Friday, July 23, 2010

Double D, Dorothy Draper That Is

This summer my reading list has included books about Sister Parish, Billy Baldwin, John Fowler, Mark Hampton and most recently, Dorothy Draper. Her work in the design world was a true tour de force.

New York Magazine's list of key elements of Dorothy Draper design:

1. intense use of color

2. florals/greenery -'as much a part of a decorative scheme as beautiful curtains,'she said

3. textured carpet -thick tactile rugs

4. striking details - a few bold accessories, not clutter

5. a fireplace

6. bold prints - over sized patterned wallpaper, fabrics

7. chessboard floors -black and white large tiles

8. large mirrors - the more ornate the better

9. romantic furniture- curves and some whimsy

10. color contrasts - opposites on the color wheel ie. red with green

In an interview in Newsday, Dorothy commented on how to approach each project:

"1. an intelligent analysis of the problem
2. how to put it into production as economically as possible with emphasis on function, and
3. a sense of good showmanship, the capacity for seeing things as a picture."

all images via the Collection of Dorothy Draper and the Carleton Varney Group


  1. Thanks for the review of Dramatic Dorothy! Cool one.

  2. Remain calm and step away from the shiny checked floors!

  3. you know, i hate to admit this, but it wasn't until this past xmas that I learned who she was. of course, that was bc i was visiting the greenbrier. and i did an entire post about it. photos and all. :) really, really an incredible place. and the hotel will never mess with her decorating. :)