This past Friday, the design community lost one of their great masters and my “great-aunt” Betty, known by my family as Ms. Hadley, lost her dearest brother.

For those who aren’t familiar with him, Albert Hadley was a Tennessee native, talented design partner of Sister Parish, preeminent American decorator and icon in his own right, and the most genuine and kind Southern gentleman you will ever meet! I had the great pleasure of knowing Mr. Hadley, accompanying him to the Nashville Antiques and Garden Show on a couple occasions, and chatting with him in his New York offices. I grew up knowing his sister and only sibling, Betty Hadley, as a close family friend to my grandmother. Ms. Hadley is more of a great-aunt to us all. She attended many of my dance performances as a young lady, taught me to sew, and often joined us at my grandmother’s for holiday gatherings. It wasn’t until I entered college and began studying interior design that I realized the legend of her brother Albert. After a painful struggle with cancer, Mr. Hadley passed away in Nashville, TN this past Friday, March 30th, 2012. He will be greatly missed by many and remembered for years to come.

Today’s Color Study post is a humble remembrance of his style, which was both modern and innovative, timeless and classic. He had a penchant for vibrant colors and soft-spot for old-fashioned florals and Americana influence.

I snapped a few photos from a book in my library on Mr. Hadley’s drawings and design process (Albert Hadley, Drawings and the Design Process published by the New York School of Interior Design) to illustrate today’s color palette. The sketches below were from a rendering exercise during Mr. Hadley’s time as a student at the Parsons School of Design. They are excellently drafted and beautifully colored!!

Here are a few articles about Mr. Hadley that I think are especially interesting:

And a quote worth remembering,
“Decorating is not about making stage sets, it’s not about making pretty pictures for the magazines; it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.”
Albert Hadley, The Story of America’s Preeminent Interior Designer

Memory eternal, Albert.



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