Preppy Interiors Through the Years

Carrying on from yesterday’s post I was inspired to research the “preppy” aesthetic in interiors, both current and of yesteryear.  It’s fabulous to see the trends and items that weave themselves from the past into modern versions of rooms and homes.  Here are some great images of designers that specialize in this look, which has many trademarks such as a mix of antiques and newer items, bold prints, classic details, animal prints, rich color, gilded details and luxurious upholstery.

Dorothy Draper and her masterful  Greenbrier Hotel:



Sister Parish, designer to Jackie O:

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Miles Redd, who does modern glam preppy like no one else!


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Bunny Williams:

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Charlotte Moss:

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Markham Roberts:


Palmer Weiss:

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Kemble Interiors (Celerie Kemble and her mother, Palm Beach fixture Mimi McMakin):




Aerin Lauder’s home is a fabulous example of the preppy look:



Badgley Mischka’s country house is equestrian preppy chic:

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A fabulous dorm room (yes, dorm room) of a student a Drew University:



Here are some of my picks for adding a little old school preppy flair to your home:


1) Leopard carpet

2) Chesterfield Sofa

3) Pendelton Blanket




7) Faux Bamboo Chair

8) Bullseye Mirror

31 Responses to “Preppy Interiors Through the Years”

  1. Hi,
    These are all beautiful rooms, but I do not see why you are calling then “preppy”.?
    What do you think are the characteristics of preppy room.

  2. The dorm room is CRAZY!!! wow.

  3. Tracy F. says:

    Fabulous post! Gorgeous pictures!

  4. Studio 13 says:

    I LOVE Badgley Mischka’s “his” and “hers” monogrammed shams. Very stylish.

  5. EAC says:

    Love this post. I am curious to see what the other comments are. While I would never have thought to label the individual images as examples of “preppy” rooms, as a collection a definite vibe emerges. “Preppy glam” sounds so much more fun, and more descriptive, than new traditional or whatever else they’re calling it this month.

  6. Oh these preppy posts are so much fun. The rooms you have shown exquisite!

    And I loved your piece yesterday. I was a complete and total slave to the Preppy Handbook. It was was my bible. As a young, New York City school girl my uniform had to conform to the rules of TOPH! My childhood bff went to Miss Porter’s btw… and I was thisclose to going there myself!

  7. Preppy has never looked so beautiful. Love these images.

  8. Carrie says:

    This is one of my all time favorite posts, I love each of the interiors you chose. Who cares what you call it, but I love this style. Thank you!

  9. quintessence says:

    Fun post! And I think a room with all your picks would be smashing! With a different mirror (perhaps bamboo or gold) your selections could all go in a dark brown lacquer room and be fabulous!

  10. i love that you used muted colors for the preppy home inspiration items. that last image from the dorm room is fantastic in every way!

  11. Those rooms are all so evocative! You can almost picture the people who live in them, down to their outfits and accessories. I’m not at all a prepster myself, but some of these rooms are truly inspiring.

  12. Vanessa says:

    Those zebra doors are INSANE!!! Love Aerin Lauder’s closet and especially love Badgley Mischka’s home!

  13. Julie says:

    What a FABULOUSLY preppy post! How do you choose a favorite designer?!

    I am forever inspired by Bunny Williams and Palmer Weiss.

  14. Mmmm, Dorothy Draper. Someday (SOMEDAY!) I am going to the Greenbrier to soak it up in its large-scale, over-the-top fabulosity.

    I’m also dying over those black(?) lacquered walls. Divine.

  15. Lauren says:

    Love this post! ADORE the Badgley Mischka country house- one of my all time favorites. I spent the Fourth of July at the Greenbrier and was devastated to arrive the day after Carleton Varney’s lecture. Luckily my sweet boyfriend and his equally sweet grandmother had him sign a copy of Houses In My Heart for me!

  16. Interesting post! As a big fan of all things PREP, I am also a big fan of preppy interiors! One beautiful preppy interior that instantly comes to mind is the Lilly Pulitzer store on Madison Avenue at 79th Street…it is gorgeous!

    I also love the interior of all J McLaughlin stores! The J McLaughlin team does such an incredible job at planning the design of each one of their locations. You should see the new JMac on 72nd St. and Lexington, it’s Preppy Glam at it’s best!

  17. For me its Dorothy Draper who nails the preppy style best.

  18. Sarah says:

    Wow! I love these pictures. The french impressionist inspired rooms are just so lush. I gleaned several good ideas from your images – thanks so much for posting! The green wall with the mashup of art is totally inspiring – don’t mind if I copy it! :)

  19. Courtney P. says:

    Love Love Love all of these images! I grew up going to the Greenbriar and the fabulous Dorthy Draper is THE reason I wanted to become an Interior Designer. She definetly did Preppy Glam the best!

  20. Caroline B says:

    I love the pictures of The Greenbrier! My family and I go there every year; it’s amazing! It is literally the most magical place I ever been… Dorothy Draper is amazing. The decor is so inspiring and detailed. If you have never been, you MUST go!

  21. Aleka says:

    Love these photos. I learned something, as I didn’t know this style was called preppy. I always think of Ralph Lauren ads, lots of plaid and decoy ducks when I think of preppy.

  22. Cecilia says:

    Love these. I am such a fan of the kelly green walls…seriously still wnat them in my nursery but so scred its going to be too dark…

  23. Juicy says:

    I love all the photos, but they are not all indicative of “preppy”. Most are leaning towards English/Traditional, Classical, Gustavian and some touches of Regency/High Style which was the true style of Ms. Draper.

  24. Layton says:

    Agree with the other posters i.e. why these are labeled preppy. Definitely more along the lines of Classical/ English. And leopard carpet doesn’t really ring as preppy – does it?

  25. sloan says:

    too funny, erin – i am actually AT the greenbrier right now! my mother owns here, so we visit every august – heading home tomorrow. my girls and i shared a banana split at dorothy draper’s namesake restaurant earlier today – carleton varney’s recent renovations here are fab! … seems like you hit a nerve with all those MPS responses yesterday – who knew?!

  26. I really like Miles Redd’s aesthetic. And that dorm room has to be the nicest dorm room you will ever see.

  27. I’d take your preppy picks in a hot minute! Love them.

  28. Beth says:

    I love the prep!

  29. sketch42blog says:

    These are EXACTLY my type of rooms! I love it… I dont think of it so much as preppy as tradition/modern glam.

  30. Lauren Liess says:

    love this post!! check out sally steponkus too!! she’s our DC preppy girl (AMAZING!!)