Elegance combined with livability was the hallmark of a Hadley interior. We take a look back at a few of the homes and advice that the late decorator, who passed away last week at age 91, had shared with us.
1. Albert Hadley
The dean of design himself.
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2. Sitting Area
In a New Jersey home, the centerpiece of a cozy seating area by the stairs is an antique English settee that's still dressed in the Schumacher chintz Albert Hadley selected when he decorated for the client the first time around, forty years ago. "You know what I also like about having that vintage fabric on this settee? It looks really nice against all this freshness," he said. "There are times when it works well to have something with a ratty past."
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3. Living Room
In the living room of the same house, Hadley took a somewhat minimalist approach. "When you're working on a small-scale house or apartment, simple is always better," he said. He painted the walls in a clean white; the pine floors received a coat of cool gray. Like exclamation points, black lampshades punctuate the windows at the far end of the room.
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Hadley once said, "You want rooms to be usable and friendly. It's the way we approach all of our work." A library in a New York apartment is just that. Hadley and Harry Heissmann made it feel relaxed yet refined by adding a custom bench with corner arms upholstered in Tiger silk velvet in Oro by Lee Jofa, a desk chair covered in Liberty's Papageno from Osborne & Little, and a Stark rug made of vintage carpet fragments.
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In the same New York apartment, Miro patterned wallpaper - exclusive to Hadley clients - seems to pull the walls a little closer around you and makes the bedroom feel cozier. "We want the prints to be subtle enough to remain in the background," he said. "They're not too aggressive." The Root iron canopy bed in antique gold from the Eicher Collection has a headboard upholstered in Porto, a faux-bois print by Lee Jofa.
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Under the unique iridescent painted ceiling in the study stand many Hadley designs. One is the coffee table, made from wood and lacquered to simulate the parchment surface of Jean-Michel Frank's 1930s prototype. Placed in a succession of heights, three lamps give off a warm glow. When asked why he loved to use lamps, Hadley replied, "You know the old adage - light coming from overhead in theater is tragedy. All of those down shadows." The red sofa's fabric is from Roger Arlington.
What rooms in your home are unforgettable?
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