Sister as she was always called by family and friends was born Dorothy May Kinnicutt into a patrician New York family in 1910 and spent her privileged early life at the right schools, yacht clubs, and coming-out parties. Compelled to work during the lean years of the Depression, Sister combined her innate design ability with her upper-echelon social connections to create an extraordinarily successful interior decorating business. The Parish-Hadley firm s list of clients reads like an American Who s Who, starting with Astors, Kennedys, Paleys, Rockefellers, and Whitneys. She helped Jacqueline Kennedy transform the White House from a fusty hodge-podge into a historically authentic symbol of American elegance. For her clients, she was an indispensable presence, both in their salons and designing them. Sister s style, marked by cozy, airy, colorful, but understated elegance, came to be known as "e;American country,"e; and its influence continues to this day.
Compiled by Apple Parish Bartlett (one of Sister s daughters) and Susan Bartlett Crater (a granddaughter) from Sister s own unpublished memoirs, as well as from hundreds of interviews with family members, friends, staff, world-renowned interior designers (Mark Hampton, Mario Buatta, Keith Irvine, Bunny Williams, and her long-time partner Albert Hadley, among many others), and clients (Annette de la Renta, Glenn Bernbaum, Mrs. Thomas Watson, et al.), "e;Sister Parish "e;takes the reader right into the houses and the lives of some of the most fascinating and famous people of this inimitable woman s time.
Long out of print, this acclaimed biography a "e;New York Times "e;Notable Book of the doyenne of American interior design is once again available to acquaint a whole new generation of designers and design lovers with the charismatic woman who redefined interior design in America. Fully updated, the revised edition features a new Foreword by Albert Hadley and an Appreciation by Bunny Williams, who began her career at Parish-Hadley.
A "e;New York Times"e; Notable Book
Praise for Sister Parish:
"e;Sister Parish s reminiscences, along with those of her friends and admirers, bear a remarkable resemblance to what one remembers about her interior decorating warm, personable, cozy, thoughtful, harmonious, satisfying, impeccable. An enchanting compilation."e; George Plimpton
"e;In my novel "e;People Like Us,"e; I based the character of the famous society decorator Cora Mandell on Sister Parish. Apple Parish Bartlett and Susan Bartlett Crater have presented a loving portrait of her, as well as a superb social history of her era."e; Dominick Dunne
"e;If you love design, history and a good biography, you are sure to enjoy this book "e; "e;Annechovie"e; blog
"e;What makes this biography so enjoyable is that it compiles Sister's own unpublished memoirs with stories from family members, friends, staff, clients and world-renowned interior designers. . . . All generations of decorators and designers will appreciate this look at the life of this American icon."e; "e;From the Right Bank"e; blog
"e;Compiled from Sister's unpublished memoirs and augmented by many interviews with friends, family, staff and fellow design icons, it is a wonderful insider look at an era and a life."e; "e;Quintessence"e; blog
"e;This book is a MUST HAVE for any design library of substance or design student."e; "e;Architect Design"e; blog
Saunders Book Company
Professional interior design
The Life of the Legendary American Interior Designer
Art & Fashion