Homes + Decor

Bunny Williams Reveals Her Tried-and-True Living Room Ideas

The AD100 designer tapped to create a living room at this year’s Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse and Auction offers her expert advice for crafting the most important room in the home
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An East Hampton living room designed by Bunny Williams.

Interiors by AD100 designer Bunny Williams have always been studied riffs on traditionalism—expertly selected antiques mixed with classic, contemporary pieces and a dash of color from objects and accessories collected across the globe. The living room she designed for the third annual Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse and Auction is no different. A serene haven within a collector’s Manhattan pied-à-terre, the space exemplifies the hallmarks of a Williams interior—nods to antique forms, a thoughtfully edited palette that still feels warm, and plenty of places to set your drink. We caught up with Williams to find out her pro tips for designing a comfortable living room. Glimpse the space yourself April 9 through 16 at the auction house’s midtown Manhattan headquarters.

Think about what people need“What I always want to achieve is warmth, even if the furniture has a modern sensibility. It’s the arrangement of things that indicates that I’ve planned the room for people and not a photo shoot. There will always be a table beside a chair for a drink, a book, or a bouquet. The overall furniture plan will be designed for the way people actually sit and talk.”

Find pieces that do double duty“I have designed an ottoman with an inset tray for Bunny Williams Home. It is really the answer to both needs—the need to prop your feet but also to have a place to set a drink.”

Accessorize smartly“Buy things you will not get tired of quickly. Even though you can change out accessories easily, I think it is important to spend your money wisely to create a room that will last.”


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