- Thoughts, Tips, and Trends in Interior Design -

5 Things Every Empty Nester Home Needs

Posted on Friday, March 8th, 2019 at 2:20 am

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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Living Well: 5 Accessories Every Home Should Have

Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2019 at 2:20 am

It seems cold weather makes people want to stay in and nest, and what better way to freshen up your home than with some of my go-to accessories that will add warmth to your space.  

Here are five of my go-to accessories every home should have:

1. A soft, neutral blanket  

We use a lot of throws in our interiors because they instantly create a space that calls your name to sit down and relax.  Besides, who doesn’t like a blanket when curling up with a good book or watching a tv show?

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

2. Coffee table books

Books are a great way to add a collected feel to any interior.   I always enjoy looking at the books people display in their home because it usually says something about their interests.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. A bowl to catch keys

If I am creating a vignette near a point of entrance, a bowl to catch keys or miscellaneous items is a must. It makes a place for the ‘clutter’ of life look beautiful while serving a purpose. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4. Living plants

Flowers, greenery, or branches always add life to any space.  My youngest used to say that flowers around our house made the house seem a little more clean.  Need I say more??

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

5. Art

Find art that speaks to you.  Art is a personal experience for everyone so finding pieces that touch and move you is important.

It’s also a great way to pull an interior together, such as how we layered this framed nude sketch against a Louis Philippe mirror. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Look around your home as you may have many of these accessories already.  If you’d like to discuss your home and your goals for it with us, we would love to hear from you.  Feel free to contact us here

 

Cheers to cozying up in your home while we anxiously await for the warmer days of spring.   Have a great day,

Dana

 

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3.5 Hour Consult- Is this Service For You?

Posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 at 2:20 am

With the new year in full swing and people ready to make changes to their home, I want to remind you of the 3.5 consult service I offer periodically.

While the projects we work on are full-service,  this one-time service is for the client who needs a plan for their home but likes to do the legwork themselves.

It has gone over really well, and clients who have invested in this consult have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes with it.  

Matter of fact, I recently ran into a client who hired me for this service for her home a few years ago.  She said she is slowly working through her list as her budget and time allow, but she is LOVING the big changes happening to her home.

Some people have used this service to update their home, and others have used it to select the finishes and paint colors for second homes under construction. 

People have even flown in to meet with me (or driven all night when their flight was canceled) for this consult. 

Let us help you with the details and finishes for your new home, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Whatever your needs, you have my undivided attention for 3.5 hours to help you accomplish all that we can in this timeframe.

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Here’s How The 3.5 Hour Consult Works:

I will have you send a list of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.   We make an appointment, and I will then spend 3.5 hours of uninterrupted time answering any question you can possible think to ask me.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric direction, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it!

I give you specifics of what to look for when shopping for your home, and I will take detailed measurements so you won’t have to worry about coming home with the wrong size sofa, ever again.

After our meeting, you will receive a detailed synopsis of what was discussed and a list of all of the suggestions I make for your project.  

This allows you to maximize your time with me while I take notes and write down all the specifics for you to implement at a later date.

This service is a great way to invest in your home by making sure what you are changing and buying is right for the space.  It also allows you the freedom to work on your project as your time and budget allow, all while following professional advice.

If you think this service can help you make your home the place you dream, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.   I would love to talk with you.

Cheers to making your home one you love, one step at a time……

Dana

 

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Eight Tips For A Fun And Smooth Building Process

Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019 at 2:20 am

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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Living Well: The One Thing Every Home Should Have

Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 at 2:20 am

There’s one thing every home should have, and that is function.

We’ve recently been working on a home that is spacious and stately, but the layout wasn’t great.

This is the forever home for the family, and they were ready to make this home more functional for how they live. 

We began with the front of the house because they couldn’t fit a sofa into their family room, and this is the room the family LIVES in.  

With the help of architect Jason Robb, we took out a few columns, added some custom millwork, and the space already feels so much better (it now allows for not one, but two large sofas and several chairs).  

The family room before the new furniture was installed

 

Inviting spaces begin in the foyer of this home, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

The front of the house is finished- done- complete- and we are now moving onto Phase Two.   We are addressing the choppiness in the back of the home by moving walls and reworking the kitchen, back hall, laundry and office.

We’ve given the kitchen as much storage and workspace as possible.  It will be drop dead gorgeous, but that is just a given when you have custom details throughout.

We’ve ordered a La Cornue range and hood, and the custom cabinetry will be a mix of painted and waxed cabinetry.  There is also a beautiful new butler’s pantry, along with an office, to organize the family.

 

A few renovation progress shots:

 

Beautiful millwork on the kitchen and breakfast room walls

 

 

 

Beautiful ceiling detail designed by architect Jason Robb

 

It is the simple things that make a difference, such as the cabinet drawer detail in the office

 

I am so excited to see this one complete, so follow along my Instagram stories as I share the progress.  It’s going to be pretty incredible, and more importantly, highly functional for them to enjoy for years to come.

 

Have a great day,

 

Dana

 

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The Three Rooms In Your Home To Invest In and Why

Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2018 at 4:30 am

Your house is one of the biggest purchases you will make and there are three rooms you should invest in when designing your home. 

That’s not to say the other rooms or areas should be ignored; it just means these three add more value to the quality of your life and for resale.   

So….Here goes- these are the top three rooms to invest in your home:

1. Kitchen

Not only will a beautiful, functional kitchen make your life easier when cooking and feeding your family, it also gives you a great return on your investment if you ever decide to sell your home.  

Invest in quality cabinets (believe me, not all cabinetry is the same.  Buy the best you can afford and select a cabinet maker/company who truly pays attention to the details), classic finishes, and quality plumbing.

A kitchen of ours as featured in Traditional Home. Photography by Jean Allsopp

 

It’s the room that gets the most use, so make yours one you love and one that functions well for cooking, prep, and entertaining.

 

2. Master Bedroom–  

My bed is my FAVORITE place in my house.  Yep – I admit it.  Great linens, comfortable pillows, soft, soothing colors…..  I love to curl up in my bed and relax, and if a book in involved, even better.  It’s like wearing a comfy pair of pjs to me.  

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors, Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

A cocoon-like feel for this teen’s bedroom. Dana Wolter Interiors, LLC, Photography by Graham Yelton

 

3. Family Room–  

I included the Family Room since it’s where you relax, watch tv and LIVE.  It needs to draw you in with comfortable seating that makes you want to kick back and visit with family and friends.  

Be sure to include comfortable upholstery (the best you can afford), and soften the room with drapes, a rug that fits the space well, etc…  Think of layering this room with things you love to create a collected, personal feel.

 

 

I have always admired the layered look of this room created by interior designer Ray Booth

 

Invest in these three rooms first to create a retreat and a home that feels good to you and your family.  If we can ever help you turn your home into one you love, contact us here.

 

Dana

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Living Well: 5 Easy Ways to Create A Home You Love (Without Spending A Dime)

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 at 2:20 am

I sense a change is taking place… People are tired- tired of feeling exhausted, hurried and stressed.

Surrounding yourself with a home you love and feels good to you is more important now than ever before.   A place to relax and close out the chaos of everyday life.

Here are 5 easy ways to create home you love (without spending a dime):

1. If you don’t love something in your home or aren’t using it, get rid of it.  Clean out, pare down, and keep only what speaks to you and brings you joy.

End of sentence.  Period.  

 

2.  Assign a purpose for every room in your home.  Every single room, even the little “catch-all” closet.     What exactly is the closet going to store?

 

3.   LIVE in your home and ENJOY.   No more off-limit rooms or saving your china just for special occasions…   Use the dishes one night for dinner, just because…..

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4.  Make your home a reflection of you.  Do you like a little edge but your home doesn’t quite capture who you are or how you want to reflect your style?  

Take some time to think through what makes you smile, what helps you relax, what is important to you.  Once you discover what these are, find ways to incorporate into your home.

A rosary given by a special friend is incorporated into my Living Room Decor. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Our pet fish has some flowers added to his home, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

5.  Create a space somewhere in your home that makes you feel calm and relaxed.  It doesn’t have to be big space- maybe it is a corner in a room with a chair, a blanket, and a table to place your morning coffee.  

My spot is on my kitchen banquette, where I drink my morning coffee, every single morning…

 

Kitchen banquette, interior design, Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Don’t get me wrong.   I am the first to get caught up in everyday life.  Little things, that in the big scheme, don’t mean much.

But if we can make simple changes to our home that impact our quality of life so we live well in our home, isn’t this a good thing?

Hope these 5 easy ways to create a home you love helps you enjoy your home a little more.   Let me know what you think-

 

dana

 

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6 Bedroom Design Ideas To Create A Room You Love

Posted on Thursday, August 30th, 2018 at 2:03 am

I have been talking a lot lately about the importance of making your home one you love, and your bedroom is the perfect spot to begin.

Your bedroom should be a room that allows you to #livewell by surrounding yourself with things that help you relax and rejuvenate.

Here are six must-follow bedroom design ideas for creating a room you love.  

1. Use colors that SPEAK to you: I normally keep colors in the bedroom soft because I need tranquility in my life (Ha!), but if a bright color speaks to you, then certainly use it.

 

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

 

2. Mix your Furniture Pieces for a Collected Look.  Gone are the days of matching bedroom sets, so mix your finishes. This means strategically including stained woods, painted finishes, iron and metals that blend with your color palette.

Vincent Wolf

 

 3. Layer- Bedrooms can have quite a few hard surfaces, so it is important to add softness through a rug, window treatments, pillows, bedding, etc…

I love this upholstered niche by Circa Interiors

 

4. Add in the personal.  Incorporate touches that are personal to you, such as your favorite photographs and artwork.

  

Custom framed photographs in a client’s home. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

     

 

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

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

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

 

My daughter’s bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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

If you want help or need guidance on how to make your bedroom feel like its very own getaway, email us here.

 

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

xo- Dana 

 

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30K Giveaway

Posted on Friday, August 10th, 2018 at 2:20 am

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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5 Must-Follow Tips When Building Or Renovating A Home

Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 at 2:20 am

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

And when a client hires us, we work to protect their investment and become their advocate, all while investing their money wisely and (hopefully) taking away the stress. I often see the same pitfalls to avoid when renovating or building.

Here are 5 must-follow tips on building or renovating a home:

1. Order the Size Window the Architect Specs   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.

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.

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

4.  Set Money Aside for the Furnishings  Budget appropriately for the building process (this is another post I need to write) and be sure to leave enough money to properly furnish the home.  

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

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 #emptynester couple, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton
Photography

Do you have children who will 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 with us, email us here.   I would love to talk with you.

Have a great day-

Dana

 

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