An Affair With A House

Hidden up in Falls Village, a blink-and-you-miss-it hamlet in the green hills of Connecticut, there is a house that has become famous the world over. It is located down a winding road with a curious name, a road that actually changes names several times so that you need to get out at the cute little white wooden General Store in the village's main street to ask directions. It is a house that so enthralled its owner when she first saw it, it immediately inspired a love affair with architecture and gardens that has lasted more than 30 years.

The house has changed significantly since that first inspection, thanks to the owner's great talents as an interior designer. She has taken a grand but neglected country manor and transformed it into an extraordinarily beautiful rural retreat. But what is perhaps more surprising is how much this house has inspired and transformed the owner in return. Bunny Williams may be the owner of this gracious Connecticut estate, but the house is very much the architectural muse. As Winston Churchill once said: "We shape our buildings, and then our buildings shape us." Bunny Williams must know this more than anyone.

We had the good fortune to visit Bunny Williams' beautiful home yesterday, a property that is so renowned it has been featured in countless magazines as well as the bestselling book An Affair With A House. We also had the good fortune to meet the inimitable Ms Williams – who is as lovely as her interiors. (When she heard I had flown all the way from Australia to see it, she gave me a warm kiss.) The experience of wandering around this enchanting home on a brilliantly sunny Sunday in May is one that will never leave me. It is quite simply one of the most beautiful houses I've ever seen.

Here are a few photographs of this sublime country home. We arrived right on the opening time of 10am, so we were fortunate to capture the gardens without too many other visitors wandering in and out of the shot. I also met the gardener, Eric, who was as lovely as his employer. It is a difficult property to describe, so I'll simply direct you to Bunny's book, An Affair With A House, for more details. However, I will say this: I have rarely seen a more elegant private garden, anywhere in the world. The chicken pavillion alone is extraordinarily beautiful. Add in the parterre tulip garden, the conservatory, the guest barn, the mauve garden, the pool house, the potager (vegetable garden), and the rambling orchard and bluebell wood, and you have what must be the loveliest of small private gardens in all of America.

PS I would post captions, but we're just about to pack up the suitcases and head off to Boston for the day (and my partner is making those huffing noises that males make when females are dithering and running late!) But I promise to post more photos later today. The New England weather has been glorious these past few days, which has made for some gorgeous photography. It's certainly been a temperature shock after the dank wet winter that descended on Melbourne last month. A friend who is looking after our house told me that our garden looks like a horror movie compared to the garden shots  of Connecticut that I've been emailing home!

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