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  • Shelby Whitfield

Parish-Hadley's Tree of Life

I'll admit it-

I'm having a designer geek-out moment.

I won't reveal too much, but one of the projects we're currently working on is fantastically close to one of Bunny Williams' early projects, while she was working at the iconic Parish-Hadley firm.

If you're wondering what that even means, don't worry, I'll fill you in!

A couple years ago, Bunny (who has been featured multiple times in AD, Veranda, Elle Decor, is now an accomplished fabric, furniture, and accessory designer. She's also married to famed antique dealer John Rosselli!) even co-wrote a book detailing just how iconic and influential the Albert Hadley-Sister Parish partnership was; a book aptly named "Tree of Life."

Parish-Hadley really did create a design tree of sorts; many designers you may have heard of got their start at the firm...

Albert Hadley

New York socialite Sister Parish launched the legendary Hadley's career; a WWII vet with almost nothing, he came to New York where Parish offered him a position.

He started with "just the drapes" at the Kennedy White House, and quickly worked his way to a full partnership with Parish.

Hadley was entirely intellectual in his foundational approach to both design and decoration; he preferred to begin his projects with a focus toward "...the hammer and the saw—moving doors to line up with windows, straightening out the floor plan, that kind of thing. Once the dust has settled, then you can start thinking about fabrics and paint.”

Hadley's own Manhattan apartment is shown above- his ability to decorate with a modern timelessness is one of of my favorite features of his work. (Don't miss the holographic paper on his ceiling!)

He's also known for signature hooked zebra rugs, like the one living under his desk.

Bunny Williams

While Bunny technically got her career started in antiques, working at Stair & Co. in New York, she quickly began working for one of the gallery's customers: Parish & Hadley. After 22 years with the icons, she moved on to opening her own antique gallery, Treillage, with husband John Rosselli. (Don't worry, I'm sure we'll get to him, too!)

Her now eponymous firm, Bunny Williams Home, encompasses antiques, interiors, and licensed collections. (Ballard Designs is one of her most notable/accessible!)

Mariette Himes Gomez

Gomez has been featured here before; she's an AD Top 100 designer whom I love for the same reason I love Hadley's work- it all feels very authentic.

Both accessorize very intimately; Hadley refused to place impersonal objects in a space, preferring bare tables if a client lacked their own collections, and Gomez says that if she discovers an object she loves, she will create a place for it, rather than the other way 'round.

And the red chair in her breakfast room above is so delightfully odd, it juxtaposes wonderfully with the more traditional seating directly adjacent.

Gomez has designed collections for Hickory Chair and Soicher Marin.

Thom Filicia

Thom's style is fresh, and "new;" less collected than the previous designers. He does "transitional" style absolutely beautifully, and has designed his own furniture and fabric collections. If you're a Queer Eye fan, Thom was the OG Bobby Berk! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, definitely check out the show on Netflix.

PS- If you've ever flown Delta through Atlanta or New York, you've seen Thom's work up close!

Hopefully you understand some of my designerd excitement after breezing through a few of those branches on Bunny's tree!

#traditional #design #architecturaldigest #AD100 #inspiration #designschool

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