Posts Tagged ‘decorating’

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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I am excited to be working on a renovation in Mountain Brook, AL, and the talented Louis Nequette of Dungan Nequette has drawn the plans for the couple.   Louis is a well-known architect across the country, but if you haven’t seen his work, click here.  I am honored to be partnering with him and look forward to seeing this project progress.

The house is French in style and was built about 10 years ago.   There are some exciting changes in store for this home, and one of my favorite transformations is in the kitchen.

Here is a sneak peek of Louis’ vision for it.

 

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Drawing by Louis Nequette

 

Who doesn’t love a great sketch- and a great kitchen, right?!

Originally,  the kitchen was very modern in design and you can see from Louis’ drawing that he is bringing it more in line with the architecture of the home.  It reminds me a little of a French bistro with the marble countertops and walls, custom marble/iron shelving,  glass cabinetry, and the incredible view into a quaint courtyard.

This house will be filled with beautiful finishes and details throughout, and I am excited to begin sharing this project with you.

Stay tuned as I keep you informed on the progress….

 

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.  $1,000!!  Voting ends soon- July 17th.

 

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A Fun Project Coming To An End

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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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Quick Tips For Creating a Warm, Inviting Foyer

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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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Can Hiring a Designer For Your Home Save You Money?

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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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It’s Like Birthing A Baby……

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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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Hi  Everyone,

I have some exciting news I have been looking forward to sharing with each of you.

And today I finally can……

I have been named by one of my favorite publications, Traditional Home, as a New Trad up and coming designer for 2014.

The article is hot off the press.   So hot that I  have not even seen the article in person.  A friend text me (she found the issue at the airport) a few pictures of the article from April’s issue of  Traditional Home.  Here they are:

 

April's cover features a New Trad designer from last year.

April’s cover features Andrew Howard, a New Trad designer from last year.

 

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The New Trad designers are introduced in this issue of the shelter magazine, and Trad Home, Traditional Home’s online publication, is featuring a project of each of ours in the May issue.   I will be sure to let you know when it is online, as the project featured of mine is a good mix of custom and box store items.

A big thanks goes to each of you.  Thank you for sharing my work, encouraging my work,  keeping up with my work, and more importantly, trusting me to come into your homes and change how your home functions for your family.

Because of you, Traditional Home noticed me.

I especially want to give a big shout out to Ann Maine, Editor in Chief of Traditional Home, and to Jenny Bradley, Editor of Trad Home.   Thank you very much for including me in your incredible publications, as I am honored.

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

 

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Real Homes for Real People- Family Room Edition

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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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Looking for a Few Decorating Ideas for the Holidays?

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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

A Family of Five- Before and After

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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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