How would you like a complete room designed by us but with the option to complete the space in a timeframe your budget and schedule allow?
If this interests you, then the new service we are offering, Design Online, is for YOU!
What is Design Online?
Design Online is a great way for us to customize a room in your home according to your timeframe and budget, without us ever stepping foot in your door. You provide us with your budget, detailed measurements, pictures of your space, inspiration photos, and answers to a questionnaire we send over to you. Within four to six weeks, we send you a pretty little package filled with a floor plan, color scheme, lighting, furniture selections, accessories, and fabric swatches with all of the design specifications and information needed for you to implement the plan.
Here is an example of a family room we created. You will receive something similar with all of the specifications mentioned above.
The great news is that no distance between us matters, as this service is all online!
Also, don’t forget we also offer a one time 3.5 hour consult. This has been a fun addition to the scope of our work as I mostly do full room or home design. I’ve been doing a lot of these recently, and the clients seem to be getting a lot out of our time together. Click here to read more.
Think either of these may be the right service for you? Send us an email at email@example.com, and let’s get started!
Summer is here and I find myself cleaning. Cleaning out drawers, wiping down drawers, etc… Makes me happy!
And while I preach to throw away or give away things that you don’t love or are not using, I know there are times when you want to keep certain things just to keep.
I thought I would rerun this post from a few years ago on how to display your clutter stuff ……. Here goes….
The holidays are over, and who isn’t looking for a few ways to declutter their home? It’s easy to discard the items you don’t use, but what about the knick knacks you love and want to display?
Do your “special” items look like a pile of mess to others? If so, what should you do?
Create a few vignettes in your home.
Start with your big items, such as the painting, sconces, lamps, and urn in this picture. Next, stagger your accessories throughout, making sure you balance out each side. Notice how they did not forget the space under the console.
What a great job they did of taking family keepsakes, which, after all, make a house a home, and displaying them in a beautiful way.
How about adding in a few of your personal items when entertaining? At this client’s home, instead of just setting out her china and everyday, we decided to mix it up a bit.
Speaking of entertaining……
What do you do for all of the silver and crystal you have crammed into your cabinets?
Display it as we did in this client’s home. Here, we mixed in some of her silver pieces with her crystal and pottery. Everything has its place, and it is beautiful!
When creating a focal point, whether it is a vignette or glass cabinet, don’t forget to layer and add different textures.
So, the key is to make the space your own by displaying your items in a neat, organized way.
Even when there is a family pet involved- such as the frog for this family- can you display it in a clever way.
Each vote enters you in for a chance to win a $2,500 gift certificate from Ethan Allen. The more you vote, the better your chances to win, and nothing would make me happier than for one of my supporters to win a nice gift card!
Thank you for your support and let me know if you are the lucky winner!
Remember the post a few weeks ago on social media where we asked you for your favorite Alabama landmark?
We did so because Traditional Home asked us – and five other designers across the country- to create a virtual mood board on Pinterest of a room inspired by a local landmark. I chose the Vulcan in Birmingham, AL, and based it on the room below.
I recreated this room by adding a little iron by Lucy Smith, some Alabama artwork and fabrics by Arthur Price and Coleman Taylor, and a few Ethan Allen pieces. I included paint samples, fabrics, and accessories to create a classic design for modern life, one that embodies the Traditional Home “New Trad” aesthetic.
I was very honored this summer when, because of all of you and your votes, I won the Traditional Home contest among all of the Trad designers for 2014. I would be grateful and humbled again if you would take a second and vote for my board. http://newtradsweeps.com/ .
It’s quick , it’s easy, and best of all, you register with each vote to win a $2,500 gift certificate to Ethan Allen. You can vote once a day and voting ends December 20th.
Thank you, my friends. Let me know what you think!
Hope you are enjoying the last few days until Christmas. There are 14 days left (Yikes!), and I am not finished with my decorations. Hopefully my house will be ready in time, and if it isn’t, I know special memories will still be made within my family.
Are you familiar with the blog StyleBlueprint? They are one of my favorite, and they have become a go-to source for me on style, fashion, and great places around the Southeast. They were kind enough to ask my my thoughts on decorating for Christmas, and if you would like to see a few of the ideas I suggest, click here.
Have a great day and enjoy the last few weeks before Christmas. I am posting ideas for the holidays regularly on Facebook and Instagram, so come join us.
As much as I want to say I am ready for Christmas, I am not. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have had two installs the past week. Work, on top of a Christmas birthday for one of my girls, has made this time even more busy than usual.
Village Living, a wonderful paper for the Mountain Brook community, asked me to write an article on decorating for the holidays. I loved writing for them as it made me reflect on how I approach the holidays and what I can do to simplify my own life. Here are a few of the tips I gave on how to make the holidays stress free and more enjoyable.
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
No, your decorations do not have to be elaborate; they just have to be a reflection of you and your family. You do not have to have a Christmas tree or a nativity scene on every chest or open space to create a beautifully decorated home. Less is more, so keep your decorations simple and use only what you love and has special meaning to you.
Strategically Place the Decorations You Use
When walking into a room, where does your eye go first? Where does it go next? Decide where your focal points are in each room and strategically place a decoration in one or two of these places.
Choose Holiday Colors Cohesive With The Colors In The Room
Just as you want the colors of each of your rooms to flow nicely into one another, you want your holiday décor to do the same. If a warm palette is used throughout your home, use warm colors in your holiday décor. If your home has more cool tones, try silver, white, or blue tones when choosing holiday colors.
Layer Contrasting Textures
Contrasting textures layered in subtle ways is one way to create dimension and make a room look like it has evolved over time. Think of placing an iron lamp on top of a wooden chest versus a wooden lamp on a wooden chest. Apply this same concept to your Christmas décor. Instead of placing a nativity scene directly on top of a hard surface area (such as a glass top table or marble chest), add a little texture with Christmas greenery, moss, and magnolia leaves first and then place your Christmas items on top. If you are placing greenery on your mantle, think about mixing in some shiny ornaments or candles to add another texture to the mix. You will be delighted how much prettier your decorations look just by layering different materials.
Pull the Outside In
There is nothing like the smell and texture of fresh greenery. Holly, magnolia leaves, fraser fir, birch wood…I love it all. Incorporate natural materials into your holiday décor as your imagination is the only limit.
Involve the Family and Create Tradition
Every year, my girls and I gather the leftover limbs from our Christmas tree (along with any other scraps of greenery we can find) and we make a few small wreaths. If you know my girls, you can probably guess which wreaths belong to whom, as they truly reflect each one’s personality. One wreath may be wrapped neatly and tightly all the way around while the other child’s wreath is looser in style. No, they are not always perfect, but each is beautiful in its own way.
I hope you find these tip helpful in simplifying your own holiday season. To read more, visit Village Living and let me know your thoughts.
Not sure when I blinked and discovered Christmas is around the corner. I am just now putting up greenery as I have been busy with two installations and a child’s birthday this week. As I am deciding how I am going to decorate my own home this year, I thought I would share a few photos from Christmas past in the Wolter household.
The menu is planned and the guest list is complete. But how you are going to set your table this Thanksgiving season?
The beautiful gourds available this time of year make it easy to arrange a STUNNING tablescape while still watching your pocketbook The palette of creams, grays, and blues are gorgeous and set an unexpected yet welcoming tone:
Remember my blog post “Falling for Gourds” back in September? Check it out here for some fall arrangements that I came up with this season! Here’s one idea below. Wouldn’t a table be gorgeous with a few of these across it?
The shapes and various sizes of the gourds can inspire creativity and beauty. Notice above that the flower “vase” holding the lily is actually a gourd scooped out. How cute would they be as place holders with names handwritten in gold paint pen across the front?
I love taking lifestyle expert Jenny Steffens Hobick ‘s idea of using small pumpkins as candleholders and building upon this idea. Perhaps elevating the largest gourd and mixing some different size candles would be a great way to add even more dimension to a table arrangement.
Of course, you can go in a totally different direction with glitter, gold, and silver. Notice how they played with height and texture, mixing shiny and smooth with the courser greenery and gourds. Very festive!
It’s always a good memory-maker for me to involve my children in decorating for the holidays. I love the bonding time and learning what their little minds can create. Here’s one adorable idea that could keep the kids busy for a while:
However you decide to decorate your table this holiday, make it your own. Your table decor does not have to be perfect, it just needs to be a reflection of you and your family.
Who doesn’t love a beautiful kitchen? Throw a little — or a lot — of function in there, and you may possibly end up with your favorite room.
I am working on a kitchen remodel right now, and there are a few must-haves I always try to incorporate.
1. Natural Stone Countertops: To me, there is nothing prettier than an aged piece of marble or limestone. I love the texture it provides and the fact it has endured many years of the elements.
2. Warming Drawer: Okay, not a must have, but I sure do like them. For a family on the go, it is a wonderful luxury.
3. Function: Yes, a kitchen can be beautiful, but if it is not functional, what’s the point? Make sure the flow works well and that there is plenty of good workspace. After all, this may be the most lived-in room in the house, and cooking is so much more enjoyable when everything has its place and is within reach for your next great meal.
4. Soften the hard surfaces: With so many hard surfaces found in a kitchen, try to incorporate ways to soften the room. Many of you know I love adding banquettes whenever possible, as they are a great way to make a kitchen more functional and unique.
Also, wood is a great texture to incorporate against shiny surfaces found in kitchens. Whether on your island, on the ceiling, or as an accent, it whispers “nature” and takes the edge off all those kitchen appliances.
5. Good lighting: Natural lighting is ideal, but a good kitchen also needs task lighting in all of the right places. Again, think functional!
6. Make your kitchen a reflection of you: Yes, you can create a beautiful kitchen many different ways, but if it does not look like you or fit your lifestyle, what good is it? Your home should be your haven, and your kitchen is no exception!
My segment on fall trends for the home is airing TODAY, October 19th, on NBC-13 Daytime Alabama at 11:30 AM. I have to say, I adore this season’s looks! If I had to sum it up in one word, I’d say — lush!
Here’s a preview for what’s in for fall 2011:
1. Brass — It’s back! Whether it’s lacquered or unlacquered, this is not your 70s flashback. The shapes are uber-modern, and the color is rich and refined. I’m also loving bronze right now — see the large handle below.
2. Driftwood — The gorgeous shape and color of wood touched by the sea is showing up in homes all over. It acts almost like a piece of sculpture, and I’ve found some amazing accessories made out of it. What better way to bring a bit of nature into your home, while still keeping it chic? Check out the chandelier below to see what I mean…
The wall below makes a bold statement, but check out the crafty yet chic driftwood lamp next to it. Driftwood in the home is definitely a trend, so a little goes a long way.
3. Colors — We saw a lot of turquoise last spring and summer, but as it cools off, the deeper hue, teal, is popping up in its place, and it is beautiful! I especially love it as an accent with warmer neutrals and even grays…. Other colors to pair with gray are the softer purples that I’ve been talking about, as well as eggplant.
Here is a great example of grays and purples by Susan Ferrier:
Another color that is a must for 2011 — saffron!
4. Wool — As far as materials go for fall, wool cannot be beat. Softer wool is making its way into homes and fashion this season. The look is draping, feminine, and sophisticated. In homes, it is being used as upholstery as well as on pillows, rugs, and throws.
Tune in tomorrow to NBC-13 — that’s Friday, October 7th– for more on these amazing fall trends!
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Dirk Walker for years now. He’s an amazing artist based here in Birmingham and also the owner of Loretta Goodwin Gallery. If you have never been in his gallery, you must go soon!
Dirk is known for his “Birmingham Landmark Series.” He says the works evolved “completely by accident.” He had been doing mostly pastoral and landscapes scenes, but then one day he attempted an urban setting with some “non-descriptive figures.”
As he puts it, “There was such an immediate appeal that I felt I had found something that allowed me to pursue a more individual style. The flowing paint and abstract qualities also loosened me up in my brushwork. Having grown up in Birmingham, I have [seen] so many changes to the city and landscape, so the ‘landmark buildings’ had sentimental meaning not only to myself but to my clients.”
The foundation for his artwork began with a more traditional approach called chiaroscuro, which deals with light and shadow, that he learned through the teachings of David Leffel, a Contemporary Master who taught at the Art Students League in New York City.
Today, Dirk Walker describes his approach as “Impressionistic with a slant towards Abstraction.” He works primarily in oils for the “wet-into-wet” look and for their luminosity.
Below is a painting that he was commissioned to do for a client of mine.
He chose this perspective — with the driveway leading the viewer into the painting — because we wanted the piece be more “painterly” rather than architectural. Dirk found this angle focused more on the figures in the painting rather than the structure of the house, while still leaving room for the abstract feel he leans toward. Dirk achieves this effect by using many thin washes in the beginning stages of the painting, claiming that it sometimes creates “fun mistakes” that he leaves in the work.
This piece is an interpretation of my client’s home that they can pass down through the generations. The palette of soft golds and blues and the watery, abstract feel is absolutely beautiful. Isn’t it dreamy?
Want to see something beautiful and learn a little trivia? Look at this gorgeous sunburst mirror. Talk about incredible!
It’s message is boldness, glamour, and strength, and it would make an impact in any room!
Dinah Toro, owner of Charlotte Woodson Antiques where I discovered it, has an in-depth knowledge of sunburst mirrors. Dinah said many people believe Louis XIV, aka the Sun King, is responsible for making the sunburst mirror popular, but that is a myth. Louis’ symbol was a sunburst with the face of Apollo, the Roman god of the sun, in the center — not a mirror.
It wasn’t until the French Revolution mirrors were added to the middle. The reason for this is so interesting… During that time, religious articles were being destroyed, so in order to preserve them, people would replace the faces of the Holy family (which were surrounded by rays) with other things – such as mirrors!
In the 1920s, the sunburst mirror became popular in France, and they became even more en vogue across the world over in the 1950s. Sunburst mirrors are still being made today.
The most desirable sunburst mirrors, according to Dinah, are made of individual pieces of gilded wood. Today, these type of mirrors are being made of steel, iron, bamboo, and other materials, although wood is the tradition.
Due to popularity, the new ones vary greatly in size. Dinah buys the largest ones she can find because of the statement they make! I’d say so!
I have been working hard the past three weeks on an exciting new project!
It’s an incredible, historical house in Birmingham — home to a fun, young family — and they hired me to work on the interiors of a few rooms. Interestingly, as we began the project, Cathy Johnson, editor of Birmingham Home and Garden Magazine, called. It turns out this house appeared in the magazine’s first issue, and she wanted to feature it again for the upcoming 10th anniversary issue!
While the rooms are not complete due to the quick deadline, I was pleased with how it looked for the shoot. If it looks this beautiful with a few pieces we plan on replacing, imagine how it will look when everything is installed! While I cannot share the final photos until the article is published, I do want to give you a little preview.
Are you looking to update a particular room, but you (like the rest of us) are short on time? Good news! You can make some major improvements in as little as an hour! Try one or all of the following tips and poof! that room that was bothering you may just become one of your favorites.
1. Accessorize: Is the top of your coffee table cluttered? Do the tops of your end tables look messy? Tired of seeing the same accessories?
Begin by clearing off the tops of furniture. You’ll get a fresh look this way, and it’s easier to add to than take away! Remove the lamps, the books, the candles, the ceramic pears, everything. Now that you have a clean surface, ask yourself: what kind of furniture is it? Is it a wooden chest with a marble top? If so, begin with a wooden lamp and go from there. Mix up the textures, materials, and styles to see what suits you best. Be a little daring! Playing with the hard and soft surfaces creates tension that works.
In this client’s home, I played with shiny and rough textures; metal, wood, and ceramic; and curves and lines to create the perfect combination. Even the stick in the corner adds dimension!
2. Create a Vignette: By definition, a vignette is a “small picture.” In decorating, it’s a part of your home — say, a nook, a window, an entry way — that, after your creative touch, will tell a story and shed some personality. Do you have a corner in your home that is empty and boring? If so, find a purpose for it, and make every inch of your home count! For instance, I took this bare hall in a client’s home and made it warm and inviting:
3. Paint: I’ve said it before, but it’s a must for instant impact. Paint! Even painting one wall can create dimension in a space. Paint also makes the space look fresh and can give a light fixture an entire new look.
4. Clean out: Sometimes we just have to get rid of it. Bookshelves that are overcrowded, china cabinets with plates that haven’t been used since 1977, bedrooms with stuffed animals that haven’t been played with since 1987 — you get the idea. Even spaces guests don’t see count! Is your make-up drawer out of control? Has the storage closet collected so much that you have forgotten what was in there? When you hold onto items you aren’t loving and using, you — and your home — are being weighed down. Say ba-bye, and feel lighter!
5. Reframe Your Art for a New Look: While you are cleaning out that storage closet, you may come across some treasures as well. If you’ve been meaning to hang some forgotten pics, do it! Whether it’s artwork that suddenly appeals to you again, or photographs that bring back fond memories, walls welcome anything that warms the heart. It’s good to change these things out from time to time too, perhaps using different frames or switching the bedroom art with the living room’s.
This is a room I designed for a client’s daughter. See how the child’s owl art is taken to a new level when mounted on black?
Customizing a room doesn’t have to be over the top. It just has to be creative and well-thought-out! With a clean slate and a few good ideas, your home can go from ho-hum to custom in no time at all.