Living Well

Before And After: Turning A Garage Into A Family Room



Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography



I posted this picture Here on Instagram a few months ago, and I had someone comment they couldn’t believe this beautiful, functional room once served as a Garage.  Me neither…..


I realized that I should share some progress pictures so you can see the transformation.  Who knew a garage could look so good……






What do you see? I see a future family room. Dana Wolter Interiors







Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography 




Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography




Dana Wolter Interiors




Dana Wolter Interiors



I love how this family took their home and made this room work for them.  The home functions for a large family, and they needed extra space to spread out and watch television.  


The Garage made the most sense, and with its doors turned into French doors and a back entrance reworked, the room quietly transformed.   


We added an extra-long sleeper sofa, so it is perfect for the times they need an extra bed, too.


So here’s to making the most of your home, one room at a time.





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Living Well

Update On My Office Space

As I wrote here, I am moving my office to the heart of Mountain Brook Village in Birmingham, AL, in a few weeks, and thought I would give you an update.


Lots of exciting changes have been happening.   Hardwood floors have been put down and waxed in the front room, built-ins were added to a hallway and the entire space has been painted.



Fabrics and colors for the front room- Dana Wolter Interiors
Fabrics and colors for the front room- Dana Wolter Interiors



I am tweaking the exterior a little, and I thought I would share a peek.    My paint color scheme has changed from the picture, but you can see where I am going with this….







The inside consists of basically two rooms connected by a hallway.  I see the front room serving as a meeting room, and I want it to feel like you are walking into a warm, inviting living room to visit a friend.   Something pretty from the street but functional for my firm’s needs.  Here is a “Before” picture of the space:





BEFORE- Front Room





AFTER of the Hallway.  Doors aren’t hung here, but once they are, this space becomes hidden storage.





There is a bar area in the back room.  I opened it up and replaced the countertop and faucet.    I love this Kallista one given to me as a gift,  and it can be purchased from Ferguson in Birmingham, AL.












I am thrilled to be in the heart of Mountain Brook Village.  I love being from the South, and I am especially proud to call it home. There are so many positive changes taking place in Mountain Brook and in the city of Birmingham, so stay tuned to some exciting things happening here.


My office project has been a slow process because it has taken a back seat to my client’s projects.   It looks like the construction will be finished in the next week or so, and we will be moving shortly after.  I will keep you posted on the finished space.


Have a great day-




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Living Well

Photo Shoot

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.

Jean Allsopp works her magic!

me with the girls who live there -- aren't they cute?!
cathy helping with placement for the angle of the shot

Thanks, as always, to Cathy and  Jean Allsopp Photography!

Living Well

From Blah to Beautiful in a Few Easy Steps

I’m a big fan of layering.  Big.  Layering helps make a home look like it has evolved over time.  With so many hard surfaces found in a room (especially in kitchens and baths), it is important to balance them out.  You do this through fabrics, rugs, throws, etc. — anything that can add softness and dimension to a space.  Take a look to see what a difference layering can make…


before = blah. notice how everything is the same height as well? boring!

Making Changes:

layering begins -- much better!


wallah! accessories take it to a whole new level!

See how adding a few accessories can completely change the look of a room?!

The before picture shows the bones of the room, but it’s too hard!  By adding a rug,  mirror,  ottoman, and bench at the foot of the bed,  it is slowly being softened and dimension is being created.  The final touches were the accessories ( notice the shoes??!!) such as the books, the throws, and artwork.

Here is another example:

before- awkward table, incorrect height on stools, and mismatched shades

This client’s kitchen held a few custom pillows as well as a custom banquette we made out of some discard fabric; the rest were hand me downs in the space.

See what a difference mixing the elements (wood and iron) and softening the edges can make?

after- beautiful!!

Bottom line:  Mix it up!  If it’s a hard surface, find a way to soften it.  If there is a lot of new, add some old.  If wood is the theme, bring in a little metal.  In short, layering will “take the edge off” — literally.

Stay tuned…..More tips coming soon on creating dimension in a space!