Christmas decorator Greenbrier, world-renowned interior designer, has died

WHITE SULFUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) – In his July 14, 2022 COVID briefing, Governor Jim Justice (R-WV) confirmed the death of Carleton Varney.

Varney, who decorated the Greenbrier and the Governor’s Mansion, died Thursday, July 14, 2022. He resided in Palm Beach, Fla., where he wrote a weekly column for the Palm Beach Daily News.

Varney was owner and president of Dorothy Draper & Co., the company founded by famed interior designer Dorothy Draper. Draper decorated The Greenbrier shortly after World War II in the station’s signature contrasts and florals.

Varney bought the company from Draper in 1964 and continued Draper’s use of bright colors, floral patterns and bold contrasts in the Greenbrier. He also decorated the Governor’s Mansion in Charleston and the Vice President’s Residence in Washington, D.C. during the George HW Bush era.

Varney has written many books, including “Kiss the Hibiscus Good Night”, “The Decorator”, and “In The Pink – Dorothy Draper, America’s Most Fabulous Decorator”. Varney donned Mr. Color, hence the title of his book, “Mr. Color – The Greenbrier and Other Decorating Adventures.”

Varney is originally from Massachusetts, he attended Oberlin College, Ohio, where he received his Bachelor of Arts, and also studied at the University of Madrid, Spain. Varney received a Master of Arts from New York University and also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Charleston, West Virginia, and founded the Carleton Varney School of Art & Design.

Betty K. Park