Step Back in Time: The Greenbrier

dorothy draper decor at the greenbrier

Visiting The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV had been on my bucket list for quite sometime.  I’m a  WWII history buff with a fascination with Dorothy Draper decor — i.e., it’s basically heaven.  It was a hospital where WWII soldiers recovered and where the government held German and Japanese spies and officials during the war.  It’s a long drive out of the way no matter where you are coming from — whether you fly into DC, Pittsburgh or Richmond.  But totally worth it in every possible way.

It’s hard to describe and for pictures really capture the true grandeur of this building and the grounds.  The resort maintains a strict dress code throughout the resort, thus between the decor, piano in the lobby and fact that everyone isn’t running around in athleisure — you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve visited anywhere and spent hours scouring the grounds taking photos from every angle.  The Greenbrier was Dorothy Draper’s “baby.”  It became quickly apparent how she was truly an interior design genius — there are no bad angles.  Every inch of the The Greenbrier is full of inspiration and beauty.  We’ve written about Dorothy Draper in the past, from her entertaining tips to decorating advice.  The ability to see and absorb this property myself made me realize that her philosophy on interior design could be applied to your wardrobe, as well.  Here are a few of my takeaways:

  1. Dorothy Draper believed in three guiding principles when it came to interior design: Balance, Proportion and Restraint.  The perfect room employs all three of these, as does the perfect outfit.  A simple dress balances an outrageous necklace or shoe, though there are times when you can combine several bold looks into one it’s simply a matter of proportion.
  2. She clearly believed in individuality — the mixture of texture and color seems like they wouldn’t work together, but the result is a signature look we all should try to achieve.
  3. Have the courage to seek out your own taste, but never be reckless — meaning adhere to her three guiding principles.
  4. Don’t be afraid of color and don’t be afraid of mixing colors.  We are big believers in wearing colors as a neutral.  If traditional neutrals are closer to your style, try slowly mixing in color in your shoes and accessories.
  5. No room is perfect unless it is comfortable.  The same goes for your wardrobe.  The most beautiful dress in the world isn’t perfect if it’s not comfortable for you to wear.  Never forget that comfort equals confidence.
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