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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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There are a few things when building, renovating, or just plain working on your home that, in my book, you want to avoid.

 

Here is my top five list of things NOT to do to your home:

 

1.  Do not plant landscaping that is too small.

There is nothing worse than driving by a beautiful home where it’s obvious they have invested wisely in the materials chosen, only to see a bunch of dinky plants surrounding the beautiful structure.  Yes, plants grow, but by the time some plants are finally a decent size, five years have passed.   Buy larger when it comes to plants that are slow growing.  I promise, this makes such a difference.   See below how landscaping that is invested in can add to your home’s aesthetic.

 

 

Newman & Cebulak

Image from Architectural Digest via Pinterest

 

 

2.  Never buy a piece only because it is on sale.

Do you love the piece or did you buy it because it is a good deal?  If it is the latter, you bought the sofa, bookcase, bed, or whatever it is for the wrong reason.  Never, I repeat, never, buy a piece just because the price is good or because you need something to fill a space.  If it is for one of these two reasons, you will eventually tire of it and you won’t enjoy it in your home for very long.

 

 

3.   Don’t buy an entire room off of a showroom floor and never match all your furniture.

Regardless of your taste- modern, traditional, or transitional- you always want your home to look like it has been collected over time, even if it was installed in the same day.   This leads me to the next point of making sure you don’t match your furniture. There can be an overlap of the same material for continuity, but make sure you have a mixture of elements in the room to cause a little tension in the space.   Use a mix of upholstery, stained wood, painted wood, glass, iron , etc….

 

foyer by mcalpine booth & ferrier

Image from McAlpine Tankersley

 

 

4.   Do not have a room that doesn’t serve a purpose.

Do you walk through a room, only to have it be a “catch all” or a place to host guests once a year?  If so, you are missing out on a room you could be enjoying, and you need to rework this space.   Gone are the days where rooms sit unused or are “saved” for special occasions.  Repurpose a room and ENJOY it.

 

5.   Don’t wait for tomorrow to pull your home together and make it a place for you and your family to make memories.

Money does not necessarily guarantee good design, so don’t wait until tomorrow to make your home something you can be proud of and enjoy.  Stop comparing your house to your neighbors’.  Instead, focus on making your home a cohesive safe haven to build memories for you and your family.

 

 

web-sykes9

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Are there others you would add to the list?   If so, let me know. We love hearing from you.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

 

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Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015! Do you have plans for the new year? http://mydoubleliving.blogspot.com/2015/01/goodbye-2014-hello-2015.html

Image via mydoubleliving.blogspot.com

 

It’s hard to believe that 2014 has come and gone.  As I reflect on the past 12 months, there are so many moments to celebrate.

 

First and foremost, THANK YOU for being a part of such an amazing year.   Thank you for sharing my work, encouraging my work,  keeping up with my work, and more importantly, trusting me to come into your homes and change how your home functions for your family.  I love what I do, and am blessed by your encouragement.

 

At the start of the 2014, my goal was to simplify.  For me, that meant eliminating distractions for the essential, trading chaos for peace, and spending time doing what’s important.  My favorite moments this year were spent with my family.  I simplified best during our vacations together to Mexico, to the beach,  and to New York. There is nothing that makes me feel better than when we are all together and away from everyday distractions.

 

family

 

One of my biggest accomplishments this year was being named one of Traditional Home’s Designer’s to Watch in 2014. It was a huge honor and one  I am very proud to be included.

 

NewTradgroupshot

New Trad’s Designers To Watch in 2014

 

That honor led to me being a part of the Hunter Douglas/ Trad Home contest to vote for the New Trad Designer that best matched their reader’s style.

 

By creating “real homes for real life”, my goal has always been to blend comfort and elegance through layering textures, making the most of light, and combining modern, antique, and classic elements.

 

Thank you for choosing my style as the one you liked the best.

 

Dana_Joelle_04

The project that won me this incredible honor- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Dana_Joelle_06

Another glimpse into it- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Dana_Joelle_03

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Dana_Joelle_02

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

In August, I updated my website and that was a huge feat, to say the least. We took my old one, added to it, changed it around, and uploaded a lot of new projects.  It was quite a process and if you’ll remember, I compared it to birthing a baby.

 

photo (64)

 

Another exciting opportunity I had this fall was serving on a panel at Traditional Home’s “What’s New, What’s Now” event at the New York Design Center.  Over 70 showrooms participated in the event that featured product introductions, informative lectures, and book signings.  I had the privilege of joining Traditional Home Senior Design and Market Editor Tori Mellot in a panel on mixing traditional and modern design.

 

panel

 

There is a lot of talent in the city I call home, and I was honored to be featured in Birmingham Home And Garden’s, Birmingham Style, that was published in October. If you haven’t already purchased this book, do yourself a favor and buy it.

 

Birmingham Style

 

blog pic

Dana Wolter Interiors Photography by Jean Allsopp

 

The year ended in a wonderful way by me winning the “New Trads at Home” Pinterest Sweepstakes. Inspired by The Vulcan, I used pieces from Alabama artists and Ethan Allen to recreate a recent install.

 

DanaW_Monica_Oct2014_06-M

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

As I say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015, I am grateful for all the memories, and I am looking forward to what’s to come.

 

designer bags and dirty diapers: Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Image via Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers

 

Please let us know if there is anything in particular you would like for us feature on the blog.   After all, you are who we write for, and who we hope to inspire.

 

Have a great day,

 

Dana

 

 

 

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With the weather turning colder, we are excited to be working on a renovation/addition to a condo at Lake Martin.  Yes, it’s still cold there, but at least it allows us an opportunity to think of summertime fun.

 

lake1

 

This retreat will have a new kitchen, bathrooms and outdoor living spaces. We are designing a custom banquette for the kitchen and the side porch to allow for lots of seating for family and friends.

 

Our client’s focus is all about making memories instead of being worried about making a mess, and we couldn’t agree more. The lake is supposed to be a place for less stress and more fun.

 

With a house full of children and grandchildren, we plan to use a lot of outdoor and durable fabrics.

 

As you can see below, our color inspirations are gray, plum, taupe and cream.

 

Rice_Nov20th

 

 

Stay tuned for more updates on this project.  Have a great day!

 

dana

 

Please don’t forget to vote for the Traditional Home/ Ethan Allen Pinterest Sweepstakes at http://newtradsweeps.com/. Check out the last blog post if you missed the information about this contest.

 

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Remember the post a few weeks ago on social media where we asked you for your favorite Alabama landmark?
We did so because Traditional Home asked us – and five other designers across the country- to create a virtual mood board on Pinterest of a room inspired by a local landmark.   I chose the Vulcan in Birmingham, AL, and based it on the room below.
DanaW_Monica_Oct2014_06-M
I recreated this room by adding a little iron by Lucy Smith, some Alabama artwork and fabrics by Arthur Price and Coleman Taylor, and a few Ethan Allen pieces.   I included paint samples, fabrics, and accessories to create a classic design for modern life, one that embodies the Traditional Home “New Trad” aesthetic.
TradHome_Final_Pinterest
I was very honored this summer when, because of all of you and your votes, I won the Traditional Home contest among all of the Trad designers for 2014.   I would be grateful and humbled again if you would take a second and vote for my board. http://newtradsweeps.com/ .
It’s quick , it’s easy, and best of all, you register with each vote to win a $2,500 gift certificate to Ethan Allen.  You can vote once a day and voting ends December 20th.
Thank you, my friends.   Let me know what you think!
dana
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Are you ready?

 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and there’s no time like now to start hammering out the details.

 

If you are like me, you haven’t done the first thing to prepare are determined to make the festive day smooth and stress-free. After all, the holiday is about coming together and giving thanks for all we are grateful.

 

BUT…….. Long before the food is served, your table will make a first impression.

 

Some of the loveliest tables aren’t necessarily about the china or silver, but rather the natural elements that suggest the occasion.  I love fine china and silver as much as the next person, but what really makes the table for me is a thoughtful arrangement, place cards, or special linens.

 

As mentioned in a previous post, unique napkin folds are an simple way to add elegance to your table.  If you haven’t already, watch this video  as I show how easily napkin folding can be done in a unique way.

 

Below we are sharing some of our favorite tablescapes from Pinterest.

 

 

Green and white plethora of pumpkins

Take advantage of what nature provides. The varieties of pumpkins, gourds, and garden plants lend themselves to beautiful arrangements. Image from The Daily Basics.

 

 

I love the mixture of colors, tones and textures at this table. Image from Martha Moments.

 

 

Handmade place cards are such a nice, detailed touch. Image by Cottage and Vine

 

 

Instead of place cards, why not use words that are reminiscent of Thanksgiving such as thankful, grateful, appreciative and fortunate. A wonderful way to bring the Thanksgiving spirit to your table. | The Glamorous Housewife

Instead of place cards, use words that remind you of giving thanks. Image from The Glamorous Housewife.

 

 

DSC_0763

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to break the bank to create a memorable setting. Image from Griffanie.

 

 

Beautiful and simple are the words for the day.   Here’s to getting your table ready to give thanks,

 

dana

 

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