Posts Tagged ‘interior design blog’

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.

 

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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We took this outdated, dark, cramped kitchen and made it accommodate today’s living.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.

 

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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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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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Monday Motivation: Quote Of The Day

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Here’s to Monday morning…..

 

I find myself tackling on Monday the things I put off on Friday, all while trying to organize myself for the week.   

 

courtesy of Pinterest

 

So here’s to tackling that email or conversation or opportunity that you pushed aside last week.    Let’s make it a great week together-

 

xo,

 

Dana

 

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Living Well: Six Tips For Creating A Bedroom You Love

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I have been talking a lot lately about the importance of making your home your own.  #Livingwell and creating a home around what is important to you. 

A bedroom is the perfect room to create a spot to call your own – a place that allows you to relax and surround yourself with things you love.

I’ve come up with six tips for creating a bedroom special to you.  Here goes:

1. Use colors that SPEAK to you: I normally keep colors in the bedroom soft because I need tranquility in my life (Ha!), but if a bright color speaks to you, then certainly use it.

 

Bedroom created a few years back for a favorite client; Dana Wolter Interiors, Jean Allsopp Photography

2. Mix your Furniture Pieces for a Collected Look.  Gone are the days of matching bedroom sets, so mix your finishes.

Vincent Wolf

 3. Layer- Bedrooms can have quite a few hard surfaces, so it is important to add softness through a rug, window treatments, pillows, bedding, etc…

I love this upholstered niche by Circa Interiors

4. Incorporate things that you love, such as favorite photographs and artwork.

  

     

 

 5. Keep it simple… Don’t clutter or overcrowd your bedroom with too much stuff.  Make sure the room can breathe, so you can as well.  

Pinterest

6. Find a place to sit.  While you don’t want to overcrowd, I always try to add some sort of sitting in a bedroom.  A place to lounge if you aren’t quite ready to curl up in bed.

A leather or upholstered chair to cozy up in to finish that book you started are pieces that can enhance a bedroom space and make it feel like your very own private suite.   #Livingwell in your home by making it your own.

 

 

Bedrooms should have all things in it that you love. It should be the place you cannot wait to get to at the end of your day or sneak off to when you just need a moment to yourself.  

If you want help or need guidance on how to make your bedroom feel like its very own getaway, email us here.

 

Here’s to creating a bedroom you love and #livingwell in your home.

xo- Dana 

 

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Pets Are Family, Too- Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Pets are part of the family, and #LivingWell with a pet means creating durable, pretty interiors that can withstand the wear and tear that comes from them.  Interiors you can enjoy with your pets, family and friends.

Ask my dog, Bitsy, as she is sure to show you how she has free rein in my home.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen on my Instagram stories how I refer to her as Waldo- you never know where she may appear- but it’s always in a comfortable spot.

Bitsy always finds a comfy chair

Pets need to be taken in consideration when designing your home. Yes, you can have a gorgeous, jaw dropping home the entire family can actually live in, including them.

Here are a few tips for worry-free living with your best friend: 

     1. God-made materials, such as natural stone, only become prettier with a little wear and tear.   Scratches, etching- it’s called patina.   

2. When selecting fabrics, choose ones that have a high durability rating.   If it doesn’t have one, have the fabric treated.

I use this trick- a lot.    Let me show you a few examples…

Chaises with a treated fabric, Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

3.  Incorporate antique and semi-antique rugs.  Needless to say, if it has lasted a hundred years or close to it, it can stand the wear from a pup.

Maggie was quite the model when shooting this home.  She loved to be where the action was (and on the rugs).

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

What can I say?  Some can easily claim a favorite spot of their very own. Isn’t he the sweetest?

 

Where’s your pet’s favorite spot to perch, or is he even allowed on the furniture?

 

Here’s to #LivingWell with pets.   After all, they are part of the family, and a home should be enjoyed by all.

 

 

Have a great day-

dana

 

 

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3.5 Hour Consult- Is This Service A Good Fit For You?

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Fall is here and with the holidays around the corner, people are ready to make changes to their home.

 

If this includes you, I want to remind you about the 3.5 hour consult I offer.

 

While we mostly work on full room or turn-key projects, this one-time service is for the client who needs direction and help making decisions, but likes to take that information and do the legwork themselves.

 

It has gone over really well, and the clients who have invested in this consult with me have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes with it.  

 

Matter of fact, I have helped people not only rework rooms and the types of furniture to buy for the spaces, but others have used this service to select the finishes and paint colors for homes not yet under construction.

 

 

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Whatever your needs may be, you have my undivided attention to accomplish all we need to do during our time together. 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Here’s how the 3.5 hour consult works:

You send a list to me of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.  We make an appointment, and I will then spend 3.5 hours of uninterrupted time discussing your project.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric swatches, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it.

 

The more legwork you do before our meeting in knowing what you want to accomplish, the more productive our time will be together.   We will make a Pinterest board with specifics of what to look for when shopping for your home, and I will take detailed measurements so you won’t have to worry about coming home with the wrong size sofa, ever again.

 

After our meeting, you will receive notes on what was discussed and a list of the suggestions from me.   This allows you to maximize your time with me while I write down all the specifics for you to implement at a later date.

 

This service is a great way to invest in your home by making sure what you are changing and buying is right for the space.  It also allows you the freedom to work on your project as your time and budget allow, all while following professional advice.

 

I had one last week and the client sent me this email afterwards.  She said it was fine for me to share, so here goes:

 

Hi Dana,
I just wanted to thank you again for yesterday! As I drove home, I literally felt less stress in my body having so many decisions made that I am excited about! You offer a wonderful service and it fit my needs perfectly.
I look forward to really seeing the transformation take place!
Thank you again and have a great upcoming weekend!

 

 

 

If you think this service can help you, email us here.   I would love to talk with you.

 

Have a great day,

dana

 

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With the devastation we’ve had lately from floods and Hurricane Irma, I’ve been reminded of the importance of home.  I’ve realized I take for granted having a roof over my head, a place to retreat from life.

 

None of us are promised a perfect tomorrow, so why are we waiting to create a home that makes us feel comfortable, happy, and protected?

 

My heart goes out to all of the people across our country having to start over and rebuild.   Now more than ever, it is important to #Livewell by creating a home you love- one that makes you want to retreat to from the craziness of this world.  

 

It’s deciding what makes you happy and taking the steps to create it.   For instance, is family important to you?  If so, think about creating a gallery wall of your favorite family photos.  

 

I do this all the time- I’ll designate a specific hall, a wall, or both in a home where photos can be displayed.   Here are a few from a couple of my projects:

 

Make a wall in your home personal to you, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Jean Allsopp Photography

 

 

For some, #LivingWell might be having friends over.   Casual impromptu dinners are always great, but don’t be afraid to pull out your china, silver, crystal.  If using these things brings you joy,  pull them out-stop saving them for tomorrow.  Let’s enjoy today.  

 

 

I love to create a spot somewhere in the home that clients can call their own.  A cozy corner that calls their name. 

 

 

An extra-deep loveseat in this bay window creates an inviting spot to sit. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

A cute couple I helped with a design/build liked to sit at their island for their meals.  If you are going to sit at the counter for a few meals each day, why not make it functional and pretty and unique? 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

For today, I hope you are inspired to find ways to turn your home into one you love…….

 

 

Here’s to creating a home you enjoy and can #livewell in

 

 

Dana

 

 

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