Design & Décor, Living with Style, People, Places & Spaces, The Parterre Bench

Hunt Slonem’s Bunnies Meet the Parterre Bench

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Artist Hunt Slonem…of bunnies and butterflies painting fame…was the guest of honor at a dinner at Parterre the summer of 2016. What a pleasure to get to know him…a fascinating, interested-in-everything-and- everyone, lovable gentleman…he charmed us all. Fortunately, Newport, gallery owner Jessica Hagen always has a collection of his paintings. These smallish studies by Hunt are presented in antique frames picked out by the artist himself; just compact enough to find a spot in your home.

So when choosing a location for the first shoot of the 2018 Parterre Bench campaign, I, of course, immediately thought of his wall of colorful bunny paintings. Hung in a tight square, salon style, they truly make a knockout impression (I’ve always wondered how Jessica manages to arrange so many paintings in such a tight statement).  What a perfect  backdrop for the winter white Bench and a dramatic foil to the curves of the high back.

It was at, an amusing day, made all the more so by including real bunnies from the island’s Potter League for Animals (where we have adopted all of our pets). I think we’ve captured the mood well in our images — a bit cheeky, a bit tongue-in-cheek.

And this inspired setting certainly captured the celebratory mood of the occasion for the creation of this particular Parterre Bench…a housewarming gift for a soon-to-be-married young couple. The client had been searching the web for an only-in-Newport singular gift  for them and of course, that is one of the defining distinctions of the Parterre Bench; not made offshore in Viet Nam or Costa Rica, but in America, right here in Newport, Rhode Island in the tradition of its craftsmen of old.

Winter white was the color of choice…clean, brilliant, resonate of fresh beginnings…which I immediately fell in love with. I took this occasion (thank you Tessa and Brendan) to imagine the Parterre Bench in new settings (ie. a contemporary, art-filled home). Seize the opportunity and think outside the box!

Thank you all…Jessica, Jenna, Maaike, Stephanie, Jody, and Caitlin…for helping us create a “kick your legs up” kind of day!

P.S. Hunt, we’re thinking of you. It’s time for a return visit to Newport.

All images photographed by, Maaike Bernstrom.
Production of photo shoot, Styled by Jenna.

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

2 thoughts on “Hunt Slonem’s Bunnies Meet the Parterre Bench

  1. Bettie! This is perfect timing for our February Bunny Promotion at the shelter! Please refresh my memory on the posting of this. I will relay to Kara. Great pictures of a fun morning!

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