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March 2010

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Leading Lines – Williams

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Bunny Williams


Veteran designer Bunny Williams launched BeeLine Home last year, introducing a furniture collection that indulges the needs and aesthetic tastes of her on-the-go, busy-bee clients. A collector herself, Williams is constantly troving for rare pieces and unparalleled workmanship; her limited-edition line of tables, lamps, chairs, mirrors and accessories makes this sense of treasure-hunting accessible. "The hallmark of my work is combining pieces of varying quality and provenance, creating interesting combinations and unexpected juxtapositions—my tastes are unabashedly eclectic," Williams says. Items from her collection (which will be replenished annually) are designed to complement each other; clients are encouraged to find their own mix.

How'd you decide to launch a line of furniture? Was it a process that you had been considering for a while? Every designer at one point enjoys designing pieces of furniture that are hard to find, such as coffee tables and bedside tables. I had collected interesting pieces over the years that I wanted to copy, and I added original designs to fill out the line. It just seemed that now was the time to launch a really well-priced, unique collection.

What furniture lines or designers inspired your own collection? I was inspired by things I owned and especially loved, as well as some midcentury designs.

How would you describe the aesthetic of your furniture line to someone who has never seen it before? Each piece is so different but can be used together. A white painted, stylized egg-back chair looks wonderful around a rosewood table based on an English 19th-century design. This is the way I like to decorate—combining special pieces that are not all alike—to make for a more unpredictable room.

What's most challenging about the process and developing this aspect of your brand? The most challenging part was working on all the finishes so that each piece has a beautiful patina and so that the woods didn't look like plastic.

You've designed the line and it's a hit. In what ways do you continually refresh and update it? From the beginning, my concept was to produce a limited-edition collection. Therefore, we will have new pieces each year and phase out the designs as they sell out.

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