For creative-minded interior designers, one of the hardest parts of their jobs can be selling their ideas to clients and helping them “see” the vision for a space. But for Carl Lowery, it’s a natural fit.
That’s because Lowery took a circuitous route to becoming a Dallas interior designer. This Louisiana native started his career in telecommunications, eventually becoming the director of marketing for a large telecom company. But several years in, Lowery found himself growing bored and started going to antique auctions, eventually opening the Oak Lawn Antiques showroom in 1999.
“It seemed as I started to purchase the products in auctions that I was very good at selecting items that complemented each other, and as I put together the showroom, it seemed like I was good at merchandising,” he said. “So I opened three showrooms total in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Southlake to great success and the rest is history. Now, instead of the showrooms, we work out of a studio in the Design District.”
Lowery’s ability to clearly communicate his creative ideas and help clients envision the final product is one of his strongest skills as owner and founder of Wesley-Wayne Interiors. It paves the way for a relationship built on trust, with happy clients at the end of a job.
“I just love making people happy and I love improving spaces, taking full advantage of spaces, and making sure they not only function the way the client wants, but they are very aesthetically pleasing,” he said. “When the client sees the final space and they have a huge smile on their face or get tears in their eyes, that makes my day.”
Growing up in Louisiana, Lowery’s mother loved antiques and was always on the search for the perfect piece to finish a room. One of his memories is shopping with her for the perfect breakfast table.
“She had to have oak, round, and very detailed claw feet,” he said. “Finally, at a shop in Bastrop, Louisiana, they received some items that had survived a fire in an old plantation home, and there it was, the perfect table. My mom passed several years back, but every day at work we use this table for client meetings.”
Those client meetings involve the other two designers at Wesley-Wayne Interiors, Nathan Hejl and Stephanie Alley, who bring their own instincts to residential and commercial interior design projects.
“For the most part, we all like the same ideas but we each have our own twist,” Lowery said. “We work very well together, and we work on every project together which, for me, fine tunes the end result.”
Lowery has a simple philosophy with Wesley-Wayne Interiors: Make a space stunning but never unapproachable.
To meet that goal, the team pays careful attention to color, space, texture, and shape, mixing traditional luxury with modern functionality in many projects. All of this becomes possible because of true collaboration with clients.
Most of Lowery’s clients arrive at Wesley-Wayne Interiors because they have seen his work in someone’s home, or because they’ve perused his website’s portfolio, and love what they see.
“We talk to them about what their likes and dislikes are, how they entertain, how many people there are, how they see each room playing out in the house,” Lowery said. “It only takes a small jumping off point and we come back and put together a comprehensive design plan to present to the client—most of the time we get most of it right. We are quick to respond and turn around with a new option for any changes and it usually only takes a few iterations to get it right.”
Lowery and his team at Wesley-Wayne have been ranked “Best of Houzz” and “Top Ten Dallas” every year, and clients seek them out for tasteful furnishings, timeless custom drapes, and breathtaking accessories, art, and rugs. They work in all styles, but because this is Texas, they end up creating traditional homes most of the time.
“We’re trying to lean slightly more transitional, but it is Texas, and by far a majority of homes are still traditional,” Lowery said. “Even in Park Cities, you’re seeing some more modern structures going up, but they’re probably only 5 to 10 percent. Any great designer should be able to pull off every design style no matter their personal taste.”
Clients come from all over the state and the country.
“We travel a lot and we have clients in California and in Florida right now,” Lowery said. “But most of our business is here in town.”
Lowery said he believes Dallas is one of the best places for an interior designer in the country.
“So many new residents move to Texas every year—it should be a long time before we run out of something to do,” he said. “Additionally, there are extraordinary resources to the trade in Dallas. With the Design District and the Trade Center at the edge of downtown, access to the perfect furnishings and products in unlimited.”
On a personal note, Lowery is engaged and gets married Dec. 18 at The Joule. He said his plans for the New Year have him excited.
“I’ll be newly married and will probably start the process of purchasing a new home,” he said. “For the business, we’ll be rolling out a new logo, updated website, and marketing campaign. I can’t wait for all of the above.”