Thursday, June 6, 2013

Be Inspired No. 46 - Dorothy Draper

According to the history on, this design icon was born to a wealthy and privileged family in 1889, and was the first to "professionalize" the interior design industry  by establishing, in 1923, the first interior design company in the United States.  This was something that until then was unheard of, and also at a time when it was considered daring for a woman to own a business.

Draper used vibrant, "splashy" colors in never-before-seen combinations, such as aubergine and pink with a "splash" of chartreuse and a touch of turquoise blue. 

Designed for guests to take their afternoon tea at the Greenbrier

Her confidence, as much as her taste, gave her the ability to take control of a hotel project in all aspects of design - right down to the designs for menus, matchbook covers, and the staff uniforms.  Her dictum was "if it looks right, it is right."

The Crystal Room at the Greenbrier

Much of her work survives to this day, including the legendary Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs West Virginia, specifically in The Victorian Writing Room - once called the most photographed room in the United States.

The Victorian Writing Room at the Greenbrier

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier

Image Sources:  House Beautiful,, Good Housekeeping

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