Living Well

We Have A New Look!

Guess what?!

 

I am excited to announce my new website is finally up and running!

 

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We took my old one, added to it, changed it around, and uploaded A LOT of pictures.  If you have ever been involved in creating a new site, you can relate to how much work goes into it.

 

As I tuck my tail between my legs, I hesitantly admit I had projects from over two years ago that were not up on my site.   Thankfully, that is not the case anymore as my site is as current as it can be- at least for now.

 

Click here to see and let me know what you think!  We also have a place on our contact page to sign up for our latest newsletter.  I promise you won’t want to miss it!

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

 

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Living Well

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

As I was going thru some old photos of my work, I was reminded of something important…..

When hanging a mirror, not only is the placement important, but also be mindful of what it reflects.

 

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See what I mean?!

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

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Living Well

Renovating a Kitchen? This Post is for YOU!!

I had the best time in California last week for a Traditional Home/Thermador event.   A group of designers, print media, and bloggers across the country came together to discuss design trends.  Thermador was a gracious host and no detail was forgotten by them.

If you aren’t familiar with Thermador, check out their line of kitchen appliances here.   I have Thermador products throughout my own kitchen, and if you have been reading since day one, I listed my Thermador warming in my very first post as one of my top five favorite things in my home.  For a family on the run, it is a necessity.

I thought I knew their product line pretty well, but after an extensive tour, I learned so much more.

 

Here are a few quick pieces of information that stuck with me, and I hope you find them helpful:

1. If I was building again, I would incorporate a steam/convection oven into my home.  This is a super neat appliance that keeps food moist (and vitamins in) while browning and cooking at a faster rate.

Look at this 14lb. turkey they cooked for us in it.  Super easy and it was ready to eat after cooking for only 90 minutes.

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2. I have a Pro Range in my home, but I had no idea it could do this.   Yes, these are chocolate chips melting- on a paper plate– on its XLO setting.   I haven’t tried this yet, but when I do (AND I WILL!), let’s hope I don’t burn my house down.  YIKES!

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3. One of my favorite discoveries was the refrigerator columns in their line.  Because of their hinges, the front panel on all of their refrigerators can hold over 200 pounds, and I could not help but brainstorm about what I could cover the doors in.  In the right setting, how does antiqued mirror sound?

 

The trip was a lot of fun and I learned so much, all while making a few new friends.

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Karen Williams of St. Charles New York cooking a Cherry Clafoutis with me.

 

I hope this info was helpful, and let me know your “must-haves”  in your next kitchen.

Take care and have a great week, everyone-

Dana

 

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Living Well

It Turned Out Beautifully!

I thought I would give you a quick update on the stairwell in my client’s new home.

If you recall,  Dungan Nequette’s talented Chad Martin of The G Brand helped us with designing the pattern.    This home has a French feel, and I knew I wanted a design with soft lines and one that would blend in with the walls in this enclosed space.

If you follow us on social media, you have probably seen this drawing.

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Drawing by Chad Martin

The majority of it was installed today, and it turned out beautifully!   We are still missing a few transition trim pieces, but look how gorgeous it is, and it’s not even painted.

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I can visualize how this area is going to look with some artwork and a gorgeous runner, and I am pleased!

Have a great day, everyone!

Dana

 Also, please take a second and vote here for the New Trad designer’s style you like best.  It is quick and easy,  only takes a second, and I hope you will vote for us.  Every time you cast a vote, you enter a chance to win $1,000 from Hunter Douglas.  Voting ends soon- July 17th.

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Living Well

A Fun Project Coming To An End

If you follow us on social media, you have seen us post pictures of a new construction project we have been working on this past year.    I  have been meaning to share them with you, and as this project comes to close, it is time!

This new house, soon to be home to a fun and really nice couple,  has been a project I have enjoyed tremendously.   We have described it as “snappy casual”- a home not too serious but still maintains a sense of formality,  soft lines, classic materials, and eye-catching details.  This couple has been open to new ideas, which has in turn produced a much prettier home in the end.

I am going to show you some transgression photos of a few areas and details in this home.   Barrett Architecture has done a great job drawing the plans and you can look their site here.  The home is going to be gorgeous when all is said and done!!

Let’s start with the family room as Abbey checks the framed dimensions against the plans….

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This room will be painted a bone color with a gray undertone.   The texture of the wood will appear but the walls will read as painted.

The kitchen and family room were drawn as one really big space.  We decided to add an opening to break down the feel of one large room.  What do you think?  Keep in mind the cased opening will be painted the same color as the walls.

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Off of the family room is a gallery.  Notice what we added at each end to shorten the long hall.

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We added this deep opening on each side of the gallery

 

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In the middle of the “x” will be a beautiful gilded sconce.

 

I have to include some pictures of a few of the cabinetry details in this home.   Notice the soft curves included throughout.

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Master bath cabinetry

 

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Love this marble backsplash with the soapstone countertops

 

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A few of the kitchen cabinetry details

 

I couldn’t end this post without mentioning the stairwell.   We wanted to do something a little different but that would still blend with the walls in this enclosed area.   Here is what the painted stairwell we created will look like:

 

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Drawing by the talented Chad Martin of The G Brand

The panels are going to be made up of laser cut panels overlayed over one another, with all of them will be painted the same color as the walls and trim.

Here is a mock up (not to scale) of what the trim carpenter built so we could have a visual.

What do you think?

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This home is about a month away from completion.  As I take photos, I will try to be better about posting in a timely manner.

Take care and have a great day-

Dana

 

Also, please take a second and vote here for the New Trad designer’s style you like best.  It is quick and easy,  only takes a second, and I hope you will vote for us.  Every time you cast a vote, you enter a chance to win $1,000 from Hunter Douglas.  Voting ends July 17th.

If you would like to see more on a day to day basis of what we do at DWI,  join us!   We would love to meet you!!

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Living Well

Quick Tips For Creating a Warm, Inviting Foyer

I thought you might enjoy a few tips for creating a foyer in your home that sets the tone for the rest of your house.

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It isn’t hard to do, as long as you follow these simple principles.   Watch this video here from my latest television segment from NBC-13 Daytime Alabama with Wendy Garner and let me know how your foyer evolves.

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Have a great day, everyone.

Dana

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Living Well

A Few of My Favorite Paint Colors

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are having a great day!

Have you ever chosen the “perfect” color for a room- or better yet, had a color suggested to you by a friend- only to find out the color looks horrible when painted in your space?

Repeat after me:

“Undertones and lighting play a huge part in how a color looks in a room.”

If you are familiar with my work, you know I mostly mix custom colors for each particular project.  I have one client who calls the color in her main living area my secret sauce.  Ha!

That being said, here are a few neutrals I consider to be “fail-safe” picks.

 

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray.   I just painted a bedroom in this color and it is BEAUTIFUL.  It’s light, warm,  and not stark white.

6119 Antique White

6119 Antique WhiteBenjamin Moore Ballet White. This has a slightly warmer tint without being too golden.  If you are wanting to cut the yellow undertones such as in a kitchen where you are working with white marble, mix it at half formula.  Otherwise, it is beautiful in main living areas.

Benjamin Moore Titanium. This gray has a bit of greenish undertones.   Very soft for a bedroom needing a little color.

 

I hope these color suggestions work for you and your home.  If you end up using one of these colors, let me know it looks.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

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Living Well

A Family of Five- Before and After

Hi  Everyone,

I hope you are doing well.   I recently switched computers and in going through some old photos, I realized I have a lot of “before” pics on homes I have worked on the past few years.   So for fun, I thought it might be nice to show a couple of transformations.  Here goes the first of  several posts….

Below is the home to a family of five.  With a house of three girls ranging from a tween to teens, this busy family needed a home that could keep up with their fast-paced schedule.  Real Homes for Real Life.  By reworking a few key spaces in the house to make it more functional, family-friendly, and company-ready, we gave this family a home they can truly live in and enjoy.

 

Here goes the BEFORE

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AFTER

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If you would like to see more pictures of this amazing transformation, click here for a feature in the December issue of B-Metro magazine.  As always, thanks to Graham Yelton for the amazing photography.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

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Living Well

What A Fun Week- Part Two

Hi Everyone,

Here is the final post on the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Antiques at The Gardens show from a few weeks back.  If you haven’t seen the pictures of our space installed, here they are….

 

 

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So…….

From envision

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To fruition

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I think our vignette turned out pretty well (click to see a panoramic of the space).

 

To all of our friends who helped us in building and installing our space, we send a great BIG thank you….

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Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

Living Well

What A Fun Week- Part One

Hi Everyone,

What a great time Jeff, Grant, and I had last week as Tastemakers for the 2013 Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Antiques at The Gardens show.   So much time, preparation, and work went into creating our space that I couldn’t decide if I was sad to see it end or ready to move on.

So how did all of this come to fruition?

After agreeing to serve as Tastemakers for the show, Jeff and I met several months ago and came up with the theme, “Fireside Chat”.  During a meeting one afternoon to see how we envisioned the space,  Jeff drew this on a random piece of paper as our inspiration…

 

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Sorry for the quality being so bad, but it was copied a few times over the course of the project.   Apparently, Jeff is known for sketching out some pretty incredible things on a napkin or two.  If you haven’t seen where some of his sketches have turned into reality, you can visit here.

Once we had the dimensions of our space and a vision we wanted to achieve, it didn’t take long to pull it together.   We tried to create an authentic space while watching what we spent.   Honestly, since this was for a charitable event versus a client, this is where the challenge came in.  It is easy to choose what I see in a space for a client-paid project, but to create a high-end look for a charitable event is a little more challenging.  Fortunately, several companies, vendors, and friends helped by lending us pieces, giving us special pricing, etc…

Thanks to Grant’s planning,  move-in day went surprisingly smooth.  It didn’t take  us  him long to put together the structure of the room.

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Jeff and Grant filled the fireboxes ever so perfectly. We had lots of comments about how nicely the wood was stacked, so their attention to detail paid off.

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This is how we ended the first day moving in…. Structure is up, curtains are hung, and tomorrow is the installation of the fireplace surround, upholstery, case goods, accessories etc….

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Stay tuned for pictures of the final reveal…..

Have a great day, everyone-

dana

Living Well

Memorable Monday

Hi Everyone,

For today’s Memorable Monday, I decided to share several pictures from a photo shoot taken a few years ago for Birmingham Home and Garden. If you aren’t familar with this publication, check it out as it is a good one!

These pictures were taken at a home that was featured in the ten year anniversary issue. It graced the cover of the very first issue and they decided to visit it again for this milestone. Thanks to the talented Chris Carter of Christopher Glenn for helping us with the styling of the flowers.

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Hope you have a Memorable Monday!

Living Well

Are The Clothes You Are Wearing The Next Trend For Your Home ?

After a quick trip to New York last week, I was quickly reminded how the realm of interior design is heavily influenced by the fashion industry.  Store after store was filled with clothing, handbags, shoes, and accessories in this year’s trends of black and white and of animal print.  If you open the latest shelter magazine, you are sure to see them popping up there, too.

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Rachel Zoe – Fall 2013

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A great use of black wall paper!

The Herringbone Dresser with bone inlay by Deb Dagenais.
herringbone dresser with bone inlay by Deb Dagenais.

I love the use of this black wall paper!9dd8850a260718ecb39bdfa3461d5497

Image Credit: Getty Images

Image Credit: Getty Images

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I also noticed lots of leather detailing on clothing, and it makes me wonder if we are going to start to see more of this on accessories, pillows, etc… for the home.

What do you think?  Do you see what you are wearing as the next possible trend for your home (hope you are not in your t-shirt and shorts- ha!)? Not sure about you, but these pictures are making me want to add an occasional chair out of leopard to my own home decor.

If you are interested in seeing more of the trends we are noticing, follow us on Pinterest.

Have a good day, everyone-

dana

Image Credits: 1 (E Online/ Getty Images) 2 (Getty Images) 3  (Pinterest) 4 ( Pinterest) 5 ( Pinterest) 6 (Pinterest) 7 (Getty Images) 8 (Getting Images) 9 ( Pinterest)

Living Well

StyleBlueprint’s June Finds

styelblueprint_danawolterbanquette_may-2013-620x412What an honor to have my custom banquettes featured in StyleBlueprint’s June finds! Custom banquettes,  sofas, and built-ins are a specialty of mine, as they are a great way to create a unique and functional sitting area in a home.  Designed to fit the homeowner’s space and needs, these custom pieces come in an array of fabric options, styles, and sizes.  I would love to work with you to create the perfect real and functional home by adding one of these beautiful custom pieces.

Below are a few of the custom pieces I have designed for clients.  Enjoy!

Perfect way to add extra seating in a bay window! Image Credit: Jean Allshop
Perfect way to add extra seating in a bay window!
Image Credit: Jean Allshop
Dining Room Banquette
Dining Room Banquette
Kitchen Banquette for Family with 2 Boys and 2 Dogs Image Credit: Graham Yelton
Kitchen Banquette for Family with 2 Boys and 2 Dogs
Image Credit: Graham Yelton
Custom Loveseat  Image Credit: Graham Yelton
Custom Loveseat
Image Credit: Graham Yelton

 

Have a good one!

– Dana

 

Living Well

Family-Friendly Interiors

Wanted to give you guys an update on how the residents in the Real Homes for Real Life  post really LIVE in their house. This pup is the second K-9 addition to this family, and he is certainly making himself at home. It is such a good feeling knowing my clients can actually live in the homes I have designed for them.

This pup certainly LIVES in the house!
Getting good use out of the coffee table!

Have a good one!

– Dana

Photo Credit: Courtesy of my client