Carleton Varney has designed the interiors of landmark buildings from Washington to Japan, and now the world-renowned interior designer has brought his iconic style to Newbridge Silverware. The ‘Decorator to the Stars’ who is also known in the USA as ‘Mr. Colour’ has been commissioned by Newbridge Silverware to redesign its restaurant, which is now known as ‘Café Carleton’.
Mr. Varney has a high-achieving CV that includes projects such as The White House, government buildings around the world, plush hotels and the mansions of international celebrities. He has had a magnificent career for over 50 years and remains as one of the brightest minds in the world of interior design.
As one of the foremost Irish lifestyle companies in the world Newbridge Silverware is a brand that is synonymous with style, cutting-edge design and fashion and knew that Carleton was the man to stamp his signature style on the restaurant.
One of the restaurant's highlights is the candy stripe ceiling which has a circus-like feel to it with its carousel shape and light, bright colour. The ceiling features the trademark stripe patterns of Dorothy Draper and Company, the interior design company which Carleton heads up and which the eponymous designer uses in various projects around the world. The stripe, in a sky blue and white fits in perfectly with Newbridge Silverware’s own trademark blue, now described as many as ‘Newbridge Blue’. Everywhere across the restaurant there is something to make you look twice, circus monkey figurines boldly hold lampshades around the room, while the patterns on the stretched sofa seating brings to life the tropical leaf ‘Braziliana’ design that Carleton is renowned for embedding in his projects. The flamboyant design in the restaurant is a proper head-turner which will make visitors do a double take when observing the litany of bright pastels meshed with floral outbursts throughout the airy space.
William Doyle, CEO of Newbridge Silverware said, “Carleton, himself is fun and gregarious and his own personality helps bring various projects to life. He has a bold outlook on design and is not afraid to mix pattern with stripes or to clash colour or textures. Somehow it works, but only Carleton could make it work! Who would believe you if you told them the lighting fixtures where held firmly in place by cheeky circus monkeys! We couldn’t be happier with the design of Café Carleton and the way in which Carleton has brought a sense of magic and fun to the restaurant.”
Carleton Varney said, “I have a special place in my heart for Ireland. It is a country I always like coming to. It is an honour for me to have a restaurant named after me at Newbridge Silverware, an iconic Irish brand loved by so many. I hope visitors to the café will appreciate my work and its individuality and the creativity that has gone into it. Each project for me is very different and I try to bring something unique every time I put my hand to something, and that was no different here.”
Carleton Varney has previous connections with Ireland, having designed the interiors of other famous destinations here, with projects such as Ashford Castle, Adare Manor and Dromoland Castle already under his brightly coloured belt.
The American interior designer bought what is now one of America’s oldest operating designer firms, Dorothy Draper and Company in 1964 at the age of just 27, and he has been the imagination behind designs that are instantly recognisable in countries all over the world ever since.
Varney’s style is defined by his use of floral patterns to bring even the drabbest rooms to life. This involves the use of bright colours, adventurous patterns and bold contrasts that implores a room to stand out no matter what shape or size it may be. His work in Washington D.C. is his most well-known as he restored and redecorated the Official Vice President’s residence in the US capital during the George H.W. Bush administration, while he was also the colour consultant for the Carter Presidential Library in the White House and numerous other important State dinners, parties and functions at the US Presidential home during Carter’s time in office.
Varney’s work has stretched to all parts of the globe and some of his projects include the design of the interiors of hotels such as The Westbury in Brussels and London, The Waldorf Towers in New York, The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire, the Villa Madeleine and the Peter Island Resort Hotel on the British Virgin Islands.
He has also decorated the interior of the U.S Ambassador to Ireland’s residence in Phoenix Park, ‘Deerfield Residence’ and the U.S Ambassador to Japan’s residence in Tokyo. One of his most famous projects is the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, a building famed for its striking resemblance to the White House from the outside but features an array of outlandish designs on the inside.
Carleton also sparked a famous working relationship with legendary actress Joan Crawford, for whom he worked as an interior designer from 1965 onwards. He was just 22 when Ms. Crawford gave the young designer his first major contract, and it proved a massive step in his career as he began to establish himself as one of the world’s most creative thinkers in the field.
Other well-known names that Mr. Varney has worked with include Judy Garland, golfer, Sam Snead, football star, Joe Namath, Laurance Rockefeller the Errol Flynn estate and the residences of former US President, Jimmy Carter. He also designed stage sets for productions at the London Palladium and has released numerous books on decoration and interior design. In 2005 Architect’s Digest named him as one of the 30 ‘Deans of American Design’. He was inducted into the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame in 1990 and was awarded the 2015 Design Icon Award at the Las Vegas market in 2015.
Although the décor at Café Carleton takes centre stage, the menu on offer is nothing short of mouth-watering with a range of crowd-pleasing options on offer. The menu offers a range of culinary pleasures that vary from healthy breakfasts, indulgent delights, mid-morning fancies such as baked goods and light soups, and the Newbridge Silverware Signature Afternoon Tea. Lunch at Café Carleton is a decadent delight with dishes such as grilled fillet of seabass with flageolet beans, horseradish and turmeric aioli or braised short rib of beef with wild mushrooms and red wine jus on offe
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