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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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Saturday
May092015

Easy changes to refresh and renew your home and spirit for spring

 

Photo of Pottery Barn marbleized bud vases. Bring springs colors into your home with marbleized bud vases. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• May 9, 2015

Even though in Southwest Florida, we typically go from winter (such as it is) straight into summer, with a few cool and breezy days in between, it is still human nature to mark the change of seasons.

And spring is a time to take a mid-year evaluation of how we want to transition into summer with subtle ways of renewing and refreshing our homes. And our spirit.

So, do a little inventory of you home and decide what makes you happy this spring. And make a list of a few easy changes you do to honor the season and refresh your home. Some of my favorite rituals to acknowledge this subtle shift may help!

Declutter. Spring is the perfect time as you refresh and renew your home. Eliminate anything that bothers you. A mini downsize of your "stuff" is healthy and don't be afraid to open up some space!

Open the windows. Yes, some fresh air. Let all of the bad chemicals and cooking fumes out and some fresh air in.  My green expert friend and designer, Peggy Oberlin of Oberlin Interiors in Naples, uses the plastic bag analogy when explaining what our homes are like. We live in air conditioning without fresh air and everything builds up inside to one big unhealthy trapped batch of air.  Open the windows and let it out!  

Bring a little "green" inside. We know that plants are healthy for our environment but I notice in most of my client's homes, there are very few plants used as decor. This does make some sense since we are surrounded by beautiful outdoor landscapes and our lanais are all filled with trees and potted plants. But pick up a few for the inside. No green thumb? Try succulents.  They live despite the fact that you don't have a green thumb.

Replace a few things. Like those yucky switch plates that have been around forever. Like the front door welcome mat. And definitely add or replace a few pots of annuals around your front door. They just shout out "welcome" spring.

Pottery Barn pretty spring table with turquoise dishes and glass based coral stands. Set a pretty spring table with turquoise dishes and glass based coral stands. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Paint baseboards and window sills. One of my favorite spring rituals. This gets rid of scuff marks and gives your home a little sparkly clean feeling.

Now, let's add some bursts of color.

Paint the front door. This is my favorite low-cost change that will make a big impact and it will also make you happy when you walk in the door. But here is the big change: paint the inside of the door as well so you can see it from your entry. Trust me. This is a great one! My favorite front door color (both sides) of the moment is Benjamin Moore's Boca Raton Blue.  But try a color that you love. The choices are endless.

Paint a ceiling blue. Yes. Blue. There's just something about a blue ceiling.  My favorite locations: bedrooms, bathrooms and lanais. It's a very tropical, cool, calming  thing that is also brings big impact for very little money. Try it. You will thank me.

Paint a piece of furniture. Add some color with an old table that you feel is brown and dull. A nightstand in the bedroom or a even fireplace mantel. Give it a new life. It will brighten up a room instantly and give it a little personality.  

Add wallpaper. Okay. You don't have to go crazy with this one if you are afraid. But a powder room (my favorites) or your closet are great rooms to play with. These are rooms that you are not living in all day but will love some spring pizzazz! Be brave! And while at it, add a chandelier.  Spring glam!

Pottery Barn outdoor Astrid trellis embroidered pillows.Add spring with outdoor Astrid trellis embroidered pillows. Photo: Pottery Barn.
Rotate your artwork. As a Fort Myers interior,  I do this for many of my clients. We all have artwork in the back of our closets because there is not enough space. Bring it all out and pick a few pieces to rotate for a season or two. It's like shopping in your own closet because you have probably forgotten about it!

To celebrate spring, there are a few purchases that will go a long way to welcoming a new season.

Pillows. If you don't add anything else, change the pillows on your sofa for a totally new look for spring.  I like doing this frequently and it is perfect for a seasonal transition.

Set a pretty table. Think about an inexpensive, colorful set of dishes. Napkins, table cloth and centerpiece. There is not any better (and fun) way to bring spring into your home than a new table setting.  You know you are bored with the same old tired looking stuff. Time to refresh it!

Create a spa in your bathroom. This would be a great time to give your bathroom a mini makeover. Transition it into spring with a spa look. White walls, blue ceiling, white fluffy towels, white rugs. Frame the mirror.  Voila! A new bathroom.

Add fresh flowers to every room. This is my favorite. Because it will not only add color to a room but it just makes you feel food. Invest in a few new vases and be creative about what you purchase. My favorites:  turquoise and green bottles. I like to buy large bouquets and break them into bunches of solid colors and arrange them throughout the house. And don't wait until house guests arrive. Do it for yourself.

Whatever changes you make to welcome spring, enjoy your home in this new season. There are only 32 weeks until Christmas!
 

 

Photo of Wrenda Goodwyn's Home Inspirations column in the Fort Myers News-Press.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 to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Do you want your home to look like a model? Read my tips.

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 an interior decorator.

 

Saturday
Mar072015

Home Inspirations: Start spring decorating with curb appeal

 

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• March 7, 2015

Photo of pretty home with spring flowers and bench in entrySpring flowers, trees and a bench in the entry set the tone for the interior decor.

We always talk in this column about decorating our home's interior and how to make our outdoor spaces beautiful (coming soon), but with spring around the corner, I think we should pay a little attention to the sometimes overlooked curb appeal of our homes.

One of my favorite British sitcoms features in every episode, a home that has a broken mail box, a garden te that falls of the hinges, car with a flat in the driveway, cracked sidewalk leading to the house, light fixtures hanging from wires, chipped stairs leading to the door. And when the homeowner greets guests, you see that the interior perfectly matches the exterior: a disaster.

 Photo of beautiful home with garden gate
I laugh at this show every week. And no, in all of my years as a southwest Florida interior decorator, I have never encountered anything quite this dramatic while making my way to a client's front door. Although I did once break the heal on my shoe because of pavers that were too far apart and I did have a client's dog eat my shoes while I was on a ladder hanging artwork.

The fact is this: with a few good tips, we can improve the curb appeal of any home in a short time. If you are selling your home, it will attract a buyer and if not, you will feel much better every time you pull into your driveway. Try these tips for a quick (pretty) fix starting at the curb. It will say "welcome home" to you and your guests!

Photo of garden with clothesline and pathway Decorative items, shutters, lighting and flower pots say "welcome home."

Before you get started, as with any decorating project, clean and declutter. Spring is the perfect time to take care of your landscaping by trimming, weeding and pruning. Pressure wash roof and driveway. Clean out gutters. Now for the fun tips:

Photo of white fence with hearts and beautiful pink flowers•    Upgrade your mail box from the one that you have had since you moved into the house. If this is not possible because of homeowner rules, at least clean it out (cobwebs) and plant some colorful flowers around it.
•    Repair pavers or cracks in the driveway or sidewalk.
•    Freshen up the house numbers. Invest a few dollars little in a customized decorative plaque with your numbers.
•    It's a great time to clean/replace outdoor light fixtures and make sure you have enough light. A dark entry is not inviting nor is it safe.
•    Paint the front door, trim on the house and shutters if you have them. If you read this column regularly, I always suggest painting the door and the trim around it every spring. Give some thought to the style of the home and don't be afraid to go bold! Mine is currently turquoise!
•    Evaluate the  paint. If you are selling your home, a fresh coat of paint is the best  way to update your curb appeal.
•    Update your door bell or knocker. •    Plant spring annuals in your front yard. Around trees and to line your sidewalk or driveway.
•    Style the front entry. I do this for all of my clients. A seasonal wreath on the front door. Container gardens from a nursery, Lowes or Home Depot are my favorites. They are fast and inexpensive. Place them in pairs on either side of your door to add a welcoming touch.
•    Add some accessories! A piece or two of artwork that is weather-resistant such as a birdbath in the yard surrounded by plants and flowers or a metal sculpture at the entry, set the tone for entering your home.
•    Replace your door mat.
•    Welcome home.

Photo of Home Inspirations in Fort Myers News-Press by Wrenda GoodwynWrenda 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 her blog at spectacularspaces.com/blog

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

Do you want your home to look like a model? Read my tips.

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 an interior decorator.

 

Saturday
Feb072015

Home Inspirations: Model behavior

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• February 7, 2015

It's happened to all of us. We walk into a model home and want to say "I'll take it."

Everything is so perfect and coordinated. The lighting, paint color, furniture, artwork, window treatments. It sparkles and says, "come in and stay a while."

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I can't tell you how many times I receive a phone call that goes something like this: "I want my home to look like a model."

If only.

Here is a dirty little secret: It's not possible. It's like looking at  a photo in a fashion magazine and saying, "I want to look like that model."

It won't happen. That model doesn't even look like that model.

And it's much the same with a model home. It's designed to be a model home. Not a home that anyone lives in. Therefore, you will never be able to achieve the exact look for your space.

But here is the good news: You can manage, with some help, to achieve the feeling that the model home gives you. Whether you are looking at home magazines in which the rooms are staged for photos or at a model home designed to "sell" the home, there are some tricks that will help you capture the feeling. But on a realistic, practical level.

Photo of Pottery Barn's organic Ikat medallion print with bright colors and a washed effectFabric headboard, styled nightstand, sconces and this beautiful, organic Ikat medallion print with bright colors and a washed effect create a model feeling in a bedroom. Photo: PotteryBarn.comIt's like I tell all of my decorating clients, show me the feeling that you want and I will help you get there. But remember, because a model home is not designed for anyone to live in it, we need to proceed cautiously!   

Here are my favorite tips for designing your space to capture the feel of a model home for real life living:

•    Clean until everything sparkles. This is the trait of a model home: not a speck of dust anywhere! And polish the furniture and wipe down all appliances.
•    Declutter and organize. I know, you don't want to but you must. Clear the countertops and organize closets/drawers. You cannot have a model home feel with a lot of clutter. It just won't happen.
•    A fresh coat of paint changes everything.  Select a neutral color palette and give your walls a fresh coat. Add color with fabric, accessories and texture. One of my current favorites: grey walls with white, blue, green accents.
•    Notice how well lit and crisp model homes always look. One reason: lighting. Check out your ambient lighting, task and accent lighting. A carefully designed plan should include all three. And for those dark, tough to light areas: sconces and floor lamps.


New lighting, fresh paint and a hand-painted framed mirror transform a bathroom. Photo: PotteryBarn.com•    Establish a focal point in the living areas. This can be a piece of art, a beautiful view of the outdoors, an antique or eclectic piece, a fireplace.
•    Drag the furniture away from the walls. You never see this in a model home! Establish a comfortable, easy flow conversation area and make sure your furniture is in scale with the room. Note: the furniture from your previous house may not work with scale of your new/current home.
•    Eliminate pieces that no longer work for you. If you have been hauling around furniture from home to home, it may be time to start over. If you want the feeling of a model home.
•    Include a large area rug to tie things together. It makes the room look more spacious.
•    Style your dining room table: set it for your next meal (like a model) or create a tablescape in the center that becomes permanent and you can enjoy it every day. Rather than a dining room table that just sets there unused. And unpretty!
•    Style your coffee table. I like to divide my tables into sections: books, flowers and a pretty tray with something that you love.
•    Refresh the bathroom: Hang a chandelier. Frame the mirror or replace with two single hanging mirrors. Add new sconces over the mirror.
•    Less is more. Always. Go for somewhat of a minimalist look but not to an extreme. It's one of the reasons that we love models homes: they are not filled with our everyday "stuff."
•    This is an easy one and it has to do with artwork. Go for large pieces over the sofa and think in terms of three's. Cut a large image into three sections or try it with a piece of fabric cur three times and stretched over canvas.
•    Add some drama to the bedroom. Paint an accent or add a wall covering to the wall behind the bed. Invest in a fabric headboard. Add sconces for lighting. Purchase new bed linens in a fresh, bold color. Declutter the nightstand.


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 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.

 

Saturday
Jan242015

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 www.leejofa.com/groundworks_wallcoverings.htm.

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 spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

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.