Monday, March 30, 2009


Carleton Varney is the president and owner of Dorothy Draper and Co, the oldest established interior design firm in the US. Draper, the first female interior designer began her firm in 1923, and is known for her intensely colorful projects from residences, to large public spaces. The Greenbrier, perhaps her most famous hotel, was full of splash and charisma. Her look became known as Modern Baroque. The Draper- designed dining room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was seen in many films and made for a chic lunch with friends. Varney continues her design legacy, creating projects with the same vim and vigor.

Photo Courtesy of Kindel Furniture
Carlton Varney recently worked with Kindel Furniture to create the Dorothy Draper Furniture Collection. The pieces look great together or on their own. Either way, they are all wow items. This display cabinet with Chinoiserie touches has a peach backing that creates a tropical mood with the white finish. Display collections, china or books.

Photo Courtesy of Kindel Furniture
Draper was a master colorist, and the latest additions from Kindel were shown painted in aqua and coral hues. This chest is great bunched or alone.

Photo Courtesy of Kindel Furniture
The perfect slipper chair is not easy to find. The proportion is just right, and the long fringe skirt is oh-so-feminine.

Photo Courtesy of Kindel Furniture
A scallop apron on this table is another femme- touch that works well with a high gloss finish.

Photo Courtesy of Kindel Furniture
What a piece! The architectural details and swags on this mirror make it the conversation piece of a room.

Photo Courtesy of Kindel Furniture
A comfy, easy tufted upholstered piece can look tailored and relaxed without being huge.


Punchy Rhododendron
Varney launched his fabrics in 1992, and many of them are available from Carleton Varney by the Yard. Happy prints like these create a fun atmosphere. I adore them and am sure they were a childhood influence-- the poppy color sense is hard to ignore.

Fazenda Lilly in white.

Les Fleures, a painterly multi-colored floral. I believe this was in our Long Island living room...

Princess Grace Rose in yellow.

Photos Courtesy of Pointed Leaf Press
Houses in My Heart captures Carlton's colorful career. His joie de vivre and use of dramatic, bold interior touches makes this book a treat to read. More is more is the mantra here, where theatrics are everything. Get your copy from Pointed Leaf Press, and click here to check the book tour schedule. You do not want to miss the great stories Carleton will share!

An elevator lobby at The Greenbrier had a crazy flower and trellis rug and Rhododendron fabric. Hmm, shall we say this was inspiration for Diamond and Baratta?

Melon and white are resort colors to be sure. Being greeted at this half moon desk with giant pediment must have made a big impact. On the left is the Chinese Chippendale Console that was modified for the Kindel piece shown above. What a fun way to showcase Chinese export china!

A watercolor for the Waikiki Sheraton in Hawaii. Prints and Parson's tables are great in this tropical locale.

On the left, the Trellis Lobby of the Greenbrier mixes 1948 trellis panels, a wild print at the window and the black and white terrazzo floor from the 1930's. The middle image shows the 1998 refurbished Trellis Lobby. At the right, a huge wooden pediment, green moire patterned carpet and red walls lead to the Lobby bar.

Carleton mixed Billy Haines pieces with orange and lime green in Joan Crawford's New York living room. Garden seats are making their big comeback, and I love how this bamboo lattice piece brings the garden inside.


Renée Finberg said...

now ,i don't have to buy the book !


thank you for the info on CV, i am always interested in learning more about him.

love your blog.

Paris Hotel Boutique said...

Lovely post! I think I'll have to buy the book.

How gorgeous is that aqua dresser?

Down Comforter said...

Some great furniture pieces - I love the turquoise chest :)

Anonymous said...

that room is ghastly

Anonymous said...

I finally found a designer of "color" and lots of it! Thank you - it is all stunning and I WILL be getting your book!