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  • Shahen Halebian

In honor of Women’s History month, AT Design salutes colorful Interior Decorator, Dorothy Draper.

Born November 22, 1889, into a wealthy New York family, Dorothy Draper gained a reputation for interior design after decorating the homes of wealthy socialites. She had three children before divorcing husband, Dr. George Draper in 1930. Draper focused on growing her interior design business and got her first big break when Douglas Elliman hired her to redecorate the Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.

Stylistically very anti-minimalist, she would use bright, exuberant colors and large prints that would encompass whole walls. She incorporated black and white tiles, rococo scrollwork, and baroque plasterwork.

Much of her work survives today, in the lobbies of apartment buildings, and hotels such as the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, specifically in The Victorian Writing Room, once called the most photographed room in the United States.

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