The Chic Secret Diana Vreeland and Grace Kelly Shared

A new tome explores George Stacey’s enduring impact on interior design

Legendary interior designer George Stacey was one of the first to mix high and low with panache. After designing various spaces for style priestess Diana Vreeland, Stacey was commissioned by a roster of supremely stylish clients—Babe Paley, Grace Kelly, and Ava Gardner, to list off a few. “He was a wonderful classicist,” decorator Mario Buatta pens in the forward of the new coffee table tome George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic (written by interior designer Maureen Footer and published by Rizzoli) dedicated to the icon. “Look at his own apartment—it’s great, it’s glamorous. When people have absorbed the classical principles of design, they can twist the rules and do something new. Stacey did that with confidence before others even knew the rules.” In fact, Stacey’s rule-breaking rooms from eighty years ago are still relevant today. You see his influence through the works of distinguished American designers like Buatta, Sister Parish, Billy Baldwin, Michael Taylor and Mark Hampton; who have all adopted and modified elements of Stacey’s style to create their own refined versions. His aesthetic is so ageless that the newest generation of designers, like Nick Olsen, are turning to vintage images of his work for inspiration.