Author Archives: Dagmar Obert

About Dagmar Obert

Dagmar Obert is a designer with over two decades of experience transforming homes into spaces that reflect comfort and elegance. Her sophisticated style emanates from her love of color, forms, and textures. From her choice of fabric to her selection of accent pieces, Dagmar pulls together the look of a room to deliver a statement of class. Surrounded by family and friends, Dagmar takes delight in turning her own home into a venue where wonderful occasions are made more memorable. Her how-to guides and inspiration articles on decorating and entertaining provide readers with unique ways to create the perfect setting for life’s cherished moments.

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Ask Balsam Hill With Dagmar Obert: On Lanterns

Dear Dagmar,

A friend gave me a set of lanterns as a gift, but I can’t seem to make them match my home’s theme. Are there ways I can use such beautiful lanterns other than as light fixtures?



Hi Vivian,

Lanterns are one of those ordinary objects that take on everyday functions. They can even evolve into an art form when treated with creativity and imagination. Read This Entry

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Ask Balsam Hill with Dagmar Obert: On Flameless Candles

Dear Dagmar,

I have always been intrigued by battery-operated candles, because they look like the real ones but without the typical hazards that come from flames. Can you give me tips on where and how I can use flameless candles in our home?


Hi Bridget,

People have been in love with candles for ages. Whether it is an item for illumination or a simple accent to add a decorative touch in one’s home, people can’t seem to resist the appeal of this gorgeous classic. Unfortunately, a cultural shift has resulted in the ban of candles during gatherings in community centers, churches and other places of celebrations. Even my great Aunt almost shook with fear when I lit candles once at the table.

Flameless candles come to the rescue

Balsam Hill's Battery-Operated Candles

Balsam Hill’s battery-operated candles feature a realistic flickering effect.

The flameless candle technology is probably one of the most revolutionary home decor additions that have appeared in recent years. Many of these artificial candles are so realistic that you essentially get the lowlight ambiance you need without endangering your home. Read This Entry

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Ask Balsam Hill with Dagmar Obert: On Front Door Foliage

Decorating your front door is one way to welcome each season with open arms and receive guests with warmth. In this post, Dagmar gives her take on what foliage to decorate your home with at different times of the year.

What type of foliage should I use to decorate my door front?

There are now many options for your front door decorations. From metal and wooden items, to plastic objects (if they have the right flair), you can turn your front door into a welcoming and interesting sight. All of these can be uniquely enhanced using foliage, which is one subtle way to add vibrancy to your front porch. So how should you select something that signifies beauty and life for your door?

To make it easy, let me answer the questions while addressing each season.


During springtime, leaves turn light green with a tad of yellow , showing off the ecstatic hues of the season. Most of the flowers in bloom like daffodils, tulips and cool-colored hyacinths are divine. Best of all, they cut the cold of winter with their saturated color. Decorate with foliage associated with these flowers. Some like to use a grapevine base with the chartreuse-like foliage or even eggs for Easter since this indicates the beginning of life. These ideas point to Spring and the anticipation you get once you think of the activities and the time you’re going to spend outdoors.

Read This Entry

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Balsam Hill’s Christmas in July Campaign: Vanessa of At The Picket Fence

At the Picket Fence celebrates Christmas in July by raising money for charity. Get to know Vanessa, her beneficiary and her answers to our questions about the virtues of generosity and compassion with this post from the Balsam Hill blog.  


For Vanessa, having a loving and supportive family can make a world of difference to a child’s growth. As a devoted mother to two adorable children and as one half of an amazing sisters duo, our featured blogger knows how much it means to have someone take care of you as you go through the challenges of life. That is why Vanessa always makes it a point to spend time with her family and stay connected to them no matter how far they may be.

Since creating At The Picket Fence with her sister Heather, Vanessa has become one of the most successful bloggers on the internet. Thanks to the wonderful crafts and projects they feature on their blog, the sisters are now considered as mavens of practical decorating. Their articles are constant source of inspiration for many of their followers. But even though they may have found popularity on the blogosphere, for Vanessa and her sister, family will always come first.

Hope Unlimited for Children

As part of Balsam Hill’s Christmas in July charity campaign, Vanessa named Hope Unlimited for Children as her chosen charity to help out. Founded by Reverend Jack Smith and his son Philip along with David Swoap, the former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Hope Unlimited for Children aims to rescue homeless children in the streets of Brazil and provide them with care and safe housing.

In a recent interview, she shares on how their family was introduced to the organization. “We became aware of this charity through another blogger and it just struck such a chord with us,” says Vanessa. “As mothers ourselves it is unfathomable to us to think about these young children living on the streets and the hopelessness they would live with every day. We couldn’t NOT do something, and we just knew that this was the right organization for us to support. Choosing a charity to support is a heart decision all the way.”

BH: Could you tell us a bit about the cause you’re supporting and what it means to you?

Vanessa: The charity we’ve chosen is Hope Unlimited for Children. This organization was founded by Reverend Jack Smith and his son Philip along with David Swoap (former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services) and began when they realized that homeless children in the streets of Brazil were being systematically killed when they were deemed a ‘public nuisance’. Currently, over 1019 children and hundreds more graduates and their families are served daily:

255 children in residential programs
35 children in graduate transition homes
540 children in preschool program
89 young adults in a church founded and led by Hope graduates

Over 100 graduates and children’s family members are also served through graduate support programs, including CENE (a church founded and led by Hope graduates) employment placement services, counseling programs, and family-support programs. Read This Entry