Gone But Not Forgotten (Part 2): Interior Designer, Dorothy Draper
“I believe in doing the thing you feel is right. If it looks right, it is right.”
Dorothy Draper (1889-1696) is another of my very favorite influential decorators who very much designed interiors with the words of this famous quote in mind! Although she was born in 1889 into a family of wealth and privilege, she and her innovative designs certainly shattered all stereotypes of “the expected” during that time. In 1923, Dorothy Draper professionalized the decorating business by establishing the first interior design company in the United States. In addition to revolutionizing the interior design industry, she was also a pioneer of her time as a rare female business owner.
A popular book of Dorothy’s work is called In The Pink and can be purchased at Amazon.
Dorothy Draper’s first fabulous book, Decorating Is Fun, is also available for purchase by clicking HERE.
Dorothy Draper broke away from the “period rooms” being created by most decorators of her time. Instead, she believed in the power and beauty of vibrant and “splashy” colors in luxury interior design. She often put together unusual color combinations, such as such as aubergine and pink with a touch of chartreuse and turquoise. She combined “shiny” colors with matte finishes to create visual interest and contrast.
“The Drab Age is over. Color is coming into its own again. Until very recently people were literally scared out of their wits by color. Perhaps this was a hangover from our Puritan ancestors. But whatever the reason, brown, grays and neutrals were the only shades considered ‘safe.’ Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness. Modern doctors and psychiatrists are convinced of this!” – Dorothy Draper
She focused most of her design efforts on large public spaces, such as hotels. Perhaps, her most famous hotel is the Greenbrier, located in West Virginia. Take a look at the photos of it below.
Other public spaces that Dorothy was famous for designing are pictured below.
Fireplaces were one of the design elements that Draper loved to focus on. She once said, “I don’t believe anything can do as much for a room as a glowing fire in an attractive fireplace. Men and dogs love an open fire – they show good sense. It is the heart of any room and should be kindled on the slightest provocation.”
Dorothy also loved – as do I! – adding live greenery and florals to a design space.
“A vase of flowers or greens will bring even a dull hotel room to life in the most delightful way. The small amount of trouble or expense involved is honestly repaid in real decorative effect. If you find cut flowers too extravagant, stick to the greens. Laurel, rhododendron leaves, huckleberry or pine will all last many days, even weeks.” – Dorothy Draper
Dorothy Draper’s name is also synonymous with the invention of “Modern Baroque” style, as is shown below at the Coty salon on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
With all of her innovation in design and zest for life, Dorothy Draper is certainly deserving to be listed among the most influential designers of the ages!
NOW, GO HAVE AN “It’s So Fabulous!” DAY!
IF YOU WOULD LIKE HELP WITH MAKING YOUR HOME EVEN MORE FABULOUS, PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR AN IN-HOME OR ONLINE CONSULTATION AT KIMBERLY@KNOTTINGHILLINTERIORS.COM
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