Dianne Wright, gallery director for Coats-Wright Art & Design Gallery, has dedicated her career to interior design for over 20 years and fine art for over 35 years. For Dianne, blending various design styles and seamlessly presenting an overall cohesive look comes naturally.
Dianne uses her knowledge of art in every design and specializes in incorporating her client’s cherished collections into stylized vignettes that both encourage conversation amongst guests and honor the items that are special to their owner.
In her beautifully curated gallery showroom, it is evident that Dianne draws inspiration from one of her favorite style icons, Darryl Carter — a designer from Washington D.C. who celebrates a “collected” look. Inside the showroom, one finds clean white walls with paintings ranging from contemporary acrylic pieces to classic oils in traditional frames.
Set against these works are handsomely worn antique French wood furniture tables and seating covered in white fabric. Softening the edges you will find burlap curtains, a Turkish-inspired hand knotted rug, fresh cut lilies in a simple glass vase and an original glazed pottery piece on display. Each item tells a story and harmoniously works together to create an interesting and well-curated look.
“Be willing to go outside the box and enjoy the process”
Comparing a Decorated vs. Collected Look
With a “decorated” look all finishes are characteristically identical on all of the furniture from chairs to sofas, dining room table and dining chairs. Bedrooms have matching linens, bedspreads and matching lamps. When all of the finishes are the same, it’s predictable and leaves little to the imagination. Your design will look more like a furniture showroom. A decorated look is safe, risk-free and is typically acquired over a short period of time.
This look is described as a comfortable space that appears to have been acquired over time. It incorporates sentimental items displayed in a meaningful fashion. It is also characterized by a mix of different design styles with various finishes for example: formal with informal, velvet with silk or burlap, and pairing high style with simplicity. While this may describe a hodge-podge look, Dianne advises that the best way to unify a room with multiple styles is to use similar fabrics in a similar color with varying texture. A cohesive color story unifies elements of the room.
Tips to Achieve a Collected Look
1. Create a neutral environment.
Dianne believes it’s important to give your eyes a rest from a busy and stimulating day. Choose a calming wall color (Dianne recommends white). This way, colorful artwork and properly displayed collectibles do the talking while the rest of the room remains quiet. If a predominately neutral environment is not appealing to you, then layer in your favorite colors by adding accent pillows that can be changed seasonally.
2. Move your furniture around.
It’s okay to use a dresser from a bedroom as a sideboard or vice versa.
3. Group collections together.
Your collectibles can be sentimental or not, but when similar items are displayed all together, it makes more sense than having them scattered throughout the home.
4. Enjoy the process.
Shop antique and artist shows, resale shops and purchase items of interest while on vacation. This way, your home reflects your individual style and does not wholly consist of random objects from a popular retailer. Plus, the unique items you collect are often great conversation starters when you entertain.
5. Hire a designer. A professional can help you pull it all together in an attractive way. Having someone work with you as an extra set of eyes to edit your process can be very helpful.
For more design and art expertise, visit Dianne at her showroom in suite 122 of the Indiana Design Center.
About Coats-Wright Art & Design
Coats-Wright Art & Design Gallery
Indiana Design Center
200 South Rangeline Road, Suite 122
Carmel, IN 46032
Hours: Tue. – Sat. 10 am – 5 pm
The Coats-Wright Art & Design Gallery is an eclectic mix of paintings and sculpture by regionally and nationally known artists, both traditional and modern, whose works span the 19th century to present. Among those are T.C. Steele, C. W. Mundy, Janet Scudder, Boaz Vaadia and internationally recognized Robert Rauschenberg, to name a few. We are very enthused to be introducing to the area two artists who are gleaning much national and international recognition, painter Eric Forstmann and sculptor Michael Kalish. We are also excited to offer and showcase antiques from R. Beauchamp Antiques and provide interior design services.