Dorothy Draper was an American interior decorator who began her career in the 1920’s. She revolutionised design by breaking away from the traditional period rooms by mixing colours, patterns, textures, and styles never seen together previously. She was a design pioneer, not only for opening the first interior design company in the United States, but for the women’s movement itself…this was a time when women simply didn’t go into business for themselves. She’s credited with inventing the bold modern baroque style; a style that still looks fresh today. Clashing colours, big bold florals, black and white floors, decorative mirrors, and whimsical accessories are just some of her trademark touches.
In this space, she has used a complimentary colour scheme (colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel); muted red with a mix of greens. Most people wouldn’t be brave enough to use such a highly printed wallpaper, with a heavy bronze mirror, but it works. Although this space features darker colours, it’s still light, airy, welcoming and thought-provoking.
The Drab Age is over. Color is coming into its own again. Until very recently people were literally scared out of their wits by color. Perhaps this was a hangover from our Puritan ancestors. But whatever the reason, brown, grays and neutrals were the only shades considered ‘safe.’ Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness. Modern doctors and psychiatrists are convinced of this!
– Dorothy Draper on the importance of colour