Dec 13, 2014

Dorothy Draper says "Decorating is Fun"

"I'll always put in one controversial item, it makes people talk."

Dorothy Draper and I would have been besties, I'm quite sure of this. Long before I knew of this infamous designer, I was attracted to furnishings from many eras, colors blended together in an array most don't consider, and I definitely don't fit the norm of the so called "Outer Banks Beach Style". So as I began to research furniture and collect swatches, one name kept popping up every time my eyes locked on a bold and unique piece... Dorothy Draper. Who is this lady? 

She was a rebel in every scene of the word... at least according to the design world. She's commonly known as the first established Interior Design firm in the US, which was even more surprising because of her wealthy background, doctor hubby, and the era which woman were gaining ground in the workforce and certainly politics. 

"It is just as disastrous to have the wrong accessories in your room as it is to wear sport shoes with an evening dress."

"I believe in doing the thing you feel is right. If it looks right, it is right."

Ummmm, hello 1st edition Dorothy Draper Decorating book... I must have you!
Sometimes you have to treat yourself and I found it totally justifiable to spend $52 on a used book from the 1939 1st edition of "Decorating is Fun!" By Dorothy Draper. I couldn't be happier with my ebay find! 
Kindel Furniture at High Point Furniture Market
On my first visit to the High Point Furniture Market... aka: Designer Heaven, I stumbled across a chest in a lacquered white finish with gold bamboo outline and over sized flower knobs. I knew nothing about Kindel Furniture at that point, but something screamed Dorthy to me. Turns out, they are the only manufacturer that has the rights to replicate her existing designs. Including her famed EspaƱa Bunching Chest. The chest shown is the Pinwheel Chest and as you can see, showed up again at the next fall market. I talked with the showroom rep and posed with the chest like it was a celebrity. What? I love furniture... don't judge. I learned all about the quality in construction behind Kindel and their continued American Made Heritage. I was shocked when I went back again a whole year later, and the guy remembered me.
The Greenbrier Resort is reknowned for Dorothy Drapers famous design touch. She was commissioned do decorated the hotel in the 40's and stayed on until the 60's. Her lavish designs with bold colors, elegant fabrics, and cabbage head roses became the essence of the resort. Now... if I can only go see it some day for myself.