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While a dorm room isn’t something I create every week, I have been involved in one this summer, and it’s been on a budget.

It’s different than what I normally do- the rooms I design are usually designed for a specific space-  custom bedding, custom upholstery, true wood, etc…

I have been pulling together my daughter’s room for college (yikes- it is really happening), and we wanted to watch what we spent.    We want it to be cute, but because she won’t use most of it for more than a year, our budget was challenging low.

So after hitting West Elm, Target, and a few other sources around town, this is what we created.

Budget- Friendly Room


Budget- Friendly Room


The quality of the pics isn’t great, but you get the idea.   We mixed in a little custom with home store finds to make it as budget- friendly as we could.

Here are a few tips to follow when working on a budget-friendly room at any age…

1.   According to the space, buy the best upholstery you can for what it is.

Even for a dorm room, I created a custom headboard.  A nice, weighty piece of upholstery makes such a difference, the quality is much better, and I knew she would use it for three years.  This leads me to my next point……

2.  Mix your pricepoints based upon the piece’s use.

While we spent more on the custom upholstered headboard, we bought a Target bookcase (and the cute baskets) to go in between them.   The bookcase only needs to last a year, and if we end up using it for longer than that, it is a bonus.

The euro, draperies and headboard are “to the trade fabrics” because she can use them again (and we didn’t need much yardage), but the dust ruffle- yes, please don’t tell, is a Target drapery panel reworked with a gray banding added to the bottom of it.   The solid fabric and Greek key trim for the front pillow was found at a local fabric store.

3.  Find your color way.

I gave my daughter and her roommate two colorway options, and they voted for the indigo blue and gray one.   As you can see, I let the blue be the “pop” and repeated the soft gray throughout.   You see it in the rug, the headboards,in the Target baskets, banding on the bottom of the dust ruffle,etc….

4. Mix patterns.

I love to mix patterns in a space, and the key is to use different scales.   Even for a dorm room, I threw in a solid (a fabric from a local fabric store) to break up the patterns.

Everyone shows love in different ways, and I showed my love language to my little girl by leaving a little bit of me behind with her.




Cheers to showing how you care in your own special way-


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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 and a room you want to hurry your guests through?


On any project I am working on, I always look for ways to make a statement and create warmth in the foyer.  This is the first impression of your home, and you want to make a good one.


photo (33)

picture of my foyer

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

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Here’s a quick recap of a few quick suggestions I make in the video:

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

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

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 evolved over time.


Hope you find these tips helpful.   If you try them, let me know the difference they make.

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


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We Are Hiring

Are you looking for a fast paced, rewarding career where you can be creative everyday?


If so, Dana Wolter Interiors may be the firm for you.  We are thrilled to announce we are growing and hiring!


If you think you would be a good fit for our firm, please email us at   We woud love to hear from you!








I am working on three projects right now where I was pulled in during the schematic phase.  One is an addition/renovation, and the other two are new construction.  I am excited about each of them and the teams involved.

I love being hired for a project early on, as there is a synergistic effect that takes place among creative minds that results in a more beautiful home.   It’s important to hire all members of your team early on, as this makes changes occur sooner rather than once ground has been broken (which saves you $$$).

Working on a home from ground up is like birthing a baby-  I become vested more and more each day  and I grow to love each of them for different reasons.
As I am discussing interior details on each of these projects, I have been looking to Pinterest for inspiration.    Here are a few I have pinned for certain reasons…..


I love this hardware. We have spent some time picking out hardware for #ProjectExpansion, and this is very similar to what we selected for their home.


unlacquered brass

Image from


#ProjectExpansion has a door at the end of a hallway, and we are going to create something like this for uniqueness and detail.  I love how a simple wall here has become a beautiful focal point. We are creating a jib door to a linen closet that will be hidden by nails and leather.  With it being a focal point, leaving it as an ordinary door just wouldn’t cut it.


Love this nailhead detail in the entry...clean and sophisticated

Image from


This bathroom is beautiful. The waterfall countertops and cabinets create a more modern and clean look, and you will see something similar in style for the master.



Image from


These floors remind me we are going to create a pattern out of wood on one of the floors in our #LakeTuscaloosa project.  While the pattern will be different than this one and the color of the wood tweaked (we haven’t even broken ground), it’s going to be just-if not more-beautiful.


bleached chevron flooring

Image from


As mentioned in a previous post, your bedroom should be a place to retreat, and this window seat screams that to me. The #LakeTuscaloosa home is home to girls and we are working on incorporating a cozy niche/window seat in at least one of the bedrooms.

Don’t you want to curl up with a good book?!  I do!


Nick Olsen children's bedroom in AD, photo by Pieter Estersohn

Image from Architectural Digest


The placement of this powder room under the stairs is exactly what we are creating in  #ProjectVestavia.  I love how it is tucked away, not only by being under the stairs, but by being hidden within the woodwork.


Image from Pinterest


As you can see, Pinterest is one of my “go-to’s” when I am looking to be inspired.  There is nothing better than crawling in bed with my Ipad at the end of a long day and pinning a few images to make my creative juices flow.


If you’d like to see more pretty pins I have found, come follow me.    I’d love to hear from you.


Take care,



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Fly Away, My Little Bird: Ten Things To Remember As You Leave For College







A letter to my little girl who leaves in a few weeks to begin her college journey.


It’s hard to believe we are packing you up to begin a new chapter of your life.  It seems like yesterday you were the toothless little girl-with glasses-swinging a softball bat.





Or a few years later, the little girl playing Ramona Quimby in a community theatre production.




And here you are… A humble, kind, beautiful young lady who graduated with a GPA few will ever see, a resume full of activities, and a very bright future.






I know you are excited, and I know you are a little apprehensive.  After all, what you have known, including your friend group, is all about to change. These are normal feelings, but you are ready.


And while it’s time for this new chapter in your life, always remember a few things.


1.  Trust your gut  Yes, you have a good head on your shoulders, so use it.  If you have a funny feeling about a person or a situation, listen to your instincts.

2.  Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone.   Try something new. Be courageous.  Seize an opportunity.

3.  Be the first to speak to others   Ask people about themselves, and listen to what they have to say.

4.  Work hard, pray, and trust.    Ask for guidance and for doors to close. Yes, doors to close. For when they do, it makes it easier to walk through the right ones.

5. Don’t compare yourself to others.   God has given you many gifts and talents, so don’t get caught up worrying about what others are doing.

6.  Stay close to your family and your friends.    Those relationships are dear and a gift, so treasure them.

7. Make new friends.   Get to know others at your new school for who they are, rather than for their social status or friend group.  These tend to be the stronger type of relationships that last.

8. Stay safe at all times.   Don’t put yourself in a bad situation, and if you find yourself in one, get out of it as quickly as you can.

9. Just because the majority believes it, doesn’t mean it is the truth.   Fall back on what you know in your heart to be truly right and wrong.

10. Remember how loved you are, and FLY HIGH     When life gets hard,  stay strong.   And remember we are always here to catch you.


I love you,




Readers, Thank you for letting me lay my heart out on this page.  While this is a design blog, I have tried to make it a reflection of my thoughts and feelings.  And, as you see, I am feeling my firstborn leaving the nest.-



I have been thinking a lot about simplifying lately.


I made “simplifying” my word in January for 2015.  Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s because my children are beginning to leave my nest….  I don’t know what it is, but I do know I want to take off the roller skates, relax and take time to slow down.


This certainly doesn’t mean I want to sit around all day. Not practical and certainly not my personality.  It does mean, though, that I want to stay above the chaos of everyday life and say no to things that I don’t have to do or that don’t touch my heart.


I have been doing a lot of simplifying around my house this summer.  If you could see the stuff- yes, all the stuff- my girls and I are taking out of my house, you would be amazed. As I have mentioned before, I do not like to let things pile up, but when I do, there is nothing better than cleaning out.


via stay positive |

Image from



Like my own home, I am running into a lot of homes lately where I see rooms that either serve as catch alls or rooms that are completely empty.


Sure, if you just bought a house, I can understand you having one or both of these kinds of rooms.  But if you have been living in your home for a few years and you still have an unused room, ask yourself why?


What are you waiting on?


Stop a moment and take a good look as to how this room needs to function for you.   Don’t wait- do it now.   Life is too short and too stressful for your home to not be a place to retreat.


And while this home that a family of four recently moved into didn’t need simplifying, it needed a plan and a purpose for a few rooms, and we have been working on giving them a plan for each.  I am still waiting on a few pieces to come in, but I love where it is going.




Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors


What do you think?


If you could use help turning your home into a haven, email me. I would love to talk to you about how we may be able to help.


Take time to simplify,





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As I have mentioned before,  I love a beautiful piece of marble.


Marble is a classic element that never goes out of style, and in my opinion, it only looks better with a little age and wear.


A few months ago, Birmingham Magazine  wrote an article on Masonry Arts, a stone fabricator who just bought a marble quarry in Alabama (yes, Alabama White does come out of the ground here).


I was honored when they asked to include me in it.   I am a big fan of this stone and have used Masonry for several of my installations.


As you will see by the custom marble vanity I designed, marble can be used in other ways besides countertops.  Below is the pic they included in the article.





While marble is becoming more common in the home, I still run across people who are afraid to use it.   Don’t be!!!    Misinformation about the material is completely overstated.   I have it all through my house and believe me, we  live in my  home.   Think about the old, gorgeous buildings with marble floors, stairs, etc…  They are even prettier today than when installed years ago.

If you would like to read the full article, click here.



Have a great day, everyone-




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How would you like a complete room designed by us but with the option to complete the space in a timeframe your budget and schedule allow?


If this interests you, then the new service we are offering, Design Online, is for YOU!


What is Design Online?


Design Online is a great way for us to customize a room in your home according to your timeframe and budget, without us ever stepping foot in your door. You provide us with your budget, detailed measurements, pictures of your space, inspiration photos, and answers to a questionnaire we send over to you.  Within four to six weeks, we send you a pretty little package filled  with a floor plan,  color scheme,  lighting, furniture selections, accessories, and fabric swatches with all of the design specifications and information needed for you to implement the plan.  


Here is an example of a family room we created.  You will receive something similar with all of the specifications mentioned above.




The great news is that no distance between us matters, as this service is all online!


Also, don’t forget we also offer a one time 3.5 hour consult. This has been a fun addition to the scope of our work as I mostly do full room or home design. I’ve been doing a lot of these recently, and the clients seem to be getting a lot out of our time together.  Click here to read more.


Think either of these may be the right service for you? Send us an email at, and let’s get started!


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I don’t know about you, but I find the summer heat and going from one activity to the next exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful to be busy and am excited to share with you very soon some things that are happening.   With work, on top of family and other commitments, I stay out of trouble on my toes.

While some people only know me because of my design work,  there are others who only know me through my children.   I always smile when someone, who has known me for a few months, realizes I have another side to me that works and creates and changes the way people live in their homes.

I love that because while I am grateful and proud of all that has come my way professionally, in the end, I want to put my aside my pride and be known for my character versus my accomplishments.



So….. Having said that, I thought it would be fun to let you “spend a day with me” to see how the two mix and are intertwined.

I  love what I do, but I’m thrilled to spend more time this summer with my over scheduled girls. Their schedule is more lax when school is out, and with one headed to college in a few months, I am savoring every moment of family time.

Here goes …..Get ready to juggle as I have a lot of balls in the air…..



My day started Wednesday around 6:15 when I woke up, showered and reviewed my notes before filming a segment from ABC 33/40’s “Talk of Alabama”.

I arrived at ABC 33/40 at 8:30 for a live segment on “Five Ways To Update A Room (Without Breaking The Bank)”. I blogged about this last week, so be sure to check it out here if you haven’t seen it.


pillows- abc3340

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors


After I finished, I ran to the office around 10:45 to meet with the rep for Cotton and Quill to look at the new fabrics.  They have lots of great patterns, and I particularly loved the soft colors in these for a bedroom we are beginning.


cotton and quill

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

I hurried to the physical therapist for a lunchtime appointment.   I have been battling pain in my hip, and after having about five months of pain, I am grateful to have it finally under control.  Thank you, Jesus!!


On the way back, I picked up my youngest who had eaten lunch with a friend.

I came back to the office and met with the homeowner of #projectexpansion. We discussed a few details with the construction of her project such as flooring, doors, hardware and cabinetry.


Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset


Next, the homeowner and I were off to Triton to look at slabs that were brought in for her project. We selected a couple of beautiful ones.  Holy moly- can’t wait to share.


After we finished, I also met with a producer to film a video on selecting countertops. Stay tuned for more on this.



We finished up around 4:45- 5:00.   I headed home and intended to workout,  but that didn’t happen. Instead, I enjoyed lounging with the girls in my gym shorts.

Close enough.   Wearing gym clothes= working out, right?!


Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset


I probably should have spent the downtime cooking dinner but that didn’t happen either, so we enjoyed takeout instead.  A meal together is what matters, not who cooked it, right?

My bed was calling my name so I crawled in face planted, and enjoyed reading Jay Abraham’s “The Sticking Point Solution.”   It’s a book with a lot of great tips on building your business and brand.   I love reading before I go to sleep as it’s the best way for me to unwind.

You’ll find that my life isn’t very exciting, and for the most part, it’s pretty predictable.   It’s my hectic life, though, and I am grateful for every single bit of it.


Here’s to making the most of a day,



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I thought I would share with you a project we began a few months ago.


It is for a cute, fun family of four who purchased a new home earlier this year.   Like many who recently move, they had several empty rooms where their existing furniture did not fit nor fill.


I have known them for several years, and they are the best.  Their two children are teenagers (one is in college), so they wanted a rooms with edge but that could stand lots of fun and casual entertaining among all ages.


Below is the furniture layout for the family room.  It is a large room, and our goal was to make good use of the space while giving lots of seating for football games and movies around the television.


Bullock-- family room


The homeowners love blue and wanted bright colors so we kept these things in mind when selecting fabrics for the room. I love all the textures in these fabrics as they will help create depth and dimension in the room. These colors scream cozy and inviting to me. What about you?


Bullock-- FR fabrics


We also created a layout for their dining room.



We pulled darker browns and gray tones for the fabrics in their dining room. The richness in these fabrics will create a more dramatic feel that isn’t too overpowering, with sheers lining two of the walls.  Again, lots of edge (an upholstered table ) but a casual, functional space to create memories with friends.


Bullock-- living room fabrics


I am excited to see these rooms come to fruition. Stay tuned for more pictures of the finished product as we will be installing next month.


Have a great day-
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