Living Well

Like A Good Coffee Table Book? If So, Put This One On Your List

If you are like me, you enjoy reading and being inspired by books.

 

I love to curl up to the latest coffee table book and there are some really good ones out there.   They are also  a great way to inject personality into a space by stacking and displaying them.

 

Thanks to Birmingham Home and Garden, Birmingham Style, will soon be at the top of my reading list.  It is going to be a must-read for anyone interested in stylish living.

 

Birmingham Style

 

This hardcover coffee table book, which is due out November 1st,  highlights the best designs in Birmingham with more than 200 images of architecture, interior design and gardens.  Over 30 homes from the area are featured,  mine being one of them.

The editors of Birmingham Home and Garden have done a great job of showcasing some really pretty spaces throughout our city, and I love they have decided to cultivate some of their favorites into this book.    Below is an image I snapped of my bedroom while they were taking pictures.   I cannot wait to see what made the final cut.

 

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The living spaces in this publication range from classical architecture to cozy cottages to lofts with exquisite city views. I feel so lucky to live in a place that has such an array of beautiful homes, along with so many incredible tastemakers and trendsetters!

 

With all the beautiful images, you are sure to find inspiration, ideas and resources that will  have your wheels turning and creative juices flowing.

 

Be sure to preorder yours here today, and what better way to get your holiday shopping started than by buying a few extras for all the interior stylists on your list.

 

 

Happy reading,

 

Dana

 

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Living Well

A Busy Time of Year and A New Service Is Offered

With school back in and the holidays around the corner, my little design world has gotten pushed into high gear.  My team and I have put our roller skates on and we have hit the ground rolling.

 

We have been fortunate to begin some projects that have gotten us really excited about what we are working on around here.   I am always amazed how a well-designed home can truly change how a family lives, and am always grateful for those who ask me to help with something so personal.

 

And while we work on mostly full room or turn-key projects, I have realized we have missed out on a need that is out there, simply because it did not fit into our little box of what we do.

 

That being said, I want to share a new service that we are offering……

 

Drumroll please…..

 

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We have begun thinking out of the box to see how we can service the clients who need direction and decisions but do not need full interior design services.

 

 

 

SO…….

If  your home is almost complete, but you cannot quite pull it together, this service is for you.

If you are you tired of your interior colors and want a new color palette, this service is for you.

If you like to do the running around to look for pieces, but aren’t sure of the size or scale to buy, this service is for you.

If you are a take it and run with it kind of person, this service is for you.

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, this service is screaming your name!

 

 

 

This service works by you sending over to me a list of what you would like to accomplish with your home.    We make an appointment, and I will then spend 3.5 hours of  uninterrupted time in your home, answering any question you can possible think to ask me.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric swatches, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it!

 

The more legwork you do before our meeting, the more productive our time will be together.   We will make a Pinterest board with 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 all of the suggestions I make for the entire home.   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 that 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.

 

I have provided this service to a few people, and it has gone really well.   One client emailed me a few months later to say she was following the suggestions and was loving the progression.   Even her husband, who wasnt excited about changing up the home, had jumped on board.  They were moving onto the kitchen renovation she and I had discussed in length during our session.

 

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.

 

Have a great day, everyone,

 

Dana

 

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Living Well

Fall Favorites

The leaves are beginning to fall, the air is cooling off, and the days are getting shorter.  Football is in full swing and pumpkins are showing up everywhere.

 

This only means one thing… Fall is here!

 

As a way to celebrate the beginning of this new season, I wanted to share a few of my fall favorites from Pinterest.  As mentioned in my last post, Pinterest is my go-to for all things inspiration.

 

 

cashmere blanket. The wine bar will be cool....Temperature wise, it is wine after all.
With cooler temperatures, who doesn’t love a cashmere throw? Image from The Little Corner.

 

Cindy Smith and Patrick Lewis's Prohibition Room offers rustic luxury at the 2013 Adamsleigh Showhouse - Traditional Home®  Photo: John Bessler Sponsored by Lee Industries
I love the rustic elegance of this room. The ambiance of the room makes me want to wrap up in the blanket pictured above and enjoy a nice glass of red wine. Image by Cindy Smith and Patrick Lewis

 

Chocolate Pumpkin Cups ~ Can you believe these adorable little cups are entirely edible??
Can you believe these adorable cups are edible? I am sure this is a project my girls will love! Image from Oh, Nuts!

 

It’s time for sweaters and booties! Image from fashionablelittlethings

 

As you know, I am all about simplifying and this image screams serenity and peace. Image from Savy City Farmer.

 

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As I transition my garden from summer to fall, I added pumpkins to my planters. Image from Dana Wolter

 

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This is an arrangement I used on my tables for Thanksgiving last year. Image from Dana Wolter.

 

 

 

Even though I am sad to see the summer sun slip away, autumn is an incredible time of year and I am looking forward to enjoying all that it has to offer.

 

Have a good one,

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

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

Cast Your Vote- It Only Takes A Second

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am very excited about being named  by Traditional Home  a New Trad designer to watch in 2014.

 

 

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It’s a HUGE honor and one I am proud to be included.

Have you seen the April issue?  I was in great company, and I look forward to showing you my project in more detail when in the Tradhome digital issue comes out May 15th.

I hope you noticed in the shelter magazine you have a chance to vote for the designer that matches your style.

I would be honored if you would vote for me.

It’s quick- and EASY!   When you vote, you are entered for a chance to win $1,000 from Hunter Douglas, a window treatment company.

Visit HunterDouglas/TraditionalHome to cast your vote.  You can vote once a day per email, so the more you vote, the more chances you have to win.   The contest will run through July 17th.

Happy Voting,

Dana

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Living Well

Can Hiring a Designer For Your Home Save You Money?

Have you ever made a large purchase for your home and the moment the piece came through the door, regret set in?

 

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As I was reading what my client wrote for my new testimonial page, it hit me there are probably a lot of you who can relate to what she writes below.

“Dana entered our recently renovated, chaotic, choppy home and listened to our family’s needs, vision, and lifestyle. 

Unfortunately I had  recently bought some furniture (that our kids loved) which did not necessarily match what I ultimately envisioned, but she was able to transform even expensive mistakes into a balanced, livable, inviting home. While at first I had misgivings that following all the recommendations could be costly, I quickly realized that Dana was spot-on and much less expensive than fixing more mistakes made by me with a loose credit card. ”

                                                                                                         homeowner and client

 

I hesitate to even write a post that focuses on the monetary aspect of my profession, because I believe my value is in my knowledge, my creativity, my service, and my practical ability to create beautiful, functional homes that can change how a family lives.

BUT, I think a big misconception with hiring a designer is that it is costly.

Yes, if you look strictly at the cost of hiring a professional, then you will not see past the dollar signs.   After all, it is an investment, and one that can cost several thousands of dollars.

BUT, if you are making that kind of investment in your home,  can you afford NOT to hire someone to make sure you are doing it right the first time?

Making the right choices from the beginning saves you time, effort, and money.    If you hire someone who is trustworthy, talented, and practical, she will know how and where to invest your money.

How?

By listening to your needs and wants.  By creating the RIGHT plan of action tailored to your home and family.   A vision without costly mistakes, with pieces you will want to keep.   Designed spaces that will stand the test of time.

Just food for thought.   Let me know what you think-

Have a great day, everyone-

 

dana

 

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Living Well

It’s Like Birthing A Baby……

Have  you ever created a website?  If so,  you know how much time and energy it takes, even if you aren’t the one building it.   The end result is worth all of the hard work, but in the beginning it is not always so easy to see.

It’s like birthing a baby….

Not really, but you get the point.

I have been working with the talented Chad Martin of The G Brand on changing my branding materials and redesigning my website pages, and he has nailed my new look.  My little business has grown and I needed to adjust my wording and update my pictures on my site.  (I haven’t added any of the professional shots I have had taken in the past two to three years- yikes!).

Dataperk in Birmingham created my original site and has worked diligently (or patiently…choose your word) on making these changes in a quick turnaround.

I wish I could show each of you the “work in progress” as I am excited where my site is headed.   Just like my design work, I  am going for classic but edgy, simple but functional…..

Here is a sneak peek…..   Hopefully, it will be live soon and I can share the fruit of all of our efforts.


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If you have any helpful hints, let me know.   Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

 

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Living Well

Real Homes for Real People- Family Room Edition

Like most of you, this is how I spent the past few weeks.

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While I loved having my girls home and enjoyed being forced to shut down for a few days, I was ready to get back to work.   The warmer temperatures and sunshine have been a nice change.

 One of the best parts of my job is when I am called in to make a space more functional for a family, and a good friend of mine asked me to do just that.

She has a great home in Vestavia and needed help making the family room more suitable for her growing teenagers and their friends.  You may recognize a few of the other rooms in this home from the pictures below.  They were published a few years ago in one of my favorite publications, Birmingham Home and Garden.

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living room-courtesy of Jean Allsopp photography
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kitchen banquette- Jean Allsopp photography

 

While I am keeping the family room a surprise until we add the last few pieces, I thought I might show you a glimpse of what we have installed already…..

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I’ll share pictures of the finished room in a few weeks.

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

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Living Well

Looking for a Few Decorating Ideas for the Holidays?

Hi  Everyone,

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.

 

Dana

Living Well

Are the Holidays Really Here?

There was talk I was hosting my family for Thanksgiving this year.

It ends up I will be hosting Christmas instead,  but I could not help but wonder how I was going to decorate all of those holiday tables.

You see, my husband and I both come from large families, so a family gathering is never small.   A beautifully set table-or two or three- makes any meal a special occasion.   And what dinner could be more important than Thanksgiving?

Even though I like to entertain and want things to look pretty, I don’t have hours and hours to spend setting several tables for my large family.  Who does??

Setting a table takes time, so I like to keep it SIMPLE.    Simple is almost always better in my world.

I created this Thanksgiving tablescape for a television segment last year for NBC-13 Daytime Alabama, and I am thinking recreating it when needed.  It is very simple, pretty, and softly layered.

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I’ve also been inspired by several tablescapes I have seen on Pinterest recently.   Here are a couple that caught my eye.

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Isn’t this arrangement gorgeous? Photo courtesy of Pinterest
thanksgiving place setting.
How cute- and easy- is this idea? What a creative idea for a place mat. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.
love these place cards....
Simple and beautiful! Photo courtesy of Pinterest

I hope you feel inspired to set a table that’s dressed to impress.

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

Thanks, Schumacher!

Hi Everyone,

With the Antiques at The Gardens show this week, I want to give a BIG shout out and thank you to my friends at F. Schumacher and Co. for making it possible for us to use several of their exquisite fabrics in our vignette, “Fireside Chat”.

As if their fabrics don’t say enough, it is obvious teamwork and an encouraging environment in the workplace have contributed to the success of this company. I have yet to meet a person associated with Schumacher that I didn’t like, and I have met those working from customer service to the owner of the company. Schumacher is reliable, they stand by their products and they are customer-friendly. Perhaps this is why they have been in business for over 100 years…..

You won’t believe some of the beautiful pieces we created using Schumacher’s textured linens, quilted fabrics and soft velvets. Hopefully you will see them in person at the show, but in case you can’t make it, I will be sure to post a few on my social media as the week goes by.

Have I peaked your interest yet???

If you aren’t familiar with their wall coverings, floor coverings, furnishings, and fabrics, you need to check it out here. If you look closely through their line, you will notice I have used several of their fabrics in many of my interiors. Why? Schumacher has a classic, fresh look, exactly how I want my interiors to read. In my opinion, they have some of the prettiest linens around.

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Mary McDonald’s line for Schumacher
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A Schumacher fabric recently ordered for an upholstered table I am designing for a client.

 

As timing would have it, Schumacher announced Monday that Dara Caponigro, former Editor- In- Chief of Veranda magazine, is the new Creative Director for the company.

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Photo courtesy of F. Schumacher and Co.

Dara has an extensive background in the design world with her experience not only working at Veranda, but also at Domino, Elle Decor, and House Beautiful. There’s lots of talent and experience being added to this incredible company. To read more on this announcement, click on Schumacher’s blog here.

Thanks again Schumacher; We couldn’t have done it without you!

Have a great day, everyone!

Dana

 

 

 

Living Well

Memorable Monday…… It’s Here!

Hi Everyone,

It’s here! I am so excited to see all of our hard work finally come together this week for our space in the Antiques at The Gardens show.  I feel like I have been pregnant for nine months, and it is finally time to birth this baby.  The anticipation is mounting, making it today’s Memorable Monday…..

As much time as we have put towards creating our space for this fundraiser for The Gardens, I think I am going to miss working on it a little.  Jeff Dungan is an amazing architect and his creativity never ceases to amaze me. Not only is he super-talented, but he is a really nice guy.

And Grant Trick???? Grant and I grew up together in Tuscaloosa, and believe it or not, I used to babysit him. Yes, I am that old….. With Grant’s talent of creating beautiful window treatments/upholstery and his past experience in designing window fronts for stores in New York,  I think he was heaven-sent.  No joke.  Grant is extremely organized and not afraid of a little hard work.

While I cannot show any pictures of what we have planned just yet, here is a little glimpse…… Do stay tuned this week to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc… as we will post pictures as progress is being made.  Or better yet, stop by and see us. The show opens up Thursday at 1:00 and closes Sunday at 3:00.

 

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Hope to see you there!

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

“Living the Teenage Dream”

Not sure how you feel, but for me, summer seems to be going by way too fast. Before we know it, we will be buying pumpkins for Halloween and arranging our fall dining table.  I am ready to pump the breaks a little, as I am quickly reminded how time flies when looking at how quickly my girls are growing.

I was honored when B-Metro Magazine asked me in July’s issue for a few tips on how to furnish a teenage room.  In this article,  I share where to spend your money in the room to create a space that can grow with your child.   They were kind enough to share four rooms of my work, and while each child’s room has its own look, you will see similarities in each.  Balance your classic, more expensive pieces -like the headboard, window treatments, and bedding- with trendier, less expensive items to round out the room.

To read more on how to design a room for a teen, check out “Living the Teenage Dream” feature in B-Metro.   More pictures of these rooms will soon be up on Pinterest, or better yet, feel free to pin yourself.

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

P.S. A BIG thank you to Graham Yelton for the amazing pictures!

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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