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October 2010

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Lessons from the Masters
[DJ Carey]

After earning my
undergraduate degree, I enrolled as a student at The New York School of Interior Design; after all, a degree in geography and anthropology can only go so far in New York! As part of my curriculum, I was required to take courses that focused on the fundamentals of good design, covering everything from art history to color theory to scale and proportion. To learn certain lessons in scale, I walked around with a tape measure for an entire semester so I would know the typical width of a door or the height of a coffee table (and only in the city can you walk around with a tape measure and not draw stares or laughs). While these were valuable courses, they did not have the impact that three photo shoots did on me, and my career.

As an assistant editor at a well-known national magazine, I was lucky enough to accompany the editor to the homes of three talented interior designers: John Saladino, Mark Hampton and Albert Hadley. While each one had their distinctive strengths, they all shared the ability to create rooms that would awaken your senses. Saladino used beautiful soft palettes that created exquisite backdrops for antiques and modern furnishings. And he had the uncanny ability to use "empty space" for the most dramatic effect. Hampton, who was versed in every historic period, could create a formal room that was not stuffy (no small task on Park Avenue where most of his clients lived!). He also reminded me of the versatility of the color green. (His daughter, Alexa, is featured in "Meet the Designer" ) Hadley was the master of editing; he never made an excuse for a room's size and was known for creating rooms that were designed for conversations.

While I am sure all these lessons were in my textbooks, they truly resonated with me when I saw them, felt them and experienced them firsthand. These fundamentals made an impression that is still with me today. I am reminded of all of this daily as I scout fantastic interiors for the magazine. You can see firsthand for yourself the influence of Albert Hadley at the annual "Rooms with a View" show in Southport, November 4-7. All of the talent worked at the design firm Parish-Hadley. See for yourself what happens when textbook lessons come alive. You'll soon be a student, too.

D.J. Carey
Editor in Chief

Listen to DJ on the radio!
A Fashionable Life WGCH 1490 AM