In every aspect of her life, the late design legend and style icon Bunny Mellon cultivated refined elegance. The American heiress, married to the billionaire arts patron Paul Mellon, was an accomplished horticulturalist, gardener, philanthropist, and art collector. She designed and planted a number of significant gardens, including the White House Rose Garden, and assembled one of the largest collections of rare horticultural books. After reading about Bunny in P. Gaye Tapp’s new book, How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century, I decided to revisit the real estate listing for her incredible Manhattan Townhouse, which sold in 2015.
Gaye reports that over the years Bunny worked with designers including John Fowler, Billy Baldwin, and Bruce Budd. John Fowler of Colefax & Fowler in London instructed Bunny by mailed correspondence for the decoration of the New York Townhouse, and painters Paul Leonard (who created the beautiful painted floors) and William Strom traveled to London to garner his expertise in finishes. Below is a tour, along with images of the home from Architectural Digest.
From the real estate listing…
Paul Mellon, heir to one of America’s great banking fortunes, and his wife, Bunny Mellon, built this extraordinarily beautiful 40’ wide townhouse on a fabled Upper East Side block in 1965. Featured in The World of Interiors magazine, the townhouse, designed in the neo French classic style evoking the charm of the French countryside, reflected the passions of its owners. Paul Mellon curated his art collection in the library overlooking the exquisite garden with reflecting pool and gazebo, where Bunny Mellon, designer of the White House Rose Garden and friend to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, indulged her love of gardening. The high-ceilinged drawing room and dining room lead to a spectacular terrace, the center of celebratory parties. The townhouse has 5-8 bedrooms, with flexibility for guests, and staff, 8 baths, chef’s kitchen, wine room and elevator. Most rare, however, the house has 3 exposures, affording brilliant sunlight into some of the most beautiful rooms on the Upper East Side.
And from Architectural Digest…
For additional reading on Bunny Mellon’s New York Townhouse, I recommend How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century. The real estate listing is via Sotheby’s, and additional images on Bunny’s other homes may be found via Architectural Digest. And for further reading…
- Inside Bunny Mellon’s World (The New York Times)
- Rachel Mellon, an Heiress Known for Her Green Thumb, Dies at 103 (The New York Times)
- Mellon-White Townhouse, Another Manhattan Landmark For Sale (The Devoted Classicist)
- Netscape Founder Drops $37M on Bunny Mellon’s Townhouse (Curbed)