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 Outdoor Lighting for Fall

Dear Dagmar,

Fall is my favorite time of the year. For this beautiful season, how can I make my al fresco spaces look stunning with lighting?



Hi Christina,

As the days get shorter and colder, we begin to lock ourselves inside our homes for warmth. Seeing less sunlight signals us that the holidays are only a few months away. However, we can already enjoy the glow and glamour brought by the holidays as early as now by decorating our homes with various lighting options. Candles, string lights, and light fixture replacements are just some of the ways to bring illumination to your interiors, which I will discuss in this post.


Candles have been around for quite some time, offering a practical use until electricity made them more decorative than functional.  They not only create a warm ambience, but also make a space more special. There is nothing like the glow from a flame. With the help of traditional lanterns and candleholders, they can stand elegantly on our tables, mantles and windows.

Nowadays, people come up with clever ways to display candles. Painted tin cans can be punched with holes to create unique shadow images. Hallowed out logs or large pieces of wood with tea lights create a unique outdoor ambience. Read This Entry

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant


Dear Dagmar,

I love sprucing up our fireplace mantle, but it would be wonderful if I can also decorate the hearth itself, or at least, part of it. Is there a way to add elegance to our fireplace safely?


Dear Sharon,

Function and aesthetics are two contradicting factors that are always present in any decorating challenge or project. Today, we are going to look into the said decorating goals in lieu of fireplaces.

Fireplaces may improve the home’s ambience and visual appeal with the glow they provide. But more than anything, they are very functional, which makes them an important part of the house. We light them up because of the heat they emanate. Now, the flames in the fireplace may produce some sparks, so it is important to have a fireplace screen or any kind of glass door that can keep the embers from scorching your decorations and from causing damage.

Most people have no idea where to purchase these fireplace screens and tools, or how to make sure that they fit the fireplace opening. As a designer, I have been asked many times about these things. Unfortunately, few stores sell these items. It can be a challenge to find these products even though they are a necessity in most homes.

Balsam Hill understands the challenge faced by homeowners. This led the company to offer a new product line featuring hearths. Balsam Hill is now offering fireplace screens that perfectly go well with many different styles. Combining form and function, the fireplace screens are masterfully crafted to meet the needs of discerning customers.

Estate Fireplace Screen from Balsam Hill

Designed exclusively for Balsam Hill, the Estate Fireplace Screen captures the sophistication of Italian architecture with its finish and intricate steelwork. Every detail is forged and painted by hand, making each piece special and unique.

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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Ask Balsam Hill with Dagmar Obert: On Decorating the Front Porch

Dear Dagmar,

I would like to impress my visiting friends and family with my entryway. Can you suggest some elegant ways to decorate my front porch?



Hi Kathy,

I totally understand you. The front porch is definitely the spot that you should focus on if you want to make a great first impression with your home.

Creating an elegant and welcoming porch should start with comfortable furniture. Good seating is necessary to invite people to convene and converse, or simply just enjoy the natural elegance of the outdoors. Make your guests feel comfortable by providing the right couch.

You can never go wrong with the rustic charm that wicker brings. Porches with tiles or stones feature clean lines that boxed dark synthetic wicker chairs can complement. Pair them with bright-colored cushions for a fresh and modern touch.

  Read This Entry

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.

Recently, I was in a hotel. It was newly renovated and it strayed away from its traditional design. Six extremely large lanterns that housed candles were used. Inside these traditional lighting items were some seascape materials that brought an outdoor beach ambience to the interiors. This simple hint of the sea was able to embrace the look of the lobby that donned mid-century modern furnishings. At the same time, it was also able to keep the color scheme that evoked a warm sunny day at the beach. And that’s all because of the large lanterns and its contents.

Lanterns as decoration

Lanterns can be used throughout the year, not only as light fixtures, but also as versatile decorative items. You can add lanterns as year-round décor in the porch by simply changing the contents to fit whatever season or holiday is coming. Most of these light fixtures have a ring at the top, where you can tie ribbons or bows. You can even put a dried floral arrangement there.

These light fixtures come in different finishes that you can work with, such as iron black, copper, oil rubbed bronze and distressed paint. Some lanterns has fret work, scrolls, or other styles influenced by a certain period. It’s really quite hard to imagine all the possibilities that go with these features. You can also just update a lantern’s look instead of working with its existing finish or design. By painting the framework with a color that matches your theme, you can integrate the contents seamlessly with the lantern.

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