Posts Tagged ‘interior design tips’

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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If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know all three of my girls are going in different directions this fall and I have been busy pulling together each of their rooms.  

My oldest is headed to New York for a new job and her apartment is tiny, extremely small, which means no not a lot of storage. 

I have had to think out of the box for making the most of her #smalllivingspace because her bedroom doesn’t even have a closet.  

Yep, a girl has a bedroom without a closet.   Let’s see how creative I can be with her space…..

Thank goodness I am partnering with great companies like Fabricut and Gabby Home to create a home away from home for her and her roommates.  

We are utilizing Fabricut’s quick ship drapery program and their upholstery line, along with Gabby’s amazing lighting and end tables, to turn this place into a warm, inviting home for them.  I am grateful for their sponsorship.

I’ve put a lot of thought into how we will create function and space, and I am thinking long term on certain pieces, such as how the chandelier can one day hang over a kitchen table or how the draperies could be used in a different room.

For the pieces I don’t see her using after this apartment, such as the makeshift closet, these will not be long term pieces. 

 

Here are a few before pictures:

Bedroom Fabrics and furnishings

 

 

Bedroom space, before

 

Bedroom space- Before

 

Sitting Area – Small space but large enough for a loveseat with a pullout bed

 

Fabrics and furnishings, courtesy of Fabricut, for the sitting area

Stay tuned for the big reveal as I will install this #smalllivingspace next month.  

Follow along here and on social media as I will share updates throughout. I can promise you it will be quite the transformation. 

Despite the size or limitations our homes may have, cheers to making the most of them.

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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There is nothing I love more than when friends or family stop by at a moment’s notice, and there are five things I like to keep on hand for when it happens.
 
Whether it’s catching up with a neighbor or an impromptu girls’ night, I savor these moments.   
 
It’s not about stressing over how clean your house is or the fact that you may still be in your workout clothes from the morning.  It’s about enjoying friends and family and the time you spend with them.
 
The key is to be prepared for unexpected company. 
 
Your guests will only be as relaxed as you are, so don’t fret over the things you can’t control.  But for the things that you can…..
 

5 of my tried and true tricks for last-minute entertaining:

 

1. Keep a delicious dip in your freezer and crackers in the pantry.

This way, all you have to do is pull it out and heat it in the oven. Not only will your home smell amazing, but you don’t have to fuss with any dishes or prep work.  
 
Here is my family’s favorite  dip recipe, courtesy of the Junior League of Birmingham’s Food For Thought cookbook.  FYI- it freezes wonderfully, too. 
 
Hot Bacon and Swiss Dip
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, soften
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled,
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers 
 
Soften cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, Swiss chases, and green onions; mix well. Transfer to a baking dish. Top with bacon and crackers. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and serve with crackers or Fritos.
 

2. Have cloth napkins pressed and ready.

No thought or effort required – It is as simple as pulling them out and displaying with your hors d’oeuvre of choice and wine. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. Light a nice candle

 I love a good candle and am constantly changing out the one in my kitchen.  Find one that speaks to you and enjoy it.  
 
 

4. Keep a selection of simple, clear vases in different sizes tucked away for entertaining.

These are great for filling with grocery store flowers or branches from your yard for a last minute arrangement.  
 
Sprawling branches make such a beautiful, effortless statement, and according to my youngest, flowers make your house look cleaner.  Who knew!
 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Photography by Graham Yelton

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 
 

5. Slow down and give your guests your undivided attention.

Put down the cell phones, send the children off to play or to do homework, and make your guests feel like you have time for them (no matter what fire you might be in the middle of putting out). Be present and enjoy your visit!
 

I hope these tips help you enjoy a spur of the moment company when the opportunity arises.   I’d love to hear your tried and true hospitality tricks.

Cheers to living (and entertaining) well,
 
Dana
 

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Is Our One-Time 3.5 Hour Consult For You?

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While my firm works mostly on full room or full home interior design projects, we will periodically offer a few spots for a one time 3.5 hour consult.  

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

It has gone over really well in the past, as I have had several people fly in, drive over or even Facetime with me for this consult.

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Here’s how the 3.5 hour consult works:

We will have you send a list 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 people use this service to select the all of the finishes for a new build.

The more legwork you do before our meeting in knowing what you would like to cover, the more productive our time will be together.   We will make a Pinterest board with specifics of what to look for when shopping for your home, and I will take measurements so you won’t have to worry about coming home with the wrong size sofa, ever again.

People who have invested in this consult have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes from it.

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 lakehouse under construction.

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

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

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

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

If you think this service can help you transform your home, inquire about it here.  I would love to talk with you.

 

Have a great day-

dana

 

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Whether we’re meeting with one of our full-service clients or working with someone during the 3.5 hour consultations, we often meet people who are overwhelmed and not sure what to do when their home no longer works for them and their family.
And while various factors need to be considered, such as the resale value in your neighborhood versus investing into a home you will enjoy for years to come,  it’s important to think through when updating your home.  
 

5 Tips For Updating Your Home:

 

Assess What Is Working And Not Working For Your Family

Needs and desires evolve as children grow up and start their own families, so if  your home is not working for you, it is time for a change.  

Take an objective look and see what it is that you like and dislike about your home.  Is it the finishes or furnishings that are dated or do you need a full blown renovation?   

Hire A Great Team

Whether hiring an architect for a renovation/new build, a designer for new furnishings or a contractor for your project, your team should be one you can trust and will make the process enjoyable and easy easier for you.  

As far as talent and expertise go, if there is a significant difference in the fees of whom you are interviewing, I can promise they offer different levels of service and expertise.  Do your homework and ask why.

Perspective Is Everything

As we’ve mentioned before in previous blog posts, ordering new furnishings and renovations take time – but in the end, they are well worth the wait.  Custom doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s these kind of details that make a home beautiful for years to come. 

Custom cabinetry  designed for a client, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Timeless Interior Design, Dana Wolter Interiors

Does Your Home Have Architectural Features and Customization?

What makes your home special and unique?  Does it have strong enough architectural details that are in keeping with the style of the house, great light or intentional focal points to catch your eye? 

Incorporating timeless, classic architectural elements and features will up-level the look of your home while also standing the test of time.

Invest Wisely

One of the most common questions clients ask is where to focus their budget during the renovation process.

I always recommend making sure the bones of the house are right first with beautiful finishes and natural materials.  Furnishings and accessories should lightly layer in to soften and pull together each space.  

Buy the best your budget allows and think longterm.  Furnish a home with the intention that it will stay as is – or added to for a collected feel- for many years to come.  

Classic, timeless Interior design

A mix of finishes and details for a collected look, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

We hope these tips help guide you during your next project.  If we can help you update your dated home, reach out to us here or call us at 205-938-4848.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors Featured in Aspire Design and Home’s ‘Designer Friday’

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It is always exciting when a publication wants to showcase our work, and I am honored Aspire Design and Home reached out to us for their ‘Designer Friday’ spotlight. 

From sharing some of our recent projects to asking about my favorite books and thoughts, it was a fun interview.  It is a wonderful publication that shares what is new globally in design, art, culture, and travel.   

 

Learn unique facts about Dana in a Q&A with Aspire Design and Home and Andrew Joseph

Aspire Design and Home's Feature

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

From secret talents, must-read books, and something to always have on hand for unexpected guests, click here to read along for a fun Friday feature.

Have a great day,

Dana

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As I was going through some photos of our work on our website recently, I was reminded why every room (or almost every) needs a mirror.

Its placement is key, but it’s also important to be mindful of what it reflects. Here are my thoughts on why mirrors add interest to any space.

 

Why Every Room Needs A Mirror: 

 

1. It’s the perfect layering piece

A mirror is a great layering piece to create a collected feel in a room.  In our client’s Foyer, I layered an antique Louis Philippe mirror with a framed piece of art and other curiosities to give it interest and personalization.

Why to use a mirror in a room

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

2. A mirror adds texture and dimension

This antique Louis Philippe hanging in my Living Room adds a different texture while balancing out the wood of the pecky cypress ceiling and doors.

Why to use a mirror in a room

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

3. It makes a space feel larger

In this Master Bathroom, the vanities mirror each other, giving this space the illusion it is much larger.  Notice how we still paid attention to what was being reflected with the addition on a lovely nude sketch and small basket to catch everyday jewelry.  

Where to hang a mirror

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4. A mirror adds balance

Don’t over-clutter your walls with art – let the pieces breath and speak for themselves. Mirrors can help carry the weight of a wall without covering every inch with different art.

As we’ve done here, this mirror adds balance to a formal Dining Room where a piece of art would have been too much. 

Why every room needs a mirror

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Hope these tips help when you are deciding where to hang a mirror in a room.  If we can help you create a home you love, contact us here.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, and you want to make sure you are investing your time and money wisely.

Our goal for any project is to create a home that adds to the quality of your life and will hopefully increase in investment if you ever decide to sell.

 

HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO WISELY INVEST IN YOUR HOME: 

 

1. Use classic materials in the shell of your home:

By choosing classic materials and architectural elements that are in keeping with the style of your home, you will create a timeless feel that supports any style of furnishings you layer in. 

Look at the gorgeous doors, and the dogs are pretty cute, too. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

2.  Be strategic with the type of fabrics you select:

Are you thinking of purchasing a new sofa or reupholstering one you already own? If so, opt for a higher quality fabric with a high double-rub count or professional treatment. Taking these factors into consideration will pay off after a few years of wear and tear.

The following pictures are projects of high-traffic spaces where we strategically selected fabrics based on how the room functions. 

Recent installation of a client’s foyer. The loveseat and chair are ready for an active family. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interior Design Studio, Mountain Brook, AL

 

3. Utilize every space in your home:

From large and spacious to small and quaint, maximizing your square footage is imperative.  

As I wrote in a previous blog post here, we helped this large family transform their garage into a second family room to create some needed extra space.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

4. Neat and tidy landscaping:

Your landscaping is the first impression people see as they approach your home. Allow the appearance of your home’s exterior to catch your guests at the door with a few simple and effective ways.

For example, keep your sidewalks and porches cleanly swept so leaves and cobwebs don’t accumulate.

I also like to have the mulch in our yard freshened up twice a year (in the fall and spring). You will be shocked with how this truly makes your shrubs and trees pop.

 

Dolores Del Rio House, Arturo Jimenez Photography

 

5. Customize your kitchen and bathrooms:

Updating your kitchen or an outdated bathroom are places where you can add value to your home. Not only for re-sale purposes, but also in terms of function for you and your family. 

We designed this client’s kitchen to suit their needs in a new build.  As empty-nesters, they didn’t want a large breakfast room because they enjoy eating everyday meals around an island. With emphasis on the custom island design and function, we added counter stools and a table-like feel as a perfect solution for ‘island dining’.  

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Another great way to maximize space in a kitchen is to incorporate banquette-style seating with your breakfast room table. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

I hope you find these five ways to invest helpful and that they guide you on where to spend your money on your home.  Reach out to us here if we can help you turn your home into one you love.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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We have recently begun working on the renovation of a client’s childhood home.

The wife and I met through one of my 3.5 hour consults as she was looking for direction for her family’s newly purchased childhood home.  During our conversation, I gave a few reasons as to why they should renovate to really make it work for their young, pet-friendly family. 

As a result, they hired us to select the interior finishes and lighting throughout.  

 

Dana Wolter Living Room

A Recently Completed Family Room, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Though the bones of the house are good- and the memories even better- we are updating the house with classic, timeless materials and details. A

Our goal is a beautiful home with a casual, comfortable feel that only looks better with time. 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Lighting Detail

Dana Wolter Interiors, Interior Details, Graham Yelton Photography

 

The kitchen is completely gutted and is getting the biggest makeover.  A large window is being added because bringing in light was a priority throughout the house.

We are also updating the home with hidden storage (can you ever have enough?) and finding ways to make this new home work and function for them for years to come.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Kitchen Renovation

Dana Wolter Interiors, Kitchen Renovation

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Renovation

Dana Wolter Interiors, Renovation

 

Stay tuned as we share our progress over the next few months. I can’t wait to make this childhood home into a space where this family can play, relax and enjoy each other. 

Have a great day,

 

Dana

 

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