Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Are you worried about making a decorating mistake with your home so you play it safe by keeping your interiors “status quo”?

 

After all, furnishing your home is a big investment in time and money, and one you should spend wisely.

 

While your home’s finishes and furnishings should be classic enough to stand the test of time, it needs to be a reflection of you and your family.   It should be special and unique to you.  You can-and should- have an interior with a few features that make the room an incredible one.

 

That is not to say it should be flashy or trendy.  Quite the opposite- it should be a layer that catches your eye but blends into the rest of the space.

 

Here are a few ways we have customized some of the rooms in a few of our projects:

 

 

How about upholstering a wall or niche? It’s a great way to add softness to a room.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors Graham Yelton Photography

Dana Wolter Interiors Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Or lining a wall or two with sheers to create dimension in a nondescript room……

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

Or taking a block of a God-made material such as marble……

 

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And turning it into a beautiful floating vanity……

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Or stepping away from painted cabinets and investing in reed cabinetry that are limed and waxed…..

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Or maybe it is a breakfast area that doesn’t function as well as it could for your family and friends….

 

BEFORE

BEFORE

 

 

So we design a custom banquette, 16 feet long, that is made specifically for the space….

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

If you can’t see what your space dictates to be amazing, hire someone who knows how to give your home its own look in a way that works architecturally and aesthetically.

 

This is where an experienced designer worth her pay can make a difference.   If you are going to take a risk with your home’s decor, you need to have someone who can visualize the result and implement it.  I have seen clients go with less expensive designers or do it themselves to “save money”, only to spend thousands more cleaning up mistakes.

 

I often tell the client who hires me to help from the ground up to the furnishings that often my services pay for themselves.  I know how to save and where to invest so the money you save often pays for my fee.   Not to mention you end up with a prettier home in the end, too.

 

Hire someone you can trust who has the vision to see all your home wants to be.  If you would like to discuss how we may be able to help take your home from okay to incredible, email us here.   After all, your home is an investment, and you want to make a good one.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

 

 

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Five Tips to Prep Your Spring Garden

I have been researching spring gardening tips and thought I would share my top five.

 

I am ready for my garden to be filled with color, blooms, and fragrance.   But before I go any further, let me assure you that I am no expert when it comes to gardening.   I love having my hands in the dirt- it’s therapeutic- so I am trying to learn more about what I can do now to make it as pretty as it can be.

 

Below is a picture of my garden last spring.   It’s this time of year mine looks the best, so I am waiting in anticipation for all I planted last fall to come to life.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors Blog | Thoughts, Tips, and Trends for Today's Design Dana Wolter Interiors

My garden last year. Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

I am reading and researching, and my youngest and I are already planning for a summer garden for when the time is right.

 

Here are a few tips that stood out to me that I thought might be helpful to you as well:

 

1. Create a composting area

This is something I really want to begin doing.    The compost can be a ready-made compost bin or we can build a compost bin using spare bits of wood. Not only will we have somewhere to put  garden waste, but the plants will benefit from the rich compost created when it all breaks down! Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and wood prunings. To help the process along,  turn the compost with a garden fork each month to keep it aerated.

 

How To Start a Compost Heap ~ it's really easy, affordable, useful, and sustainable. Composting recycles kitchen and yard waste, diverting up to 30% from the trash and consequently reducing landfill waste. Compost adds nutrients and introduces beneficial organisms to the soil, and helps promote plant growth.

Image from apartmenttherapy.com

 

 

2. Prep the beds.
Remove winter mulch, leaves and any other debris from your beds. Cut back the old dead growth of deciduous grasses and perennials to make room for the new growth. Any weeds that appear in your garden will be easiest to pull now, as the roots are shallow.  I have done this and am making one more go around this weekend.

 

Gardening Tips for beginners

Image from grit.com

 

 

3. Fertilize the soil

Make sure your soil is properly balanced and ready for new plants. Once the beds are all cleaned out, it’s time to till the ground. This will help aerate and loosen up soil that has compacted over the winter, which will encourage the soil to absorb nutrients better. It will also make it easier to plant.

 

4. Prune

It’s time to prune back tree or shrub branches have been damaged by the cold, snow, and wind. Make sure to do so before buds begin to break into bloom or you’ll stress the tree and get a tiny crop, if any. Use a handsaw for any tree or hedge larger than ½ inch in diameter. Shaping hedges with hand pruners, rather than electric shears, prevents a thick outer layer of growth that keeps sunlight and air from reaching the shrub’s center.

veggie garden with formal hedge edges

Image from paradiseexpress.blogspot.com

 

 

5. Order bulbs and seeds

Decide now what flowers and plants you want in your summer garden. Order the seeds or the bulbs from a local plant shop like my local favorite Leaf and Petal or online. Hold onto the seeds and bulbs until the warmer weather arrives, but make sure that the seeds and bulbs will not deteriorate or lose quality if they sit for some time.

 

flower garden

Image from howardrice.co.uk

 

 

Let me know in the comment section some of your favorite gardening tips and if/when my efforts pay off, I will be sure to share my progress as well.

 

Happy Gardening,

dana

 

 

 

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Vote for Traditional Home’s #NewTrad2016

The voting for the 2016 Traditional Home’s #NewTrad2016 is coming to a close after tomorrow (Tuesday).

 

 

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I have several talented friends who entered and are in the running.  If you havent’ looked at the entries yet, take a minute and vote for your favorite #IAMTRAD here.

 

I was honored to be named by Traditional Home as a New Trad in 2014.    New doors and friendships opened up, personally and professionally.  I also loved meeting the team behind Traditional Home as they are genuine, smart, and have incredible vision.

 

With the new group soon to be selected, I thought it would be fun to share with you the home featured for me in the Spring 2014 Trad Home issue.  It is a rambling cottage in Mountain Brook, AL, one that is on the historical register.

 

When the homeowner contacted me, the home was dark, formal, and lots of “walk-through” rooms never being used.   They wanted the interiors light and serene with a little edge thrown into the mix.    We not only transformed rooms, we changed how they live in their home.   Out of the ten of us named that year as up and coming new designers, I was honored to have my project named by Traditional Home readers as their favorite.

 

Who doesn’t like a good before and after?  Let’s take a look-

 

BEFORE:

 

 

 

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AFTER:

 

 

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It looks a little different, doesn’t it?

 

I am wishing all of the entries the best of luck in the contest, and don’t forget to choose your favorite #NewTrad2016 Here.

 

 

Have a great day-

 

dana

 

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Clients we helped with a few rooms in their home last year reached out to us to now design their living room.

 

This was a new house for them and it is larger than their previous home.   Other than a pair of chairs, the living room is empty.

 

They have older children, and with older children come friends in and out the door.  They like to entertain casually and they aren’t afraid to trust and take a risk aesthetically they may not be able to visualize. You should see the cocoon we have created with their dining room, as it is pretty incredible (I will save this room for another post).

My client says it is her favorite room in the house, though when we finish with the living room, she may change her mind.

 

We also designed their family room in 2015, which has lots of seating and a large television. I plan on placing a television in the living room as a second room for overflow for watching.

 

I am always looking for ways to draw people into a space, and a tv is always a great way.

 

Our seating in this living room is going to be a little different.  This room, along with the dining room, is visible from the foyer so they are the rooms you first see.   Instead of the conventional sofa and two chairs, we are using chaise loungers.   I am tucking the tv into a side wall and adding a few custom pieces designed by me to make this room even more unique.   My goal is make this living room- a room most families do not use on a regular basis- a room that pulls you in….  Use every room in your house, people.  Life is too short!

 

 

The walls are painted Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter so think dark grays, silvers, brass  and taupes.    It is going to be soft and warm and luxurious and filled with mohair, velvet, leather and linen…

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Stay tuned as I presented this room this week and hopefully we will be moving forward with it soon.  I will keep you posted-

 

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

dana

 

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I recently installed my daughter’s bedroom and thought I would share a design tips.

 

It feels like a pied-a-terre as it is light, edgy, chic, and full of most amenities needed (like a bathroom, a television and a small refrigerator for water that she keeps behind closed doors).

 

I posted this picture below on Instagram, and I had several write or stop me around town asking me to share more glimpses into the room.

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

I can’t share too much, but I can show a little.

 

There was nothing wrong with her room before, but she was ready to upgrade from the bedroom we designed eight years ago.   And while the new room feels older than one for a teenager, it was on purpose.   She keeps her room neat, she is mature for her age, and  I wanted to select items “grown enough” that she could one day take with her when she moves out.

 

This room is a reflection of her, with a little help and direction from her mom.

 

From the wallcovering to the custom fabrics to a West Elm table, there is a mix of price points in her room, which I believe constitutes really good design.   Aside from the fact this is a teenager’s room, the art of mixing high and low is much more difficult than buying everything in an upper price point.

 

We first began by changing out the wallcovering in the room.  She always had an accent wall of paper in her bedroom, but she wanted something a little more chic.  We settled on this Cole and Son one in gold and gray, and it instantly changed the feel of the room.

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

I had a pair of chairs that were used in my girls’ playroom over ten years ago.  I am not one for keeping much I am not using, but for some reason, I always held onto these because they were small and had great lines.  They were also in great condition, so  I covered them and they instantly had a new life.   They are the perfect size and scale for this spot in her room.

 

She has a neutral headboard/footboard custom made from several years back, and we kept her bedding.  She originally wanted to replace her pillows and linens, but the bedding is in really good shape (invest wisely and you won’t have to replace) and I knew when we finished, I could mix the pieces in with the new.   She wasn’t too excited about this idea, but she had to trust her designer mother.    I think she would tell you now she is glad she did.

 

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

So here are five tips when designing a bedroom for any age:

  1. Choose neutral on your headboard and linens.  It will age more gracefully and allow flexibility if you decide to change the room.
  2. Mix your price points.  This mean adding in a few splurge items to pull up a room on a budget, too.
  3. Invest in classic pieces you will want to keep, and watch your money on trends.
  4. Mix your textures.
  5. Make your room a reflection of you!

 

Hope you enjoyed seeing a glimpse into this newly installed room.   Now onto working on my middle daughter’s room next.  Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

 

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Bourbon Slush, Goody Bags, and Men in Bow Ties -Hospitality Southern Style

As I mentioned in my last post, I hosted Southern Living and their designer friends at my house last Saturday and I did my best to show them some hospitality, southern style.

 

Designers from across the country came to Birmingham for the Southern Living Design Summit, and I wanted them to feel welcome.

 

It was a fun time as I pulled out my silver and showed a little southern hospitality as best I could, including goody bags and men in bow ties serving wine and cocktails as they entered my home.

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

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My daughter and her friend garnished the drinks. Didn’t they do a great job?

 

 

 

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Look at cute Michael and Dillon from Shindigs catering.

 

 

 

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The bourbon slush I served was a recipe my sister in law found, and it was a huge hit.   Several people asked for the recipe so I thought I would share.   Here it is- but beware-as easy as it is, is how potent it can be.

 

Bourbon Slush (out of Garden and Gun Magazine)

Serves 16-18

6 cups water

2 cups strong tea

2 cups bourbon

1 cup sugar

One 6 oz container frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

One 6-oz conatiner frozen lemon juice concentrate, thawed

Garnish: Mint springs and lemon slices (I used both)

 

Combine water, tea, bourbon, sugar, orange and lemonade concentrate in a large container and mix until the sugar dissolves.   Pour into a two-gallon size freezer bag and freeze until an hour before serving.  Place the frozen punch in a large bowl (I used a pitcher) and let it thaw.  Serve in cups and garner as desired.

 

STRONG TEA
2 cups water

1 family-size or 4 regular  tea bags

Boil the water.  Add the tea bags and steep until cool.  Discard the tea bags and set aside.

 

 

Try it and let me know what you think.  Here’s to showing hospitality in a southern way-

 

Dana

 

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There is nothing like a party to make me do a few things around my own home, especially when Southern Living is stopping in and bringing a group of designers by to visit.

 

Southern Living is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and they are kicking it off with a design summit here in Birmingham at the end of the week.  The lineup includes Bobby McAlpine, Susan Ferrier, Mary McDonald, Mark Sikes, and if you are interested in attending the lectures, you can buy your tickets here.

 

And as the stellar lineup of designers visits Birmingham, Southern Living has put together a progressive tour of our city for any of the lecturers and the Southern Living network group coming in the night before.

 

I love my city of Birmingham, and especially my suburb of Mountain Brook.  Any chance I have to show others how special the place I call home is, I am happy to do it.

 

The tour of Birmingham starts at my home and ends with a few stores before dinner in the new Southern Living test kitchen.  Its going to be a lot of fun, and I needed a fire under my you know what to make me do a few things around my own home.

 

So…. in the midst of client projects, dance competitions for my daughter, my father in the hospital, my husband out of town for two weeks LIFE, I have thrown working on my own home into the mix.  Its amazing how much better it makes me feel to have my paint touched up, the landscaping freshened up, and a few things moved around my home.

 

I keep my house in pretty good shape for the most part, but when you start thinking of ALL the people seeing your dirt, it makes you see your house in a different light for sure….

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

So, stay tuned as I polish my silver and rework a few things around my own home.  If you would like to follow along this weekend and next, check out my social media accounts below as I will post lots of pictures.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

dana

 

 

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I mentioned a few months back that in addition to offering turn key interior design services,  we now offer a design online service, too.

 

Design Online is perfect for those who want a packaged plan for a room-everything from the layout to the paint color to the fabrics to the exact pieces of furniture-  but want to order and install it themselves according to their timeline and budget.

 

Abbey has come back from maternity leave to help me with this particular service, and it has gone over really well.  For the project below, the homeowner hired us to create a new bedroom for she and her husband.

 

The room is already painted BM French Canvas, which is a really pretty color.  Usually I like to select the paint color last, but since this is a neutral color I have worked with before, I know what works well with it.  It has some green undertones which will look great with the type of warm colors the client is drawn towards.

 

We’ve moved her bed from where it is now to a different wall to allow for better flow, and are in the midst of working in new fabrics and pieces for the couple.    This room is going to read soft, warm and soothing when it is complete.

 

 

 

 

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Stay tuned as we share more in the coming weeks.

 

As for Design Online, if you think you may be interested in this new online service for a particular room in your home…….

 

 

design online services now being offered

 

 

Email our design team at info@danawolterinteriors.com for more information and pricing.

Have a great day-

Dana

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I have been sharing with you one of our projects featured in this month’s Birmingham Home and Garden magazine, and today I want to show you the before and after transformation of the sitting room.

 

As you recall, this home was built and furnished approximately 12 years ago.   The homeowners wanted to lighten up, simplify, and utilize their beautiful home to the max for their large and growing family (the oldest of five children was married last summer).

 

The entire house, including the sitting room,  was a shade of gold with red toned furniture, silk curtains- all of the finishes that were popular several years back.

 

The sitting room was being used as the main room to watch television, and it is the smallest room in the house.

 

We kept a television in here, but also tucked one away in the living room.   We kept the living room formal enough to entertain but made it casual enough for everyday living.   You can read how I approached this room here.

 

 

Let’s look at a BEFORE picture of the sitting room:

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AFTER:

Dana Wolter Interiors. Grahma Yelton Photography.

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography.

 

 

 

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Replacing the tv cabinet was not an option, so we added a front panel to mount the television. Great solution for today’s thin televisions when you have a deep cabinet.  Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography.

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography.

 

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography.

 

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography.

 

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography.

 

 

 

The homeowners wanted to incorporate as many of their existing pieces of furniture as possible into the new look of the room.

 

“I was fearful that the more modern look I desired would not work well with my existing furniture. Dana was able to use many of my pieces in different ways, and I really appreciated that.” – Homeowner, Birmingham Home and Garden.

 

To give this room the new sophisticated look it now has, I incorporated whites, blues, and grays with color added into the room through the accessories and artwork.   Believe it or not, this light-colored room is filled with durable, treated fabrics, making it family-friendly to all (including pups who like to sit where they are not suppose t0).

 

If your home needs updating and you would like to discuss your project with us, reach out to us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.  We would love to talk with you.

 

Have a good day-

 

Dana

 

To see more of the transformation of this home, read here (dining room, master bedroom, kitchen).

 

 

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I want to share today the dining room transformation of the home featured in Birmingham Home and Garden this month.   Like the rest of the home, the owners wanted to lighten up, update, and make each space more functional for their large, growing family (the oldest of five was married this past summer).  You can catch up here on the after photos of the kitchen, master bedroom, and living room.

 

The dining room was no exception to the heaviness found throughout the home.  It had dark walls, lots of gold and mahogany furniture, and a silk skirted table that could barely fit their large family around it.

 

With a little paint, fabric, some new furniture and accessories, we transformed the space.

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

 

What do you think?

 

The room is new and fresh, but looks like it has been collected over time (which is always a goal in my work).  By mixing up the dining room chairs, the finishes in the room, and the accessories throughout, it’s hard to tell what is new and what the homeowner had before we waved our magic wand.

 

If we can help transform your home from heavy and ornate into a home your family and friends want to stay and enjoy, give us a call.  We would love to talk with you.

 

Have a good day-

 

dana

 

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