Living Well

Five Ways To Bring Joy Into Your Home

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so today is the day to find joy in life and home.


Yes, we want to exude joy onto others, but we must first find happiness within before we can share it.


With our homes being the place we spend more time than anywhere, it’s important to surround yourself with things you love and make you happy.









I believe you can make your home the home of your dreams, or something pretty close to it.



Here are five ways to create joy in your home:


1.  Fill it with love     What makes you happy?  Is it a color-filled room?  A relaxing bath?  Or a cozy spot tucked away in a room?   Whatever you gravitate towards, begin in that room or space and make it one you love.  If you aren’t sure of how to go about doing this, hire a professional designer to help.




Brooke Gianetti- Patina Farm for Veranda
Brooke Gianetti- Patina Farm for Veranda




2.   Clean out  I am a big believer you cannot enjoy a space filled with stuff that doesn’t appeal to you.

You can read here and here where I have talked about cleaning out clutter.

If you don’t love a piece,-nor are you using it- sell it, give it away or throw it away.  

Life is too short to surround yourself with things that bring you down.





Life is too short to surround yourself with things that bring you down.




3.  This next one follows along with the previous one…..Surround yourself with things you love.   Just as I want you to clean out, I want you to surround yourself with things you love.

Maybe it is a picture that reminds you of a moment when you were little, or a bunch of baseballs collected from professional games you went to with your family.



Dana Wolter - Trad Home magazine
Dana Wolter – Trad Home magazine



Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, only perfect to you.


4. Act Today.  Dont procrastinate.   I have walked into too many houses where they are not wanting to do anything because they “might” move, yet five or more years later, they are still waiting and living miserably.

Who knows what tomorrow holds for any of us?

Yes, be practical with how you invest in your home, but don’t let life pass you by.   Life is too short, make the changes to your home and ENJOY them.


5.   Don’t Compare Yourself To Your Neighbors.  No one’s life is perfect, and while your neighbor’s may look like it is on the outside, I promise it is not.  Be grateful for where you are in life and the blessings you take for granted.  We all have them- they are there.



Hope you found this helpful in creating joy in your home.   Life is a beautiful thing, and enjoy where you are today and make the most of it.


Have a great day, my friends-




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Living Well

Before and After Transformation of a Living Room

 “Dana took a room we never used and made it a room we never want to leave” -homeowner in the Birmingham Home and Garden article. 


I thought I would share a few more of the before and after pictures of the living room recently featured in Birmingham Home and Garden.   As you recall, this project was the makeover of a home to family of seven, and there was a huge transformation not only in the aesthetics, but in how the rooms are used.     Last week we shared the kitchen transformation here and below is the living room (that now functions as the family room).





photo-3 copy





The living room was dark, ornate, and basically a walk-through room.   It was important to me that we turn this room into one the family wanted to use,  so I chose comfortable upholstery, large ottomans and lots of occasional tables.  I even tucked in a tv (that pulls out and swivels) into a side wall, which is sure way to draw people in.







Images by Graham Yelton.   Dana Wolter Interiors




This room is now pretty enough to work as a living room for company AND functional enough for everyday use.  I think my goal was reached. 🙂


Notice also how pretty the light is in this room.   I added sheer drapes so if/when the family wants to close them, they will have filtered light coming through.  I bet they stay open more often than not because the view is an incredible one of the lake.


The Oushak rug that was originally in this room served as our color palette of creams, light greens and soft blues with pops of color.  I added a grass rug under it because the room is large and needed a rug to scale to it.


Hope you enjoyed the transformation of this room as much as I did.  Here’s to saying “no” to a room that only functions as a walk-through and “yes” to enjoying every room in your home.


Have a great day, everyone-






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Living Well

Tips For Transforming Your Kitchen (Without Gutting It)

It’s incredible what a little paint, new countertops, backsplash, faucets, and hardware can do to transform a kitchen.


Because this is exactly how we completely updated a kitchen for an out-of-town client.


The house was built approximately 12 years ago and the homeowner was ready to lighten up the entire home.   The colors and furnishings were dark, ornate, and not always practical to the busy lifestyle of this family of seven.


There was lots to do throughout the entire home, and a complete gut job was not in the plans.   While we completely revamped the other rooms through paint, refinishing the hardwoods, new furnishings, art and accessories, we decided to do the same with the kitchen.


So we transformed this kitchen by focusing on its finishes.





photo-1 2.51.33 PM
Before Pictures of the Kitchen






watermark link kitchen 1
After- Dana Wolter Interiors Photography by Graham Yelton



Amazing, right?  This kitchen- and home- feels completely different……..


And while this large family entertains and has a revolving door to friends and family, I felt like the breakfast area could function much better for them than how it was.  Or did.  See what I mean?










The existing round table was too small for the large space, so we designed one of our custom banquettes- and custom tables- for the space.   Voila!!!    Forget fitting just six people around the table…..  Let’s hold an intimate dinner party instead!



watermark link kitchen 2
Dana Wolter Interiors Photography by Graham Yelton




watermark link kitchen 3
Notice the nail detail on the side of the banquette? Dana Wolter Interiors



I was thrilled with how this banquette turned out, though I have to admit I was a little nervous.   You see, walls aren’t always symmetrical and angles are not always exact, and for this banquette to fit JUST right, with a custom table made to fit around it, my upholsterer and I could not make a mistake.  Thanks goodness for people who are really good at their craft.


So if you aren’t loving your kitchen, and gutting it isn’t in the budget for now, don’t fret.   Take these suggestions and make some changes.   As always, if you need a plan to transform a room, or two, or your entire home,  email us at and let us help you.



Have a great day, everyone-





To see more of this home and its transformation, readd the latest article in Birmingham Home and Garden.   Let me know what you think!



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Living Well

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

Are you stuck, knowing your home could look and feel so much better, but you aren’t sure what to do?


Or you can’t seem to find the motivation to pull your home together?



Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors




Life is busy, and hectic, and stressful.  I get it as I sometimes feel the same way, too.    But I am constantly reminded how a well-functioning home that allows you to breathe deeply and de stress can truly change your life.  And your family’s.


I see it happen all the time, and it is one of the most rewarding aspects about what I do.  A well-designed, high functioning home can change how you live and enjoy life.


If you are ready for a change for you and your family, now is the time.  Let us help in a way that best fits your needs.



Dana Wolter Interiors
Who would know this family room is filled with durable fabrics for family and pets?                                                  Dana Wolter Interiors




Here are a few services we offer:


The majority of our projects are full room or turnkey projects, where we devise a detailed plan according to your budget and implement it for you.

I recently finished this type of project for a client.   A friend asked if she was stressed with the house and she said no because I was handling everything for her.  This is what I am paid and love to do- take the stress off of you.



We specialize in new construction, beginning with the schematics (sometimes I am hired before an architect has put pen to paper) to hanging the last picture on the wall.  We work closely with the builder and architect to make sure every detail is thought through from the beginning to the very end.



We also offer other services for clients who need direction and help making decisions for their home, but they like to do the legwork themselves.   Our one-time consult service, which I have previously mentioned before, and it is the perfect way to devise a plan tailored specifically for your home.

It has gone over really well, and the clients who have invested in this 3.5 hour meeting with me have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes with it.  Matter of fact, I have even gone on the road -and in the air-  to offer this service.




The last service we offer is Design Online.   You fill out a questionnaire and send measurements of your space with “before”  photos taken from each angle.   We come up with a detailed plan for the particular room- from furniture layout to furniture selections to paint to fabrics to accessories-  all within the budget you give and without us ever stepping into your home.   You can order one or ten rooms at a time from us.




If you think we can help make your home the place you dream, why are you waiting?  Email us at  Let’s talk now so we can have a plan of action in place for you by the new year.


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




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Living Well

#BootcampTransformation: Ways To Make Your House A Home- Part Two

I kicked off  #BootcampTransformation last week with ways to make your house the home you wish, and today I want to pick up where we left off.   If you are just now reading, you can catch up here.


Now that you have chosen a room to tackle, you came up with five words to describe how you want this room to feel, and you’ve cleaned out everything you do not want to keep, it time to move on to the harder steps.   This is where it sometimes becomes too much for someone to do on their own.   Try these steps first, knowing you can always turn it over to a professional if needed.



Assess the room’s features

Decide what needs to be accentuated and what needs to be hidden.

For instance, if I have a client with a not so pretty stained, wood fireplace surround that cannot be changed- and it’s a feature that doesn’t need to stand out- I would have it painted the wall color to make it disappear.



Based upon how the room needs to work for you, layout a general floor plan.

Begin by measuring out the room, wall by wall, allowing for casing, doors, openings, etc…   Assess the location of the doors, how the room needs to work, and decide where you may be able to add some sort of seating.

While some rooms may only have room for a chair (foyer), others may be large enough for a couple of seating areas.  Add in where a seating area makes most sense and keep a 34″-36″ walkway throughout.   Include in this plan any pieces that need to be placed in here or need to be reworked (such as a console that needs to be painted, etc….).



Choose your color palette

Do you want your home to be a retreat from the crazy world we live in…


so serene from Mary McDonald




…or do you want it to reflect your bold personality?


show the world your personality! by Jan Showers




Whichever you decide, make sure each room flows from one to the next.  A retreat space will have more muted colors and softer furnishings, while one that is more bold may have pops of color.

Figure out what you need when you are at home.  Perhaps you need quiet time, but your home feels loud and busy.  Perhaps you need a little more energy in your life, but all your furnishings are heavy and dark-colored.  All of these things make a difference!



lighten up and keep it simple… by Thomas Filicia





Add personal items that you LOVE  and want to see each day.    I have a plaster hand my youngest made several years ago that sits on top of some coffee table books on an ottoman.    It doesn’t have to be a fine piece if it speaks to you.

If you have lots of little things, group them together to make them more cohesive.   This post here from a few weeks ago gives some good tips on placing these finishing touches.



Your home can make you feel inspired and at peace, or it could possibly be draining you.  Stop waiting and start today by applying the above tips and let’s see if you can make a change for the better.

I bet you will  be amazed at how cleaning out and determining how a room needs to work for you can make all the difference in your home.   As always, feel free to call or email us if you would like for us to turn your house into a home you love.


Here’s to a more peaceful home for all,



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Living Well

Five Ways To Create A Healthy, Happy Home (and Life)

Wellness is a lifestyle that begins at home.   With so many outside stressors these days, your home needs to be a place you love and can relax.


If you are trying to eat healthy (well, most of the time), exercise, it doesn’t make sense to come home to a cluttered, dark, depressing house.


Environmental stress is one of the seven biggest causes of stress, and your surroundings attribute to your health just as much as what you eat, how much you exercise, etc…



Here are five ways to create a healthy, happy home and  life:


1. Clean Out. 

Say NO to pieces in your home you do not love nor use.


I talk about this one a lot because I see it way too often.  Homes filled to the brim with stuff.   Stuff clients don’t necessary like, but they feel guilty getting rid of it.


Let go of the guilt and take action.   If you don’t love something, aren’t using, it,  then bid it goodbye.  Dispose of it or give it away to someone who can-and will-enjoy it.


If you have two, or three, or more of one particular item, give the extras away.



2. Assign A Place For Everything.     

Even if things don’t stay where they belong (like my house right now), every single item in your house should have a designated spot.


Store alike items together, and things least used go in higher and harder to reach storage.   If you are not good at this sort of thing, hire a professional organizer or ask a good friend to help you.



3.  Assign a purpose for every room in your house.

Wonder how this will simplify your life?  It helps keep a room from becoming a “catch-all”.


By utilizing every square inch of your room, it makes your home work for you, which in turn simplifies your home and your life.



Here’s a good example:


The room below was the largest room in a client’s home, was a “catch-all’ for them, but the only purpose for the room was to walk from the foyer to the rest of the house.





After discussing with our client what needs were missing from their current home, we decided to add two chaise loungers for the kids to read, listen to music, etc….  We added more casual, comfortable pieces, too.


We kept it formal enough to function as a living room, but see how much more inviting it is once we finished our magic?



AFTER- Dana Wolter Interiors


Dana Wolter Interiors



Dana Wolter Interiors



GYC_BMetro_Dec080 copy
Dana Wolter Interiors



4. Create A Balance In Your Home.


What type of space energizes you?   If it is a room with more of a calm, relaxed feel, make sure you have several of these type of spaces throughout your home.   If it is a space with a vibrant edge, that is fine too.  Regardless of the type of room that energizes you, all rooms should have some sort of comfy seating that draws you in to relax.



5.  Hire a designer to make your home a place you LOVE.

Why wait to turn your home into a place you love?  Life is too short to waste time living in haphazard spaces or spaces that make you cringe.


You should look forward to spending time in your home.   There are designers for all budgets and all price points, so find one you are comfortable with that suits your needs and your budget.


While the bulk of our firm’s work is full service interior design, we do offer two different packages for the person who wants our guidance and style but wants to implement a plan as their budget and timeframe allow.


We offer a one time 3.5 hour consult with me where we can discuss all of your design dilemmas, and we also offer a design online service for any type of room.


You can read about the 3.5 hour consult here  and the design online service we offer here.


As always, email us at for more information and inquire how we can help you fill your needs.



Hope you find this post on creating a healthy, happy home and life helpful.   Here’s to simplifying and creating a happy home, one step at a time.





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Living Well

Lake House Retreat

With the weather turning colder, we are excited to be working on a renovation/addition to a condo at Lake Martin.  Yes, it’s still cold there, but at least it allows us an opportunity to think of summertime fun.




This retreat will have a new kitchen, bathrooms and outdoor living spaces. We are designing a custom banquette for the kitchen and the side porch to allow for lots of seating for family and friends.


Our client’s focus is all about making memories instead of being worried about making a mess, and we couldn’t agree more. The lake is supposed to be a place for less stress and more fun.


With a house full of children and grandchildren, we plan to use a lot of outdoor and durable fabrics.


As you can see below, our color inspirations are gray, plum, taupe and cream.





Stay tuned for more updates on this project.  Have a great day!




Please don’t forget to vote for the Traditional Home/ Ethan Allen Pinterest Sweepstakes at Check out the last blog post if you missed the information about this contest.


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Living Well

Wednesday Wisdom

Happy Hump Day!




Do you share your home with those you love?  Or, do you rarely invite guests over because your house isn’t perfect?


The more happiness and laughter that enters your house, the more it will feel like a home.


While interiors make your home pretty, the people inside are your best accessories.


Recently, I had a friend make a comment about my home always having fresh flowers and looking “magazine ready”. While I wish that was the case, it is far from the truth.


Most days, my foyer is filled with the clutter of clothes, shoes, bags and books, much like the picture below.



foyer- mess



Yes, that is only one of two different pairs of shoes.  Who knows where the matches are?!


I’ll take the disorder, though.


The mess we make living our lives fills our home with memories and turns it into much more than a mere dwelling place.


Homes are meant to be lived in, and I hope my friends and family  always feel “at home” when they are in mine.



Have a good one,




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Living Well

A Balancing Act

I just came back from the sixth annual “What’s New, What’s Next” event at the New York Design Center.  What a great time I had!


Louisa and Allyson joined me for a fun night in the city!


The energy in the building was amazing…..  Over 70 showrooms participated in the event that featured product introductions, informative lectures, and book signings all day long.


As mentioned before, I had the privilege of joining Traditional Home Senior Design and Market Editor Tori Mellot in a panel on mixing traditional and modern design.


Chad Graci of Graci Interiors and Katie Lydon of Katie Lydon Interiors discussed with us how incorporating modern touches into spaces can push- but not overstep- the boundaries of traditional design.


All of us before the panel.


We were given ten items ahead of time that were a mix of modern and traditional, and we were asked to distinguish how we would balance the modern with more traditional pieces and the traditional pieces with more modern ones.


Below are a few of the images given to us and my interpretations for each.




I could see placing this modern chandelier into a similar breakfast area.  The scale of the piece would obviously need to be smaller and I would balance the hard lines of it with some sort of upholstery and wooden dining table like below.


Dana Wolter Interiors


Another image I was given was this Mr. Brown console.




I love this piece and would not hesitate to place it in one of my interiors. I would soften the piece by placing something upholstered under it, such as the style of the two stools in the picture below.


Dana Wolter Interiors


As for the top of the console, I would create a layered vignette, with a piece of artwork or a mirror as my starting point, such as below.


Dana Wolter Interiors


A final image I would like to share are these Bolier nesting tables.


nesting tables


I love these tables as they are very versatile and could be used in many different interiors. I could have easily replaced the Baker tables in the picture below with one set of these.


Dana Wolter Interiors


I would also have used the tables near upholstery that is skirted, as shown in the image below.


Dana Wolter Interiors



“What’s New, What’s Next” continues to unite the industry and become a benchmark for introducing new products and celebrating the very best in design.  Thank you, Traditional Home, for including me in the discussion.  I was extremely honored.





Here’s to finding the perfect balance in your home,





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Living Well

What Does Your Home Say About You?

If someone were to walk into your home, what would they say about it?


Would they know your home is yours, filled with your likes and your personality?


I hope so because it is important to make your home is a snap shot of who you are.


When it comes to designing your living space, it is imperative for your architect and/or designer to understand your needs and your wants. Your living space represents you and should be in sync with your particular lifestyle.


Throughout my home, I have incorporated mostly neutrals.    I tend to naturally be drawn to more greige colors.  For me and where I am in my hectic life, I want my surroundings to be peaceful and calm.


Yet, I am finding myself using more and more color as an accessory.   Color is hot right now, so I am incorporating it in not such permanent ways.


Who says I don’t use color?! This is a snapshot of my hallway.




You will also notice in this picture there are many layers in the space.  A grass rug, topped by an oushak rug.  Chairs and love seats filled with throws and pillows to soften the space.  A small occasional table placed in front of a larger one.


Though you may buy everything in a room at one time, you want your home to “look” like you have collected pieces over time.


Does this mean a room has to be complete in one day? Absolutely not. Some of my favorite pieces are those I have waited for and slowly collected.


You know the saying, “the best things are worth waiting for”.   This is true for your home as well, because it means your home will be a better reflection of you.


Remember, every home should tell a story, so make yours one you are proud to share.


Have a great day, everyone-





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Living Well

What A Difference A Plan Makes- Part One

I thought it might be fun to look at a few BEFORE and AFTER pictures of the home featured in TradHome (click here to see the full article) to see why I took the design approach I did for this project.  This is going to be in two posts, so here goes part one….

When the homeowner first contacted me, she was frustrated.   She had purchased a few pieces that did not fit in her home and she wanted to unify her choppy, cluttered, mismatched home.  She wanted it to reflect their fun personality, but she also wanted it to feel calm, cohesive, and be a place to retreat from their hectic lifestyle.

Below is the foyer, which sets the tone for the home.  As you can see, there wasn’t much to the existing space, other than a rug too big for the space.



BEFORE- the foyer



AFTER- the foyer

The space is tiny, but you can see we added quite a bit of warmth without overcrowding the area.

We painted her existing console table because the size was good for the space.  Everything else was added.   What was once a cold, mismatched space now feels warm and pulled together.

Know what my favorite thing is in there?  The cast baby foot of one of her now teenage girls…  How sweet is that touch?!

The foyer opens up into the living room, which was a walk-through space for the family.  Imagine an 18 x 24 room of basically wasted space they never used.

Here is the BEFORE of the living room:

BEFORE- the living room



AFTER- the living room


I wish I had a picture to the right of the sofa in the bay window.  Not only did we create a great place to lounge, we also included a second seating area with the sofa and two chairs.


AFTER- the living room


The homeowners have several collections- from crosses from oncology patients, to tons of family photos, to baseballs from their favorite major league teams.  They had them spread throughout several rooms with no order to them at all.

I incorporated their momentos in a way that is cohesive and tidy.


BEFORE- the study
BEFORE- the study


Before- the study


GYC_BMetro_Dec010 copy
AFTER-the study


GYC_BMetro_Dec018 copy

AFTER- the study


AFTER- the study


After- gallery of family pictures

Notice the grouping of family photos and the shadow box of the baseballs?  Now they hold special meaning and are focal points in this home.

Stay tuned for part two as I will talk about the master, family room, and kitchen.    This transformation is amazing- not only aesthetically, but how this home functions for this busy family of five.

Also, please remember to take a second and vote here for the NewTrad designer’s style you like best.    It is quick and easy,  only takes a second, and I hope you will vote for us.  Every time you cast a vote, you enter a chance to win $1,000 from Hunter Douglas.

Have a great day everyone-



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Living Well

A Family of Five- Before and After

Hi  Everyone,

I hope you are doing well.   I recently switched computers and in going through some old photos, I realized I have a lot of “before” pics on homes I have worked on the past few years.   So for fun, I thought it might be nice to show a couple of transformations.  Here goes the first of  several posts….

Below is the home to a family of five.  With a house of three girls ranging from a tween to teens, this busy family needed a home that could keep up with their fast-paced schedule.  Real Homes for Real Life.  By reworking a few key spaces in the house to make it more functional, family-friendly, and company-ready, we gave this family a home they can truly live in and enjoy.


Here goes the BEFORE

0-16 0-12 0-15




GYC_BMetro_Dec094 GYC_BMetro_Dec010



GYC_BMetro_Dec035 GYC_BMetro_Dec048





If you would like to see more pictures of this amazing transformation, click here for a feature in the December issue of B-Metro magazine.  As always, thanks to Graham Yelton for the amazing photography.


Have a great day, everyone-



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Living Well

Enjoying A Formal Room In Your Home

Hi Everyone,
I thought it might be nice over the next several weeks to show a few pictures of my work from the past. Here is one taken of my own home a few years ago. I love that while my living room
is the most formal room in my home, it is still used on a regular basis by my family.


What you can’t see from the picture is a niche to the left of the chairs. Believe it or not, this is actually my girls’ favorite spot to read and watch a show on the computer. From the number of food wrappers I find tucked away where they aren’t suppose to be eating, they enjoy the space A LOT.


The picture above is not the best as it was taken with my phone by me, but it helps give you a visual. So yes, you can have a formal living space your family can enjoy on a regular basis.

Have a good one!


Photo Credits: (1) Southern Living At Home (2) My Phone

Living Well

“Living the Teenage Dream”

Not sure how you feel, but for me, summer seems to be going by way too fast. Before we know it, we will be buying pumpkins for Halloween and arranging our fall dining table.  I am ready to pump the breaks a little, as I am quickly reminded how time flies when looking at how quickly my girls are growing.

I was honored when B-Metro Magazine asked me in July’s issue for a few tips on how to furnish a teenage room.  In this article,  I share where to spend your money in the room to create a space that can grow with your child.   They were kind enough to share four rooms of my work, and while each child’s room has its own look, you will see similarities in each.  Balance your classic, more expensive pieces -like the headboard, window treatments, and bedding- with trendier, less expensive items to round out the room.

To read more on how to design a room for a teen, check out “Living the Teenage Dream” feature in B-Metro.   More pictures of these rooms will soon be up on Pinterest, or better yet, feel free to pin yourself.

Have a great day, everyone-


P.S. A BIG thank you to Graham Yelton for the amazing pictures!






Living Well

Creating Quality Of Life Through Your Home


As I was going through Pinterest the other day, I came across some rooms of the great design icon Albert Hadley.  I could study his work for hours as his attention to detail captivates me.

And while I love his design, it was this quote by him that captured my attention:


While Hadley rose to prominence by distilling both classic and contemporary styles, he understood the importance of how the home could impact one’s life.  It wasn’t so much about creating a beautiful, perfect room (though they were), but more importantly about creating a space that improved the lives of those it surrounded.   While Hadley passed away last year at the age of 91, his client list included some of the most powerful American families like Astor,  Rockefeller, Getty, Whitney and Mellon, not to mention Al and Tipper Gore and Diane Sawyer. If you would like to read more about him, click here for a great article from Architectural Digest.

Have a great day, and go find beauty and function in your home.


Living Well

Real Homes for Real Life

It’s been a while since I last blogged (September, but who is counting?!).   By the time I work,  take care of my family, complete my volunteer commitments, keep up with social media, and other things that pop up with everyday living,  blogging just seems to fall the wayside.   No excuse, I know, as I am really going to try and do better.

My business has grown quite rapidly over the past few years, and to be honest, I am experiencing a few growing pains.   As I am setting new goals and looking toward the future, I am trying to be honest with myself as to where my strengths- and weaknesses- lie.  Maybe it is because I have a dog and a revolving door with three active, busy children who constantly have friends coming and going, or maybe it is because I grew up one of five children so I am pretty practical, but I think one of the ways my work stands apart is I design for real living.  Yes, that’s right….you can actually live in the pretty homes I design.  Real homes for real life.

Take this home in the Liberty Park section of Vestavia that was recently featured in B-Metro magazine.   With two boys and a dog (a second pup just joined this family btw), the mother was adamant for a home they could entertain AND live in.

Come on in and see for yourself how we gave them just that:

 What began as a builder spec home quickly became their own through new paint and new furnishings.  Custom upholstery, done in lush but forgiving fabrics, can be wiped up with a dishrag.   No worries about spilled milk in this home.

With the exception of the foyer loveseat and the kitchen banquette, notice how all of the fabrics are light?  I tell my clients all the time the durability of a fabric is so much more important than the color of a fabric.  Even with active children and  K9 friends, you can live in a beautiful home with light upholstery.   The key is to choose durable fabrics and finishes, and with today’s options, they are not hard to find.

For more on this home, you can read the article here.   Have a good day, everyone.




Note: Photography courtesy of Graham Yelton

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Living Well

From Blah to Beautiful in a Few Easy Steps

I’m a big fan of layering.  Big.  Layering helps make a home look like it has evolved over time.  With so many hard surfaces found in a room (especially in kitchens and baths), it is important to balance them out.  You do this through fabrics, rugs, throws, etc. — anything that can add softness and dimension to a space.  Take a look to see what a difference layering can make…


before = blah. notice how everything is the same height as well? boring!

Making Changes:

layering begins -- much better!


wallah! accessories take it to a whole new level!

See how adding a few accessories can completely change the look of a room?!

The before picture shows the bones of the room, but it’s too hard!  By adding a rug,  mirror,  ottoman, and bench at the foot of the bed,  it is slowly being softened and dimension is being created.  The final touches were the accessories ( notice the shoes??!!) such as the books, the throws, and artwork.

Here is another example:

before- awkward table, incorrect height on stools, and mismatched shades

This client’s kitchen held a few custom pillows as well as a custom banquette we made out of some discard fabric; the rest were hand me downs in the space.

See what a difference mixing the elements (wood and iron) and softening the edges can make?

after- beautiful!!

Bottom line:  Mix it up!  If it’s a hard surface, find a way to soften it.  If there is a lot of new, add some old.  If wood is the theme, bring in a little metal.  In short, layering will “take the edge off” — literally.

Stay tuned…..More tips coming soon on creating dimension in a space!

Living Well

Sneak peek into a current project we are working on in Birmingham.

This is the home of a young couple with school-age children.   After deciding they needed to rework the interior space to fit the changing needs of their family, this couple recently completed a renovation to their home.   More pictures will follow once the project is complete.

This livingroom was rarely used, yet the children love to lounge around the house and read.
Make Your Living Room Live Up To Its Name

The children in this family love to lounge in the living room to read, yet the furniture in there was not condusive to comfort or function.  With a goal of utilizing every square inch of this house, while maintaining the integrity of the space, we chose to use two chaise lounges in place of a traditional sofa.   By including an ottoman, a chair, and a few antiques in there as well, the result is a warm, inviting space that flows beautifully with the rest of the house.

Kitchen Banquette
Is Your Kitchen Warm And Inviting?

We are a big believer that in order for a room to work, you have to balance the hard and soft surfaces found in the space.   In order to add dimension and soften this family’s kitchen, we customized a banquette and table for the eat-in nook.   Once we add a few chairs, a few flowers, and a sheer window treatment that allows the light in, this kitchen will be complete.   Beautiful!