Born into a wealthy family in Tuxedo Park, New York, Dorothy Draper first gained attention for decorating her own homes. She soon decided to turn her passion into a career, and in 1925, she opened her interior design firm, Architectural Clearing House. While there were female interior decorators before her, they all focused on residential interiors. Draper is credited with professionalizing the field because she worked in the male-dominated world of commercial interiors, working primarily with architects and real estate developers. After divorcing, she incorporated her business as Dorothy Draper Inc. Her first big break was a commission to redecorate the Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue. She subsequently... more.