When one thinks about the iconic designers who not only left their imprint on the history of interior design, but a legacy so rich and colorful that they continue to inspire today a select few come to mind. Among these legends we remember fondly Nancy Lancaster, Sister Parish, Albert Hadley, Elsie de Wolfe, and Dorothy Draper.
Dorothy Draper is best remembered for her use of bold prints and bright colors, her dramatic interior color schemes, and trademark cabbage-rose chintz. She offered shiny black ceilings, acid-green woodwork and cherry-red floors. Her style was dramatic, edgy, choosing to work with contrasting color schemes, and combining varying fabrics and patterns such as stripes and floral often anchored by oversized details and numerous mirrors. Her work was sought after for homes, hotels, restaurants, theaters, and department stores, much of which survives today, in the lobbies of apartment buildings, hotels including The Carlyle in New York City, and the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Founded in 1923, the first interior design company in the United States, Dorothy Draper & Company is still in operations today under the guise of legendary Carleton Varney who has headed the company for 50 years. The firm has several locations internationally including New York, Palm Beach, London, and White Sulphur Springs.
“Be bold, go vibrant, and think happy colors!” says Carleton Varney. To showcase the newest items, Mr. Varney designed a room based on Draper’s actual bedroom at The Carlyle Hotel in New York. The Collection reflects the classic Dorothy Draper style featuring her signature Neo Baroque design and over scale elements.
For the past two decades Kindel Furniture has been recreating the iconic designs from Dorothy Draper’s extensive volume of work which includes dining, bedroom and occasional furniture and a complete upholstery collection of chairs and sofas. The collection speaks to the high style, customization and quality that has become synonymous with the Kindel brand. The newest collection debuting most recently at High Point maintains Draper’s penchant for the bold and colorful. Kindel offers over 25 painted lacquer color choices to honor the Dorothy Draper aesthetic, in addition to customizable colors.
Mrs. Draper believed “You may concentrate on appearances all through the rest of your house, but in the bedroom comfort should be supreme.” The Tuxedo Park Poster Bed, designed in the style of Mrs. Draper’s personal bed, is the highlight of the room which also includes new additions to the Dorothy Draper Collection: The Carlyle Desk in Rosewood, Dorotheum Love Seat, Mark Drinks Table and the Camellia Double Bench. The room also features Dorothy Draper Fabrics & Wallcoverings as well as Mr. Varney’s lighting designs from Dr. Livingstone, I Presume. Custom colors are available on the Dorothy Draper Collection and Mr. Varney selected a custom green lacquer for the iconic Pinwheel Chest. The color matches his Braziliance fabric originally made famous in 1942 by Dorothy Draper in her decoration of The Quintandinha Resort in Brazil. (All images shown below)
The Collection can be viewed at Kindel’s New York showroom at the New York Design Center, 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 801.