COTE DE TEXAS: Decorating in Birmingham with Dana Wolter

Decorating in Birmingham with Dana Wolter



The Wolters home in Birmingham.   Beautiful new construction by architect Dean Robinson. 

My friend, and a sponsor on Cote de Texas – Jackie Sharbrough of The Urban Market – sent an email introducing me to a friend of hers who is an interior designer.   I love learning about other decorators, especially when their portfolio is so beautiful!   The designer is Dana Wolter and she is certainly garnering a lot of press lately.  Her Alabama house was featured in the Christmas edition of Southern Living Magazine and was in the Nov/Dec issue of Birmingham Home & Garden magazine.   With good reason – her house is beautiful!   A quick look at her web site shows so many wonderful interiors that I thought you would enjoy seeing her house for yourself, especially since it was photographed decorated for the holidays.



Dana Wolter, Interior Designer


Dana is the mother of three young daughters who keep her very busy, yet she still manages to run a successful design business.   She graduated from the University of Alabama and spent her early career in sales.  As is often the case – designing for friends got her into the business and she opened the doors to Dana Wolter Interiors in 2005.  I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of Dana in the years to come.




The first glimpse into Dana’s house shows a beautiful staircase decorated for Christmas. 

Straight ahead, you can see into the family room.




The entry is roomy enough for a settee and chairs.   The built in cabinets have the same iron motif found on the window transoms. 

I love the hide rug Dana placed in the entry.  






The living/dining room is a mix of antiques and contemporary pieces.   The palette is serenely monochromatic.  Dana likes to layer textures, starting on the floor with the natural rug leading up to the fabulous ceiling of pecky cypress.  The sparkly crystal chandelier is a perfect juxtaposition to all the rough luxe.  





An antique mirror and console mix with a contemporary lamp. 




The window seats flanking the fireplace are set apart by luscious curtains and fabric walls.  So cozy!



A close up of the window seat.  Here you can see the stone floor found in the living/dining room.





The dining area of the living/dining room has an unusual seating arrangement – a high back, velvet covered banquette takes the place of chairs on one side of the table. 




The family room is Belgian inspired with its long linen slipcovered sofa and industrial styled coffee table.  

The Christmas tree blends right into the décor with its white, silver and gold colored balls.





Looking the other way, a contemporary triptych hangs behind the sofa.   The lighting fixture is an Italian inspired wood chandelier.

Such a pretty room!



The breakfast room has another banquette against the bay window.  The walls are paneled and the table has a zinc top.  

Dana says the upholstery on the banquette is an extremely hard wearing polyester.




In the kitchen, an unusual combination of pecky cypress paired with white marble makes up the island. 

More texture comes in the stainless quilted backsplash.   So pretty!





The master bedroom continues the quiet monochromatic scheme.  Again, a mixture of modern and antique makes an interesting interior. 

But the headboard is the real focal point – it extends from wall to wall.






In a daughter’s bedroom, one wall is covered in wallpaper – cute window seat too!

Notice the Christmas tree and reindeer! 




A close up of Dana’s holiday table set in the dining room.





And a close up of the holiday table set in the breakfast room.




More From Dana Wolter Interiors:



In another house that Dana designed, a warm family room sits next to the breakfast room. 




Here, Dana used facing sofas and a large ottoman/coffee table, along with two arm chairs.




In still another house, a kitchen and breakfast room was remodeled by Dana.  

She again used pecky cypress on the island.   Notice the great trough sink on the island!k 




And – using her trademark - a high banquette sits along a back wall.  The contemporary damask is really eye catching. 

These kitchens photos are by Jean Allsopp Photography




And one of my favorites on Dana’s web site: her daughter’s bedroom.

So cute with the contemporary fabrics and hide rug mixed in with vintage furniture.



To see Dana Wolter Interiors web site, go HERE.


And finally, a huge thank you to Dana for sharing her beautiful photographs with us!  Thank you!



  1. Beautiful! thank you for sharing Joni...standouts for me are the pecky cypress - this is so gorgeous, the fabrics in the window seat, the bedroom with brown and white wallpaper and the last picture of the daughter's bedroom - WOW! love it!

  2. This home took my breath away as soon as I saw the entry. Your huge photos actually made me feel like I was there with you touring this lovely home. Loved the banquette, the living room in all it's Belgianess--is that a word? Great post!

  3. I am so in love with her home....the living room is just divine!!!! I have to go back and look again...don't want to miss a single thing :o)

  4. I have to admit that every time you show a post I notice a design element that will work in my 220 year old home that I didn’t think would work. Love the pecky cypress in the kitchen and those stools are over the top. I do have one little pet peeve, in one room she has a sofa back to the fireplace…why? With a little rearranging she could have done the same design with the furniture but including the rooms focal point. It’s now like the fireplace is being ignored. Otherwise I think Dana’s work is wonderful! Some people just aren’t happy unless they’re whining….:)

  5. Just beautiful. I love the hide rugs and the dining room and breakfast room banquettes! This are my colors too, so I loved everything about this home. Oh, and the sink; to die for!

  6. How absolutely GORGEOUS! But there's something missing in those great christmas decorations.....


    Do you have any posts about how to decorate with a traditional poinsettia? Love to see it!

  7. we are on the same wavelength... I just did a post on Dana's beautiful home as well :)

  8. Wow, beautiful, Joni! What a stand-out house, she is very talented. There are so many gorgeous homes here in B'ham, I just got back from Mountain Brook & the Christmas tour of homes & love visiting that area of town.

    I'm almost positive that I might have gone to a yardsale last year at Dana's house. Sure looks like one I stopped at & she had some beautiful things for sale.

  9. I love it all, thank you for finding and sharing.

  10. This must be the look for Alabama. It looks very similar to Bobby McAlpine. I also see some similarities to Tracery interiors and Circa Interiors as well. It's interesting how different parts of the country do different looks so well.

  11. One of my favorite kitchens the pecky cypress island paired with the marble...and love the cabinetry color paired with the quilted stainless...beautiful and soothing!

  12. I love the dining room and the kitchen - so lovely and interesting, especially the specky cyprus ceilings - never seen that before. I think she is someone to look out for in the future although I'm not a fan of the wall to wall banquettes and headboards - I think they look dated and strange.

    I hope she turns up in one of the shelter magazines soon.

  13. Joni, thank you for sharing this. Dana's home is stunning. I am in love with every room. She is an amazing talent and she had me at the foyer. I love everything about her home. Impeccable work Dana!!
    xo Terri

  14. Thank you for the wonderful tour. Her home is peaceful, yet elegant and beautiful.

  15. i really liked the tiny panel hanging in front of the silk panels enclosing the window seats flanking the fireplace - what a great way to personalize expensive silk panels without committing to a certain color scheme!

  16. glad you wrote about Dana's home. It was one of the spectacular homes featured in last year's IPC Holiday Home Tour (Rhoda...I remember you mentioning being at her house for the sale while we were touring last year.) Every detail of her lovely home was so memorable and I was so pleased Bham Home & Garden chose it for this year's holiday issue. We are very fortunate here to have so many talented designers and it is great to see them gain national exposure.

    Joni...thanks again...really enjoyed your post and seeing some additional photos.

  17. Very lovely! I'm still drawn to understated, neutral color schemes ... so soothing, yet elegant. The exterior of her home is glorious as well. Great post! Bess

  18. *** I may be older than Dana, but "WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE JUST... LIKE... HER"!!!

    Honestly & simply stated, I literally savored every minute of my VERY LONG TIME spent here, soaking it all in...

    *** My most sincere thanks to you dear Joni, and of course to Dana... now THIS was what I'd call a REAL "Christmas Gift"!

    Linda in AZ *

  19. Dana is so talented and it is great to see her developing a signature style! Gorgeous rooms!

    Art by Karena

  20. Geeezzz, I'm still gasping for air..seriously took my breath away, so much to take in, I'm going back for more.

  21. Joni thanks again for a wonderful home tour. I love the use of cypress.

  22. Dana's home is fabulous...and I love her use of banquettes, xv.

  23. Lovely home - my favorite feature is her use of pecky cypress throughout the house - love it on the island in the kitchen and especially its unexpected appearance on the ceiling in the living room. Its color, texture and limited use is so much more sophisticated than the hackneyed weathered pine and oak you see everywhere (ie -Restoration Hardware etc.)

  24. So elegant! Lovely!

    Angela Williams

  25. Hi Joni! I just LOVE this posting! The pictures are amazing!! How do you get your pictures so big on Blogger? I would LOVE to know how!! I also love your blog makeover! Perfect.

  26. Sooooo......inspiring!!!!!!!!!!! Just the kind of interior for comfortable, beautiful, happy living with the elegant, the rough and the hard wearing. I am at the mid point in redoing my own home and will take many, many ideas from this gorgeous home.
    THANK YOU for posting!

  27. Beautiful home! But I'd lose those round tables in the entry. I think they are in the way, physically and visually. Charlie-the-over-imbibed-neighbor at the holiday cookie exchange is going to plow through and kill himself on his way out, spill red win on that hide and then you've got a real problem on your hands :/ woops!

  28. Love the entry way...and the colors throughout this home...thank you for another super job... peeking into the homes of others!!


  29. Love this home. I think I saved every image. Her use of textures just makes it, the pecky cypress is wonderful. I've never been a fan of sinks in islands but the trough sink in the client's home just might change my mind. How wonderful for entertaining! Thanks so much for sharing Dana's fabulous work.

  30. With regard to Acquired Objects comments--having had a fireplace placed at a similarly awkward angle in the family room of a house we lived in 20 years ago, it is easiest to just ignore the fireplace and decorate around it, as Dana did in this room. The awkward fireplace in my own home so long ago was the bane of my existence, and I swore I would never live in a house again with such an awkwardly placed fireplace! It ruins the symmetry of a room!

  31. i agree about the fireplace - ones that are in the corner are so hard to decorate around! actually dana sent in two photos of this room, one with this arrangement and one where the chairs are where the sofa is. so you can see they struggled with the issue too. i think the photo is on her web site if you want to see it the other way.

  32. Absolutely love this home. Every room. The balance of textures and detail....without being cluttered. Just amazing!
    xo elizabeth

  33. I LOVE that Vervain fabric Dana used on the panels and accent pillow of her window seat! I've had a memo of that fabric in every colorway ever since my rep first showed it to me. I haven't found the right project for it yet, but I was DELIGHTED to see how Dana used it. I also love her daughter's bedroom with the bold, dark wallpaper. Such a refreshing change from the carnivalesque hot pinks, oranges, and purples in girls' rooms. Thanks for another feast for the eyes!

    By the way, thanks for the Zinio photo tips as well. I don't have Windows 7 (yet), but I put my husband on a mission to rectify that... if he ever finishes up with the Christmas lights outside. :-)

  34. Absolutely Stunning! Love everything about it! How wonderfully talented Dana is!!

  35. Love the design of this house, the color tones, textures, use of antiques. It feels warm, inviting in a very elegant relaxed way. thanks , francine

  36. The home is absolutely gorgeous. I am wondering, though, what is hanging above the fireplace? Looks perfect in the space, just not sure what it is.

  37. Joni,
    I just looovvveee the interior decorating of Dana! I had to say that her way of decorating is very European (Belgian) inspired!!! The velvet upholstered banquette in the dining room and the banquette in the kitchen are so beautiful!
    As you said, we will hear about her in the next coming weeks!I am looking forward ! I am off to her site now! Thank you so much for introducing Dana to us!

  38. What fabulous rooms! Dana is obviously a very talented interior designer...I love the yellow bottle in the first pictures as well as the mix of antiques and contempory furnishings. Thank you, great post!

  39. I usually loooove the homes you show us but for some reason this one doesn't give me that, Ahhhh I want to live there feeling. I can't imagine having kids in that house. It looks so non-livable, I guess would be the only way I can think to describe it. No color at all seems so strange with a home that has kids also, kids love color, least most do. I see the one kids bedroom at the end of the post has color but the rest seems so blah. So much beige and browns, maybe that's what I'm not liking so much. I've got the need for a little color in my life lately! But for her this is what she likes, to each their own I say.

  40. Just gorgeous! Loving her entry, living room and kitchen. And the little girl's room is darling too. Thanks for sharing.


  41. What absolutely gorgeous rooms! I love the pecky cypress, quilted stainless steel backsplash and mix of antiques with modern pieces. I can see the influence of Bobby McAlpine in her decorating.

    Lori @ Projects Plenty: I think the object you're refering to over the fireplace in the family room is a real or faux tortoise shell.

  42. You are so right, Dana's house is a real gem, I love the wooden distressed ceiling, it gives such history to the her home.


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  44. Love how the pictures with the fireplace has triggered conversation! My clients actually have two furniture arrangements for this room. In the winter(which here in Alabama is two-three months out of the year), they exchange the placement of the sofa for the two chairs, and in the other remaining seasons, the furniture is moved so the fireplace is not the focal point. Hope this offers some clarification! Also, in my own home, Denise is correct; An old tortoise shell hangs above the mantel in the familyroom. Many thanks again, Joni, for featuring my work on your fabulous blog.

  45. I love Dana's use of many creative textures. It's a unique style that is quite a challenge to include in a space. Dana accomplishes it beautifully and it truly brings warmth, elegance, and interest to any space.

  46. love that you featured a local. her work is divine and she is as sweet as can be.

  47. Hi, Joni! Thanks for commenting on my post. I wanted to let you know that although Dana bought paintings from my sister-in-law to use on a project, she loved them so much she ended up keeping them for her own home! I can't believe I missed them in your pics, but they are in the family room, flanking the built-in entertainment center. (Half of them are covered by the Christmas tree.)Thanks so much for including them. The artist was soooo excited to see them!!

  48. How am I just seeing this? The holidays really got me off track this year. I live just around the corner from Dana's beautiful home (their yard is as stunning as the interior) and Dana is a frequent visitor to our shop here in Mountain Brook. An absolutely lovely person and a VERY talented excited to see her featured here!

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