One Stylish Weekend With Carleton Varney at The Greenbrier
Nestled safely within the Allegheny Mountains in the small community of White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., lies one of this country’s most venerable and longstanding luxury resorts. Since 1778, The Greenbrier has hosted distinguished guests from around the world, setting the standard for luxury accommodations in the United States while managing to continually reinvent itself for each new generation.
Once known by the Southern elite as the “Queen of the Watering Places,” this sprawling estate in the lush foothills of the Appalachian Mountainsis one of the premier getaways on the East Coast. With the very best of comfort and accommodations, spa treatments, leisure pursuits and worldclass cuisine, The Greenbrier brings together all the luxuries of the world’s finest resorts with the distinctive history and character of the region. In 1948, The Greenbrier teamed with another national institution, Dorothy Draper & Company, one of the country’s oldest and most established interior design firms, named for its founder, a doyenne of interior design from the 1920s to the 1960s. With Dorothy Draper, The Greenbrier once again reinvented itself, reconstructing its image at the forefront of haute design to meet the postwar era head-on.
As the Greenbrier evolved, so did Dorothy Draper & Co. The two institutions have been working and growing together for over 60 years to ensure that guests receive the very best. Along the way, they have enjoyed a relationship immersed in bold colors, elegant patterns, and The Greenbrier’s signature green and white stripes.
During the weekend of Jan. 24-26, guests will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes of The Greenbrier’s signature style with one of the most highly regarded interior designers in the country, Carleton Varney. Owner and president of Dorothy Draper & Co., Varney is a protege of Draper herself.
During this landmark event, the first-ever Carleton Varney weekend, guests will have exclusive access to Varney. The weekend schedule includes seminars and talks, private walking tours, book signings, afternoon tea and an exclusive cocktail reception with “Mr. Color” himself. With Varney on hand, guests will discover why The Greenbrier’s look is truly one of a kind. “We are thrilled to launch our new Discovery Series at The Greenbrier, which will allow guests to experience a different side of the resort while learning from, and interacting with, our diverse group of assembled experts in the fields of art and antiques, design, food and wine and more,” said Jeffrey Kmiec, president of The Greenbrier. “It’s only fitting that we should inaugurate this exciting new annual series of fascinating personalities with a weekend with Carleton Varney, the legendary interior designer and our good friend, who has been with The Greenbrier for 50 years, carrying on the extraordinary legacy of Dorothy Draper.”
The Varney design philosophy stresses “the use of bright colors and the rejection of all that is impractical, uncomfortable and drab.” Here is a listing of weekend highlights, sure to attract the attention of any and all tastemakers, from those looking for inspiration to redecorate their living room to design-industry professionals.
Friday, January 24 6-7 p.m. – “Cocktails with Carleton” in the State Suite
Carleton Varney invites guests to join him for cocktails in The Greenbrier’s highly acclaimed State Suite. The State Suite boasts one of the most impressive entrance foyers found anywhere on the estate, showcasing The Greenbrier’s traditional black and white marble tile. Cocktails and dry snacks will be served as guests mix and mingle with Varney.
Saturday, January 25 10:30 a.m. – “The Decoration History of The Greenbrier” in the Upper Lobby The elegant interior and exterior décor of the current hotel is traced from its 1913 beginnings during this fireside chat hosted by Varney. Though the hotel is well known for the dramatic transformation of the 1940s, contributions to the unique dimensions and ambience have been witnessed each decade.
4 p.m. – Afternoon Tea with Carleton Varney in the Main Dining Room Live piano music and dancers will provide entertainment as guests savor tea and delicacies. Varney will be available to sign copies of his books, CDs and DVD.
6-10 p.m. – “Happy Birthday Carleton Varney!” Dinner Party
Guests will celebrate in style in the Main Dining Room with Varney and his family members and friends. The Greenbrier’s timeless classics will be served beneath Dorothy Draper’s dazzling custom-made chandeliers. Live music and dancing complete the evening under the stately columns and magnificent arched windows that bring the ambiance of a dignified Southern mansion to life.
Sunday, January 26 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Interior Tour with Carleton Varney
Carleton Varney’s design philosophy continues the tradition of Dorothy Draper, embracing the imaginative use of vibrant colors, floral patterns and bold contrasts. Varney and Brinsley Matthews lead this Sunday morning tour through the hotel, discussing all things Dorothy Draper. For more information about the listed events, call 877-684-5060.