There are many interior designers and decorators who were pioneers in their profession. 

These people paved the way for interior designers today. 

Many of us have heard of current celebrity interior designers on television (such as Nate Berkus, Sarah Richardson, and Thom Filicia), but here are a few of the most famous interior designers and decorators from the past that you should know.



Jean-Henri Jansen (1854-1928)
Jean-Henri Jansen created the first international interior design firm, Maison Jansen (House of Jansen) in Paris in 1880. 

The firm was famous for its antiques and custom furniture. 

They created spaces with historical details that were dramatic yet livable. 


Elsie de Wolfe (1865-1950)
Elsie de Wolfe is famous since she is considered by many to be the first professional interior decorator in the United States. 

Prior to having professional interior designers, homemakers were given the task of designing and decorating their homes themselves or the decoration was left to the architect or furniture maker.  

She was known for transforming dark Victorian interiors into more light and bright spaces. 

Elsie wrote the book, The House in Good Taste, in 1913. 

She is also known in the press by the name Lady Mendl.


Dorothy Draper (1889-1969)
Dorothy Draper is famous for establishing the first interior design company in the United States, Architectural Clearing House

She created a decorating style named Modern Baroque and used daring bold color combinations as well as bold black and white. 

She had a regular column in Good Housekeeping Magazine and designed fabrics, airplanes, hotels, furniture, restaurants, and more.


Sister Parish (1910-1994)
Sister Parish, cousin to Dorothy Draper, was also a famous interior decorator who favored the American Country style.

Some of her favorite design elements include patchwork quilts, painted furniture, overstuffed armchairs, and rag rugs. 

She is best known for helping design part of the Kennedy White House.



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