- Thoughts, Tips, and Trends in Interior Design -

Design Tips For Your Home

Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 at 3:30 am

Homes are an investment, so spend your money wisely by following these design tips.

 

Whether you are a building, renovating, or updating a space, there are several common mistakes I often see.   They can be costly ones- either causing buyer’s remorse or worse,  decisions that lower the value of your home when it is time to sell.

 

 

1. Choosing quality over quantity.   Remember, it is always better to build or buy a smaller home with nicer finishes than a large one with generic ones.  McMansions are a thing of the past, and as people focus on enjoying their homes, they want to enjoy some of the luxuries that can come with it.   Not to mention quality lasts, where subpar has to be replaced in a few years.

 

2. When building or renovating, leave enough money to furnish it.    Your surroundings play an important part in how you live and enjoy life, and the last thing you want to do is build an incredible home, only to live with empty rooms.  I get it- you are mentally/physically exhausted, tired of spending money, and you think you will go back and finish at a later date.  Life happens, bills come up, and it’s always easier (and better) to do it when you are in that mindset.

 

3.  Buy a rug that is proportional to the room.  A rug that is proportional to a room is one of the most important things you can do to ground the space, especially if it is a large room.    If you don’t have the basic pieces correct in a space, the room will never feel right.   It is a layer, and the layer needs to be in relation to the size of the room.

 

4. Before you buy, have a furniture layout in mind. This is where a professional can really make a difference, because we know what scale pieces fit a room, how much of a walkway will be left with a certain size sofa and chair, etc….  Furnishing your home is an investment, one you should enjoy for many years, so spend your money wisely the first time.

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

 

5.  Be patient until you can afford to purchase the right piece.  A room should be enjoyed for a long time, and it is an investment.   Wait until you can buy the rug you really want, or the table that speaks to you.  Over many years, a few hundred dollar savings or even a thousand will not mean much over the long span of time of enjoying the piece you really want.

 

 

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6.  Mix up the furniture lines used throughout your home.   This goes with upholstery, too.  Mix old and new, etc…  I am beginning to see the same upholstery line used throughout a home, and your home should never look like an ad for a showroom floor or furniture line.

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

Graham Yelton Photography Dana Wolter Interiors

Graham Yelton Photography Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Hope these home design tips (and mistakes to avoid) help you create a home you love.  Let me know what resonates with you and what other suggestions come to mind.

Have a great day-

Dana

 

 

If you are interested in discussing how we can help with your design project, email us here.  We would love to talk with you.

 

 

P.S.  I often post pictures on other social media formats that are not seen on my blog.  To follow along, click below:

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I am thrilled to announce I am taking part in a panel at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center in Atlanta, GA,  on September 28th at 1:00.

 

We are discussing how to incorporate technology and social media into a design business.  Coastal Living Homes Editor Ellen McGauley and Southern Living Senior Homes Editor Zoë Gowen will lead the panel, and Cortney Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, will join us.  Special thanks to The Shade Store for sponsoring.

 

There will be lots of conversation on what’s working online, what’s not working, and what the future of design entails with social media and technology.

 

Hopefully, you will walk away with a few ways to grow your business by using these tools, too.

 

 

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Click here to register as seating is limited.  Let me know if you will be there so I can look for you.  It’s going to be a lot of fun-

 

dana

 

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Christmas in August- Southern Living Style

Posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 at 7:28 am

Though my car read 113 degrees the other day, I’ve been doing a little Christmas planning, Southern Living style.

 

Southern Living and their editors reached out several weeks ago about wanting to photograph my house for their December issue.  It’s been fun to think- even in the middle of the heat-  ways to make my decor special for Christmas.

 

Their stylist and I have been planning- and there’s going to be lots of gold, white, and texture.  If you follow my stories on Instagram, you saw where a real tree from North Carolina arrived last week, courtesy of a tree farm owner who drove it down.

 

My children have asked if we can keep the decorations up for a day or two and have a Christmas party in August.   My child, who has a Christmas birthday, asked if we could celebrate her birthday while we are at it, too.  Not going to happen, but it sounds fun in theory!

 

Stay tuned as I will be sharing pictures all week on social media on how we are decorating for Christmas in August, Southern Living style.

 

dana

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors Photo by Zoe Gowen

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

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I love these angels and nativity scenes available at Amano in Mountain Brook Village.

 

 

 

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#VestaviaHills Project – Library

Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 at 3:30 am

One of the new construction projects we are working on includes a library/office space.  It is going to be beautiful with waxed oak cabinetry and paneling, along with a hidden room behind one bookcase.

 

As you can see, we’ve taken the existing layout and tweaked it.   I like adding the furniture plan into a room before it is framed to know EXACTLY how a room lays out.  This allows us to make any tweaks to the shell before framing begins.

 

 

Before:

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After:

 

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Image by Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Having a seating area and a desk in this room provides many functions for this space, which I love because I am always looking for ways to draw you into a room.  You should live in every square inch of your home, but sometimes you need to know ahead of time just what you will be doing in there.

 

With the detailing of the hidden door and custom cabinetry, this is where it pays to have a really good cabinet craftsmen working on the project.  Thanks goodness ours likes detail and customized projects.

 

We’ve shared the breakfast room/kitchen space here, and stay tuned as we share the progress on the rest of our #VestaviaHills project.   It is going to have some really pretty elements built into it.

 

Dana

 

As always, 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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A Transformation In Progress

Posted on Thursday, August 4th, 2016 at 3:30 am

A family in #Vestavia, AL, has hired me to change the interiors in several of the rooms in their home.  The house was built around 20 years ago and while it was furnished well, it is time to renew and refresh.

 

One of my favorite rooms in the home is going to be the dining room.   It began as ornate, dark, and full of English and French furniture.  While I love that my client has many antiques that we can curate through and add back in where needed,  her home is going to look so much more fresh and updated when we are finished.   Antiques give instant age and a “collected look” to a room, so when I can add a few into the mix, I always try to do so.

 

Two walls of the dining room are going to be draped in fabric, which will create drama in itself.   We are adding a few custom pieces of furniture to the mix- a dining room table and a console.   And while I like mixing my woods in a space, I want to make sure all finishes, colors and undertones blend in the room.

 

Fabrics for the dining room space. Dana Wolter Interiors

Fabrics for the dining room space. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Blending the finishes on the new pieces of furniture with the fabrics

Blending the finishes on the new pieces of furniture with the fabrics

 

 

This room and the others have been ordered and the powder is completely gutted as we speak.   The transformation is in progress, and it’s going to be unbelievable.

 

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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A House Made Into A Forever Home

Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 at 3:30 am

We’ve been working on a new project for a cute couple with school-aged children.   This is their forever home, but right now this recently purchased property doesn’t feel very special to them.

 

They’ve hired us to completely redo the furnishings in the foyer, living room, family room, dining room, breakfast room, and playroom.   We are adding in a new front door and tongue and groove planking in the foyer.   My goal is to make this house their HOME and a place to watch their children grow and make memories.  It sits on a wonderful piece of property, and is perfect for a family with growing children.

 

When we first sat down, my client had a stack of pictures for me to see.  I loved hearing what she liked about each and what grabbed her attention.  She likes a collection of antiques mixed with new pieces.  A collected, layer look, which is what I love to create.

 

My client is drawn to the look of Steve and Brooke Gianetti’s Patina Farm, which you can also see in more detail from a feature in Veranda several months back.   The rooms we are creating need to carry them through for many years, but that doesn’t mean they will be boring or predictable.

 

We are creating some edge through a layering of fabric textures, custom furniture, and a few upholstered pieces I am designing for specific spaces.

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Everyday elegance is our goal- practical and durable for life with a busy family, but sophisticated enough to enjoy with adult friends and family.

 

Purposeful living that is pretty, simple and sophisticated.  Neutral fabrics with touches of tan and soft blues and grays.

 

 

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Fabrics selected for the upholstery and drapes in the living room. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Close up of an alpaca fabric going on an occasional chair in the living room

Close up of an alpaca fabric going on an occasional chair in the living room

 

 

This house is going to transform- and in a big way.   We presented all of the spaces last week so we begin ordering very soon.

 

It is going to be beautiful and I look forward to installing in a few months.   We will keep you posted on its 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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Can You Save Money By Hiring A Designer?

Posted on Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 at 3:30 am

Can you save money by hiring a designer for your home project?

 

You bet!

 

The misconception that hiring a designer is expensive disappears when you hire an exceptional one and see firsthand the value in it.

 

As I was reading recently what one of my favorite clients wrote for my testimonial page, it occurred to me that many of you can probably relate to her state of regret after a few bad purchases:

 

“Dana entered our recently renovated, chaotic, choppy home and listened to our family’s needs, vision, and lifestyle.  Unfortunately I had  recently bought some furniture (that our kids loved) which did not necessarily match what I ultimately envisioned, but she was able to transform even expensive mistakes into a balanced, livable, inviting home.

While at first I had misgivings that following all the recommendations could be costly, I quickly realized that Dana was spot-on and much less expensive than fixing more mistakes made by me with a loose credit card. “

 Client, Mtn. Brook, AL

 

 

I hesitate to write a post that focuses on the monetary aspect of my profession, because my value is in my knowledge, my service, my creativity, and my practical ability to create elegant, functional homes that change how families live.

 

Yes, if you look strictly at the monetary cost of hiring a professional, you will not see past the dollar signs.   After all, it is an investment, and one that can cost several thousands of dollars.

 

BUT if you are making the investment it takes to build, renovate or simply furnish a home that will stand the test of time,  how can you afford to NOT hire someone who knows where to invest in your home and where to save so money is well spent?

 

When someone hires us to work with the architect, builder, and landscape architect from conception to construction and into the installation of the furnishings, they have an advocate watching out to make sure things go accordingly.   Your baby becomes our baby, too.

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

A project we are currently working on- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

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Checking measurements- sometimes areas aren’t framed as drawn

 

 

We work to bring to fruition the dreams and visions our clients have but can’t necessarily express- or create- on their own.

 

I also have clients, such as the one above, who hire me to furnish the home AFTER costly mistakes have been made.   I am a big believer that all projects need a plan with specific sizes of chairs, tables, etc…designated so you know how a room will flow and the scale of each piece.  No surprises when the furniture is delivered.

 

When you start purchasing haphazardly to fill a space,  mistakes happen.

 

Because, after all, who wants to invest all this money and have regret set in?

 

No me and I bet not you, either.

 

Woman Pulling Hair out

 

 

 

Hire someone to make the right choices from the beginning so you can save time, effort, and money.   A good designer listens and knows how to create a plan of action tailored to your home and family.

 

Do your homework.  Find someone you can trust, and trust them.

 

A vision without costly mistakes, with pieces you will want to keep.   Designed spaces that will stand the test of time so your money is well spent. These are always a few of the goals when hiring a designer.

 

Just food for thought.   Let me know your experience with your designer and if it was worth the investment in your project.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

dana

 

 

If you would like to see what we are doing on a day to day basis, stop by and say hello.

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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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