Style Legend Dorothy Draper

"Dorothy Draper was to decorating, what Chanel was to fashion. The woman was a genius; there’d be no professional decorating business without her.”
                     ---Carleton Varney

The original doyenne of decorating, Dorothy Draper (1889 – 1969) capitalized on her aristocratic breeding and good taste and blazed a trail for female designers.  Completely self taught, she claimed that she had "no schooling to speak of, except that I was brought up where I had the privilege of being constantly in touch with surroundings of pleasant good taste".  Draper ushered in a new style known as "Modern Baroque", adding a modern flare to classical style. She was the anti-minimalist --- she incorporated black and white tiles, rococo  scrollwork, and Baroque plasterwork...Draper believed the energy of beautiful and bright vivid colors would make people feel happier -- a thought that is shared by many in the business today.   She shot to fame with her 1939 book Decorating is Fun. You can see her influence in the works of Miles Redd, Kelly Wearstler, Mary McDonald and Jamie Drake to name a few.  Enjoy the photos!

Lobby of the Greenbrier Hotel contain Drapers favorite design elements, black and white checkerboard floors with bold splashes of color and ornate plasterwork. Fabulous.

Dorothy Draper's best known work, the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia.  Painted scrollwork and black and white tiles give the room the drama Draper loved.

The Greenbrier Hotel, designed by Draper in the 1930s. She mixed bold colors and patterns to great effect.

Dorothy Draper designed the room in the Greenbrier Hotel for people to take their afternoon teas.

Dorothy Draper: Greenbrier Hotel's Crystal Room

The Greenbrier Victorian Writing Room, designed by Draper in the 1930's was said in 1961 to one of most photographed rooms of all time.  

Dorothy Draper via House Beautiful. Just love the sofa, chairs tables and lamps.   
In 1949 Dorothy Draper collaborated with F. Schumacher & Co., to create a bright, tropical fabric and wallpaper collection they called Brazilliance 
San Francisco's Mark Hopkins Hotel 

Draper designed this sideboard for the Greenbrier Hotel in the 1930's  and it is a piece we have seen revived by modern furniture manufacturers.


  1. I want to go to the Greenbrier to see all of these great rooms in person!

  2. Me too! I'll have to use the golf thing to lure him in! : )