Tropical Dreams

Tropical decor

Virginia and I took a trip to the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia,  at the beginning of March.  We went to celebrate her birthday but more importantly, we went for the Dorothy Draper Weekend.  For those in the world who do not know about Dorothy Draper (1889-1969), she is historically one of the most famous of American decorators, like her cousin, Sister Parish (1910-1994).  Dorothy was from an old and very affluent American family and was a descendant of Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  She was also a first cousin of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Dorothy got into the decorating business when she and her husband were buying and selling houses.  She had such a flair that her friends encouraged her to start her own business, the Architectural Clearing House, arguably the first interior design firm in the US. Among her many projects are such iconic spaces as the Carlyle Hotel and the Sherry-Netherland in Manhattan and her most famous commission, the Greenbrier Hotel. To read more about Draper and the Greenbriar, click here: https://www.greenbrier.com/HomePage-Sub-Pages/About-The-Greenbrier/Dorothy-Draper-Co.

Draper's style was "Modern Baroque" which to her meant adding her pin on classical style:  exaggerated plaster moldings, shiny black ceilings, acid green woodwork and bright wall and fabric choices which to her had "a vital effect on our mental happiness".  

 

Her designs have influenced today's modern greats such as Kelly Wearstler:

One of the things I love about Dorothy was her courageous use of prints be they Cabbage Roses or her most famous, Banana Leaf.  Coincidentally I am working on a client's back house and she has chose to use Dorothy's banana leaf wallpaper for one wall of the kitchen.

  

  This particular client adores the banana leaf wallpaper - she has used it before to decorate her office at her country house and she loves it so much she wanted to use the leftover for her house in town.  This client often inspires my color preferences (like the time we worked orange into every room in the house and it started showing up in every client's design schemes hehe....).  I have to be honest, I am now OBSESSING over EVERYTHING TROPICAL!!!  Here are just a few of my picks:

LOVE THIS MOKUM WALLPAPER (ALSO FABRIC AND OUTDOOR FABRIC)

ADORE THESE EARRINGS I SPOTTED AT MY FRIEND MARIAH'S STORE, WEST LONDON BTQ:

Nach Parrots Blue

 

LOVE THE USE OF LIVE GREENS FOR PLACEMATS IN THIS TROPICAL TABLE SCAPE - GREAT WITH OUR SFERRA CLASSICO OR FESTIVAL TABLE LINENS!

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 LOVE THIS COVERLET AND GUEST TOWEL BY OUR OWN YVES DELORME.  IT'S CALLED UTOPIA.

 

LOVE THE ORANGE GROUD ON THIS WHIMSICAL, TROPICAL FABRIC.

So many other tropical designs are clouding my brain right now.....I might need a clearing come July but for now I am dreaming of tropical breezes!

 

xo,


Grace


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  • Marion Hedges on

    Fascinating post! I will definitely pay more attention to “tropical” details now that you have pointed so many out. Especially love the banana leaf wallpaper! Plus Dorothy Draper is apropos for Women’s History Month. She was definitely a trend setter and one of a kind for her day then and now.


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