Living Well

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

Are you stuck, knowing your home could look and feel so much better, but you aren’t sure what to do?

 

Or you can’t seem to find the motivation to pull your home together?

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Life is busy, and hectic, and stressful.  I get it as I sometimes feel the same way, too.

 

But I am constantly reminded how a well-functioning home, a healthy home, one that allows you to breathe deeply and de stress, can truly 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 well-designed, high functioning home, I call it a healthy home,  can change how you live and enjoy life.

 

If you are ready for a change for you and your family, now is the time.  Let us help in a way that best fits your needs.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Who would know this family room is filled with durable fabrics for family and pets?                                                  Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

The majority of our projects are full room or turnkey projects, where we are involved in the beginning so we can devise a detailed plan according to your budget and implement it for you.

 

We specialize in new construction, beginning with the schematics (many times I am hired before an architect has put pen to paper) to hanging the last picture on the wall.  We work closely with the builder and architect to make sure every detail is thought through from the beginning to the very end.  Your project becomes our project.

 

We also offer other services for clients who need direction and help making decisions for their home, but they like to do the legwork themselves.   Our one-time consult service, which I have previously mentioned before, and it is the perfect way to devise a plan tailored specifically for your home.

 

It has gone over really well, and the clients who have invested in this 3.5 hour meeting with me have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes with it.  Matter of fact, I have even gone on the road -and in the air-  to offer this service.

 

The last service we offer is Design Online.   You fill out a questionnaire and send measurements of your space with “before”  photos taken from each angle.   We come up with a detailed plan for the particular room- from furniture layout to furniture selections to paint to fabrics to accessories-  all within the budget you give and without us ever stepping into your home.   You can order one or ten rooms at a time from us.

 

If you think we can help make your home the place you dream, why are you waiting?  Email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.  Let’s talk now so we can have a plan of action in place for you by the new year.

 

Here’s to making your house a home, one detail at a time-

dana

 

 

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Living Well

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Create The Home Of Your Dreams

Are you worried about making a decorating mistake with your home so you play it safe by keeping your interiors “status quo”?

 

After all, furnishing your home is a big investment in time and money, and one you should spend wisely.

 

While your home’s finishes and furnishings should be classic enough to stand the test of time, it needs to be a reflection of you and your family.   It should be special and unique to you.  You can-and should- have an interior with a few features that make the room an incredible one.

 

That is not to say it should be flashy or trendy.  Quite the opposite- it should be a layer that catches your eye but blends into the rest of the space.

 

 

Here are a few ways we have customized some of the rooms in a few of our projects:

 

Upholster a wall or niche- It’s a great way to add softness to a room.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors Graham Yelton Photography
Dana Wolter Interiors Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

watermark foyer
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Or line a wall or two with sheers to create dimension in a room……

 

watermark stewart
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography
Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Take a block of a God-made material such as marble……

 

IMG_8468

 

 

 

And turn it into a beautiful floating vanity……

 

DanaWolter_Gibbons_063
Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Step away from painted cabinets and invest in reeded cabinetry that are limed and waxed…..

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography
Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Or maybe you have a room that doesn’t function as well as it should for your family.  For this client, it was her breakfast room……

 

 

BEFORE
BEFORE

 

 

 

So we designed a custom banquette, 16 feet long, that is made specifically for the space and her large family….

 

watermark link banquette
Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

If you can’t see what your space needs to be amazing, hire someone who knows how to give your home its own look in a way that works architecturally and aesthetically.

 

This is where an experienced designer worth her pay can make a difference.   If you are going to take a risk with your home’s decor, you need to have someone who can visualize the result and implement it.

 

I have seen clients go with less expensive designers or do it themselves to “save money”, only to spend thousands more cleaning up mistakes.

 

I often tell the client who hires me to help from the ground up to the furnishings that often my services pay for themselves.  I know how to save and where to invest so the money you save often pays for my fee.   Not to mention you end up with a prettier home in the end, too.

 

Hire someone you can trust who has the vision to see all your home wants to be.  If you would like to discuss how we may be able to help take your home from okay to incredible, email us here.   After all, your home is an investment, and you want to make a good one.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

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Living Well

Design Tips For Your Home

Homes are an investment, so spend your money wisely by following these design tips.

 

Whether you are a building, renovating, or updating a space, there are several common mistakes I often see.   They can be costly ones- either causing buyer’s remorse or worse,  decisions that lower the value of your home when it is time to sell.

 

 

1. Choosing quality over quantity.   Remember, it is always better to build or buy a smaller home with nicer finishes than a large one with generic ones.  McMansions are a thing of the past, and as people focus on enjoying their homes, they want to enjoy some of the luxuries that can come with it.   Not to mention quality lasts, where subpar has to be replaced in a few years.

 

2. When building or renovating, leave enough money to furnish it.    Your surroundings play an important part in how you live and enjoy life, and the last thing you want to do is build an incredible home, only to live with empty rooms.  I get it- you are mentally/physically exhausted, tired of spending money, and you think you will go back and finish at a later date.  Life happens, bills come up, and it’s always easier (and better) to do it when you are in that mindset.

 

3.  Buy a rug that is proportional to the room.  A rug that is proportional to a room is one of the most important things you can do to ground the space, especially if it is a large room.    If you don’t have the basic pieces correct in a space, the room will never feel right.   It is a layer, and the layer needs to be in relation to the size of the room.

 

4. Before you buy, have a furniture layout in mind. This is where a professional can really make a difference, because we know what scale pieces fit a room, how much of a walkway will be left with a certain size sofa and chair, etc….  Furnishing your home is an investment, one you should enjoy for many years, so spend your money wisely the first time.

 

 

danaw_tuscaloosa_075
Dana Wolter Interiors Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

 

5.  Be patient until you can afford to purchase the right piece.  A room should be enjoyed for a long time, and it is an investment.   Wait until you can buy the rug you really want, or the table that speaks to you.  Over many years, a few hundred dollar savings or even a thousand will not mean much over the long span of time of enjoying the piece you really want.

 

 

unnamed-2

 

 

 

6.  Mix up the furniture lines used throughout your home.   This goes with upholstery, too.  Mix old and new, etc…  I am beginning to see the same upholstery line used throughout a home, and your home should never look like an ad for a showroom floor or furniture line.

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

Graham Yelton Photography Dana Wolter Interiors
Graham Yelton Photography Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Hope these home design tips (and mistakes to avoid) help you create a home you love.  Let me know what resonates with you and what other suggestions come to mind.

Have a great day-

Dana

 

 

If you are interested in discussing how we can help with your design project, email us here.  We would love to talk with you.

 

 

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Living Well

When A Family Needs More Space

We have some exciting projects going on right now, including an older home in Mountain Brook, AL, that has great bones and has been renovated beautifully by architect James Carter.   We are updating the interiors in several of the rooms throughout the home.

 

This family is looking for a little more space, and one of the rooms in this project is turning the garage into a second family room.

 

What do you see? I see a future family room. Dana Wolter Interiors
What do you see? I see a future family room. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

We are making sure this space blends into the rest of the house by repeating a few of the finishes found throughout the home.  I envision this space as a second family room- a place to watch a ballgame, a movie, or to entertain friends.

 

This room will be classic but chic, edgy but elegant, and filled with gorgeous fabrics from Schumacher, Holly Hunt, Kravet, Zoffany, Holland and Sherry, and Pierre Frey to name a few.

 

I have paid close attention to the durability on the upholstered pieces and am using the more “pretty” fabrics as accents.  This way, the room will hold up to family fun and everyday life.

 

Yes, you can have casual, everyday elegance in a home you want to live in.

 

They asked for a sleeper sofa for extra sleeping options, and with the wall being as long as it is, I decided to go with a custom 102″ sofa.   This is a large sofa (standard is 84″) so it will add to the comfy quota of this room.  I am also adding two upholstered screens that will slip in behind it to break up this long wall.

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

We are closing up the existing opening on the east wall and opening it up to the back hall of the house.  I love this idea as it will make this room feel like a true part of the house, and not a garage turned into……

 

 

The garage door wall is gaining custom french doors across it, which will completely change the feel of this room with the added light.

 

Construction has just begun and I will keep you posted on the progress-

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

 

If you have a project in your home you would like to discuss with us, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.   We would love to hear from you.

 

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Living Well

Tips For Accessorizing Your Walls

Today I am giving tips on how to accessorize your walls to create an elegant, everyday space that is your own.

 

There is no right or wrong to what you select to place on your walls, but there are a few guidelines that will help you know how to display them.

 

Artwork is a personal thing and you should always choose pieces that are more than just space fillers.  If you come across a piece you love, buy it as I promise you will  find a spot for it.   Surround yourself with artwork and accessories you will want to keep forever, and buy the best you can afford.

 

 

Here are a few quick tips to help you decide what to hang on your walls:

 

1. Mix it up

If you have a two oil paintings in a room, add a different medium such as one under glass.  This gives the room more dimension and depth.  I also love a good gallery wall because it instantly makes a room feel like it has been collected over time.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Jean Allsopp
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

2.  Make it personal.

When I was working on this client’s home,  she showed me this beautiful watercolor she commissioned of one of her girls.   We floated it in some glass and made it a focal point.  Isnt it a pretty piece?

 

GYC_BMetro_Dec057 (1)
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

3.  Always try to hang a mirror in a room.  Remember to check what it is reflecting.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Jean Allsopp
Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Jean Allsopp

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Layer.  

Here I have layered a pencil sketch over a mirror (and the mirror reflects an oil painting).

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

5.  If you have a collection, consider framing it together.  

 

My clients are HUGE baseball fans and had all of these incredible signed baseballs sitting all over the place.   We consolidated them in a shadow box, which gave them a higher prominence in this study.

 

GYC_BMetro_Dec019
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Hope these tips help you when adding this important layer to a room.   Make your house your own by filling it with pieces that speak to you.    As always, if you like what you see and want to know if we can help you with your home, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

 

 

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Living Well

#Vestavia Project In Full Swing

Our #Vestavia project is in full swing as the footings are poured and they hope to begin framing very soon.

 

This is a new construction where we were hired during the drawing stages and will follow through until the installation of the furnishings.  It’s the forever dream home for a cute couple with young children, and how exciting to play a small part in creating a home where family memories will be made for years to come.

 

We have been working on the furniture layouts in many of the rooms to make sure all flows as intended.  I like to draw these early on when needed as it is a lot easier to change things before framing begins.

 

I am a big believer that all rooms, especially your kitchen, should welcome guests into your home and make them feel at home.

 

I think that is probably why I am such a fan of banquettes-  I love how more people can sit around them than just a table with chairs, and a banquette adds an element of customization and softness in a room filled with hard surfaces.

 

This is exactly my reasoning for adding one in this home we are building.

 

Architect’s plans of Before:

Conlin_BlogPic2

 

 

 

The architect had drawn a desk on the west wall of the breakfast area (though it isnt shown here).   We’ve added a banquette in its spot and mirrored the opposite wall with built-in desks along the wall.   My client likes the idea of a desk area for her girls to one day work on homework, etc…..  I don’t see top cabinets here as I want the space itself to read clean, even though on some days it may be filled with papers and everyday living    Lots of storage in the desk will keep this area neat and tidy, all while the banquette maximizes seating, which is great for entertaining friends and family.

 

We have extended the walls to accommodate this switch, and while there is still plenty of room to walk around the island, I am wanting to cut it down a little bit and get rid of the two counter stools at the end.  The end of the island is encroaching into the walkway a bit and with the island not being centered in the space, I think making it as close to center as possible will look better.

 

The banquette has been drawn two ways.  Which one do you like best?

 

 

Conlin_BreakfastRoomOption2

 

 

 

 

Conlin_KitchenFurnitureLayout

 

 

The homeowners have already chosen their favorite, but I would love to know what is yours.

 

If you are building and are interested in having us help you create the home of your dreams, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.  We would love to discuss your project with you.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

 

Dana

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Living Well

Five Ways To Bring Joy Into Your Home

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so today is the day to find joy in life and home.

 

Yes, we want to exude joy onto others, but we must first find happiness within before we can share it.

 

With our homes being the place we spend more time than anywhere, it’s important to surround yourself with things you love and make you happy.

 

 

Pinterest
Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

I believe you can make your home the home of your dreams, or something pretty close to it.

 

 

Here are five ways to create joy in your home:

 

1.  Fill it with love     What makes you happy?  Is it a color-filled room?  A relaxing bath?  Or a cozy spot tucked away in a room?   Whatever you gravitate towards, begin in that room or space and make it one you love.  If you aren’t sure of how to go about doing this, hire a professional designer to help.

 

 

 

Brooke Gianetti- Patina Farm for Veranda
Brooke Gianetti- Patina Farm for Veranda

 

 

 

2.   Clean out  I am a big believer you cannot enjoy a space filled with stuff that doesn’t appeal to you.

You can read here and here where I have talked about cleaning out clutter.

If you don’t love a piece,-nor are you using it- sell it, give it away or throw it away.  

Life is too short to surround yourself with things that bring you down.

 

REPEAT…….

 

 

Life is too short to surround yourself with things that bring you down.

 

 

 

3.  This next one follows along with the previous one…..Surround yourself with things you love.   Just as I want you to clean out, I want you to surround yourself with things you love.

Maybe it is a picture that reminds you of a moment when you were little, or a bunch of baseballs collected from professional games you went to with your family.

 

 

Dana Wolter - Trad Home magazine
Dana Wolter – Trad Home magazine

 

 

Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, only perfect to you.

 

4. Act Today.  Dont procrastinate.   I have walked into too many houses where they are not wanting to do anything because they “might” move, yet five or more years later, they are still waiting and living miserably.

Who knows what tomorrow holds for any of us?

Yes, be practical with how you invest in your home, but don’t let life pass you by.   Life is too short, make the changes to your home and ENJOY them.

 

5.   Don’t Compare Yourself To Your Neighbors.  No one’s life is perfect, and while your neighbor’s may look like it is on the outside, I promise it is not.  Be grateful for where you are in life and the blessings you take for granted.  We all have them- they are there.

 

 

Hope you found this helpful in creating joy in your home.   Life is a beautiful thing, and enjoy where you are today and make the most of it.

 

Have a great day, my friends-

 

dana

 

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Living Well

Top Home Design Tips To Follow (And Mistakes To Avoid)

With the new year,  I find design tips are needed as people are ready to clean out and tackle home projects that might have been pushed aside.

 

Whether you are a building, renovating, or updating a space, there are several common mistakes people often make when it comes to their home.   They can be costly ones- either causing buyer’s remorse or worse,  mistakes that lower the value of your home when it is time to sell. Here are a few tips to make sure you spend your money wisely.

 

 

 

1. Choosing quality over quantity.   Remember, it is always better to build or buy a smaller home with nicer finishes than a large one with generic ones.  McMansions are a thing of the past, and as people focus on enjoying their homes, they want to enjoy some of the luxuries that can come with it.   Not to mention quality lasts, where subpar has to be replaced in a few years.

 

 

2. When building or renovating, leave enough money to furnish it.    Your surroundings play such a important part in how you live and enjoy life, and I see this one more than I care to admit.   People build an incredible home but don’t budget enough to furnish it to a point of completion.  They are mentally/physically exhausted, tired of spending money, and they think they will go back and finish at a later date.  Life happens, bills come up, and it’s always easier (and better) to do it all when you are in that mindset.

 

 

3.  Buy a rug that is proportional to the room.  A rug that is proportional to a room is one of the most important things you can do to ground the space, especially if it is a large room.    If you don’t have the basic pieces correct in a space, the room will never feel right.   It is a layer, and the layer needs to be in relation to the size.

 

 

4. Have a furniture layout in mind- This is where a professional can really make a difference, because we know what scale pieces fit a room, how much of a walkway will be left with a certain size sofa and chair, etc….  Furnishing your home is an investment, one you should enjoy for many years, so spend your money wisely the first time.

 

 

5.  Be patient until you can afford to buy the right piece.  A room should be enjoyed for a long time, and it is an investment.   Wait until you can buy the rug you really want, or the table that speaks to you.  Over many years, a few hundred dollar savings or even a thousand will not mean much over the long span of time of enjoying the piece you really want.

 

 

unnamed-2

 

 

 

 

6.  Mix up the furniture lines used throughout your home.   This goes with upholstery, too.  Mix old and new, etc…  I am beginning to see the same upholstery line used throughout a home, and your home should never look like an ad for a showroom floor or furniture line.

 

 

Graham Yelton Photography Dana Wolter Interiors
Graham Yelton Photography Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Hope you find these home design tips (and mistakes to avoid) helpful.  Let me know what resonated with you and what other suggestions come to mind.

 

Have a great day-

 

Dana

 

 

P.S.  I often post pictures on other social media formats that are not seen on my blog.  To follow along, click below:

 

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Well

Five Ways To Create A Healthy, Happy Home (and Life)

Wellness is a lifestyle that begins at home.   With so many outside stressors these days, your home needs to be a place you love and can relax.

 

If you are trying to eat healthy (well, most of the time), exercise, it doesn’t make sense to come home to a cluttered, dark, depressing house.

 

Environmental stress is one of the seven biggest causes of stress, and your surroundings attribute to your health just as much as what you eat, how much you exercise, etc…

 

 

Here are five ways to create a healthy, happy home and  life:

 

1. Clean Out. 

Say NO to pieces in your home you do not love nor use.

 

I talk about this one a lot because I see it way too often.  Homes filled to the brim with stuff.   Stuff clients don’t necessary like, but they feel guilty getting rid of it.

 

Let go of the guilt and take action.   If you don’t love something, aren’t using, it,  then bid it goodbye.  Dispose of it or give it away to someone who can-and will-enjoy it.

 

If you have two, or three, or more of one particular item, give the extras away.

 

 

2. Assign A Place For Everything.     

Even if things don’t stay where they belong (like my house right now), every single item in your house should have a designated spot.

 

Store alike items together, and things least used go in higher and harder to reach storage.   If you are not good at this sort of thing, hire a professional organizer or ask a good friend to help you.

 

 

3.  Assign a purpose for every room in your house.

Wonder how this will simplify your life?  It helps keep a room from becoming a “catch-all”.

 

By utilizing every square inch of your room, it makes your home work for you, which in turn simplifies your home and your life.

 

 

Here’s a good example:

 

The room below was the largest room in a client’s home, was a “catch-all’ for them, but the only purpose for the room was to walk from the foyer to the rest of the house.

 

 

0-16

 

After discussing with our client what needs were missing from their current home, we decided to add two chaise loungers for the kids to read, listen to music, etc….  We added more casual, comfortable pieces, too.

 

We kept it formal enough to function as a living room, but see how much more inviting it is once we finished our magic?

 

 

GYC_BMetro_Dec095
AFTER- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

GYC_BMetro_Dec060
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

GYC_BMetro_Dec057
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

GYC_BMetro_Dec080 copy
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

4. Create A Balance In Your Home.

 

What type of space energizes you?   If it is a room with more of a calm, relaxed feel, make sure you have several of these type of spaces throughout your home.   If it is a space with a vibrant edge, that is fine too.  Regardless of the type of room that energizes you, all rooms should have some sort of comfy seating that draws you in to relax.

 

 

5.  Hire a designer to make your home a place you LOVE.

Why wait to turn your home into a place you love?  Life is too short to waste time living in haphazard spaces or spaces that make you cringe.

 

You should look forward to spending time in your home.   There are designers for all budgets and all price points, so find one you are comfortable with that suits your needs and your budget.

 

While the bulk of our firm’s work is full service interior design, we do offer two different packages for the person who wants our guidance and style but wants to implement a plan as their budget and timeframe allow.

 

We offer a one time 3.5 hour consult with me where we can discuss all of your design dilemmas, and we also offer a design online service for any type of room.

 

You can read about the 3.5 hour consult here  and the design online service we offer here.

 

As always, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com for more information and inquire how we can help you fill your needs.

 

 

Hope you find this post on creating a healthy, happy home and life helpful.   Here’s to simplifying and creating a happy home, one step at a time.

 

 

Dana

 

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Living Well

What’s Keeping You From Making Your Home A Haven?

I have been thinking a lot about simplifying lately.

 

I made “simplifying” my word in January for 2015.  Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s because my children are beginning to leave my nest….  I don’t know what it is, but I do know I want to take off the roller skates, relax and take time to slow down.

 

This certainly doesn’t mean I want to sit around all day. Not practical and certainly not my personality.  It does mean, though, that I want to stay above the chaos of everyday life and say no to things that I don’t have to do or that don’t touch my heart.

 

I have been doing a lot of simplifying around my house this summer.  If you could see the stuff- yes, all the stuff- my girls and I are taking out of my house, you would be amazed. As I have mentioned before, I do not like to let things pile up, but when I do, there is nothing better than cleaning out.

 

via stay positive |
Image from staypositive.me

 

 

Like my own home, I am running into a lot of homes lately where I see rooms that either serve as catch alls or rooms that are completely empty.

 

Sure, if you just bought a house, I can understand you having one or both of these kinds of rooms.  But if you have been living in your home for a few years and you still have an unused room, ask yourself why?

 

What are you waiting on?

 

Stop a moment and take a good look as to how this room needs to function for you.   Don’t wait- do it now.   Life is too short and too stressful for your home to not be a place to retreat.

 

And while this home that a family of four recently moved into didn’t need simplifying, it needed a plan and a purpose for a few rooms, and we have been working on giving them a plan for each.  I am still waiting on a few pieces to come in, but I love where it is going.

 

 

 

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Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

What do you think?

 

If you could use help turning your home into a haven, email me. I would love to talk to you about how we may be able to help.

 

Take time to simplify,

 

dana

 

 

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Living Well

Give Away What You Don’t Love Or Use, But If We MUST Keep, How To Display Your Clutter

Summer is here and I find myself cleaning.  Cleaning out drawers, wiping down drawers, etc…   Makes me happy!

And while I preach to throw away or give away things that you don’t love or are not using, I know there are times when you want to keep certain things just to keep.

I thought I would rerun this post from a few years ago on how to display your clutter  stuff …….      Here goes….

 

Dana

 

The holidays are over, and who isn’t looking for a few ways to declutter their home?   It’s easy to discard the items you don’t use, but what about the knick knacks you love and want to display?

Do your “special” items look like a pile of mess to others?   If so, what should you do?

Create a few vignettes in your home.

Start with your big items, such as the painting, sconces, lamps, and urn in this picture.   Next, stagger your accessories throughout, making sure you balance out each side.  Notice how they did not forget the space under the console.

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http://katie-d-i-d.blogspot.com/

 

What a great job they did of taking family keepsakes, which, after all, make a house a home, and displaying them in a beautiful way.

How about adding in a few of your personal items when entertaining? At this client’s home, instead of just setting out her china and everyday, we decided to mix it up a bit.

Speaking of entertaining……

What do you do for all of the silver and crystal you have crammed into your cabinets?

Display it as we did in this client’s home.   Here, we mixed in some of her silver pieces with her crystal and pottery.  Everything has its place, and it is beautiful!

photo courtesy of jean allsopp

When creating a focal point, whether it is a vignette or glass cabinet, don’t forget to layer and add different textures.

from dana wolter interiors

So, the key is to make the space your own by displaying your items in a neat, organized way.

http://blog.lonnymag.com/

Even when there is a family pet involved- such as the frog for this family- can you display it in a clever way.

Living Well

Five Ways To Update A Room (Without Breaking The Bank)

Last week, I had the opportunity to do live segment for ABC3340’s “Talk of Alabama“.  It’s been several months since I have taped a design segment, and I forgot how much I enjoy it.  It was a lot of fun!

 

talk of alabama

 

 

 

In case some of you are wanting a quick overview of what I discussed, here are a few of the tips I shared.

And guess what?!    The first two suggestions are won’t cost you a dime!

 

1. Clean out. I am a big believer that if you are not using or don’t love something, get rid of it. Life is too short to surround yourself with things that you don’t love or enjoy.  You’ll be amazed at how much better a space looks when clutter is contained.

2. Arrange a new floor plan. After you clean out, access how your room flows. If it doesn’t seem right, move your furniture around and create a new arrangement. Your room will feel like a new one when you do this, and hopefully the space will function better for you and your family (which is always the goal!!).

3. Paint. This seems so simple but it’s truly the best and most economical way to make a big impact.  Color is hot right now, so consider going bold in a small room or space.

4. Add sheers. I love sheers because of the texture they provide, and Iuse them in quite a few of my projects. Regardless of the price point of the fabric, you’ll save money by not having to line them, and usually the labor is much less, too.  Sheers are perfect for the window with a gorgeous view, but just needs some softness around it.

5. Accessorize. Buy new pillows, artwork or a throw. These tend to be easy ways to completely change the look of a room.

 

Watch the segment below as there are a few more specifics not listed above (make sure you notice the beautiful pillows Suite Dreams in Mountain Brook let us borrow!).

Let me know what you think as I would love to hear from you!

 


Have a good one-

Dana

 

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Living Well

Five Things To Avoid When Working On Your Home

There are a few things when building, renovating, or just plain working on your home that, in my book, you want to avoid.

 

Here is my top five list of things NOT to do to your home:

 

1.  Do not plant landscaping that is too small.

There is nothing worse than driving by a beautiful home where it’s obvious they have invested wisely in the materials chosen, only to see a bunch of dinky plants surrounding the beautiful structure.  Yes, plants grow, but by the time some plants are finally a decent size, five years have passed.   Buy larger when it comes to plants that are slow growing.  I promise, this makes such a difference.   See below how landscaping that is invested in can add to your home’s aesthetic.

 

 

Newman & Cebulak
Image from Architectural Digest via Pinterest

 

 

2.  Never buy a piece only because it is on sale.

Do you love the piece or did you buy it because it is a good deal?  If it is the latter, you bought the sofa, bookcase, bed, or whatever it is for the wrong reason.  Never, I repeat, never, buy a piece just because the price is good or because you need something to fill a space.  If it is for one of these two reasons, you will eventually tire of it and you won’t enjoy it in your home for very long.

 

 

3.   Don’t buy an entire room off of a showroom floor and never match all your furniture.

Regardless of your taste- modern, traditional, or transitional- you always want your home to look like it has been collected over time, even if it was installed in the same day.   This leads me to the next point of making sure you don’t match your furniture. There can be an overlap of the same material for continuity, but make sure you have a mixture of elements in the room to cause a little tension in the space.   Use a mix of upholstery, stained wood, painted wood, glass, iron , etc….

 

foyer by mcalpine booth & ferrier
Image from McAlpine Tankersley

 

 

4.   Do not have a room that doesn’t serve a purpose.

Do you walk through a room, only to have it be a “catch all” or a place to host guests once a year?  If so, you are missing out on a room you could be enjoying, and you need to rework this space.   Gone are the days where rooms sit unused or are “saved” for special occasions.  Repurpose a room and ENJOY it.

 

5.   Don’t wait for tomorrow to pull your home together and make it a place for you and your family to make memories.

Money does not necessarily guarantee good design, so don’t wait until tomorrow to make your home something you can be proud of and enjoy.  Stop comparing your house to your neighbors’.  Instead, focus on making your home a cohesive safe haven to build memories for you and your family.

 

 

web-sykes9
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Are there others you would add to the list?   If so, let me know. We love hearing from you.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

 

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Living Well

The Best Is Yet To Come

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  It’s hard to believe Christmas has come and gone and we are into a new year.

I have been a little absent the past few weeks as I took some time off.   I’ve spent time decompressing and enjoying my family.  It has been a nice break and I am rejuvenated for 2014.

Speaking of 2014, it’s only appropriate for me to share my resolutions in the first post of the year.

Like many of you, I always spend the first of the year looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year.  It’s an obvious time to reflect on the changes I want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on them. That being said, I’ve come up with a couple I am excited to share with you.

Simplify.  Be more with less.

21 Quick Actions You Can Take Today to Simplify Your Life

 

Yes, I said it again.  Can you tell this “idea” is on the forefront of my mind?

For me, this means eliminating distractions for the essential, trading chaos for peace, and spending time doing what’s important.  I’ve spent the past couple weeks getting rid of the clutter around the house and I cannot tell you how much better this makes me feel.  Try it, as I promise it will make you feel better, too.

I love the saying “if you don’t use it, lose it” and I especially love putting it into practice. Learning to live with less allows me to enjoy more.

And while I think material items need to be kept in perspective, I do think our surroundings affect us.   I know they do me. There is something to be said about how a calm, beautiful, organized, peaceful home makes you feel.   A home that is warm but elegant is one you can enjoy and make memories with family and friends.

I am also going to ….

Take Care of Me.

Take care of yourself

I know this resolution seems cliché, but over the holidays,  I was sick.  Being forced to slow down and lay in bed made me to realize how worn down I was.  Like most moms, I’d been so busy working and taking care of family that I exhausted myself.

So to make sure doesn’t happen again, I’m making time for me.

Time for me to challenge myself professionally.  Time to take my craft and skill to the next level, not by doing more, but by doing more to the best of my ability.

I’m planning to exercise, eat well, get adequate sleep, moisturize properly, read more, take my vitamins….you know, all those things that just make you feel better.  Bottom line, when I am happy and well, I am my best self.

2014

Cheers to 2014 being the best yet…

-dana

 

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Living Well

Simplifying Our Lives In A Not-So-Simple Season

As much as I want to say I am ready for Christmas, I am not.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have had two installs the past week.   Work, on top of a Christmas birthday for one of my girls, has made this time even more busy than usual.

Village Living, a wonderful  paper for the Mountain Brook community, asked me to write an article on decorating for the holidays.   I loved writing for them as it made me reflect on how I approach the holidays and what I can do to simplify my own life.   Here are a few of the tips I gave on how to make the holidays stress free and more enjoyable.

 

Simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.

No, your decorations do not have to be elaborate; they just have to be a reflection of you and your family.  You do not have to have a Christmas tree or a nativity scene on every chest or open space to create a beautifully decorated home.  Less is more, so keep your decorations simple and use only what you love and has special meaning to you.

 

Strategically Place the Decorations You Use

When walking into a room, where does your eye go first?  Where does it go next?  Decide where your focal points are in each room and strategically place a decoration in one or two of these places.

 

Choose Holiday Colors Cohesive With The Colors In The Room

Just as you want the colors of each of your rooms to flow nicely into one another, you want your holiday décor to do the same.   If a warm palette is used throughout your home, use warm colors in your holiday décor.   If your home has more cool tones, try silver, white, or blue tones when choosing holiday colors.

 

Layer Contrasting Textures

Contrasting textures layered in subtle ways is one way to create dimension and make a room look like it has evolved over time.  Think of placing an iron lamp on top of a wooden chest versus a wooden lamp on a wooden chest.    Apply this same concept to your Christmas décor.   Instead of placing a nativity scene directly on top of a hard surface area (such as a glass top table or marble chest), add a little texture with Christmas greenery, moss, and magnolia leaves first and then place your Christmas items on top.  If you are placing greenery on your mantle, think about mixing in some shiny ornaments or candles to add another texture to the mix.  You will be delighted how much prettier your decorations look just by layering different materials.

 

Pull the Outside In

There is nothing like the smell and texture of fresh greenery.  Holly, magnolia leaves, fraser fir, birch wood…I love it all.  Incorporate natural materials into your holiday décor as your imagination is the only limit.

 

Involve the Family and Create Tradition

Every year, my girls and I gather the leftover limbs from our Christmas tree (along with any other scraps of greenery we can find) and we make a few small wreaths.  If you know my girls, you can probably guess which wreaths belong to whom, as they truly reflect each one’s personality.  One wreath may be wrapped neatly and tightly all the way around while the other child’s wreath is looser in style.  No, they are not always perfect, but each is beautiful in its own way.

I hope you find these tip helpful in simplifying your own holiday season.   To read more, visit Village Living and let me know your thoughts.

Living Well

Five Ways to Make an Impact in a Room In An Hour

Are you looking to update a particular room, but you (like the rest of us) are short on time?  Good news!  You can make some major improvements in as little as an hour!   Try one or all of the following tips and poof! that room that was bothering you may just become one of your favorites.

1.  Accessorize: Is the top of your coffee table cluttered? Do the tops of your end tables look messy?  Tired of seeing the same accessories?

Begin by clearing off the tops of furniture.  You’ll get a fresh look this way, and it’s easier to add to than take away!  Remove the lamps, the books, the candles, the ceramic pears, everything.  Now that you have a clean surface, ask yourself: what kind of furniture is it?  Is it a wooden chest with a marble top?  If so, begin with a wooden lamp and go from there.  Mix up the textures, materials, and styles to see what suits you best.  Be a little daring!  Playing with the hard and soft surfaces creates tension that works.

In this client’s home, I played with shiny and rough textures; metal, wood, and ceramic; and curves and lines to create the perfect combination.   Even the stick in the corner adds dimension!

notice the juxtaposition of materials in this one small corner!

 

2.  Create a Vignette: By definition, a vignette is a “small picture.”  In decorating, it’s a part of your home — say, a nook, a window, an entry way — that, after your creative touch, will tell a story and shed some personality.  Do you have a corner in your home that is empty and boring?  If so, find a purpose for it, and make every inch of your home count!  For instance, I took this bare hall in a client’s home and made it warm and inviting:

the family photos in style-y frames give it extra warmth

3.  Paint: I’ve said it before, but it’s a must for instant impact.  Paint!  Even painting one wall can create dimension in a space.  Paint also makes the space look fresh and can give a light fixture an entire new look.

4.  Clean out: Sometimes we just have to get rid of it.  Bookshelves that are overcrowded, china cabinets with plates that haven’t been used since 1977, bedrooms with stuffed animals that haven’t been played with since 1987 —  you get the idea.  Even spaces guests don’t see count!  Is your make-up drawer out of control?  Has the storage closet collected so much that you have forgotten what was in there?  When you hold onto items you aren’t loving and using, you — and your home — are being weighed down. Say ba-bye, and feel lighter!

5.  Reframe Your Art for a New Look: While you are cleaning out that storage closet, you may come across some treasures as well.  If you’ve been meaning to hang some forgotten pics, do it! Whether it’s artwork that suddenly appeals to you again, or photographs that bring back fond memories, walls welcome anything that warms the heart.  It’s good to change these things out from time to time too, perhaps using different frames or switching the bedroom art with the living room’s.

This is a room I designed for a client’s daughter.  See how the child’s owl art is taken to a new level when mounted on black?

whooo whooo!

Customizing a room doesn’t have to be over the top.  It just has to be creative and well-thought-out!  With a clean slate and a few good ideas, your home can go from ho-hum to custom in no time at all.

All photos by Jean Allsopp Photography.  Thanks, Jean!