1925 is the year that saw the opening of Architectural Clearing House, arguably the first official interior design business, started by Dorothy Draper. Talentuous woman, she had been encouraged to start her own business by her own friends who went ballistic over the way she decorated her own home.
When it came to picking a palette, Dorothy Draper liked both sides of the medal: straight black & white, as well as a flurry of colors. Her signature chequered floors were often balanced with bold, bright prints in perfect equilibrium. Classical motives went hand in hand with that modern Baroque which she made something to be remembered for.
But Dorothy Draper is also known for her work outside the private home and closer to the public. The Greenbrier in West Virginia, as well as the Fairmont Hotel and the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco and the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art cafeteria, all carry the Draper brand. She left some wisdom, as well:
“Almost everyone believes that there is something deep and mysterious about [interior decoration] or that you have to know all sorts of complicated details about periods before you can lift a finger. Well, you don’t. Decorating is just sheer fun: a delight in color, an awareness of balance, a feeling for lighting, a sense of style, a zest for life, and an amused enjoyment of the smart accessories of the moment.”