A couple of weeks ago I was painting alone in our home studio while Paul was at the store. As I worked in silence I was thinking about a conversation I was having with my friend Carrie over text the night before.
Carrie: I don’t know what she called herself Sister Parish, her real name was Dorothy May Kinnicut.
Johanna: I always wondered if Sister Parish was her real name. I’d love to know why she decided to go by that instead of her real name. I thought maybe she was a nun. LOL
So, how about a little background on these designers? I'll let Carrie explain a little about Sister Parish then I'll introduce you to Dorothy Draper.
Jersey Girl Dorothy May Kinnicutt, known in the design world as Sister Parish
You can see this lady has style. I love the pearls, the hat, the ram, and candelabra. Very formal pieces, yet not intimidating. And she was a Jersey Girl! Known in the design world as Sister Parish, Dorothy May Kinnicutt was born on July 15, 1910 and passed on September 8, 1994.
This Sister Parish design exhibits a coziness. One could be enjoying tea or
cocktails with friends, her style has a comfortable inviting elegance.
Another example of a Sister Parish design. I love this room, sans the huge bird cage because of the patterns, each very different and yet complimentary. It is a relaxed room, a feel good room with the light streaming in, I think even on a gloomy day it would still offer the same “feel good” vibe. It’s rather symmetrical, but not in a furniture ad/store way. For me it is a perfectly imperfect room.
These Sister Parish patterns are cheery and make my eyes dance.
Dorothy Draper, a True Artist
When I think about Dorothy Draper, all I can think about is drama. She was born in 1889 in exclusive Tuxedo Park and she passed away in 1969 and in the years in between she defined a new style of decorating: Hollywood Regency. Hollywood Regency is known for its glamour, drama and new twist on old classics.
Dorothy Draper used vibrant, “splashy” colors in never-before-seen combinations, such as aubergine and pink with a “splash” of chartreuse and a touch of turquoise blue, or, one of her favorite combinations – “dull” white and “shiny” black. To me, her designers exude confidence.
Dorothy Draper's confidence gave her the ability to take control of large scale projects such as hotels like the Greenbriar, in all aspects of design – right down to the designs for menus, matchbook covers and the staff uniforms. Her dictum was “if it looks right, it is right”
Our conversation continued a few days later.
I began thinking about my own design style and Carrie’s thoughts on design and how this is a topic we really enjoy talking about together.
Carrie and I aren’t lifelong friends. Our friendship began as grown women with interests in common and it’s fun to have someone to share conversation based on our interests rather than simply a shared history together. We each bring something different to the conversation. We’re very similar in some ways but we both bring a different perspective on any given topic. Something one of us hadn’t considered and something thought provoking.
I came out of my thoughts and back into reality for a moment and thought, what a couple of dorks,....who has conversations like this?
Well apparently, Carrie and I do. And I’m sure others do, too. Or at least other people would like to have conversations like this if they had someone to talk about it with.
Then I had an idea. 💡
What about putting our conversation in the form of a blog and inviting others to join in?
I picked up my phone and texted Carrie...
So I kept pitching...
Undaunted, I texted her one last time. This time with a possible name…
I held my breath, thinking Carrie might actually hate that.
But too late, it was already out there.
My phone finally dinged with Carrie’s reply.
Not only was she on board but she was excited!
Then the ideas started to flow...
Later that week Paul and I were with Carrie and her husband Joel. Joel mentioned our blog idea and then chuckled...”and the name, Design Dorks...it’s perfect!” He knows us too well.
Over the next week or so, Carrie and I continued our conversation about our two favorite designers. And she sent me this image that she found:
Design is in the eye of the beholder, and ‘good design’ is really just a matter of opinion.
Let’s keep the conversation going!
What are your thoughts about design and style of this Sister Parish designed bedroom? Love it? Hate it? Too haute? Comment below!
Our Comments on the Bedroom Above
Share your comments below, because that’s what this is all about...nothing highbrow, just a conversation among friends.
Carrie & Johanna
We're Paul and Johanna and we write about our life in the furniture business. The things we love, the places we go, and the treasures we find along the way.