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Sunday, August 16, 2009

I've stood in Bunny's barn....

yes, the barn that goes with this house... the barn.

The barn of all barns! I've stood in Bunny's conservatory, I've walked her property, peered into her kitchen, lingered in the pool house and marveled at the chicken pavilion. I've stood in her greenhouse, walked around the sunken garden, through the woodland garden, and gathered landscape ideas from her parterre garden.

I've met Bunny and her pack of rescue dogs.
(Now, at this point you are probably thinking I was under the tutelage of Joni at Cote de Texas and was in 'stalking' school, but that wasn't the case, and the police were not called to the scene!)

Bunny even mentioned my visit in the book! Okay, well not exactly my visit, but the event in which my visit took place! See page one hundred eighty eight were Bunny says... "I'll never forget the Saturday..." Neither will I Bunny!!

This is how I met Bunny... I had read in a magazine about Trade Secrets a charity plant show, antique sale, and garden tour that Bunny had at her Connecticut house. (She no longer hosts the event at her house, but opens her gardens for the garden tour. One year Carolyne Roehm's garden was also on the tour, and this last year's tour featured Michael Trapp's garden! Imagine!) I marked my calender and when the event came around the following May 18th of 2002, Dan and I flew up from Dallas to attend! The forecast was for sunny skies, and highs in the low 70's. I packed all new Spring outfits and cute new sandals! The morning of the event we woke up to rain, mixed with snow! It was snowing snowflakes the size of silver dollars! We found some rain ponchos at a local store, and I donned my not-so-cute tennis shoes instead of the cute sandals I had planned to wear. We then had to buy some gardening gloves at the event to even keep our hands warm! It was freezing and because of the crazy, cold weather Bunny generously opened up her Barn so people could have a place to warm up. It was there, standing in her magnificent barn with a fire roaring in the fireplace, where we met Bunny! She was beautiful, sweet, lovely and gracious as all these unexpected guests milled about her room. We chatted for a long time and then at the end she invited us to come back sometime!! Little did we (or Bunny;) know, but a mere six years later we would live within driving distance, and just might take her up on that!!

All of Bunny and John Rosselli's (he was there also, although we didn't meet him) dogs were there, running in and out, throughout the visitors. Adorable Charlie was there... Charlie was featured with Bunny in one of my favorite books that I have kept by bedside for years... Found Dogs. When you walked from the conservatory into the barn Bunny had a large skirted table filled with books, and right on top was Found Dogs!

Being a good Southern girl I wrote Bunny a thank you note after returning to Dallas... but, now I'm realizing that she doesn't have my new address...... must remember to drop by to give it to her! Hummmm..... what would Joni do?!

Bunny standing in front of her greenhouse!

I just found Joni's post on Bunny's house and barn, so head over to Cote de Texas to see some beautiful photos from the book! Great timing!


  1. What a fantastic experience. And, anyone with a herd of rescue dogs is tops with me.

    Here's a dog book I just bought and I can't wait to start it.

  2. How exciting to have visited this gorgeous house - I'm soooo envious! Leigh


    Linda in AZ *

  4. Oh boyser...I say you high tail it over there...Introduce yourself again...bring her one of your lamps...

    Why not?

    Hey...soon you'll be living in your barn with the fireplace roaring...and I'LL be visiting YOU!Gushing all the while!

  5. Well,Joan - I have to say, after teasing me with suspense, the story was worth it!! I love that you met Bunny and her dogs!! I, too, am a rescue dog person and love looking at her books with her scruffy, precious mutts on leopard print beds!! 2002.......hmmm...we should have flown up with you! Oh well, maybe next time!

  6. Hi Joan,

    What an amazing story. My best friend and I have fantasized about ways to meet her. She is our all-time favorite decorator. We LOVE her style. And on top of that, John Rosselli was there! OMG we would have died. What was that barn like in person? And the conservatory, my favorite room. Lucky, lucky you.


  7. Joan, I have met Bunny also. She came to Thomsaville, GA (not far from N FL) this past Feb. to the antique show there which is BTW, an awesome antique show. I know, how could an antique show in little ole Thomasville, GA be awesome???? Welllllllll, there are a lot of plantations in this area and lots of people come here that one might be surprised at.

    Little known secret, Jacqueline Kennedy came here after the assanisation to be alone. One of the out of the way plantations. Bottom line, she could maintain her anominity.

    Anyway, I did in fact meet Bunny Williams and her husband and found them both to be very down to earth. She autographed both of my books that I had of hers. My most favorite book is An Affair With A House. It speaks to me.


  8. What joy! You should absolutely send her your new address! You're practically neighbors now -as the crow flies ; ) Trina

  9. I love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's too cute. i mean it - that room is on my bucket list!!! one day, I swear, one day!!!

    thanks for the shout out. very very much!

  10. Oh no you didn't! How wonderful! I have her beautiful book (well worn pages now) on my coffee table. Isn't it wonderful how her book unites people. What a lovely story! A-M xx

  11. Oooh is that Bunny & John heading up your drive-way for a house-warming drink right this minute Joan? Quick, get Dan to stall them, so you can put a pretty frock on & give Joni time to get there!
    Millie ^_^

  12. Oh you lucky girl. I have her beautiful too and I am going right now to look up page one hundred and eighty eight. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Hi Joan. I have been loving the updates on the house, can't wait to see the kitchen. I have a Bunny story also. This past January a friend who does some work for John and Bunny was offered their home in Punta Cana for a long weekend. He invited 3 other couples, my husband and I were one of those couples. Bunny was not there but John was. We spent 3 unforgetable days in her beautiful home and had a formal dinner with John every night. He is such an interesting personable gentlemen. And they have 3 rescue dogs in Punta Cana. They live there all year long with the care taker.

  14. What a great story - when you get that invite - ask if you can bring a friend.......

  15. the gardeners cottageAugust 17, 2009 at 11:24 AM


    Regarding the debate going on over at Cote de Texas, how does the barn relate to the HB cover? In your opinion.


  16. Y'all are so funny! I was sooooo just kidding about giving her my new address!! I'm red-faced at the mere thought!:O

    Kathleen- the book looks good!
    Leigh- I know, isn't it crazy?!
    Linda/Mom- Thank you;)
    Linda/CocoNUT!- Lamps?! How do you know I have lamps;)?! How many are you seeing from the frig? And I'm so happy to hear you'll come out when we get the barn finished!
    Ann- yes definitely 'next' time! ;)
    Janet- the conservatory was my favorite too! We stood in there the longest time trying to take it all in! The barn looked exactly like the photos in the book, which I think is so neat. It had this totally relaxed welcoming feel.
    Carolyn- that is so fun that you've met her too!
    Trina- "practically neighbors".... that is true isn't it! ;)
    Joni- yes, one less on my bucket list too!
    A-M- I know... I love the book too!
    Millie- you (as usual;) are tooooo funny!
    Shaz- did you see me?!;)
    Catherine- Okay, I think "you" win!!! That's a great story! Did you friend work on the CT/NY/Punta Cana house? Can't even imagine spending the night.... wouldn't be able to close my eyes. And dinner with John- how cool!
    Mary- your name's on the list;) But what if you're in Africa?!
    Janet2- no relation! show house vs. real house!!

    Thank you all for playing along!! j.

  17. Oh my how lucky you are, I almost made it one time but was sick with lyme disease and on an iv and couldn't travel there!!! She is the most brilliant designer and I am obsessed with her. My name just happens to be Bunny too!!
    what a great story..

  18. I've also had the good fortune to meet Bunny and to discuss our shared love of our rescue dogs!! The very best kind!!!
    I found her to be a most gracious well as a pretty darn good decorator!!

  19. That is a great story and so exciting for you! The barn is such a beautiful space, based on the photos. I'd feel the same way if I were in Ina Garten's barn in The Hamptons someday (which is soooo not going to happen). Deborah

  20. What a nice memory you share here. Her book at the top of your post is one of my favorites too... and I can imagine that it might be my VERY favorite had I met the author! Lucky you!

  21. What a lovely story! I smiled at the sandals and cute spring clothes, when the weather turned out to be bad...this exact same thing happened to me when I went to Newport, RI this June. I had to go to J. Crew and buy some sweaters to make it through the weekend!


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