I am so excited to be included in a recent Traditional Home magazine story on lighting and thought I’d share four tips on selecting lighting for your home.
Selecting the perfect light fixture is a great way to marry function and beauty while adding a custom touch to your house.
In many interiors, lighting isn’t given the attention it deserves. It’s often an afterthought, but well-chosen light fixtures—from chandeliers and pendants to wall sconces and lanterns—can be the element that adds that final hint of drama to a beautiful room.
Here are four tips we often implement when selecting lighting for our clients whom reach out to us here.
Four tips for selecting lighting for your home:
1. Include Lighting As A Statement Piece
In this soft gray corridor, we incorporated unlacquered brass lanterns to draw the eye upward and act as the perfect punctuation mark to tame a long hallway.
They not only make a statement but they provide needed light for the space.
2. Incorporate Sconces For Dimension and Soft Lighting
Sconces are often the jewelry that completes the little black dress of an interior—offering soft, sculptural light that can break up a long wall and add dimension. These gorgeous accent pieces act not only as accent lighting but also as artwork that personalizes the space.
Ornamented brass sconces with white shades act as delicate accents and balance artwork across the way.
3. Create Drama In A Small Space
Dramatic lighting used in small spaces can offer high impact in a diminutive package. It’s the ideal place for sculptural lighting that catches your eye.
We selected sconces in the same patina in the home’s powder room for consistency and to act as counterpoints to a gorgeous gilt mirror.
Paired with a gray grasscloth wallpaper and gray-flecked marble, the fixtures take on a new life.
4. Include Task lighting Where Needed
Another tip for selecting lighting for your home is that decorative fixtures need to be paired with task lighting in high-use areas like a kitchen. Recessed lighting, mixed with the more decorative ambient light from the lanterns, ensures that every surface is illuminated.
In the kitchen, we chose lanterns with a patina finish to hang over the island. While the kitchen has varying shades of gray, the patinated lighting acts as a casual counterpoint to the dark waxed island while popping against soft gray cabinetry.
I hope you found these four tips for selecting lighting for your home useful as the options for lighting are limitless.
Have fun and experiment with your own by mixing finishes and scale, along with new and antique, for a look special to you. The layering is half the fun.
To see more of what Dana Wolter Interiors is doing on a daily basis, click to follow along…
We are currently working on several renovation projects and I’m constantly reminded of certain pitfalls to avoid when renovating or building a new home.
Building or renovating is a huge investment with your time and more importantly, your money.
When a client hires us, we strive to be their advocate, help them invest their money wisely, and (hopefully) take away the stress. Follow along as I share some tips I’ve learned over the years.
5 Must-Follow Tips On Building Or Renovating A Home:
Pitfall #1: Order the Size Window the Architect Specifies
Sometimes in the bidding process, it’s discussed replacing a custom window with a standard size one to save a little money.
Don’t do it – window size, type, and placement are extremely important when building a home, and this small change can dramatically alter the look of what has been professionally drawn.
Pitfall #2: Buy Right the First Time
Let’s face it….Life gets busy and all of us have good intentions to go back later and switch something out. I know building can be draining and tiring, but once you have moved and settled in, the last thing you want to do is spend money to replace something.
Buy the best you can afford on the front end and you will enjoy it for many years to come.
Pitfall #3: Use Classic Building Materials
Save the trends for things that are easy to switch out such as pillows and accessories. Keep your building material finishes classic. You will thank me in the long run, especially if you decide to sell.
Pitfall #4: Set Money Aside for the Furnishings
Budget appropriately for the building process and be sure to leave enough money to properly furnish the home. The furnishing budget is just as important as the building budget, and I promise you, it is nice to be DONE with the entire project so you can ENJOY the home you worked so hard to create.
Pitfall #5: Think Long Termon Your Needs
How long are you going to live in this house? If you plan on staying for five years or more, you need to take into account what your needs will be down the road.
Are you an empty nester building your final house? Be sure to think ahead on bedroom placement, stairs and other simple things that could be a hindrance down the road.
Will your children be teenagers in five years? If so, they (and their friends) will only grow bigger and need more space.
Be sure to think long term and hire the best architect, designer, landscape designer, and builder your budget allows. I promise you that in the end, it will save you money and hassle.
If you are building or renovating and would like to discuss your project and how avoid these common pitfalls with us, email us here. I would love to talk with you.
A few weeks ago we wrote the blog post, “Designing On A Deadline” (click here if you missed it). We received such great feedback that we decided to dive a little deeper into this topic and address a few common questions about the home renovation process.
Home Design With A Deadline – Common Questions When Starting A Renovation
When/How do I begin my project?
We often hear from our clients that they aren’t sure when or how to move forward with their project.
Reaching out to us via email or phone only takes a few minutes and from there, we will guide you through the entire process beginning with forming your entire team. This initial step will ironically be the easiest.
How long will it take?
If construction and renovations are required, we will first address your needs and help you set a timeline.
Rushing the renovation process is never wise so sometimes pushing the deadline back on the front end allows more realistic expectations.
I am also a big believer on not starting the project until the plans are complete. Demo goes quickly but things tend to slow down a bit after this step.
Will we have to move out?
This is the number one question I am asked and rightfully so. Going through a renovation is daunting to some, but moving out of their home throws people for a loop.
The good news is depending on your project needs, moving out may not be required. We’ve renovated entire kitchens with the clients still living at home. It’s not always pretty, but it can be done.
If your renovation covers several main areas of your house, it’s possible to work in stages to avoid moving out. Just like we get creative with the design of our projects, we can also get creative helping you stay happy and comfortable- at home.
How involved will we need to be?
We understand that life is busy and adding extra tasks and decision making isn’t always ideal.
While some clients have more say-so in the selections, most want little involvement aside from the budgeting and approving the selections.
By intercepting daily decisions you may not know how to answer, we are hopefully alleviating stress from your already busy day. Our goal is to be our client’s advocate by making sure everything runs smoothly and correctly.
I hope I have answered some of your questions about renovating your home. Whether your hesitation to begin your project has to do with timing, fear of the unknown, or an array of other reasons, take the first step. I promise it will be worth it in the end.
I’ve always been proud of how our designs change how people live- because they do. I’ve seen time and time again how a beautiful, well-functioning home can add to the quality of a family’s life and save them from costly mistakes.
While the reason we do what we do hasn’t changed, we gave it a name in early 2017. We added to our Vision Statement “To change people’s lives through the art of Living Well in their home.”
So, in keeping with Living Well in my own life, I thought it would be fun to look back at what 2017 held for me. Here is a recap- the good and the bad- that took place.
We began the year opening my new office in Mountain Brook, AL. I kept my office in my home for several years to stay close to my children, but now that they are older and my team has grown, it was time to move out. We are now in the heart of Mountain Brook Village, so still close to my own home which I love.
January also included installing our #DiamondsOfDesign vignette for the AmericasMart market in Atlanta, GA. It was their 60th anniversary and to celebrate, they had 10 designers from across the country create spaces based upon a style icon from the past 60 years.
Designers from across the Southeast were asked to participate in this showhouse, and we loved being included. The house is a James Means’ creation where his designs were based upon Classicism and craftsmanship. The renovation/addition was by Yong Pak of Pak Hyde & Associates.
Here are a few pictures from our Mudroom photographed by Emily Followill:
March came with a family trip to The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas for spring break. It was a much needed break, and the fresh air and scenery were exactly what I needed.
We were thrilled to learn in early April that we were a Finalist for the 2017 ADAC and Veranda Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year award.
Though we didn’t win, it was a fun few days celebrating and catching up with design friends.
2017 also included publications of our work. We loved this feature here in Charlotte’s Peachy Magazine featuring one of our designs from years’ past. It’s an example that good design doesn’t go out of style….
Mountain Brook Magazine featured one of my favorite renovations. The backstory to this project is a feel good story for all, so be sure to read here .
StyleBlueprint did a wonderful feature on our work. You can see the article here.
I also visited New York a few times for work and for fun. I love the city and find inspiration from new sources so easily there. When I was there in July, I drove over with my friend Vicki to see the Traditional Home Hamptons’ Showhouse in July. It was filled with amazing talent and every space was gorgeous.
I can’t leave out moving TWO of my girls to college. While it is always time for them to go back to school when the time comes (and this is Lucy’s junior year), it is still emotional for me. Not sure why- because they are doing amazingly well, but I just miss them.
I enjoyed showing their followers around Birmingham, AL. People are always pleasantly surprised to see how urbanized our city is and all that it offers in the Deep South.
We had several installations this year, and for our amazing clients, we are always grateful. Here are some pictures of a few of the homes(photography by Graham Yelton):
If you are still reading following me here on Instagram, you know I recently had hip surgery. It was a big decision for me to go through with it as I have had hip pain for over three years. Quite frankly, I just became tired of being in pain and not being able to walk long distances. It has been a rough few weeks, but every day I seem to be a little stronger. I just pray 2018 will be pain free and that I will be able to walk as far as I would like without thinking twice. I’ve learned it’s the simple things that I take for granted, like bending over to tie my shoes (I can’t do this for six weeks post op). If you see me walking into my office barefoot, you will know why.:)
And while 2017 has been a pretty good year for business and accolades, what I am most grateful for is my family. Living Well for me is enjoying my family and creating memories with them whenever I can. I recently turned an extra room in our house into a tv room, and I have loved watching all of the many movies we did over the holidays.
So here’s to Living Well in 2018, whatever your definition may be. If it includes transforming your home into one that works hard to live up to your definition, give us a shout here. We’d love to hear from you.
It’s always fun to go back to a finished project and see how a client is LIVING in the home.
I am always amazed at how your surroundings can completely revamp how you feel and live.
After all, #LivingWell in your home is about making your home work for you and your family. Making it special to you.
We made a two day visit to professionally photograph this home, and I loved seeing the hustle and bustle of everyday life for them. This family of five stays on the go, and their home needs to work hard for them.
Southern style at its best- spaces that invite guests in to visit, spaces that are workhorses for their needs, and in the end are just really pretty rooms.
I think we succeeded in making it just that….
It is their forever home, but when they bought it a year ago, there wasn’t much to it that made it feel like it was their own.
While I can’t show you the full room pictures, I can give you a glimpse….
You might have seen this picture of the foyer on My Instagram that I posted last week, or this one today……
And here are a few more……..
If you feel like your home isn’t helping you make the most of your life and your family’s, email us here. Let us help you #LiveWell in your home, too.
I’ve been little sporadic blogging this summer, but that doesn’t mean lots of exciting things- personally and professionally- haven’t been going on. I don”t know where to start, so I thought I would give a few highlights.
I have been super focused right now on packing up my middle daughter, Ellie, and moving her into college TOMORROW. Lots of mixed emotions as I don’t think a move with my second child will be any easier than it was with my first.
We are doing a mix of custom and store bought finds for her dorm room. I’ve tried to spend a little more on the items that can be reused and go more for “look” on the basic items.
The girls want to be surprised, so they haven’t seen anything yet. I am a little nervous about not having feedback from them but I’ve had a hip, college intern this summer who approved. Hopefully, they will feel the love that has gone into creating their room by this old, not so cool (at least in my daughter’s eyes) mom.
I will try to share some picture on social media so you can see how it turned out. Be sure to follow along here on Instagram……
Our office closed the week of the Fourth of July and I headed to the beach. My oldest, Lucy, is working in New York this summer and Ellie was at the lake, so Danny and I took Ann and friends to Watercolor in Santa Rosa, FL, for the week.
I loved having some time (well, as much as they would give us) with these girls, and the rest was good for all. The one on one time with my hubby was icing on the cake.
It’s a good thing we rested as my team and I came back to a huge install. This is a new construction we have been working on for over two years, and the cute couple, who built their forever home, were moving in that week.
The scope of the project covered all of the finishes/ details in the house, and the beginning of the summer included lots of attention to making sure all went seamlessly. We selected all of the upholstery, furnishing, accessories, window treatments, etc…, for the entire downstairs and a few things in the media room. The home is stunning with custom touches throughout.
It’s these custom touches that make a house go from pretty to pretty incredible. Lots of fabric cuttings going back and forth, creating a “catch your eye” focal point in each room, blending of finishes, making sure everything works with the piece next to it without being too perfectly matched….. You get the point. It’s custom what we do and attention to detail is our specialty.
It’s been a fun project as we’ve blogged about it here if you’d like to read more.
I headed to the Hamptons at the end of July to celebrate the opening of the Traditional Home Showhouse in Southampton. It was a lot of fun and the two homes are gorgeous. Lots of stunning details shown on Traditional Home’s Instagram here. Be sure to look for more pictures of the homes in next summer’s issue.
We’ve also been diligently working on a few new rooms that have been added to the scope of a current project. It is a stately house with great bones with a cute, active family that lives in it. Lots of beautiful stone throughout- but it needed some softness and layers and unique details added into the mix. We’ve brought in an architect to make the rooms flow better. It doesn’t matter how pretty a space is if it doesn’t function well for your family. Right??!
Stay tuned as we are sharing some exciting news soon. In the meantime, wish me luck moving in my girl.
I am going to miss her infectious laugh and the relaxed feel she adds to the house. Wondering if crying when dropping off college kids is embarrassing to them. I am only asking for a friend 🙂
Have a great day and thanks for reading,
Like what you see? Be sure to follow along to see more on a daily basis….
With summer in full swing and warm weather here to stay, I find myself wanting to spend a little more time outdoors.
Maybe it’s the Southerner in me, but I love the idea of grilling, sharing a meal, or even drinking my morning coffee outside.
Every home should have an outdoor area. It doesnt have to be large, just big in style to invite you to sit down and relax.
I always try to soften an outdoor area so it feels like an extension of a client’s home. Don’t be afraid to add accents and traditional indoor furnishings to your outdoor room. Outdoor upholstery, throw pillows for furniture, rugs, and other design touches will create a welcoming feel.
Below is a picture of my own outdoor space. As you can see, I have kept a similar color palate to the inside of my house and just added some greenery and pops of color in my throw pillows.
With all of the hard surfaces you find on a terrace, greenery is always a nice way to soften the space as well. I am a big fan of succulents because they are EASY to maintain and a great way to add texture to a table.
I would love to hear how you’ve brought the indoors out at your home.