To move forward, to learn and understand, we must look back and see how we got here. We must not be held back by our history, but instead use it as a source of inspiration and strength to propel us forward. Although none of my work reflects any form of art deco or wildly popular forms from the past, I still find inspiration from them. I find a lot of inspiration comes from the stories, the real stories of the people who led these periods or trends and paved the way for every other artist and designer who follows them. These two woman are far more than just inspirational...
The year was 1935, and the world of interior design was abuzz with excitement. Two women were making waves in the industry, and their names were Dorothy Draper and Sister Parish.
Draper, born in 1889, was known for her bold and colourful approach to design, which she referred to as the "Draper touch." Her book, "Decorating is Fun!" published in 1939, was a game-changer for interior designers, encouraging them to embrace colour and pattern in their designs. As Draper herself said, "Boldly colourful, elegant, cheerful, and full of life: These are the hallmarks of the 'Draper touch.'"
Parish, born in 1910 as Dorothy May Kinnicutt, had a more traditional approach to design. She believed that good design was about creating a space that reflected the personality and taste of the client. As she wrote in her book, "Sister Parish: The Life of the Legendary American Interior Designer," published in 2010, "I think the most important thing in decorating is to be comfortable in your surroundings. It's no good to be in a house where you feel like you're walking on eggs."
Despite their different approaches, Draper and Parish both had a profound impact on the world of interior design. They helped to create the benchmark standard for interior design that is still admired and imitated to this day.
The two women first crossed paths in the 1930s when Parish, who had just started her own design firm, was hired to decorate the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. Draper, who was also in the running for the job, graciously accepted the loss and congratulated Parish on her win. The two women became friends, and Draper even wrote the introduction to Parish's book, "The Home is the Keynote of Life," which was published in 1953.
Draper and Parish continued to collaborate on projects over the years, with Parish often handling the more traditional aspects of the design while Draper brought her signature boldness to the space. Together, they helped to shape the world of interior design, and their legacy continues to inspire designers today.
As Draper once said, "If you're ever feeling intimidated or overwhelmed by the world of interior design, take a page out of my 1939 book and remember that decorating is fun!" And with Parish's emphasis on comfort and individuality, it's clear that the two women believed that good design should not only look beautiful, but also feel beautiful.