Designer, Lecturer and Author
Since 1962 Carleton Varney has been creating designs for Dorothy Draper Fabrics & Wallcoverings, which grace the rooms of some of America’s and the world’s most beautiful resorts and residences. Mr. Varney also writes a weekly decorating column, “Your Family Decorator,” in the Palm Beach Daily News, also known as ‘The Shiny Sheet’.
Carleton Varney is the author of numerous books, mostly on decoration and interior design, and has also written a biography of Dorothy Draper entitled, “The Draper Touch.” He has penned two novels, “Kiss the Hibiscus Good Night” and “The Decorator.” In conjunction with the museum exhibitions on the High Style of Dorothy Draper at the Museum of the City of New York, The Women’s Museum in Dallas, and the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale (2006-2008) he published the book, “In The Pink – Dorothy Draper, America’s Most Fabulous Decorator.” He has also published “Houses in My Heart” a book that features his favorite design projects during the course of his career. Mr. Varney is often referred to in the media as Mr. Color, hence the title of his book, “Mr. Color – The Greenbrier & Other Decorating Adventures.” His latest book, “Decorating on the Waterfront” richly illustrates his work across the waters of the world.
Architectural Digest, in its January 2005 edition, named him as one of the 30 “Deans of American Design.” In 2015, the Las Vegas International Market awarded him the Design Icon of 2015. He is a member of the Interior Design magazine Hall of Fame. He has also receive the Tommy Award, Shelby Williams Award and Restaurant and Hotel Design Platinum Circle Award for his interior designs, to name a few.
A native son of Lynn and Nahant, Massachusetts, he was educated at Oberlin College, Ohio where he obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree, and also studied at the University of Madrid, Spain. He obtained his Master of Arts degree at New York University. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Charleston, West Virginia, and founded the Carleton Varney School of Art & Design in that institution. Carleton Varney is the proud father of three sons- Nicholas, Seamus, and Sebastian.