Now that the dust has settled from the new year and spring is almost here,  I want to share a few changes that can make a big difference in your home.  Ways that accentuate living well in your own home.

And while my to-do list has grown quite long on things I want to change this next year in mine, I thought I would share a few easy ways to improve a home and hopefully your quality of life.

Four Ways To Improve Your Home and Quality Of Life

 1.  Paint a room

Nothing reinvigorates a space more than a fresh coat of paint. Paint fades and dulls slowly over time requiring some TLC after numerous years of no attention.  I suggest repainting the ceiling and trim at the same time because once the walls are repainted, the ceiling and trim will be noticeably dull.

 

2. Bring the outdoors in

With all of this cold weather and rain we’ve had lately, an easy way to improve your home (and mood) is to cut a few branches from outside to add some greenery and life into your home.

Winding branches make such a dramatic yet effortless statement that don’t need to be maintained like orchids or other flowers. The texture and scale that branches contribute to a space will add a beautiful layer to your existing design, AND it doesn’t cost a dime.  It may not be summer, yet, but we can pretend it is almost here.

 

Bring the outdoors in, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

3. Closet consistency

 How often do you stand in your closet thinking you have nothing to wear? The problem may lie in the fact that you can’t see half of what you own.

I recently tossed every single hanger in the house and switched to clear plastic hangers for me and color coordinated ones for my girls (and when they go back to school, the specific hanger goes with them). They come in several colors and the key is to buy each person their own color. Not only do these slim hangers take up less space in your closet, but they look nice and clean.

I pulled out a few things to give away, but the consistency in the hangers and hanging clothes by color and type made all the difference in the world.   I’ve found myself spending less time figuring out what to wear because of this simple, esthetically-pleasing change.

 

4. Make a list of projects you want to accomplish  

March is a great time to make a punch list of things you’ve been wanting to do around your home.  I try to group alike tasks together and make a goal to complete a few each month.

For example, a client just contacted us here about renovating her Kitchen, Family Room, Dining, Master Bedroom, and Screened-In Porch with the goal of being able to enjoy all before the end of summer. We are jumping right in with the plans and drawings so we can keep the ball rolling.

On a smaller scale, maybe you have been wanting to switch out some of your light fixtures that are beginning to look dated or replace a Living Room sofa that has seen better days – add these to your master punch list and begin putting effort in getting them accomplished.

 

What will it take for you to live well, or should I say, live better, in your own home?   Take a few minutes and think about it.   I bet the answer is not far away.

 

Dana

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It’s amazing what a little vision, new furnishings, fresh paint, and a great floor plan execution can do for your home and for your psyche. I thought I would share a few homes of clients where we began their home design with a deadline. 

 

Home Design with a Deadline

Each of these families wanted to update their interiors for different reasons, but all had a common goal- to be finished by the holidays.

Believe it or not, if you want to enjoy new furnishings, art and accessories by Christmas, it’s time to call us now .  It takes a few months for orders to be processed and constructed.

There is no time like the present to get started, and I hope these projects inspire you to do the same.

 

Project #1

These clients  had recently moved into their home and needed new furnishings, window treatments, art, and accessories  for several rooms.  

In their breakfast room, we incorporated their table (which they loved), refinished their cane-back chars, and added a showstopping, extra long custom banquette to the wall of windows.

Because we started working on this client’s home during the middle of the summer, and the Christmas deadline was in the forefronts of everyone’s mind, we made sure everything was finalized and ordered by the end of August.

As the holidays approached, we completed minor renovations and cosmetic updates just in time for the furniture to be installed.  What a treat for this family to enjoy their first Christmas in their new home.

Before:

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Project #2

This next home had plenty of square footage, but because of the columns and off-center fireplace, a sofa would not fit in their family room.  That’s right – there was not enough space for the family to sit comfortably.

As I blogged about here, we completely reworked this room.  It transformed into a beautiful, functional space where the entire family (pets included) can enjoy together.  

Before:

 

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

While we were working on the home, we decided to rework the foyer as well.  

You know me-I love creating a sitting area when possible because it instantly invites guests to come in, sit and visit.  Wait until you see the ‘after’ – it is unrecognizable!

Before:

 

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

If you are ready to update your home with the goal of enjoying the redesign by Christmas, call 205-938-4848 or email us here.   We would love to discuss your project with you. 

Have a great day –

Dana

 

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With warm weather here and people ready to make changes to their home, I want to remind you of the 3.5 consult service I offer periodically.

While the projects we work on are full-service interior design,  this one-time consult is for the client who needs a plan for their home but likes to do the legwork themselves.

It has gone over really well, and clients who have invested in this consult have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes with it.  

Matter of fact, I recently ran into a client who hired me for this service for her home a few years ago.  She said she is slowly working through her list as her budget and time allow, but she is LOVING the big changes happening to her home.

Some people have used this service to update their home, and others have used it to select the finishes, countertops and paint colors for second homes under construction. 

People have even flown in to meet with me (or driven all night when their flight was canceled) for this consult. 

Let us help you with the details and finishes for your new home, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Whatever your needs, you have my undivided attention for 3.5 hours to help you accomplish all that we can in this timeframe.

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

How The 3.5 Hour Consult Works:

Our team will have you send a list of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.  Once we make an appointment,  I will then spend 3.5 hours of uninterrupted time answering any question you can possible think to ask me.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric direction, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it!

I will give you 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 the suggestions I made when discussing your project.  

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 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.

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.

Cheers to making your home one you love, one step at a time……

Dana

 

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A few recent projects have been for families downsizing to smaller homes. And while moving to a home you are excited about can be a blessing, it can sometimes be difficult to lose square footage.

 

It’s amazing all of the stuff we accumulate over the years. I feel like I am constantly cleaning out my house and I try to watch what comes in.

 

How to make the most of small spaces can sometimes be overwhelming , so I thought I would give six helpful tips to #LivingWell in a smaller home.

 

1. Clean Out and Keep Only What You Love Or Will Use.   Simple enough- Do you love it or use it? If not, get rid of it.  No more storing things you “might” need in the future or because you feel guilty getting rid of them.

 

2. Are There Pieces That Can Be Repurposed? If there is a piece you LOVE but don’t have a place for it, can it be reworked for extra storage? 

 

3. Look Above And Below. Look for ways to hide storage, such as using ottomans that open up, raising a bed a few inches to create more space underneath, or  adding built-in seating with drawers underneath.  I also love adding ottomans under an open console or coffee table- not only to work as a layering piece but as an extra seat that can be pulled out if needed.

 

 

An ottoman slides under a coffee table in a client’s Family Room- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Drawers pull out for extra storage in this window seat, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

4. Simplify- When Looking At Your Stuff, Give Away The Extras Of The Same Items.  After all, you might need a few extra sets of sheets, but do you need five sets for the same bed? No- so give away to someone who can use them.

 

5. Think Long And Hard How Your Home Needs To Work For You and Delegate A Function For Every Room Or Unused Corner.  There is something refreshing about simplifying your life and surroundings. But with smaller homes, you need to think long and hard ahead of time to make sure the new home functions like it needs to for you.  If you see an extra corner, could you add a chair and floor lamp for an extra place to sit?

Or a custom banquette to create more seating around a breakfast table?

 

Photography by Jean Allsopp, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

If working on a new build or renovation, hire a designer before the plans are drawn.  An extra set of eyes for how your family will live in the house is invaluable. Every square inch needs to work hard so you can have the pretty with a purpose.

 

6. Let Go Of The Guilt. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is hard to get your money out of furniture and rugs (and even some antiques) when selling.  Just know this is the case and let go of the pieces…. Do not hold onto stuff for any reason other than you love it.

 

#LivingWell isn’t necessarily about having the best of everything- It’s about surrounding yourself with a home that brings you joy.  A place you love to make memories with family and friends.  

 

Downsizing can be a blessing if you allow it, as it is a way to lighten your connection to material “stuff” and create spaces that are customized and truly special to you.

 

Hope you find these six tips helpful to #LivingWell in a smaller home. Let me know what you think-

Dana

 

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I kicked off  #BootcampTransformation last week with ways to make your house the home you wish, and today I want to pick up where we left off.   If you are just now reading, you can catch up here.

 

Now that you have chosen a room to tackle, you came up with five words to describe how you want this room to feel, and you’ve cleaned out everything you do not want to keep, it time to move on to the harder steps.   This is where it sometimes becomes too much for someone to do on their own.   Try these steps first, knowing you can always turn it over to a professional if needed.

 

 

Assess the room’s features

Decide what needs to be accentuated and what needs to be hidden.

For instance, if I have a client with a not so pretty stained, wood fireplace surround that cannot be changed- and it’s a feature that doesn’t need to stand out- I would have it painted the wall color to make it disappear.

 

 

Based upon how the room needs to work for you, layout a general floor plan.

Begin by measuring out the room, wall by wall, allowing for casing, doors, openings, etc…   Assess the location of the doors, how the room needs to work, and decide where you may be able to add some sort of seating.

While some rooms may only have room for a chair (foyer), others may be large enough for a couple of seating areas.  Add in where a seating area makes most sense and keep a 34″-36″ walkway throughout.   Include in this plan any pieces that need to be placed in here or need to be reworked (such as a console that needs to be painted, etc….).

 

 

Choose your color palette

Do you want your home to be a retreat from the crazy world we live in…

 

so serene from Mary McDonald

 

 

 

…or do you want it to reflect your bold personality?

 

show the world your personality! by Jan Showers

 

 

 

Whichever you decide, make sure each room flows from one to the next.  A retreat space will have more muted colors and softer furnishings, while one that is more bold may have pops of color.

Figure out what you need when you are at home.  Perhaps you need quiet time, but your home feels loud and busy.  Perhaps you need a little more energy in your life, but all your furnishings are heavy and dark-colored.  All of these things make a difference!

 

 

lighten up and keep it simple… by Thomas Filicia

 

 

 

Accessorize

Add personal items that you LOVE  and want to see each day.    I have a plaster hand my youngest made several years ago that sits on top of some coffee table books on an ottoman.    It doesn’t have to be a fine piece if it speaks to you.

If you have lots of little things, group them together to make them more cohesive.   This post here from a few weeks ago gives some good tips on placing these finishing touches.

 

 

Your home can make you feel inspired and at peace, or it could possibly be draining you.  Stop waiting and start today by applying the above tips and let’s see if you can make a change for the better.

I bet you will  be amazed at how cleaning out and determining how a room needs to work for you can make all the difference in your home.   As always, feel free to call or email us if you would like for us to turn your house into a home you love.

 

Here’s to a more peaceful home for all,

dana

 

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Summer is here and I find myself cleaning.  Cleaning out drawers, wiping down drawers, etc…   Makes me happy!

And while I preach to throw away or give away things that you don’t love or are not using, I know there are times when you want to keep certain things just to keep.

I thought I would rerun this post from a few years ago on how to display your clutter  stuff …….      Here goes….

 

Dana

 

The holidays are over, and who isn’t looking for a few ways to declutter their home?   It’s easy to discard the items you don’t use, but what about the knick knacks you love and want to display?

Do your “special” items look like a pile of mess to others?   If so, what should you do?

Create a few vignettes in your home.

Start with your big items, such as the painting, sconces, lamps, and urn in this picture.   Next, stagger your accessories throughout, making sure you balance out each side.  Notice how they did not forget the space under the console.

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http://katie-d-i-d.blogspot.com/

 

What a great job they did of taking family keepsakes, which, after all, make a house a home, and displaying them in a beautiful way.

How about adding in a few of your personal items when entertaining? At this client’s home, instead of just setting out her china and everyday, we decided to mix it up a bit.

Speaking of entertaining……

What do you do for all of the silver and crystal you have crammed into your cabinets?

Display it as we did in this client’s home.   Here, we mixed in some of her silver pieces with her crystal and pottery.  Everything has its place, and it is beautiful!

photo courtesy of jean allsopp

When creating a focal point, whether it is a vignette or glass cabinet, don’t forget to layer and add different textures.

from dana wolter interiors

So, the key is to make the space your own by displaying your items in a neat, organized way.

http://blog.lonnymag.com/

Even when there is a family pet involved- such as the frog for this family- can you display it in a clever way.

I don’t know about you, but I find the summer heat and going from one activity to the next exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful to be busy and am excited to share with you very soon some things that are happening.   With work, on top of family and other commitments, I stay out of trouble on my toes.

While some people only know me because of my design work,  there are others who only know me through my children.   I always smile when someone, who has known me for a few months, realizes I have another side to me that works and creates and changes the way people live in their homes.

I love that because while I am grateful and proud of all that has come my way professionally, in the end, I want to put my aside my pride and be known for my character versus my accomplishments.

 

 

So….. Having said that, I thought it would be fun to let you “spend a day with me” to see how the two mix and are intertwined.

I  love what I do, but I’m thrilled to spend more time this summer with my over scheduled girls. Their schedule is more lax when school is out, and with one headed to college in a few months, I am savoring every moment of family time.

Here goes …..Get ready to juggle as I have a lot of balls in the air…..

 

 

My day started Wednesday around 6:15 when I woke up, showered and reviewed my notes before filming a segment from ABC 33/40’s “Talk of Alabama”.

I arrived at ABC 33/40 at 8:30 for a live segment on “Five Ways To Update A Room (Without Breaking The Bank)”. I blogged about this last week, so be sure to check it out here if you haven’t seen it.

 

pillows- abc3340
Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

After I finished, I ran to the office around 10:45 to meet with the rep for Cotton and Quill to look at the new fabrics.  They have lots of great patterns, and I particularly loved the soft colors in these for a bedroom we are beginning.

 

cotton and quill
Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

I hurried to the physical therapist for a lunchtime appointment.   I have been battling pain in my hip, and after having about five months of pain, I am grateful to have it finally under control.  Thank you, Jesus!!

 

On the way back, I picked up my youngest who had eaten lunch with a friend.

I came back to the office and met with the homeowner of #projectexpansion. We discussed a few details with the construction of her project such as flooring, doors, hardware and cabinetry.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 

Next, the homeowner and I were off to Triton to look at slabs that were brought in for her project. We selected a couple of beautiful ones.  Holy moly- can’t wait to share.

 

After we finished, I also met with a producer to film a video on selecting countertops. Stay tuned for more on this.
Dana_For_Blog1

 

 

We finished up around 4:45- 5:00.   I headed home and intended to workout,  but that didn’t happen. Instead, I enjoyed lounging with the girls in my gym shorts.

Close enough.   Wearing gym clothes= working out, right?!

 

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

 

I probably should have spent the downtime cooking dinner but that didn’t happen either, so we enjoyed takeout instead.  A meal together is what matters, not who cooked it, right?

My bed was calling my name so I crawled in face planted, and enjoyed reading Jay Abraham’s “The Sticking Point Solution.”   It’s a book with a lot of great tips on building your business and brand.   I love reading before I go to sleep as it’s the best way for me to unwind.

You’ll find that my life isn’t very exciting, and for the most part, it’s pretty predictable.   It’s my hectic life, though, and I am grateful for every single bit of it.

 

Here’s to making the most of a day,

dana

 

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Guess what?!

 

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

 

DanaWolter_Winthrop_003-1024x682-1

 

photo (64)

 

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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Recently we had a few readers share some design questions and ideas they would like to see us address on our blog.

One popular topic mentioned was how to select an exterior paint color.  Considering I just painted the exterior of my house, I had to answer this one first.

My house was a combination of taupe brick and a darker trim.  While there was nothing wrong with it, after seven years, I was ready for a change.

What color scheme did I choose?   A cream on cream that has very little yellow to it.  A clean, crisp combination.

 

exterior2
Paint transformation in progress with the primer….

 

Choosing exterior colors for your house can be daunting, but it’s well worth the hassle.

Here are a few tips you should take into account when choosing your exterior paint color.

Do your research. Before you begin painting, drive around or look through magazines, Pinterest, etc…to see what color schemes appeal to you.  Try to choose a color palette that will blend in with your surroundings but that’s special in its own way. With well-placed color choices, your home will stand out in a tasteful manner.

Plan around the elements that are hardest to change. Unless you’re doing a complete renovation, surfaces such as roof shingles, stonework, pathways and driveways will remain in place.  Use these elements as color resources because there are numerous shades and hues in building materials.  Are they warm or cool? Look for paint colors that will tie these fixed elements together in a harmonious way.

 

exterior3
The side of my home after it is primed

 

Examine color samples outdoors, at various angles, and at different times of the day. Consider buying small quantities of desired colors and paint a section of the house where the body, trim and accent colors can be viewed together. Study it at various times of day and under different weather conditions. How do the colors change with the light?  Do you see blue or yellow undertones?

 

exterior1
Choosing a color for the brick…..

 

Obviously my house is a work in progress (this is the primer coat) but I am already enjoying the transformation.

Don’t let the wide array of color choices give you a case of chromophobia, a fear of colors. Plan ahead, try colors on your house first, and be confident in your color choices.  You’ll be thrilled when your house has a fresh, exciting new look!

Who said watching paint dry is no fun?  I certainly have enjoyed watching it dry on mine, and I look forward to sharing the final “after” pics with you soon.

We would love to hear from you.  Please comment below and share some topics that you would like to see us address.

 

Have a good one,

Dana

 

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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.

 

web-myhouse9

website-clark50 2

websykes6

web-kampakishome2

See what I mean?!

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

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