Grand Hotel Interior Designer Carlton Varney-owner of The Dorothy Draper and Company

Jerry and I were lucky enough to attend the Grand Hotel Interior Design weekend with the iconic Carlton Varney. Mr. Varney owns the famous Dorothy Draper Design firm and has been decorating the Grand Hotel for the past 30 years. He is the genius behind all those fabulous rooms! Although he and his team have worked world wide, he is also well known for his design work at the Green Briar Hotel.

I am pictured here at the Grand Hotel porch reception for Mr. Varney with (my right) Mr. Brinsley Matthews, vice president of Dorothy Draper and Co., myself, Carlton Varney and my husband Jerry.

Mr. Varney graciously autographed his newest books.

And spent time chatting...

Known as Mr. Color, Mr. Varney delighted us all with stories about his famous, fabulous and difficult clients. He spoke tenderly of his 20 year friendship with Joan Crawford, not only designing her various homes but becoming her friend. He also spoke kindly of his close friendship with the late Debbie Reynolds.

We took the all day Interior Design class and heard so many of the secret tips that have made Mr. Varney's rooms spectacular and timeless. And learned so many things we can apply not only to our own home but to our business.

Mr. Varney going through a gift of my novels: The Scrap Book Trilogy-Creating Memories, Grand Memories (Set at the Grand Hotel), and Charmed Memories and Estate of Mind. He planned to read them on his way to Ireland later that week. Our time spent meeting Mr. Varney and Mr. Mathews created charmed memories for us. This is an annual event at Grand Hotel which we cannot recommend enough. If you have any interest in interior design or simply wonder just how and why the rooms and public spaces at the Grand are literally that--so grand, I believe you would enjoy the weekend. And of course, Grand Hotel goes way beyond to make sure you have a royal visit.

Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild

author: The Scrap Book Trilogy

Her Majesty's English Tea Room

Cast member Grand Hotel Murder Mystery troupe