Bunny Williams is not only one of the world’s most renowned interior designers, but also a true animal lover. During her 30-year career, she has brought her personal warmth and talented eye to create exquisite high-end residential spaces that “people can actually live in,” she says. “It’s home, no matter what the style.” Animal Fair caught up with this busy designer and author to get a few tips on designing with our pets in mind.
“Everyone lives in a different way with their pets,” says Williams. “How much do you want your dogs with you? Mine [two mutts, Lucy and Charlie and a Whippet named Elizabeth] are with me all the time, so we have to be practical. I let my dogs on the sofa, so I keep a throw or something that can be laundered to wrap around the cushions.”
Williams grew up on a farm with all kinds of animals and says that in New York she “can’t have as many animals as I’d like!” Of the dogs that she has, she says, “They influence my peace of mind. Dogs give back 110 percent and there’s no stress with a dog.”
In addition to her work as a designer, Williams is the author of three books, the most recent of which, Point of View, is coming out soon. She says that decorating is a lot like writing. “You have to edit, edit, edit! We never edit; we just keep adding. It’s what keeps us from having the space we want to have.” She also adds, “Keep it simple; organize the space. And take the time to think about it: How do you want to live in this room? We’re all so busy that we rarely take the time to step back, look at it and think about it.”
For pet parents, Williams says the most important thing to keep in mind is to include your pets in your design. “Make sure there’s a place for them. Maybe have a dog bed that is covered in fabric from the room. They need a place of their own.”