15 May 2013

Sister Parish favorites


One of my favorite Sister Parish rooms ever was in her apartment at 960 Fifth Avenue created in the 70's. The living room was a perfect square and within it-there was a room where style was paramount-but pretension banished-and that is a fine balance, and an art. It's what makes names like Sister Parish and Albert Hadley synonymous with the best of taste in the American design vernacular: Classic, Stylish, American Chic. Mixing the beauty of American craft and handwork-quilts & baskets with french antiques-silver tea papers with parsons style tables, staid Victoriana with neat sweet printed fabrics. I still can not find a thing tired or dated with their rooms. These rooms make me happy.

Now back to this favorite room. As with much of the work labelled Parish Hadley-Sister Parish's early living 
room incarnation in the early 1970's was a collaborative effort. It is in a word- Timeless. As with her clients, I suppose she got restless for change and later reworked the room more formally. Its 70's Life is the one to study. With its deep brown walls and pink curtains on white wood rods, the room is filled with places to coze, or to sit back with a good book. Its what surrounds the room's contents-the backdrop-along with the room's layers- that work together so seamlessly together. Beauty, smarts & function (which mostly for me means Comfort) especially in this room.

the room
photograph from Sister Parish Design here

Hadley recalls: "I gave her high-gloss aubergine vinyl walls, polished aluminum Levelor blinds, a silver tea-paper ceiling that quickly tarnished to gold, plaster lamps, an abstract painting by Anthony Tortora, an entire wall of mirror, and billowy unlined pink taffeta curtains that she really wasn't ready for. Over the floor-bleached almost white- I put a dhurrie rug... But the rest was all Sis-the enveloping sofas, the chaise longue... the masses of soft downy pillows everywhere."

The fabric used at the windows in the apartment is the newest fabric being made at Sister Parish Design called POCANTICOIn Linen, it comes in fresh colors-Blue, Parma (as in violet), Fern, and Chile. The fabric makes an impact with a diamond pattern within another, and both are composed of small crosshatches.In its totality, Pocantico makes for a graphically strong statement. While simple-there is complexity-I think that's what made Sister Parish's rooms so unique.

At first glance, we may see her smart rooms-light-comfort-tradition-but on closer examination-we see a panoply of small prints-floral-quilts-trims-along with petite tables-in patinas of all sorts. The room below is a prime example of Sister Parish MIX and smarts.

Even more simple as fabrics go is Sister Parish's  BURMA. I love this fabric.

& it's not just because piglet, Pumba, is so adorable perched on their dog bed.
Pumba's pic from Sister Parish's Facebook page here

Sister Parish's Oldwick Green fabric holds the year round promise of  Summer days-cool Summer days-preferably.

Sister Parish Design is making must have bags, and laminated home accessories with their fabrics & Oldwick Green looks great on tray. I happen to love their trays-and luckily for Us-Sister Parish's team has provided a extra large Oldwick Green serving tray, measuring 22 x 17. Serve up breakfast-lunch-or drinks, lemonade or juleps & mint, lots of mint.

to be able to serve up the drink of your choice on this tray in no time-Leave a comment here, Follow along with little augury on Facebook-or Follow along at Pinterest- or all 3 with 3 chances to win!

I'll have a winner next week-announced here and selected by the list randomizer at random.org.
I'll be monitoring your progress- here there-and everywhere. Good Luck!
thanks to Sister Parish for the beautiful tray!


Sister Parish Shops- the goods

Sister Parish Design-what's new, their fabrics and papers, and a beautiful archive of Sister's famous and fabulous rooms.
my post about the book-SISTER PARISH, The Life of the Legendary American Interior Designer, here
here's a great post of the apartment by The Devoted Classicist, John Tackett.



  1. Great post--I yearn to incorporate Sister's rich and embracing aesthetic--do you think we''ll see a come back any time soon? Of course, updated with a bit of mid-century design here and there. Thank you.

  2. Hello P Gaye

    Sister Parish's apartment is timeless and elegant and also, like you said, comfortable.

    The simplicity of her fabrics is also appealing.

  3. I would never have thought of mixing pink with brown, but don't they go together well!?

  4. Burma is one of my favorites too, but an Oldwick Tray in shady green is a summer must, indeed!

  5. Thanks for the link!

    One key to success in using such a dark color for the walls is that the color and finish have a reflective depth, like patent leather. So it isn't just a big, dead void.

    It also helps to have a large, well proportioned room. The whole Parish-Hadley staff of 35 or so gathered in this room for our office Christmas party.

  6. I have also always thought that pink and brown living room was one of the most perfect comfy rooms ever!

  7. Boy can I use this. I am working on a dark painted room and could use a few ideas. Thanks!



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