- Thoughts, Tips, and Trends in Interior Design -

Vacation Homes In The Making

Posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2020 at 2:25 am

While Corona has kept my interior design firm in Birmingham, AL, home more than usual the past few months, it hasn’t slowed us down working on our out of town interior design projects.

A few of the projects we are currently working on include vacation homes.   These are always a lot of fun as clients eagerly anticipate all of the memories waiting to be made.

Four Seasons’ Private Residence in Orlando At Walt Disney

One of the vacation homes we are working on is in the Four Seasons’ Private Residence Community at Walt Disney in Orlando, #Florida.  The sweetest couple and their family are building this forever vacation home for their family to grow into and enjoy.

We worked with these clients before so we were thrilled when they called to hire us for this new project.  We will be moving them into the home in about six months.

 

The details and customization throughout make the home unique and one of a kind. 

For instance, in the dining room, we are upholstering the walls a beautiful navy blue.   I love that as soon a you walk in the door, you will see the pop of color in this otherwise light and bright home.

 

Upholstered Dining Room in the making, Dana Wolter Interiors

We presented this home during quarantine and the presentation was a little tricky.  We made it work and can’t wait for our selections to come to fruition.

Alys Beach

We are also working on a new vacation home in Alys Beach.

If you aren’t familiar with Alys, book your next vacation there and you’ll see why my clients have chosen this community to build a vacation home.  The beautiful beaches, wonderful food and incredible architecture make you feel like you have traveled a thousand miles away.   

We are in the schematic stage of the plans and we are thrilled to be brought in at the beginning.  It’s perfect timing so changes are made before breaking ground. The talented crew at Domin Bock are drawing the plans and they always do a beautiful job. 

New construction in Alys Beach, Dana Wolter Interiors

Stay tuned and follow us on Instagram to see more of these vacation homes in the making.   I promise they won’t disappoint. 

Dana

 

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Before and After: Furnishing A Home On A Deadline

Posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2020 at 2:20 am

It’s amazing what a little vision, new furnishings, fresh paint, and a great floor plan execution will do for your home and for your psyche.

I thought I would share a few homes of clients who needed help furnishing their entire home but with a deadline in mind. 

 

Home Design with a Deadline

Each of these families wanted to update their interiors for different reasons, but all had a common goal- to be finished by the new year.

Believe it or not, if you want to enjoy new furnishings, art and accessories by then, call us now .  It takes a few months for orders to be processed and constructed.

There is no time like the present to get started, and I hope these projects inspire you to do the same.

Project #1

These clients purchased their home a few years back and needed new furnishings, lighting, window treatments, art, and accessories throughout.  

In their breakfast room, we incorporated their table (which they loved), refinished their cane-back chars, and added a showstopping, extra long custom banquette to the wall of windows.

Because we started working on this client’s home during the middle of the summer, and the Christmas deadline was in the forefronts of everyone’s mind, we made sure everything was finalized and ordered by the end of August.

As the holidays approached, we completed minor renovations and cosmetic updates just in time for the furniture to be installed.  What a treat for this family to enjoy their first Christmas in their new home.

Before:

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Project #2

This next home has plenty of square footage, but because of the columns and off-center fireplace, a sofa would not fit in their Family Room.  That’s right – there was not enough space for the family to sit comfortably.

As I blogged about here, we completely reworked this room as well as several others.  The Family Room transformed into a beautiful, functional space where the entire family can now enjoy together.  

Before:

 

 

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

The Foyer received new paint, drapery, furnishings, art and accessories. 

You know me-I love creating a sitting area when possible because it instantly invites guests to come in, sit and visit.  Wait until you see the ‘after’ – it is unrecognizable.

Before:

 

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

If you are ready to update your home with the goal of enjoying the redesign as soon as possible, call 205-938-4848 or email us here.   We would love to discuss your project with you. 

Have a great day –

Dana

 

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The One Trend I Am Seeing In Renovations and New Construction

Posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 at 2:20 am

There is one trend I am seeing in several of our renovation and new construction projects. 

While I began designing some homes with them pre-Covid,  they are being drawn into renovations and new construction more often as people spend time at home focusing on what their home is missing.

So… what is this trend?

A resurgence in a scullery or second kitchen. 

They are more functional than a butler’s pantry as they host a second dishwasher and refrigerator (and some even a second range).  These spaces work hard in a home when it is time to entertain.  

Fabrics and furnishings for a new vacation home that will also have a second kitchen for entertaining. Dana Wolter Interiors, LLC

These second kitchens have special touches such as beverage drawers, dishwashers and coffee bars.  Storage is always a priority, too.

They are perfect for containing the mess while the main kitchen serves as an entertaining space for family and friends. I believe that once society is back to entertaining, formal spaces will make a resurgence. 

 

A second kitchen in a home we designed a few years back, Dana Wolter Interiors

Hopefully, our time is limited that we have to continue to socially distance.

I long for the days of not only having family over, but large gatherings of friends.  After all,  our homes should be a refuge we love to share with others.

Dana

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors Offers A One-Time, 3.5 Hour Consult

Posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2020 at 2:20 am

While my firm works on full-room or full-home interior design projects, a few times a year we offer a limited number of appointments for a one time, 3.5 hour interior design consult.  

This service is designed for the client who needs direction and help making decisions for their home but wants to implement the list as their budget and time allow.

In the past, it has gone over really well not only for clients in Alabama but for all over the country.  While I have jumped on a plane to make this service happen, I have had several people fly in, drive over or even Facetime with me from across the country. 

If you have been noticing all the things you want to change in your home but social distancing is a must due to Corona, this service is for you.

 

Birmingham, AL, Interior Design Firm

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Here’s how the 3.5 hour interior design consult works:

We will ask for a list from you of what you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.  During our appointment, I will then spend 3.5 hours of uninterrupted time going through your list and answering questions.  

We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric direction, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it.

I’ve also had clients use this service to select all of the finishes for a new build while others have brought me in to revamp their existing home.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Mudroom Interior Design

Our 2018 Southeastern Showhouse Mudroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Emily Followill Photography

 

People who have invested in this consult have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes from it. We work hard when we are together.

Matter of fact, I recently saw a client who hired me a few years ago to help her with the finishes, colors, materials, furniture layout, etc for a family lake house under construction.

I couldn’t help but smile as she proudly showed me pictures of the finished product.  They didn’t have furniture yet, but the house turned out so pretty.  She did a great job implementing my suggestions for building their vacation home.

 

Kitchen Design Tips, Dana Wolter Interiors

A beautiful kitchen project of Dana Wolter Interiors as seen in Traditional Home

 

Butler's Pantry Design, Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

If you think this interior design consult can help transform your home into one you love, inquire about it here.  I would love to talk with you.

Have a great day-

-dana

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6 Tips For Creating A Bedroom You Love

Posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2020 at 2:33 am

With Covid keeping all of us at home, it is more important now than ever to have a bedroom you love.

Your bedroom should be a room that you look forward to retreating to at the end of the day.   It should allow you to #livewell by surrounding yourself with things that help you relax and rejuvenate.

If yours isn’t ideal…

Here are 6 must-follow design ideas for creating a bedroom you love:

1.Splurge on your bed linens 

Buy the best you can afford for your bed linens and sheets.  There is nothing better than crawling into a bed with beautiful linens and soft, clean sheets that feel better the more they are laundered. 

2.Incorporate seating  

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

A leather or upholstered chair are pieces that can enhance a bedroom space and make it feel like your very own private suite.  #Livewell in your home by making it your own.

 

A sitting area in a client’s bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. Incorporate colors that speak to you

I normally keep colors in the bedroom soft because I need tranquility in my life (ha!), but if bright colors speak to you, then certainly use them.

Bedroom Decorating Tips

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

4. Put your bedside lamps on a dimmable switch

If you are like my husband and me, he likes to go to bed early while I like to read before I go to sleep.  A dimmable switch on your bedside table lamps allows you to enjoy nighttime light without disturbing your partner.  

5. Add in personal touches

Incorporate touches that are personal to you such as your favorite photographs and artwork.

A teenager’s bedroom , Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

6. 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

 

Bedrooms should have all of the 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 designing a home with a bedroom that feel like its very own getaway, call 205-938-4848 or email us here.We’d love to hear from you. 

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

Dana 

 

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4 Ways To Fall In Love With Your Home

Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2020 at 2:47 am

Home Sweet Home – an old adage that I’m taking to heart more and more these days.

As I mentioned here, I’ve found a few simple ways that have made me fall back in love with my home again now that I have been staying in. Isn’t it funny what you notice about your home when you spend all day some time in it? 

With how heavy the news and life have been, I’m finding peace and comfort in having my family all under the same roof.  I’m so appreciative and fortunate to have a safe place to be quarantined and thought I would share 4 Ways I’m falling back in love with the place I’ve called home for 13 years.

 

Ways I’m Falling Back In Love With My House 

1. Getting Back In The Kitchen

Growing up with Italian roots, I love a home cooked meal. But, because of long work days, our empty nest, and the pure convenience of takeout, cooking has taken a back burner the past year.

It’s been fun being back in the kitchen with my girls and husband during the quarantine.   My refrigerator has a revolving door and the dishwasher runs constantly, but I have loved every moment of it.   Cooking has been a nice escape and having my kitchen where all my girls gather has been a wonderful blessing.

Way to fall in love with your home

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

2. Sleeping In

While we are thankfully still very busy with client projects, I have embraced the stillness of the mornings . With no need to rush out the door, I’m trying to learn to sleep in a bit later and enjoy new morning rituals.

I’ve found myself sitting and actually enjoying my morning coffee and watering all the springtime flowers that are emerging.  This is my favorite time of year for my garden so learning to see it in a new light has been refreshing.

Ways to fall in love with your home

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. In-Home Spa

I’ve quickly been reminded that it is the little things that bring great joy. A nightly mask and occasional bubble bath have been a treat and a way I can practice self-care without the need or ability to leave the house.

Ways to fall in love with your home

A client’s master bathroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4. Al Fresco Dining

One of the several silver linings I’ve thought about during this quarantine is that it’s springtime and a fabulous time of year to spend outside. On days the weather is nice, we try and take advantage of eating a meal outside when possible.  We’ve also set the dining room table a few times and it was fun to linger afterwards with casual conversation.   

Dining- Ways to fall in love with your home

Dana Wolter Interiors, Jean Allsopp Photography

 

I hope you are staying healthy and enjoying your time in your home.   Cheers to falling back in love with your home again.  Take care,

 

Dana

 

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4 Tips For Selecting the Perfect Paint Color

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 at 2:43 am

Is being quarantined at home giving you the urge to paint a room or two?  If so, here are a few tips for selecting the perfect paint color.  

Choosing the right color can be overwhelming, but if you follow this process, it will ensure the color on your walls is what you thought you selected.

Top tips to selecting the perfect paint color:

  1. The most important first step in choosing a paint color is to take the sample out of the store.  Choose a handful of hues or borrow the fan deck of colors and bring the paint samples home.

 

 

Trying out a few gray paint samples for a client’s library.

 
 
2. Take the samples home and brush them on the walls of your room. Nothing will help you choose a color better than seeing the actual color applied to the wall.  If your walls are dark, paint the samples on a white piece of poster board so the current color doesn’t interfere with the new ones.
 
From bright morning light to golden afternoon light to lamp-lit darkness, look at the colors at different times of day.  Sun, or lack thereof, can make a huge difference in how a color reads.
 
3. Paint two good coats to get a good idea of what the color is going to look like in the room.  Once the test sections are dry, hang artwork over them, push furniture in front of them, and stand back in the room to see how they look.
 
 
 
paint1

This image shows the difference between one and two coats.

 

After the perfect gray paint color selection, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography.  To see more of this home featured in Traditional Home, click here.

 

4. When choosing a sheen, remember that flat paint gives you color closest to the original cardboard paint chip where semigloss paint will have a moderate reflective quality.
 
Be careful painting a surface with imperfections with a semi or high gloss paint because these imperfections will show even more.  
 
 
paint4

A few Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paint colors we tested for a recent project.

 

Good luck choosing your next paint color as I feel confident these tips will help.  Let me know how it goes.

 
Happy painting,
 
dana
 
 
 
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4 Ways To Refresh Your Interiors Without Leaving Home

Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at 2:51 am

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

As I’ve spent more time at home the past few days, I wanted to share some of the easy ways I’m breathing new life in some of our rooms- all without leaving the house.

4 Ways To Refresh Your Interiors Without Leaving Home

As a homebody, the thought of needing to stay home as much as possible isn’t hard for me. With all of the uncertainty going on in this world, home is exactly where I want to be-regardless of my nature.

I’m taking this time to work from home on some wonderful client projects we have going on,  soak up some unexpected family time while my girls are here, and to spiff up my own home.  

Our homes are refuge from so much and keeping it light and fresh during these heavier times is more important than ever before.

 

#1 – Bring The Outside In

Thank goodness its officially spring and flowers are blooming (and birds are singing. They seem so much louder and happier this year…they must know we need it!).

Snip some flowers or beautiful budding branches to make a simple, effortless arrangement. Flowers always give me a little more pep in my step – and according to my youngest, they make our house look cleaner.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

#2 – Go Shopping In Your House

This is such a fun exercise to give your home new life.  Pull all your accessories in a central location (like on your Dining Room table) to create an ‘accessories shop’. Live with everything bare for a day or two…this is also a great time to do some spring cleaning :).

As you begin to see your spaces empty, go ‘shopping’ and replace the empty spots with new pieces. As you continue this practice, start a donate pile of things you just don’t love anymore.

Once complete, your interiors will feel fresh AND you will have purged a few things in the process. I’d love to see some of your before and after pictures so do share.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

#3 – Spring Cleaning

Speaking of spring cleaning and purging, now is a better time than any to really tackle the clutter.

Don’t let this stress you out – start small. For example, what is actually hiding in your kitchen junk drawer? If it’s anything like mine, I found everything from random batteries and pens to gift cards and notepads.

The pantry is another great space to organize (and it helps us see what we have in hopes of limiting trips to the grocery).

Starting small encourages us to tackle other organizational projects that are looming (but we haven’t had time to do anything about them).

 

#4 – Switch Out Framed Photographs

One thing that I forget to do is switch out photos in my picture frames. There are certainly ones that hold my favorite pictures that won’t ever change but others I like to keep current.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Find the frames that you wish to replace the pictures and then go through you camera roll to send to your local printer. Before going through this practice, I couldn’t remember the last time I had personal pictures printed. It was also such fun to go through and reminisce on all the travels and fun our family has had over the past year.

Above all else during this strange time, just enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. From longer family dinners around the table to slower mornings, soak in what really matters.

Stay Well,
Dana

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4 Ways To Improve Your Home and Quality Of Life

Posted on Friday, March 13th, 2020 at 2:20 am

Now that the dust has settled from the new year and spring is almost here,  I want to share a few changes that can make a big difference in your home.  Ways that accentuate living well in your own home.

And while my to-do list has grown quite long on things I want to change this next year in mine, I thought I would share a few easy ways to improve a home and hopefully your quality of life.

Four Ways To Improve Your Home and 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 and rain we’ve had lately, an easy way to improve your home (and mood) is to cut a few branches from outside 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.

 

Bring the outdoors in, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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  

March 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 us here about renovating her Kitchen, Family Room, Dining, Master Bedroom, and Screened-In Porch with the goal of being able to enjoy all before the end of summer. We are jumping right in with the plans and drawings so we can keep the ball rolling.

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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Livable Luxe Home In Traditional Home – Part 2

Posted on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 at 2:25 am

I’m thrilled to share with you a few behind the scenes pictures from last week’s post of our client’s livable luxe home in Traditional Home.   I have been waiting for it to be published before I could show you the beautiful pictures, and the issue hit newsstands last Friday.  

As I stated on Instagram, it was hard to keep this home a secret as it was a great project in so many ways.  

Our clients initially contacted us about the selection of the interior and exterior finishes of the new construction and as time went on, the scope evolved to include the furnishings, too.  They were building their forever home and it needed to function and grow with their family.

After two years of building, they moved into a house that was pretty much done.  Pictures were hung, accessories were in place and draperies covered the windows (and walls). Now is time to enjoy it with family and friends for many years to come.

Livable, Luxe Home

Dana Wolter Interiors, as seen in Traditional Home. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

They trusted our design vision and let us flex our creativity with the project.  The one thing our clients asked for was a white and bright home.  And while the home has a couple of  dark and moody rooms as way to create their own drama, the majority of the home has a light and airy feel.  

Kitchen

My cute client makes my design work look even better, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

How many people can you fit around the banquette?  Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

From the Family Room Looking Into the Kitchen, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Master Suite

I wanted the master suite to be a retreat from the craziness of life the moment you walked through its door.   We kept the colors soft and soothing with shades of gray, cream and plum as an accent.

Master Bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors

What started out on the plans as a screened-in porch off of the bedroom evolved into a master sitting room once the framing begun.  I imagine a little one when sick sleeping on the sofa or perhaps mom or dad taking a nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  It’s like a cocoon.

Just close the draperies and see what I mean.  I love a cozy bedroom and if it was mine, I may not come out for days.

Master Sitting Room, Dana Wolter Interiors

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few more behind-the-scene pictures of this beautiful, livable home designed specifically for this family and their lifestyle.  It’s luxe and function rolled into one.

Let me hear from you and know what you think here.   Have a great day.

Dana

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