Meet Mr. & Mrs. Bungalow, aka Courtney and Randy Tilinski, the dynamic couple behind BUNGALOW CLASSIC where furniture, antiques, lighting, and fine art converge under one chic roof. It would be easy to envy this talented duo for their signature style, exquisite taste, and knack for making everything around them beautiful, yet their warmth and approachability have made them the darlings of the design industry.
The Tilinskis' love of travel, fashion, music, books, and all things home have propelled BUNGALOW CLASSIC into one of the most interesting shopping destinations in the country. Whether it be a book signing by a world-renowned interior designer, a chat with a globe-trotting photographer, or a magical dinner under the stars in their boxwood-lined backyard, I always leave their gatherings full, content and inspired. Let's learn a little more about the Talented Mr. & Mrs. Bungalow!
Q: Were you both always interested in design? How did you decide to open your store?
C: It was all about timing. I was between jobs and a friend, Michael Phillips, was starting his first retail/restaurant development. The next thing you know, we were opening up shop. We opened in 2000 and it has been an incredible ride, including all the questionable times, like now!
R: Always, but sometimes it's not obvious when you are young. Good design always made me feel something. Whether it was my dad's Stan Smith sneakers in the 70's or my uncle's surf shop and factory. It was a magical place with cool posters, music, rattan furniture, and a juice bar. I always got swept away by imaginary stories in my head. I loved watching my uncle shape surfboards...the technique, details, colors, and last but not least, his logo. It made you feel something. It transported you. That is what we always wanted with Bungalow.
Q: What were you doing before you got into the design industry?
C. I moved to Atlanta to go to the Art Institute which lasted for about a minute. I started working in fashion retail and moved into interiors around 1995. I was hooked. I still love fashion and probably look at it just as much as interiors!
R: I was working for two childhood friends that had just formed a band, The Black Crowes. We were so young, all in our early 20's. Everything seemed possible. It was a great time for live music. I am so proud of what they have done musically and being there in the early years was the best. So much was happening in the South, so many great bands. With the success of REM, music from the South was being noticed.
Q: Speaking of music, what's on your playlist right now?
C: Classic Rock never disappoints, specifically the Gerry Rafferty playlist on Pandora. But I have Summer Wine by Nancy Sinatra with Lee Hazlewood on repeat.
R: I wake up and select a playlist that makes me feel like I am somewhere other than home. Joshua Tree Sunday would be based on The Flying Burrito Brothers whereas Amalfi Coast Sunday would start with Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin. But to answer the question, right now it's Shuggie Otis' Strawberry Letter 23, Little Feat's Willin, The Band's The Weight and Todd Rundgren's Hello It's Me.
Q: I am always inspired when I walk into Bungalow. I might find a GIANT David Hockney book on a tripod, Moroccan earthenware or some fabulously funky bracelet Courtney is sporting. How do you decide what to you bring into your MILIEU (Ha!)?
R: What we collect for Bungalow is so personal. Very Spontaneous. Courtney is the Creative Director and is always great at pulling things together. Hopefully, this gives our store its own spirit. When we first opened, we would have people ask us what style this was, referring to the store. I felt much better a couple of years later when people started referring to it as The Bungalow Style.
Q: Why did you decide to design your own line for HIGHLAND HOUSE?
C: Timing is everything. We have designed quite a few pieces over the years that we sell in the store. But when Nathan from Highland House approached us about something bigger, it made sense. Randy has zillions of ideas about furniture. We love seeing our pieces in so many different environments and styles. From a college sorority, to a New York city apartment, to a fabulous beach house. We have had the best time and have a great partnership with Highland House. They are like family.
Q: What is your favorite piece from the line and why do you love it?
C: The Andre Wing chair. We have a pair at home, and I think it has been moved around to almost every room. It literally can go just about anywhere, and it mixes well with traditional or modern.
R: That is a hard one. It's like children or in my case, cats. I'm not supposed to have a favorite. On the upholstery side, I would say the Romain Chair (I love small chairs and an opportunity to use fringe) and the Jasper Sofa (such a classic sofa). On the case goods, the Luca Collection and the Germain Dining Tables. They remind me of those Stan Smith's, clean, classic and timeless.
Q: Your design is always evolving and seems to be a personal reflection of your own experiences. What is currently inspiring you?
C: Books! Especially old, out-of-print, interior design books. I am also loving garden books. The Land Gardeners' new book is so dreamy. We recently planted our first herb garden. It has been nice to take a little time in the morning to check on it or cut some things to cook with when we get home.
R: Current inspirations are gardens and nature. From colors, to shapes and patterns, nature is forever providing inspiration. This season I have really been into wild grasses and meadows. Miranda Brooks, The Land Gardeners and Jasper Conran.
Q: Travel is important to you. It seems to influence your design and what you offer your clients. What were some of your favorite trips?
C: We are really missing travel. I also miss following other people's travels on Instagram. I actually don't get FOMO. I love seeing all the beauty! We are repeat travelers but started branching out when all of this started. Difficult to pick a favorite, but we went to Sweden a few years ago, and it was amazing. We will definitely go back. Morocco was also incredible. The people, the colors, the food—I took hundreds of photos.
R: Courtney is always planning the next trip. She really forces me out of my shell when it comes to travel. She planned a great trip to Stockholm a few years ago. I think about that trip all the time. I would like return to Sweden and go to the Archipelagos around Stockholm. Their nature is beautiful and pristine. Swedes are so responsible when it comes to the environment.
Q: Where would you like to go, but haven't been?
C: Venice. Not sure why we have never been. When we go, I want to do it right. I hope it will be just like something out of an old movie.
R: Because Italy is opening again, and all of the Italians are posting beautiful images on Instagram, I really want to go to Capri. I love how Italians can make simple so extraordinary.
Q: BUNGALOW CLASSIC is filled with soulful, original art. If you could own a piece by any artist, living or not, who would it be?
C: This is hard! There are so many—Agnes Martin, a massive Rothko or maybe Irises by Vincent van Gogh! I have also always loved Georges Seurat’s Study for A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,1884.
R: Matisse Cutouts. I remember being blown away by the priests' robes in the Rosary Chapel in Vence that Matisse had done. Oddly reminded me of the Nude Suits that Graham Parson used to wear.
Q: What is your favorite possession?
C: Our kitties first and foremost. I do have my Father's silver comb and brush and a beautiful crackled green glass vase that was my Grandmother's. I also love a few things from our travels: rattan baskets from France, a handwoven wool throw with huge poms from Morocco, and little pottery pieces from Maine.
R: Books. When I was young, I had a few books that somehow followed me through life. I am not one that keeps things, but Siddartha by Hermann Hesse and The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham have followed me along. I always loved that Somerset was married to Syrie Maugham, the interior designer. Villa Mauresque was their house in Cap Ferrat.
Q: You two remind me of some of the stylish golden couples of the past: Bogey & Bacall, Liz & Richard with a little Paul & Linda and Mick & Bianca thrown in! You work, live & play together. What's your secret to sustaining the magic of Mr. & Mrs. Bungalow?
C: We genuinely enjoy each other's company whether we are at work or at play. Sometimes we don't talk a lot throughout the day because it's busy, so we catch up after we close. Fortunately, when we are not at the store, we don't talk about it. We like to binge a show, cook, garden, or fantasize about our next trip.
R: I am very fortunate. We work well together but also travel and spend time well together. Hopefully, I inspire her half as much as she inspires me.
Thank you, Bungalows. Our day is brighter with a visit with you two!
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INTERVIEW BY LESLIE NEWSOM RASCOE
Images courtesy of Bungalow Classic