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

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Art meets design for a walk on the wild side

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• January 24, 2015

It's whimsical and exotic with a touch of eclectic.  

The collection contains vibrant and varied species of birds, butterflies, rabbits, tropical leaves and orchids all utilized in creating dynamic patterns in this art-meets-design collection.  In Lee Jofa's  first artist collaboration with Groundworks, they have introduced vibrantly colored and stunning fabrics, wallpapers, and carpets designed by Hunt Slonem, a world-renowned artist best known for his Neo-Expressionist paintings of exotic animals and tropical plant life.

Photo of Hunt Slonem's Bunny WallBunny Wall, a tromp l'oeil wallpaper that recreates the walls of Slonem's studio, Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

And it's exciting because it puts some fun into interior design. It almost says, "yes I am gorgeous, but I don't take myself too seriously."

The result: spectacular.

Slonem's  paintings are layered with thick brushstrokes of vivid color, and are often cut into in a cross-hatched pattern, adding texture to the overall surface of the painting. This technique has been replicated in the fabric collection through intricate jacquard weaving and digital printing techniques, resulting in a look that is graphically stunning.  For the Groundworks' collection, several of his most popular themes and iconic works have been translated into decor for the home.

Photo of Hunt Slonem's Star of India fabricStar of India, describes a type of tortoise that was a former pet of the artist. Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

As a celebrated painter, sculptor and printmaker with more than 350 exhibitions at prestigious galleries and museums internationally,  Slonem has traveled all over the world but it was his childhood spent in Hawaii, and a year studying in Nicaragua, that have had the most profound impact on his life’s work. The vivid color combinations and exotic wildlife he encountered there inspire him to this day.

PhotoBayo Casino fabric, Slonem's parrot series using dozens of live parrots which he paints in his studio. Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

The motifs he explored in his early works, tropical birds, butterflies, bunnies and portraits, have been reduced to their essence and have become recurring themes in his extraordinary art. His spiritual connection to the concept of metamorphosis led him to include the butterfly as one of the recurring themes in his work.

Photo of Hunt Slonem's Fritillery fabricFritillery, the butterfly motif based upon specimens Slonem studied as a boy. Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

And there are those iconic bunnies.

Fascination with the rabbit occurred when he realized was born in the year of the rabbit, according to the Chinese calendar. In his New York City studio,  the bunny wall consists of   salon-style groupings of his small bunny paintings, some hung while wet. These signature paintings are now collector's items.  And Bunny Wall is a wallpaper that mimics the effect of the framed paintings against different colored backgrounds.

Photo of Hunt Slonem's bunnies A seamless series of bunnies, unframed and multiplied, on solid and metallic backgrounds. The repetition represents luck, abundance and the gentle traits represented by the rabbit. Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

Slonem's spiritual connection to his recurring themes elevates the simple paintings to something more significant. To Slonem, repetition is divinity. Just like the act of repeating a phrase creates a mantra, the object is elevated and the act of repeating these forms becomes an act of worship. The process of painting is sacred to Slonem, and as a result, his body of work represents so much more than what's painted on the canvas.

Photo of Hunt Slonem's the GuardiansThe Guardians, a series of paintings that feature the eyes and mouths of monkeys Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

Photo of Hunt Slonem parrotsAnd just how do we incorporate some of this exotic whimsy into our southwest homes? My suggestions:

•    The beautiful fabric is an elegant touch for upholstery and draperies.  My favorite is to take a chair or sofa piece that has become dated or an antique and reupholster  to give it a totally new look.  And the fabric makes beautiful window panels.

•    Who can resist the Bunny Wall as an accent wall covering in an office or dining room and for the entire powder room?

•    Pillows for accents add a bright, eclectic  touch to a solid color, traditional sofa.

•    The bunny wall coverings, Hutch, are available in pink or yellow and would be a great touch for a nursery.

•    Want just a touch of these fabulous creations in your home?  Stretch a piece of the fabric on canvas for a wall or frame a section of one of the wallpapers.

To see the entire collection, visit the Kravet/Lee Jofa showroom at the Miromar Design Center in Estero or visit

Hunt Slonem will sign his new book, When Art Meets Design from 4-6:30 p.m., January 26 at Harmon-Meek in Naples. Details: 239-262-2699.

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

Want to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Read these tips and sort through the confusion of when to splurge for your home and when to save.

Is it time to hire a professional? Check out my suggestions in the Fort Myers News-Press for working with a professional.



Home resolutions (easy) to make you love your space (a lot)

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• January 3, 2015

The houseguests have departed. The decorations are packed up (well, most of them). Home sweet home may be looking a little sad without the twinkly lights.  And while it's nice to have all of the space back, it may be looking a little drab. Maybe time for a refreshening. Not a total redo. A few tweaks for positive changes that make you feel good about your home.

Photo of staged coffee tableStage a coffee table and make it the focal point of the room. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Welcome 2015! Each year, I forgo the impossible, guilt inducing resolutions that are broken before my Christmas tree is picked up by the recycling truck. Instead, I come up with a list of resolutions for the home.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I help my clients make major changes in their homes with new color choices. Giving old furnishings a new look with beautiful upholstery. Purchasing a new accent piece or rug. Changing accessories, artwork, lighting.  Giving an outdated bathroom a spa look. Deciding if now is the time for a room renovation.  Pick just one of these for your home interior resolution in 2015 and you will have a major change.

Photo of gallery wall in entryDesign a gallery wall for your entry. Photo: Pottery Barn.

My resolutions are designed to be stress-free. Isn't that what we want for the New Year? Some you can do when you finish reading this column. Others will require a little thinking and planning. Whatever you select, happy decorating. I wish you a spectacular home in 2015!

•    Love everything in your home. If not, get rid of it. Open the space for something new. Just because you have had it forever doesn't mean it is still working for you. Donate it and let someone else love it.

•    Declutter. The New Year is the time. Be brave. A lot of our "stuff" has past emotional attachments. Let it go and love the extra space and calm that results.

•    Open the windows and breathe. Seriously, those windows do open! Let the toxins out (as well as the holiday smells)  and enjoy the fresh air. In southwest Florida where we run the air conditioning nonstop, this is important. Do it now!

•    Make your outdoor space more livable. Whether it is a tiny balcony or a spacious lanai with a pool, make it part of your living space. Furniture, lighting, artwork, a rug to pull it all together. Increases your space and gives you a reason to enjoy the outdoors this time of year.

Photo of new upholstery fabricAdd new color and give an old piece a new look for 2015. Photo: Kravet.

•    Be realistic and don't believe everything you see on TV. If you have worked endlessly on your home and have everything you want but something is still not quite right, it may be time to call in a professional to help you rethink your space. The home shows are just that: shows. They make it look easy and inexpensive.  It's neither. Remember this is television and what looks great may not always be practical in real life.

•    Bring some new color into your home. Whether it's a new palette for the walls or a new color scheme for accessories, this is the most impactful change you can make. Visually and emotionally, it changes everything.  And for the money, it's the best value.

•    Exercise restraint. Before you blast out the door to start making purchases, stop and make a plan. Think about how you want your home to feel and what you can do to get there. Avoid mistakes.

•    Check out your lighting. One of the biggest mistakes I see in homes is lack of or incorrect lighting. And this is relatively easy to fix. We need task (work), ambient (overall) and accent (on a particular object or part of the room). Sometimes all you need to do is increase the light bulb strength!

•    Add a gallery wall. Pull your artwork or photos together on one wall for a museum or art gallery look. Go with a dark color as a backdrop. Short on space? An entry is a great place to do this.  

•    Stage your coffee table.  You likely have everything you need! A pretty tray,  favorite books, accessories, flowers. Gorgeous!

•    Tidy up the laundry room. Paint it a color that you love but are afraid to use in any otter room. Add a piece of art. Reorganize and declutter. You may enjoy doing the laundry!

•    Always go for timeless over trendy. Will you love it in five years? Buy it. And buy the best you can afford with major items like your sofa.

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

Related posts:

Resolutions for a happy new year

Fill home sweet home with happiness 


Want to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Read these tips and sort through the confusion of when to splurge for your home and when to save.

Is it time to hire a professional? Check out my suggestions for working with a professional in the Fort Myers News-Press.



Letting go of what was and welcoming a New Year


I love getting rid of things that I don't need. It's always interesting to see what will come in its place.


And I help clients do that in their homes. Getting rid of what no longer works. It's not quite as easy to do that in our lives.

New Year's Day is  perfect time to think about this although I think each day offers a fresh opportunity for a new year. A time to rewrite your story and throw out the old one.

I thought this beautiful poem says it best and was worth repeating today...


Let it go (Danna Faulds) 

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations –

Let it all go. Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now will
only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts
to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.

Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes
through your days whether you received it gently
or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith; the mind may never find the
explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward

Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry
you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams
or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of
rest and peace, and certain transformation.

We are all holding on to something. A lost love, a dream, the past, takes practice (and breathing) to let it go. And then, who knows what can happen. Something great.

Happy New Year and here's to a new and wonderful story in 2015!




Want to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Read these tips and sort through the confusion of when to splurge for your home and when to save.

Is it time to hire a professional? Check out my suggestions for working with a professional in the Fort Myers News-Press.



Warming up to Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year 

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• December 27, 2014

Photo of Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year 2015Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year for 2015. Photo: Pantone.When Pantone, the global color authority,  announced Marsala, as the Color of the Year for 2015, it created a firestorm of discussion among those of us who love color and advise our clients on how to use it.

The color, a deep, reddish brown,  is called "a naturally robust and earthy wine red." It has been greeted with an interesting, lukewarm response from the interior design community and color enthusiasts.

It's been called a "fall" color.  

Not a "go to" color.  A sad color.

The color of rust. The color of blood. Yikes!

Photo of Kravet pillows in Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year 2015Kravet pillows. Photo: Kravet.As soon as it was announced, someone was quoted as saying said it was the color that resulted from a very bad hair color job.

One designer said that it is the old-fashioned dusty rose color that take you back to the 80's. And not in a good way.

Ouch.  I am beginning to feel sorry for poor Marsala. Like a fine wine, it may or may not get better with age. We have a year to see.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I love color. It's just plain fun to see what they came up with. Of course we aren't all going to go out and repaint our homes but it's always fun to see the reaction and ways that it can be used in our homes.

Photo of Kravet fabric in Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year 2015Kravet fabric. Photo: Kravet.I always go back to color advice from Coco Chanel:  
“The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.”

Who can argue with that advice?

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute says "Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability."

This seems like a lot of pressure on a color.

"Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors."

Photo of Kravet trims in Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year 2015Kravet trims using Marsala. Photo: Kravet.It's definitely earthy and warm.

Granted, this color is seen all over the fashion runways and it is gorgeous and flattering when done in a slightly more burgundy than rust version. With the ever-growing popularity of floral prints and striping, variations of this hue will likely carry into men’s and women’s clothing throughout next year. Marsala is also a popular choice for jewelry and fashion accessories, including handbags and shoes.

And Sephora has already unveiled a color palette for its beauty lines. Marsala seems to be an  appealing  shade that’s flattering against many skin tones. Add some drama with nail polish or lipstick.

But what about in our homes?

Photo of Zoya nail polish in Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year 2015A bit of Marsala in this Pepper nail polish from Zoya. Photo: Zoya.I don't "love" this color. But I do like the warmth. My favorite way to use it would be as an accent and there are lots of ways to do this if you like it. I would also suggest pairing it with blues, turquoise and teals along with  and lighter colors. But it's a bit tricky, so proceed cautiously! 

Lamps, throws, napkins, a front door, an accent wall in an entry. Take your time. Try it out in a nail polish and seen what you think. The richness just may draw you in.

To coordinate with the announcement Kravet has put together  a collection of paired fabrics in Marsala. From textured neutrals to vibrant patterns and prints, this collection offers immediate options Photo of tufted chair in Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year 2015Tufted arm chair. Photo: Lamps Plus. for clients interested in seeing how this color may be incorporated into their homes.

Locally, Amy Jimenez, Kravet's showroom manager at Miromar Design Center in Estero, has some suggestions:
•    Marsala is a bold color that can add warmth to any interior.  
•    It combines beautifully with neutrals such as gray, black or beige and can be used in either traditional or modern design.
•    Marsala is the perfect candidate for a rich, classic leather sofa, chair, ottoman or desk top in a study.
•    It can also add a splash of color in a room on an accent wall, as a finish on small occasional tables and/or accessories.
•    Select from an array of prints and textures that incorporate this new color, to be used on upholstery, drapery, bedding, table linens, throws and pillows.

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


Want to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Read these tips and sort through the confusion of when to splurge for your home and when to save.

Is it time to hire a professional? Check out my suggestions for working with a professional in the Fort Myers News-Press.