Posts Tagged ‘dana kubiszyn wolter’

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-


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






Thanks, StyleBlueprint Birmingham!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

All of us know what it is like to get bombarded with a 50+ emails every morning suggesting we read this or buy that – it is exhausting.

I want to share with you an online publication that is certainly cut from a different cloth.  StyleBlueprint is a southern style blog that focuses on conversations that inevitably connect women with people and businesses within the Birmingham community.

Every Monday, StyleBlueprint Birmingham showcases someone on “The Faces of Birmingham,” and I was so honored that my friend, Catherine (StyleBlueprint’s Birmingham City Editor), asked to feature me.  In the interview, I really wanted to emphasize your home can be both beautiful AND functional.   Every square inch of your home should have a purpose and it should be designed to withstand the wrath of daily life. 

Here is a link to the interview in StyleBlueprint – Dana Wolter.  Thanks again, StyleBlueprint, for the feature!

Have a good one, everybody-


Faces of Birmingham – Dana Wolter

Image Credits: Beth Hontzas Photography/ StyleBlueprint Birmingham


Do you ever walk into a room, or look at a picture of a room, and become invigorated by what you see?   That’s exactly how I feel when I look at the work of Cindy Smith and Jane Schwab.   Jane and Cindy are the talent behind Circa Design Firm based in Charlotte, NC, and the renowned retail collaboration – Circa Interiors (the retail store has locations in Charlotte and Birmingham).  Something in their interiors or in their store always catches my eye.   Every time.

Imagine my excitement when I learned this talented design duo had written a book, The Welcoming House.   I couldn’t make it to Circa fast enough for their book signing.

Cindy, Jane, and myself at Circa in Mountain Brook Village. Note: Notice all of the pretty things in the background? See I told you; Something always catches my eye.

While I have met Cindy several times and think so much of she and her daughter, Whitney, who lives and runs the store here in Birmingham, I was thrilled to finally meet Jane.  Jane was just as warm and gracious as I pictured her to be.  Warm and gracious.  Two good words….  Not only to describe these two ladies, but their work as well.  I also discovered Jane was staying the night with my next door neighbor, a dear friend of hers from college (small world).

Why do their interiors resonate with me and make me want to study every little detail that never seems to be forgotten?

There are a lot of reasons.  I love how they mix old and new, formal and informal, and while a room may have been installed in one day, their homes always look like they have evolved over time.  I also think this quote in their book sums it up just fine:

“In design and decoration, pretty is wonderful, but it’s far from everything.  Practicality and function always come first, because if a room doesn’t work, who will use it?”

 Not only are their interiors gorgeous and inviting, but their rooms are useful.   Yes, they are pretty AND functional.  You want to sit down and stay awhile.   Real Homes For Real Life.   Remember?   My new mantra that I think every homeowner should be able to claim.

This homeowner for sure claims it.


Don't you want to curl up in the chair and read a book?


What a beautiful patio!


The perfect master suite!

Be sure to visit Circa Interiors or to buy your copy of The Welcoming House, as it is filled with great advice for all.  In the meantime, I will leave you with a few pictures of my favorite things in their Birmingham store right now.    Have a great day, everyone!




This little man needs a new home in my house.


Photo Credits: (1) The Welcoming House (2) Dana Wolter Interiors (3,4,5,) The Welcoming House (6,7,8) Dana Wolter Interiors


Let The Light Shine In

Tags: , , , , , ,

I don’t know if I am just tired of the cold, wet weather, but I am noticing more and more as I go into homes the importance of window placement and size in relation to the sun.  To me, there is nothing better than a  room with natural light filtering in.   I came across both of these pictures on Pinterest and thought I would share-

  Not sure what I love more about the window above:  The size or the shape.   What a beautiful detail it is to this room.

  I am also loving the look of steel windows, and though when I look at them I see a lot of windows that will need cleaning (call me neurotic- I get it), you better believe if I build again I am going to incorporate a few into the architecture of the home.  I guess I will need to have my Windex ready.

  What do you think?  What’s inspiring you lately?   Follow us on Pinterest to see what is catching our attention-

Hope you have a good one!


It’s been a while since I last blogged (September, but who is counting?!).   By the time I work,  take care of my family, complete my volunteer commitments, keep up with social media, and other things that pop up with everyday living,  blogging just seems to fall the wayside.   No excuse, I know, as I am really going to try and do better.

My business has grown quite rapidly over the past few years, and to be honest, I am experiencing a few growing pains.   As I am setting new goals and looking toward the future, I am trying to be honest with myself as to where my strengths- and weaknesses- lie.  Maybe it is because I have a dog and a revolving door with three active, busy children who constantly have friends coming and going, or maybe it is because I grew up one of five children so I am pretty practical, but I think one of the ways my work stands apart is I design for real living.  Yes, that’s right….you can actually live in the pretty homes I design.  Real homes for real life.

Take this home in the Liberty Park section of Vestavia that was recently featured in B-Metro magazine.   With two boys and a dog (a second pup just joined this family btw), the mother was adamant for a home they could entertain AND live in.

Come on in and see for yourself how we gave them just that:

 What began as a builder spec home quickly became their own through new paint and new furnishings.  Custom upholstery, done in lush but forgiving fabrics, can be wiped up with a dishrag.   No worries about spilled milk in this home.

With the exception of the foyer loveseat and the kitchen banquette, notice how all of the fabrics are light?  I tell my clients all the time the durability of a fabric is so much more important than the color of a fabric.  Even with active children and  K9 friends, you can live in a beautiful home with light upholstery.   The key is to choose durable fabrics and finishes, and with today’s options, they are not hard to find.

For more on this home, you can read the article here.   Have a good day, everyone.




Note: Photography courtesy of Graham Yelton

Looking for more from Dana Wolter Interiors?  Follow us on FB, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Decorating For The Holidays

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I think I am finally ready for Christmas as my house is decorated and my to-do list is ALMOST complete.  I guess that is a good thing since Christmas is only two days away!

While I love all of the pretty things you see this time of year, I am really trying to simplify my life to remember why I am celebrating.   Less is more in my book these days.

Here are some pictures of a few of the decorations found around my home:


ann is busy making a moss wreath

this year's christmas tree after it fell over TWICE!

keeping it simple-

boxwood wreaths decorate the front door

And for my three favorite decorations of all……

Merry Christmas from our family to yours


I am taking a few days off after Christmas, so this will be my last post until 2012.   Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy your family.   


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.

When my home was on the Independent Presbyterian Church’s Home Tour in 2009, I added a few trees to the mix.  Here they are:

traditional christmas tree

painted tree of sticks in my daughter's room. picture courtesy of southern living christmas

tree made from birch branches

Some other decorations found around my home…..

photo courtesy of southern living christmas


I will keep you posted on how I end up decorating my home this year.   The holidays are upon us……Are you ready?  How will you celebrate this year?

Feng What?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Have you heard of feng shui?   If not, you are not alone.   I was familar with the term but knew little about it. Recently,  a high school friend emailed me that her cousin, Katie Rogers, had moved to Birmingham and that she thought we should meet.

Katie graduated from Vanderbilt University with an English degree before becoming a certified feng shui specialist.  Originally from Mobile, she was living in Los Angeles and Sun Valley, ID the past ten years when she decided to move back to her home state to be closer to family.

When Katie and I met at the local Starbucks, we immediately hit it off.  Here was this warm, Southern-bred girl who was as genuine as she could be, yet she also had this artsy side to her as well.   A friendship was quickly formed, and I am honored to call Katie my friend.

I have enjoyed learning more about feng shui from Katie and thought you might like an intro into it as well.

Take it away, Katie ……

“Feng What?”  That’s what I usually hear when telling my fellow Southerners that I am a feng shui (pronounced: fung schway) consultant.  I smile and repeat the words a little slower, and I’m then met with a blank stare.  “What in the world is that?” they ask.

Feng shui, in its essence, is how you feel in a space.

Let me put it this way.  When you walk into a beautiful home, where everything is in order and there are possibly healthy plants here and there and other happy details, you just feel good!  Right?

foyer by Dana Wolter -- comfy sofa says "come on in!"

Compare that to a cluttered mess!  Yuck!

clutter!!! (from this website)

Like photosynthesis is to a beautiful garden, feng shui is to a beautiful home (or office or anywhere!)  It’s what’s happening — energetically — behind the scenes.

Let me give you an example.  Below is one of Dana’s gorgeous designs.  While she could tell you how it works from a design perspective, I can tell you how it works from a feng shui perspective.

1.  Yin and Yang. Dana talks about mixing hard and soft and using different textures and materials.  In feng shui, there is yin and yang.  You may recognize this symbol:

Yin and yang represent  balance. Notice how this living room has both curvy (yin) and straight (yang) lines; light (yang) and dark (yin); and hard (yang) and soft (yin).  The yin elements would be the cushiony pillows, the curtains, and even the nook in the corner.

"yin" curtains, pillows, and round window




The yang elements would be the sunlight streaming in, the lighter color scheme, and the hard center table.

the large mirror and exuberant floral arrangement are yang too!




Dana had no idea that she was balancing yin and yang to create optimal energy in the space.  But her intuition knew!

2. Colors and elements.  Dana tends towards a neutral palette, so in feng shui, we’d say that she likes to decorate in the element of Earth.

examples of "Earth" colors





Earth represents a nurturing and grounded energy, so this is optimal for homes of busy families, who need a respite from life!  However, again, with the elements, we want a balance.   Dana also added the element of Fire (the amber-colored vase and the outspread flower arrangement)…

….and Water (the painting by Arthur Price)…

painting by Birmingham artist Arthur Price


…as well as a good dose of Wood (ceiling and center table).  Metal appears too (chandelier and fireplace) to create a perfect harmony.  Again, this was Dana’s intuition in high gear, unbeknownst to her!

3.  Bagua map.  A hot topic of interest in feng shui is the bagua map.  Did you know that your home is actually a map to your life?  If you were to divide your floorplan (given that it’s in the general shape of a rectangle) into nine equal sections, you could use the bagua map to discover what part of your home represents which part of your life!

from the iPhone app by Tish Morris

Amazing right?  So, say your kitchen was in the far back left corner of your home (facing the front door), then that is your Abundance section.  Therefore if your kitchen is in disarray, your finances may be in disarray.  If your kitchen is clean, your fridge filled with healthy foods, and you always have an overflowing bowl of fresh fruits displayed, then a feng shui consultant could deduce that your finances are perhaps overflowing and in good health!

even a bowl of fruit is good feng shui...Abundance! photo by cdavies

The living room we’ve been talking about happens to fall in the “Helpful People” sector according to the bagua map.  Notice how the seating allows more than three people to chat without straining to hear or shouting.

8 or 9 people could sit in here comfortably! (Notice sofa on the left)

This is very auspicious in feng shui as group-seating represents community, and that’s what this sector is all about!

I’m just giving you a taste of feng shui here.  It’s an in-depth art and science that is better understood when put into practice.  And more than that, it’s a fun way to get your home – and your life – in order!  For more information, check out authors such as Sharon Stasney, Terah Kathryn Collins, Karen Kingston or Denise Lynn…or my blog The Sparklit.  You can also check out the International Feng Shui Guild for a feng shui practitioner in your area, or call me for a distance or in-home consultation.  And let us know what you think!  I always love a good feng shui success story!

Happy feng shui-ing!

–Katie Rogers

Kitchen Must-Haves

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

looks clean but still has texture thanks to the gorgeous marble! (Image from...)

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.

beauty + function = perfection (image from...)



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.

banquette design by Dana Wolter, photographed by Jean Allsopp

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!

a little piece of heaven! copyright kalamazoo


Fun Fall Trends

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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…

unhung chandelier made from driftwood

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.

from pinterest

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!

close up on fall colors!

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!