Dorothy Draper Decorating Weekend At The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier Trellis LobbyThe Greenbrier Trellis Lobby

Check, mate: Photo courtesy of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc. 

When it comes to a picture perfect West Virginia weekend—there’s no better combo than fried green tomatoes and floral chintz. 

The Greenbrier Colonial LoungeThe Greenbrier Colonial Lounge

Life is bow-tiful. The larger-than-life bow draped windows at The Greenbrier. Photo courtesy of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc. 

That was one of my (hi! I’m J.McLaughlin’s editorial director, Micaela English) biggest takeaways that I jotted down in my journal while attending The Greenbrier’s annual Dorothy Draper decorating weekend. The weekend celebration was spent studying the iconic design of Dorothy Draper (I was blown away by her entrepreneurial spirit, lighthearted-yet-grand approach to design, and clever print names like “fudge apron”) and her legendary predecessor Carleton Varney. Amidst decorating school and hotel tours we also made merry the Greenbrier way with fabulous traditions like high tea, grand dinners with Draper-esque themes like “Romance & Rhododendrons”, cheese straws, lemon chiffon covered almonds, and plenty of pink. 

The Greenbrier Front EntranceThe Greenbrier Front Entrance

My biggest takeaways? Decorating Is Fun! , Dorothy’s iconic approachable design book published in 1939 is more relevant than ever. Injecting color and rich saturated pattern into your environment does indeed spark joy —and a gilded tassel lamp is a home necessity that adds a sparkling high-octane glamour to your whole room…and therefore, your whole life. 

The Greenbrier is sensorial bliss in a land where color, print, and pattern reign supreme, forget beige. Throughout the property’s pattern-filled 710 rooms, 10 grand lobbies, indoor swimming pool, and beyond, a smile was permanently on my face…and traveled with me all the way back to Brooklyn, NY. 

Also…our colorful spring new arrivals are the only thing you need to pack (I lived in our kick-flare cropped Ivy pant, zero wrinkles and instant polish). 

Tassel LampTassel Lamp

Some of my favorite moments from last weekend below:

The Greenbrier Staircase Presidential SuiteThe Greenbrier Staircase Presidential Suite
The Greenbrier Guest Room Windsor ClubThe Greenbrier Guest Room Windsor Club
The Greenbrier Hallway Crystal BallroomThe Greenbrier Hallway Crystal Ballroom
The Greenbrier Detail Greenbrier AvenueThe Greenbrier Detail Greenbrier Avenue
Zebra Stripes Makeup BagZebra Stripes Makeup Bag
Selfie Moment - Micaela EnglishSelfie Moment - Micaela English
The Greenbrier Indoor Swimming PoolThe Greenbrier Indoor Swimming Pool
The Greenbrier AvenueThe Greenbrier Avenue

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