A Pattern We Love


A Pattern We Love

April 8, 2011
Photo by: Todd Coleman

In 1946, the new owners of the famed Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, hired the legendary decorator Dorothy Draper to renovate the resort. Born into high society and married to FDR's personal physician, Draper was one of the first Americans to make a serious impact on décor. Her 1939 book Decorationg Is Fun! popularized her bold, colorful design directive and helped shape our idea of the interior designer's role. For the Greenbrier Draper chose as her theme “romance and rhododendrons,” and she splashed her pattern of rhododendron blooms, West Virginia's state flower, on upholstery, walls, and table settings.

More than 60 years later, Carleton Varney, Draper's protégé and biographer and the current president of Dorothy Draper & Company, oversaw the restoration of Draper's original renovation at the Greenbrier. As part of the revival of “romance and rhododendrons,” Varney has reissued the pattern on a fabric (available to the trade only), honoring Draper's sense of style and her aesthetic. For more info, visit carletonvarneybytheyard.com

This article was first published in Garden Design March 2011