Posts Tagged ‘Birmingham’

Welcome to Birmingham-Traditional Home Instagram Takeover

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If you love Instagram as much as I do, be sure to follow along with us this weekend as I take over Traditional Home’s Instagram feed later today.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I am excited to share pictures of my weekend and show you around my hometown of Birmingham, AL.  People are always pleasantly surprised to see how urbanized our city is and all that it offers in the Deep South.   

 

Birmingham, AL, the “Magic City.” Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I am going to share a few of my favorite places to eat, shop, and relax around town.  You can see my Instagram account here and can follow along on Traditional Home’s account here.   

 

Stop by and say hello.   I’d love to hear from you-

 

Dana

 

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Living Well- Tips For Making The Most Of Your Space In A Smaller Home

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A few recent projects have been for families downsizing to smaller homes. And while moving to a home you are excited about can be a blessing, it can sometimes be difficult to lose square footage.

 

It’s amazing all of the stuff we accumulate over the years. I feel like I am constantly cleaning out my house and I try to watch what comes in.

 

How to make the most of small spaces can sometimes be overwhelming , so I thought I would give six helpful tips to #LivingWell in a smaller home.

 

1. Clean Out and Keep Only What You Love Or Will Use.   Simple enough- Do you love it or use it? If not, get rid of it.  No more storing things you “might” need in the future or because you feel guilty getting rid of them.

 

2. Are There Pieces That Can Be Repurposed? If there is a piece you LOVE but don’t have a place for it, can it be reworked for extra storage? 

 

3. Look Above And Below. Look for ways to hide storage, such as using ottomans that open up, raising a bed a few inches to create more space underneath, or  adding built-in seating with drawers underneath.  I also love adding ottomans under an open console or coffee table- not only to work as a layering piece but as an extra seat that can be pulled out if needed.

 

 

An ottoman slides under a coffee table in a client’s Family Room- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Drawers pull out for extra storage in this window seat, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

4. Simplify- When Looking At Your Stuff, Give Away The Extras Of The Same Items.  After all, you might need a few extra sets of sheets, but do you need five sets for the same bed? No- so give away to someone who can use them.

 

5. Think Long And Hard How Your Home Needs To Work For You and Delegate A Function For Every Room Or Unused Corner.  There is something refreshing about simplifying your life and surroundings. But with smaller homes, you need to think long and hard ahead of time to make sure the new home functions like it needs to for you.  If you see an extra corner, could you add a chair and floor lamp for an extra place to sit?

Or a custom banquette to create more seating around a breakfast table?

 

Photography by Jean Allsopp, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

If working on a new build or renovation, hire a designer before the plans are drawn.  An extra set of eyes for how your family will live in the house is invaluable. Every square inch needs to work hard so you can have the pretty with a purpose.

 

6. Let Go Of The Guilt. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is hard to get your money out of furniture and rugs (and even some antiques) when selling.  Just know this is the case and let go of the pieces…. Do not hold onto stuff for any reason other than you love it.

 

#LivingWell isn’t necessarily about having the best of everything- It’s about surrounding yourself with a home that brings you joy.  A place you love to make memories with family and friends.  

 

Downsizing can be a blessing if you allow it, as it is a way to lighten your connection to material “stuff” and create spaces that are customized and truly special to you.

 

Hope you find these six tips helpful to #LivingWell in a smaller home. Let me know what you think-

Dana

 

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

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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 or the direction to pull your home together?

 

Life is busy, and hectic, and stressful.

 

I get it, as I sometimes feel the same way, too.

 

 

A Kitchen Completed Last Year, Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

 

 

But I am constantly reminded how a well-functioning home, one that reflects you and allows you to breathe deeply and relax, can 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, can change how you live and enjoy life.

 

If you are ready for a change for you and your family, now is the time to do it.

 

Let us help turn your home into one that works well for your needs. And, quite frankly, makes you feel good to be in your own home.

 

Who knew you can have pretty AND durable fabrics? Dana Wolter Interiors, Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 
The majority of our projects are full room or turnkey projects, where we devise a detailed plan according to your needs and budget, and we 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 another service for clients who need direction and help making decisions for their home, but they like to do the legwork themselves according to their timeframe and budget. Our one-time, 3.5 hour consult service, 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 it have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes from our meeting.    Matter of fact, I have even gone on the road -and in the air- to offer this consult.

 

 

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 have a conversation about your goals so we can have a plan of action in place for you in the next few months.

 

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

Dana

 

 

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Give Away What You Don’t Love Or Use, But If We MUST Keep, How To Display Your Clutter

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Summer is here and I find myself cleaning.  Cleaning out drawers, wiping down drawers, etc…   Makes me happy!

And while I preach to throw away or give away things that you don’t love or are not using, I know there are times when you want to keep certain things just to keep.

I thought I would rerun this post from a few years ago on how to display your clutter  stuff …….      Here goes….

 

Dana

 

The holidays are over, and who isn’t looking for a few ways to declutter their home?   It’s easy to discard the items you don’t use, but what about the knick knacks you love and want to display?

Do your “special” items look like a pile of mess to others?   If so, what should you do?

Create a few vignettes in your home.

Start with your big items, such as the painting, sconces, lamps, and urn in this picture.   Next, stagger your accessories throughout, making sure you balance out each side.  Notice how they did not forget the space under the console.

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http://katie-d-i-d.blogspot.com/

 

What a great job they did of taking family keepsakes, which, after all, make a house a home, and displaying them in a beautiful way.

How about adding in a few of your personal items when entertaining? At this client’s home, instead of just setting out her china and everyday, we decided to mix it up a bit.

Speaking of entertaining……

What do you do for all of the silver and crystal you have crammed into your cabinets?

Display it as we did in this client’s home.   Here, we mixed in some of her silver pieces with her crystal and pottery.  Everything has its place, and it is beautiful!

photo courtesy of jean allsopp

When creating a focal point, whether it is a vignette or glass cabinet, don’t forget to layer and add different textures.

from dana wolter interiors

So, the key is to make the space your own by displaying your items in a neat, organized way.

http://blog.lonnymag.com/

Even when there is a family pet involved- such as the frog for this family- can you display it in a clever way.

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.

 

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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.
Dana_For_Blog1

 

 

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?!

 

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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,

dana

 

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Last week, I had the opportunity to do live segment for ABC3340’s “Talk of Alabama“.  It’s been several months since I have taped a design segment, and I forgot how much I enjoy it.  It was a lot of fun!

 

talk of alabama

 

 

 

In case some of you are wanting a quick overview of what I discussed, here are a few of the tips I shared.

And guess what?!    The first two suggestions are won’t cost you a dime!

 

1. Clean out. I am a big believer that if you are not using or don’t love something, get rid of it. Life is too short to surround yourself with things that you don’t love or enjoy.  You’ll be amazed at how much better a space looks when clutter is contained.

2. Arrange a new floor plan. After you clean out, access how your room flows. If it doesn’t seem right, move your furniture around and create a new arrangement. Your room will feel like a new one when you do this, and hopefully the space will function better for you and your family (which is always the goal!!).

3. Paint. This seems so simple but it’s truly the best and most economical way to make a big impact.  Color is hot right now, so consider going bold in a small room or space.

4. Add sheers. I love sheers because of the texture they provide, and Iuse them in quite a few of my projects. Regardless of the price point of the fabric, you’ll save money by not having to line them, and usually the labor is much less, too.  Sheers are perfect for the window with a gorgeous view, but just needs some softness around it.

5. Accessorize. Buy new pillows, artwork or a throw. These tend to be easy ways to completely change the look of a room.

 

Watch the segment below as there are a few more specifics not listed above (make sure you notice the beautiful pillows Suite Dreams in Mountain Brook let us borrow!).

Let me know what you think as I would love to hear from you!

 


Have a good one-

Dana

 

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I am excited to share that the Coastal Living Southern Living Designer Network website has launched.

 

If you remember, I shared a couple of months ago that I was selected by the editors as a member of this designer network for their readers.

 

designernetwork

Image from Southern Living Designer Network

 

 

I am honored to be one of the few from Alabama, and as you can see, I am in great company.     Check out the live site at http://sldesignernetwork.com/ and let me know what you think.

 

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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It’s always fun to be involved in a project from schematics to move-in day.
By the time the home is ready for my clients,  I have put in so much of me into creating the home of their dreams.
I am as excited as they are when they can finally enjoy the home all of us have worked so hard to create.
When I am pulled in at the beginning stages like the project below, you really get to know your clients on a personal level.
Important personal matters such as budget, how they live, what’s important to them and their family, etc… have to be addressed over the two year time period.  The relationships made and the trust my clients put in me, with one of the biggest investments of their lifetime, is what makes my job so rewarding.
You know the saying “It takes a village”?   To build a beautiful, exquisite, custom home, it takes a team.
The project below is for an out of town client, and it is going to be one pretty incredible home.   The rest of the team (builder, landscape designer) is in the process of being finalized, but I have been working with Jeremy Corkern of Bates Corkern Studio on these plans.  There are some stunning details incorporated throughout.
Jeremy has done a great job in placing this home just so on this piece of property to ensure as much light as possible filters into it.  Careful planning has addressed views inside and out.  The flow is beautiful and the space is one that will function for them now and for many years to come.
This is the family’s forever home. They want something comfortable and pretty that will suit their current needs, but they also want to make sure the home will accommodate their needs down the road as their family expands with spouses and grandchildren.
This project has been a really fun one so far. We are incorporating some creative elements, as the clients have been open to trust us when stepping out of their comfort zones.
Here’s Jeremy’s rendering of the front elevation.
exterior elevation with Jeremy C
Stay tuned to follow alongas the project continues.
Have a great day,

 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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