Monday, February 23, 2009

Post Oscar Decorno - The Drab Age Is Over

I Heart Carlton Varney!
Renee Finberg has a cute backstory and interview about him.
I found the Green Room he did for the Oscars last year, and it is so much more glam and Hollywood worthy then this years design by Stephen Shadley (see katiedid).
The article and fab photos are from Architectural Digest. Enjoy the sparkle plenty!

From Architectural Digest June 2008:

Most designers faced with the prospect of having just five weeks to complete a job that’s key to one of the biggest events of the year could be forgiven if they opted to turn and run the other way. But Carleton Varney has never been like most designers. “It can always be done,” he says simply.

The indefatigable Varney was about to board a plane when he got a call from Architectural Digest editor-in-chief Paige Rense asking if he would like to design the magazine’s green room for this year’s Academy Awards. “Paige and I, we go back a while, and she’d seen the work I’d done for Joan Crawford and other stars,” he recalls. “I told her yes, indeed, I would!”

There was no question about the design concept. “We wanted to give it the early Hollywood look,” Varney notes, “when movie stars were movie stars.”

The president and owner of Dorothy Draper & Company didn’t have to look far for inspiration. His green room pays exuberant homage to four of Draper’s most notable projects—California’s Arrowhead Springs Hotel, the Quitandinha Palace & Casino Resort in Brazil, the Camellia House at Chicago’s Drake Hotel and New York’s Hampshire House.

No one did glamour quite like Dorothy Draper. The legendary decorator, who once pronounced, “the Drab Age is over,” was never one for the modest gesture. Rococo-style moldings, black-and-white-marble floors and overscale floral prints in vivid hues—all were part of her stylishly dramatic vocabulary.

The Architectural Digest Green Room, which Varney likens to “a set from a 20th-Century Fox musical,” is crisply theatrical and marked by bold colors and patterns. There are lacquered double doors and a floor stenciled in a checkerboard design. Mottled aubergine walls are offset by a glossy white wainscoting and oversize crown moldings. There’s a tufted-black-leather bar and luxurious fabrics: white satin, lipstick-red Ultrasuede and a bright green banana-leaf damask. A Dorothy Draper print adds a vibrant floral note.

While many of the furnishings are reproductions, others are original Draper pieces, such as the baroque sconce and the palm-tree lamps.

The room was to sit just offstage at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre and needed to accommodate between 25 and 30 people. Measuring approximately 40 by 20 feet, it was more or less the size of a New York City living room.

But most living rooms have things like walls, a ceiling, electrical outlets. The green room had to be constructed in its entirety at the ABC television studios before it was dismantled and rebuilt at the Kodak.

It took the set builders about four days to create the bones of the space, and then the carpentry, electrical, painting and drapery departments performed their duties. The move to the Kodak proved a bit more complicated. The room was a foot and a half over the fire exit doors and had to be tweaked to fit. In the end, the various departments worked feverishly to pull the room together on time.

By all accounts, the green room was an enormous success, and Varney is pleased that he can bring back glamour to interior design. “We live in a beige-and-gray world. We need a sparkle, a way to make people smile again. That’s what it’s all about.”

2009 Oscar Green Room via katiedid
Stephen Shadley needs to get some sparkle on!
The Drab Age is over!


Anonymous said...

wht great pics you have here.I see your name alot,so I decided it was time to come ck you out...Ann

pve design said...

Karl Lagerfeld was recently quoted, "let's stop worrying about the economy, and keep moving"
I agree, there is nothing like a little drama to add sparkle to any star. Like I say, people either go "beige or bold."

Amanda Stone Talley said...

I love that room too! I saved it in my favorites folder last year! I'm also a friend and fan of his son Nicholas Varney. He is an amazing jewelry designer. His one of a kind pieces use natural elements such as lava rocks with diamonds.

Anonymous said...

Hollywood Glam always turns my head! It does indeed look like an old studio set, my first thought upon pulling up the post. Fun to see my first impression was confirmed in the article (makes me think that maybe I am paying attention after all)