We had the chance to take the “Dorothy Draper School of Decorating” course at the gorgeous, historic Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The whole experience was certainly one for the books. This blog will take you through some of the major highlights and takeaways from visiting the resort and taking the fantastic course.
The Greenbrier is an absolutely stunning, expansive resort that truly has something for everyone to enjoy. As soon as you step into the doors you feel like you are stepping back in time. Everywhere you look there are details you won’t see at any hotel these days. Just one small example of this is the old-fashioned mail shoot they have. The collection box is placed just as you are walking on to the main elevator and every floor has access to a mail slot. They have kept this feature not just as an interesting showpiece of another time, but as a fully functioning mail system!
Walking into The Greenbrier it is truly sensory overload. There are bold colors and patterns as far as the eye can see. You go from an aqua blue room, into a deep burgundy space, and then mint green beyond that. These just simply are not things you see anymore. There is something so magical about the feeling of visiting The Greenbrier that is so hard to put into words.
The room we stayed in had bright, over-the-top wallpaper with blue and white vases holding coral and yellow tulips. The bright daylight poured in through the windows and bounced beautifully off of all the bright colors in the space. As you step into the bathroom, yet another bold wallpaper, this time pink flowers, along with a hand-painted flower on the shower tile. This just gives you a small snapshot of what it was like to stay at this amazing property.
The Dorothy Draper School of Decorating
The main event of the weekend and our number one reason for going was to take the “Dorothy Draper School of Decorating” course that is offered on site. This course was taught by the legendary Carleton Varney who has been the President of Dororthy Draper Co. for 50 years now. He mentored under Dorothy who was America’s first Interior Decorator. Yes you read that right, she was the first to professionalize interior decorating, how cool?
The course itself was a mix of walking through the thought process behind the “Dororthy Draper style” of decorating which dismisses all that is drab and neutral and welcomes everything that is bright, bold and most importantly comfortable. One of our favorite Dorothy quotes they shared with us is “If it looks right, it is right”. What a simple yet powerful statement? It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking interior decorating is a science that can be broken down into a bunch of rules to follow. While this can be true, it is so important to know when and where to abandon the rules when need be. Your home should be a place that you love where you are surrounded by colors and items that make you happy, it’s as simple as that!