Dorothy Draper Home Makes a Difference!
A zest for living and life should be enjoyed at home and shared with many. We take joy in creating original designs for you and your home, which we believe is the most important place in the world. Innovation is key, practicality always, quality paramount and lasting charm is in our DNA. Thank you for visiting our store and we look forward to serving you now and for many years to come.
A brief history about our founder, Dorothy Draper
Dorothy Draper was born to a wealthy and privileged family in 1889, in one of the most exclusive communities in American history, Tuxedo Park. She was the first to “professionalize” the interior design industry by establishing, in 1923 one of the first interior design companies in the United States, in 1925 Dorothy Draper & Company was incorporated, when it was considered very daring for a woman to go into business for herself.
As Carleton Varney writes in the biography of his mentor, The Draper Touch, she revolutionized the concept of “design” by breaking away from the historical “period room” styles that dominated the work of her predecessors and contemporaries. As an artist she was a modern, one of the first decorators of the breed, and a pioneer. She invented “Modern Baroque”, a style that had particular application to large public spaces and modern architecture. She craved public space, the canvas on which she did her most inspired work (e.g. the restaurant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, nicknamed “The Dorotheum”).
To Dorothy, public space represented a place for people to come and feel elevated in the presence of great beauty, where the senses could look and feel and absorb the meaning of a quality life. She used vibrant, “splashy” colors in never-before-seen combinations, such as aubergine and pink with a “splash” of chartreuse and a touch of turquoise blue, or, one of her favorite combinations – “dull” white and “shiny” black. Her signature “cabbage rose” chintz, paired with bold stripes; her elaborate and ornate plaster designs and moldings – over doors, on walls and ceilings; her black and white checkered floors (The Quitandinah Palace & Casino Resort, Petropolis, Brazil); her massive, paneled, lacquered doors (Arrowhead Springs Hotel, California), some framed with bolection (Hampshire House, New York) or with elaborate plaster or intricate mirror frames (Camellia House, Drake Hotel, Chicago) – all contributed to dramatic design often referred to as “the Draper touch”.
In 2006, Dorothy Draper was honored in a retrospective exhibition of her work entitled “The High Style of Dorothy Draper” by the Museum of the City of New York – the first time that such an honor was given to an interior designer. It was enormously successful, and it is estimated that more than 300,000 people attended over a period of six months. The exhibition continued to the Women’s Museum, Dallas, Texas. In 2008, the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, exhibited ‘In The Pink; Dorothy Draper, America’s most Fabulous Decorator’.
Brinsley Matthews - Head of Design & Operations
Since joining the Dorothy Draper company in London in 2007, Mr. Matthews lead the design firm together with Carleton Varney, creating and executing acclaimed designs for numerous company projects, including the Lithuania Royal Duke’s Palace, Vilinuis, The Architectural Digest Greenroom at the 2008 Academy Awards, Los Angeles, the Greenbrier Resort WV, The Grand Hotel in Michigan, The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, plus numerous other projects.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Matthews was involved in his family hotel business. Mr. Matthews also previously founded and operated his own furniture line, with
Mr. Matthews studied Fine and Decorative Arts and Design at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London and at Trinity College and University College Dublin.