- Thoughts, Tips, and Trends in Interior Design -

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

Posted on Thursday, November 14th, 2019 at 2:28 am

Are you stuck knowing your home could look and feel so much better, but you aren’t sure what’s keeping you from turning it into one you love?

Or you can’t seem to find the motivation -or the direction- to make some much needed changes?

Life is busy and hectic and stressful.   I get it, as I sometimes feel the same way.

 

A Kitchen Completed A Few Years Back, Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

Here Are A Few Tips To Turn Your Home Into One You Love:

1. Function-

With what I do day in and out, I am constantly reminded how a beautiful, well-functioning home- one that reflects you and allows you to breathe deeply- 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 client’s breakfast room was designed to seat family and many friends around the table, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

2. Personalization-

What makes you happy?  Are there specific colors that speak to you or photographs that make you smile every time you see them?

If you are ready for a house that looks and feels like home to you, now is the time to take action. Make the changes now that will allow you to feel good in your own home, such as your bedroom.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

 
3. Hire A Professional-

If you are overwhelmed and drastically changing your home is more than your skillset can cover, hire someone who can help you.

We work closely with builders, architects, and the landscape designers to make sure every detail is thought through from the beginning to the very end.

Your project becomes our project. The majority of our projects are turnkey where we devise a detailed plan according to your needs and budget, and we implement it for you until the very last picture is hung.

Email us here  if you think we can help you create a home you love.  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 step at a time-

Dana

 

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Pitfalls To Avoid When Renovating Or Building Your Home

Posted on Thursday, October 31st, 2019 at 2:20 am

We are currently working on several renovation projects and I’m constantly reminded of certain pitfalls to avoid when renovating or building a new home.

Building or renovating is a huge investment with your time and more importantly, your money.  

When a client hires us, we strive to be their advocate, help them invest their money wisely, and (hopefully) take away the stress. Follow along as I share some tips I’ve learned over the years.

 

5 Must-Follow Tips On Building Or Renovating A Home:

 

Pitfall #1: Order the Size Window the Architect Specifies  

Sometimes in the bidding process, it’s discussed replacing a custom window with a standard size one to save a little money.  

Don’t do it – window size, type, and placement are extremely important when building a home, and this small change can dramatically alter the look of what has been professionally drawn.

Pitfall #2: Buy Right the First Time

Let’s face it….Life gets busy and all of us have good intentions to go back later and switch something out. I know building can be draining and tiring, but once you have moved and settled in, the last thing you want to do is spend money to replace something.  

Buy the best you can afford on the front end and you will enjoy it for many years to come.

Pitfall #3: Use Classic Building Materials  

Save the trends for things that are easy to switch out such as pillows and accessories. Keep your building material finishes classic. You will thank me in the long run, especially if you decide to sell.

Custom cabinetry from a project a few years back, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Custom kitchen designed by Dana Wolter Interiors

Pitfall #4: Set Money Aside for the Furnishings 

Budget appropriately for the building process and be sure to leave enough money to properly furnish the home.  The furnishing budget is just as important as the building budget, and I promise you, it is nice to be DONE with the entire project so you can ENJOY the home you worked so hard to create.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Pitfall #5: Think Long Term on Your Needs  

How long are you going to live in this house?  If you plan on staying for five years or more, you need to take into account what your needs will be down the road.

Are you an empty nester building your final house?  Be sure to think ahead on bedroom placement, stairs and other simple things that could be a hindrance down the road.

A custom-designed island for an empty-nester couple, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Will your children be teenagers in five years?  If so, they (and their friends) will only grow bigger and need more space.

Be sure to think long term and hire the best architect, designer, landscape designer, and builder your budget allows. I promise you that in the end, it will save you money and hassle. 

If you are building or renovating and would like to discuss your project and how avoid these common pitfalls with us, email us here. I would love to talk with you.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Tips For Designing A Home On A Budget

Posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2019 at 2:13 am

Whether you are moving into your first home or you have an existing space that needs attention,  I’m sharing today some tips on designing a home on a budget. 

As I have written about here and here, I recently installed my daughter’s first post-college apartment in Manhattan. There was a distinct thought process I applied on where to invest and where to save as we pulled together her first home.

Tips To Follow When Designing A Home On A Budget:

1.   Buy the best upholstery you can afford

We started with a Fabricut headboard for her bedroom and sofa and chair in some of their wool fabrics for the sitting area as these are all great pieces that can grow with her over time.

A nice, weighty piece of upholstery makes such a difference – the quality is much better and I knew she would use it for years to come.  This leads me to my next point……

Dana Wolter Interiors and John Bessler Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors + John Bessler Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors + John Bessler Photography

2.  Determine your price points based upon the piece’s purpose and longevity

My daughter’s bedroom is a decent size for Manhattan standards, but it lacked a closet.  I took 2′ of the room and created a makeshift one with Fabricut’s quick ship draperies.(the roman shades are part of their quick ship program as well).

Their window treatment program is new to me and I was extremely impressed with the options. They shipped within 10 days of placing the order, too!

We incorporated an IKEA closet system behind the draperies because it only needs to last a year or two.

If she ends up using it longer than that, it’s an added bonus. To my point, this wasn’t an area that needed much financial investment but did need a functional system that worked for the space. IKEA was the solution for designing this small space within our budget and it turned out perfectly.

Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

There’s no doubt she will enjoy this Gabby marble lamp for years to come.

3.  Find your color palette – Think Neutral For Small Spaces

Knowing this was my daughter’s first home after college, I wanted to make it warm, functional, and inviting.  The function of these new pieces can serve her in other living spaces in the future.  

Therefore, selecting a color palette that she enjoys that will also stand the test of time was important. We went with mostly neutral tones but added pops of gray and pattern in the custom Fabricut pillows to add a little flare.

Dana Wolter Interiors – John Bessler Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors – John Bessler Photography

4. Buy the Best Art Your Budget Allows

Regarding art, my suggestion is simple; buy pieces you love and spend as much as you can afford.  It’s something that lasts a lifetime and can move with you from home to home.

My daughter started collecting art her senior year of high school and as a result, she’s curated a nice collection of custom pieces for her age.  

The watercolors on vellum were created by one of her friends from college, Dana Wolter Interiors and John Bessler Photography

Whether you are just starting out or looking for budget- friendly design options for your current home, I hope you find this post helpful.  Let me know what you think-

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Before and After: Small Space Living Ideas

Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2019 at 2:20 am

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or read this post, you know I recently collaborated with Gabby and Fabricut to share some small space living ideas using their product lines for my daughter’s New York City apartment.

It’s she and her roommates’ first apartment after college and like most Manhattan spaces, it is tiny.  

Trying to make a small space fit all of your needs can have its challenges.  My goal was to create a warm, functional Family Room for them and Bedroom for her while investing in pieces that will act as staples in the years to come.

Their apartment has great light that I wanted to accentuate.  I could not help but think about the cold, dreary winter months ahead in the city and decided to create a cozy feel through lighting, fabrics, rugs, and furnishings.

(Note: Like something that you see? Concluding this post, I’m sharing all of the links to the Gabby lighting and bedside tables and to Fabricut’s upholstery, fabrics, and trims used in these two rooms).

 

Small Space Living Ideas: Bedroom Design

What’s behind the draperies, you ask?

The bed frame is on risers (hidden behind the dust ruffle made from a Fabricut linen and tape) for extra storage. The Fabricut ottoman in one of their custom fabrics is perfect for sitting while putting on her makeup. Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

My daughter’s bedroom is a decent size for Manhattan standards, but it lacked a closet.  I took 2′ of the room and created a makeshift one with Fabricut’s quick ship draperies. The Roman Shades are part of their quick ship program as well.

We incorporated a vanity and an IKEA closet system behind the draperies.  It only needs to last a year or two, and if she ends up using the closet system for longer than that, it’s a bonus.

Here’s a drawing of the closet wall:

Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

I love that she can close the draperies to hide the mess, though not sure she would want to because it’s quite pretty with the Gabby lamp.

Gabby Margaret lamp, Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

I knew I wanted to use one on Fabricut’s upholstered headboards for her because an upholstered headboard instantly softens a room.  With this versatile style in one of their exclusive neutral velvets, I personalized her bed with custom pillows made out of Fabricut fabrics.

The chic Gabby “May” nightstand adds a little more storage, blends beautifully with the bed, and it fits like a glove in the space.

I love this Gabby bedside table paired with the Fabricut headboard and pillow fabrics. Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

 

Small Space Living Ideas, Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography.   The lantern shown is the Gabby “Carly”.

 

Small Space Living Ideas: Intimately Fabulous Family Room

Their Family Room is tiny – approximately 6 x 9 (plus the niche) and with its odd shape, there isn’t room for wasted space.

Before:

 

After:

We started with a Fabricut loveseat and chair from their upholstery line as these are perfect pieces that can grow with my daughter.  They give as much seating as the space allows and I envision them moving from home to home with her over the next several years.

Fabricut’s Draper loveseat and Helga lounge chair nestled in perfectly in the family room. Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

 

Don’t you love this Fabricut wool on their “Helga” lounge chair? Yes – it is as soft and comfortable as it looks. Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

It’s amazing the transformation this apartment made and I love how it came together. They have a nice start to some classic pieces that can move with them in the upcoming years.

I have listed below the furnishings, fabrics, and lighting by Gabby and Fabricut. Let me know if you implement any of my small space living ideas into your space as I enjoying hearing how my tips inspire you. And, as always, if we can help you turn your home into one you dream, please reach out here.  We would love to discuss your project.

 

Have a great day,

Dana

 

Want to recreate this look?  Click below on the direct links:

Lighting:

Fabricut’s Quick Ship Draperies + Roman Shades:

Loveseat:

Custom Family Room Pillows: 

 

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Four Problems With Your Home and How To Solve Them

Posted on Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 at 2:20 am

I’m in a lot of homes, and I tend to see the same problems come up time after time.

Some are dark, cramped, outdated, not functioning well…. Can you relate to any of these issues in your own home?

If so, I am sharing a few simples ways to instantly make your house feel and look better.  

It’s one of the best parts of my job when a client hires us to transform their personal space and for us to see how a beautiful, organized home can completely change how a family lives.  

Here are a few ways to solve some common problems in the home:

1. Organize your home so everything has a place.

If organizing overwhelms you, start by cleaning out a small space such as the towel drawer in your kitchen.  Incorporate hidden storage where you can create a visual calm and remember to store alike things together.  

 

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.  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. 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.  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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Is Our One-Time 3.5 Hour Consult For You?

Posted on Thursday, September 19th, 2019 at 2:14 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 consult.  

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

In the past, it has gone over really well as I have had several people fly in, drive over or even Facetime with me from across the country.

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

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

We will have you send a list 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 people use this service to select the all of the finishes for a new build.

The more legwork you do before our meeting in knowing what you would like to cover, 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 measurements so you won’t have to worry about coming home with the wrong size sofa, ever again.

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 lakehouse under construction.

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

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

A beautiful kitchen project as seen in Traditional Home, 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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What’s New In Home Design Trends

Posted on Thursday, September 12th, 2019 at 2:20 am

My daughter was home last weekend, and while it was 100 degrees on our morning walk, I am beginning to feel a cool breeze in the air when I first wake up.  As summer slowly eases into the fall, there are a few design trends I am loving for the home.

 

What’s new for the home this fall:

 

A Warmer Color Palette

Yep- you read it right.   Color palettes are warming up.  Gray is still being used, but it is being paired with warmer colors such as caramel, chocolate brown, yellow, emerald green and blush.  

I’ve been working on a second home for a client and the palette is a little warmer than what I used in the first one.  It is still neutral to stand the test of time, but rich shades of cranberry, taupe and brown are now mixed in.

 

Stained and Waxed Cabinetry:

I recently had a lady who is building a new home in Atlanta reach out to us here about our services because she found this kitchen on Instagram.

 We designed this kitchen a few years ago and it is still one of our most popular pins to date.   You are seeing – and will be seeing- more and more waxed/stained cabinetry popping up in homes.

 

Kitchen Renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Master Bath Renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Moody Rooms

I love adding a dark, moody room into the mix of a light and airy home.  Sometimes, a room just calls for it, such as this space in the 2018 Southeastern Showhouse in Atlanta, GA.

Atlanta’s Southeastern Showhouse, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dark painted walls, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

The dark color is warm and inviting, and we balanced it with a lighter rug and upholstery.

In a client’s home, we painted the Husband’s Cigar Room a gray/black.  I love how it evokes a different mood than the light and airy feeling throughout the rest of the home.  

 

A room with dark walls evokes a cocoon feel, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Homes Configured For The Homeowner’s Needs and Lifestyle

I love that more and more people are turning rooms into spaces that work for them, rather than keeping conventional spaces (such as a living room or formal dining) just for the sake of having one.  

People are valuing square footage and wanting to enjoy and live in their home, just as they should.

I hope you have enjoyed reading what home design trends I am loving this fall, and I would love to know which ones you appeal to you.   

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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A few weeks ago we wrote the blog post, “Designing On A Deadline” (click here if you missed it). We received such great feedback that we decided to dive a little deeper into this topic and address a few common questions about the home renovation process.

Home Design With A Deadline – Common Questions When Starting A Renovation

When/How do I begin my project?

We often hear from our clients that they aren’t sure when or how to move forward with their project.

Reaching out to us via email or phone only takes a few minutes and from there, we will guide you through the entire process beginning with forming your entire team.  This initial step will ironically be the easiest.

How long will it take?

If construction and renovations are required, we will first address your needs and help you set a timeline.

Rushing the renovation process is never wise so sometimes pushing the deadline back on the front end allows more realistic expectations.  

I am also a big believer on not starting the project until the plans are complete.  Demo goes quickly but things tend to slow down a bit after this step.

Will we have to move out?

This is the number one question I am asked and rightfully so. Going through a renovation is daunting to some, but moving out of their home throws people for a loop.

The good news is depending on your project needs, moving out may not be required. We’ve renovated entire kitchens with the clients still living at home. It’s not always pretty, but it can be done.

If your renovation covers several main areas of your house, it’s possible to work in stages to avoid moving out. Just like we get creative with the design of our projects, we can also get creative helping you stay happy and comfortable- at home.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

How involved will we need to be?

We understand that life is busy and adding extra tasks and decision making isn’t always ideal.

While some clients have more say-so in the selections, most want little involvement aside from the budgeting and approving the selections.

By intercepting daily decisions you may not know how to answer, we are hopefully alleviating stress from your already busy day. Our goal is to be our client’s advocate by making sure everything runs smoothly and correctly.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

I hope I have answered some of your questions about renovating your home.  Whether your hesitation to begin your project has to do with timing, fear of the unknown, or an array of other reasons, take the first step.  I promise it will be worth it in the end.

 

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Design Tips For Hallways and Landings (i.e. The Forgotten Spaces)

Posted on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 at 2:20 am

We strive to create a home that is special to each client by thinking through all of the design details, including those in the forgotten spaces such as hallways and landings.

These type of pass-through rooms can sometimes take a backseat to the main living areas, but they are the perfect spot to add a personal touch.  

Here are a few design tips to turn your hallways and landing into warm and inviting spaces.

1. Create a focal point

In this new home we designed, we transformed what could have been a cold, boring upstairs’ landing into a beautiful extension of the main living areas.

We also added a unique focal point to catch your eye before you walk down the stairs.

How to decorate a landing in a home

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

2. Soften the space through rugs, fabrics, and furnishings

A great way to pull together a hallway is through layering the space.   Here’s a great example from 2018 our Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Southeastern Showhouse space. 

How to decorate a hallway

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. Add a personal touch though art or family photos

My clients will tell you that I love using a hallway to create a personal photo gallery.  I asked this client for some black and white photos that were special to their family, and we took it from there….

How to create a photo gallery

Custom Photo Gallery, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

So the next time you are walking through one of your hallways and it seems a little bare, incorporate these design tips. Be sure to let me know how it transforms.

As always, if we can help you turn your house into a home you love, give us a call at 205-938-4848 or email us here

Have a great day,

Dana

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Dana Wolter Interiors Is Hiring-

Posted on Monday, August 19th, 2019 at 2:20 am

Join Our Team!

Dana Wolter Interiors is hiring for two positions – a junior designer and a bookkeeper/office administrator.

Both positions require excellent organizational skills, people skills, an eye for detail, and experience in the related field.

Dana Wolter Interiors’ Design Studio, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Junior Designer Criteria:

Must hold a degree from an accredited Interior Design program

Two or three years experience within the field

Proficient in AutoCad, Sketchup, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and Dropbox

Excellent grammar and verbal communication skills

Exceptionally driven and passionate about achieving excellence in your work

Full-time position; Salary based upon experience

Located in the Birmingham, AL area

 

Bookkeeper/Office Administrator Criteria:

Two years or more experience within the field

Part-time availability 

Proficient in QuickBooks

Experience in Studio Designer is a plus

Knowledge in filing tax documents

Excellent grammar and verbal communication skills

Exceptionally driven and passionate about achieving excellence in your work

Located in the Birmingham, AL area

Interior design Studio, Birmingham, AL

Dana Wolter Interiors, Birmingham, AL

 

We have a great group of talented people in our office, and if you think you would like to be part of the fun, email your resume and references to info@danawolterinteriors.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Dana 

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