Living Well

5 Things To Keep On Hand For Last-Minute Entertaining

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
 

Like what you see? Please say hello on social media-

 
Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Living Well

Is Our One-Time 3.5 Hour Consult For You?

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

 

P.S. To see more of what we do on a day to day basis, click to follow along…

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTERINTERIORS

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

Living Well: 5 Tips For Updating Your Home

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

 

If you would like to see more on a day to day basis of what we do at DWI, join us. We would love to meet you!!

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- Dana Wolter Interiors

Living Well

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

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

If you would like to see more on a day to day basis of what we do at DWI, join us.  We would love to meet you!

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- Dana Wolter Interiors

Living Well

Living Well: 5 Ways To Invest In Your Home

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

 

To see more of what we do on a day to day basis, follow along…

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- Dana Wolter Interiors

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

Renovating A Client’s Childhood Home

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

 

To see what we are doing on a regular basis, click here…

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

 

 

Living Well

DWI Named Finalist For The Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year

2019 Southeast Designer of The Year Nominees Announced

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that DWI is a finalist in the Southeast Residential Designer Of The Year award.  

Sponsored by ADAC and Veranda magazine, this award spans a 10-state region, and we are honored to be included for the third year in a row.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Birmingham, AL, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Not only are we humbled to be among such a distinguished group, we are proud to be a vessel to spotlight our fabulous city of Birmingham, AL.   If you need a few recommendations of my favorite places to eat and shop in town, contact me here.

 

Dana Wolter Interior Design, Located in Birmingham, AL. Photo by Graham Yelton

 

 “The South is an epicenter for stylish design, and this year’s Southeast Designers and Architect of the Year Awards’ entrants prove the region’s influence on architecture and interior design is not to be overlooked,” said Steele Marcoux, Editor in Chief of VERANDA magazine. “I feel honored – and inspired – to have been a part of this process!” 

Our sincere thanks to the judges, Steele Marcoux, Bunny Williams, and Roger Seifter,  for noticing our work.  These esteemed judges are well-known in the design community and for their discerning eyes to highlight our work is an honor. 

Stay tuned as we will keep you posted on social media. The award ceremony is April 25th and our entire team will be together to celebrate.

 

Have a great day-

Dana

 

To see what we are doing on a regular basis, click here…

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

 

 

Living Well

Living Well: 5 Ways To Make Overnight Guests Feel Welcome

Do you find yourself stressing and fretting before overnight company arrives?  If so, I have some ways to ease the worry and make your overnight visitors feel welcome.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks for making company feel relaxed and at home. The key is to think of things that bring you comfort when you are away.  

 

5 Ways To Make Overnight Guests Feel Welcome

 

Fresh Linens

There really isn’t anything better than crawling into bed with fresh, crisp linens – make sure the sheets are newly washed and pillows nicely fluffed.

Keeping my favorite travel size linen mist in the top drawer next to the bed is also a trick I’ve done for years. Company staying longer than one night can continue to enjoy the fresh feeling of clean sheets with a simple spritz on the pillow before bed. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Flowers + Greenery

Having fresh flowers or greenery beside the bed and in the bathroom is such a pretty and thoughtful touch. It says ‘welcome, we’re glad you are here’.  

This little detail immediately brings life into rooms that otherwise don’t see much activity and it is the best first impression you can give your visitors. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

Lined Window Treatments

Allow your friends and family to sleep in with ease with lined window treatments. A good night’s sleep is a great gift for your guests.

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

A Welcome Basket

Just as a lovely hotel would do, put together a welcome basket with thoughtful items and a personal note sharing your excitement for their stay. Add magazines and books that your company will enjoy + a few water bottles, mints, and other treats.

Stock Your Bathroom

Just as important as having your guest bedroom filled with touches to make your company comfortable, your guest bathroom should have a few indulgences as well.  A fresh hand soap placed by the sink is not only useful, but it will also leave a lingering, clean scent.

I also like to stock the drawer with new toiletries – shampoo, facial cleanser, body lotion, razors, and toothpaste to name a few. Nothing is nicer for your company than to not have to worry about forgotten items. 

Beautiful, monogramed towels with extras placed under the vanity is a personal touch they will enjoy.  Maybe even add a plush bath robe in the closet upon their arrival. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I hope you have enjoyed these few tips to make your guests feel special.   If you want to read more, be sure to check out these previous blog posts on last minute entertaining and bedroom design ideas.

As always, we would love to help you create a guest room perfect for your future company.  If you would like to learn more about our services, reach out to us here.   

 

Have a great day,

Dana 

 

We post pictures on other social media sites that don’t always make it onto my blog, so please follow along.

Instagram- DANAWOLTERINTERIORS

Pinterest- Dana Wolter Interiors

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Living Well

3.5 Hour Consult- Is this Service For You?

With the new year in full swing 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,  this one-time service 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 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

 

Here’s How The 3.5 Hour Consult Works:

I will have you send a list of all you would like to discuss and accomplish during our time together.   We make an appointment, and 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 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 all of the suggestions I make for 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

 

I post pictures on other social media sites that don’t always make it onto my blog, so please follow along.

Instagram- DANAWOLTERINTERIORS

Pinterest- Dana Wolter Interiors

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

 

 

Living Well

Eight Tips For A Fun And Successful Building Process

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

Follow us on a day to day basis to see what we are doing…..

Instagram- Dana Wolter Interiors

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

 

 

 

 

Living Well

Living Well: The One Thing Every Home Should Have

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

 

Follow us on a day to day basis to see what we are doing…..

Instagram- Dana Wolter Interiors

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

Exciting News!

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

 

To see more of what we do on a day to day basis, follow along…

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- Dana Wolter Interiors

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

Living Well: Five Ways to Wisely Invest In Your Home

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 value to 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 sticking with classic materials such as natural stones and architectural elements that are in keeping with the type of home you have, you will create a home with a timeless feel that will support 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 types of fabrics you select:

Are you contemplating purchasing a new sofa or reupholstering one you already own? Opt for a higher quality fabric with a high double-rub count and have it professionally treated. Taking these factors into consideration will pay off down the road when your furniture still looks fresh.

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 Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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.

Lastly, keep the edging of your grass clean and crisp so its not encroaching in areas it shouldn’t. 

Dolores Del Rio House, Arturo Jimenez Photography

 

5. Customize your kitchen and bathrooms:

Updating your kitchen or an out-dated bathroom are both 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 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

 

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 in your home helpful and that they guide you to wisely invest in the space you call home. Let me know what you think.

Have a great day,

Dana

 

To see more of what we do on a day to day basis, follow along…

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- Dana Wolter Interiors

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

Living Well: Replacing Your Outdated Built-Ins

Many of my projects are older homes that haven’t been updated yet to best fit the needs of today’s modern family.

A lot of these homes have unused, outdated built-ins, and I thought it would be fun to look at a few ways I have recreated this type of space.

It’s amazing what a little thought and creativity can do to update and make a space work for you.

 

 Here are a few examples:

 

BEFORE

 

AFTER:

Custom designed cabinetry by Dana Wolter Interiors

 

We thickened the wall opening into the room so the new cabinetry reads more as a true built-in.   I made the depth for this custom cabinet less in the middle (the doors slide open to reveal a flat screen tv ) while the side cabinets hold 13″ deep bookcases to personalize the space.

In one of my other projects, the sitting room had a deep, built-in computer desk.  The desk wasn’t being used anymore and the room was pretty much just a walk-through space.  

We decided to give this room a purpose by making it the husband’s sitting room, fitted with a bar and his own personal television.  

 

BEFORE:

 

BEFORE

 

 

AFTER: 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

I decided to go with a lighter wax on the bar wood to make the bar “pop” against the dark walls, and I also surrounded the space with a snakeskin wall covering.    The upholstered doors are touch latch for easy opening-

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

What about your home?   Do you have wasted, useable space hidden in your old built-ins? 

If so, and you are ready to update your home,  reach out to us here.   We’d love to hear about your project-

 

Have a great day-

 

Dana

 

To see more of what we do on a day to day basis, click to follow along…

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTERINTERIORS

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

Living Well: 4 Tips For Your Home That Add To The Quality Of Your Life

With the start of a new year (and being home for three weeks after my surgery),  I found myself looking for ways to improve how my home works for my busy family. Ways to accentuate living well in my home.

And while my to-do list grew quite long (turning my old office into a lounge space for me is near the top), I thought I would share a few easy ways to improve a home and hopefully your quality of life.

 

 1.  Paint a room – Nothing reinvigorates a space more than a fresh coat of paint. Paint fades and dulls slowly over time, requiring some TLC after numerous years of no attention.  I suggest repainting the ceiling and trim at the same time because once the walls are repainted, the ceiling and trim will be noticeably dull.
 

2. Bring the outdoors in – With all of this cold weather we’ve had lately, cut a few branches from your yard to add some greenery and life into your home.

Winding branches make such a dramatic yet effortless statement that don’t need to be maintained like orchids or other flowers. The texture and scale that branches contribute to a space will add a beautiful layer to your existing design, AND it doesn’t cost a dime.  It may not be summer, yet, but we can pretend it is almost here.

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

3. Closet consistency – How often do you stand in your closet thinking you have nothing to wear? The problem may lie in the fact that you can’t see half of what you own.

I recently tossed every single hanger in the house and switched to clear plastic hangers for me and color coordinated ones for my girls (and when they go back to school, the specific hanger goes with them). They come in several colors and the key is to buy each person their own color. Not only do these slim hangers take up less space in your closet, but they look nice and clean.

I pulled out a few things to give away, but the consistency in the hangers and hanging clothes by color and type made all the difference in the world.   I’ve found myself spending less time figuring out what to wear because of this simple, esthetically-pleasing change.

 

4. Make a list of projects you want to accomplish – January is a great time to make a punch list of things you’ve been wanting to do around your home.  I try to group alike tasks together and make a goal to complete a few each month.

For example, a client just contacted me about designing her Screened-In Porch so it would be completely ready for entertaining in the summer. We’ve done almost all of the other rooms in the house and this room was always put on the back burner.

On a smaller scale, maybe you have been wanting to switch out some of your light fixtures that are beginning to look dated or replace a Living Room sofa that has seen better days – add these to your master punch list and begin putting effort in getting them accomplished.

 

What will it take for you to live well, or should I say, live better, in your own home?   Take a few minutes and think about it.   I bet the answer is not far away.

 

Dana

P.S. To see more of what we do on a day to day basis, click to follow along…

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTERINTERIORS

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

Living Well: 5 Tips Every Empty Nester Should Know When Downsizing

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

 

Like what you see? Connect with us on a daily basis….

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

 

Living Well

Living Well: Tips For A Great First Impression In Your Foyer

The foyer is the first impression of your home when someone walks in, so it needs to make a good one.

After all, whether family or a visitor, you want guests to feel welcome.

We recently began working on the foyer of a current project.  It is a beautiful home and while we have finished up several rooms in the house, we are now focusing in on this space.   As I was assessing the best way to soften this room and make it look like the family has lived there for some time, I thought I would share some tricks with you. 

 

Here are five tips to making a great first impression in your foyer:

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

 

Foyer, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

McAlpine Booth and Ferrier
McAlpine Booth and Ferrier

 

 

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

Artwork by my daughter (that I love) personalizes the entrance into my office, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors
Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

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

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

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 been collected over time.

 

 

 

 

Below is a video I shot a few years back with Wendy Garner talking about how to transform this overlooked space.  Click here to watch for a few more tips for your foyer.

 

photo (5)
Dana Wolters’ TV Segment on “Ways To Create An Inviting Foyer”

 

 

So, what does your foyer say about your home?   Does it set the tone and catch your eye, or is it a “catch-all” area you want to hurry your guests through?

 

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

Dana

 

 

Come see what we have to say on  a day to day basis at DWI-

 

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

Living Well- Tips For Making The Most Of Your Space In A Smaller Home

A few recent projects have been for families downsizing to smaller homes. And while moving to a home you are excited about can be a blessing, it can sometimes be difficult to lose 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 comes in.

 

How to make the most of small spaces can sometimes be overwhelming , so I thought I would give six helpful tips to #LivingWell in a smaller home.

 

1. Clean Out and Keep Only What You Love Or Will Use.   Simple enough- Do you love it or use it? If not, get rid of it.  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 extra storage? 

 

3. Look Above And Below. Look for ways to hide storage, such as using ottomans that open up, raising a bed a few inches to create more space underneath, or  adding built-in seating with drawers underneath.  I also love adding ottomans under an open console or coffee table- not only to work as a layering piece but as an extra seat that can be pulled out if needed.

 

 

An ottoman slides under a coffee table in a client’s Family Room- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

Drawers pull out for extra storage in this window seat, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

4. Simplify- When Looking At Your Stuff, 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.

 

5. Think Long And Hard How Your Home Needs To Work For You and Delegate A Function For Every Room Or Unused Corner.  There is something refreshing about simplifying your life and surroundings. But with smaller homes, you need to think long and hard ahead of time to make sure the new home functions like it needs to for you.  If you see an extra corner, could you add a chair and floor lamp for an extra place to sit?

Or a custom banquette to create more seating around a breakfast table?

 

Photography by Jean Allsopp, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

If working on a new build or renovation, 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.

 

#LivingWell isn’t necessarily about having the best of everything- It’s about surrounding yourself with a home that brings you joy.  A place you love to make memories with family and friends.  

 

Downsizing can be a blessing if you allow it, as it is 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 to #LivingWell in a smaller home. Let me know what you think-

Dana

 

Like what you see? Connect with us on a daily basis….
Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Pinterest- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTERINTERIORS

Living Well

Cocoon

A client reached out to us about helping them with a few rooms in their newly purchased home.  One of the rooms they commissioned with us was the Dining Room.

 

The house is a typical 80s style house on a stately lot, and I wanted to add a little edge and detail through the interiors.  A Dining Room is often nondescript, making it important to layer so it feels soft- and special.

 

Here are a few of the “Before” pictures:

 

BEFORE

 

 

BEFORE

 

 

We kept the wall color and her buffet, but everything else was a clean slate.

 

 

The goal was to make it feel warm, casual, and dramatic.   Maybe it was the mood I was in, but Cocoon was the word that kept coming to mind.

 

 

We decided to drape two of the walls in the room with a sheer that blended into her newly painted walls.  I wanted this room to draw you in, just as a Dining Room should.

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

I went with an upholstered table to add a little more drama and softness in the space.  I also love the touches of black and gold throughout.

 

 

Upholstered Table Detail, Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

After adding a table as big as the room could hold for maximum seating, there was room for a piece of furniture between the windows, but we had to watch its depth.

 

 I decided to go with an Etagere to give her a place to stack her china, crystal, and serving pieces.  Who says these type of pieces have to stay hidden in a cabinet or drawer?

 

The Etagere added a little more of a casual feel to a typically formal space, and it will look better and better the more pieces are added to it.

 

 

This piece will only look better with time as items are added.  Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, LLC

 

 

So here’s to making your home feel like a cocoon; warm, inviting, and a reflection of you.    If we can help you turn your house into a home you love, email us here.   We would love to hear from you.

 

Dana

 

Follow along for a look at what we are doing on a daily basis……

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- dwolterinterior

Living Well

On The Road Again…..

In case you are wondering where I have been……

 

I fell off the blog post train the past few weeks, as I have been living on the road and out of a suitcase.  

 

We have been pretty busy with current projects, and with being out of town, my blog writing, the dog grooming appointments, and the cleanliness of my own house have fallen by the wayside.

 

Here is a glimpse into what has been going on with us…….

 

As I wrote here a few weeks ago, I was asked to participate in the Atlanta Home’s and Lifestyle’s Southeastern Showhouse in Atlanta, GA.  

 

We spent two days in Atlanta installing the Mudroom, Mudroom Powder, and the Butler’s Pantry.  Though it poured as we moved in, we had a blast.  

 

 

Abbey at odds with the umbrella, and I think the umbrella may have won….

 

 

Monica and Abbey taking inventory

 

 

My goal was to make these small, but important rooms, feel true to the home.  The house is beautiful and  extremely traditional. Our rooms needed to blend into the architecture, but not at the cost of being boring.

 

 I wanted to create spaces that are functional- a place to catch your keys, use the desk behind the cabinet doors, etc.    

 

Layered, collected, timeless.

 

Here are a few pictures of our spaces for you to see.

 

Gorgeous console and lamp are from Parc Monceau. The Louis Philippe mirror is from Huff Harrington and the sculptural hands are from Travis and Co

 

 

 

Drapery panel covering a nondescript closet door. It also adds softness to the room while balancing the opposite wall.

 

I love the Tantalus and oil painting below from Parc Monceau.   If you haven’t been to their shop in Buckhead, you need to stop by.  

 

The Plateau is an architectural fragment I found at an antique store, and I had my marble guy cut a piece of Alabama White for the top.   It’s one of my favorite serving pieces in my own home.

 

 

 

 

Royal Standard china and Baccarat crystal

 

The Showhouse closes May 14th so be sure to catch it. 

 

After we installed our rooms, I vacationed in Miami for a few days with two of my girls.   It was Lucy’s Spring Break, so we took a few days to get away.    Feeling the sun on your back, and your toes in the sand, does a person good.

 

We loved DIRT in Miami- a fresh and healthy take on food

 

 

I came back Tuesday from Miami and left Wednesday for the opening of the show.  Abbey went with me and we had a blast.

 

 

It was back to work for a day while I was back in Birmingham, AL.  We had a site visit to select hardwood floor color, and we also began working on a living room design for a new client.

 

 

 

 

I then headed back to Atlanta for Design ADAC and for the Southeastern Designer & Architect Awards.

 

 

The Design ADAC panels were awesome as expected.  I especially loved the one with the Editors of Veranda  moderated by Carolyn Englefield.   I think I could have listened to Lisa Newsom’s stories from the past all day long.

 

  

As I wrote here, I was thrilled to learn we were a finalist for the ADAC & Veranda 2017 Southeast Designers & Architect Of The Year awards.

 

 

2017 Southeast Designers & Architect Of The Year Award

 

Rebecca and I before the party

 

 

 The Editor At Large interviewing me at the party

 

Phoebe Howard took home the Residential Designer Of The Year award, and my Birmingham, AL, friend, Jeff Dungan, took home the Architect Of The Year Award.

  

I have to give my team a huge shoutout.  They held down the fort while I was in and out of town, and I truly could not do all of this without them.  They are the BEST, and I am grateful for each of their gifts that they bring to our firm.

 

I loved being in Atlanta this past month, and always said that if I didn’t live in Birmingham, Atlanta is where I would hang my hat.  Not sure my husband would comply, but I can work on him…..

 

And while I have worked on projects in Atlanta in the past, I would love to do more work there.  If you have a project and you like our style, reach out to us.

 

I am back in Birmingham for a few weeks before I head out of town again.  I plan on catching up on work and cleaning my house :).  If I am lucky, my hands will end up in the dirt planting a few things this weekend.

 

 Stay tuned as we keep you filled in on some more exciting news….

 

Have a great day-

 

Dana

 

If you would like to see what we are doing on a daily basis, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you-

Facebook- Dana Wolter Interiors

Twitter- DWolterinterior

Instagram- DANAWOLTER

Pinterest- dwolterinterior