I had the great pleasure last evening of attending “A Celebration of Chintz”, a showroom event hosted by F. Schumacher & Co., the venerable to-the-trade fabrics and wallcoverings firm (www.fschumacher.com), which they held in their D&D showroom in New York in honor of American interior design icon Albert Hadley and his long-time client, Mrs. Nancy Buck Pyne, better known as “Princess”.
The event was held to reintroduce a beautiful rose and hollyhock chintz to the interior design market which Mr. Hadley first used for Princess more than 40 years ago in what was then her rustic chic country estate called Cherryfields in Peapack, NJ (now the stunning home of good friends John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross of Dransfield & Ross (www.dransfieldandross.biz)). You can see the chintz used on the upholstery in the photo of Princess shown above sitting in what was then her living room. This photo was first published in Town & Country magazine.
More photos of the room are shown below and appear in “Parish Hadley – Sixty Years of American Design” by Sister Parish, Albert Hadley and Christopher Petkanas (Little, Brown 1995) and “Influential Interiors” by Suzanne Trocme (Clarkson Potter 1999).
It has been a great pleasure for me to get to know Princess and Mr. Hadley during the past two years. I met Mr. Hadley last year when I was working on the Kips Bay Designer Show House in Manhattan and I first met Princess when she visited my antiques shop and design studio, J Design Antiques Garden (www.jdesignantiquesgarden.com), in Oldwick, NJ.
The collaboration between Mr. Hadley and Princess, not only on Cherryfields, but also with a second home that he completed for her and which was published in the July 2009 issue of House Beautiful, is inspirational to all of us who work in interior design. Do yourself a big favor and find a copy of that issue. It’s a home that I will forever remember and you will as well.
I have had the privilege of being in Princess’ charming and comfortable home many times and to see Mr. Hadley’s work in tandem with Princess’ very chic style is amazing. Both Mr. Hadley and Princess possess a personal flair and style that make them among the youngest people I know. They likewise enjoy the company of young people and we all can learn much from them.
My wife, Susan North, is the Sr. Vice President of Design for Schumacher and the lion’s share of credit has to go to her for pain-stakingly resurrecting such a beautiful fabric. Called “Pyne Hollock” the chintz is a subtly glazed cotton reproduced in its original colors of creamy white, beige and variations of grey ranging from pale to deep charcoal. The chintz is at once both modern and traditional – major hallmarks of rustic chic. Pyne Hollyhock has taken more than a year to bring to bring to market.
Susan was able to take some scraps of the fabric which Princess had fortunately kept and examine where the seams had never seen the light of day to determine the original colors. She and her team were also able to piece together the very tall and dramatic fabric repeat of the original and also colored it to replicate the decades-old tea-stained background and a very fresh deep blue and white version. The print, produced in England, is now available in Schumacher’s showrooms in the three colorways.
It has been my pleasure to be the first to get my hands on this fabric since it was issued and to able to use the original colorway in a cozy bedroom I designed for Mansion in May, a showhouse currently running in Harding Township, NJ which benefits Morristown Memorial Hospital (www.mansioninmay.com). The showhouse runs from May 1 through 31.
Here are some of my pix from the bedroom. I used the chintz for simple floor-length curtains with tailored valances, in addition to deep charcoal painted walls and a creamy white painted floor with a beige double plaid design, colors which I pulled from the fabric. I designed the modern canopy twin-sized bed and painted it the same color as the creamy-white background of the chintz.
I think the results are modern, fresh and young with a big nod to the traditional – all rustic chic qualities. It’s a perfect example in my mind of how Mr. Hadley and Princess continue to be such an inspiring (and in this case, of course, rustic chic) duo.
Bottom photos by Joel Woodard