, which began with a coveted internship. Elizabeth notes, “These days, it’s rare to rise from intern to partner while under one roof. In my case, I found my calling through the apprenticeship tradition much the way Bunny did when she began her long association with the revered Parish-Hadley Associates.”

Bunny adds, “Elizabeth’s passion for design, leadership qualities, and business acumen created a trajectory that made her an inevitable choice for partner. In all she does, Elizabeth upholds the Bunny Williams legacy of quality and trust while bringing her own voice, management style, and creativity to the table.”

Originally from Wilmington, DE, Elizabeth attended the University of Richmond and then the New York School of Interior Design. After graduation, her internship at Bunny Williams Associates led to a job as Junior Designer and she rose later to Senior Designer. “Bunny is an ideal mentor and collaborator and we take our partnership seriously. She sets the stage with her vast experience, practicality, intelligence, and sense of humor. Generous in spirit, she invests in her staff when they show initiative, drive, and talent so I worked hard to meet these expectations. I’m thrilled to have the privilege of leading by Bunny’s example,” continues Lawrence.

Known for her skill of building stories for beautiful rooms from one point of inspiration, Elizabeth carves out time for personal growth, which informs her designs. When not at the office, reading, visiting museums, or spending time with numerous nieces and nephews, she’s exploring the world and capturing her adventures with her other great passion: photography. A recent trip to Berlin and Vienna are highlights, while future sojourns in Greece, Africa, and Iceland await.

For additional information, contact Chesie Breen at chesie@chesiebreen.com or visit www.bunnywilliams.com.

Follow @bunnywilliams_interiordesign and @elizabeth_m_lawrence on Instagram


About Dennis Scully

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Dennis Scully is the host of the weekly BOH podcast, where he explores the changes and challenges facing the interior design community through interviews with industry thought leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives. He is also the vice president of sales and marketing at luxury textiles company Castel. Scully was previously a business development consultant for major trade brands, and has held sales and marketing roles at Domino, Waterworks and Twill Textiles. In his Market Watch columns, Scully calls upon his background as an analyst and longtime securities trader as he explores the ins and outs of the home industry’s publicly traded businesses.