Posts Tagged ‘tips’

I am excited to share that the Coastal Living Southern Living Designer Network website has launched.

 

If you remember, I shared a couple of months ago that I was selected by the editors as a member of this designer network for their readers.

 

designernetwork

Image from Southern Living Designer Network

 

 

I am honored to be one of the few from Alabama, and as you can see, I am in great company.     Check out the live site at http://sldesignernetwork.com/ and let me know what you think.

 

Have a great day,

dana

 

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When it comes to designing and decorating your home, you want to do it right the first time, and there is some advice given out often that, in my opinion, needs to be ignored.
It usually comes from a builder, a worker on your home,  or a well-intentioned friend.  Trust your gut, or better yet, hire a designer you can trust with one of the largest investments (your home) you will ever make.
So here goes….  A few pieces of friendly advice you should ignore:
1.  Don’t paint your brick –   If you have a new or cookie cutter brick home and you used the standard brick you see everywhere, painting your brick can be one of the best things you can do to make it look a little more custom.  Yes, you cannot go back, but who would want to when it’s the mass produced brick you see so much of these days?    Painted brick is so pretty to me and it is a great way to give your home a new, cohesive look.  See how gorgeous this home is below?
It is the home of Milieu editor, Pamela Pierce, as seen in Veranda magazine.    If you have not checked out Milieu, you must do so as it does not disappoint.
This Houston house was designed by Pamela Pierce. It was featured in Veranda magazine in the March 2013 issue, pages 122-132.

Pamela Pierce’s home as seen in Veranda. Image from decorator.com

2.  Using 6″ recess cans throughout a space  Heard of a swiss cheese ceiling?  Yep, this is exactly what I mean.
If you must incorporate recess, use the smaller ones that provide lots of light from a small bulb.   Yes, the smaller recess cost more than the typical 5″-6″ builder cans often speced, but the look far outweighs the cost. Use dimmers to soften the lighting, and use a variety of different types of lighting to create warmth and layering. Table and floor lamps that direct light in the living areas is best. It allows you to see things better, puts a nicer light on your face, and illuminates the colors and textures in your furnishings better.
Barry Dixon

Image from Barry Dixon

3. Selecting granite over marble because you do not think marble is durable-  This one is a BIG one and I am constantly having to educate my clients about this stone.  
I can only hope I am aging as well as marble does, because to me, there is nothing prettier than a well worn piece of marble after several years have passed.  I have had it in my house for almost eight years, and trust me, we live hard in  use my kitchen and bathrooms.   And guess what?  Do not tell my dirty little secret, but we are not the neatest group either.
The key is to choose a honed marble so etching wont take place if something hot is placed on it, and if you like red wine, don’t leave it spilled on the counter for days on end.   If something does happen and the stain bothers you (which it shouldn’t- it’s called patina), the material can always be resurfaced.
4. Hanging  artwork too high– Keep the center of your artwork at eye level or a little lower to create intimacy in a space.  In a room where people will mostly be sitting, artwork should be hung a little lower.
artwork

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

5. Arranging all of your furniture against the walls– You never want to create a furniture arrangement that makes conversation difficult.  If you have a room that is big enough, be creative and float your sofa and add a couple of sitting ares to the space.   A sofa can look great off of the wall, so use open spaces to be creative and create intimacy.
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Image from Georgiana Design

 

What advice have you been given when it comes to your house that you wish you’d ignored? I’d love to hear from you so please share!

 

Take care,

dana

 

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When decorating a bedroom, choosing the type of bed can be one of the hardest things to do.  It is usually the focal point of the room, so it is essential to get it right.

 

Today, I am sharing a few tips that will help you pick one that anchors your room in a perfect way.

 

White house V 039

Image from NestEgg

 

One of the most important factors to consider is the size of the bedroom. How much space do you have for the bed?

 

Keep the size of your headboard in proportion to the bedroom space and ceiling height.  While I don’t mind bigger scale pieces in a bedroom to create a cozy space, you do want to make sure there is room for bedside tables and perhaps a place to sit in there as well.  The larger the room, the larger the headboard can be without swallowing up the room visually.

 

headboard1

Image from Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Consider the look you are going for in your bedroom. To work well as a visual focus, a headboard must not only look good, it must also fit within the context of the room.

 

If you prefer a more elegant, sophisticated style, a complementary upholstered headboard that’s covered in a rich textile, such as velvet or suede would compliment the room best.

 

satinheadboard

Image from House Beautiful

 

Bold, patterned fabrics add a splash of color and create a focal point for the room.

 

preppy-tropical-guesthouse-palmp.jpg

Image from Style At Home

 

For a more airy and light feeling to your bedroom, a minimally detailed headboard with soft curves and caning may be for you.

 

Image from Little Green Notebook

 

Headboards with straight lines in wood or sleek leather tend to have a more masculine feel.

 

masculine headboard

Image from Tidbits and Twine

 

Regardless the style of your bedroom, keep in mind the scale of your room, ceiling height and decor style and you are on your way to a gorgeous headboard.

 

 

Enjoy your day,

 

dana

 

 

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New year, new ideas.
We have decided to spice things up and we are now sending out a newsletter periodically.
The newsletter will include a variety of design tips and tricks. You’ll receive ideas on how to create beautiful rooms, learn about my “must-haves”, find out my favorite paint colors, and so much more.
In the first newsletter, I give a few tips on how to make a dramatic impact in a room.
slliving pics of home 2

Dana Wolter Interiors

You won’t see this information anywhere else from me, so sign up now.   The newsletter is ready to be sent, so to receive it, please click here.

Have a good one,
dana

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There are a few things when building, renovating, or just plain working on your home that, in my book, you want to avoid.

 

Here is my top five list of things NOT to do to your home:

 

1.  Do not plant landscaping that is too small.

There is nothing worse than driving by a beautiful home where it’s obvious they have invested wisely in the materials chosen, only to see a bunch of dinky plants surrounding the beautiful structure.  Yes, plants grow, but by the time some plants are finally a decent size, five years have passed.   Buy larger when it comes to plants that are slow growing.  I promise, this makes such a difference.   See below how landscaping that is invested in can add to your home’s aesthetic.

 

 

Newman & Cebulak

Image from Architectural Digest via Pinterest

 

 

2.  Never buy a piece only because it is on sale.

Do you love the piece or did you buy it because it is a good deal?  If it is the latter, you bought the sofa, bookcase, bed, or whatever it is for the wrong reason.  Never, I repeat, never, buy a piece just because the price is good or because you need something to fill a space.  If it is for one of these two reasons, you will eventually tire of it and you won’t enjoy it in your home for very long.

 

 

3.   Don’t buy an entire room off of a showroom floor and never match all your furniture.

Regardless of your taste- modern, traditional, or transitional- you always want your home to look like it has been collected over time, even if it was installed in the same day.   This leads me to the next point of making sure you don’t match your furniture. There can be an overlap of the same material for continuity, but make sure you have a mixture of elements in the room to cause a little tension in the space.   Use a mix of upholstery, stained wood, painted wood, glass, iron , etc….

 

foyer by mcalpine booth & ferrier

Image from McAlpine Tankersley

 

 

4.   Do not have a room that doesn’t serve a purpose.

Do you walk through a room, only to have it be a “catch all” or a place to host guests once a year?  If so, you are missing out on a room you could be enjoying, and you need to rework this space.   Gone are the days where rooms sit unused or are “saved” for special occasions.  Repurpose a room and ENJOY it.

 

5.   Don’t wait for tomorrow to pull your home together and make it a place for you and your family to make memories.

Money does not necessarily guarantee good design, so don’t wait until tomorrow to make your home something you can be proud of and enjoy.  Stop comparing your house to your neighbors’.  Instead, focus on making your home a cohesive safe haven to build memories for you and your family.

 

 

web-sykes9

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

Are there others you would add to the list?   If so, let me know. We love hearing from you.

 

Have a great day, everyone-

 

Dana

 

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It’s that time already!  Can you believe the holidays are here?!

 

Radio stations are playing Christmas music,  and lights and greenery are hung.

 

We thought it might be nice over the next few weeks to offer a few quick tips on how to simplify this crazy time of year.

 

Homes will soon be filled with festive décor, food, friends and family, and hopefully our tips will help you not stress enjoy this season.

 

Today, I am sharing a TV segment I taped a few years back for  NBC-13  Birmingham with David Lamb on a few easy ways to fold napkins.  David and I had a lot of fun perfecting the art, and I promise, if we can do it, so can you.   Take a look:

 

TV2

 

Little tricks – from hand-written place cards and unique napkin folds – can help make for memorable meals during the holidays.

 

Watch this video to see how easily you can add elegance to your table and set the scene for a delicious feast.

 

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This is my Thanksgiving table from last year. Notice how the folded napkin is a small detail that makes a beautiful statement. Image from Dana Wolter Interiors.

 

I hope you found this post helpful.  Stay tuned for more holiday entertaining ideas.

 

Ready or not….. Tis the season,

dana

 

We will be announcing the winners of the “Birmingham Style” book giveaway Friday so stayed tuned for that as well. In case you missed the giveaway details, check out my blog post from last Friday. It’s not too late to enter!

 

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Here’s to getting through this joyous (and certainly hectic at moments) time of the year,