Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Classic Room- Dorothy Draper

Dorothy Draper certainly enjoyed a resurgence in 2006. She was the focus of an exhibit, was the subject of a new book, and became a newly hip design icon. And while many people may be a little tired of reading about her, DD reigns supreme for me. From the time I first became familiar with her work many years ago, Draper's style has always inspired me.

While I love the drama and theatricality of her work at The Carlyle and The Greenbrier, I am most drawn to this room- her living room in her apartment at The Carlyle. Certainly Draper achieved a sense of drama here, but it was done in a more subtle way.

The rich aubergine-colored walls provided the perfect "Manhattan chic" backdrop to Draper's traditional furnishings. Draper was fortunate to have had many family heirlooms, including the portrait of her great-grandmother, the enormous china cabinet, and the Lowestoft china, all pictured here. What made this room so successful, though, is that she mixed these wonderful antiques with contemporary pieces, namely the low slung coffee table and the modern tufted rug. While this combination of traditional and modern is the norm today, it was rather revolutionary during Draper's time.

And in case you haven't yet noticed (although I'm sure you have!), there are two things in the room that truly scream Dorothy Draper- the floral chintz covered armchairs and the neo-baroque mantel. Can you imagine Draper living without both? I can't!


  1. Anonymous3:53 PM

    well done you, would love to discuss DD / Greenbrier / Dallas & NY Exhibit / Rhododendron China / Arrowhead springs / Hamshire House / Caryle / New rooms at The Greenbrier / ETC.


  2. Anonymous- you must love DD as much as I do!