Archive for the ‘Reality’ Category

Join Our Team!

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

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

Dana Wolter Interiors’ Design Studio, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Junior Designer Criteria:

Must hold a degree from an accredited Interior Design program

Two or three years experience within the field

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

Excellent grammar and verbal communication skills

Exceptionally driven and passionate about achieving excellence in your work

Full-time position; Salary based upon experience

Located in the Birmingham, AL area

 

Bookkeeper/Office Administrator Criteria:

Two years or more experience within the field

Part-time availability 

Proficient in QuickBooks

Experience in Studio Designer is a plus

Knowledge in filing tax documents

Excellent grammar and verbal communication skills

Exceptionally driven and passionate about achieving excellence in your work

Located in the Birmingham, AL area

Interior design Studio, Birmingham, AL

Dana Wolter Interiors, Birmingham, AL

 

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

Dana 

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If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know my family and I (minus one daughter- she has been studying abroad) spent an incredible two weeks traveling to different parts of Italy to celebrate a few milestones.

Not only did I have a BIG birthday, we were celebrating a high school and college graduation.  Lots of changes going on in my life right now.

Several of my social media friends asked me to share what we did and where we stayed, so here are a few highlights from our trip to Italy.

Things to Do in Rome, Italy

We began the trip in Rome, Italy for three nights and stayed at the Grand Hotel Via Veneto.  It was a nice, five star hotel with great service.  My girls wished it was in a location with more activity around, but I guess I am showing my age- I loved the quiet and the simplicity.

We took in the regular sites such as The Vatican, The Trevi Fountain, etc…., but it was the intricate stonework throughout the city that caught my eye.  

For anyone questioning using marble in their home, Rome is the perfect example to not think twice.  If it can withstand the wear and tear for thousands of years, it can withstand the abuse in your kitchen and bath.   

Thousands of years of natural stone makes for a beautiful patina

 

Gorgeous marble detail, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Trevi Fountain, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Things to do in Rome, Italy

 

One of our favorite things we did was take a cooking class.  My Italian grandmother would have been so proud as we learned how to make fresh pasta and sauce.  Why I never had her teach me her secrets before she passed, I don’t know.

Pasta Cooking Class In Rome

Armando Al Pantheon in Rome was delicious and one of our favorite restaurants when there.  It’s family owned and has been around since the 60s.  

 A trip anywhere would not be complete without a little shopping.  What can I say- I have three girls and with the two grandmothers they have, their love of shopping comes honestly.

Among the local boutiques, we found a great department store called Rinascente.  It has several clothing lines we loved including a restaurant filled with fresh juices, pastries, etc… The store was beautiful inside, too (we also visited it in Florence and while the shopping was good there, the store was a little more run down).

The Best Things To Do In Florence, Italy

 We took the train from Rome to Florence, and it was interesting handling all of our bags.   I know you are suppose to travel lightly, but with my oldest staying in Europe for work, we had all of her luggage with us.  

Travel Tip Number One: Travel Lightly

We loved staying in the two bedroom apartment in the Hotel Lungarno  in Florence, Italy and would book it again.  It was chic, comfortable, and you still had all of the amenities of a hotel (room service, housekeeping, etc…).  We stayed for three nights but all of us felt like we could have stayed a fourth (or longer!).

Hotel Lungarno, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

One Of The Finest Resorts In The World- Cernobbio, Lake Como, Italy

We took a train from Florence to Lake Como and stayed four nights in Cernobbio at the Villa D’este. 

Why can I say….  It was the highlight of our trip.  When their website says it is a destination, not a location, it is so true as the entire experience was incredible.  

Put it on your bucket list as a place to stay.  

Everything from the grounds, to the service, to the welcoming bottle of champagne, was on brand.  

We spent a few days at the resort lounging by the pool, exploring the grounds, and another day on the lake seeing the neighboring towns.  I highly recommend doing the same.

Villa d’Este

 

Dana Wolter Interiors travel, Lake Como by boat

 

Villa d’Este, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Villa d’Este with two of my girls, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

View from Villa d’Este, Dana Wolter Interiors

We found a cute neighborhood place called Harry’s (it was filled with lots of locals eating which is always a good sign), and Il Gatto Nero was suggested by a few friends.  It was delicious, and I highly recommend it as well.

Delicious meal at Il Gatto Nero

And while it is back to reality for me and my family, it’s amazing what a few weeks in a new place can do for inspiration and for your soul.

I can’t help but dream of our next big excursion, and am looking for our next bucket list place to stay.  Please share with me any amazing places you have loved and experienced as I would love to know.

Cheers to dreaming and living,

Dana

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If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know all three of my girls are going in different directions this fall and I have been busy pulling together each of their rooms.  

My oldest is headed to New York for a new job and her apartment is tiny, extremely small, which means no not a lot of storage. 

I have had to think out of the box for making the most of her #smalllivingspace because her bedroom doesn’t even have a closet.  

Yep, a girl has a bedroom without a closet.   Let’s see how creative I can be with her space…..

Thank goodness I am partnering with great companies like Fabricut and Gabby Home to create a home away from home for her and her roommates.  

We are utilizing Fabricut’s quick ship drapery program and their upholstery line, along with Gabby’s amazing lighting and end tables, to turn this place into a warm, inviting home for them.  I am grateful for their sponsorship.

I’ve put a lot of thought into how we will create function and space, and I am thinking long term on certain pieces, such as how the chandelier can one day hang over a kitchen table or how the draperies could be used in a different room.

For the pieces I don’t see her using after this apartment, such as the makeshift closet, these will not be long term pieces. 

 

Here are a few before pictures:

Bedroom Fabrics and furnishings

 

 

Bedroom space, before

 

Bedroom space- Before

 

Sitting Area – Small space but large enough for a loveseat with a pullout bed

 

Fabrics and furnishings, courtesy of Fabricut, for the sitting area

Stay tuned for the big reveal as I will install this #smalllivingspace next month.  

Follow along here and on social media as I will share updates throughout. I can promise you it will be quite the transformation. 

Despite the size or limitations our homes may have, cheers to making the most of them.

Dana

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It’s amazing what a little vision, new furnishings, fresh paint, and a great floor plan execution can do for your home and for your psyche. I thought I would share a few homes of clients where we began their home design with a deadline. 

 

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 holidays.

Believe it or not, if you want to enjoy new furnishings, art and accessories by Christmas, it’s time to 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  had recently moved into their home and needed new furnishings, window treatments, art, and accessories  for several rooms.  

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 had 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.  It transformed into a beautiful, functional space where the entire family (pets included) can enjoy together.  

Before:

 

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

While we were working on the home, we decided to rework the foyer as well.  

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 by Christmas, 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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Dana Wolter Interiors Featured in Aspire Design and Home’s ‘Designer Friday’

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It is always exciting when a publication wants to showcase our work, and I am honored Aspire Design and Home reached out to us for their ‘Designer Friday’ spotlight. 

From sharing some of our recent projects to asking about my favorite books and thoughts, it was a fun interview.  It is a wonderful publication that shares what is new globally in design, art, culture, and travel.   

 

Learn unique facts about Dana in a Q&A with Aspire Design and Home and Andrew Joseph

Aspire Design and Home's Feature

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

From secret talents, must-read books, and something to always have on hand for unexpected guests, click here to read along for a fun Friday feature.

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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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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One of my favorite clients reach 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 a beautiful home, and I thought it might be helpful to share a few pieces of advice so you can do the same.  

 

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 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 detailed 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 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 (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. Details make a home  

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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30K Giveaway

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We’re thrilled to announce we have hit 30,000 followers on Instagram.  

 

 

 

 

As a thank you, we have a giving away a gorgeous, custom pillow and throw.  

 

 

Here is how to enter:

* Follow @DanaWolterInteriors here on Instagram

* Like the Giveaway post

*Tag three friends in the comment section

 

We are announcing the winner on Tuesday so be sure to check back in.  The items cannot be exchanged for money or services.

 

Thanks so much for following along with us on this journey.  We are grateful for your support!

 

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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