Posts Tagged ‘5 tips’

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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When it comes to designing and decorating your home, you want to do it right the first time, and there is some advice given out often that, in my opinion, needs to be ignored.
It usually comes from a builder, a worker on your home,  or a well-intentioned friend.  Trust your gut, or better yet, hire a designer you can trust with one of the largest investments (your home) you will ever make.
So here goes….  A few pieces of friendly advice you should ignore:
1.  Don’t paint your brick –   If you have a new or cookie cutter brick home and you used the standard brick you see everywhere, painting your brick can be one of the best things you can do to make it look a little more custom.  Yes, you cannot go back, but who would want to when it’s the mass produced brick you see so much of these days?    Painted brick is so pretty to me and it is a great way to give your home a new, cohesive look.  See how gorgeous this home is below?
It is the home of Milieu editor, Pamela Pierce, as seen in Veranda magazine.    If you have not checked out Milieu, you must do so as it does not disappoint.
This Houston house was designed by Pamela Pierce. It was featured in Veranda magazine in the March 2013 issue, pages 122-132.

Pamela Pierce’s home as seen in Veranda. Image from decorator.com

2.  Using 6″ recess cans throughout a space  Heard of a swiss cheese ceiling?  Yep, this is exactly what I mean.
If you must incorporate recess, use the smaller ones that provide lots of light from a small bulb.   Yes, the smaller recess cost more than the typical 5″-6″ builder cans often speced, but the look far outweighs the cost. Use dimmers to soften the lighting, and use a variety of different types of lighting to create warmth and layering. Table and floor lamps that direct light in the living areas is best. It allows you to see things better, puts a nicer light on your face, and illuminates the colors and textures in your furnishings better.
Barry Dixon

Image from Barry Dixon

3. Selecting granite over marble because you do not think marble is durable-  This one is a BIG one and I am constantly having to educate my clients about this stone.  
I can only hope I am aging as well as marble does, because to me, there is nothing prettier than a well worn piece of marble after several years have passed.  I have had it in my house for almost eight years, and trust me, we live hard in  use my kitchen and bathrooms.   And guess what?  Do not tell my dirty little secret, but we are not the neatest group either.
The key is to choose a honed marble so etching wont take place if something hot is placed on it, and if you like red wine, don’t leave it spilled on the counter for days on end.   If something does happen and the stain bothers you (which it shouldn’t- it’s called patina), the material can always be resurfaced.
4. Hanging  artwork too high– Keep the center of your artwork at eye level or a little lower to create intimacy in a space.  In a room where people will mostly be sitting, artwork should be hung a little lower.
artwork

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

5. Arranging all of your furniture against the walls– You never want to create a furniture arrangement that makes conversation difficult.  If you have a room that is big enough, be creative and float your sofa and add a couple of sitting ares to the space.   A sofa can look great off of the wall, so use open spaces to be creative and create intimacy.
(2) Tumblr

Image from Georgiana Design

 

What advice have you been given when it comes to your house that you wish you’d ignored? I’d love to hear from you so please share!

 

Take care,

dana

 

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With spring right around the corner, I am ready for my garden to be filled with color and fragrance.

 

Before I go any further, let me assure you that I am no expert when it comes to gardening. I have been doing my homework, though, as I am trying to learn more about what I can do now to make it as pretty as it can be.

 

Below is a picture of my garden last spring.   It’s this time of year mine looks the best, and while I love it, life gets in the way so I do not always nurture it as I should.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors Blog | Thoughts, Tips, and Trends for Today's Design Dana Wolter Interiors

My garden last year. Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

I am trying to do better, hence the reading and researching.   Here are a few tips that stood out to me that I thought might be helpful to you as well:

 

1. Create a composting area

This is something I really want to begin doing.    The compost can be a ready-made compost bin or we can build a compost bin using spare bits of wood. Not only will we have somewhere to put  garden waste, but the plants will benefit from the rich compost created when it all breaks down! Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and woody prunings. To help the process along, we will have to turn the compost with a garden fork each month to keep it aerated.

 

How To Start a Compost Heap ~ it's really easy, affordable, useful, and sustainable.  Composting recycles kitchen and yard waste, diverting up to 30% from the trash and consequently reducing landfill waste. Compost adds nutrients and introduces beneficial organisms to the soil, and helps promote plant growth.

Image from apartmenttherapy.com

 

2. Prep the beds.
Remove winter mulch, leaves and any other debris from your beds. Cut back the old dead growth of deciduous grasses and perennials to make room for the new growth. Any weeds that appear in your garden will be easiest to pull now, as the roots are shallow.  I have done this and am making one more go around this weekend.

 

Gardening Tips for beginners

Image from grit.com

 

3. Fertilize the soil

Now’s the time to make sure your soil is properly balanced and ready for new plants. Once the beds are all cleaned out, it’s time to till the ground. This will help aerate and loosen up soil that has compacted over the winter, which will encourage the soil to absorb nutrients better. It will also make it easier to plant.

 

4. Prune

It’s time to prune back tree or shrub branches have been damaged by the cold, snow, and wind. Make sure to do so before buds begin to break into bloom or you’ll stress the tree and get a tiny crop, if any. Use a handsaw for any tree or hedge larger than ½ inch in diameter. Shaping hedges with hand pruners, rather than electric shears, prevents a thick outer layer of growth that keeps sunlight and air from reaching the shrub’s center.

 

veggie garden with formal hedge edges

Image from paradiseexpress.blogspot.com

 

5. Order bulbs and seeds

Decide now what flowers and plants you want in your summer garden. Order the seeds or the bulbs from a local plant shop like my local favorite Leaf and Petal or online. Hold onto the seeds and bulbs until the warmer weather arrives, but make sure that the seeds and bulbs will not deteriorate or lose quality if they sit for some time.

 

flower garden

Image from howardrice.co.uk

 

 

Let me know how it goes for you, and if my efforts pay off, I will share my progress as well.

 

Happy Gardening,

dana

 

PS If anyone feels extra inspired and wants to come to use these tips on my garden, I will happily welcome you, and I know my garden will too.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I am ready for spring. This past weekend was beautiful and I am ready for every day to be filled with sunshine and warmth.  There is a reason this southern girl lives in the South!

 

While traveling to a warmer climate for the extended winter isn’t in the plan for me, I am trying a few things to cure the winter blues.  Here goes:

 

1. Exercise

I exercise on a regular basis, but I have been trying to be a little more consistent these days.   Even a brief workout makes me feel better and gives me a positive, energized feeling. Lately I’ve been doing yoga at The Yoga Circle, and I am loving it.  It makes me breathe, really breathe, which is something that is instantly calming to me.

 

2. Eat Healthy

Nothing makes me feel better than when I am taking care of myself.  Along with exercising, I try to eat well most of the time. I recently read that omega-3s affect the brain chemicals that are linked with stabilizing mood, particularly dopamine and serotonin, so I have been trying to eats lots of salmon and flax and chia seeds. Another thing I have added to my diet recently are the juices from Whole Foods, Sprout and Pour, and The Pantry. I highly recommend them, as they are an easy way to add vegetables, and they are delicious and refreshing.

 

juices

Image from Whole Foods

 

3.  Brighten up your space

The winter months can feel like they drag on since the sun sets early and the days are much shorter. While the sun may not be shining outside, you can bring some of those warm hues into your home by incorporating them into your décor. Add a bright throw over a chair, or a rug with some color or maybe a pillow that adds a pop to your sofa or bed. You’ll be surprised how much these small changes can really affect your mood.

 

Image from Briggs Edward Solomon

 

4.  Buy some fresh flowers

My garden looks a little “blah” this time of year, but I try to bring the garden indoors by purchasing some fresh flowers.   It’s not expensive and not only does it brighten my mood, I swear flowers make my house look a little cleaner.

Parrot tulips are some of my favorite. (Will someone let my husband know?!)

 

Stunningly Simple Parrot Tulips

Image from Gabriela Wakeham

 

 5. Read

I shared on Instagram earlier this week that I am reading The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth. It is a great book that not only discusses how to grow your business, but how to do it in a way that upholds your character, morals, and values.  My only regret in reading it is that I have not underlined as I have gone through it.

Getting cozy under a blanket in my bed or next to a roaring fire and unwinding by reading a book or magazine helps me pass the season time.

 

 

How do you cure the winter blues? I would love to hear from you,

 

dana

 

 

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Maybe you like to play it safe with the interiors of your home, because, after all, your home is an investment and it’s expensive to make changes.

 

But if you are looking for a place to go bold and daring, the powder room is the perfect spot.

 

It’s all about the details in the powder room, and just because its the smallest room in your house, doesn’t mean it can’t have the most impact.

 

Below are five ways to make your powder a really special room:

 

1. Add a dramatic color or a unique wallpaper.

 

wallpaper

Image from The Enchanted Home

 

 

2. Make the powder room as cozy as possible. In my book, the smaller the better, as long as everything is to scale and can fit nicely into the space.

 

tiny bathroom in white, black, and gold.

Image from Apartment Therapy

 

3. Select unique lighting.  Incorporate a sconce or two, and if overhead lighting is a must, select a unique chandelier that fits the space.

 

Powder room

Image from Segret To Secrets

 

4. Make the sink as special as you can. I love using marble to create a vessel, and it also adds some texture to the space.

 

Image from Splendid Sass

 

5. Accessorize.  Pull in pretty linens such as a hand towel and use special soaps.  Fresh flowers instantly brighten the space, and cost very little to do so.

 

DanaW_Tuscaloosa_165-L

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Make the smallest room in your house have the most impactful. Because powder rooms are used only briefly, they are the ideal place for drama and beautiful style. Their small scale allows you to indulge in lavish materials and bold effects that you might not dare otherwise.

 

Go ahead– take the risk, and be sure to let me know how it turns out.

 

dana

 

 

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