Archive for the ‘Living Well’ Category

I have been talking a lot lately about the importance of making your home one you love, and your bedroom is the perfect spot to begin.

Your bedroom should be a room that allows you to #livewell by surrounding yourself with things that help you relax and rejuvenate.

Here are six must-follow bedroom design ideas for creating a room you love.  

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. This means strategically including stained woods, painted finishes, iron and metals that blend with your color palette.

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. Add in the personal.  Incorporate touches that are personal to you, such as your favorite photographs and artwork.

  

Custom framed photographs in a client’s home. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

     

 

 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.  

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6.  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.

 

My daughter’s bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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

And when a client hires us, we work to protect their investment and become their advocate, all while investing their money wisely and (hopefully) taking away the stress. I often see the same pitfalls to avoid when renovating or building.

Here are 5 must-follow tips on building or renovating a home:

1. Order the Size Window the Architect Specs   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.

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.

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

4.  Set Money Aside for the Furnishings  Budget appropriately for the building process (this is another post I need to write) and be sure to leave enough money to properly furnish the home.  

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

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 #emptynester couple, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton
Photography

Do you have children who will 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 with us, email us here.   I would love to talk with you.

Have a great day-

Dana

 

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Potential clients will often reach out to us for different reasons.

Sometimes they can’t quite put their finger on why they aren’t happy with their home, but it is intuitive- it feels like wasted space or it’s dated or just not quite right.  

Some are even embarrassed to have visitors over because of how it looks.

You can’t put a price tag on some things, and a home that offers a place to retreat is one of them.

Here are four ways to create a home you love:

  1. Have a well-thought out design plan created for your home.  After the purchase, furnishing your home is the second largest investment you will probably make.  

Furnishing a home isn’t cheap, and you want to make sure you are spending your money wisely the first time….  

You see- designing a home is an investment, so hire a professional to give you a detailed plan on how – and where- to invest in the furnishings of your home.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

 Think long term with your investment and life.

2.  Include pieces that speak to you and that you love.  When we begin a turnkey project, there is a lot of conversation with our client about their dreams, what’s important to them, etc…  Your home needs to be a reflection of you and what makes your heart happy.  

3.  Give a room a purpose, and work the furniture around it.  Unfortunately, you can’t have a home that feels good and works for you unless it works for your needs.

 Cant figure out one?  Contact us here to assess your needs and to help you invest your money wisely.

4.  How can you add to the quality of your life through your home?   Do you want to expand your circle of friends and want to invite more people over to dinner on a regular basis?   Great- let’s make sure your home will flow like it needs to do so.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Life is too short to not love the place you spend the majority of your life.  Your home should be a place that feels good, rejuvenates you and gives you a place to restore and rest.

Here’s to making your house one you love-

Dana  

 

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It’s hard to believe summer is in full force AND 2018 is half way over.

And while my blogging has taken a nosedive the past three months (so sorry!!), it’s been for good reason.   We’ve had lots of EXCITING things going on and I thought it would be fun to share a few highlights.

We installed the last two rooms of a home recently built.  It’s hard to believe this is a new home as the interiors are beautiful and classic and timeless.   I can’t share too much, but warm weather is here and it’s time open up that pass-through window to the pool…..

 

We’ve also been on the road quite a bit….

Projects in and outside of Alabama have put some miles on our cars.   Lots of wood shavings and dust are flying around with renovations and new builds, and some are being updated with new furnishings and decoration…

My one-time 3.5 hour consults are going strong as it is a great way to have a plan for your home that you can implement as your time and money allow. 

For the second year in a row, we were nominated for the 2018 ADAC and Veranda Southeast Designer of the Year awards.  It’s a huge honor and we were thrilled to be recognized for two years straight.  

 

Robert Brown Interior Design of Atlanta, GA, walked away as the winner of the award.  If you aren’t familiar with his work, look him up.  He’s a super nice guy and his work is beautiful.  

As mentioned here,  we designed a lounge and bath in the Southeastern Showhouse in Atlanta, GA.  The Showhouse did not disappoint so be on the lookout for pictures this fall in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

I just came back from visiting my daughter in Charleston and then drove to Asheville with my husband for a few days.   We slept too much, ate too much, and might have had a drink or two every night.  I think God meant for life to be just like this- slow, easy and stress free.

 

 

View from the Biltmore Estate

In the meantime, I am headed back to reality Birmingham with my roller skates on and my eyes to the ground.

 

XO,

Dana

 

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

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

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

Needless to day, we are over the moon.

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

Have a great day, everyone!

Dana

 

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Living Well: Five Ways to Wisely Invest In Your Home

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Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, and you want to make sure you are investing your time and money wisely.

Our goal for any project is to create a home that adds value to your life and will hopefully increase in investment if you ever decide to sell.

 

HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO WISELY INVEST IN YOUR HOME: 

1. Use classic materials in the shell of your home:

By sticking with classic materials such as natural stones and architectural elements that are in keeping with the type of home you have, you will create a home with a timeless feel that will support any style of furnishings you layer in. 

Look at the gorgeous doors, and the dogs are pretty cute, too. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

2.  Be strategic with the types of fabrics you select:

Are you contemplating purchasing a new sofa or reupholstering one you already own? Opt for a higher quality fabric with a high double-rub count and have it professionally treated. Taking these factors into consideration will pay off down the road when your furniture still looks fresh.

The following pictures are projects of high-traffic spaces where we strategically selected fabrics based on how the room functions. 

Recent installation of a client’s foyer. The loveseat and chair are ready for an active family. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. Utilize every space in your home:

From large and spacious to small and quaint, maximizing your square footage is imperative.  

As I wrote in a previous blog post here, we helped this large family transform their garage into a second family room to create some needed extra space.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4. Neat and tidy landscaping:

Your landscaping is the first impression people see as they approach your home. Allow the appearance of your home’s exterior to catch your guests at the door with a few simple and effective ways.

For example, keep your sidewalks and porches cleanly swept so leaves and cobwebs don’t accumulate.

I also like to have the mulch in our yard freshened up twice a year (in the fall and spring). You will be shocked with how this truly makes your shrubs and trees pop.

Lastly, keep the edging of your grass clean and crisp so its not encroaching in areas it shouldn’t. 

Dolores Del Rio House, Arturo Jimenez Photography

 

5. Customize your kitchen and bathrooms:

Updating your kitchen or an out-dated bathroom are both places where you can add value to your home. Not only for re-sale purposes, but also in terms of function for you and your family. 

We designed this client’s kitchen to suit their needs in a new build.  As empty-nesters, they didn’t want a large breakfast room because they enjoy eating everyday meals around an island. With emphasis on the island design and function, we added counter stools and a table-like feel as a perfect solution for ‘island dining’.  

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Another great way to maximize space in a kitchen is to incorporate banquette-style seating with your breakfast room table. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I hope you find these five ways to invest in your home helpful and that they guide you to wisely invest in the space you call home. Let me know what you think.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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

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

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

 

 Here are a few examples:

 

BEFORE

 

AFTER:

Custom designed cabinetry by Dana Wolter Interiors

 

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

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

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

 

BEFORE:

 

BEFORE

 

 

AFTER: 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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

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

 

Have a great day-

 

Dana

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Dana

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Is Our 3.5 Hour Consult For You?

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Since the new year, a few people have reached out to me about the 3.5 hour consult I offer.

While my firm works mostly on full room or turn-key projects, this one-time service is for the client who needs direction and help making decisions with their home but wants to implement the detailed plan as their budget and time allows.

It has gone over really well, and I have even flown across the country a few times to offer this service.

People who have invested in this consult have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes from it.

I recently saw a client who hired me several months 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 when building their second home.

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Here’s how the 3.5 hour consult works:

You send a list of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.  During our appointment, I will then spend 3.5 hours of uninterrupted time giving you my opinion and answering any question you can possible think to ask me.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric swatches, 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 down to the cabinet hardware for a new build.

The more legwork you do before our meeting, 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 detailed notes of what we discussed.   This allows you to maximize your time with me while I take notes and 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.

 

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

 

Have a great day-

dana

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Custom island with reeded doors. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Dana

 

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