Diana Paxton, formerly Diana Crider. Photo by Martin Boling

Diana Paxton, formerly Diana Crider. Photo by Martin Boling


Diana Crider, interior designer, is back in business.

She is now Diana Paxton and after a 10-year absence brought on by a couple of detours, she has launched DianaBe LLC. “I was called back into action,” she says.

Paxton, 56, started her first business, Chameleon Interiors and Furnishings, in 2001 at 201 N. Morton St. She worked mostly in Indianapolis, including decorating and staging Parade of Homes builds. In 2004, she chaired a Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County project on Snoddy Road, renovating the former home of Kathy Canada, Eli Lilly’s granddaughter. “It brought together Bloomington’s entire community of designers, each getting a room to put his own spin on,” says Paxton.

She was also the designer on high-profile projects, like one for former Indiana University basketball coach Kelvin Sampson in 2006. Her design included a downsized replica of the Assembly Hall floor.

Two years later, with the advent of an unexpected pregnancy, Paxton took an extended leave from design work. “That wasn’t part of my business plan,” she says. She returned to work in 2012, but five years later, facing a divorce, she took another protracted hiatus. It was a call from former IU football coach Bill Mallory in 2017, asking for help downsizing into a condominium, that pulled her back into the design arena.

Paxton recently designed the interior of Woolery Mill, which houses One World Enterprises’ catering and events operations. “One of the most exciting elements has been collaborating on custom photographic pieces that will bring the history and architecture of the structure into the space in a contemporary way,” she says.

No matter the size of the project, Paxton says she operates on three principles. One: “Make what people have work better for them.” Two: “Things don’t have to match to go together.” Three: “Use the same palette throughout. A countertop color will become a wall color, and a fabric or art color in other areas.”

Paxton works from home these days. And the story behind the name DianaBe? “I’ll figure it out by ‘being’ in it,” she explains.

Visit facebook.com/diana.p.crider for more information.