Designers, Always Stick to Your Guns

Designers, Always Stick to Your Guns
sister parish designer
We're in a tricky business. Sometimes it is our job to bend over backward to serve our clients. Sometimes it's our job to plant our feet solidly on the ground and not budge one inch. If you can master the art of figuring out when to do which, you'll be in business.
sister parish

"My Name is Sister Parish, and orders are orders."

     We always celebrate Sister Parish for her ability to make even the fanciest rooms feel comfortable, but we should probably celebrate her for the force she was, too.

     Take a look at this passage from the book  Sister Parish: The Life of the Legendary American Interior Designer ,  in which she describes her interaction with a group of President Kennedy's confidants: 

"...I had to admit, the house did look like Jackie. I fixed the flowers, left a bottle of champagne, and sent my love to Jackie and the president, who had never seen the house. It had all been a big risk, but I felt they would both be happy there. 

As I was closing the door to leave for Washington, suddenly the biggest helicopter I had ever seen dropped out of the sky. It was marked U.S. NAVY, and out stepped a dozen men, including Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and most of the President's closest advisors.

As they approached the house, I heard myself saying,"You cannot enter this house. It isn't finished, and I won't allow a single soul to enter until it is." 

A look of surprise mixed with anger came over their faces. "Who the hell are you?" one of them asked, his eyes icy. I told them my name was Sister Parish, and orders were orders. They were not to enter.

It ended happily, as they removed their shoes and agreed not to sit on anything. They even invited me back in their helicopter when their inspection was over. They asked me where I wanted to land, and for some inexplicable reason, I said, "The Pentagon." That sounded fine to them, and they called ahead to have a White House car meet me at the door of the plane."

Albert Hadley

  If you're having to stick to your guns, chances are high you're asking your client to do something they're uncomfortable with, like stay out of their house till the project is finished, or worse, mix furniture of seemingly disparate styles. 

     Stay the course. You may surprise even yourself. This email began with an image of the entry hall of the Edgar Bronfman apartment, which was the first interior Sister Parish did with her long-time partner Albert Hadley. She was totally out of her element with the contemporary architecture. She stuck to her guns, selecting the sumptuous furnishings she loved, even though the architecture was austere. The result was iconic.  

     In Albert's own words, "The chairs became like sculptures, and it was fantastic."


Explore some of our fantastic sculptural furniture:

colorful large wall art modern coffee table sculptural side table  amorphous coffee table


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