Sunday, December 16, 2012

Marvelous Martinique Banana Leaf Wallpaper vs. the Thrill of Brazillance, by Dorothy Draper

It has been touted as one of the most recognizable wallpapers in the world…. “The Original” Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper, which was created by decorator Don Loper in 1942 for the Beverly Hills Hotel, has since developed an iconic status amongst the design world.

The Beverly Hills Hotel Fountain Coffee Room

I actually can’t remember when – or how – I first fell in love with this wallpaper, but I do know one thing…. It wasn’t Mr. Loper’s fabulous Martinque I fell in love with.  It was my design idol Dorothy Draper’s Brazillance wallpaper, made famous at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia.  Look closely….
The Greenbrier Hotel, renovated in the 1940s by Dorothy Draper, and refreshed in 2007 by her protégé Carleton Varney.

It is easy to get confused! The two patterns look almost identical in pictures. Not realizing the difference, I had convinced myself (and more importantly, my husband) that I simply would die if I did not have our Florida dining room wallpapered in in the oh so Palm Beach Chic Martinique Banana Leaf. I trolled blog after blog post touting the fabulousness of this wallpaper which has graced Nicky Hilton’s Los Angeles home and has been featured in top home décor magazines such as House Beautiful and ElleDecor.
Nicky Hilton’s breakfast room was featured in InStyle magazine.

Martinique in Nicky’s kitchen

Steven Sclaroff via House Beautiful

  Brian Atwood & Nate Berkus’s Milan Home via ElleDecor.

I ordered a sample of the Martinique wallpaper, and I must say I was a bit disappointed. The leaves were not the bright green I had imagined, and it had a creamy background with quite a bit of brown, described on their website as “burgundy and deep mustard.”  And then there was the price… $249.95 per SINGLE roll, ouch. 

I kept going back to the vibrant images of the Greenbrier, and then I noticed something… Are those Sea Grapes??

That is when I realized these were two different patterns!  After a bit more research, I discovered that Carleton Varney produces all the original fabrics and wallpapers of Dorothy Draper, including her Brazillance.  I promptly ordered a sample, and requested pricing.  To my delight, a DOUBLE role was $136… a huge savings!

Furthermore, the colors were exactly what I was looking for, including bright Pantone 2013 Color of the Year emerald green, as opposed to Martinique’s army green and mustard tones.  It also had the crisp super white background I was looking for, and it contains black accents as opposed to brown, which is just so much more… well, Dorothy Draper.

Mr. Varney’s patterns are available for purchase through Carleton Varney by the Yard or through the Greenbrier Hotel Gift Shop. While you are there, check out their fabulous line of Brazillance pajamas and robes!

Also check out the August 2012 Issue of Lonny Magazine featuring Lauren McGrath of Good Bones, Great Pieces on the cover.  Lauren was so inspired by Dorothy Draper’s Brazillance that she created a beautiful setting for a summer dinner party on the shaded lawn of her Westchester County home.


Brazillance wallpaper is also featured on the front of Bergdorf Goodman’s Fall Preview 2012 catalogue, and there is an amazing fashion photo shoot from the Greenbrier inside, swoon!! PLEASE NOTE: This image has clearly been color treated, as it is NOT an accurate reflection of the bright Brazillance colors. It looks to me like it was filtered.


Here are a few more pictures Martinique Banana Leaf I uncovered of through my exhaustive search and quest for knowledge on these amazing wallpapers.  I would love to find more Brazillance pics, if you have any please send them my way!  Our Dorothy Draper inspired Brazillance-clad dining room should be finished in February. 
Martinique Banana Leaf, via Oprah.com
Beautiful powder room, via Bourbon & Pearls
Marjorie Skouras 

Another Martinique bathroom, source unknown. 

A fabulous Art Deco bathroom, papered in Martinique Banana Leaf, for The Aviator, a movie about the life of Howard Hughes.
A New Orleans kitchen featured in the October 2008 issue of House Beautiful magazine.

  It can even be found across the pond in Norfolk’s lounge at Carrington House.
Charlotte Olympia unveiled what is certain to become a collector’s item line of Martinique Banana Leaf clad shoes and bags, Spring 2012.
So which palm pattern gets your vote?  Martinique Banana Leaf or Dorothy Draper’s Brazillance?

31 comments:

  1. Oh, thank you so much for placing me in such illustrious company!
    I think we must be twins.

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    1. Thank you, Tabitha! I love, love, LOVE your blog, and your Martinique bathroom is fabulous!!

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  2. Oh and that's fascinating about the patterns, as I'm in UK it cost me $600 a roll!

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  3. Oh I'm trying to follow you, can you add an icon on your blog?

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    1. Tabitha, thank you SO much for the kind words! Your comments are my first on my brand new blog!! I'm working on the "follow me" icon, and will hopefully have everything finalized ASAP. Thank you for your patience, and I would be honored if you would follow me!! :)

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  4. LOVED this! Clearly we are wallpaper kindred spirits! Off to read some more here...:)

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  5. Ok I really thought I had decided on my wall paper choice. Then bam!!! Along comes this great post and I'm back to rethinking my first and very safe choice, grass cloth. Hummmmm.......

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  6. That wallpaper is SICK!!!! Both of them.....if I wasn't so fickle I would add a room of it in my home....:) Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

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  7. Gah! Like you , I thought that both wallpapers must be the same, but kept looking at the differences... Like the differences in the new colorways for the Martinique wallpaper. And like you, while in love with the Martinique print, the price, not so much. My burning question now is did you go into a showroom to purchase the Brazillance paper? The online website for Carleton Varney is not very helpful for making a purchase. And being all the way out in California... The showroom visit may have to be an excuse for a vacation :)

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    1. Great question! Our wallpaper hanger works with a designer who was kind enough to order it for me. However, if you don't have a decorator ID, you can also order it through the Carleton Varney Gift Gallery at the Greenbrier. Their number is 304-536-1110 extension 7450, or email Carol_Morningstar@greenbrier.com. They should be able to mail it to you. Please keep me posted! :)

      XOXO,
      The Glam Pad

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    2. You can purchase Brazilliance Wallpaper here directly: It is called Cote D'Azure at Designer Wallcoverings : Located in Los Angeles, CA : http://designerwallcoverings.com/WallpaperStore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=26791

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    3. You can also buy the Martinique pattern from that same company or from Hinson in NYC. It is still being manufactured by the original company and has been since 1942.
      http://designerwallcoverings.com/WallpaperStore/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=90210

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    4. Hi There,

      I got SO excited when I found this post (even though it's a bit old and I'm late) because I've been trying to hunt down this wallpaper FOREVER.. I love the Martenique but its waaaay too expensive.

      However, I just signed on to the website of the Carleton Varney Gift Galleryand it's $225 ... not $136. Has the price just skyrocketed within the last year and a half?? Or do you have any other sources for this? The online website for Carleton Varney is not very helpful .. it doesn't list it as a product...

      Thanks! Abby

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    5. Hi Abby,

      Hmmm... maybe it did go up? You might try http://designerwallcoverings.com/WallpaperStore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=26791

      I'd love to know if their price increased as well. Thank you so much for popping by, and please let me know if you buy the wallpaper... I'd love to see pics!

      XOXO,
      The Glam Pad

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    6. I just checked: It is now $330 for a double roll at Carleton Varney. It is $188 a single roll at Designer Wall Coverings.

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  8. Oh so excitted to discover this wallpaper in a magazine [Australian Vogue] and then accidentally you by looking for an image to pin. Yay. Win win. Love what I am seeing. Your Glam Pad is right up my street, however far away. cheers!

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  9. SInce I have visited both The Greenbrier and The Beverly Hills Hotel and Love both. I actually prefer The Banana Leaf. It looks crisp and I love the pink accents as opposed to the Turquoise. But my all-time favorite hotel look is the fabulous Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. It is another Carlton Varney look and it is wonderful.

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  10. Come to my etsy store and I can supply the Brazilliance fabric by the yard.

    My etsy shop is aurelia6311

    dee

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  11. I absolutely love this article and your keen eye, and I REALLY LOVE YOUR BLOG! Just found you today via Mimosa Lane. Greetings from your latest follower! XO

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  12. So glad I found this post. Thanks for the info and comparison of the two. I'm totally leaning toward Brazillance now! I'm dying to see your finished dining room but it didn't come up on a search of your blog. Please let me know where I can find it! Thanks!

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  13. I'm on Team Dorothy. :)
    Both are lovely, but like you, I prefer the print with more saturation in the colour.

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  14. This is such an amazing post - so informative. I'm currently researching the pattern since it's something I've also loved. Thank you for the great resources!

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  15. TwentyOne7 carries the Dorothy Draper fabric and wallpaper at prices well below retail. We can't begin to tell you how popular the Dorothy Draper Brazilliance pattern has been lately in the wallpaper and fabric.
    Giving you exclusive access to "To The Trade" fabrics at prices well below retail!
    Tell us what fabrics you would like to see and we will add them to our already
    list of beautiful, chic and in style fabrics. Again, what we show is just the tip of the iceberg!

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  16. The people at Designer Wallcoverings offer no charge memos to the trade and well known customer service.

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  17. your blog has saved us a very costly mistake! i was sure the paper we wanted was the Martinique, but after reading your blog I realised that wasn't the case. thanks you so much! I don't suppose you know if we can buy it in the uk? thanks again

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  18. is this wallpaper removable?

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  19. Is there anyplace that ships this to Australia because I found this place http://www.shopsocietysocial.com/products/brazilliance-by-dorothy-draper but it only sold to American States :( #strayaproblems

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  20. I wanted to come back here and thank you for this post! It was an invaluable resource for me last year when I was trying to decide between Martinique and Brazilliance for our living room. In the end, it had to be Martinique! http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/House%202015/FullSizeRender-4.jpg

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  21. Anyone know a supplier in the Uk?
    OR a way to get a sample of Brazilliance? It's a bit if a struggle!
    Thanks

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  22. DesignerWallcoverings.com offers this product world wide. They are the exclusive online resource for this product for over 10 years. Great service too.

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Thank you for your lovely comments. They absolutely make my day!

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