- Thoughts, Tips, and Trends in Interior Design -

3.5 Hour Consult- Is This Service For You?

Posted on Thursday, May 9th, 2019 at 2:20 am

With warm weather here 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 interior design,  this one-time consult 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, countertops 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

 

How The 3.5 Hour Consult Works:

Our team will have you send a list of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.  Once we make an appointment,  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 will 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 the suggestions I made when discussing 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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Living Well: 5 Ways To Invest In Your Home

Posted on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 at 2:17 am

Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, and you want to make sure you are investing your time and money wisely.

Our goal for any project is to create a home that adds to the quality of your life and will hopefully increase in investment if you ever decide to sell.

 

HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO WISELY INVEST IN YOUR HOME: 

 

1. Use classic materials in the shell of your home:

By choosing classic materials and architectural elements that are in keeping with the style of your home, you will create a timeless feel that supports any style of furnishings you layer in. 

Look at the gorgeous doors, and the dogs are pretty cute, too. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

2.  Be strategic with the type of fabrics you select:

Are you thinking of purchasing a new sofa or reupholstering one you already own? If so, opt for a higher quality fabric with a high double-rub count or professional treatment. Taking these factors into consideration will pay off after a few years of wear and tear.

The following pictures are projects of high-traffic spaces where we strategically selected fabrics based on how the room functions. 

Recent installation of a client’s foyer. The loveseat and chair are ready for an active family. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interior Design Studio, Mountain Brook, AL

 

3. Utilize every space in your home:

From large and spacious to small and quaint, maximizing your square footage is imperative.  

As I wrote in a previous blog post here, we helped this large family transform their garage into a second family room to create some needed extra space.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4. Neat and tidy landscaping:

Your landscaping is the first impression people see as they approach your home. Allow the appearance of your home’s exterior to catch your guests at the door with a few simple and effective ways.

For example, keep your sidewalks and porches cleanly swept so leaves and cobwebs don’t accumulate.

I also like to have the mulch in our yard freshened up twice a year (in the fall and spring). You will be shocked with how this truly makes your shrubs and trees pop.

 

Dolores Del Rio House, Arturo Jimenez Photography

 

5. Customize your kitchen and bathrooms:

Updating your kitchen or an outdated bathroom are places where you can add value to your home. Not only for re-sale purposes, but also in terms of function for you and your family. 

We designed this client’s kitchen to suit their needs in a new build.  As empty-nesters, they didn’t want a large breakfast room because they enjoy eating everyday meals around an island. With emphasis on the custom island design and function, we added counter stools and a table-like feel as a perfect solution for ‘island dining’.  

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Another great way to maximize space in a kitchen is to incorporate banquette-style seating with your breakfast room table. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

I hope you find these five ways to invest helpful and that they guide you on where to spend your money on your home.  Reach out to us here if we can help you turn your home into one you love.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Interior Design Tips – You Asked And Dana Answered

Posted on Friday, April 19th, 2019 at 2:30 am

A few weeks ago, we asked our Instagram followers to submit design questions they wanted me to answer. This was such a fun way to see what people need help with or where they need help in their own home. From favorite colors to determining a budget, the entries covered the spectrum. 

Here are a few of the design questions with Dana’s answers:

 

Q:What Are Your Tips For Styling Vignettes – Especially Long Buffets or Dressers?

A: When styling your home, adding layers is really what brings everything together and breathes life to each space.

Incorporating art, antique mirrors, live greenery, and books will make your home come alive.  I often time like to prop up a small piece of art in front of a mirror which adds interest and depth without taking away from what the mirror has to offer.

For longer spaces – like a buffet or dresser – less is more. Play up the scale of the piece by added a long container and simply fill with pretty green moss or stack collections of your China and serving pieces for a more collected look. 

Watch my Instagram Stories today for more tips regarding this question!

Ready for entertaining, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Q: Are Dark Painted Interior Doors and Trim Timeless or Trendy?

A: Dark painted interior doors and trim can add a beautiful layer to the right home.  The architecture and style of your home is the main variable as to whether this look is in keeping with it. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Q: Are Murals or Mural Wallcoverings a Trend?

A: If done properly, murals can be a stunning addition and a classic touch to a room. From custom French murals like de Gournay  to a bespoke, hand-painted artisan design,  finding the right option in the right room is key. 

 

Q: How Do You Measure a Rug For a Room? 

A: I wish there was a tried and true answer that could be used for every room in your home but so many variables come into play when determining the perfect size rug.

Floor vent locations, furniture layouts, and paths of travel are some of the many factors we consider. If possible, you want to try and avoid half of an upholstered piece hanging off of the rug.

To make your spaces feel bigger and allow the most open furniture plan, error on the larger size and come off each wall equal distances. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Q: How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Designer?

A: Pinpointing an exact price to hire a designer is nearly impossible due to all the variables and project requirements. Interior designers charge differently – some charge a flat fee while others charge hourly.  

Like anything, you get what you pay for with a designer. If one is significantly more than another, it is usually because they are offering more detail in scope of what their services will cover. Finding a designer whose work and process speaks to you is the key to a perfect fit.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Whether you are in the middle of a project yourself or have one you’ve been thinking about starting, I hope these answers guide you to achieve your dream home. If you need help with your design project, email us here

Feel free to ask me more questions in the comment section or reach out on social media. I may address your question in our next installment of ‘You Asked, Dana Answered’ as I enjoyed writing this post.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Renovating A Client’s Childhood Home

Posted on Thursday, April 11th, 2019 at 2:20 am

We have recently begun working on the renovation of a client’s childhood home.

The wife and I met through one of my 3.5 hour consults as she was looking for direction for her family’s newly purchased childhood home.  During our conversation, I gave a few reasons as to why they should renovate to really make it work for their young, pet-friendly family. 

As a result, they hired us to select the interior finishes and lighting throughout.  

 

Dana Wolter Living Room

A Recently Completed Family Room, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Though the bones of the house are good- and the memories even better- we are updating the house with classic, timeless materials and details. A

Our goal is a beautiful home with a casual, comfortable feel that only looks better with time. 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Lighting Detail

Dana Wolter Interiors, Interior Details, Graham Yelton Photography

 

The kitchen is completely gutted and is getting the biggest makeover.  A large window is being added because bringing in light was a priority throughout the house.

We are also updating the home with hidden storage (can you ever have enough?) and finding ways to make this new home work and function for them for years to come.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Kitchen Renovation

Dana Wolter Interiors, Kitchen Renovation

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Renovation

Dana Wolter Interiors, Renovation

 

Stay tuned as we share our progress over the next few months. I can’t wait to make this childhood home into a space where this family can play, relax and enjoy each other. 

Have a great day,

 

Dana

 

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DWI Named Finalist For The Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year

Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2019 at 2:22 am

2019 Southeast Designer of The Year Nominees Announced

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that DWI is a finalist in the Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year award.  

Sponsored by ADAC and Veranda magazine, this award spans a 10-state region, and we are honored to be included for the third year in a row.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Birmingham, AL, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Not only are we humbled to be among such a distinguished group, we are proud to be a vessel to spotlight our fabulous city of Birmingham, AL.   If you need a few recommendations of my favorite places to eat and shop in town, contact me here.

 

Dana Wolter Interior Design, Located in Birmingham, AL. Photo by Graham Yelton

 

 “The South is an epicenter for stylish design, and this year’s Southeast Designers and Architect of the Year Awards’ entrants prove the region’s influence on architecture and interior design is not to be overlooked,” said Steele Marcoux, Editor in Chief of VERANDA magazine. “I feel honored – and inspired – to have been a part of this process!” 

Our sincere thanks to the judges, Steele Marcoux, Bunny Williams, and Roger Seifter,  for noticing our work.  These esteemed judges are well-known in the design community and for their discerning eyes to highlight our work is an honor. 

Stay tuned as we will keep you posted on social media. The award ceremony is April 25th and our entire team will be together to celebrate.

 

Have a great day-

Dana

 

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5 Ideas to Creating A Warm And Inviting Foyer

Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2019 at 2:20 am

Creating An Inviting Foyer

The foyer is the first impression of your home when someone walks in, so I thought it would be fun to give you 5 ideas to create an inviting one.  After all, whether family or a visitor, you want your guests to feel welcome.

We recently began working on a new project and the entryway is one of the rooms that is part of the design.  It is a beautiful home and we are also making sure this home has the one thing I mention here.  

As I was assessing the best way to soften the entryway and make it look like the family has lived there for some time, here are some tips I incorporated. 

5 tips to making a great first impression in your foyer:

 

1.  Add some sort of seating to soften the space.

When there is room, I always try to add some sort of seating to a foyer.  It is a great way to soften a space while allowing a place to put on your shoes as you walk out the door.

 

How to create an inviting foyer

Foyer Ideas, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

A gorgeous entryway by McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

 

 

2.  Personalize the space

Add a favorite piece of artwork, a frame with a family photo- anything that makes the foyer special to you.

Artwork by my daughter (that I love) personalizes the entrance into my office, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Foyer decor personalizes the home, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3.  Make the space functional

Make the space useful with hidden storage or a tray to catch your keys.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4.  Include something green such as flowers or a plant.

 

5.  Layer the space with accessories to create dimension and to make it look like it has been collected over time.

 

An inviting entrance sets the tone for your home, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

So, what does your foyer say about your home?   Does it set the tone and catch your eye, or is it a “catch-all” area you want to hurry your guests through?  If we can help you create a home you love, email us HERE.

 

Have a great day, and cheers to your foyer making a great, first impression.

Dana

 

 

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Living Well: 5 Ways To Make Overnight Guests Feel Welcome

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

Do you find yourself stressing and fretting before overnight company arrives?  If so, I have some ways to ease the worry and make your overnight visitors feel welcome.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks for making company feel relaxed and at home. The key is to think of things that bring you comfort when you are away.  

 

5 Ways To Make Overnight Guests Feel Welcome

 

Fresh Linens

There really isn’t anything better than crawling into bed with fresh, crisp linens – make sure the sheets are newly washed and pillows nicely fluffed.

Keeping my favorite travel size linen mist in the top drawer next to the bed is also a trick I’ve done for years. Company staying longer than one night can continue to enjoy the fresh feeling of clean sheets with a simple spritz on the pillow before bed. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Flowers + Greenery

Having fresh flowers or greenery beside the bed and in the bathroom is such a pretty and thoughtful touch. It says ‘welcome, we’re glad you are here’.  

This little detail immediately brings life into rooms that otherwise don’t see much activity and it is the best first impression you can give your visitors. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Lined Window Treatments

Allow your friends and family to sleep in with ease with lined window treatments. A good night’s sleep is a great gift for your guests.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

A Welcome Basket

Just as a lovely hotel would do, put together a welcome basket with thoughtful items and a personal note sharing your excitement for their stay. Add magazines and books that your company will enjoy + a few water bottles, mints, and other treats.

Stock Your Bathroom

Just as important as having your guest bedroom filled with touches to make your company comfortable, your guest bathroom should have a few indulgences as well.  A fresh hand soap placed by the sink is not only useful, but it will also leave a lingering, clean scent.

I also like to stock the drawer with new toiletries – shampoo, facial cleanser, body lotion, razors, and toothpaste to name a few. Nothing is nicer for your company than to not have to worry about forgotten items. 

Beautiful, monogramed towels with extras placed under the vanity is a personal touch they will enjoy.  Maybe even add a plush bath robe in the closet upon their arrival. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I hope you have enjoyed these few tips to make your guests feel special.   If you want to read more, be sure to check out these previous blog posts on last minute entertaining and bedroom design ideas.

As always, we would love to help you create a guest room perfect for your future company.  If you would like to learn more about our services, reach out to us here.   

 

Have a great day,

Dana 

 

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Tips For Creating A Custom, Timeless Kitchen

Posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 at 2:20 am

Whether you have a house full of children or are transitioning into empty nesting, the kitchen is the heart of your home.  Creating a timeless space that works well for any season of life is always our goal.

We recently completed a stunning renovation that included not only the client’s kitchen but several of their living spaces.  I talked about this home here as our first priority was to make sure this home was highly functional for this family.  

As their home transformed, it was evident the kitchen didn’t match the timeless beauty we created throughout. It was time to pull the kitchen into the same playing field as the rest of the home.

We were strategic with how we saw this home transforming.  It is an investment to renovate a kitchen, so we made sure the design will last for many years.

Here are a few tips to create a custom, timeless kitchen:

 

Select Classic Appliances 

When discussing and selecting the appliances for this project, we knew the range and hood would be the crown jewels of the space.  

Specifying La Cornue was our first decision once the drawings were complete.  This company has been around for over 100 years and they are known for their quality.

The matte black finish and brushed brass details are also a nod to many touches around the home. It is truly a showstopper.

La Cornue Range, Classic kitchens

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Buy the Best Cabinetry Your Budget Allows

You get what you pay for with most things in life, and cabinetry falls into this category.  Quality lasts, so buy the best you can afford.

 

Select Natural Finishes 

Natural finishes like marble and limestone add warmth to a space while also softening other materials such as wood and wrought iron.

They also offer character that stands the test of time. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Hidden Details 

Whether it is hiding appliances behind cabinet panels or hiding rooms like we did behind these doors, be strategic with how the kitchen space lays out and works for you. 

While creating a gorgeous kitchen is a common goal on all projects, it also needs to work for each of our clients. Keeping things hidden and out of sight is a great way to preserve the beauty of the space without sacrificing function.

Custom waxed white oak cabinetry control the clutter – coffee station, microwave, toaster oven, and the likes all are tucked away behind closed doors, allowing the finishes and lighting to shine. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 Beautiful Plumbing

Hand forged, well made plumbing fixtures are like jewelry to an outfit.  It may cost a little more on the front end but quality lasts.

 

Stay Away From Trends

If you want your investment in your kitchen to last,  stay away from excessively trendy things.  The design will more than likely stand the test of time.

If you have a kitchen or renovation project you need help turning into a classic, timeless design, feel free to reach out to us here.  We’d love to discuss with you.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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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 extreme 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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