Go to the Head of the Class with Carleton Varney

Friday, January 27, 2012

Carleton Varney
Image NYT

Yesterday's NY Times Home section included a Q&A with noted interior designer Carleton Varney. Varney has enjoyed a successful and lengthy design career, having cut his teeth with legendary American interior designer Dorothy Draper. Draper's style in 2012 is as ever highly regarded as when she founded her design firm in 1923. Varney assumed ownership of Dorothy Draper & Company, Inc. and has committed to staying true to Draper's design principles and overall vision. He has continued working on projects that Draper originally put her style stamp on, specifically the interior design of The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV. At 74, Varney shows no signs of slowing down....  the Times reports that he is launching the Dorothy Draper School of Decorating, a week long series of classes, to be held at The Greenbrier, with sessions in February, March, April, and June.

I have a passion for Carleton Varney's custom designed fabrics, particularly the collection he created for Schumacher back in the 1970s. I didn't realize this until about a year ago, but the baby blanket I had as a child, that was stitched together and given to me by my Godmother, she made from Carleton Varney fabric, "Elephants". The image of Bubble Gum Pink Elephants is etched in my mind forever, and I still have the blanket to this day. I made the connection that her choice of fabric was a Varney print, when I spotted it on an Etsy posting while searching for vintage fabrics. I purchased every yard the seller had, and now, having a name tied to the design, I headed to Ebay to search for more, where I ended up finding and purchasing Varney's "Honey Bunny" design. Instead of repeating Pink Elephants, this print is repeating White Bunnies & Orange Carrots on a deep blue background. It remains to be seen what I will do with all this fabric, but I am such a sucker for nostalgia, it's safe to say it will be in my possession for the duration.

"Elephants" (above) and "Honey Bunny" (below)

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