Carleton Varney

Carleton Varney, one of America’s best known interior designers, is president of Dorothy Draper and Company, the oldest established interior design firm in the United States.  He is associated with the restoration and decoration of countless hotels and resorts all over the world, among them: Adare Manor, Dromoland and Ashford Castles in Ireland; The Waldorf Towers and Plaza Hotel in New York; Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island (Michigan) ; The Colony and The Breakers in Palm Beach (Florida), and The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs (West Virginia). In years past, he was the design consultant to the Carter Presidential Library and for numerous State functions at the White House. He also restored and redecorated the Official Vice President’s Residence in Washington D.C., the Governor’s Mansion in West Virginia, and the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Tokyo, Japan.

His versatility in design can be seen in the wide range of products that have borne his mark, ranging from furniture, lamps, dinner ware, crystal and linen designs.

His line of fabric designs for Dorothy Draper Fabric & Wallcoverings, grace the private residences of his impressive roster of clients which include superstars from the worlds of entertainment (e.g. Joan Crawford, Van Johnson, Jimmy Nederlander), politics (Presidents Carter and Bush, Vice President Quayle), royalty (Princess Yasmin Aga Khan), and business (Rockefeller).

Carleton Varney is the author of over thirty books on interior design and also three novels, Kiss the Hibiscus Good Night, The Decorator, and There’s No Place Like Home.  He is also the author of a well loved weekly syndicated newspaper column with The Palm Beach Daily News, titled “Your Family Decorator.”  His original design blog now appears on   One of his most recent book is entitled, “Mr. Color”, a title bestowed on him for his bold use of color.

Mr. Varney has an honorary doctorate from the University of Charleston, West Virginia, where he is also the founder of the Carleton Varney School of Design.  He was named in 2005 as one of 30 Deans of American Design by Architectural Digest and has been featured in the magazine over 25 times. In 2015, the Las Vegas International Market awarded him the Design Icon of 2015.  He is a member of the Interior Design magazine Hall of Fame. He has also receive the Tommy Award, Shelby Williams Award and Restaurant and Hotel Design Platinum Circle Award for his interior designs, to name a few.

Carleton Varney’s design philosophy stresses the use of bright colors and the rejection of all that is impractical, uncomfortable and drab. In embracing this practice, he continues the tradition of Dorothy Draper by being associated with the imaginative use of vibrant colors, floral patterns and bold contrasts; a legacy that is reflected, not only in his interior designs, but also, most notably, in his fabrics, wallpapers and scarf designs.

Please visit Carleton’s website at to shop for exclusive designs from the Carleton Varney and Dorothy Draper collection, as well as read his not-to-be-missed weekly decorating blog.

“Carleton Varney is arguably the country’s most in-demand… decorator.  He is certainly one of the best known”
– People Magazine