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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 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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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

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

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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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

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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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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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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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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