Archive for the ‘Purposeful’ Category

Before and After: Furnishing A Home On A Deadline

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

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

 

Home Design with a Deadline

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

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

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

Project #1

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

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

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

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

Before:

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Project #2

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

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

Before:

 

 

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

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

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

Before:

 

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

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

Have a great day –

Dana

 

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The One Trend I Am Seeing In Renovations and New Construction

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

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

So… what is this trend?

A resurgence in a scullery or second kitchen. 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Dana

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Birmingham, AL, Interior Design Firm

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

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

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

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

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

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Mudroom Interior Design

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

 

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

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

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

 

Kitchen Design Tips, Dana Wolter Interiors

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

 

Butler's Pantry Design, Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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

Have a great day-

-dana

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

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

If yours isn’t ideal…

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

1.Splurge on your bed linens 

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

2.Incorporate seating  

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

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

 

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

 

3. Incorporate colors that speak to you

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

Bedroom Decorating Tips

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

4. Put your bedside lamps on a dimmable switch

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

5. Add in personal touches

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

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

 

6. Keep it simple…

Don’t clutter or overcrowd your bedroom with too much stuff.  Make sure the room can breathe, so you can as well.  

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Bedrooms should have all of the things in it that you love. It should be the place you cannot wait to get to at the end of your day or sneak off to when you just need a moment to yourself.  

If you want help designing a home with a bedroom that feel like its very own getaway, call 205-938-4848 or email us here.We’d love to hear from you. 

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

Dana 

 

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8 Must Read Tips When Building A Home

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A past client reached out recently; we helped she and her husband build a beautiful home a few years ago and she emailed saying they are looking to build 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 their dream home, and I thought it might be helpful to share some must-read tips when building a house.

 

Tips for making the building process successful: 

 

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 someone because they are a neighbor or because your friend hired them.  Look at their past work, their processes, their staff, and check their references. 

Your team should increase the value of your project while making the process enjoyable.  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, your home should feel like you.

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 

Wait to start the building process until the plans are finished.  If you don’t, I can promise the demo will go fast but it will come to a screeching halt.  Be prepared as it takes time to draw detailed plans, but it will pay off in the end. 

Dana Wolter Interiors

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

Interior Design Ideas

Project in completion, Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

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 don’t happen overnight or through the internet.   

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 (such as knowing the exact type of countertop material, what line of plumbing fixtures, etc…), the more it will save you with add-ons at the end.

6. Details make a home  

Not all architects, builders and designers have the same experience 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 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. 

 

Beautiful Kitchen Ideas, Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors as seen in Traditional Home

 

I hope these eight must-read tips when building a home 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 here.  We want to hear more about your project.

 

Dana

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

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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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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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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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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

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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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