Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Photos courtesy of Stewart Tabori and Chang
Does what you live with mean something to you? I am sure it does, and if you are feeling as though it is not arranged in a way that resonates with how you live, designer Bunny Williams will show you how, as she takes us along room by room. A follow up to her hugely successful design books, Bunny Williams' Scrapbook for Living is photo journal approach of useful, real and inspiring ideas. From displaying collections with flair to arranging your linen closet, you can have a comfortable home with your personal touches, giving it soul. The back of the book includes her favorite recipes for entertaining easily, tips on organizing and her resource lists for antiques, fabrics, and food.

Bunny is a master at creating a well - stocked bar. If you do not have a tiered trolley then any surface will do. Just be sure to have a stocked area with a supply of sodas, tonic and juices on hand for drop ins!

Set your table with the colors you love and pull in other decorative elements to place around for added interest to tie in a theme or color palette.

Storage and organization is a big issue no matter how sprawling your home is. "Having a place for everything makes putting things away much easier." For entertaining, Bunny suggests having 12 of all the basics, like plates, glasses and votives, so if the party grows in size, the basics are covered.

On photographs and their arrangement, Bunny shares advice from year's of culling through client's frames, " place personal pictures, such as the children as babies or dear family members, where you will really see them and remember the events; the photographs should mean something to you. I like to choose a very special picture and print it in a large size- say eight by ten inches or five by seven inches- to mix with several smaller pictures."

The book is filled with wise Bunny-ims, such as, " Not every wall has to have pictures, but hanging a large picture over a sofa or mantel will give exciting scale to a room."

When it comes to bedrooms, cozy is key. Special thought out details can make a house guest feel perfectly at home. She shares, " a bedside table must have a great reading light tall enough to be above your book, as well as a bottle of water and a glass, a clock, and tissues in an attractive container." Don't forget adding a popular bestseller and current magazines to the nightstand, in case your friends and relatives forgot theirs.

Monday, November 29, 2010


It was the best year ever! Early in November, Rooms with a View honored Albert Hadley, with 12 designer vignettes created by those that have gone on to great success after being mentored by the design icon. Hints of red, round mirrors, animals and etageres play a role in the spaces, as an homage to Hadley's favorite homey and welcoming design elements. The annual showhouse, located at The Southport Congregational Church, brought out the design cognescenti from near and far, who came to see the exceptional rooms created by leading designers who have gone on to run their own successful firms.

Bunny Williams worked with Mr. Hadley for 22 years since the days of Parish Hadley.

An homage to Hadley's New York apartment, Bunny used a round table from her Beeline Collection and hanging pendant light. Check out the french doors with an image of Mr. Hadley in his Southport garden circa 1990.

Her Bee Line Collection pieces make the small space a relaxing room.

A gorgeous gold gourd made by Christopher Spitzmiller sits next to sentimental photos, and stacks of books.

Bunny's favorite books, a bar and objects fill an etagere surrounded by framed art.

Genius! Bunny made a shelf of an etagere an instant bar.

Pamela Banker worked at Parish Hadley in in 1995, staying for 5 years. She and her team created a red office with a signature etagere, round mirror and workable desk and painted zebra canvas rug.

This antique mirror is fantastic, a round mirror is de regeur for a Hadley interior.

An Albert Hadley designed lamp from Christopher Spitzmiller in silver glaze illuminates the work space.

David Easton strikes a pose. After a year with Hadley he went out on his own. He is in the midst of a twenty stop book tour promoting his new book, Elegant Interiors

David Easton's office setting included a desk from his collection and Safaveih rug he designed. A Moroccan hanging lamp adds an unexpected twist.

Beautifully engineered shelving hold models of homes he has designed.

The back wall is made of a painted cork board displaying architectural renderings.

David brought desk accessories from home and a lamp from his Robert Abbey collection.

Thom Filicia worked for the firm from 1992-1993. Here he is, standing in front of his fantastic electric yellow vignette.

Bold yellow stried walls play off a French blue table and blue ceramic lamp. A bulls - eye canvas makes a great focal point, and the circle motif is carried through in the console below.

An ebony hexagonal mirror ties the seating area together.

The coffee table holds two things Mr. Hadley always included-- a bowl of quarters and a pair of dogs.

Michael Whaley, who began his career at the firm, created a serene spot in taupe and cream. Elegant sconces frame the settee, covered in satin.

A slipper chair -- always present in a Hadley room.

Libby Cameron created an office with tried and true Hadley touches. covered walls in "Desmond", a black and white Sister Parish Design. In a nod to a favorite animal of Hadley's, wise owls dot the vignette. Libby filled me in on her time there. "I got a month long internship in the fall of 1982, I was then hired full time shortly thereafter in 1983 to be Albert's assistant. I first started working with him on the restoration of Gracie Mansion. I had the most wonderful, magical experience at Parish-Hadley during my fourteen years there-I learned so much and saw so much, I am eternally grateful. I left Parish-Hadley in the fall of 1995 after my daughter Clara was born, and put out my own shingle. Albert taught me the importance of details, and always stressed that everything had to be finished properly and have a finished edge, that welts could not be big, that everything had to be subtle and made to look like it was done by a dressmaker. Albert always referred to rooms having skylines, which is an image I always carry with me. One's eye should be able to travel around a room, up and down, and not have everything be at one level. Objects, furniture and paintings all at different levels create interest and intrigue-which is what makes a room work."

A bright glazed Christopher Spitzmiller lamp sits on a green desk. A clipboard holding a notepad with drawings and Do Not Forget notepad were ever present on Hadley's own desk.

A charming bookcase with bone inlay holds books featuring Parish Hadley work.

Rarely seen without a pencil in hand, Hadley was constantly sketching. Seventeen drawings done by him are hanging from Libby's personal collection.

David Kleinberg got his start at Parish Hadley in 1981. His area incorporated neutrals. Stripes carried over from the walls, to table skirt and floor design.

A Swedish L-shaped bench tucks in perfectly behind a round table, making the most of the allotted space.

The etagere again!

A glam floor of gold and white stripes.

Harry Heissmann, in his fantastic space. Harry was with Hadley from 2000-2009. He shared, "Albert taught me not to be afraid to think outside the box. Every detail matters, if you're using pairs of something - don't put them next to each other. The ceiling is a "fifth wall", don't forget it. I have "Mr. Hadley moments" all the time, where I think about what he would do. That could be editing or taking away or trying to find the most simple and effective solution to a "design problem" without overthinking it. On job sites or in workrooms when he didn't like something, he would say: "just make good". That meant: do it, solve it and don't talk about it - and believe me, it got you thinking! And then he teaches you to be humble. It's decorating and designing,not surgery..."

Harry Heissmann created a black space filled with graphic 70's elements.

All set for breakfast in bed with a side of Flair.

There is a tres Truman Capote feeling here.

Suzanne Earls Carr worked in a cream palette with touches of blue. There is a serene simplicity in her space. Topiary trees frame the entrance, adding their shapes to a linear space.

Cocktail time! A white textured Gourd Lamp (another great Spitzmiller piece) sits next to sentimental photos.

Thomas Jayne used Rorschach inkblot test- like brightly painted panels from Chuck Hettinger Studio to tie an antique filled space together. He worked at Parrish Hadley from 1986-87. He recalled, "He never discounted or overlooked any period of style for inspiration. He is as assured with Left Bank Parisian 1930's design as he is with Chippendale and Louis XV. I honor Albert because he advocates a personal connection with a room’s decoration. In an Albert rooms, you almost always get a sense of who lives there – they are never generic."

A clean lined settee with tapered legs fits neatly in the corner, covered with pastel pillows.

A happy faced pillow adds a touch of whimsy.

A narrow secretary would make a nice desk in a small New York apartment.

Great books like Happy Times and his newest tome, "The Finest Rooms in America" make the space personal.

Brian Murphy used amazing art that worked well with "Fireworks" wallpaper from Hadley's Hinson collection. When asked about his time working with the firm he said, "I worked for Albert from 1987 until 2000. My favorite quote from Albert is "Give em what they never knew they always wanted", which I think is a paraphrase of Diana Vreeland." The furniture in his booth is all 19th Century American.

A high backed garden bench and demilune plant stand and gothic hall chair and folk art coat rack.The bright and uplifting paintings that tie the space together are by Melissa Richard.

An American hooked rug from Rahmanan adds a nice graphic element against the painted furniture.

Brian McCarthy, who joined Parish Hadley in 1983 as Hadley's assistant, created a sitting area with neutral creams and dark browns. An amazing wavy wall surface out of plaster are juxtaposed against round mirrors from Line Vautrin grouped, a la Hadley. A comfortable chair, furry stool and ethnic rug tie the scheme together.

Every designer that has worked with The Dean knows and loves the folding ruler.