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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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Accessories: Maximize with minimum

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• Nov. 17, 2012

Photo of accessories from Ballard DesignsWorld map printed canvases reproduced from an actual 1937 map. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Accessories for the home are the most important part of interior decorating. They are the icing on the cake. The finishing touch.

Done well, they reflect our tastes, our style, our travels, our dreams, what we love. They are the soul of our home.

Photo of repurposed vintage table with shell and glass collectionsRepurposed vintage table is used for shell and glass collection.Done not so well, they create visual overload and just look like a bunch of stuff that was purchased to fill empty spaces. Meaningless bits that in a year will be thrown out. But a grouping that has been thought out allows you to relax and makes you feel calm.

Coco Chanel knew a lot about accessories.

She said that “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

She knew that the simplest possessions in our homes, just like in jewelry or fashion, are often the most meaningful. And so it is with accessories. Less is usually more.

Accessories are often the most difficult part of interior decorating. Not because we don’t have enough of them but because they are often not properly displayed.  Just as we do when deciding on paint colors, furniture purchases, window treatments, flooring and fabric, a plan is needed to make accessories work for the home.

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Simple pleasures: Antiquing in Mount Dora

Photo of blue antique tableThis past weekend, I tromped over acres of antiques and vintages treasures in Mount Dora at the Renningers Antique Extravaganza. The first of the season, it is one of my favorite fall activities.

In Florida, we don't have much in the way of seasons but this show always makes me think of the coming holidays, cooler days and the thrill of finding a great treasure that someone has discarded and is just waiting for me to repurpose! I have found many of these over the years and the fun of it is not knowing what you might bring home.  And even if you don't find anything (rarely does that happen), it is just fun to look. And then there is a trip into the quaint little town of Mt. Dora and a visit to all of my favorite little shops. Bliss.  

No matter what your decorating style may be, every home needs a vintage or eclectic piece. As an interior decorator, I love to mix and blend old with new. It's what makes a house a home.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful thanksgiving. 


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The developer and the voodoo priestess: A sense of place in New Orleans

Have you ever thought about all of those beautiful homes in New Orleans that you would love to visit? Photo of Pres Kabacoff and Sallie Ann Glassman at their New Orleans homePres Kabacoff, Sallie Ann Glassman and Ayida at their Bywater home. I was lucky enough to go into a few and this is my favorite. And I didn't have to look in the windows. I was invited in! It was a very good day.

The home is owned by a couple who have been very involved in helping post-Katrina New Orleans. I had the impression that I could have just knocked on the door and they would have welcomed me in.

Exotic. Sexy. Magical. Spiritual.

In New Orleans on a tour with 15 interior decorators, I had the opportunity to visit the Bywater home of well-known developer Pres Kabacoff and his artist and author wife, Sallie Ann Glassman, who also happens to be a renowned voodoo priestess. Pres, among many other projects in New Orleans, is known for his historical restorations and mixed use projects, many for artists.

In addition, the couple co-chair the NewPhoto of New Orleans home Orleans Healing Center, consisting of a grocery cooperative, street university, cooperative bank and micro loan institution, green business incubator, performance hall, healing arts collective, interfaith center, organic food restaurant…to name just a few of the current tenant businesses. But more importantly, what really sets the New Orleans Healing Center apart, are the carefully selected ongoing community-focused programs, services, and activities – all designed to help revitalize and restore neighborhoods and bring them together.

Photo of New Orleans homeThe tour (seriously, can you imagine having 15 designers in your home at the same time?) was arranged by Jeanne Nathan of the Creative Alliance of New Orleans. She has friends in all of the right places and knows anyone who is anyone in the New Orleans cultural world. But that is for another story.

So, Pres and Sallie invited us into this incredible home and we met their sweet, 6-month old Akita puppy, Ayida. The house is a double-gallery Greek revival design and Pres describes it as "front-loaded" with two stories in the front and one in the back. Front porches, columns and lots of shutters. Tropical colors: orange, purple, magenta. The double front doors include tarot cards.  And then you enter. This is where the wow factor begins.

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Travels: Indulgence in the City of New Orleans

Having some fun in New Orleans this week at a design conference.

I have been touring the amazing homes of art collectors, architects, artists and have met some of New Orleans' most interesting characters.

Writer and designer Wrenda Goodwyn in New OrleansNew Orleans gets into your soul. I always think of Harry Connick Jr. singing  "Missing New Orleans."

Moonlight on the bayous
Creole tunes fill the air
I dream about magnolias in June
And I'm wishing I was there

This week, I am indulging in everything that the city offers...the French quarter, architecture, historic neighborhoods that are being rescued, mansions, cottages, shotgun houses, steamboat houses. A visit to the lower 9th ward. Walking on the levee with great views of the river and city. Amazing food. Jazz. New green-based architecture and design. Brad Pitt's neighborhood of almost 100 cutting-edge homes built since Katrina. Traditional mansions. An eclectic artist's residence on the Esplanade Ridge. Antiques. Jackson Square. Julia Street galleries. I met a voodoo priestess and toured her beautiful home. 

Masks in Jackson Square in New Orleans.New Orleans has a ghostly allure. The winding alleyways lead to the past and when you follow them, you never know what you will find.

The light is glorious and the sensory pleasures are almost overwhelming. I am still here and I already miss New Orleans.

And did I mention that the city is totally immersed in Halloween? Perfect.


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