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THE LESSONS FROM TWO ROOMS

Beauty can be Dangerous
When Hadley and Sister Parish did the Fifth Avenue drawing room of Babe and Bill Paley, “Sis thought it should be taxicab yellow,” he recalls. Five subtly different shades of yellow high-gloss paint formed a backdrop for an eighteenth-century Italian wooden chimney piece, Coromandel screens, a huge Matisse, and a Regence chandelier—which held real candles. Unfortunately, at a soirée thrown to inaugurate the room, “the air-conditioning was going full blast and the candles spilled all over the guests,” Hadley recalls, “and that was the end of that.”