Posts Tagged ‘interior design tips’

Building or renovating a home is a huge investment with your time and more importantly, your money.  

And when a client hires us, we work to protect their investment and become their advocate, all while investing their money wisely and (hopefully) taking away the stress. I often see the same pitfalls to avoid when renovating or building.

Here are 5 must-follow tips on building or renovating a home:

1. Order the Size Window the Architect Specs   Sometimes in the bidding process, it’s discussed replacing a custom window with a standard size one to save a little money.  

Don’t do it- window size, type, and placement are extremely important when building a home, and this small change can dramatically alter the look of what has been professionally drawn.

2.  Buy Right the First Time.  Let’s face it….Life gets busy and all of us have good intentions to go back later and switch something out.   I know building can be draining and tiring, but once you have moved and settled in, the last thing you want to do is spend money to replace something.  

Buy the best you can afford on the front end and you will enjoy it for many years to come.

3.  Use Classic Building Materials  Save the trends for things that are easy to switch out such as pillows and accessories, and keep your building material finishes classic.   You will thank me in the long run, especially if you decide to sell.

4.  Set Money Aside for the Furnishings  Budget appropriately for the building process (this is another post I need to write) and be sure to leave enough money to properly furnish the home.  

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

5.  Think Long Term on Your Needs  How long are you going to live in this house?  If you plan on staying for five years or more, you need to take into account what your needs will be down the road.

Are you an empty nester building your final house?  Be sure to think ahead on bedroom placement, stairs and other simple things that could be a hindrance down the road.

A custom-designed #island for an #emptynester couple, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton
Photography

Do you have children who will be teenagers in five years?  If so, they (and their friends) will only grow bigger and need more space..  

Be sure to think long term and hire the best architect, designer, landscape designer and builder your budget allows.   I promise you that in the end, it will save you money and hassle. 

If you are building or renovating and would like to discuss your project with us, email us here.   I would love to talk with you.

Have a great day-

Dana

 

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Potential clients will often reach out to us for different reasons.

Sometimes they can’t quite put their finger on why they aren’t happy with their home, but it is intuitive- it feels like wasted space or it’s dated or just not quite right.  

Some are even embarrassed to have visitors over because of how it looks.

You can’t put a price tag on some things, and a home that offers a place to retreat is one of them.

Here are four ways to create a home you love:

  1. Have a well-thought out design plan created for your home.  After the purchase, furnishing your home is the second largest investment you will probably make.  

Furnishing a home isn’t cheap, and you want to make sure you are spending your money wisely the first time….  

You see- designing a home is an investment, so hire a professional to give you a detailed plan on how – and where- to invest in the furnishings of your home.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

 Think long term with your investment and life.

2.  Include pieces that speak to you and that you love.  When we begin a turnkey project, there is a lot of conversation with our client about their dreams, what’s important to them, etc…  Your home needs to be a reflection of you and what makes your heart happy.  

3.  Give a room a purpose, and work the furniture around it.  Unfortunately, you can’t have a home that feels good and works for you unless it works for your needs.

 Cant figure out one?  Contact us here to assess your needs and to help you invest your money wisely.

4.  How can you add to the quality of your life through your home?   Do you want to expand your circle of friends and want to invite more people over to dinner on a regular basis?   Great- let’s make sure your home will flow like it needs to do so.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Life is too short to not love the place you spend the majority of your life.  Your home should be a place that feels good, rejuvenates you and gives you a place to restore and rest.

Here’s to making your house one you love-

Dana  

 

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We Are Hiring!

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We’ve have lots of exciting things going on and it feels good to be growing….

 

We have two positions available in Birmingham, AL, so if you are the perfect fit for our firm, let us hear from you.

 

Project Manager- The criteria includes:

Full Time position

Interior Design Experience a must

AutoCad, Photoshop, and SketchUp proficiency are required.

Must be motivated, organized, articulate, and detail-oriented.  

Excellent written and verbal skills, a professional demeanor, and exquisite taste for our custom projects.  

Salary based upon experience

 

Marketing Intern- The criteria includes:

This internship requires someone who writes well, is excellent with social media, and is organized with the task at hand.    You must be articulate, savvy with technology, have an eye for design/art, great with a camera, and proficient in WordPress.

 

If you meet these qualifications, email us your cover letter, resume and references to info@danawolterinteriors.com. We would love to hear from you and know why you should join our team-

 

Dana

 

 

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We are thrilled to share some exciting news with you…..  

Dana Wolter Interiors has been named a Finalist in the Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year Award. This accolade is sponsored by ADAC and Veranda magazine.

This is the second year in a row we have been nominated for this amazing award, and I am grateful to my hardworking team and the judges Clint Smith, Victoria Hagan, and Tom Kligerman for noticing our work.

Needless to day, we are over the moon.

Stay tuned as we will keep you posted on social media. The awards ceremony is April 26th at the Southeastern Showhouse, which we leave today to install our space. Wish us luck with the install – with three cars full and a carrier making a delivery, we look like we are moving in to stay.

Have a great day, everyone!

Dana

 

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Do you ever wonder how we use so many beautiful, neutral fabrics in our projects and question how they look after a busy family lives in the space?  
 
Many times when we are in the furniture and fabric phase of a project, clients immediately want to steer clear of anything that remotely looks too ‘light’ in color because of children, dogs, and just life.
 
They have valid reasoning for being concerned; I’ve raised three daughters and know how that goes. But like everything else, technology with fabrics and their durability have come leaps and bounds from where they used to be.  
 
Here are four ways to make neutral upholstery more durable in your home:
1. Treat the neutral fabric with a stain resistant
In this Living Room, we had all of the upholstery treated with a stain resistant formula before being upholstered. It’s important to look at each fabric’s durability when creating a room so it can work hard for your family if needed.
 
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
2. Include commercial grade fabrics in strategic places
Another trick we use is to find contract-grade fabrics that do not look or feel commercial. We have found fabulous looking velvets and linens that go through rigorous testing to guarantee they are stain resistant, durable, and have a high rub count.
 
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
3. Add a blanket or quilt as an extra layer of protection
Often times, we have quilted throws made to perfectly fit a piece of upholstery. This allows the throw take the brunt of the activity and it can easily be removed or dry cleaned.
 
This Schumacher velvet and Jerry Pair leather add to the durability in this room. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
4.  Incorporate a leather or faux leather into the room
This buttery faux leather that resembles some of the attributes of leather can look stunning and function perfectly in a kitchen or breakfast room.
The technology makes it easy to wipe down without stains or harsh chemicals, so no worries about fingerprints or stains on this custom banquette we designed, either.
 
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
 
Next time you are faced with the fear of choosing new fabrics for your home, don’t immediately shy away from light upholstery. Remember, the key is to look at its makeup so it can stand up to everyday life.
 
Here’s to living well with neutral upholstery,
Dana
 
 

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Dana Wolter Interiors. Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

I posted this picture Here on Instagram a few months ago, and I had someone comment they couldn’t believe this beautiful, functional room once served as a Garage.  Me neither…..

 

I realized that I should share some progress pictures so you can see the transformation.  Who knew a garage could look so good……

 

Before:

 

 

 

What do you see? I see a future family room. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

After:

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography 

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

I love how this family took their home and made this room work for them.  The home functions for a large family, and they needed extra space to spread out and watch television.  

 

The Garage made the most sense, and with its doors turned into French doors and a back entrance reworked, the room quietly transformed.   

 

We added an extra-long sleeper sofa, so it is perfect for the times they need an extra bed, too.

 

So here’s to making the most of your home, one room at a time.

 

Dana

 

 

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A few recent projects have been for families moving to smaller, yet more custom  homes.  And while moving to a more refined home can be a huge blessing, it can be hard when you are used to more 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 I bring into it. 

 

It can sometimes be overwhelming in deciding what furnishings to take and what to replace or give away when moving, so I thought I would give six helpful tips to streamline the process.  Here goes:  

 

1. Go Through Each Item and Decide What You Love Or Will Use.    Simple enough- Do you love it or  use it?    If not,  get rid of it.   Life is too short to have pieces you don’t love taking up space in your home.   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 instance, can the doors to the large, deep French armoires that were popular in the 90s be taken off, stripped and reworked to go somewhere else?   Reworking pieces can be a tedious process, so make sure you LOVE the piece to make it worthwhile.

 

 3. Unsure What To Keep And What To Give Away? Hire A Professional.    A designer can curate through your things to decide what can be used in the new home.   We have gone through storage units to  measure and photograph existing pieces to see what can be included in the furniture plans of the client’s new home we are furnishing.   An objective eye may be just what you need.

 

4. Simplify- When Looking At Your Pieces, 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.

Pinterest

 

5.  Think Long And Hard How The New Home Will Work For You.   There is something refreshing about simplifying your life and surroundings.  But with less space, you need to think long and hard ahead of time to make sure the new home functions like it needs to for you.

 

If working with an architect, 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.

 

All aspects of downsizing can be a blessing if you allow it.   Look at it as 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.  Let me know what you think-

Dana

 

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Progress With #ProjectExpansion

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We’ve made lots of progress with #ProjectExpansion, and in more ways than one.

The babies are here, and they are gorgeous.  And perfect.  And big!

 

 

As you recall, I have been busy working on a home renovation/addition here in Mountain Brook, Al, for a couple that recently gave birth to two babies within five weeks of one another.

Yes, this is possible, and if you aren’t familiar with their story, it is a good one.  If you are needing to smile, be sure to read the entire story here.

 

 

We began working on this project in June.   The house was gutted and a master suite, laundry room, and screened-in porch have been added onto it.  Pete Pritchard was the architect and we worked closely deciding the layout, details and finishes throughout the home.

 

 

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I was grateful for the trust this couple put in me, as they took some risks that were hard to visualize AND added to the budget.   These additions paid off, with an incredible end result.

 

 

They are moving this week, so our office has been busy ordering bathroom mirrors, marking cabinet hardware, checking on furniture shipments, etc….It has been a lot of fun working on this project, and I kind of feel like I am birthing a baby as well.

So much of myself goes into my projects, and I can’t wait to see this family of four begin to make memories in their new home.

 

Here is a glimpse of some of the cabinetry and hardware.

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Cabinets are gorgeous and what a difference true custom cabinets make in a home.  No filler pieces- they are truly made to fit the space like a glove.  I love it!

Here is a sneak peek of how my cabinet guy took my vision for a few areas and turned them into reality:

 

 

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

 

 

 

Kitchen After:

After- Dana Wolter Interiors

After- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Family Room Before:

 

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Family Room After:

 

FR Built-in. Still needing glass doors installed

FR Built-in. Still needing glass doors installed on the sides   Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Stay tuned as I share more of the “after” pictures over the next few weeks.   As always, if you are planning on building a new home -or doing a major renovation to your current one- email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.  We would love to discuss helping you turn your dream home into a reality.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

Dana

 

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In several client appointments lately, I have been asked about what to do when their home is filled with silver finishes, but they are wanting to incorporate the gorgeous brass patina that is so popular right now.

 

My answer is easy and simple….   Mix the two!

 

I love a space with mixed metals as it instantly makes the room look like it has evolved over time, rather than everything so matchy matchy like it was bought on the same day in the same showroom.

 

I am not only talking about a finish here and a different finish there, as I have been doing this all along.  I am talking about a bold metal finish that grounds the room, with perhaps another type of finish thrown in.

 

 

 

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Elle Decor

 

 

 

 

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Polished nickel, brass and antique bronze finished mixed together- Elle Decor

 

 

 

 

ElleDecor

ElleDecor

 

 

 

 

Below is a picture of a home we worked on several months back.  As you can see below, there are brass finishes throughout……..

 

Client's foyer- Dana Wolter Interiors

Client’s foyer- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

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Leading into the kitchen- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

But notice how we mixed the two by adding in polish nickel fixtures in the kitchen:

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

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If you like this look of mixing metals and want to see more images, check out my Pinterest account, DWolterinterior.   I am also adding info on these other social media sites as well, so be sure to follow along!

 

 

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Take care and have a great day,

 

Dana

 

Also, if you are needing a design plan for your home that you can implement on your timeframe and budget, check out our new service here. Lots of information in a detailed plan!

 

Five Easy Ways To Create A Warm, Inviting Foyer (while setting the tone for the rest of your home)

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What does your foyer say about your home?   Does it set the tone and catch your visitor’s eye?  Or is it a catch all area and a room you want to hurry your guests through?

 

On any project I am working on, I always look for ways to make a statement and create warmth in the foyer.  This is the first impression of your home, and you want to make a good one.

 

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picture of my foyer

Below is a video I shot with Wendy Garner talking about how to transform this overlooked space.  Click here for a few tips.

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Here’s a quick recap of a few quick suggestions I make in the video:

1.  Add a piece of furniture and or seating (preferably something with fabric) to soften the space.

2.  Make the space personal- Add your favorite piece of artwork, or a frame with a sepia photo. etc

3.  Make the space useful- Depending on the size, create a place to sit to put on your shoes or at the very least add a tray to catch your keys.

4.  Include something fresh such as flowers or a plant.

5.  Layer the space with accessories to create dimension and to make it look like it has evolved over time.

 

Hope you find these tips helpful.   If you try them, let me know the difference they make.

Have a great day, everyone, and here’s to making your foyer makes a good first impression.

Dana

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