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With summer in full swing and warm weather here to stay, I find myself wanting to spend a little more time outdoors.

 

Maybe it’s the Southerner in me, but I love the idea of grilling, sharing a meal, or even drinking my morning coffee outside.

 

Every home should have an outdoor area.  It doesnt have to be large, just big in style to invite you to sit down and relax.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

I always try to soften an outdoor area so it feels like an extension of a client’s home.  Don’t be afraid to add accents and traditional indoor furnishings to your outdoor room. Outdoor upholstery, throw pillows for furniture, rugs, and other design touches will create a welcoming feel.
Below is a picture of my own outdoor space.  As you can see, I have kept a similar color palate to the inside of my house and just added some greenery and pops of color in my throw pillows.

 

With all of the hard surfaces you find on a terrace, greenery is always a nice way to soften the space as well.  I am a big fan of succulents because they are EASY to maintain and a great way to add texture to a table.

 

outdoor space

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

I would love to hear how you’ve brought the indoors out at your home.

 

Happy outdoor living,

 

dana

 

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Are you the type of person who likes to work on your home, but you don’t trust yourself to always make the best selections when it comes to the interiors?

 

As I mentioned a few months back, I have begun offering a one time 3.5 hour consult package.   It’s perfect for those who want to do the legwork on their own but need a detailed plan to follow.

 

After all, your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, and you want to make sure you spend your investment wisely.

 

How this consult works is simple.   Before we meet, I have you send over a detailed list of what you would like to cover in our time together so I have an idea of what YOU want to accomplish.    When I am there, we go over your questions as well as any other suggestion I would make if it was my own home.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric swatches, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it!

 

After our meeting, you will receive a detailed synopsis from me of what was discussed and a list of all we discussed for your 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 service has gone over really well and the feedback I have received is amazing.  Here is what a few people have had to say:

 

“I thoroughly enjoyed our hours together and felt that our time was very productive.”

 

“I love your style and believe you have a real gift for scale, color, layout and practicality.  I have been checking out your website pics, FB, and Pinterest sites for more ideas.  Love!  Love!”

 

 

Another super organized client found the overall plan helpful:

 

“The plan you created has been incredibly helpful.  The biggest benefit was paint colors! The palette you helped us choose for the entire home has proven to be beautiful and very versatile as we continue to buy furniture and get ‘settled’.”

 

 

beautiful property

This picture was taken at a consult visit. Isn’t this a gorgeous piece of property?

 

If you think this is something that might be helpful to you, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com for more information.  I look forward to helping you come up with a plan for your home-

 

Have a great day-
Dana

 

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Is your television in plain view or hidden out of site?
Many times I have clients ask not only where should they place their tv in a room, but how it should be treated within it.
 Not to show my age, but who remembers the bulky TVs with the rabbit ears? There was no hiding those big ‘ole things.  Thankfully, televisions have become much more discreet.
Don’t get me wrong…..   I do not mind a tv in plain sight,  but I do try to tuck them away when possible or make sure they are not a big focal point.  If they are placed as a major focal point wall, it usually calls for me to hide or dramatically soften it.
MonicaStewart13
The picture below is from a client’s living room.  Yes, I said living room, and that is a tv near the piano.   They had this large room with incredible light that was- get this-  pretty much a walk-through room.   They have a large family with a revolving door to family and friends, so it made sense that when we redesigned this room to incorporate a tv in here.
I can’t show you too much of the room right now, but I can say it’s pretty incredible.   We reworked the furniture layout to add more seating.  The room is casual enough to feel comfortable lounging on the sofa, with your feet propped up with a bowl of popcorn, or it can stand formal enough to serve as a living room when having a dinner party.  Either way, it works, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, the space is used by their family.
hidden tvs

Notice how the tv is tucked away into a side wall but is on a bracket to make it easy for viewing?

The picture below shows how I will sometimes try and soften the space around a television.   Make no doubt about it, sometimes a TV needs to stand proudly in a room, ready to serve its purpose, but a little softness never hurts.
hidden tv2
Put careful consideration into whether or not putting the TV about the fireplace is the best option. Most of the time, the TV ends up above eye level, and it is too high for comfortable viewing.
What are your thoughts concerning the tv?   Are you a “let it hang on out there” and serve its purpose or  do you like to tuck it away? I am interested in your thoughts.
Have a great day,
Dana
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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 -   If you have a new or cookie cutter brick home and you used the standard brick you see everywhere, painting your brick can be one of the best things you can do to make it look a little more custom.  Yes, you cannot go back, but who would want to when it’s the mass produced brick you see so much of these days?    Painted brick is so pretty to me and it is a great way to give your home a new, cohesive look.  See how gorgeous this home is below?
It is the home of Milieu editor, Pamela Pierce, as seen in Veranda magazine.    If you have not checked out Milieu, you must do so as it does not disappoint.
This Houston house was designed by Pamela Pierce. It was featured in Veranda magazine in the March 2013 issue, pages 122-132.

Pamela Pierce’s home as seen in Veranda. Image from decorator.com

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 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 almost eight 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.
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.
(2) Tumblr

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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I am thrilled to share with you that DWI has received some great coverage in several publications over the past month.

 

I am excited to have been selected as a member of Coastal Living and Southern Living‘s Designer Network. The design network is made up of a group of editorially recommended designers for readers of these publications. I am thankful to be one of three designers from Alabama to be selected in this group, and I look forward to the opportunity to connect with readers of these magazines.

 

Design Network

 

Hunter Douglas asked Traditional Home readers to chose from the 10 up- and- coming New Trad designers whose work they most admire.  As I’ve shared with you, I am honored to have been selected, and appreciate all of the support.

 

Trad Home- contest winner

 

Traditional Home also shared the results from the Ethan Allen virtual mood board contest based on a local landmark. If you’ll remember, I created a family room inspired by Vulcan Park and Museum. Thanks to nearly 7,000 votes from you, I won. Thank you!

 

Ethan Allen- contest winner

 

 

 

If you haven’t already seen these publications, check them out.

 

Dana

 

 

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With spring right around the corner, I am ready for my garden to be filled with color and fragrance.

 

Before I go any further, let me assure you that I am no expert when it comes to gardening. I have been doing my homework, though, as 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, and while I love it, life gets in the way so I do not always nurture it as I should.

 

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 trying to do better, hence the reading and researching.   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 woody prunings. To help the process along, we will have to 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

Now’s the time to 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 how it goes for you, and if my efforts pay off, I will share my progress as well.

 

Happy Gardening,

dana

 

PS If anyone feels extra inspired and wants to come to use these tips on my garden, I will happily welcome you, and I know my garden will too.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I am ready for spring. This past weekend was beautiful and I am ready for every day to be filled with sunshine and warmth.  There is a reason this southern girl lives in the South!

 

While traveling to a warmer climate for the extended winter isn’t in the plan for me, I am trying a few things to cure the winter blues.  Here goes:

 

1. Exercise

I exercise on a regular basis, but I have been trying to be a little more consistent these days.   Even a brief workout makes me feel better and gives me a positive, energized feeling. Lately I’ve been doing yoga at The Yoga Circle, and I am loving it.  It makes me breathe, really breathe, which is something that is instantly calming to me.

 

2. Eat Healthy

Nothing makes me feel better than when I am taking care of myself.  Along with exercising, I try to eat well most of the time. I recently read that omega-3s affect the brain chemicals that are linked with stabilizing mood, particularly dopamine and serotonin, so I have been trying to eats lots of salmon and flax and chia seeds. Another thing I have added to my diet recently are the juices from Whole Foods, Sprout and Pour, and The Pantry. I highly recommend them, as they are an easy way to add vegetables, and they are delicious and refreshing.

 

juices

Image from Whole Foods

 

3.  Brighten up your space

The winter months can feel like they drag on since the sun sets early and the days are much shorter. While the sun may not be shining outside, you can bring some of those warm hues into your home by incorporating them into your décor. Add a bright throw over a chair, or a rug with some color or maybe a pillow that adds a pop to your sofa or bed. You’ll be surprised how much these small changes can really affect your mood.

 

Image from Briggs Edward Solomon

 

4.  Buy some fresh flowers

My garden looks a little “blah” this time of year, but I try to bring the garden indoors by purchasing some fresh flowers.   It’s not expensive and not only does it brighten my mood, I swear flowers make my house look a little cleaner.

Parrot tulips are some of my favorite. (Will someone let my husband know?!)

 

Stunningly Simple Parrot Tulips

Image from Gabriela Wakeham

 

 5. Read

I shared on Instagram earlier this week that I am reading The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth. It is a great book that not only discusses how to grow your business, but how to do it in a way that upholds your character, morals, and values.  My only regret in reading it is that I have not underlined as I have gone through it.

Getting cozy under a blanket in my bed or next to a roaring fire and unwinding by reading a book or magazine helps me pass the season time.

 

 

How do you cure the winter blues? I would love to hear from you,

 

dana

 

 

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Maybe you like to play it safe with the interiors of your home, because, after all, your home is an investment and it’s expensive to make changes.

 

But if you are looking for a place to go bold and daring, the powder room is the perfect spot.

 

It’s all about the details in the powder room, and just because its the smallest room in your house, doesn’t mean it can’t have the most impact.

 

Below are five ways to make your powder a really special room:

 

1. Add a dramatic color or a unique wallpaper.

 

wallpaper

Image from The Enchanted Home

 

 

2. Make the powder room as cozy as possible. In my book, the smaller the better, as long as everything is to scale and can fit nicely into the space.

 

tiny bathroom in white, black, and gold.

Image from Apartment Therapy

 

3. Select unique lighting.  Incorporate a sconce or two, and if overhead lighting is a must, select a unique chandelier that fits the space.

 

Powder room

Image from Segret To Secrets

 

4. Make the sink as special as you can. I love using marble to create a vessel, and it also adds some texture to the space.

 

Image from Splendid Sass

 

5. Accessorize.  Pull in pretty linens such as a hand towel and use special soaps.  Fresh flowers instantly brighten the space, and cost very little to do so.

 

DanaW_Tuscaloosa_165-L

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Make the smallest room in your house have the most impactful. Because powder rooms are used only briefly, they are the ideal place for drama and beautiful style. Their small scale allows you to indulge in lavish materials and bold effects that you might not dare otherwise.

 

Go ahead– take the risk, and be sure to let me know how it turns out.

 

dana

 

 

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When decorating a bedroom, choosing the type of bed can be one of the hardest things to do.  It is usually the focal point of the room, so it is essential to get it right.

 

Today, I am sharing a few tips that will help you pick one that anchors your room in a perfect way.

 

White house V 039

Image from NestEgg

 

One of the most important factors to consider is the size of the bedroom. How much space do you have for the bed?

 

Keep the size of your headboard in proportion to the bedroom space and ceiling height.  While I don’t mind bigger scale pieces in a bedroom to create a cozy space, you do want to make sure there is room for bedside tables and perhaps a place to sit in there as well.  The larger the room, the larger the headboard can be without swallowing up the room visually.

 

headboard1

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Consider the look you are going for in your bedroom. To work well as a visual focus, a headboard must not only look good, it must also fit within the context of the room.

 

If you prefer a more elegant, sophisticated style, a complementary upholstered headboard that’s covered in a rich textile, such as velvet or suede would compliment the room best.

 

satinheadboard

Image from House Beautiful

 

Bold, patterned fabrics add a splash of color and create a focal point for the room.

 

preppy-tropical-guesthouse-palmp.jpg

Image from Style At Home

 

For a more airy and light feeling to your bedroom, a minimally detailed headboard with soft curves and caning may be for you.

 

Image from Little Green Notebook

 

Headboards with straight lines in wood or sleek leather tend to have a more masculine feel.

 

masculine headboard

Image from Tidbits and Twine

 

Regardless the style of your bedroom, keep in mind the scale of your room, ceiling height and decor style and you are on your way to a gorgeous headboard.

 

 

Enjoy your day,

 

dana

 

 

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New year, new ideas.
We have decided to spice things up and we are now sending out a newsletter periodically.
The newsletter will include a variety of design tips and tricks. You’ll receive ideas on how to create beautiful rooms, learn about my “must-haves”, find out my favorite paint colors, and so much more.
In the first newsletter, I give a few tips on how to make a dramatic impact in a room.
slliving pics of home 2

Dana Wolter Interiors

You won’t see this information anywhere else from me, so sign up now.   The newsletter is ready to be sent, so to receive it, please click here.

Have a good one,
dana

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