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Providing interior decorating services in Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Naples, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva islands, Cape Coral, Orlando, Winter Park and surrounding areas of Central Florida. Contact for details!

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Sunday
Sep072014

Home Inspirations: When to save and when to splurge 

It's always a dilemma! Where in your home should you splurge and where should you save? For some of the tricks of the design trade, read my column in the Fort Myers News-Press!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• September 6, 2014

It’s a talent. Some of us are good at it. Designers have all kinds of tricks to make it work. And you can also do it with a few trade secrets! It’s all about knowing when to splurge and when to save. And it can be a little tricky.

Photo of Pottery Barn dining table and chairsSplurge on dining room table but save on chairs that can be reupholstered when you are ready for a change. Photo: Pottery Barn. First of all, establish a reasonable budget when you are making changes and purchases for your home. It will save a lot of frustration and heartbreak. And if you are working with a decorator, a budget allows them to focus on doing the best job for you.

Here are a few of my tried and true tips on when to spend and when to look like you did.

Splurge!
Sofa: As a southwest Florida interior decorator, I tell all my clients to spend as much as you can afford on your sofa. This is the most important piece (or pieces) in your home and you need to get the most for your money. It gets the most use on a daily basis. If you are purchasing a sofa that you plan to keep for a while (as opposed to a sofa that the kids will use as their play space for a few more years before you throw it out!), look for eight-way, hand-tied construction. It will give you the long-lasting durability and is the best value for your expenditure. Don’t be misled by trendy brands that look pretty in the showroom or photos, ask about the construction before you purchase. Suggestions: Vanguard, Sherrill, Stickley, Henredon.

Stainless appliances: This is a purchase that you are making for the long-term. It’s worth the investment.  

Fabric: If you are going to go to the expense of upholstering a chair or making drapes, it’s worth the investment in quality fabric that has the texture, pattern and feel that enhances the look of your home.

Kitchen counter tops: Quartz, granite, marble.

Lighting: Get the lighting right and everything else in your home will look beautiful. Don’t forget the dimmers.

Bedding: Including mattresses, pillows, and linens. It goes without saying, there is nothing better than slipping into a comfortable bed with fine linens.

Art: If you have the budget, yes, build a collection. You can also, especially in southwest Florida, visit the many consignment shops that resell art.

Splurge/save!
Splurge on the dining room table and save on the chairs. The table should be a purchase that will last a long time. Go for a timeless look. For the chairs, save by purchasing fabric chairs that can be reupholstered when you want a change.

Save!                                                                                                                                                    Bathroom vanities: Purchase these off the rack! Forgo custom and check out Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Lowes and Home Depot for vanities that come in a style to fit your décor. 

Drapes: This is one of my favorites for clients who want to save. Because custom drapes can quickly drain your decorating budget, purchase off the rack and embellish with trims and ties. Or if you have your heart set on a designer fabric, create panels for both sides of the window and save on the amount of fabric needed.

Pillows: Create beautiful pillows embellished with trims and save $$$ by using a less expensive fabric on one side of the pillow.

Accessories: This is what makes your home. It gives it a personality and reflects your style. And this is the easiest place to save by shopping around for the best deals. Online, big box stores, antique shops, flea markets. Go for what is unique to your taste.  

Custom closets: If this is not in your budget but you want the look of a custom closet, check out the storage systems offered at the Container Store and Bed, Bath and Beyond. You can install these yourself. Then add a piece of furniture and a chandelier and you have a designer closet!  

 

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

Want a home that makes you happy?

Call me. I will help you create Spectacular Spaces in your home!

Time to hire a professional? Read my tips for working with an interior decorator in the Fort Myers News-Press.

 

Saturday
Aug022014

It's a wrap: Trimmings personalize design style

Photo of Brunschwig & Fils trimmingsColorful trimmings are a beautiful accent in any room and personalize a home. Photo: Brunschwig & Fils.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• August 2, 2014

They are pretty and colorful. Beads, tassels, glass, feathers, shells, wood, metallic threads, metal chain, leather, ribbon, jute and almost anything that you would want. Trimmings...they are the bling of design. The finishing details for a decorating project. The embellishments that personalize and make your interior design unique.

And as a Fort Myers interior decorator, I can tell you that trims are a hot home accessory right now. A gorgeous accent for any room, they are like adding a beautiful piece of jewelry to an article of clothing.

Photo of Kravet tie back with beautiful drapesBeaded tiebacks add a designer touch to draperies. Photo: Kravet.

When shopping for fabric for my clients, it never fails. I always end up going through the trimmings. They are inspiring and give me great ideas for new projects. And some uses may surprise you. They are easy to do and can add just the perfect, custom made  touch for minimum effort.

Amy Jimenez, manager of the Kravet showroom at Miromar Design Center in Estero, says that embellishing through the use of passementerie, the French word for trimmings, can be a fabulous way to turn your project from ordinary to extraordinary and adds the finishing touch to a skillfully designed interior.
 
"Trimming comes in a variety of sizes and styles including cording, gimp, brushed fringe, beaded trim, flat tape, tassel fringe, and bullion, just to name a few, and can be used for both decorative and functional purposes. Modern day passementeries are being made with a diverse selection of materials besides fabric and Kravet's trade-only showroom has an extensive collection of the latest, in-vogue trim collections for designers to source for their clients."

Photo of neautiful pink chair filled with Kravet trimmingsChange the look of a sofa and the entire room with multiple applications of Kravet. Photo: Kravet

And that's just the beginning of the many ways to use these beautiful trims. Check out a few of these ideas and the next time you are shopping for fabric, spend some time going through the trimmings for decorating inspiration!

• Trim the edges of store-bought drapery panels with a beaded trim or flat, wide tape to give them a custom look.

• Use flat tape and other trims to accent a cornice.

• Decorative accent for lampshades.

• Select feathers, woods, shells or beads to enhance a throw pillow.

Photo of examples of beautiful Kravet pillow trimmings /Beaded tapes, cords and fringes and tapes accent pillows and furnishings. Photo: Kravet.

• Use a trim tape to trim a table runner, placemats and napkins.

• One of my favorites for a small powder room: an exotic trim tape for a border.

• Customize bedding with flat trim on the edges of skirts, sheets and pillow cases.

• Add fringe to a comforter or duvet cover.

Photo of Anthropologie fringed duvet coverLindi fringed duvet cover from Anthropologie. Photo: Anthropologie.com.

• Pom pom trims are so popular right now that we see them on everything from pillows to shower curtains to throws. And for something fun and trendy without spending a fortune...pom pom a scarf!

Photo of Tory Burch scarf with pom pom trimmingTory Burch pom pom trimmed scarf. Photo: Tory Burch.com.

• Select a pretty trim in an accent color and use it around the edge of dining room chairs.

• Use trims to enhance mirrors and photo frames.

• Jazz up a plain shade with an accent border around the edges and for the top valance.

• Embellish a table cloth with trim by wrapping it around the edge of the table.

• Cover a plain bulletin board with your favorite fabric and trim it in something beautiful and it comes a perfect inspiration board for your favorite decorating ideas, photos and fabric/paint swatches.

• Wrap small presents in trims for a memorable gift!

• As an accent in any room, pickup a few of your favorite, colorful trims on sale and fill a large, clear jar or vase.

 


Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

Want a home that makes you happy?

Call me. I will help you create Spectacular Spaces in your home!

Time to hire a professional? Read my tips for working with an interior decorator in the Fort Myers News-Press.

 

 

Saturday
Jul052014

Collecting is one thing, hoarding another

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• July 5, 2014


“Your house is a place to keep your stuff while you go out and buy more stuff.”
-George Carlin


We are all collectors of some sort. And we love our "stuff."

I collect English, Victorian period, magnifying glasses that are displayed on an 18th century pine table.  And ceramic houses that are displayed in an old post office desk...because everyone knows that I am obsessed with houses!

But where is the fine line? The one that crosses from collections to hoarding?

We have all seen the shows on television. These are sad, extreme stories about people who cannot part with anything. It is painful for them and difficult for us to watch.

A collector typically exhibits pride of ownership and puts thought and money into how to display their treasures. A hoarder doesn't care to display anything. Their piles of possessions may give them comfort but not happiness.

Photo of tray used to display collectibles.Idea: Display your collections on a pretty tray like this one from from Pottery Barn.Honestly, we all hoard something. All of those "bargains" that we hope to use someday. Old partly used paint cans. Free samples. Pretty cosmetic bags filled with "free" bonus giveaways. Too many books. Clothes that we will never wear but hope is still there. Piles of photos that we hope to "someday" file or put in albums. These are inconvenient but they aren't unhealthy. 

A serious hoarder finds it impossible to part with anything. When faced with discarding something,  they feel tremendous stress. And a sure sign of a hoarder is one who has such huge piles of clutter that it make it difficult to navigate through a room or to find a seat that is not filled with "things."

I have a client who has traveled the world and has something to show from every country. Her museum quality pieces are beautiful. But there is not a clear surface in her home to put  a vase of flowers or a bowl of fruit. Not quite a hoarder (she calls it creative clutter), she cannot part with any of her possessions. Emotional attachments.

Thankfully,  few of us are hoarders.  But we all have too much and most of us struggle to keep it  organized.  Things that we hold onto. And too  much of this can create a feeling of stress and confusion in our homes.  And in our lives.

"We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us."
 - Winston Churchill


The following tips are designed to help you come to terms with clutter and collections that may no longer serve you. For a happier home, say goodbye to these:

•    Things that are broken. Appliances, old computers. Let's be honest. You are unlikely to fix them.
•    Anything that makes you feel guilty. Like that baking, blending, pasta-making contraption that you thought would change your life. Or clothes in your closet that you will never (be able) to wear again. Or organization systems that you have never used. Say goodbye and make them go away.
•    Furniture or accessories that bring up bad memories. Aunt Sadie's antique lamp that you disliked as a child and now it is yours.  It may be someone's happy memory but it's not yours.
•     Items that no longer fit into your life. Old exercise equipment. Large pieces of furniture that worked in your larger home but not since you downsized.  Make them go away and open up some space.
•    Collections that have taken over your home. Put a few of your treasures on a pretty tray or shelf and don't let them become clutter.

Don't become ahoarder by display great memories on a shelf.Don't let great memories become clutter. Display them on a wall with this wire mesh shelf from Pottery Barn.•    Old decor. At one time you may have loved your artwork or your antiques. But times change and you may be ready for something different.  Find a consignment store and try a fresh, new look. Don't be afraid. And don't hang on to pieces that you don't love.
•    Multiples of anything. How many sets of dishes, cookware, storage containers, potato mashers do you really need?
•    Anything poisonous or dangerous. Old cans of cleaning solutions, spray bottles...especially if you don't remember what they are. Toss and don't look back.
•    Items that you are saving because maybe "someday" you will use them.  Shopping bags, gift boxes, wrapping paper, ribbons, gifts that you can't use.  It will never happen. And if it does, you can buy something  new.  Don't let your home become a storage unit for "maybe somedays."

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her practical and affordable interior decorating helps clients transform a house into a beautiful home.  Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

 

Want a home that makes you happy?

Call me. I can help!

Time to hire a professional? Read my tips for working with an interior decorator in the Fort Myers News-Press.

 

Sunday
Jun292014

The Yoga Sutras: My search for meaning on a Saturday afternoon

It was a beautiful Saturday and the beach was calling me.

It takes a lot to keep me away from the beach on weekends. It is my angst release. My meditation.  My chance to try to get ride of all the stress that I have absorbed during the week.  A way to escape all of the drama.  And even if it’s only for a few minutes, a walk by the water is healthier than anything else I can imagine doing. 

But today the beach would have to wait. I had something else in mind.

Photo of the book The Yoga SutraJoyful Yoga and Spa in Bonita Springs had scored a major accomplishment and was hosting Dr. Pandit Rajamani Tigunait, the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute for a two-hour discussion of his book, The Secret of the Yoga Sutra. This location was only one of 71 stops on his tour.  He is a big deal. And I had signed up weeks ago. Hoping for some answers.

It has been a year since I walked into Joyful Yoga and happily made a commitment to a yoga practice. For many years I had been a complete exercise fanatic and it paid off with a healthy, strong body. But after endless boot camp classes, high impact cardio and a yoga class here and there, all I had to show for it at the end of the day was knowing that I had to start over again the next day. It had become a drag. I wanted more.

And at Joyful Yoga I found more. As co-owner and longtime yogi, Emily Chiodo, puts it:

"Here in the west, we are so obsessed with the physical aspect of the yoga system that many people are unaware of the larger scope. The physical and mental benefits experienced with a hatha yoga practice is valuable in and of itself.  While the effects of your first few yoga classes may last a few hours or even days, it is merely a temporary freedom. Then, with continued practice, you begin to short circuit patterns in the brain that create anxiety as you simultaneously strengthen muscles, establish flexibility, refine physiological responses, and stave off disease and deterioration, but there is still more to be derived from a yoga practice."

Imagine being able to short circuit patterns in the brain that create anxiety. Sign me up.

I wanted to learn more. And I wanted to understand the sutras.  I know these more than 2,000 year-old sutras help us to “understand the mind, turn it inward and achieve life’s  purpose.”

So, having given up my day at the beach for some deeper understanding of the Yoga Sutras, I walked into Joyful Yoga and knew that I was in the right place.Photo of Joyful Yoga and Spa in Bonita Springs

The studio looked beautiful with bright sun and blue skies setting the backdrop through the huge wall of windows facing north. The water-filled fountain in the garden area was sparkling. Magical.

As Emily introduced this modern-day master who has touched lives as a teacher and spiritual leader, I made a decision. I would learn what I learned. No stress or angst. No pressure.

And he talked and I listened as he focused on some of the sutras.

Despite the fact that prosperity everywhere in the U.S., what we have is not enough. We are just not completely happy. And he spoke about attachment: We want the world to comply with our whims. We see it revolving around us. And over and over, he spoke of “cleansing the mind.”

We know those moments of stress when we have the power to reverse them or slow them down. But most days, we just let them carry us along. Without trying to stop them.  

And despite all of his beautiful words and calm explanations, the sutras are still difficult for me to understand.

And then it happened...

At the end of his presentation, just before his guided meditation, Dr. Pandit Rajamani Tigunait said that we cannot be effective if we run around like we are crazy and agitated. We must “let the mind exercise its mastery over the body.”  We must get the mind into a state of balance.  We must take a break from our frantic lives. Clear the mind through meditation and breathing. It is the only way. A conscious, cleansing meditation. The key word here is conscious. And balance.

A reboot, as I see it. When you are in the middle of the storm of anxiety. And this, I completely get. Especially on those days when it's impossible to make it to a beach.

Thanks, Joyful Yoga, for guiding me in my yoga practice...on and off the mat.