Archive for the ‘Living Well’ Category

We have recently begun working on the renovation of a client’s childhood home.

The wife and I met through one of my 3.5 hour consults as she was looking for direction for her family’s newly purchased childhood home.  During our conversation, I gave a few reasons as to why they should renovate to really make it work for their young, pet-friendly family. 

As a result, they hired us to select the interior finishes and lighting throughout.  

 

Dana Wolter Living Room

A Recently Completed Family Room, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Though the bones of the house are good- and the memories even better- we are updating the house with classic, timeless materials and details. A

Our goal is a beautiful home with a casual, comfortable feel that only looks better with time. 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Lighting Detail

Dana Wolter Interiors, Interior Details, Graham Yelton Photography

 

The kitchen is completely gutted and is getting the biggest makeover.  A large window is being added because bringing in light was a priority throughout the house.

We are also updating the home with hidden storage (can you ever have enough?) and finding ways to make this new home work and function for them for years to come.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Kitchen Renovation

Dana Wolter Interiors, Kitchen Renovation

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Renovation

Dana Wolter Interiors, Renovation

 

Stay tuned as we share our progress over the next few months. I can’t wait to make this childhood home into a space where this family can play, relax and enjoy each other. 

Have a great day,

 

Dana

 

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2019 Southeast Designer of The Year Nominees Announced

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that DWI is a finalist in the Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year award.  

Sponsored by ADAC and Veranda magazine, this award spans a 10-state region, and we are honored to be included for the third year in a row.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Birmingham, AL, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Not only are we humbled to be among such a distinguished group, we are proud to be a vessel to spotlight our fabulous city of Birmingham, AL.   If you need a few recommendations of my favorite places to eat and shop in town, contact me here.

 

Dana Wolter Interior Design, Located in Birmingham, AL. Photo by Graham Yelton

 

 “The South is an epicenter for stylish design, and this year’s Southeast Designers and Architect of the Year Awards’ entrants prove the region’s influence on architecture and interior design is not to be overlooked,” said Steele Marcoux, Editor in Chief of VERANDA magazine. “I feel honored – and inspired – to have been a part of this process!” 

Our sincere thanks to the judges, Steele Marcoux, Bunny Williams, and Roger Seifter,  for noticing our work.  These esteemed judges are well-known in the design community and for their discerning eyes to highlight our work is an honor. 

Stay tuned as we will keep you posted on social media. The award ceremony is April 25th and our entire team will be together to celebrate.

 

Have a great day-

Dana

 

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Creating An Inviting Foyer

The foyer is the first impression of your home when someone walks in, so I thought it would be fun to give you 5 ideas to create an inviting one.  After all, whether family or a visitor, you want your guests to feel welcome.

We recently began working on a new project and the entryway is one of the rooms that is part of the design.  It is a beautiful home and we are also making sure this home has the one thing I mention here.  

As I was assessing the best way to soften the entryway and make it look like the family has lived there for some time, here are some tips I incorporated. 

5 tips to making a great first impression in your foyer:

 

1.  Add some sort of seating to soften the space.

When there is room, I always try to add some sort of seating to a foyer.  It is a great way to soften a space while allowing a place to put on your shoes as you walk out the door.

 

How to create an inviting foyer

Foyer Ideas, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

A gorgeous entryway by McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

 

 

2.  Personalize the space

Add a favorite piece of artwork, a frame with a family photo- anything that makes the foyer special to you.

Artwork by my daughter (that I love) personalizes the entrance into my office, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Foyer decor personalizes the home, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3.  Make the space functional

Make the space useful with hidden storage or a tray to catch your keys.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4.  Include something green such as flowers or a plant.

 

5.  Layer the space with accessories to create dimension and to make it look like it has been collected over time.

 

An inviting entrance sets the tone for your home, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

So, what does your foyer say about your home?   Does it set the tone and catch your eye, or is it a “catch-all” area you want to hurry your guests through?  If we can help you create a home you love, email us HERE.

 

Have a great day, and cheers to your foyer making a great, first impression.

Dana

 

 

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Do you find yourself stressing and fretting before overnight company arrives?  If so, I have some ways to ease the worry and make your overnight visitors feel welcome.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks for making company feel relaxed and at home. The key is to think of things that bring you comfort when you are away.  

 

5 Ways To Make Overnight Guests Feel Welcome

 

Fresh Linens

There really isn’t anything better than crawling into bed with fresh, crisp linens – make sure the sheets are newly washed and pillows nicely fluffed.

Keeping my favorite travel size linen mist in the top drawer next to the bed is also a trick I’ve done for years. Company staying longer than one night can continue to enjoy the fresh feeling of clean sheets with a simple spritz on the pillow before bed. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Flowers + Greenery

Having fresh flowers or greenery beside the bed and in the bathroom is such a pretty and thoughtful touch. It says ‘welcome, we’re glad you are here’.  

This little detail immediately brings life into rooms that otherwise don’t see much activity and it is the best first impression you can give your visitors. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Lined Window Treatments

Allow your friends and family to sleep in with ease with lined window treatments. A good night’s sleep is a great gift for your guests.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

A Welcome Basket

Just as a lovely hotel would do, put together a welcome basket with thoughtful items and a personal note sharing your excitement for their stay. Add magazines and books that your company will enjoy + a few water bottles, mints, and other treats.

Stock Your Bathroom

Just as important as having your guest bedroom filled with touches to make your company comfortable, your guest bathroom should have a few indulgences as well.  A fresh hand soap placed by the sink is not only useful, but it will also leave a lingering, clean scent.

I also like to stock the drawer with new toiletries – shampoo, facial cleanser, body lotion, razors, and toothpaste to name a few. Nothing is nicer for your company than to not have to worry about forgotten items. 

Beautiful, monogramed towels with extras placed under the vanity is a personal touch they will enjoy.  Maybe even add a plush bath robe in the closet upon their arrival. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I hope you have enjoyed these few tips to make your guests feel special.   If you want to read more, be sure to check out these previous blog posts on last minute entertaining and bedroom design ideas.

As always, we would love to help you create a guest room perfect for your future company.  If you would like to learn more about our services, reach out to us here.   

 

Have a great day,

Dana 

 

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5 Things Every Empty Nester Home Needs

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With two of my girls in college and my last soon to leave, I am close to being an empty nester.  My house is already feeling a little too big.    

I love my neighbors, my home, and my location in Mountain Brook, AL, but I hate the idea of unused space.  It’s probably not my last house.

My empty nester friends on Facebook shared with me how they are using their home now that their children are out of the house, and the advice and comments were insightful.  

So if you find yourself wondering what you may need from your home when your children are gone, here you go ……

 

5 Things Every Empty Nester Needs In Their Home:

 

 A Comfortable Way To Eat Meals

Many of my empty nester friends mentioned eating more casually.  Some eat by the television, on the screened porch and even in bed.

When we worked on this particular home, my empty-nester clients did not want a breakfast room because they like to eat everyday meals casually around an island.   I wanted them to really enjoy their kitchen and especially their island, so we focused on making the space comfortable and unique. 

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

 

 

Custom island with reeded doors. Dana Wolter Interiors

A Bedroom For Children And Guests To Visit  

A comfortable place for your children and guests to sleep are needed in an empty nester home.  Create a hotel feel with fresh towels, toiletries, and even a bottle of water or two.

Rooms Customized To Your Lifestyle   

Life is short and it is meant for living well.  Whether you want a more causal or elegant living, seek  intimate spaces that are specific to you.  

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.

 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.  

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.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

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

A Master On The Main (or an elevator for an upstairs’ bedroom) 

While you may be healthy now,  your forever home may need to transition one day to the latter stages of life.  

What will that mean for you?  It may mean a master on the main, an elevator for upstairs’ access, limited stairs where possible, or 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 your project with you.

Dana

 

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It seems cold weather makes people want to stay in and nest, and what better way to freshen up your home than with some of my go-to accessories that will add warmth to your space.  

Here are five of my go-to accessories every home should have:

1. A soft, neutral blanket  

We use a lot of throws in our interiors because they instantly create a space that calls your name to sit down and relax.  Besides, who doesn’t like a blanket when curling up with a good book or watching a tv show?

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

2. Coffee table books

Books are a great way to add a collected feel to any interior.   I always enjoy looking at the books people display in their home because it usually says something about their interests.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. A bowl to catch keys

If I am creating a vignette near a point of entrance, a bowl to catch keys or miscellaneous items is a must. It makes a place for the ‘clutter’ of life look beautiful while serving a purpose. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4. Living plants

Flowers, greenery, or branches always add life to any space.  My youngest used to say that flowers around our house made the house seem a little more clean.  Need I say more??

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

5. Art

Find art that speaks to you.  Art is a personal experience for everyone so finding pieces that touch and move you is important.

It’s also a great way to pull an interior together, such as how we layered this framed nude sketch against a Louis Philippe mirror. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Look around your home as you may have many of these accessories already.  If you’d like to discuss your home and your goals for it with us, we would love to hear from you.  Feel free to contact us here

 

Cheers to cozying up in your home while we anxiously await for the warmer days of spring.   Have a great day,

Dana

 

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With the new year in full swing and people ready to make changes to their home, I want to remind you of the 3.5 consult service I offer periodically.

While the projects we work on are full-service,  this one-time service is for the client who needs a plan for their home but likes to do the legwork themselves.

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

Matter of fact, I recently ran into a client who hired me for this service for her home a few years ago.  She said she is slowly working through her list as her budget and time allow, but she is LOVING the big changes happening to her home.

Some people have used this service to update their home, and others have used it to select the finishes and paint colors for second homes under construction. 

People have even flown in to meet with me (or driven all night when their flight was canceled) for this consult. 

Let us help you with the details and finishes for your new home, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Whatever your needs, you have my undivided attention for 3.5 hours to help you accomplish all that we can in this timeframe.

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Here’s How The 3.5 Hour Consult Works:

I will have you send a list of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.   We make an appointment, and I will then spend 3.5 hours of uninterrupted time answering any question you can possible think to ask me.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric direction, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it!

I give you 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 a detailed synopsis of what was discussed and a list of all of the suggestions I make for your project.  

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 make your home the place you dream, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.   I would love to talk with you.

Cheers to making your home one you love, one step at a time……

Dana

 

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I had one of my favorite clients reach out recently.   We helped their family build a beautiful home a few years ago, and she emailed saying they are looking at buying or building a second home.

I couldn’t help but smile knowing she enjoyed the process and wants to do it again. They put together a great team who worked hard to build a beautiful home.  

 

Tips for making the building process go more smoothly: 

1. Put together a talented team 

I can’t stress enough how important it is to hire a builder, designer and architect that are known for what you are trying to achieve.  It isn’t enough to hire who your neighbor used- look at their past work, check their references, and search them online. 

Your team should increase the value of your project while saving your sanity.  Again- they should make your life easier and be good stewards of your money.

 2. Make sure the aesthetic of  your designer and architect appeal to you  

Even creatives with a well-versed portfolio still have a certain look and tendencies (including me).  In the end, you have to feel comfortable in the home.

Just as important, make sure you like their personality and can trust them.  They are going to be dealing with your money and you need to be okay sharing details about how you live.

3.  Wait to break ground on your home until your plans are finished 

Do Not start the building process until the plans are finished.  If you don’t wait, I can promise the demo will go fast but it will come to a screeching halt.  Be prepared as it takes time to draw good plans. 

Dana Wolter Interiors

A recent project as it was being built, Dana Wolter Interiors

4.  Quality takes time  

Quality takes time- there is a reason the room with custom cabinetry, draperies and millwork looks so good.   Details customize a home, but they take time.   

Cabinet detail in a master bath renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors

Prepare yourself now- there will be a setback somewhere in the building process that will delay the project.  The weather won’t cooperate, you will hit rock when excavating, etc…  

5.  Talk budget early on 

No one enjoys sharing their personal business, but it is important to have a budget in mind or a realistic expectation of what your project will cost.  

Know your building budget (and furnishings’ budget) at the beginning and be realistic about what it can afford you.  

Talk to your builder about the exact finishes the allowances will buy you, and see what is realistic for what you are building.   Also, the more finishes and specifics you can finalize during the bidding process (know exactly the type of countertop you want to use, what line of plumbing fixtures, etc…), the more it will save you with add-ons at the end.

6. You get what you pay for  

Not all architects, builders and designers are equal and there is a reason everyone doesn’t charge the same.   If detail is important to you, make sure you hire a team where it is important to them.

7. Let your home building team do their job  

You hired your team for a reason, so let them do their job.  If you can’t visualize a detail, trust that they can. This means trusting their judgment over your friend’s, your mom’s, etc….

8. Save enough money to furnish the home and be realistic as to how far that furnishing budget will go  

The last thing you want to do is build a beautiful, brand new home and for it to echo because you are not able to furnish it properly. 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors as seen in Traditional Home

 

I hope these eight tips are helpful and make the building process more enjoyable and fun.   

If you are interested in learning about the design services we can offer you when building, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.  We’d love to hear more about your project.

 

Dana

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Living Well: The One Thing Every Home Should Have

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There’s one thing every home should have, and that is function.

We’ve recently been working on a home that is spacious and stately, but the layout wasn’t great.

This is the forever home for the family, and they were ready to make this home more functional for how they live. 

We began with the front of the house because they couldn’t fit a sofa into their family room, and this is the room the family LIVES in.  

With the help of architect Jason Robb, we took out a few columns, added some custom millwork, and the space already feels so much better (it now allows for not one, but two large sofas and several chairs).  

The family room before the new furniture was installed

 

Inviting spaces begin in the foyer of this home, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

The front of the house is finished- done- complete- and we are now moving onto Phase Two.   We are addressing the choppiness in the back of the home by moving walls and reworking the kitchen, back hall, laundry and office.

We’ve given the kitchen as much storage and workspace as possible.  It will be drop dead gorgeous, but that is just a given when you have custom details throughout.

We’ve ordered a La Cornue range and hood, and the custom cabinetry will be a mix of painted and waxed cabinetry.  There is also a beautiful new butler’s pantry, along with an office, to organize the family.

 

A few renovation progress shots:

 

Beautiful millwork on the kitchen and breakfast room walls

 

 

 

Beautiful ceiling detail designed by architect Jason Robb

 

It is the simple things that make a difference, such as the cabinet drawer detail in the office

 

I am so excited to see this one complete, so follow along my Instagram stories as I share the progress.  It’s going to be pretty incredible, and more importantly, highly functional for them to enjoy for years to come.

 

Have a great day,

 

Dana

 

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Your house is one of the biggest purchases you will make and there are three rooms you should invest in when designing your home. 

That’s not to say the other rooms or areas should be ignored; it just means these three add more value to the quality of your life and for resale.   

So….Here goes- these are the top three rooms to invest in your home:

1. Kitchen

Not only will a beautiful, functional kitchen make your life easier when cooking and feeding your family, it also gives you a great return on your investment if you ever decide to sell your home.  

Invest in quality cabinets (believe me, not all cabinetry is the same.  Buy the best you can afford and select a cabinet maker/company who truly pays attention to the details), classic finishes, and quality plumbing.

A kitchen of ours as featured in Traditional Home. Photography by Jean Allsopp

 

It’s the room that gets the most use, so make yours one you love and one that functions well for cooking, prep, and entertaining.

 

2. Master Bedroom–  

My bed is my FAVORITE place in my house.  Yep – I admit it.  Great linens, comfortable pillows, soft, soothing colors…..  I love to curl up in my bed and relax, and if a book in involved, even better.  It’s like wearing a comfy pair of pjs to me.  

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors, Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

A cocoon-like feel for this teen’s bedroom. Dana Wolter Interiors, LLC, Photography by Graham Yelton

 

3. Family Room–  

I included the Family Room since it’s where you relax, watch tv and LIVE.  It needs to draw you in with comfortable seating that makes you want to kick back and visit with family and friends.  

Be sure to include comfortable upholstery (the best you can afford), and soften the room with drapes, a rug that fits the space well, etc…  Think of layering this room with things you love to create a collected, personal feel.

 

 

I have always admired the layered look of this room created by interior designer Ray Booth

 

Invest in these three rooms first to create a retreat and a home that feels good to you and your family.  If we can ever help you turn your home into one you love, contact us here.

 

Dana

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