The Influence of Dorothy Draper…

Current television shows have opened the eyes of its viewers to how interior designers can influence them.  With the abundance of interior design shows  featuring some of the top names like Ty Pennington, Eileen Kathryn Boyd, Candice Olson, Thom Filica, and Nate Berkus, professional interior design help has never been so readily available to the general public as it is right now.   Even though they each have their own  individual style one thing that all of these designers have in common is that they have all been influenced by the characteristics of Dorothy Draper, the first interior designer.

Who is Dorothy Draper?

Dorothy Draper (1889-1969)

In 1889, Dorothy Draper was born into wealth  and her ideas would be  influenced by her luxurious life in Tuxedo Park, New York.  In 1923 she became the first interior designer to launch her own company.  This was a very risky move for a woman to do at that time since  the country was  struggling with women rights.  She is marked as creating the modern day Baroque Style of Interior Design, and is well recognized for large public space designs and creating modern architectural spaces.

Tuxedo Park, New York, possibly where the tuxedo was born.

One thing that made Mrs. Draper’s design so unique and appealing was her use of color.  She was known for never before seen color combinations such as: aubergine and pink infused with touches of turquoise and chartreuse.  She  used these colors when designing for some of the most prestigious places around the nation such as: The Greenbrier Hotel(West Virginia), Arrowhead Springs Hotel (California), Hampshire House (New York), Camellia House (Chicago), Drake Hotel (Chicago)…just to mention a few.

The Greenbrier Hotel designed by Dorothy Draper

Arrowhead Spring Hotel designed by Dorothy Draper. If you pay attention to the detail in the columns you will notice that the motif will be found in modern geometric designs used in today’s times.

Hampshire House designed by Dorothy Draper. Black and white checker tile, a key detail found in many of Draper’s designs.

Famous lacquered door in Camellia House in the Drake Hotel designed by Dorothy Draper.

As Dorothy Draper became  influential in interior design decor, she started to brand her style.  One of the most famous places that backed her design was the Metro Museum of Art in New York, where they allowed her to design the interior space of the dining area as well as the menus, matchbook covers, and uniforms.  The company was investing in the “Draper Touch”.  Another company was Schumacher, which offered an extensive line of fabrics which she designed, and was known for bringing the “Dorotheum” style which invoked a presence of great beauty, expense,and quality of life.  She became a regular spokesperson for the magazine Good Housekeeping Magazine, giving her personal opinions on design.  Mrs. Draper would provide the guidelines for modern day interior designers to follow.

 Spotlighting  Interior Designers who have marketed themselves in the commercial world.

Ty Pennington:

Famous designer known for the hit t.v. shows ” Extreme Make Over: Home Edition” and “Trading Spaces”, Ty Pennington started to influence the general public with his education as a designer, carpenter, philanthropist, and entrepreneur.  He possibly could have been influenced by Mrs. Draper when branching out  and marketing himself to design a furniture line through Howard Miller.

Eileen Kathryn Boyd:  

Eileen Kathryn Boyd

In the interior design world, she is known for her line of textiles that she designed for Duralee Fabrics, which include bold “ice cream” colors.  Originally she got her start by designing for the very wealthy that were in need of custom aircraft designs.  She would later brand herself , as well as designing for the elite of Huntington Village, Wall Street brokers, real estate tycoons, and celebrities.

Candice Olson:

Another T.V. personality designer who shines in the world of marketing,  Mrs. Olson has an unbelievable resume of products that she endorses to ensure her brand name.  To mention some:

1. York Wallcoverings: Wall paper

2. Norwalk Funiture Line

3. Kravet Fabric Line

4.AF LightingLine

5.Surya Rug Line

6. Revco International: occasional items

Thom Filica:

Known for his hit T.V. show, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, Thom Filica has mostly been endorsing himself by branding himself with high profile names such as: American Express, Audi, Bosch, Barilla, Kravet, and Soicher.  He has taken some of the marketing strategies that Mrs. Draper used during the 1920’s.

Nate Berkus:

Having the greatest endorsement deal that any one can have, Nate Berkus, became a household name when Oprah Winfrey endorsed him on her show.  Suggesting that he is one of the best designers,  she put her name behind him.  Writing books, selling merchandise at Linens and Things, and having his own television show, along with being the executive producer for the movie “The Help”, Mr. Berkus shows us how creativity can open the doors to a more luxurious life even if you are on a budget.

Like many of the designers that we talked about, Fabrics and Frames design team is knowledgeable in art, which helps us  create the best aesthetic looks for our clients.   We think outside of the box, combining both form and function, and believe that we are somewhat unique in our philosophy.  To learn more about our design team, you can read our blog       ” Meet our Blogger” ( where we introduced our blogger and our lead designer explaining why Fabrics and Frames is so unique!

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog, and or follow us on Facebook!

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir


8 thoughts on “The Influence of Dorothy Draper…

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