Home Decorating Book Review: A House By The Sea

Book Review: A House By The Sea

I had the distinct pleasure of staying at the glorious Dominican Republic beach escape that Bunny Williams and John Rosselli created while we were shooting Bunny’s first rug collection for Dash & Albert.  I can assure you that A House by the Sea captures the beauty and joie de vivre of the Punta Cana retreat while effortlessly giving you a master class in how Bunny does what she does, illustrating why she is the doyenne of American decorators working today.


Experiencing the house (and the wonderful posse of pups) firsthand, and then having the pleasure of reading in Bunny’s own words what went into creating La Colina, I learned that all the time and effort Bunny put into planning and working out all the details in advance is what makes everything at La Colina flow. This flow is what creates its signature graciousness.


What still boggles my mind is that Bunny and John created this tropical oasis completely from scratch!  It looks and feels like it has always been there which is a testimony to their combined vision and clear ability to execute that vision.  Their years of experience show the lightest of hands.  Nothing is overwrought, overbought or overcomplicated.  There is an ease and inherent graciousness that meets you the second you arrive at La Colina. The Palladian symmetry of the house surrounded by lush and delightfully varied greenery gives you an instant feeling of being a world away yet everything you could ever want or need is at hand.


There is a welcome patina of age and layering of objects that create an extraordinary yet un-prepossessing house – a house that is comfortable in its own skin.  Nothing jumps out at you.  It is all there to be enjoyed when you get around to it.  Your eye and body moves effortlessly and happily through the space, alighting on delightful collections, dreamy garden and ocean vistas that leave you with a feeling of comfort and calm.


Photo by Francesco Lagenese

I love that Bunny chose to use our Marco and Cleo rugs (named for the dogs that live at La Colina) in this extraordinary house.


Photo by Francesco Lagenese

Every surface is a feast for the eyes – masterfully placed art on the wall –  every side, coffee and console table – each piece of upholstered furniture with Indian and Indonesian textiles – Bunny designed tablescapes with lots of objets to contemplate, oodles of stunning and inviting coffee table books that you would need years to get through.


Photo by Francesco Lagenese

Wonderful staff, impeccable service, the best margarita, Bunny collected books recommended from practically everyone she knew or met – I read four books during my five day stay and each of them I found in my very own guest room!  There are many other rooms filled with equally fabulous books that I never got to meet!


Photo by Francesco Lagenese

Along with the moments of tranquility and relaxation came moments of laughter and fun, too. This memory of goofing off in Bunny’s pool is not one I will soon forget.


To have experienced this beautifully-designed home firsthand was a true pleasure.  While flipping through A House By The Sea does not compare to actually staying in Bunny’s inviting, gorgeous home, I can assure you that perusing its carefully-curated pages will bring about a certain amount of joy on its own.  You can purchase your copy here!


Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment