Romance and Rhododendrons: My Love Affair with America's Resort - The Greenbrier
In 1946 (after a stint as a World War II military hospital), quintessential American decorator Dorothy Draper was brought in to restore the Greenbrier hotel. She created a signature look - described at the time as 'Romance and Rhododendrons' - that has influenced and delighted not only designers and decorators but also travellers, weary of the grey and beige colour schemes that permeate most hospitality properties even now. Draper transformed the interiors with bold colours, classical influences and modern touches.
When Carleton Varney arrived in Mrs. Draper's office in 1961 to work as an assistant in the design department, one of his first tasks was to accompany the design icon by train to one of her most well-known and publicised projects. Since that time, he has been involved with every aspect of the hotel's design, maintaining and continuing the look that Draper designed, as well as modernising, upgrading and putting his own stamp on it. Working with his experienced and innovative team, Varney has turned the historic hotel into a resort for the 21st century.
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