Monday, April 13

designs, gardens, beauty and optimism: The closing of Treillage, and the publishing of Bunny Williams' new gardening book both spark a personal note!

A beautiful book marks the closing 
of garden & design shop Treillage, 
and what that means to me...
photo via On Garden Style
I was sad to hear the news of this NYC gem closing.  Treillage is more than a shop to me and it holds a special place in my heart. I discovered Treillage over 20 years ago just at the point in my life when I became a New Yorker and decided to pursuit a career as an interior designer. Newly relocated to New York City starting a job in a public relations firm, I enrolled in Parsons School of Design's evening interior design program. I learned about drafting, history and all that encompasses design.  It was a whole new world.  I began reading more about the Edith Whartons and Billy Baldwins of design, and I was soon fascinated with current day designers like Albert Hadley and Bunny Williams.  Today, I am still enamored with all that history and much of how the design industry flourished here in New York City. At the same time I was discovering the hidden nooks and crannies of the city.  After living in Vermont for college then Boston after graduating from college, moving to the Big Apple in 1990 fulfilled my childhood dreams.  During my youth, I pined away about living in Manhattan after watching television shows depicting daily life in New York. I dreamt of wearing pedal pushers and strolling up Madison Avenue like Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) from the Dick Van Dyke show.  In real life, working long hours and commuting by subway to midtown daily wasn't as glamorous as my tv screen musings, but it was the weekends and off beat moments where I discovered the real New York. 

 photos from stories on Nest by Tamara
Bunny Williams in her shop

After I was married and officially became an Upper East Sider, baby Gabby and I strolled all over the city daily.  Each morning on the way to the park walking from our apartment on 75th and the East River, I passed the beautiful doors of Treillage. A welcoming sight on the block, the doors were often propped open in the mornings facilitating furniture deliveries.  The grassy smell emanating from the store on those spring mornings brought me back to my Vermont roots.  It was magical that Treillage melded the city and country sensibilities well stylizing and selling topiary, gardening urns, with furniture, lighting and accessories. 
photo via On Garden Style
I would peer into the shop at the abundance of green and patina with such longing that I knew design was my life. Later, I started working freelance for various designers and I was regularly running around the city sourcing materials, but always in the back of my mind I envisioned creating homes utilizing the nesting I saw in Treillage. The shop juxtaposes urban with country but with a stylish elegant edge.  Bunny Williams was the first designer to bring outdoor chic style indoors. I learned more from walking into Treillage about good design than any drafting class. Symmetry, ease, quiet elegance--that is where good design and beauty lives. For years, I stopped in daily to browse or pick up a mossy orb or random shell ball to bring back to my apartment and stylize my small terrace overlooking the East River. I was determined to infuse that lifestyle into our world.  Years later when we built our East Hampton cottage, I graduated to buying a full teak outdoor dining set, brass tiki torches and urns.  I love that at each visit the shop was completely transformed to a different oasis than before. The back room overflowing with watering cans and ivy became the inspiration for how I designed my outdoor space under my pergola in East Hampton. 
photos via On Garden Style
The closing of Treillage is the end of an era for me that began my path in this ever evolving world of interior design. I admire the optimism in interior design, the fact that the possibilities are endless, and that with a little tape and creativity one can create beauty.  Who knew that years later I would author a blog and become friendly with Bunny, and she would send this gorgeous book to me not knowing how important Treillage has been at a pivotal time in my life.  As one can imagine, the book is  richly packed with helpful gardening and landscaping information and showing beautiful photography. It is chock-filled with glimpses of rich gardens complete with the Treillage special sauce of how I continue to long to live. Thank you for the memories and the education Bunny and John! 

Note: Starting on April 15th Treillage is offering a 50% off sale in the shop!  

Happy Nesting
XO Tamara