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When I was working with Parish-Hadley Inc., my mentor and friend Albert Hadley would often talk about his early influences — in particular: William Pahlman, Van day Truex, Billy Baldwin and the very elegant George Stacey. Hadley held George Stacey in particularly high esteem. It’s clear that Stacey deeply informed Hadley’s early development, and indeed had a major influence on the aesthetic of many other decorators, including (but in no way limited to) Baldwin, and Michael Taylor.

Somerset House in Piaget Parish, Bermuda

Somerset House in Piaget Parish, Bermuda

Yet puzzlingly — especially when one considers his influence — Stacey has remained somewhat of an enigma for many years…that is, until now! Thanks to my exquisite friend Maureen Footer who immersed herself in ALL things George Stacey for four years, we now have the most tremendous Rizzoli tome George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic celebrating Stacey and his carreer. It’s a brilliant journey through Stacey’s meteoric rise to fabulousness — an ascension that prompted Billy Baldwin to dub him “The King of Decorators.” Stacey was THE go-to decorator for the smart set and social elite, bringing his brand of “American chic” to projects for major figures like Diana Vreeland, the Astors, Paleys, Harrimans, and Whitneys.

George Stacey and Babe Paley antiquing in Paris

George Stacey and Babe Paley antiquing in Paris

George Stacey's Chateau de Neuville

George Stacey’s Chateau de Neuville

Among many other aspects of Stacey’s life, Footer delves into the development of Stacey’s aesthetic — a viewpoint rooted in the classics, yet infused with an impossibly fresh spirit. Well versed in many periods and styles, Stacey created a truly groundbreaking design gestalt. I particularly like his “Modernist Monticello” for Frances and Ward Cheney: a brilliant blending of “glamour, historicism and swagger.” Stacey’s work is a reminder to the Trade that we can only evolve when we’re well informed; It’s imperative to have a working knowledge of period furniture; art history; and of course, the use of color!

This is a must-read for up and coming designers, as well as for those of us who have been around a while!

Buy your copy at Amazon here: George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic

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  1. Dean says:


    It’s a beautiful book, and your post is well done! I did purchase this book, and have already loaned it to a friend I work with-

    Love the Stacey sense of colour and dramatic arrangement!


  2. Danny says:

    Oh James!
    Here’s the conundrum- where to put all these weighty tomes?
    No books visible in the photos above, and apart from A.Hadley’s brass shelves, or Halston’s covered books, there’s surprisingly few solutions for book rotation once they’ve served their coffee table life span. I speak as one with groaning, not very handsome shelves… and a storage unit sinfully packed with YSLsales catalogues, M.Castaing, Syrie Maugham, and on, and on….


    This book is truly inspiring and inspired!

    Two of my favorite books ever in one month???? And Danny asks a good question!! My shelves are groaning!! I added another bookcase to my loggia; and the two in the bedroom with doors are full!! Not to mention the armoire in the “big hall”!!

    When Stacey was decorating; there were around 5 good decorating books! Honestly!!

    Wonderful post, as always!!!!!

  4. James Andrew says:

    Darling Penny Bianchi,

    There is indeed an overwhelming amount of books to collect – I certainly am in need of a bigger library – I find I start to donate or sell books that maybe 10 or 20 years later – are not as stimulating to me.

    Much Love


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