My name is Suzy, and I am a design magazine junkie…no seriously, I have a day off today and the weather outside is nice, and I’m inside leafing through back issues of magazines. How sad you might think. But I’ve always been a homebody, and I don’t mind really. Anyway, I do digress. I stumbled across this spread on the one and only extraordinary Mrs Dorothy Draper. I not long finished reading the book “In The Pink” written by her long time assistant, and now the inherited owner of Dorothy Draper Inc., Carleton Varney. The article I found is about one of her largest projects, and one of the few she did outside the US, the Quitanhinha Palace just outside Rio de Janiero, Brazil that she decorated in 1942. This spread has colour photos of some images in the book that were printed only in black and white. From checking out the webiste it seems a lot of Draper’s original decor is still in place, or recent renovations have been very sympathetic to her grandoise vision. The palace was a hotel when Draper originally did the design, but it is now being used as a convention centre. There are a lot more images on the website, so if you’re interested check it out. While I’m not a fan of everything that Draper did, she certainly had confidence which I think wins over style sometimes (not always a good thing). These images are testament that Draper never did anything by halves. And while her larger than life neo-baroque style may not work in a lot of settings, it is absolute perfection in this building, and a lot of it has stood the test of time, and still looks marvellous, if not somewhat lighthearted and folly, today as when it was created 65 yers ago.
Images from The World of Interiors (UK) magazine, October 2006.