Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

What’s New With Dana Wolter Interiors

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We’ve had a lot of new and exciting things going on this fall with Dana Wolter Interiors.  From international travels, the beginning of some exciting projects, and a new addition to our work family, we wanted to give you a ….

Fall Update From Dana Wolter Interiors

 Cheerio, Birmingham

Two weeks ago, I was in London for the Design Leadership Network’s London Summit.  There were some amazing tours, lectures, and inspiration to incorporate into my work and business.  

Fabulous sunset as I started my travels across the pond.

 

 Some Say Football Is King Of The South

We have been working on a fabulous gameday condo at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa since early August.  It’s been a fun departure from the residential and vacation homes we are accustomed to designing. Because we’ve worked with these clients many times prior, it’s been a great project to really stretch our creativity and color palette. 

This isn’t your typical condo; with its four bedrooms and amazing view overlooking the stadium, it’s luxury living at its best. It also has a sprawling outdoor living space, creating the perfect spot to soak up the bustling atmosphere on game days in Tuscaloosa.

Pretty palette of creams and grays with the perfect amount of crimson touches.

 Renovations And New Builds Underway

The building market is as hot as ever. We currently have several renovation and new build projects going on in different cities and states. 

I am excited about all of them as each is unique in its own way.  What inspires us and how do we make each one feel special?

Every design creation is based upon the potential of the home and how the client lives.  At the end of the day, their home needs to work hard for them and be a true reflection of their family.

One of the projects we have going on is an adorable cottage for a couple to stay when visiting their daughter and her family in Birmingham.   I would share pictures, but since they haven’t seen the presentation yet, I want it to be a surprise to them first.

Most recently, we completed a renovation of a client’s childhood home a few weeks ago. The transformation was amazing to watch. While the bones of the home were good, we updated the house with classic, timeless materials and details. As a result, these renovations will carry the home into the next generation of family members. 

Home Renovation In Progress, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Custom Island Detail, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

We’ve also started a few renovation projects this fall that involve new kitchen and bath designs.  It’s been fun to personalize each of these spaces to how the family lives with new paint, furnishings, lighting, and art. Be sure to follow long as we share the progress of our ongoing work on Instagram.

What do you see? I see a future music room, Dana Wolter Interiors

 Our DWI Family Has Grown By One

A few weeks ago, our firm family grew by one with Abbey welcoming a sweet baby girl. Mae Elizabeth is already so loved by all in the office and we wish Abbey and her family only the best as she takes some time to fully focus on being a mom. 

Monica and I could not wait to hold her

Speaking of family, I am going to have all three of my girls home for Thanksgiving.  I am so excited as it has been since May that we were all together.  With each of them in different parts of the country, it’s the best present a mom could ask for and I am grateful.

Now that the holidays are upon us, I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.  May all of us take a little time to stop and enjoy our blessings.  

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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

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Are you stuck knowing your home could look and feel so much better, but you aren’t sure what’s keeping you from turning it into one you love?

Or you can’t seem to find the motivation -or the direction- to make some much needed changes?

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

 

A Kitchen Completed A Few Years Back, Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

Here Are A Few Tips To Turn Your Home Into One You Love:

1. Function-

With what I do day in and out, I am constantly reminded how a beautiful, well-functioning home- one that reflects you and allows you to breathe deeply- can change your life.

And your family’s.

I see it happen all the time, and it is one of the most rewarding aspects about what I do.

 

A client’s breakfast room was designed to seat family and many friends around the table, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

2. Personalization-

What makes you happy?  Are there specific colors that speak to you or photographs that make you smile every time you see them?

If you are ready for a house that looks and feels like home to you, now is the time to take action. Make the changes now that will allow you to feel good in your own home, such as your bedroom.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

 
3. Hire A Professional-

If you are overwhelmed and drastically changing your home is more than your skillset can cover, hire someone who can help you.

We work closely with builders, architects, and the landscape designers to make sure every detail is thought through from the beginning to the very end.

Your project becomes our project. The majority of our projects are turnkey where we devise a detailed plan according to your needs and budget, and we implement it for you until the very last picture is hung.

Email us here  if you think we can help you create a home you love.  Let’s have a conversation about your goals so we can have a plan of action in place for you in the next few months.

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

Dana

 

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We are currently working on several renovation projects and I’m constantly reminded of certain pitfalls to avoid when renovating or building a new home.

Building or renovating is a huge investment with your time and more importantly, your money.  

When a client hires us, we strive to be their advocate, help them invest their money wisely, and (hopefully) take away the stress. Follow along as I share some tips I’ve learned over the years.

 

5 Must-Follow Tips On Building Or Renovating A Home:

 

Pitfall #1: Order the Size Window the Architect Specifies  

Sometimes in the bidding process, it’s discussed replacing a custom window with a standard size one to save a little money.  

Don’t do it – window size, type, and placement are extremely important when building a home, and this small change can dramatically alter the look of what has been professionally drawn.

Pitfall #2: Buy Right the First Time

Let’s face it….Life gets busy and all of us have good intentions to go back later and switch something out. I know building can be draining and tiring, but once you have moved and settled in, the last thing you want to do is spend money to replace something.  

Buy the best you can afford on the front end and you will enjoy it for many years to come.

Pitfall #3: Use Classic Building Materials  

Save the trends for things that are easy to switch out such as pillows and accessories. Keep your building material finishes classic. You will thank me in the long run, especially if you decide to sell.

Custom cabinetry from a project a few years back, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Custom kitchen designed by Dana Wolter Interiors

Pitfall #4: Set Money Aside for the Furnishings 

Budget appropriately for the building process and be sure to leave enough money to properly furnish the home.  The furnishing budget is just as important as the building budget, and I promise you, it is nice to be DONE with the entire project so you can ENJOY the home you worked so hard to create.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Pitfall #5: Think Long Term on Your Needs  

How long are you going to live in this house?  If you plan on staying for five years or more, you need to take into account what your needs will be down the road.

Are you an empty nester building your final house?  Be sure to think ahead on bedroom placement, stairs and other simple things that could be a hindrance down the road.

A custom-designed island for an empty-nester couple, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Will your children be teenagers in five years?  If so, they (and their friends) will only grow bigger and need more space.

Be sure to think long term and hire the best architect, designer, landscape designer, and builder your budget allows. I promise you that in the end, it will save you money and hassle. 

If you are building or renovating and would like to discuss your project and how avoid these common pitfalls with us, email us here. I would love to talk with you.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Whether you are moving into your first home or you have an existing space that needs attention,  I’m sharing today some tips on designing a home on a budget. 

As I have written about here and here, I recently installed my daughter’s first post-college apartment in Manhattan. There was a distinct thought process I applied on where to invest and where to save as we pulled together her first home.

Tips To Follow When Designing A Home On A Budget:

1.   Buy the best upholstery you can afford

We started with a Fabricut headboard for her bedroom and sofa and chair in some of their wool fabrics for the sitting area as these are all great pieces that can grow with her over time.

A nice, weighty piece of upholstery makes such a difference – the quality is much better and I knew she would use it for years to come.  This leads me to my next point……

Dana Wolter Interiors and John Bessler Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors + John Bessler Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors + John Bessler Photography

2.  Determine your price points based upon the piece’s purpose and longevity

My daughter’s bedroom is a decent size for Manhattan standards, but it lacked a closet.  I took 2′ of the room and created a makeshift one with Fabricut’s quick ship draperies.(the roman shades are part of their quick ship program as well).

Their window treatment program is new to me and I was extremely impressed with the options. They shipped within 10 days of placing the order, too!

We incorporated an IKEA closet system behind the draperies because it only needs to last a year or two.

If she ends up using it longer than that, it’s an added bonus. To my point, this wasn’t an area that needed much financial investment but did need a functional system that worked for the space. IKEA was the solution for designing this small space within our budget and it turned out perfectly.

Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

There’s no doubt she will enjoy this Gabby marble lamp for years to come.

3.  Find your color palette – Think Neutral For Small Spaces

Knowing this was my daughter’s first home after college, I wanted to make it warm, functional, and inviting.  The function of these new pieces can serve her in other living spaces in the future.  

Therefore, selecting a color palette that she enjoys that will also stand the test of time was important. We went with mostly neutral tones but added pops of gray and pattern in the custom Fabricut pillows to add a little flare.

Dana Wolter Interiors – John Bessler Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors – John Bessler Photography

4. Buy the Best Art Your Budget Allows

Regarding art, my suggestion is simple; buy pieces you love and spend as much as you can afford.  It’s something that lasts a lifetime and can move with you from home to home.

My daughter started collecting art her senior year of high school and as a result, she’s curated a nice collection of custom pieces for her age.  

The watercolors on vellum were created by one of her friends from college, Dana Wolter Interiors and John Bessler Photography

Whether you are just starting out or looking for budget- friendly design options for your current home, I hope you find this post helpful.  Let me know what you think-

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or read this post, you know I recently collaborated with Gabby and Fabricut to share some small space living ideas using their product lines for my daughter’s New York City apartment.

It’s she and her roommates’ first apartment after college and like most Manhattan spaces, it is tiny.  

Trying to make a small space fit all of your needs can have its challenges.  My goal was to create a warm, functional Family Room for them and Bedroom for her while investing in pieces that will act as staples in the years to come.

Their apartment has great light that I wanted to accentuate.  I could not help but think about the cold, dreary winter months ahead in the city and decided to create a cozy feel through lighting, fabrics, rugs, and furnishings.

(Note: Like something that you see? Concluding this post, I’m sharing all of the links to the Gabby lighting and bedside tables and to Fabricut’s upholstery, fabrics, and trims used in these two rooms).

 

Small Space Living Ideas: Bedroom Design

What’s behind the draperies, you ask?

The bed frame is on risers (hidden behind the dust ruffle made from a Fabricut linen and tape) for extra storage. The Fabricut ottoman in one of their custom fabrics is perfect for sitting while putting on her makeup. Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

My daughter’s bedroom is a decent size for Manhattan standards, but it lacked a closet.  I took 2′ of the room and created a makeshift one with Fabricut’s quick ship draperies. The Roman Shades are part of their quick ship program as well.

We incorporated a vanity and an IKEA closet system behind the draperies.  It only needs to last a year or two, and if she ends up using the closet system for longer than that, it’s a bonus.

Here’s a drawing of the closet wall:

Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

I love that she can close the draperies to hide the mess, though not sure she would want to because it’s quite pretty with the Gabby lamp.

Gabby Margaret lamp, Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

I knew I wanted to use one on Fabricut’s upholstered headboards for her because an upholstered headboard instantly softens a room.  With this versatile style in one of their exclusive neutral velvets, I personalized her bed with custom pillows made out of Fabricut fabrics.

The chic Gabby “May” nightstand adds a little more storage, blends beautifully with the bed, and it fits like a glove in the space.

I love this Gabby bedside table paired with the Fabricut headboard and pillow fabrics. Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

 

Small Space Living Ideas, Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography.   The lantern shown is the Gabby “Carly”.

 

Small Space Living Ideas: Intimately Fabulous Family Room

Their Family Room is tiny – approximately 6 x 9 (plus the niche) and with its odd shape, there isn’t room for wasted space.

Before:

 

After:

We started with a Fabricut loveseat and chair from their upholstery line as these are perfect pieces that can grow with my daughter.  They give as much seating as the space allows and I envision them moving from home to home with her over the next several years.

Fabricut’s Draper loveseat and Helga lounge chair nestled in perfectly in the family room. Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

 

Don’t you love this Fabricut wool on their “Helga” lounge chair? Yes – it is as soft and comfortable as it looks. Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, John Bessler Photography

It’s amazing the transformation this apartment made and I love how it came together. They have a nice start to some classic pieces that can move with them in the upcoming years.

I have listed below the furnishings, fabrics, and lighting by Gabby and Fabricut. Let me know if you implement any of my small space living ideas into your space as I enjoying hearing how my tips inspire you. And, as always, if we can help you turn your home into one you dream, please reach out here.  We would love to discuss your project.

 

Have a great day,

Dana

 

Want to recreate this look?  Click below on the direct links:

Lighting:

Fabricut’s Quick Ship Draperies + Roman Shades:

Loveseat:

Custom Family Room Pillows: 

 

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My daughter was home last weekend, and while it was 100 degrees on our morning walk, I am beginning to feel a cool breeze in the air when I first wake up.  As summer slowly eases into the fall, there are a few design trends I am loving for the home.

 

What’s new for the home this fall:

 

A Warmer Color Palette

Yep- you read it right.   Color palettes are warming up.  Gray is still being used, but it is being paired with warmer colors such as caramel, chocolate brown, yellow, emerald green and blush.  

I’ve been working on a second home for a client and the palette is a little warmer than what I used in the first one.  It is still neutral to stand the test of time, but rich shades of cranberry, taupe and brown are now mixed in.

 

Stained and Waxed Cabinetry:

I recently had a lady who is building a new home in Atlanta reach out to us here about our services because she found this kitchen on Instagram.

 We designed this kitchen a few years ago and it is still one of our most popular pins to date.   You are seeing – and will be seeing- more and more waxed/stained cabinetry popping up in homes.

 

Kitchen Renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Master Bath Renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Moody Rooms

I love adding a dark, moody room into the mix of a light and airy home.  Sometimes, a room just calls for it, such as this space in the 2018 Southeastern Showhouse in Atlanta, GA.

Atlanta’s Southeastern Showhouse, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dark painted walls, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

The dark color is warm and inviting, and we balanced it with a lighter rug and upholstery.

In a client’s home, we painted the Husband’s Cigar Room a gray/black.  I love how it evokes a different mood than the light and airy feeling throughout the rest of the home.  

 

A room with dark walls evokes a cocoon feel, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Homes Configured For The Homeowner’s Needs and Lifestyle

I love that more and more people are turning rooms into spaces that work for them, rather than keeping conventional spaces (such as a living room or formal dining) just for the sake of having one.  

People are valuing square footage and wanting to enjoy and live in their home, just as they should.

I hope you have enjoyed reading what home design trends I am loving this fall, and I would love to know which ones you appeal to you.   

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Design With A Deadline – Common Questions About The Home Renovation Process

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A few weeks ago we wrote the blog post, “Designing On A Deadline” (click here if you missed it). We received such great feedback that we decided to dive a little deeper into this topic and address a few common questions about the home renovation process.

Home Design With A Deadline – Common Questions When Starting A Renovation

When/How do I begin my project?

We often hear from our clients that they aren’t sure when or how to move forward with their project.

Reaching out to us via email or phone only takes a few minutes and from there, we will guide you through the entire process beginning with forming your entire team.  This initial step will ironically be the easiest.

How long will it take?

If construction and renovations are required, we will first address your needs and help you set a timeline.

Rushing the renovation process is never wise so sometimes pushing the deadline back on the front end allows more realistic expectations.  

I am also a big believer on not starting the project until the plans are complete.  Demo goes quickly but things tend to slow down a bit after this step.

Will we have to move out?

This is the number one question I am asked and rightfully so. Going through a renovation is daunting to some, but moving out of their home throws people for a loop.

The good news is depending on your project needs, moving out may not be required. We’ve renovated entire kitchens with the clients still living at home. It’s not always pretty, but it can be done.

If your renovation covers several main areas of your house, it’s possible to work in stages to avoid moving out. Just like we get creative with the design of our projects, we can also get creative helping you stay happy and comfortable- at home.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

How involved will we need to be?

We understand that life is busy and adding extra tasks and decision making isn’t always ideal.

While some clients have more say-so in the selections, most want little involvement aside from the budgeting and approving the selections.

By intercepting daily decisions you may not know how to answer, we are hopefully alleviating stress from your already busy day. Our goal is to be our client’s advocate by making sure everything runs smoothly and correctly.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

I hope I have answered some of your questions about renovating your home.  Whether your hesitation to begin your project has to do with timing, fear of the unknown, or an array of other reasons, take the first step.  I promise it will be worth it in the end.

 

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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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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When Back To School Means It’s Time To Assess Your Home

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My mother always said that with the exception of my sister and two of her grandchildren being born in August, nothing good ever happens in this month. I am starting to think she may be right.
 
The fun of summer has worn off, it’s hot outside, and our houses are a mess from children being home all summer or from moving in and out of dorms, apartments, etc…
 
I’m not a negative person and I hate to say it…. August is kind of a yuck month.
 
But now that the kids are headed back to school,  it’s time to focus on things we’ve put off the past few months. I’m using this momentum to assess and tackle areas in my own home that need updating.  Here are a few tips if you want to do the same.
 

Survey How You Feel About Your Home

Does your home make you breathe a sigh of relief?

When you walk into your home, what feelings and emotions are evoked? Are they feelings of contentment and relaxation or anxiousness and dread?

If you answered the latter, it’s time for some change. Your home should be a restful retreat where you can make memories and host gatherings with family and friends. 

Start with a calming, neutral palette with layers of texture as we did below. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Emily Followill Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Jean Allsopp Photography

Does your home function for you and your family?

What stage of life are you in? Life transitions usually equate to transitions needing to take place in the home.

Have your children moved out and you are a new empty nester (if so, I can relate),  or are your kids older and what worked  a few years ago no longer does?

A house once full of active children and their friends that served your lively family so well can now feel lost.  It’s time to reinvent your home so it functions for you in this new phase.

Clients who hire us for these specific needs want to re-do their bedrooms, tackle the guest bedroom, and make the famous ‘playroom’ more of a mature den for casual lounging as we’ve done here:

Bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Does your home reflect your personal style and lifestyle?

Whether you have more formal or casual taste in style, your home should follow suit.   Below are examples of both formal and more casual interiors – which one speaks to you?

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

If you feel like your home doesn’t make you happy, function well (read more on this topic here), or reflect your personal style or lifestyle, we can help. Give us a call (205.938.4848) or email us here.

 

Have a great day,

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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