Albert Hadley was a legend of American design and a master of mixing traditional and modern elements to create timeless interiors. His work for a roster of society clients influenced designers from Bunny Williams to Thomas Jayne and inspired generations of design students.
A distinguished graduate of Parsons School of Design, he started his career with decorator A. Herbert Rodger and later worked at McMillen, Inc. In 1962 he co-founded the venerable American interior design firm Parish-Hadley Associates, where he worked until it closed in 1999. That year he opened a firm under his own name, and closed it just last year at the age of 90.
“The quality of good design never changes. However, I think our interpretation changes from one day to the next” – Elle Décor, 1994
“Flair – a primitive kind of style – may be innate, but I think knowledgeable taste is learned, the result of travel, experience, living, education.” – Elle Décor, 1994
“Never less, never more.” – The New York Times (quoted), 2012
“Glamour is part of it. But glamour is not the essence. Design is about discipline and reality, not about fantasy beyond reality.” – New York magazine, 2004.
“Decoration is really about creating a quality of life, and a beauty in that life that nourishes the soul, that makes life beautiful. That’s what all this is about, not just what’s in and what’s out.” – Elle Décor, 1994
Images (from top): 1, 5, 6, 7: House Beautiful; 2, 3, 4: Elle Decor; 8: via Style Chronicle.