Designing Mind

By staff February 1, 2006

Design experience: 40 years as president of Dorothy Draper & Co. Draper made interior design a profession in 1925 [when] there were no designers [or] schools of interior design. She went on to do enormous projects. My style: Think of large spaces and bold color. I believe that neutrals are soft aqua blues-beiges and whites are not in my color palette. Can good design be inexpensive? Design and taste are not based on money. I'm wearing a pair of cufflinks that I paid 20 pounds [$35] for in Heathrow, and I love them. On Southwest Florida design: I don't like bulky things in an environment that is natural and open. This isn't New York-you have more than 20 inches between buildings. There's an intensity of color, brightness of light. Unfortunately part of the homogenization of Florida is the wish to create everything with sand-the lack of color. Describe your Longboat Key home in the '60s: Very open. White bleached floors with a canary-yellow and white-painted stencil, white walls, white drapery with a yellow trim, a piece or two of antique furniture that wasn't going to crumble in the sun. Guilty pleasure: I do like my red wine, but I don't overdo it. I never do too much of what I like because I'm afraid they'll take it away from me. Varney, author of In the Pink: The High Style of Dorothy Draper, will appear at Sarasota's Robb & Stucky Feb. 17. Call 922-2274 for details.-Hannah Wallace

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