Posts Tagged ‘kitchen tips’

One of my favorite clients reach 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 a beautiful home, and I thought it might be helpful to share a few pieces of advice so you can do the same.  

 

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 who your neighbor used- look at their past work, check their references, and search them online. 

Your team should increase the value of your project while saving your sanity.  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, you have to feel comfortable in the home.

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 

Do Not start the building process until the plans are finished.  If you don’t wait, 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. 

Dana Wolter Interiors

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

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 (know exactly the type of countertop you want to use, 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 are equal 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 that 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. 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors as seen in Traditional Home

 

I hope these eight tips 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 info@danawolterinteriors.com.  We’d love to hear more about your project.

 

Dana

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Living Well: The One Thing Every Home Should Have

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There’s one thing every home should have, and that is function.

We’ve recently been working on a home that is spacious and stately, but the layout wasn’t great.

This is the forever home for the family, and they were ready to make this home more functional for how they live. 

We began with the front of the house because they couldn’t fit a sofa into their family room, and this is the room the family LIVES in.  

With the help of architect Jason Robb, we took out a few columns, added some custom millwork, and the space already feels so much better (it now allows for not one, but two large sofas and several chairs).  

The family room before the new furniture was installed

 

Inviting spaces begin in the foyer of this home, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

The front of the house is finished- done- complete- and we are now moving onto Phase Two.   We are addressing the choppiness in the back of the home by moving walls and reworking the kitchen, back hall, laundry and office.

We’ve given the kitchen as much storage and workspace as possible.  It will be drop dead gorgeous, but that is just a given when you have custom details throughout.

We’ve ordered a La Cornue range and hood, and the custom cabinetry will be a mix of painted and waxed cabinetry.  There is also a beautiful new butler’s pantry, along with an office, to organize the family.

 

A few renovation progress shots:

 

Beautiful millwork on the kitchen and breakfast room walls

 

 

 

Beautiful ceiling detail designed by architect Jason Robb

 

It is the simple things that make a difference, such as the cabinet drawer detail in the office

 

I am so excited to see this one complete, so follow along my Instagram stories as I share the progress.  It’s going to be pretty incredible, and more importantly, highly functional for them to enjoy for years to come.

 

Have a great day,

 

Dana

 

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With two of my girls off at college and my last one leaving soon,  I find my house starting to feel a little too big.    

I love my location in Mountain Brook, AL, and my home that I put so much of myself into,  but I hate the idea of unused space.  I realize this is probably not my last house.

And like my empty nest clients, my next home will be one that will need to carry us through the final stage of life.  Yet, I realize my needs as an empty nester will be different than those of someone with children living at home.  So if you find yourself thinking like me, here are

Five Tips Every Empty Nester Should Know When Downsizing:

1. Not all of your furniture will fit in a scaled down home  

This is a great time to think about the pieces your truly love and have meaning to you.   Practice living well in this new home by simplifying, downsizing and surrounding yourself only with things you love and use.

2. Your children may not want your discards  

Newsflash….When you are cleaning out, chances are that if you don’t want Aunt Susie’s favorite chair, your children may not either.  Give them the gift of deciding what they would like to bring into their home without the pressure of keeping a family piece.  When it is time, savor the memories and let go.

3. Customize the home to you   

Life is short and life is meant for living well.   If you have always wanted a large storage closet for your china and silver, build it.  Surround yourself and customize your home to what brings you joy.

And while your space may be smaller, this is a great time to upgrade your finishes and details. Thought out touches add value to your home and to your life.

For instance, the home below was for my empty nest clients. They did not want a breakfast room because they like to eat everyday meals around an island.    I wanted them to really enjoy their kitchen and especially their island, so we focused on making the space unique and extra special for them. 

Island customized for everyday meals. Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Custom island with reeded doors. Dana Wolter Interiors

 

4. Create dual purpose rooms  

While you may not have children and grandchildren visit every day, you want them to feel welcome when they do.  If your new home doesn’t allow for enough extra bedrooms, think dual rooms, such as an office or sitting room with a bed or pullout sofa in it.  

For instance, we turned this garage into a playroom because my clients needed extra space for watching tv when all of their grown children are home.   We added an extra long sofa that has a pullout sofa for family visits.

 

Just because you give up square footage when downsizing does not mean you should ever give up entertaining or hosting overnight guests.

5. Think Long Term 

While you may be healthy now and still running marathons every few months,  your forever home may need to transition one day to the later stages of life.  

What will that mean for you?  It may mean a master on the main or an elevator for upstairs’ access, limited stairs where possible, and a shower and tub that are easy to get in and out.

So here’s to living well in your home and making it unique to you.  Life is about surrounding yourself with people and memories you love and enjoy.

If we can help you create the home of your dreams, call us at 205-938-4848 or email us here.  I’d love to discuss with you.

Dana

 

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