Posts Tagged ‘Southern interior design’

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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3.5 Hour Consult- Is This Service For You?

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With warm weather here and people ready to make changes to their home, I want to remind you of the 3.5 consult service I offer periodically.

While the projects we work on are full-service interior design,  this one-time consult is for the client who needs a plan for their home but likes to do the legwork themselves.

It has gone over really well, and clients who have invested in this consult have been surprised over the amount of detail and information that comes with it.  

Matter of fact, I recently ran into a client who hired me for this service for her home a few years ago.  She said she is slowly working through her list as her budget and time allow, but she is LOVING the big changes happening to her home.

Some people have used this service to update their home, and others have used it to select the finishes, countertops and paint colors for second homes under construction. 

People have even flown in to meet with me (or driven all night when their flight was canceled) for this consult. 

Let us help you with the details and finishes for your new home, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

Whatever your needs, you have my undivided attention for 3.5 hours to help you accomplish all that we can in this timeframe.

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

How The 3.5 Hour Consult Works:

Our team will have you send a list of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.  Once we make an appointment,  I will then spend 3.5 hours of uninterrupted time answering any question you can possible think to ask me.  We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric direction, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it!

I will give you specifics of what to look for when shopping for your home, and I will take detailed measurements so you won’t have to worry about coming home with the wrong size sofa, ever again.

After our meeting, you will receive a detailed synopsis of what was discussed and a list of the suggestions I made when discussing your project.  

This allows you to maximize your time with me while I take notes and write down all the specifics for you to implement at a later date.

This service is a great way to invest in your home by making sure what you are changing and buying is right for the space.  It also allows you the freedom to work on your project as your time and budget allow, all while following professional advice.

If you think this service can help you make your home the place you dream, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.   I would love to talk with you.

Cheers to making your home one you love, one step at a time……

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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Interior Design Tips – You Asked And Dana Answered

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A few weeks ago, we asked our Instagram followers to submit design questions they wanted me to answer. This was such a fun way to see what people need help with or where they need help in their own home. From favorite colors to determining a budget, the entries covered the spectrum. 

Here are a few of the design questions with Dana’s answers:

 

Q:What Are Your Tips For Styling Vignettes – Especially Long Buffets or Dressers?

A: When styling your home, adding layers is really what brings everything together and breathes life to each space.

Incorporating art, antique mirrors, live greenery, and books will make your home come alive.  I often time like to prop up a small piece of art in front of a mirror which adds interest and depth without taking away from what the mirror has to offer.

For longer spaces – like a buffet or dresser – less is more. Play up the scale of the piece by added a long container and simply fill with pretty green moss or stack collections of your China and serving pieces for a more collected look. 

Watch my Instagram Stories today for more tips regarding this question!

Ready for entertaining, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Q: Are Dark Painted Interior Doors and Trim Timeless or Trendy?

A: Dark painted interior doors and trim can add a beautiful layer to the right home.  The architecture and style of your home is the main variable as to whether this look is in keeping with it. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Q: Are Murals or Mural Wallcoverings a Trend?

A: If done properly, murals can be a stunning addition and a classic touch to a room. From custom French murals like de Gournay  to a bespoke, hand-painted artisan design,  finding the right option in the right room is key. 

 

Q: How Do You Measure a Rug For a Room? 

A: I wish there was a tried and true answer that could be used for every room in your home but so many variables come into play when determining the perfect size rug.

Floor vent locations, furniture layouts, and paths of travel are some of the many factors we consider. If possible, you want to try and avoid half of an upholstered piece hanging off of the rug.

To make your spaces feel bigger and allow the most open furniture plan, error on the larger size and come off each wall equal distances. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Q: How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Designer?

A: Pinpointing an exact price to hire a designer is nearly impossible due to all the variables and project requirements. Interior designers charge differently – some charge a flat fee while others charge hourly.  

Like anything, you get what you pay for with a designer. If one is significantly more than another, it is usually because they are offering more detail in scope of what their services will cover. Finding a designer whose work and process speaks to you is the key to a perfect fit.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

Whether you are in the middle of a project yourself or have one you’ve been thinking about starting, I hope these answers guide you to achieve your dream home. If you need help with your design project, email us here

Feel free to ask me more questions in the comment section or reach out on social media. I may address your question in our next installment of ‘You Asked, Dana Answered’ as I enjoyed writing this post.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

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