Noted interior designer for The Greenbrier passes away


WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Noted interior designer Carleton Varney has passed away, according to The Greenbrier resort where Varney spent much of his career. He was 85.

According to the resort, Varney died Thursday morning. The Massachusetts native had a close relationship with The Greenbrier for more than 60 years, a news release from the resort states.

Varney joined Dorothy Draper & Company in 1960, having visited the West Virginia resort with his mentor Dorothy Draper, who started decorating it in 1946, according to the release.

The Greenbrier said Varney’s touch is evident throughout the resort, including newer projects such as The Greenbrier Chapel and The Casino Club at The Greenbrier.

“Every guest who has visited The Greenbrier over the past six decades has seen the magical work of Carleton Varney,” said Jill Justice, D.O, President of The Greenbrier, in the release. “He has been an integral part of the story of America’s Resort. To all of us, he was our greatest friend.

“Carleton loved The Greenbrier, and we loved him equally. He lived a life filled with color and cheer, and the best way to honor his legacy is for all of us to do the same.”

According to the release, “Varney’s name is also on several areas of The Greenbrier, including Café Carleton, an upscale bar and lounge that overlooks The Casino Club at The Greenbrier. The two-bedroom Carleton Varney Suite, which overlooks the North Gardens and the West Virginia mountains, is one of the most popular suites inside the hotel.”

“Carleton Varney has provided the vision, the consistency and the dramatic beauty of our wonderful interiors by keeping a determined eye on every detail,” said The Greenbrier’s Historian Emeritus, Dr. Robert Conte, in his forward for Varney’s 2020 book, Romance and Rhododendrons: My Love Affair with America’s Resort — The Greenbrier. “In the big picture, it is all about the details. It has been my distinct pleasure to witness for all these many years the look of delight and wonder as guests stroll into the hotel’s upper lobbies and look about in awe at what they see.”

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