Sister Parish was the grande dame of American twentieth-century decorators, and it is delightful to see her family lovingly continue her legacy. While best known for decorating the White House for Jackie Kennedy, Sister originated the American Country look… and this look is alive and well in Sister’s former summer home in Maine, now owned by her daughter, Apple Bartlett. The home is located on the tiny and remote island of Islesboro, accessible only by a combination of plane, train, automobile, and boat! Sister summered on Isleboro her entire life, and now Apple calls the private compound overlooking Penobscot Bay home most of the year. “It’s an atmosphere you don’t find any other place,” Apple told New England Home. “Everything is untouched. It’s just alive.”
Sister’s style still abounds with painted furniture, high-gloss floors, wicker, quilts, spongeware, rag rugs, needlepoint pillows, and porcelain collections. Yet it continues to evolve from one generation to the next. Apple’s daughter and granddaughter, Susan Crater and Eliza Crater respectively, produce the ever-popular Sister Parish collection of fabrics and wallpapers, and new patterns have been incorporated in thoughtful ways that Sister would certainly approve.
During the summer months, Apple runs a charming, eponymous home decor shop filled with handmade and hand-selected treasures. A talented artist, some of the same whimsical touches in Apple’s art is found in her mother’s decorating. “That’s what Mummy was great at,” says Bartlett. “The great mix of whimsy with the good stuff.” The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
I am such a huge of Sister Parish, and I absolutely love all of the iconic prints. In fact, I have big plans for Dolly my very favorite print…. more on that to come. 😉 You will also love the new Sister Parish X LAKE pajama collection… I think half of Instagram wore the Serendipity pajamas on Christmas! And you can learn more about Sister Parish Home Goods Collection here and tour Susan Crater’s home here.
This tour originally ran in the November/December 2019 issue of New England Home.