Decorating & Entertaining Ideas

Lessons Learned
from Albert Hadley

Inspire and Be Inspired
Lesson #1
Inspire and Be Inspired

“It was always a treat to visit Mr. Hadley, as we addressed him, at the huge bulletin board on his office wall,” says designer Mariette Himes Gomez, a celebrated alumna of Hadley’s design firm, Parish-Hadley. “It was tight and orderly—always packed with clippings of art, architecture, fashion, and design. I grew to see how important these visual inspirations were to his work and how they constantly evolved, much like the man himself.”

Photo by Fernando Bengoechea/Beateworks/Corbis

Focus on What Is Appropriate
Lesson #2
Focus on What Is Appropriate

Art and antiques dealer Gerald Bland, a friend of Albert Hadley’s, remembers their first meeting. “I met Albert many years ago when my job was to sell 18th-century English furniture for Sotheby’s. He graciously invited me to his apartment, and I was puzzled as there was no sign of 18th-century furniture. He said, ‘Young man, one doesn’t buy furniture because it’s antique or not antique. One buys what is appropriate.’ That lesson has stayed with me and is more relevant now than ever.”

Photo by Patrick Cline, Courtesy of Lonny

Be Bold in Your Desicions
Lesson #3
Be Bold in Your Desicions

“What didn’t I learn from Albert Hadley?” exclaims designer Bunny Williams. She spent 21 years at Hadley’s firm and worked with both him and the famous Sister Parish. “The most important things I learned from Albert were to figure out how to make a room work and then to be bold and think outside the box. His drawings represent Albert’s vision for a room. I can see him now, sketching on tissue paper while we talked about a room and then handing me the drawing with his vision so magically rendered.”

Layer Looks for Sophistication
Lesson #4
Layer Looks for Sophistication

Designer Thom Filicia got his start at Parish-Hadley, turning a postcollege internship into a full-time assistant position, and took away lessons that continue to inform his design work. “Albert demonstrated how to infuse a space with layers of chic and modern glamour while remaining sophisticated and classic. The signature approach is reflected in everything Albert graced with his design touch.”

Photo by Fernando Bengoechea

Reinvent the Classics
Lesson #5
Reinvent the Classics

Although designer Thomas Jayne had only a short stint at Parish-Hadley, Hadley remained a mentor and a fried for 25 years. “Albert taught me to see the value in everything,” Jayne says. “He was not afraid to incorporate widely used classics such as a Saarinen table into his interiors because they were too contemporary or recognizable. He used classic pieces in a newly invented way, and that’s what gave his work a lot of dexterity.”

Photo by William Waldron, Courtesy of Elle Decor

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