With all of us spending more time at home, it’s making many of us realize the things we love about our house and things we would like to change.
 
I have been using this time to assess and tackle areas in my own home that feel dated, stale and old.  Here are a few tips if you would like to do the same.
 

3 Signs It is Time To Update Your Home

1. Does your home make you breathe a little deeper?

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. 

Sometimes, you just need a calming, neutral palette with layers of texture.

A calming palette in a mudroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Emily Followill Photography

Other times, it is time to renovate and update your home and it’s amenities.  

For this client, we moved walls and gave them a beautiful new kitchen and bar area. They now have a walk-in pantry behind the new hidden doors.  

 

Kitchen Before
Updated Kitchen, Dana Wolter Interiors

2. 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 can now feel lost.  It’s time to reinvent your home so it functions for you in this new phase of life.

Beautiful master suite to relax at the end of the day, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Master Bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors

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.

 

Ladies’ Cozy Lounge, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. Does your home reflect your personal style and lifestyle?

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

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

If you can relate to any of these three signs, give us a call (205.938.4848) or email us here.  We would love to hear from you.

 

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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We love when a client emails us for help with a home renovation, and with all of the time we’re spending in our houses these days, this particular before and after kitchen makeover for our clients in Birmingham, AL, happened just in the nick of time.

It was quite the transformation.

We first renovated and furnished the entry, dining room, family room and the husband’s study.  After seeing how well they turned out, the homeowners focused on the back of the home and asked us to renovate the kitchen, dining, office and laundry.

The tired kitchen needed not only updated finishes and details but to function better for this active family.

Rework The Existing Space

There was a lot of wasted space in hallways and angled walls, so squaring off walls and moving others around was a must for more livable space.  Jason Robb did a great job drawing the plans.

We reclaimed square footage from hallways and created a walk-in office and a butler’s pantry that now connects the kitchen and dining room.

Stayed tuned on a future before and after post on the butler’s pantry- you won’t want to miss it.

KITCHEN AFTER:

Kitchen Renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors

KITCHEN BEFORE:

Quite the before and after kitchen makeover, right?

Create A Timeless, Functional Kitchen

To create a more timeless space that didn’t feel dark and heavy, we removed the dark painted cabinets and replaced them with quartersawn white oak ones.  They now feel more like furniture than built-ins.

A custom wax finish enhances the elegance of the wood and reflects the light beautifully.

Everyday appliances are cloistered behind paneled fronts to create a seamless yet functional space.  The La Cornue range is like the perfect accessory to a little black dress.

The large center island was also replaced and given a more elegant, furniture-like design with quartersawn oak legs and fluted details. The main sink was relocated to it and a prep sink installed under the window.

This is a great #entertainingtip so the island can be used as a serving area while prep is out of the way.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Kitchen renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors. 

Customize The Details Throughout

Unlacquered brass accents are found throughout in the faucets, pot filler, island lanterns  and on the black  La Cornue range and hood.  Tile floors were replaced with light blond oak to complete the light, airy palette.

The finishing touch is a large-scale, honeycomb coffered ceiling. It is an interesting detail that catches your eye but doesn’t distract from the timeless quality of the kitchen.

Home Renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors

Adjacent to the kitchen, we incorporated a breakfast area with a custom banquette that looks like a sofa.   It’s perfect for family meals or morning coffee.

Breakfast Room for family meals and coffee, Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

I hope you like the before and after of this home renovation and kitchen makeover as much as we enjoyed working on it.  If we can help transform your home into one you love, email us here.  We would love to discuss your project with you.

Dana

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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.

Tips for selecting lighting as seen in Traditional Home
As Seen In Traditional Home, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

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.

Tips for selecting lighting for the home
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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.

Tips for selecting lighting for the home
Dana Wolter Interiors

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.

Tips for selecting lighting for the home
Decorative Lighting Ideas, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Tips for selecting lighting for the home
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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.

xo,

Dana

 

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A Home Renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors
Home Renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

We work on a lot of renovations, and every one is special in its own way.

This particular one is the wife’s childhood home.   As I shared with you here, we renovated to give it new life for their family to grow into it.  

I have no doubt many memories are waiting to be made.

Gone are the finishes of the 80s and it is now a chic, livable, family-friendly home that has made quite the transformation.   

Here are a few before and after photos:

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Kitchen Renovation
Dana Wolter Interiors, Kitchen Renovation After Framing

 

Kitchen remodel
After The Renovation- A Functional, Livable Home For The Entire Family, Dana Wolter Interiors

Custom cabinetry and gorgeous marble slabs create a custom kitchen while the unlacquered brass hardware and lighting finishes the room.  

What a difference taking down walls and adding in new windows made, too. 

Its hard to tell in the picture, but the kitchen roman shade is green and charcoal gray.  Green is the homeowner’s favorite color, so we pulled it into her Dining Room.  

 

Dining Room, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Powder Room, Dana Wolter Interiors

It gives me such pleasure seeing this cute family enjoying their new home and adding in items, such as her grandmother’s dining table, that are important to them.  After all, isn’t that the reason behind each of us having a home to call our own.

XO,

Dana

 

If we can help you renovate your home, contact us here

 

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It’s amazing what a little vision, new furnishings, fresh paint, and a great floor plan execution will do for your home and for your psyche.

I thought I would share a few homes of clients who needed help furnishing their entire home but with a deadline in mind. 

 

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 new year.

Believe it or not, if you want to enjoy new furnishings, art and accessories by then, 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 purchased their home a few years back and needed new furnishings, lighting, window treatments, art, and accessories throughout.  

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 has 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 as well as several others.  The Family Room transformed into a beautiful, functional space where the entire family can now enjoy together.  

Before:

 

 

After:

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

The Foyer received new paint, drapery, furnishings, art and accessories. 

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 as soon as possible, 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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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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With Covid keeping all of us at home, it is more important now than ever to have a bedroom you love.

Your bedroom should be a room that you look forward to retreating to at the end of the day.   It should allow you to #livewell by surrounding yourself with things that help you relax and rejuvenate.

If yours isn’t ideal…

Here are 6 must-follow design ideas for creating a bedroom you love:

1.Splurge on your bed linens 

Buy the best you can afford for your bed linens and sheets.  There is nothing better than crawling into a bed with beautiful linens and soft, clean sheets that feel better the more they are laundered. 

2.Incorporate seating  

While you don’t want to overcrowd, I always try to add some sort of seating in a bedroom.  A place to lounge is ideal if you aren’t quite ready to curl up in bed.

A leather or upholstered chair are pieces that can enhance a bedroom space and make it feel like your very own private suite.  #Livewell in your home by making it your own.

 

A sitting area in a client’s bedroom, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. Incorporate colors that speak to you

I normally keep colors in the bedroom soft because I need tranquility in my life (ha!), but if bright colors speak to you, then certainly use them.

Bedroom Decorating Tips
Bedroom created a few years back for a favorite client; Dana Wolter Interiors, Jean Allsopp Photography

4. Put your bedside lamps on a dimmable switch

If you are like my husband and me, he likes to go to bed early while I like to read before I go to sleep.  A dimmable switch on your bedside table lamps allows you to enjoy nighttime light without disturbing your partner.  

5. Add in personal touches

Incorporate touches that are personal to you such as your favorite photographs and artwork.

A teenager’s bedroom , Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

6. Keep it simple…

Don’t clutter or overcrowd your bedroom with too much stuff.  Make sure the room can breathe, so you can as well.  

Pinterest

 

Bedrooms should have all of the things in it that you love. It should be the place you cannot wait to get to at the end of your day or sneak off to when you just need a moment to yourself.  

If you want help designing a home with a bedroom that feel like its very own getaway, call 205-938-4848 or email us here.We’d love to hear from you. 

Here’s to creating a bedroom you love and #livingwell in your home.

Dana 

 

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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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I am thrilled to show you some never before seen “After” photos of our livable luxe project in this month’s Traditional Home.  

As I mentioned on Instagram, it was all I could do to keep this home a secret.   We have been waiting for a few years to share the photos, and it’s a great testament that all good things are certainly worth the wait. 

This project was a turnkey project filled with beauty and function for the cutest family with small children. They contacted us here about their project and I am grateful to now call them friends.

Our clients moved into this home completely furnished with pictures hanging on the wall and accessories in their place.  It’s like the magic fairies came in overnight and made it happen.  

After Pictures As Seen In Traditional Home

I love that the home feels pulled together and approachable despite its high ceilings and vast size. Livable luxe at its best.

Its classic materials and detail make it hard to quite pinpoint how old the house might be, just as a new build should be. 

My clients were wonderful in that they trusted my vision and took a leap of faith – even when I suggested an upholstered screen that was almost 15′ tall.   I was looking for a way to ground the large space and this is what I envisioned.  

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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

If it looks like no big deal, keep scrolling  Achieving this much detail 21′ in the air is not always easy.  

I truly could not have done it without a detailed plan, my amazing team, the builder and my craftsmen.   Oh, and a lift truck.  I am so grateful.

Truly a collaborative effort between us, the builders and my amazing craftsmen. Look at how the beautiful pleats, banding and upholstered screen detail line up. Dana Wolter Interiors

Study:

While my clients requested a home that mostly felt light and airy, we pushed the envelope in a few rooms to create some unexpected drama.

We did so in the study by painting the walls a charcoal gray.  

Study with charcoal gray walls, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

See the cabinetry to the far right? This was originally drawn as a door to a media closet.  We wrapped the cabinetry around two walls and you can open the end bookcase to access this small room.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a glimpse into this home, and I will share more after photos of this livable luxe home over the next few weeks.

The issue hits newsstands this Friday so be on the lookout.  I am thankful to my clients who trusted us with such a big part of their lives and to the Traditional Home team who allowed us to share it with their readers.

Dana

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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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