Dorothy Draper's Decadence

Who is the original Interior Design Diva? To me, it has to be none other but the doyenne of Dorothy Draper.  She has helped pave the road for females in the design industry. She had a true passion for color, flowers,  and everything grand and exuberant. Her legacy remains alive throughout  West Virginia's

The Greenbrier Hotel

, perhaps the pinnacle of her life's work since she started decorating in the 1920's.

 The image above might seem familiar to you as it's the cover of Emily Evans Eerdman's

Regency Redux

book. Draper shot to fame with her 1939 book,

Decorating Is Fun!

, then empowered homemakers to DIY and entertain. To have this woman telling them, "Don’t be afraid! Paint the door green!" was quite liberating. Her sense of whimsy and playfulness are traits that inspire me greatly.

This lobby has to be one of my favorite hotel lobby's ever.  The play of color, print, plants, and bold white and black checkered floors are fabulous.

The Greenbrier's Victorian Writing Room was the hotel's most traditional space — and its most revered.

Hotel Gazette,

a trade publication of the time, said in 1961 that the room "will go down in history as America's most photographed room."  In this picture it looks black, but the actual color is a very dark green. 

Draper channeled 19th-century Southern culture down to the parlor maids' outfits, which were perfect for serving afternoon tea. I love how she combined pale blue and white stripes with baroque plasterwork and a leafy print carpet.

Some designers of our time that use Dorothy Draper as a reference are Kelly Wearstler, Miles Redd, Jamie Drake, and Diamond Baratta.

 Dorothy's proclaimed that the 'age of drab is over!' The word 'drab' is so perfect for some of the boring, uninspired designs that people call the 'neutral look.'"


While women were still not wearing pants, Draper was sending newsletters to women on how to be more fabulous in their regular lives. 


 had a very interesting article about Dorothy Draper and how to attain the Draper effect. Follow these and you will on your way to a well designed and decadent home.

1. Intense color

2. Plant life

3. Dense, textured carpet

4. Striking details

5. A roaring fire

6. Exuberant prints

7. Big mirrors

8. Chessboard tiles

9. Statement wallpaper

10. Romantic furniture

The Greenbrier is definitely on my list of hotels to visit.

Have a fabulous Friday,