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Ariene Bethea's Colorful Home Is a Treasure Trove of Eclectic, Collected Decor

Armed with a passed-down proclivity for collecting cool stuff, a Charlotte, North Carolina, designer turned her home into a wonderland.

"I'm a collector first," says Ariene Bethea. That attitude is the foundation of her layered Charlotte, North Carolina, shop, Dressing Rooms Interiors Studio, which stocks an ever-evolving assortment of vintage and new home wares. But it also rings true in the colorful, art-filled home she shares with her husband (and dog).

Bethea’s methodology is simple: “I only buy things that I love, whether for my house or the store.," she says "It’s not necessarily what’s on trend at the time; if I love it, I’m gonna purchase it.” The result is a delightfully eclectic mix—some of the motifs and styles Bethea gravitates toward are animals, crown molding, layered textures, and 1970s art.

And while her current profession requires regular treasure hunting, Bethea’s love of collecting dates back to childhood. Her parents and grandparents each had a discerning eye. At home, Bethea mixes her own finds with their family heirlooms: a 1960s Milo Baughman sofa (in its original upholstery!) that her mother purchased on layaway, a metal dining set of her grandparents’ that Bethea revived with fabric remnants. Finding this mix comes naturally: “That’s just how I grew up,” she recalls. “We had masks, we had midcentury art, Asian art, African art, and abstract art, and it was all mixed together.”

Setting the backdrop to Bethea’s collection is an array of rich jewel tones, as well as detailed fixtures and molding—despite the home being a (now 15-year-old) new build. Her admiration for such ornate architectural details comes from the seven years she spent living in Boston, where she fell in love with historic New England homes. “I added that heavy molding wherever I could,” she says. “Double molding, double crown—I fell in love with that style.”

In Bethea’s hands, these traditional accents are anything but stuffy; instead, they provide a supporting framework for a perfectly personal home that, as Bethea says, “fits how we live and showcases the things that are important to us as a family.”


Brie Williams

Bethea's collected style is immediately evident in the home's entryway, where she's mixed fine art and sculptures collected from various sources. "I realize I really like anything animal," says the designer. Paint: Tricorn Black, Sherwin-Williams. Sideboard: custom. Art: Zanele Muholi. Sculptures: Banner Nursery & Garden Center (head, topped with a feather duster) and vintage.

Living Room

living room
Brie Williams

“It was pretty black-and-white at first and then I gradually started adding layers,” designer Ariene Bethea says of the living room, which is grounded by a Robert Lawson painting that was her mother’s. Paint: Smoke, Glidden. Carpet: Surya. Art: Minted (over windows), Texture Imports (seated figurine), vintage Nigerian Yoruba crown (in right window). Curtains: Martha & Ash, in Teresa Roche Art & Textiles fabric.Coffee table: Bernhardt. Ottomans: vintage.


kitchen counters
Brie Williams

Since this space is one of the first you see when entering the house, Bethea scrapped a statement backsplash in favor of something more subdued but textural: a Tile Shop herringbone tile she installed sideways. Stools: Ballard Designs. Light: Corbett. Rug: Loloi. Hardware: Emtek. Sink: Elkay. Cabinetry: Merillat. Countertops: Everest white quartz.

Dining Area

dining room with masks
Brie Williams

Bethea sourced the collection of masks from a fellow vintage dealer and displayed them in a riff on the gallery wall of her childhood home. Table: Caracole. Chairs: Universal Furniture. Carpet: Surya. Sideboard: Bernhardt. Vases: vintage (left), West Elm (right).


lounge room
Brie Williams

A Milo Baughman sofa from Bethea’s mother finds new life in this moody space, where it’s paired with an ornate gilded mirror and an antique tapestry gifted from a client. Paint: Tricorn Black, Sherwin-Williams. Mirror, sofa, elephant table, and lamps: vintage. Throw pillows: custom, Jackie Rae Studios.

lounge decor 2
Brie Williams

A sculpture inherited from Bethea's mother poses next to a larger one scored at an estate sale. Cabinet: vintage. Lamp: vintage, from Dressing Rooms Interiors Studios. Artwork: Tandem Antiques & Design.


living room
Brie Williams
office decor
Brie Williams

Sherwin-Williams's Framboise paint enlivens the office, where Bethea topped a pair of lamps from her grandmother in custom shades. Table and chairs: 1970s Gastone Rinaldi from Bethea’s grandparents, the latter in vintage fabric. Pillows: MD Home Collection. Carpet: Surya. Art: Erica Michele (left, left photo) and vintage. Vase: vintage. Sideboard: Bernhardt. Screen: vintage.


master bedroom
Brie Williams

“This room was originally a really light blue,” Bethea says. “But I realized after living in it that I didn’t like waking up in a bright room.” A hotel stay prompted the shift to a “moodier” hue, which Bethea found by mixing several Sherwin- WiIliams colors. Art, mirror, mannequin, and sofa: vintage. Throw pillow: MD Home Collection. Bedspread: Etsy. Bolsters: Swank Home Interiors. Lamp: Dressing Rooms Interiors Studio.

Dressing Rooms Interiors Studio

dressing room and interiors studio
Brie Williams

Bethea’s vibrant shop—named to House Beautiful's Best Home Stores in America list last year— is filled with ever-changing vignettes of vintage furniture and decor. 2120 N. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte, NC. dressingroomsinteriors studio.com

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