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Five Pieces Of Design Advice To Ignore

When it comes to designing and decorating your home, you want to do it right the first time, and there is some advice given out often that, in my opinion, needs to be ignored.
It usually comes from a builder, a worker on your home,  or a well-intentioned friend.  Trust your gut, or better yet, hire a designer you can trust with one of the largest investments (your home) you will ever make.
So here goes….  A few pieces of friendly advice you should IGNORE:
1.  Don’t paint your brick –  Painted brick is so pretty to me and it is a great way to give your home a beautiful, cohesive look.  See how gorgeous this home is below?
Photo from Better Homes and Garden

Photo from Better Homes and Garden

 

2.  Using 6″ recess cans throughout a space-  Heard of a swiss cheese ceiling?  Yep, this is exactly what I mean.
If you must incorporate recess, use the smaller ones that provide lots of light from a small bulb.   Yes, the smaller led recess cost more than the typical 5″-6″ builder cans often speced, but the look far outweighs the cost. Use dimmers to soften the lighting, and use a variety of different types of lighting to create warmth and layering. Table and floor lamps that direct light in the living areas is best. It allows you to see things better, puts a nicer light on your face, and illuminates the colors and textures in your furnishings better.
Barry Dixon

Image from Barry Dixon

 

 

3. Selecting granite over marble because you do not think marble is durable-  This one is a BIG one and I am constantly having to educate my clients about this stone.
I can only hope I am aging as well as marble does, because to me, there is nothing prettier than a well worn piece of marble after several years have passed.  I have had it in my house for over nine years, and trust me, we live hard in  use my kitchen and bathrooms.   And guess what?  Do not tell my dirty little secret, but we are not the neatest group either.
Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

The key is to choose a honed marble so etching wont take place if something hot is placed on it, and if you like red wine, don’t leave it spilled on the counter for days on end.   If something does happen and the stain bothers you (which it shouldn’t- it’s called patina), the material can always be resurfaced.
4. Hanging  artwork too high– Keep the center of your artwork at eye level or a little lower to create intimacy in a space.  In a room where people will mostly be sitting, artwork should be hung a little lower.
artwork

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

5. Arranging all of your furniture against the walls– You never want to create a furniture arrangement that makes conversation difficult.  If you have a room that is big enough, be creative and float your sofa and add a couple of sitting ares to the space.   A sofa can look great off of the wall, so use open spaces to be creative and create intimacy.
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Image from Georgiana Design

 

 

What advice have you been given when it comes to your house that you wish you’d ignored? I’d love to hear from you so please share!

Take care,

dana

 

 

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The Editor At Large Interview

A few weeks ago,  I was part of a panel at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center in Atlanta, GA, discussing how to incorporate technology and social media into a business.

 

 

The Editor At Large, who covered the event, asked my thoughts on how ADAC supports designers in the industry and what I view as “cutting edge”.   You can watch the clip here.

 

 

Editor At Large Interview with Arianne Nardo

The Editor At Large Interview with Arianne Nardo

 

 

 

It was a fun few days at ADAC, the energy was amazing throughout the building, and hopefully all of us learned a few ways to grow our business by using these tools.

 

Coastal Living Homes Editor Ellen McGauley and Southern Living Senior Homes Editor Zoë Gowen led our particular panel, and Cortney Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, joined us.

 

Special thanks to The Shade Store for sponsoring.

 

 

2016 Discover ADAC _ Creating Signature Spaces_Thumbnail_800 x 100010

 

 

Our session had lots of discussion and tips on what’s working online, what’s not working, and what the future of design entails with social media and technology.

 

I loved being on the panel with Cortney, as we first met when we were named as NewTrads by Traditional Home in 2014.

 

 

Here are a few takeaways from our talk:

1. Social media isn’t going anywhere, so if you aren’t already using it to grow your business, now is the time.

2. Find the social media platform that work best for you, and focus on it.

3. What is the first thing you do when you hear someone’s name and you want to find out more about them?  You Google them.   A website is a must for any business.

4. Everything that comes out of your office speaks of your brand, so make sure it gives the message you are trying to portray.

 

 

The session was taped so if you would like to watch, go to my Facebook page here.   Skip through the introduction as the sound is bad, but it clears up after the first few minutes.

 

 

Let me know if these video links help with your business, too.

 

Dana

 

 

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What’s Keeping Your House From Being A Home You Love?

Are you stuck, knowing your home could look and feel so much better, but you aren’t sure what to do?

 

Or you can’t seem to find the motivation to pull your home together?

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Life is busy, and hectic, and stressful.  I get it as I sometimes feel the same way, too.

 

But I am constantly reminded how a well-functioning home, a healthy home, one that allows you to breathe deeply and de stress, can truly change your life.

 

And your family’s.

 

I see it happen all the time, and it is one of the most rewarding aspects about what I do.  A well-designed, high functioning home, I call it a healthy home,  can change how you live and enjoy life.

 

If you are ready for a change for you and your family, now is the time.  Let us help in a way that best fits your needs.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Who would know this family room is filled with durable fabrics for family and pets?                                                  Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

The majority of our projects are full room or turnkey projects, where we are involved in the beginning so we can devise a detailed plan according to your budget and implement it for you.

 

We specialize in new construction, beginning with the schematics (many times I am hired before an architect has put pen to paper) to hanging the last picture on the wall.  We work closely with the builder and architect to make sure every detail is thought through from the beginning to the very end.  Your project becomes our project.

 

We also offer other services for clients who need direction and help making decisions for their home, but they like to do the legwork themselves.   Our one-time consult service, which I have previously mentioned before, and it is the perfect way to devise a plan tailored specifically for your home.

 

It has gone over really well, and the clients who have invested in this 3.5 hour meeting with me have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes with it.  Matter of fact, I have even gone on the road -and in the air-  to offer this service.

 

The last service we offer is Design Online.   You fill out a questionnaire and send measurements of your space with “before”  photos taken from each angle.   We come up with a detailed plan for the particular room- from furniture layout to furniture selections to paint to fabrics to accessories-  all within the budget you give and without us ever stepping into your home.   You can order one or ten rooms at a time from us.

 

If you think we can help make your home the place you dream, why are you waiting?  Email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.  Let’s talk now so we can have a plan of action in place for you by the new year.

 

Here’s to making your house a home, one detail at a time-

dana

 

 

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Inspiration From Pinterest

Pinterest  is one of my favorite social media venues, and I am always finding inspiration from a favorite picture or two.

 

With our firm starting a a few new projects right now, I love when I come across something that visually sparks my creativity.

 

I thought I would share a few pictures that caught my eye recently.  All are not new photos, as this reminds me good design never goes out of style.

 

Here goes:

 

Amy Morris Interiors

Amy Morris Interiors

 

 

 

Suzanne Kasler

Suzanne Kasler

 

 

 

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John Saladino

 

 

 

I cannot stress enough how important beautiful, custom windows and doors are to a project.

 

See what I mean how gorgeous custom windows can make a difference?  These windows will inspire anyone.

 

 

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Pinterest- Crane and Canopy blog

 

 

 

 

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Pinterest- Photo from Hemingway and Hepburn blog

 

 

Hope you find these pictures as inspirational as I do.  If you would like to follow my Pinterest boards, click here.

 

Here’s to creating beauty in your own life today-

 

dana

 

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Five Ways to Create A Warm, Inviting Foyer (and set the tone for the rest of your home)

Your foyer is the first impression of your home, and you want to make it a good one.

 

On any project I am working on, I always look for ways to make a statement and create warmth in the foyer.  After all, it gives your guests the first impression of what to expect in the rest of your house.

 

Here are five ways to create a warm, inviting  foyer:

 

1.  Add a piece of furniture and or seating (preferably something with fabric) to soften the space.

 

 

Opposite angle of Rose Uniacke's work

Rose Uniacke

 

 

Rose Uniacke

Opposite view of the same room.   Isn’t it gorgeous?   I love the mix of textures throughout.

 

 

McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

 

 

2.  Make the space personal- Add your favorite piece of artwork,  a frame with a sepia photo, etc….

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

3.  Make the space useful- Depending on the size, create a place to sit to put on your shoes or at the very least add a tray to catch your keys.

 

 

4.  Include something fresh such as flowers or a plant.

 

 

5.  Layer the space with accessories to create dimension and to make it look like it has been collected over time.

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors   Jean Allsopp photography

 

 

Below is a video I shot a few years back with Wendy Garner talking about how to transform this overlooked space.  Click here to watch for a few tips for your foyer.

photo (5)

Dana Wolters’ TV Segment on “Ways To Create An Inviting Foyer”

 

 

So, what does your foyer say about your home?   Does it set the tone and catch your visitor’s eye, or is it a “catch-all” area you want to hurry your guests through?

Have a great day, everyone, and here’s to making your foyer makes a good first impression.

Dana

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Fall Favorites

The weather is cooling down and it is time for me to share a few of my Fall Favorites

 

The list includes pieces to wear as well as accessories for the home.   With the price points ranging from $30 to $975, there is something for everyone.

 

 

fallfavoritesfinal

Image by Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

1. Paige ‘Zoey’ Quilted Leather Bomber Jacket $975.00  A leather jacket is an investment piece to keep for many years, and the one I have chosen is one you can dress up or down. Buy here.

 

2. & 3. Vanessa Mooney Velvet Choker $32.00 | Jules Smith ‘Hera’ Pendant Choker $30.00  Chokers are a huge trend this fall and these two are some of my favorites. They are  simple but make a bold statement, and if the neckline allows, I would layer either one with a longer necklace to go along. Buy here and here.

 

4. Vince Crop Rib Wool & Cashmere Pullover $365  Chunky sweaters are a staple piece in a fall wardrobe and I love most things Vince, including this wool and cashmere ribbed sweater. They have classics with great cuts, making their pieces timeless.  Buy here.

 

5. J Brand ‘Maria’ Velvet Flare Pants $228    I bought these velvet, flared pants last year, and I love them.  Velvet is hot in fashion this year, and you can’t go wrong with this particular pair.  Buy here.

 

6. Vince ‘Warner’ Platform Sneaker $250.00 Not sure when I crossed over by looking for comfort AND style in my shoes, but this is where I am at my age.   Sneakers cover both and are a big hit this fall.   These in particular stand out to me because they are neutral and versatile.  Buy here.

 

7. Stuart Weitzman ‘Leggylady’ Over the Knee Boot $798.00  This boot was such a hit last fall that it sold out, so it is back and stronger than ever.   These over-the-knee boots are pretty versatile in how you can wear them- I would pair with a short skirt, a skinny pant or jeans. Buy here.

 

8. Mid Century Modern Bronze Vase $345.00  This bronze vase is from an ultra-chic gallery in Miami, and it is a great piece to add into your home. The shape and color make it a versatile accessory.  Buy here.

 

9. Halogen Rib Knit Cashmere Wrap $208.00  One pieces of clothing  I keep close by when the weather turns colder is a good wrap that will go with anything. This beige/oatmeal cashmere wrap is versatile and can be worn many different ways, making it a must have! Buy here.

 

10. Molton Brown London Body Wash $30.00  Molton Brown products are becoming some of my favorites.  The body wash in Gingerlilly is one of my favorites because the scent is light. Buy here.

 

11. Barbara Cosgrove ‘Yuan Vase’ Table Lamp in Bronze $579.00  I love this black lamp and would pair it with a black shade.  It is a good height for a side table and I can see using it in a media room or study- somewhere I need a to add a little edge.  Buy here.

 

12. Max Mara ‘Ronco’ Camel Hair Pencil Skirt $625.00  This camel- hair pencil skirt is on my list because it is a piece to keep for years to come.   A good classic never goes out of style.  Buy here.

 

13. Italian Alabaster Bud Vases $195.00  Bud vases are one of the most practical gifts you can give someone, and this pair of hand-carved solid alabaster bud vases are perfect!   Buy here.

 

14. Indigo 7 Stripe Merino Wool Blanket $245.00  Last but not least, a beautiful neutral throw to bundle up in this fall and winter.  Throws are a great way to add warmth and comfort to any room, so I always love having a nice one close by.   Buy here and here.

 

Hope you see something on my Fall Favorite list that you love.   There are lots of great pieces to update your wardrobe and home this fall.

 

 

Here’s to turning leaves, dropping temperatures, and bundling up by a fire.

 

dana

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We Are Hiring!

Dana Wolter Interiors is growing-again!

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

We have two part-time positions available in Birmingham, so if you are the perfect fit for our firm, let us hear from you.

 

Junior Designer- We are looking for someone who is motivated, organized, articulate and takes the initiative.   You must have excellent written and verbal skills, a professional demeanor, and exquisite taste for our custom projects.  AutoCad and Photoshop proficiency are required.

 

Marketing Intern- This internship requires someone who writes well, is excellent with social media, and is organized with the task at hand.    You must be articulate, savvy with technology, have an eye for design/art, great with a camera, and proficient in WordPress.

 

 

If you meet these qualifications, email us your resume and references to info@danawolterinteriors.com. We would love to know why you should join our team-

 

Dana

 

 

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Flower Magazine Feature

Flower magazine reached out earlier this summer asking if they could create and photograph a fall arrangement in my living room.

 

Of course I agreed as I love the editors and the look of the magazine.  I have several tear sheets from this publication over the years- they do an amazing job creating gorgeous arrangements and giving great instruction on how to achieve the pieces they create.  I have also saved several beautiful and unique wedding ideas for when the time comes for my girls.  It’s never too soon to be inspired, right?

 

Floral designer Sybil Sylvester created the arrangement for the feature and used several colors and textures from my living room as her inspiration.

 

I love that organic and texture were her “buzzwords” for the piece, because anyone who is familiar with my work knows I love to create texture by layering natural materials into my interiors.

 

Flower Magazine

Flower Magazine

 

Pick up the October copy of Flower magazine for a little fall inspiration.  I promise it will do its job-

 

 

Here’s to welcoming fall sooner than later,

Dana

 

 

 

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Painted Hardwood Floors

I go through spurts working on my own home, and one project I’ve taken on recently has been painting my daughter’s hardwood floors.

 

We decided a few months ago we wanted a different look from what she had, and as the summer rolled to the end, it was time to tackle .

 

So with an idea in mind, we put our thoughts on paper.  When you are talking about a pattern being painted on your hardwood floors, you have to know exactly how it will lay out.  No time for guessing.

Dana Wolter Interiors

Pattern for the painted floor- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Painted hardwood floors are beautiful, but it is a process.  The floors were stained, so we first began by putting a coats of Kilz on top of the stain.   After it dried, we painted two good coats of a custom mixed porch paint to match the wall color.

 

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As you can see, the entire family pitched in.

 

 

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Good thing Bitsy didn’t leave a print or two.

 

 

After the base coat was finished, I called in the experts at Paintworks to paint the pattern. The drawing we created was detailed for them to follow, and I thought it was best to leave this part to someone who does it on a regular basis.

 

Danny at Paintworks told me we should have painted our stripe color first.  NOTE: If you try this, this is a big point, because it led to having to repaint our base coat.

 

 

 

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This time with the right color painted as the base

 

 

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The white color painted over the taped pattern

 

 

 

 

As you can see, the humidity caused the tape to pull up a little bit of the gray color, but after he fixed these places, the floor looked great.

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Painted hardwood floors complete- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Stay tuned on social media as I share pictures of the room as we furnish it.   It’s already made quite a transformation.

 

Dana

 

Also, I am scheduled to speak at ADAC on September 28th at 1:00 on how to use technology and social media to grow your business.  If you would like to read more and register, click here.

 

 

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Design Inspiration: Jean-Louis Deniot

I am feeling inspired.  And it’s because of another designer.

 

Lately, I cannot get enough of Jean-Louis Deniot’s work.

 

I love how his work is refined yet edgy, modern but traditional. He always has the perfect mix of pieces, metals, finishes, and textures to create rooms that look beautiful and comfortable and cohesive.

 

 

Jean Louis Denoit- Baker Furniture

Jean-Louis Deniot for Baker Furniture

 

 

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Jean-Louis Deniot

 

 

 

I am currently working on a living room for a client, and the picture below of his work reminds me a little of how I want my client’s room to read.

 

 

landscape-1441814286-jean-louis-deniots-timeless-interior-design-001

 

 

The house is very traditional in style, yet she is stylish and chic and has a little edge to her.  I see this space as traditional enough to flow with the rest of the home and stand the test of time, but certainly not stuffy.  It needs to have a mix of finishes and a few details that catch your eye.  I want the room to feel layered and to draw you in to enjoy for awhile.

 

The homeowner’s marble table serves as a color palette for the room.    We are thinking warm wood, gold, and iron, mixed in with a color palette of gray, cream, black, and a touch of blush.

 

Client's existing table is serving as inspiration

Client’s existing table is serving as inspiration

 

 

 

Stay tuned as I will keep you posted on our progress.  We are installing several of the rooms, including the media/playroom I mentioned here , around the first of September. I can’t wait to see this home slowly transform.

 

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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