In the BNOTP Library: An Affair With A House

I had to kick off our very first BNOTP Library post with one of my all time favorite decorating books. It’s the first book that always comes to mind when I think of my faves. It’s one I pull off the shelf at least once a month to enjoy all over again.

BNOTP Library 3

In the BNOTP Library: An Affair with a House
Author: Bunny Williams
Published: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (October 1, 2005)
Hardcover: 240 pages
Book size: 11.2 x 10.9 x 1.1 inches

An Affair With a House


3 Things I Like About This Book:

  • Lots of large, detailed pictures of designer, Bunny Williams’ beautiful 18th Century New England manor home and garden
  • Bunny’s warm, easy-to-read writing style. (This is a decorating book you’ll actually enjoy reading, not just a “picture” book.)
  • The lovingly collected, not “decorated” style present throughout her home.  Love her home!

You can read more about this book and preview it at Amazon, where I usually order my books, via the picture link below. (P.S. I just looked at the preview and the pictures they show do not do this book justice! Wonder who chooses the pics that show in a preview?!)


You’ll find previously featured books from the BNTOP library here: In The BNOTP Library or just click below.

In the BNOTP Library

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. I absolutely love this book!! 3 hearts from me. I have borrowed it from our local library several times! Beautiful drool-worthy photos…dream, dream dream…..

  2. Shelley Humpal says

    It’s been in my library for years too. In fact I just pulled it out a couple of weeks ago for inspiration for my lower level room. Designers need help too! It absolutely gets 3 hearts.

  3. I do not own this book, but I have thought about it because you have mentioned it in a post a long time ago.

    After looking at the pictures on Amazon I wouldn’t give this book a second thought, except for your recommendation.

    I am going to check to see if it is in my local library before purchasing. πŸ™‚

    • Mary, it makes you wonder who chooses what to show in those previews, doesn’t it? I think sometimes it hurts the authors instead of helps them. They must not get to choose because the preview totally doesn’t do it justice.

  4. I must say that I own many, many design books and this is not one that I have…I need to go on Amazon and get this…I know of many people who have this book and I can say they would give it three hearts! Have a great weekend Susan!

  5. Have owned this book for years – it is timeless, as is her home. The description on the back of the book is spot on – “an intimate glimpse of the life she and her husband…share with family and friends…part memoir, part decorating manual…portrait of a creative couple and their very beautiful, utterly comfortable home.” My go to for inspiration.

    • That’s one of the things I love about her home so much, Nanette…how comfortable and livable it is. She won me over when I saw the picture of a sofa she has kept with its original upholstery even though it is slightly frayed in one area. She said it didn’t bother her and I loved that!

  6. That teapot looks adorable right there!

    • Thanks, Sammy! I don’t know why but that day I came home from A Classy Flea and started going through the pictures I took of that visit, I suddenly saw him sitting there, surrounded by books and I knew I had to go back for him. That doesn’t happen to me very often…you know, that feeling where you just instantly know what you need in a spot and can picture it there. He makes me laugh whenever I look back…I’m easily entertained! πŸ˜‰

  7. Also own it and it is one of my top 3 design books and like you, I own a ton! 4

  8. DeeDee Clark says

    Do you own the teapot pictured? I’d love to find one. This is the second time I’ve seen this on a blog this week.

    • DeeDee, you may have seen it earlier here at BNOTP because I blogged about it the day I found (the 14th) it at a local antique/flea store called A Classy Flea. Here’s a link to that post.
      In the comments on that post, someone linked to a similar teapot on another site. So scroll down and you’ll see that link in the comments. This teapot doesn’t have any markings on it at all so unfortunately, I have no idea who made it.

  9. Susan, I’m so pleased that you have decided to add the library feature. I remember one Sunday morning a couple years ago when you posted several books about blue and white decor. I spent several enjoyable hours going over each listing. It made such a lovely, peaceful and reflective morning. I wrote you that day also. I give both Bunny’s book and your terrific post idea the 3 star rating. I’m looking forward to the next.
    P.S. your new teapot purchase does look cute there!

  10. Thanks, Norma! I think it will be a lot of fun. I’m going to put them all into one category so it will be easy to find them all gathered together in one spot in case someone wants to check back again in the future to remember a title. Aww, Mr. Teapot…he has captured a lot of hearts this week. πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Susan. The decorating book I would REALLY love to read would be one you write/publish of the story of
    how you came to purchase and decorate YOUR house. You have done a marvelous job of telling your readers about your house as it is at present. I would love to hear the story of how you purchased it and how it evolved through the years, not just a Before and After look, but how the pieces all came together and why. Where your ideas came from. Why you love that style and where you found all the pieces. You appear to be greatly influenced by the Ralph Lauren look, which I love, love, love. Of all the houses I see in books and on the internet, YOURS is the one I would love to live in!
    And I think you are a better decorator than many professional decorators out there. Perhaps there’s a new career waiting for you.
    P.S. Did you get your new window treatments done in the downstairs sitting room?

    • Thanks, Phyllisa! You are so nice! Appreciate those sweet thoughts! I do like the Ralph Lauren look, always feels so inviting to me. I think I was gradually influenced by the homes and rooms I used to see in Traditional Home back in its early days, before they begin to mix in a more modern look. I also love the homes I saw in Colonial Home, which became Classic Home before they stopped publishing. I also like a lot of beach decor for the bright happy colors and I love the rustic/farmhouse decor like you see in the magazine Country Living. The design and features in a home have such a huge influence on how you decorate. I’m sure if I ever move, my den/living room will look a lot different if it doesn’t have paneled walls. That room really told me how it need to be decorated. Rooms will often do that. I still haven’t put curtains back yet. I hope I’ll eventually find some I like but I haven’t really been looking very hard. If you have a particular room that you’re wondering about in my home, let me know and I’ll be happy to share how it evolved over the years. This house was really in rough shape when we bought it, had very worn, very bad looking orange carpeting and a lot of harvest gold trim, but we liked the floor plan and the overall design so we decided to buy it and redo. We moved into this neighborhood/area for the schools. My style brick home is very common in this area and I like that style anyway, probably from having seen the movie, Home Alone. πŸ™‚

  12. Elaine in Laguna says

    Hi Susan, I have this book and you were the good influence for the purchase. I look at it frequently. It inspires me as I go along re-doing my own home! It’s definitely 3 hearts for me! And I love these posts – including the past one about blue and white decorating. Have a great weekend!

    • Elaine, I’m so glad you liked it! I never hesitate to recommend An Affair With a House because the rooms in her home are so livable and beautiful, all at the same time. So glad you like these posts, too. I should have probably been doing them all along! Well, better late than never, right? πŸ™‚

  13. Christy Keyton says

    Hi Susan, I am a new follower and must say after reading this that I know I am going to love your blog. This is my all-time favorite decorating book! I have owned it for years and read it over and over. I recommend it to friends. Everything about it is beautiful, warm, classy, and you feel like you just want to settle down there. I styled a table in my bedroom around a photo from the book and designed a courtyard in our front yard using old brick because of her brick paths!

    • Christy, first off, WELCOME! Glad you here! Yep, sounds like we are kindred spirits. You described exactly how I view the book, it’s comfort “food” for the mind. πŸ™‚ I love that you were able to pull something directly from the book and use it in your home. Bunny really is such an inspiration. I’ve seen her online in a few interviews and she’s awesome. She doesn’t say what she thinks folks want to hear, she says exactly what she feels and believes and I love that! πŸ™‚

  14. Judy Hubbard says

    Susan: I love your blog & read it all the time. I especially like the tablescapes that you do!
    I am happy with the new “Library” feature you are doing now…because I also have a huge collection of decorating books! Will you do a blog on my favorite, Charles Faudree? I love his style!

    • Thanks, Judy! Love Charles Faudree! I think I have every one of his books so I’ll be sure to show some of those real soon. Sounds like we are kindred spirits, Judy! πŸ™‚

  15. Love that book too! I would love love love to spend a week with Bunny Williams and be a part of a project. I love her designs, and her personality. I saw her interviewed and it made me appreciate her all the more.

  16. Definitely my favorite, too, Susan. Three hearts.

  17. What a gorgeous house. The book must be amazing. xo Laura

  18. Phylis Parsons says

    I too love this book. I have looked at it time and again at the book store. I would love to have it in my library. I would give it three+.

  19. Thanks for the inspiration. Bunny Williams is a favorite of mine and has indeed created a legacy..

  20. The design book I love is Barbara Barry’s Around Beauty. It is a beautiful, insightful book.

    Karen L.

  21. bobbi duncan says

    Hi, Susan,

    Like you, I have many decorating books and this is one of my top favorites. I give it three hearts as well because her house looks and lives like a home, not a museum. I do love Charles Faudree and his country French styles and will decorate our third floor bedroom/office with distressed /antiqued French furniture as I feel the need of some light furniture with all the dark traditional looks we have going on in the rest of the house.
    Love the teapot. I have some whimsical decor that tones down the formal look in my home. I have a weakness for too many styles and love ” themed” rooms. We have a late 1800’s golf den and a fox hunt family room, so you can see why I’m going for the feminine French. Ha! Ha!
    I’m with Phyllisa—you are a decorator. It’s really an art, and you certainly have it. I’m glad you are kind enough to share your talents because I so enjoy your blog–it’s one of the highlights of my day–even my honey has started looking at the ideas you have. Michael is a great cook and loves the “fun with food” creativity. What terrific food ideas for our grandson! Thank you so much.


  22. I got this book about a year ago for Christmas & I love it.
    It is in my family room cupboard along with This Old House – so when I get a rare chance to sit & read, they are the two books I pick out.

  23. Claire howard says

    Hi Susan,I too have this book and love it!
    The whole house has a cosey feel,well worn but in a nice way as if it has always been there.The follow up book is just as good and beautifully presented,the author is brilliant at her attention to detail and making a house into a home.Bunny Williams follow up book is called Scrapbook for Living.

  24. Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, VA says

    I was just looking at this book today…for the millionth time. Agree with you, I love this book. Aren’t we all who love interior design having an affair with our homes. It’s a delight and among my favorites too.

  25. That looks like a beautiful book, Susan. I’ll have to look for it it in the library. I love periodically going through my “house” or “garden” books and I have a few favorites that I never grow tired of … it’s such fun to get ideas or add to my fantasy wish list! (Love your teapot, by the way!) Enjoy your weekend!

  26. I bought this book right when it was released. I love it. It still sits on my coffee table and I still flip through it from time to time.

  27. Betty819 says

    I kind of agree with Marilyn from Mt. Vernon, Va…don’t you think as Spring is creeping up on us(Finally!)we always start thinking about “sprucing up our homes” to go with the beautiful flowers that are starting to bloom? There’s so much I have going on in my head that I want to accomplish here but the energy level is low as is the budget, so it’ll have to be one project at a time..will have to make a list of what I feel is a priority and what can wait.

  28. The book doesn’t always do it justice. Particularly, the barn. It was so wonderful I never wanted to leave.

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