Posts Tagged ‘design blog’

The One Trend I Am Seeing In Renovations and New Construction

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There is one trend I am seeing in several of our renovation and new construction projects. 

While I began designing some homes with them pre-Covid,  they are being drawn into renovations and new construction more often as people spend time at home focusing on what their home is missing.

So… what is this trend?

A resurgence in a scullery or second kitchen. 

They are more functional than a butler’s pantry as they host a second dishwasher and refrigerator (and some even a second range).  These spaces work hard in a home when it is time to entertain.  

Fabrics and furnishings for a new vacation home that will also have a second kitchen for entertaining. Dana Wolter Interiors, LLC

These second kitchens have special touches such as beverage drawers, dishwashers and coffee bars.  Storage is always a priority, too.

They are perfect for containing the mess while the main kitchen serves as an entertaining space for family and friends. I believe that once society is back to entertaining, formal spaces will make a resurgence. 

 

A second kitchen in a home we designed a few years back, Dana Wolter Interiors

Hopefully, our time is limited that we have to continue to socially distance.

I long for the days of not only having family over, but large gatherings of friends.  After all,  our homes should be a refuge we love to share with others.

Dana

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors Offers A One-Time, 3.5 Hour Consult

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While my firm works on full-room or full-home interior design projects, a few times a year we offer a limited number of appointments for a one time, 3.5 hour interior design consult.  

This service is designed for the client who needs direction and help making decisions for their home but wants to implement the list as their budget and time allow.

In the past, it has gone over really well not only for clients in Alabama but for all over the country.  While I have jumped on a plane to make this service happen, I have had several people fly in, drive over or even Facetime with me from across the country. 

If you have been noticing all the things you want to change in your home but social distancing is a must due to Corona, this service is for you.

 

Birmingham, AL, Interior Design Firm

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Here’s how the 3.5 hour interior design consult works:

We will ask for a list from you of what you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.  During our appointment, I will then spend 3.5 hours of uninterrupted time going through your list and answering questions.  

We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric direction, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it.

I’ve also had clients use this service to select all of the finishes for a new build while others have brought me in to revamp their existing home.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Mudroom Interior Design

Our 2018 Southeastern Showhouse Mudroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Emily Followill Photography

 

People who have invested in this consult have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes from it. We work hard when we are together.

Matter of fact, I recently saw a client who hired me a few years ago to help her with the finishes, colors, materials, furniture layout, etc for a family lake house under construction.

I couldn’t help but smile as she proudly showed me pictures of the finished product.  They didn’t have furniture yet, but the house turned out so pretty.  She did a great job implementing my suggestions for building their vacation home.

 

Kitchen Design Tips, Dana Wolter Interiors

A beautiful kitchen project of Dana Wolter Interiors as seen in Traditional Home

 

Butler's Pantry Design, Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

If you think this interior design consult can help transform your home into one you love, inquire about it here.  I would love to talk with you.

Have a great day-

-dana

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When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

As I’ve spent more time at home the past few days, I wanted to share some of the easy ways I’m breathing new life in some of our rooms- all without leaving the house.

4 Ways To Refresh Your Interiors Without Leaving Home

As a homebody, the thought of needing to stay home as much as possible isn’t hard for me. With all of the uncertainty going on in this world, home is exactly where I want to be-regardless of my nature.

I’m taking this time to work from home on some wonderful client projects we have going on,  soak up some unexpected family time while my girls are here, and to spiff up my own home.  

Our homes are refuge from so much and keeping it light and fresh during these heavier times is more important than ever before.

 

#1 – Bring The Outside In

Thank goodness its officially spring and flowers are blooming (and birds are singing. They seem so much louder and happier this year…they must know we need it!).

Snip some flowers or beautiful budding branches to make a simple, effortless arrangement. Flowers always give me a little more pep in my step – and according to my youngest, they make our house look cleaner.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

#2 – Go Shopping In Your House

This is such a fun exercise to give your home new life.  Pull all your accessories in a central location (like on your Dining Room table) to create an ‘accessories shop’. Live with everything bare for a day or two…this is also a great time to do some spring cleaning :).

As you begin to see your spaces empty, go ‘shopping’ and replace the empty spots with new pieces. As you continue this practice, start a donate pile of things you just don’t love anymore.

Once complete, your interiors will feel fresh AND you will have purged a few things in the process. I’d love to see some of your before and after pictures so do share.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

#3 – Spring Cleaning

Speaking of spring cleaning and purging, now is a better time than any to really tackle the clutter.

Don’t let this stress you out – start small. For example, what is actually hiding in your kitchen junk drawer? If it’s anything like mine, I found everything from random batteries and pens to gift cards and notepads.

The pantry is another great space to organize (and it helps us see what we have in hopes of limiting trips to the grocery).

Starting small encourages us to tackle other organizational projects that are looming (but we haven’t had time to do anything about them).

 

#4 – Switch Out Framed Photographs

One thing that I forget to do is switch out photos in my picture frames. There are certainly ones that hold my favorite pictures that won’t ever change but others I like to keep current.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Find the frames that you wish to replace the pictures and then go through you camera roll to send to your local printer. Before going through this practice, I couldn’t remember the last time I had personal pictures printed. It was also such fun to go through and reminisce on all the travels and fun our family has had over the past year.

Above all else during this strange time, just enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. From longer family dinners around the table to slower mornings, soak in what really matters.

Stay Well,
Dana

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Livable Luxe Home In Traditional Home – Part 2

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I’m thrilled to share with you a few behind the scenes pictures from last week’s post of our client’s livable luxe home in Traditional Home.   I have been waiting for it to be published before I could show you the beautiful pictures, and the issue hit newsstands last Friday.  

As I stated on Instagram, it was hard to keep this home a secret as it was a great project in so many ways.  

Our clients initially contacted us about the selection of the interior and exterior finishes of the new construction and as time went on, the scope evolved to include the furnishings, too.  They were building their forever home and it needed to function and grow with their family.

After two years of building, they moved into a house that was pretty much done.  Pictures were hung, accessories were in place and draperies covered the windows (and walls). Now is time to enjoy it with family and friends for many years to come.

Livable, Luxe Home

Dana Wolter Interiors, as seen in Traditional Home. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

They trusted our design vision and let us flex our creativity with the project.  The one thing our clients asked for was a white and bright home.  And while the home has a couple of  dark and moody rooms as way to create their own drama, the majority of the home has a light and airy feel.  

Kitchen

My cute client makes my design work look even better, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

How many people can you fit around the banquette?  Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

From the Family Room Looking Into the Kitchen, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Master Suite

I wanted the master suite to be a retreat from the craziness of life the moment you walked through its door.   We kept the colors soft and soothing with shades of gray, cream and plum as an accent.

Master Bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors

What started out on the plans as a screened-in porch off of the bedroom evolved into a master sitting room once the framing begun.  I imagine a little one when sick sleeping on the sofa or perhaps mom or dad taking a nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  It’s like a cocoon.

Just close the draperies and see what I mean.  I love a cozy bedroom and if it was mine, I may not come out for days.

Master Sitting Room, Dana Wolter Interiors

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few more behind-the-scene pictures of this beautiful, livable home designed specifically for this family and their lifestyle.  It’s luxe and function rolled into one.

Let me hear from you and know what you think here.   Have a great day.

Dana

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8 Must Read Tips When Building A Home

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A past client reached out recently; we helped she and her husband build a beautiful home a few years ago and she emailed saying they are looking to build a second home.

I couldn’t help but smile knowing she enjoyed the process and wants to do it again.

They put together a great team who worked hard to build their dream home, and I thought it might be helpful to share some must-read tips when building a house.

 

Tips for making the building process successful: 

 

1. Put together a talented team 

I can’t stress enough how important it is to hire a builder, designer and architect that are known for what you are trying to achieve.  It isn’t enough to hire someone because they are a neighbor or because your friend hired them.  Look at their past work, their processes, their staff, and check their references. 

Your team should increase the value of your project while making the process enjoyable.  Again- they should make your life easier and be good stewards of your money.

 2. Make sure the aesthetic of  your designer and architect appeal to you  

Even creatives with a well-versed portfolio still have a certain look and tendencies (including me).  In the end, your home should feel like you.

Just as important, make sure you like their personality and can trust them.  They are going to be dealing with your money and you need to be okay sharing details about how you live.

3.  Wait to break ground on your home until your plans are finished 

Wait to start the building process until the plans are finished.  If you don’t, I can promise the demo will go fast but it will come to a screeching halt.  Be prepared as it takes time to draw detailed plans, but it will pay off in the end. 

Dana Wolter Interiors

A recent project as it was being built, Dana Wolter Interiors

Interior Design Ideas

Project in completion, Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

4.  Quality takes time  

Quality takes time- there is a reason the room with custom cabinetry, draperies and millwork looks so good.   Details customize a home, but they don’t happen overnight or through the internet.   

Cabinet detail in a master bath renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors

Prepare yourself now- there will be a setback somewhere in the building process that will delay the project.  The weather won’t cooperate, you will hit rock when excavating, etc…  

5.  Talk budget early on 

No one enjoys sharing their personal business, but it is important to have a budget in mind or a realistic expectation of what your project will cost.  

Know your building budget (and furnishings’ budget) at the beginning and be realistic about what it can afford you.  

Talk to your builder about the exact finishes the allowances will buy you, and see what is realistic for what you are building.   Also, the more finishes and specifics you can finalize during the bidding process (such as knowing the exact type of countertop material, what line of plumbing fixtures, etc…), the more it will save you with add-ons at the end.

6. Details make a home  

Not all architects, builders and designers have the same experience and there is a reason everyone doesn’t charge the same.   If detail is important to you, make sure you hire a team where it is important to them.

7. Let your home building team do their job  

You hired your team for a reason, so let them do their job.  If you can’t visualize a detail, trust they can. This means trusting their judgment over your friend’s, your mom’s, etc….

8. Save enough money to furnish the home and be realistic as to how far that furnishing budget will go  

The last thing you want to do is build a beautiful, brand new home and for it to echo because you are not able to furnish it properly. 

 

Beautiful Kitchen Ideas, Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors as seen in Traditional Home

 

I hope these eight must-read tips when building a home are helpful and make the building process more enjoyable.  And fun!   

If you are interested in learning about the design services we can offer you when building, email us at here.  We want to hear more about your project.

 

Dana

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What’s Keeping Your House From Being A Home You Love?

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Are you stuck knowing your home could look and feel so much better, but you aren’t sure what’s keeping you from turning it into one you love?

Or you can’t seem to find the motivation -or the direction- to make some much needed changes?

Life is busy and hectic and stressful.   I get it, as I sometimes feel the same way.

 

A Kitchen Completed A Few Years Back, Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

Here Are A Few Tips To Turn Your Home Into One You Love:

1. Function-

With what I do day in and out, I am constantly reminded how a beautiful, well-functioning home- one that reflects you and allows you to breathe deeply- can change your life.

And your family’s.

I see it happen all the time, and it is one of the most rewarding aspects about what I do.

 

A client’s breakfast room was designed to seat family and many friends around the table, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

2. Personalization-

What makes you happy?  Are there specific colors that speak to you or photographs that make you smile every time you see them?

If you are ready for a house that looks and feels like home to you, now is the time to take action. Make the changes now that will allow you to feel good in your own home, such as your bedroom.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

 
3. Hire A Professional-

If you are overwhelmed and drastically changing your home is more than your skillset can cover, hire someone who can help you.

We work closely with builders, architects, and the landscape designers to make sure every detail is thought through from the beginning to the very end.

Your project becomes our project. The majority of our projects are turnkey where we devise a detailed plan according to your needs and budget, and we implement it for you until the very last picture is hung.

Email us here  if you think we can help you create a home you love.  Let’s have a conversation about your goals so we can have a plan of action in place for you in the next few months.

Here’s to making your house a home, one step at a time-

Dana

 

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Design With A Deadline – Common Questions About The Home Renovation Process

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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.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

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.

 

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Join Our Team!

Dana Wolter Interiors is hiring for two positions – a junior designer and a bookkeeper/office administrator.

Both positions require excellent organizational skills, people skills, an eye for detail, and experience in the related field.

Dana Wolter Interiors’ Design Studio, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Junior Designer Criteria:

Must hold a degree from an accredited Interior Design program

Two or three years experience within the field

Proficient in AutoCad, Sketchup, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and Dropbox

Excellent grammar and verbal communication skills

Exceptionally driven and passionate about achieving excellence in your work

Full-time position; Salary based upon experience

Located in the Birmingham, AL area

 

Bookkeeper/Office Administrator Criteria:

Two years or more experience within the field

Part-time availability 

Proficient in QuickBooks

Experience in Studio Designer is a plus

Knowledge in filing tax documents

Excellent grammar and verbal communication skills

Exceptionally driven and passionate about achieving excellence in your work

Located in the Birmingham, AL area

Interior design Studio, Birmingham, AL

Dana Wolter Interiors, Birmingham, AL

 

We have a great group of talented people in our office, and if you think you would like to be part of the fun, email your resume and references to info@danawolterinteriors.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Dana 

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When Back To School Means It’s Time To Assess Your Home

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My mother always said that with the exception of my sister and two of her grandchildren being born in August, nothing good ever happens in this month. I am starting to think she may be right.
 
The fun of summer has worn off, it’s hot outside, and our houses are a mess from children being home all summer or from moving in and out of dorms, apartments, etc…
 
I’m not a negative person and I hate to say it…. August is kind of a yuck month.
 
But now that the kids are headed back to school,  it’s time to focus on things we’ve put off the past few months. I’m using this momentum to assess and tackle areas in my own home that need updating.  Here are a few tips if you want to do the same.
 

Survey How You Feel About Your Home

Does your home make you breathe a sigh of relief?

When you walk into your home, what feelings and emotions are evoked? Are they feelings of contentment and relaxation or anxiousness and dread?

If you answered the latter, it’s time for some change. Your home should be a restful retreat where you can make memories and host gatherings with family and friends. 

Start with a calming, neutral palette with layers of texture as we did below. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Emily Followill Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Jean Allsopp Photography

Does your home function for you and your family?

What stage of life are you in? Life transitions usually equate to transitions needing to take place in the home.

Have your children moved out and you are a new empty nester (if so, I can relate),  or are your kids older and what worked  a few years ago no longer does?

A house once full of active children and their friends that served your lively family so well can now feel lost.  It’s time to reinvent your home so it functions for you in this new phase.

Clients who hire us for these specific needs want to re-do their bedrooms, tackle the guest bedroom, and make the famous ‘playroom’ more of a mature den for casual lounging as we’ve done here:

Bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Does your home reflect your personal style and lifestyle?

Whether you have more formal or casual taste in style, your home should follow suit.   Below are examples of both formal and more casual interiors – which one speaks to you?

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

If you feel like your home doesn’t make you happy, function well (read more on this topic here), or reflect your personal style or lifestyle, we can help. Give us a call (205.938.4848) or email us here.

 

Have a great day,

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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