- Thoughts, Tips, and Trends in Interior Design -

Design Defined- 3.5 Hour One-Time Consult

Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 3:30 am

With summer in full swing and people in the mode of working on their home, I want to remind you about the 3.5 hour consult, Design Defined, that I offer.

 

While we tend to mostly work on full room or turn-key projects, this one-time service is for the client who needs direction and help making decisions, but likes to take that information and do the legwork themselves.

 

It has gone over really well, and the clients who have invested in this consult with me have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes with it.  Matter of fact, I have helped people not only rework rooms and the types of furniture to buy for the spaces, but others have used this service to select the finishes and paint colors for homes not yet under construction.

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Whatever your needs may be, you have my undivided attention for 3.5 hours.

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Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Here’s how the 3.5 hour consult, Design Defined, works:

You make an appointment, and before we meet, you send a list to me of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.  I will then spend our meeting time addressing your list and  answering any question you can possible think to ask me.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric swatches, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it!

 

The more legwork you do before our meeting, the more productive our time will be together.   We will make a Pinterest board with specifics of what to look for when shopping for your home, and I will take detailed measurements so you won’t have to worry about coming home with the wrong size sofa, ever again.

 

After our meeting, you will receive a detailed synopsis of what was discussed and a list of all of the suggestions I make for the entire home.   This allows you to maximize your time with me while I take notes and write down all the specifics for you to implement at a later date.

 

This one-time service is a great way to invest in your home by making sure what you are changing and buying is right for the space.  It also allows you the freedom to work on your project as your time and budget allows, all while following professional advice.

 

If you think Design Defined can help you make your home the place you dream, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.   I would love to talk with you.

 

Have a good one,

dana

 

P.S. I post pictures on other social media sites that don’t always make it onto my blog, so please follow along.

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Motivational Quotes From Some Famous Fathers

Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2016 at 3:30 am

With Father’s Day around the corner, I thought it might be fun to include a few motivational quotes by some famous fathers.

 

Here goes:

 

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I can’t close this post without including a few quotes from the men special to me.   I grew up with my father, who played professional sports, telling us….

 

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He would remind us of this before any big presentation, performance or big event we were involved in.

 

 

My grandfather’s favorite is one that applies to life.  Life is beautiful, but far from perfect…..

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Hope you enjoyed the fun including some motivational quotes from some fathers.   Have a great day celebrating the men in your life-

 

dana

When A Family Needs More Space

Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 at 3:30 am

We have some exciting projects going on right now, including an older home in Mountain Brook, AL, that has great bones and has been renovated beautifully by architect James Carter.   We are updating the interiors in several of the rooms throughout the home.

 

This family is looking for a little more space, and one of the rooms in this project is turning the garage into a second family room.

 

What do you see? I see a future family room. Dana Wolter Interiors

What do you see? I see a future family room. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

We are making sure this space blends into the rest of the house by repeating a few of the finishes found throughout the home.  I envision this space as a second family room- a place to watch a ballgame, a movie, or to entertain friends.

 

This room will be classic but chic, edgy but elegant, and filled with gorgeous fabrics from Schumacher, Holly Hunt, Kravet, Zoffany, Holland and Sherry, and Pierre Frey to name a few.

 

I have paid close attention to the durability on the upholstered pieces and am using the more “pretty” fabrics as accents.  This way, the room will hold up to family fun and everyday life.

 

Yes, you can have casual, everyday elegance in a home you want to live in.

 

They asked for a sleeper sofa for extra sleeping options, and with the wall being as long as it is, I decided to go with a custom 102″ sofa.   This is a large sofa (standard is 84″) so it will add to the comfy quota of this room.  I am also adding two upholstered screens that will slip in behind it to break up this long wall.

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

We are closing up the existing opening on the east wall and opening it up to the back hall of the house.  I love this idea as it will make this room feel like a true part of the house, and not a garage turned into……

 

 

The garage door wall is gaining custom french doors across it, which will completely change the feel of this room with the added light.

 

Construction has just begun and I will keep you posted on the progress-

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

 

If you have a project in your home you would like to discuss with us, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.   We would love to hear from you.

 

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

Posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 at 3:30 am

 

With Father’s Day around the corner, we have created for you a gift guide with a few options for the “hard to buy” father.   We’ve included some of our favorite things for the men in your life, and the prices range from $52 to $395.

 

Here goes:

 

 

 

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Image by Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

1. Cathy’s Concepts Personalized Craft Beer Tasting Flight $78 One of our favorite gifts on the list are the personalized,  beer-tasting glasses.  Each glass is customized with a monogram and the base is a chalk board, making it fun for adding a personalized message.     Buy here.

 

 

2. Bose QuietComfort Headphones  $299 These are the perfect gift for the music aficionado in your life.  These are in-ear, noise-canceling headphones from Bose and they come in white or black.       Buy here.

 

 

3. Burberry ‘New London’ Wallet $395  Looking for a nice, long lasting gift for Dad? This classic, calfskin leather wallet comes in three great colors and will be an item he will also enjoy for a long time.       Buy here.

 

 

4. Will Leather Goods Traveler Duffle Bag $395  Does the dad in your life like to travel?  If so, here is a gift for you!   This vintage-style duffle bag is great-looking piece Dad can take with him wherever he goes.   It is crafted from weathered, vegetable-tanned leather and tough canvas denim.       Buy here.

 

 

5. UGG ‘Ascot’ Leather Slipper $119.95  These leather slippers are great for lounging around the house.  They come in three different colors and are surely to keep your dad warm- and comfortable- all year round!       Buy here.

 

 

6. Jack Black ‘Core Collection’ Set  Shaving/Face Set $52  Jack Black is known to have some of the best skin products for men and this set gives you three of their most popular items. The set includes a cleanser, a conditioner for shaving, and a moisturizer.       Buy here.

 

 

7. Fitbit ‘Blaze’ Smart Fitness Watch $199.95   A Fitbit is a great gift to give anyone, and this sleek and sporty ‘Blaze’ Fitbit is perfect for the athletic or health-conscious man.    Buy here.

 

 

8. Cathy’s Concepts Personalized Glass Decanter $53.72  This is a gift the man in your life can add to his bar, home office or man cave.  The elegant, handblown glass decanter features a custom etched monogram and rustic wooden stopper.       Buy here.

 

 

9. Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker $116  Bose speakers are some of the best speaker products out there and this portable, bluetooth speaker is one that everyone can enjoy, especially Dad.  It’s perfect for enjoying background music, wherever you are.

 

 

Hope you find this Father’s Day gift guide helpful for the men in your life.   Let me know what items work for the dads in your life.

 

Dana

 

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Tips For Accessorizing Your Walls

Posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2016 at 3:30 am

Today I am giving tips on how to accessorize your walls to create an elegant, everyday space that is your own.

 

There is no right or wrong to what you select to place on your walls, but there are a few guidelines that will help you know how to display them.

 

Artwork is a personal thing and you should always choose pieces that are more than just space fillers.  If you come across a piece you love, buy it as I promise you will  find a spot for it.   Surround yourself with artwork and accessories you will want to keep forever, and buy the best you can afford.

 

 

Here are a few quick tips to help you decide what to hang on your walls:

 

1. Mix it up

If you have a two oil paintings in a room, add a different medium such as one under glass.  This gives the room more dimension and depth.  I also love a good gallery wall because it instantly makes a room feel like it has been collected over time.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Jean Allsopp

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

2.  Make it personal.

When I was working on this client’s home,  she showed me this beautiful watercolor she commissioned of one of her girls.   We floated it in some glass and made it a focal point.  Isnt it a pretty piece?

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

3.  Always try to hang a mirror in a room.  Remember to check what it is reflecting.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Jean Allsopp

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Jean Allsopp

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Layer.  

Here I have layered a pencil sketch over a mirror (and the mirror reflects an oil painting).

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

5.  If you have a collection, consider framing it together.  

 

My clients are HUGE baseball fans and had all of these incredible signed baseballs sitting all over the place.   We consolidated them in a shadow box, which gave them a higher prominence in this study.

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Hope these tips help you when adding this important layer to a room.   Make your house your own by filling it with pieces that speak to you.    As always, if you like what you see and want to know if we can help you with your home, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

 

 

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New Design Service- “Everything In Its Place”

Posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 at 3:30 am

Is your home almost complete, but still missing the last layer of art, rugs, and accessories to pull it together?

 

Not sure how to do this, so you need someone to come in and finish it for you?

 

If so, DWI is offering a new design service called “Everything In Its Place”, and it may be the perfect one for you.

 

We normally design full rooms or entire homes, but lately my junior designers have taken on a few day projects offering this service, and it has gone over really well- and made a huge difference in some interiors.

 

They say the devil is in the details, and this last step is just as important as all of the others.

 

Here is how “Everything In Its Place” works:

 

Our junior designer makes a site visit to discuss your home and needs.    She makes a list of the areas to address and takes lots of measurements and pictures.    She sits down with me for a couple of hours and we make a list of how to approach these spaces.

 

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She then goes shopping for you, and she and one of our other designers schedule a day to install.

 

Once they have finished, you decide what you would like to keep.   You are not obligated to buy everything they pull but there is a minimum and an hourly rate for this service.

 

 

Artwork by Wellon Bridgers recently commissioned for a recent client. Dana Wolter Interiors

Artwork by Wellon Bridgers recently commissioned for an “Everything In It’s Place” client. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

If you would like more information on “Everything In Its Place” or the other services we offer, feel free to email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.  Let us know your needs as we look forward to hearing from you-

 

Dana

 

 

 

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Tips For Hiring A Designer For Your Home

Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2016 at 3:30 am

So you want to hire a designer to help you with your home?  Congrats!

 

I am taking the mystery out of the process and giving you the scoop.   Hopefully, these tips will ensure the process is fun and smooth-sailing when hiring a designer for your home.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

1.Know Your Budget.  Be honest at the very beginning how much you want to spend and what the budget needs to include.   A good designer can tell you approximately how much a typical room will cost, but you must be forthcoming so the design discussion can evolve accordingly.   You may be entrusting this person to spend your money wisely for your home, so make sure you are on the same page from the very beginning.

 

2.Don’t Be Afraid To Ask How The Process Works.   Your designer can give you specifics about how the entire design process will unfold, and guess what?  There are many different ways designers in our industry work, so be sure to ask about the process, the length of the process, and how the firm charges.

 

3.Ask Around.   I love all of my clients, but I especially love when someone calls me and has gotten my name from a friend.   This tells me they have done their homework- they know my design aesthetic, how I charge, what I am like to work with, etc..   If you find someone off of the internet, don’t be shy to ask for references and stalk search them on social media.   Find out as much as you can about whom you are thinking of hiring.

 

4.Show Your Designer Anything You Can to Convey Your Taste. Communication  is key, and pictures are worth a thousand words, as they say.  Make a Pinterest board to share that inspires you and know what you like about each picture.   Giving your designer a visual will help him or her evoke your unique taste into the look of your home.

 

BUT….

 

5.Once You Show Pictures Of What You Like, Let Them Do Their Job and Use Their Creativity.   No one wants to copy someone else’s work, and you don’t want to hire someone who copies someone’s work, so show them what you like, why you like it, and let them do their thing.

 

6.How Involved Do You Want to Be and Who Is The Decision Maker In The Process? Some clients want no part in the design process, while other clients want to be involved in many of the details.  It’s also important to let your designer know up front who in your family will be making the decisions.

 

7.Trust your Designer. This is a big one.

I get it- Furnishing a home is a long term investment, and you dont want to make any mistakes.

But at the end of the day, you hired this particular person for a reason – because you like his/her style and you felt comfortable with them.

A pretty room can be created in different ways, but I have found that when I am given the leverage and trust by my clients to do my job and use my creativity, the room goes from pretty to pretty incredible.  Invest in someone reputable and good, and be open to what you may not be able to envision.

 

8.We Want to Make You Happy. Yes, your designer wants to please you, and yes, your designer wants you to be ecstatic with the end result.   Your project is her baby, too.

We work hard and do not always convey the million times we have had to call about a shipment never shipped or that we had to send something back that was not up to our standards.

In the end, we are in this together, and we have the same goal:  To make your home elegant in a way you can enjoy and live in every single day.

 

I hope these tips for hiring a designer for your home make the process enjoyable, and that the end result will be the home you always imagined!

 

Have fun,

Dana

 

If you have a project you would like to discuss with us, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.   We would love to hear from you.

 

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How To Select The PERFECT Paint Color

Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 at 3:30 am

Have you ever chosen a paint color, knowing it is the “perfect” one, only to have it painted to discover it looks completely different than what you imagined ?!

 

If so, you are not alone!

 

Take the guesswork out of choosing a  color by following this process.  It will ensure the color you achieve on your walls is what you are hoping for.

 

Here’s how to select the perfect paint color:

 

The important first step in choosing a paint color is getting it out of the store.  Choose a handful of hues, or borrow the entire fan deck of colors, and bring the chips back home.

 

 

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We like to make our own swatches so we can be sure the color is what we think.

 

Nothing will help you choose a color better than seeing the hue applied to the wall.
Take the samples home and brush them on the walls of your room.  If your walls are dark, paint the samples on a white piece of poster board so the current color doesnt interfere with the new ones.
Look at the colors at all times of day, from bright morning light to golden afternoon light to lamp-lit darkness. Sun, or lack thereof, can make a huge difference in how a color reads.
Always paint two very good coats to get a good idea of what the color is going to look like on the wall. Once the test sections are dry, hang artwork over them, push furniture in front of them, and stand back in the room to see how they look.
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This image shows your the difference in one and two coats.

 

When choosing a sheen, remember that flat paint gives you color closest to the original cardboard paint chip, where semi gloss paint will have a moderate reflective quality.
Remember  with so many color choices available, it is necessary to take your color for a test drive before you buy.
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These are some Sherman Williams and Benjamin Moore colors we tested for a current project.

 

Happy painting,
dana
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Tackling A Few Things On My To-Do List

Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 at 3:30 am

Give me a deadline, such as a party at my own house,  and it is a sure way to make me tackle a few things on my to-do list.

 

Remember the Southern Living Design Summit party I hosted at my house back in February?

 

If you recall, Southern Living celebrated their 50th birthday with a fun-filled weekend.  They gave a tour around Birmingham, AL to the designers who came into town, and my house was the first stop on a list of some fun places.   When you think of so many people coming in and seeing how you live, it became the perfect reason to do a few things I have been meaning to change for a while.

 

In my family room, I changed out my grass rug to a larger one and added sheers across two walls.

 

I love the way sheers soften a room and take the formality down a notch.  The one below is from Schumacher and is a go-to for me.

 

I am still looking for the perfect piece to hang on top of them above my sofa, but what a difference they make.

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

 

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The velvet on the chair is another by Schumacher.  Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton.

 

I love for a space to feel organic, layered, pulled together… but not so formal that it feels stiff and unwelcoming.    My family room is filled with durable, treated fabrics, so we can live in this room and not worry about everyday life.  This is what I call, Everyday Elegance.

 

And why not?  Why not create a home that feels good and pretty to you, but is bold enough to live up to everyday life?

 

I also changed up a few fabrics on the other side of the room by reupholstering my club chairs (in a durable velvet) and adding a custom screen behind them.

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

It’s amazing how much better crossing off a few things on your to-do list makes you feel.  With summer here and my house feeling a little more “lived-in” with my children home, I think I need to look at my list again soon.

Here’s to tackling a few things on our to-do lists, one task at a time.

Dana

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How To Create A Budget-Friendly Dorm Room

Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2016 at 3:30 am

With another school year coming to an end and seniors looking ahead to next year, I thought I would publish again a popular post I wrote last year, How to Create A Dorm Room On A Budget.

 

 

I gave these tips when designing my daughter’s last year, and for those of you who will be sending your child off soon, I hope you find these helpful.

 

 

 

Here goes:

 

Budget-friendly Dorm Rooms-

While a dorm room isn’t something I create every week, I have been involved in one this summer, and it’s been on a budget.

 

It’s different than what I normally do- the rooms I design are usually designed for a specific space-  custom bedding, custom upholstery, true wood, etc…

 

I have been pulling together my daughter’s room for college (yikes- it is really happening), and we wanted to watch what we spent.    We want it to be cute, but because she won’t use most of it for more than a year, our budget was challenging low.

 

So after hitting West Elm, Target, and a few other sources around town, this is what we created.

 

 

Budget- Friendly Room

 

 

Budget- Friendly Room

 

 

 

The quality of the pics isn’t great, but you get the idea.   We mixed in a little custom with home store finds to make it as budget- friendly as we could.

 

Here are a few tips to follow when working on a budget-friendly room at any age…

 

1.   According to the space and budget, buy the best upholstery you can.

Even for a dorm room, I created a custom headboard.  A nice, weighty piece of upholstery makes such a difference, the quality is much better, and I knew she would use it for three years.  This leads me to my next point……

 

2.  Mix your pricepoints based upon the piece’s use.

While we spent more on the custom upholstered headboard, we bought a Target bookcase (and the cute baskets) to go in between them.   The bookcase only needs to last a year, and if we end up using it for longer than that, it is a bonus.

The euros, draperies and headboard are “to the trade fabrics”  with the headboard fabric from Schumacher and the euro pillows and drapery panels from Duralee.  The dust ruffle- yes, please don’t tell, is a Target drapery panel reworked with a gray banding added to the bottom of it.   The solid fabric and Greek key trim for the front pillow were found at a local fabric store.

 

3.  Find your colorway.

I gave my daughter and her roommate two colorway options, and they voted for the indigo blue and gray one.   As you can see, I let the blue be the “pop” and repeated the soft gray throughout.   You see it in the rug, the headboards,in the Target baskets, banding on the bottom of the dust ruffle,etc….

 

4. Mix patterns.

I love to mix patterns in a space, and the key is to use different scales.   Even for a dorm room, I threw in a solid (a fabric from a local fabric store) to break up the patterns.

 

Hope this post helps you create a budget- friendly dorm room.  Everyone shows love in different ways, and I showed my love language to my little girl by leaving a little bit of me behind with her.

 

 

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Cheers to showing how you care in your own special way-

Dana

 

 

UPDATE:   It is hard to believe my girl’s freshman year in college is coming to an end.  It has been a good one and I am grateful she has made some really sweet friends and has done so well.  Her room held up well- we are reusing her headboard and maybe her pillows next year.   The only feedback I have gotten from her was that the dust ruffle was cumbersome- I loved how it covered up the storage under it, but she felt the dust ruffle was in the way of accessing the under the bed storage.   Maybe it’s time I design a line for dorm rooms that includes custom storage in a chic, functional way that suits us both.

 

 

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