September 24,2022

2010 AD100: Carleton Varney

by David Stewart

It’s no secret that Carleton Varney is a color person. “I like bright colors, bold contrasts and floral patterns.” But when he feels the need to reflect and renew, the private Varney retreats to the soothing palette of a simpler landscape. “I have done several jobs in Ireland, and I have a house there. It’s a spot for me to recharge.” He sees travel as inspiration and uses the rich landscapes for research. Since becoming owner and president of Dorothy Draper & Company at age 29, Varney has applied Draper’s vibrant style to singular interiors for private planes, yachts, hotels and homes around the world.

Current projects include a new nightclub for The Greenbrier in West Virginia and a luxury penthouse floor at The Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas. And for a McDonald’s in Ontario, California, Varney will put together a very contemporary Draper look. He has also published more than 20 books, created a furniture line and launched a clothing collection and his own line of fabric. The recent exhibit “The High Style of Dorothy Draper,” at the Museum of the City of New York, drew 7,000 Draper design devotees. Varney worked closely with the museum to capture the spirit of Draper. Her legacy has everything to do with Varney, and his success is predicated on faith and gratitude. “I am a great believer in destiny: What is meant to be will be.” And what will be next for Varney and Dorothy Draper? “The movie—that’s what’s next!”

Carleton Varney



  • David Stewart
  • September 24,2022

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