I had the rare privilege and honor yesterday of being visited by the dean of American interior design, Mr. Albert Hadley, in my shop and at the barn. I had actually met Mr. Hadley last year when he struck up a conversation with me at the Kips Bay Designer Show House in Manhattan where he was most complimentary about the rooms on which I had worked. And when he saw my antiques shop and design studio, J Design Antiques Garden, featured in the April issue of Traditional Home magazine, Mr. Hadley gave me a call to say how wonderful it looked and that he would love to visit on his next trip out to the Somerset Hills area of New Jersey where he has many friends and clients.
Well, yesterday was visiting day and it was a great pleasure to play host for a while to the man who is a living legend in the field of interior design and who has taught much to those of us who make our living by making others comfortable. We talked about furniture and the state of the industry and, surprisingly, fashion. I have been on a sketching kick lately and have been peppering the shop with some colorful renderings. Mr. Hadley said he had wanted to be in fashion at one point and said he especially loved the colorful abstract designs I had recently completed. He even invited me to visit him and see his own fashion sketches he had done many years ago! I can’t wait to see those!
He also wanted to see the barn and so I immediately shuttered the shop and we set out for home. He loved the tension of the modern with the rustic and was very complimentary on the barn’s flow and the selection of furniture and art. Having the opportunity to entertain Mr. Hadley in my small realm of Rustic Chic was a wonderful experience that I won’t ever forget.
I especially love the top photo of Mr. H sitting at my desk in the shop. When I sheepishly asked him if I could snap it with him in my Papa Bear wing chair, he looked at the behemoth and said “What, do you want me to disappear?”
Photos by Joel Woodard