Interior design icon Carleton Varney will be dearly missed

Poppy Slater

Everyone knew Carleton Varney, it seemed.

From presidents and vice presidents, to movie stars and everyone and anyone in the decorating business, Mr. Varney was known and loved by so many.

“He was always a quick guy with a story,” said Roger Everingham, who was general manager of The Colony when Mr. Varney oversaw a redecoration of the property. “He seemed to know everyone in the world — movie stars, and everyone else.

“He was really a light that brought joy to so many people.” 

Mr. Varney, who wrote the popular Your Family Decorator column for the Palm Beach Daily News for more than 40 years, died Thursday at a hospital in Palm Beach Gardens. The internationally known interior designer was 85. 

His columns about decorating — and many other topics, including his travels — revealed not only his depth of knowledge but also his genuine regard for people. He treated his readers as personal friends with whom he enjoyed a weekly chat, and his gentlemanly grace was always apparent.

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Carleton Varney, an interior designer who bathed his spaces in emerald green and melon orange, azalea pink and royal blue, acquiring the moniker “Mr. Color” with a roster of A-list clients including Joan Crawford and Jimmy Carter, died July 14 at a hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was […]