Posts Tagged ‘interior design blog’

We are thrilled to share some exciting news with you…..  

Dana Wolter Interiors has been named a Finalist in the Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year Award. This accolade is sponsored by ADAC and Veranda magazine.

This is the second year in a row we have been nominated for this amazing award, and I am grateful to my hardworking team and the judges Clint Smith, Victoria Hagan, and Tom Kligerman for noticing our work.

Needless to day, we are over the moon.

Stay tuned as we will keep you posted on social media. The awards ceremony is April 26th at the Southeastern Showhouse, which we leave today to install our space. Wish us luck with the install – with three cars full and a carrier making a delivery, we look like we are moving in to stay.

Have a great day, everyone!

Dana

 

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With the weather beginning to show glimpses of spring (thank goodness!), it is only fitting to embark on another fabulous showhouse.

We are thrilled to announce we are part of the design team selected for the 2018 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle’s Southeastern Showhouse in Atlanta, GA, with proceeds benefitting the Atlanta History Center.

 

2018 Southeastern Showhouse Rendering by Harrison Design

 

As you recall, we were part of last year’s incredible home.  It did not disappoint, and this year’s won’t either.   You can read more about the 2017 Southeastern Showhouse here.
 
Our space last year – The Mudroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Photography by Emily Followill
 
 
Dana Wolter Interiors, Photography by Emily Followill
 
 
We are working on an upstairs’ bedroom and bathroom that we have turned into a lounge-like room for gathering with friends, doing homework, etc. My inspiration for the space started from Peter Fasano’s newest fabric pattern, an oversized damask called Ellsworth.
 
 
 
Along with the Peter Fasano team, we took the Ellsworth pattern and customized the colors based on our color palette for the space.   They added a contrasting outline to the design and utilized watercolor effects to highlight and darken different areas, giving the damask fabric even more depth.
 
I can’t wait to share how it turned out as it is beautiful.  Their team has made the process effortless to customize with their help and knowledge.
 
Mark your calendars as the showhouse will be open from April 19th through May 13th and is located in the heart of Buckhead at 2805 Normandy Drive in Atlanta. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.
 
Check back and follow us on social media as we will continue to give sneak peek’s into our selections until the show opens.  
 

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Many of my projects are older homes that haven’t been updated yet to best fit the needs of today’s modern family.

A lot of these homes have unused, outdated built-ins, and I thought it would be fun to look at a few ways I have recreated this type of space.

It’s amazing what a little thought and creativity can do to update and make a space work for you.

 

 Here are a few examples:

 

BEFORE

 

AFTER:

Custom designed cabinetry by Dana Wolter Interiors

 

We thickened the wall opening into the room so the new cabinetry reads more as a true built-in.   I made the depth for this custom cabinet less in the middle (the doors slide open to reveal a flat screen tv ) while the side cabinets hold 13″ deep bookcases to personalize the space.

In one of my other projects, the sitting room had a deep, built-in computer desk.  The desk wasn’t being used anymore and the room was pretty much just a walk-through space.  

We decided to give this room a purpose by making it the husband’s sitting room, fitted with a bar and his own personal television.  

 

BEFORE:

 

BEFORE

 

 

AFTER: 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I decided to go with a lighter wax on the bar wood to make the bar “pop” against the dark walls, and I also surrounded the space with a snakeskin wall covering.    The upholstered doors are touch latch for easy opening-

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

What about your home?   Do you have wasted, useable space hidden in your old built-ins? 

If so, and you are ready to update your home,  reach out to us here.   We’d love to hear about your project-

 

Have a great day-

 

Dana

 

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Living Well: 4 Tips For Your Home That Add To The Quality Of Your Life

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With the start of a new year (and being home for three weeks after my surgery),  I found myself looking for ways to improve how my home works for my busy family. Ways to accentuate living well in my home.

And while my to-do list grew quite long (turning my old office into a lounge space for me is near the top), I thought I would share a few easy ways to improve a home and hopefully your quality of life.

 

 1.  Paint a room – Nothing reinvigorates a space more than a fresh coat of paint. Paint fades and dulls slowly over time, requiring some TLC after numerous years of no attention.  I suggest repainting the ceiling and trim at the same time because once the walls are repainted, the ceiling and trim will be noticeably dull.
 

2. Bring the outdoors in – With all of this cold weather we’ve had lately, cut a few branches from your yard to add some greenery and life into your home.

Winding branches make such a dramatic yet effortless statement that don’t need to be maintained like orchids or other flowers. The texture and scale that branches contribute to a space will add a beautiful layer to your existing design, AND it doesn’t cost a dime.  It may not be summer, yet, but we can pretend it is almost here.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

3. Closet consistency – How often do you stand in your closet thinking you have nothing to wear? The problem may lie in the fact that you can’t see half of what you own.

I recently tossed every single hanger in the house and switched to clear plastic hangers for me and color coordinated ones for my girls (and when they go back to school, the specific hanger goes with them). They come in several colors and the key is to buy each person their own color. Not only do these slim hangers take up less space in your closet, but they look nice and clean.

I pulled out a few things to give away, but the consistency in the hangers and hanging clothes by color and type made all the difference in the world.   I’ve found myself spending less time figuring out what to wear because of this simple, esthetically-pleasing change.

 

4. Make a list of projects you want to accomplish – January is a great time to make a punch list of things you’ve been wanting to do around your home.  I try to group alike tasks together and make a goal to complete a few each month.

For example, a client just contacted me about designing her Screened-In Porch so it would be completely ready for entertaining in the summer. We’ve done almost all of the other rooms in the house and this room was always put on the back burner.

On a smaller scale, maybe you have been wanting to switch out some of your light fixtures that are beginning to look dated or replace a Living Room sofa that has seen better days – add these to your master punch list and begin putting effort in getting them accomplished.

 

What will it take for you to live well, or should I say, live better, in your own home?   Take a few minutes and think about it.   I bet the answer is not far away.

 

Dana

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With two of my girls off at college and my last one with a little over a year before she leaves,  I find my house starting to feel a little too big.    

I love my location in Mountain Brook, AL, and my home that I put so much of myself into,  but I hate the idea of unused space.  I realize this is probably not my last house.

And like my empty nest clients, my next home will be one that will need to carry us through the final stage of life, and I realize my needs as an empty nester will be different than those of someone with children living at home.  

So if you find yourself thinking like me, here are five tips every empty nester should know when building a house:

1. Not all of your furniture will fit in a scaled down home.  This is a great time to think about the pieces your truly love and have meaning to you.   Practice living well in this new home by simplifying, downsizing and surrounding yourself only with things you love and use.

2. Your children may not want your discards.  Newsflash….When you are cleaning out, chances are that if you don’t want Aunt Susie’s favorite chair, your children may not either.  Give them the gift of deciding what they would like to bring into their home without the pressure of keeping a family piece.  When it is time, savor the memories and let go.

3. Customize this home to you.   Life is short and life is meant for living well.   If you have always wanted a large storage closet for your china and silver, build it.  Surround yourself and customize your home to what brings you joy.

And while your space may be smaller, this is a great time to upgrade your finishes and details. Thought out touches add value to your home and to your life.

For instance, the home below was for my empty nest clients. They did not want a breakfast room because they like to eat everyday meals around an island.    I wanted them to really enjoy their kitchen and especially their island, so we focused on making the space unique and extra special for them. 

Island customized for everyday meals. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Custom island with reeded doors. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

4. Create dual purpose rooms.  While you may not have children and grandchildren visit every day, you want them to feel welcome when they do.  If your new home doesn’t allow for enough extra bedrooms, think dual rooms, such as an office or sitting room with a bed or pullout sofa in it.  

For instance, we turned this garage into a playroom because my clients needed extra space for watching tv when all of their grown children are home.   We added an extra long sofa that has a pullout sofa for family visits.

 

Just because you give up square footage when downsizing does not mean you should ever give up entertaining or hosting overnight guests.

5. Think Long Term. While you may be healthy now and still running marathons every few months,  your forever home may need to transition one day to the later stages of life.  

What will that mean for you?  It may mean a master on the main or an elevator for upstairs’ access, limited stairs where possible, and a shower and tub that are easy to get in and out.

So here’s to living well in your home and making it unique to you.  Life is about surrounding yourself with people and memories you love and enjoy.

If we can help you create the home of your dreams, email us here.  I’d love to discuss with you.

Dana

 

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As you read here and here, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles selected us as one of the Designers for the 2017 Southeastern Designer Showhouse.  

 

 

 

 

The YouTube video of the showhouse was recently released, and I thought you might like to see our thoughts behind the spaces we created for this stunning home.  Click here to view.

 

Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think-

XO,

Dana

 

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With as many homes I am in and out of, I see recurring problems that come from everyday life and living.

I love seeing a home transform from one that’s cluttered, dark, and doesn’t work for a family to one that allows them to Live Well in their home.

And while your definition of Living Well may be different than mine or your neighbors’, I’m giving a few tips to solve some common problem areas.

  1. Clutter:  Organize your home so everything has a place.  Incorporate hidden storage where you can create a visual calm and remember to store alike things together.

If organizing overwhelms you, start by cleaning out a small space, such as the towel drawer in your kitchen.

 

wolterhome_2016_gyc_367-2484x3726

The hidden door under my stairs allows for all kinds of hidden storage for my family, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

2.  A room that is a catch-all for stuff because it isn’t being used

 Find a Purpose for every room in your home.  No room should serve as  a “walk-through” or a one that is used once or twice a year.  Once you give the room a function, take a step back and assess the items in it.  Do they bring you joy or are they useful?  If neither, it is time to give them away or throw them out.

This may also mean switching rooms around, or changing how the furniture is arranged in a room.

Take this home below that we worked on recently.   The living room was never used, the family room wasn’t working for the family, so we flipped the two.

Dana Wolter Interiors | Luxury Interior Design

Looking Into The New Family Room, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Because of where these two rooms are placed in the house, the family now finds themselves using both spaces on a regular basis.

 

3. Dark, cramped spaces that don’t function well.  

Find a Balance with how your home flows and functions.  To Live Well in your home, it should work hard for everyday living  while easily transitioning to host a party when needed. 

Does the kitchen allow for quality work space?  Is there a place for guests to sit and linger?  If not, it may be time to renovate your kitchen.

We took this outdated, dark, cramped kitchen and made it accommodate today’s living.  By raising the ceiling, taking the sunroom into the kitchen space and adding a wall of hidden storage, we created a kitchen that is functional, bright and works hard for this family.

 

BEFORE

 

BEFORE

 

AFTER:

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

I also love adding a banquette when I can in a kitchen.  It allows for more seating AND it adds a layer of softness to a room filled with many hard surfaces.

Recent Breakfast Room completed, Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

4.  Spaces in your house that don’t feel like home

What makes you smile and brings you joy?  Whether it is a sparse room, layered objects, bright colors, or a wall filled with books, use discernment in adding these touches to your space.   Find ways to add what makes you smile to bring you Warmth and Joy in your house.

Sentimental family photos are added into this new, casual space, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I hope these tips help you make an honest assessment about your home so you can find ways to add to your quality of life.

If you need help turning your house into one you love, reach out to us here.   We would love to hear from you!

Here’s to Living Well in your home, whatever your definition may be.

 

Dana

 

 

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 I’ve always been proud of how our designs change how people live- because they do.  I’ve seen time and time again how a beautiful, well-functioning home can add to the quality of a family’s life and save them from costly mistakes.

While the reason we do what we do hasn’t changed, we gave it a name in early 2017.   We added to our Vision Statement “To change people’s lives through the art of Living Well in their home.”

So, in keeping with Living Well in my own life, I thought it would be fun to look back at what 2017 held for me.   Here is a recap- the good and the bad- that took place.   

We began the year opening my new office in Mountain Brook, AL.   I kept my office in my home for several years to stay close to my children, but now that they are older and my team has grown, it was time to move out.  We are now in the heart of Mountain Brook Village, so still close to my own home which I love.

 

BEFORE of the space

 

AFTER:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

January also included installing our #DiamondsOfDesign vignette for the AmericasMart market in Atlanta, GA.   It was their 60th anniversary and to celebrate, they had 10 designers from across the country create spaces based upon a style icon from the past 60 years.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, photo courtesy of AmericasMart

 

In March, we installed our spaces in the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle’s  Southeastern Showhouse in Atlanta, GA.

 

davis-analytique-color_150dpi_2017-02-15

 

 

 

Designers from across the Southeast were asked to participate in this showhouse, and we loved being included.  The house is a James Means’ creation where his designs were based upon Classicism and craftsmanship.  The renovation/addition was by Yong Pak of Pak Hyde & Associates.

Here are a few pictures from our Mudroom photographed by Emily Followill:

 

 

March came with a family trip to The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas for spring break.   It was a much needed break, and the fresh air and scenery were exactly what I needed.

 

We were thrilled to learn in early April that we were a Finalist for the 2017  ADAC and Veranda Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year award.

 

Though we didn’t win, it was a fun few days celebrating and catching up with design friends. 

 

Talking with my friend, Arianne Nardo, of The Editor At Large

 

 

Rebecca and me heading to the awards’ ceremony

 

2017 also included publications of our work.   We loved this feature here in Charlotte’s Peachy Magazine featuring one of our designs from years’ past.   It’s an example that good design doesn’t go out of style….

Mountain Brook Magazine featured one of my favorite renovations. The backstory to this project is a feel good story for all, so be sure to read here .

 

 

StyleBlueprint did a wonderful feature on our work.  You can see the article here.

I also visited New York a few times for work and for fun.  I love the city and find inspiration from new sources so easily there.   When I was there in July, I drove over with my friend Vicki to see the Traditional Home Hamptons’ Showhouse in July.  It was filled with amazing talent and every space was gorgeous.

Vicki and I enjoying the Hampton Showhouse with Jill Waage, Traditional Home’s Editor In Chief

 

I can’t leave out moving TWO of my girls to college.   While it is always time for them to go back to school when the time comes (and this is Lucy’s junior year), it is still emotional for me.  Not sure why- because they are doing amazingly well, but I just miss them.  

Mother/Daughter senior trip to the Grand Velas in May

 

 

We took over Traditional Home’s Instagram feed here in October and it was a ton of fun.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I enjoyed showing their followers around Birmingham, AL.  People are always pleasantly surprised to see how urbanized our city is and all that it offers in the Deep South.   

 

Graham Yelton photography

 

We had several installations this year, and for our amazing clients, we are always grateful.  Here are some pictures of a few of the homes(photography by Graham Yelton):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are still reading following me here on Instagram, you know I recently had hip surgery.  It was a big decision for me to go through with it as I have had hip pain for over three years. Quite frankly, I just became tired of being in pain and not being able to walk long distances.   It has been a rough few weeks, but every day I seem to be a little stronger.   I just pray 2018 will be pain free and that I will be able to walk as far as I would like without thinking twice.  I’ve learned it’s the simple things that I take for granted, like bending over to tie my shoes (I can’t do this for six weeks post op).   If you see me walking into my office barefoot, you will know why.:)

 

And while 2017 has been a pretty good year for business and accolades, what I am most grateful for is my family.  Living Well for me is enjoying my family and creating memories with them whenever I can.    I recently turned an extra room in our house into a tv room, and I have loved watching all of the many movies we did over the holidays.

So here’s to Living Well in 2018, whatever your definition may be.   If it includes transforming your home into one that works hard to live up to your definition, give us a shout here.   We’d love to hear from you.

 

Happy New Year-

 

Dana

 

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5 Things To Keep On Hand For Last Minute Entertaining

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There is nothing I love more than when friends and family stop by at a moment’s notice.  
 
Whether it’s catching up with a neighbor or an impromptu girls’ night, I savor these moments.   The key to being prepared for unexpected company is to have a few easy tricks. 
 
It’s not about stressing over how clean your house is or the fact that you may still be in your workout clothes from the morning.  It’s about enjoying friends and family and the time you spend with them.
 
Your guests will only be as relaxed as you are, so don’t fret over the things you can’t control.
 
Here are five of my tried and true tricks to keep on hand for last-minute entertaining:
 
1. Keep a delicious dip in your freezer and crackers in the pantry. This way, all you have to do is pull out of the freezer and heat in the oven. Not only will your home smell amazing, but you don’t have to fuss with any dishes or prep work.  
Here is my family’s favorite  dip recipe, courtesy of the Junior League of Birmingham’s Food For Thought cookbook.  FYI- it freezes wonderfully, too. 
 
Hot Bacon and Swiss Dip
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, soften
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled,
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers 
 
Soften cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, Swiss chases, and green onions; mix well. Transfer to a baking dish. Top with bacon and crackers. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and serve with crackers or Fritos.
 
2. Have cloth napkins pressed and ready. No thought or effort required – It is as simple as pulling them out and displaying with your hors d’oeuvre of choice and wine. 
 
 

Or setting a table for a more formal, sit down dinner

 
 
3. Light a nice candle – I love a good candle and am constantly changing out the one in my kitchen.  Find one that speaks to you and enjoy it.  
 
 
4. Keep a good supply of simple, clear vases of different sizes tucked away for entertaining. These are great for filling with grocery store flowers or branches from your yard for a last minute arrangement.   Sprawling branches make such a beautiful, effortless statement, and according to my youngest, flowers make your house look cleaner.  Who knew!
 
 
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
5. Slow down and give your guests your undivided attention. Put down the cell phones, send the children off to play or to do homework, and make your guests feel like you have time for them (no matter what fire you might be in the middle of putting out). Be present and enjoy your visit!

 

With the holidays approaching, I hope some of these tips will help ease the stress of the season. I’d love to hear your tried and true hospitality tricks.

 
Cheers to living (and entertaining) well,
 
Dana
 

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The foyer is the first impression of your home when someone walks in, so it needs to make a good one.

After all, whether family or a visitor, you want guests to feel welcome.

We recently began working on the foyer of a current project.  It is a beautiful home and while we have finished up several rooms in the house, we are now focusing in on this space.   As I was assessing the best way to soften this room and make it look like the family has lived there for some time, I thought I would share some tricks with you. 

 

Here are five tips to making a great first impression in your foyer:

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

 

Foyer, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

 

 

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

Artwork by my daughter (that I love) personalizes the entrance into my office, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

3.  Make the space useful- Depending on the size, create a place to sit to put your shoes on, or at the very least, add a tray to catch your keys.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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 been collected over time.

 

 

 

 

Below is a video I shot a few years back with Wendy Garner talking about how to transform this overlooked space.  Click here to watch for a few more tips for your foyer.

 

photo (5)

Dana Wolters’ TV Segment on “Ways To Create An Inviting Foyer”

 

 

So, what does your foyer say about your home?   Does it set the tone and catch your eye, or is it a “catch-all” area you want to hurry your guests through?

 

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

Dana

 

 

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