Archive for the ‘Reality’ Category

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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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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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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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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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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 I’ve always been proud of how our designs change how people live- because they do.  I’ve seen time and time again how a beautiful, well-functioning home can add to the quality of a family’s life and save them from costly mistakes.

While the reason we do what we do hasn’t changed, we gave it a name in early 2017.   We added to our Vision Statement “To change people’s lives through the art of Living Well in their home.”

So, in keeping with Living Well in my own life, I thought it would be fun to look back at what 2017 held for me.   Here is a recap- the good and the bad- that took place.   

We began the year opening my new office in Mountain Brook, AL.   I kept my office in my home for several years to stay close to my children, but now that they are older and my team has grown, it was time to move out.  We are now in the heart of Mountain Brook Village, so still close to my own home which I love.

 

BEFORE of the space

 

AFTER:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

January also included installing our #DiamondsOfDesign vignette for the AmericasMart market in Atlanta, GA.   It was their 60th anniversary and to celebrate, they had 10 designers from across the country create spaces based upon a style icon from the past 60 years.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, photo courtesy of AmericasMart

 

In March, we installed our spaces in the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle’s  Southeastern Showhouse in Atlanta, GA.

 

davis-analytique-color_150dpi_2017-02-15

 

 

 

Designers from across the Southeast were asked to participate in this showhouse, and we loved being included.  The house is a James Means’ creation where his designs were based upon Classicism and craftsmanship.  The renovation/addition was by Yong Pak of Pak Hyde & Associates.

Here are a few pictures from our Mudroom photographed by Emily Followill:

 

 

March came with a family trip to The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas for spring break.   It was a much needed break, and the fresh air and scenery were exactly what I needed.

 

We were thrilled to learn in early April that we were a Finalist for the 2017  ADAC and Veranda Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year award.

 

Though we didn’t win, it was a fun few days celebrating and catching up with design friends. 

 

Talking with my friend, Arianne Nardo, of The Editor At Large

 

 

Rebecca and me heading to the awards’ ceremony

 

2017 also included publications of our work.   We loved this feature here in Charlotte’s Peachy Magazine featuring one of our designs from years’ past.   It’s an example that good design doesn’t go out of style….

Mountain Brook Magazine featured one of my favorite renovations. The backstory to this project is a feel good story for all, so be sure to read here .

 

 

StyleBlueprint did a wonderful feature on our work.  You can see the article here.

I also visited New York a few times for work and for fun.  I love the city and find inspiration from new sources so easily there.   When I was there in July, I drove over with my friend Vicki to see the Traditional Home Hamptons’ Showhouse in July.  It was filled with amazing talent and every space was gorgeous.

Vicki and I enjoying the Hampton Showhouse with Jill Waage, Traditional Home’s Editor In Chief

 

I can’t leave out moving TWO of my girls to college.   While it is always time for them to go back to school when the time comes (and this is Lucy’s junior year), it is still emotional for me.  Not sure why- because they are doing amazingly well, but I just miss them.  

Mother/Daughter senior trip to the Grand Velas in May

 

 

We took over Traditional Home’s Instagram feed here in October and it was a ton of fun.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I enjoyed showing their followers around Birmingham, AL.  People are always pleasantly surprised to see how urbanized our city is and all that it offers in the Deep South.   

 

Graham Yelton photography

 

We had several installations this year, and for our amazing clients, we are always grateful.  Here are some pictures of a few of the homes(photography by Graham Yelton):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are still reading following me here on Instagram, you know I recently had hip surgery.  It was a big decision for me to go through with it as I have had hip pain for over three years. Quite frankly, I just became tired of being in pain and not being able to walk long distances.   It has been a rough few weeks, but every day I seem to be a little stronger.   I just pray 2018 will be pain free and that I will be able to walk as far as I would like without thinking twice.  I’ve learned it’s the simple things that I take for granted, like bending over to tie my shoes (I can’t do this for six weeks post op).   If you see me walking into my office barefoot, you will know why.:)

 

And while 2017 has been a pretty good year for business and accolades, what I am most grateful for is my family.  Living Well for me is enjoying my family and creating memories with them whenever I can.    I recently turned an extra room in our house into a tv room, and I have loved watching all of the many movies we did over the holidays.

So here’s to Living Well in 2018, whatever your definition may be.   If it includes transforming your home into one that works hard to live up to your definition, give us a shout here.   We’d love to hear from you.

 

Happy New Year-

 

Dana

 

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Do you ever wonder how we use so many beautiful, neutral fabrics in our projects and question how they look after a busy family lives in the space?  
 
Many times when we are in the furniture and fabric phase of a project, clients immediately want to steer clear of anything that remotely looks too ‘light’ in color because of children, dogs, and just life.
 
They have valid reasoning for being concerned; I’ve raised three daughters and know how that goes. But like everything else, technology with fabrics and their durability have come leaps and bounds from where they used to be.  
 
Here are four ways to make neutral upholstery more durable in your home:
1. Treat the neutral fabric with a stain resistant
In this Living Room, we had all of the upholstery treated with a stain resistant formula before being upholstered. It’s important to look at each fabric’s durability when creating a room so it can work hard for your family if needed.
 
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
2. Include commercial grade fabrics in strategic places
Another trick we use is to find contract-grade fabrics that do not look or feel commercial. We have found fabulous looking velvets and linens that go through rigorous testing to guarantee they are stain resistant, durable, and have a high rub count.
 
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
3. Add a blanket or quilt as an extra layer of protection
Often times, we have quilted throws made to perfectly fit a piece of upholstery. This allows the throw take the brunt of the activity and it can easily be removed or dry cleaned.
 
This Schumacher velvet and Jerry Pair leather add to the durability in this room. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
4.  Incorporate a leather or faux leather into the room
This buttery faux leather that resembles some of the attributes of leather can look stunning and function perfectly in a kitchen or breakfast room.
The technology makes it easy to wipe down without stains or harsh chemicals, so no worries about fingerprints or stains on this custom banquette we designed, either.
 
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
Next time you are faced with the fear of choosing new fabrics for your home, don’t immediately shy away from light upholstery. Remember, the key is to look at its makeup so it can stand up to everyday life.
 
Here’s to living well with neutral upholstery,
Dana
 
 

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Not to show my age, but who remembers the bulky televisions with the rabbit ears? There was no hiding those big ‘ole things.  
 
 Thankfully, tvs have become a little more discreet over the years.
 
On many projects, I have clients ask where should they place the tv in a room and how it should be treated within it.
 
 I try to tuck them away when possible or make sure they are not a big focal point.  If they are placed on a main wall, it usually calls for me to try and soften around it.
 

TV is placed on a side wall, Dana Wolter Interiors

 
 
The picture below is from a client’s living room.  Yes, I said living room, and that is a tv near the piano.   This large room with incredible light was – get this-  pretty much a walk-through room.   They have a large family with a revolving door to family and friends, so it made sense that when we redesigned this room to incorporate a tv in here.   We tucked it into a side wall where it can be pulled out if needed.
 
We reworked the furniture layout to add more seating.  The room is casual enough to feel comfortable lounging on the sofa with your feet propped up with a bowl of popcorn, or it can be a little more formal when having a dinner party.  Either way, it works, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, the space is used by their family.
 
hidden tvs

Dana Wolter Interiors

 
Make no doubt about it, sometimes a tv needs to stand proudly in a room, ready to serve its purpose, but a little softness never hurts.
 
hidden tv2

Dana Wolter Interiors

 
What are your thoughts concerning the tv?   Are you a “let it hang on out there” and serve its purpose or do you like to tuck it away? Let me know what you think-
 
Have a great day,
 
Dana
 
 
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 *Photography is by Graham Yelton