WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS)– In his COVID Briefing on July 14, 2022, 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 was a resident of Palm Beach, Florida where he penned a weekly column for the Palm Beach Daily News.
Varney served as the owner and president of Dorothy Draper & Co., the company founded by celebrity interior decorator Dorothy Draper. Draper decorated The Greenbrier shortly after World War II in the signature contrasts and florals of the resort.
Varney bought Draper’s company in 1964 and continued Draper’s use of bright colors, floral designs and bold contrasts at The Greenbrier. He also decorated the Governor’s Mansion in Charleston and the residence of the vice president in Washington, D.C. during the George H. W. Bush era.
Varney wrote many books including, “Kiss the Hibiscus Good Night”, “The Decorator” and “In The Pink – Dorothy Draper, America’s Most Fabulous Decorator.” Varney was donned Mr. Color, hence the title of his book, “Mr. Color – The Greenbrier & Other Decorating Adventures.”
Varney is from Massachusetts, he attended Oberlin College, Ohio where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, and also studied at the University of Madrid, Spain. Varney earned a Master of Arts degree at 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.