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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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Selecting the right white

It seems simple enough. Selecting a beautiful white for a kitchen or bathroom. Until you are standing in front of a zillion white swatches in the paint store.

Believe it or not, white can be the most difficult color to select. As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I promise that if you are not careful you will end up with pink, blue or yellow undertones. Not a pretty look if you are hoping for a true white. Or if you are looking for soft and creamy. Or crisp and sharp. Or cool white. Or soft white. Oh, my!

Photo of white living room

                                                            Pottery Barn

White is one of the most essential paint colors in any decorator’s palette of go-to colors. And while white can be incorrectly considered boring or plain, this color is anything but with its vast nuances and subtle tints. Done correctly, white gives a look that is soothing, sophisticated, and classic.

Photo: Benjamin Moore.Favorite Benjamin Moore whites:
• True white: Decorator’s White, Super White, Snow White
• Ivory white: Atrium White, Navajo White
• Grey white: Dune White
• Grey-Green: White Wisp

Follow these tips to make sure you select the right white for the room:
• When you are selecting swatches, hold them against a sheet of white printer paper to help see undertones.
• Before painting: test on a board.
• Move the board around the room at different times of day to see how it changes in the light.
• Live with the color for a few days before making a final decision.


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These houses are for the birds!

Photo of artist's creative birdhouseLong before I was an interior decorator I loved houses.
It was always so interesting to me to see how they were decorated, how the furniture was arranged and how the owner lived. I have collected small houses for years and have them displayed on a antique post office where I can study them with all of their little details.
And I have been collecting birdhouses for the past few years.  I find them to be very sweet and the perfect accessory for almost any style home or outdoor space. I find them at flea markets and I even journeyed to North Carolina where I found a birdhouse builder with acres and acres of these miniature homes.  I returned home with a car full.
But as a believer in using what you have whenever possible, and in repurposing when it makes sense, I especially love birdhouses that use local materials that mean something. And as a southwest Florida interior decorator, I am surrounded by beautiful driftwood, shells, treasures that wash up on the beaches and  more.

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Downsize and live well with less

If you are thinking about downsizing or just want to live a simplier life, check out these tips in today's Home Inspirations column.

Wrenda Goodwyn • Home Inspirations Fort Myers News-Press • March 2, 2013


Whether it is to your dream vacation home, a condo, an apartment or maybe staying in your current home but living with less, many homeowners are freeing themselves of huge homes and possessions to live a life with less. Many find it liberating. Goodbye McMansions. There will be time to travel. Relax and not have to think about maintenance issues. Less for some, means more. But it can be overwhelming and emotional.

Unless you plan ahead.

Photo of seagrass sofa from Pottery BarnSeagrass five-piece sectional is from Pottery Barn's small spaces line.

Transform smaller spaces with a thoughtful plan

So you have decided to sell your home and have found a smaller space and want to turn it into a jewel box with everything you have always desired but could not afford in a large home.

Don't show up at your new and smaller home with all of your furniture and other possessions from your large home assuming that you can squeeze them into the smaller space. It will not work and you will be very unhappy!

It takes a lot of thoughtful consideration way before moving day.

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Always in Style: Stickley furniture offers history lessons

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• Feb. 23. 2013 

For many, it is an acquired taste.

But homeowners who love Stickley furniture are addicted to its style, design and quality. Collectors search in earnest for antiques — early Stickley pieces are recognized as gems of the American Arts & Crafts movement — and can add new pieces because the furniture is still made today, in the company’s factory in Manlius, N.Y.

Photo of Stickley Furniture Mission Dining CollectionMission Dining Collection.“The quality of construction is amazing. Each piece is built when it is ordered ... the name of the customer is on the piece and remains on it as it progresses down the assembly line,” said Larry Norris, founder and president of Norris Home Furnishings, Southwest Florida’s exclusive Stickley dealer.

“And Stickley is delivered on its own truck. When you purchase a piece of Stickley, you are buying a collectible of tomorrow.”

Stickley furniture is known for its hand-finished, solid wood furniture in styles including Mission, Traditional and Metropolitan. Founded in Fayettesville, N.Y., in 1900 by Gustav Stickley — considered to be one of the country’s most legendary furniture makers — Stickley is seen in museums from the Metropolitan to the Museum of Fine Arts.

Today, Stickley has more than 1,600 employees and produces furniture collections ranging from the company’s early Mission Oak and Cherry to Classics, Modern, John Widdicomb, St. Croix and more.

Photo of Stickley Furnitiure Willow Bed Willow Bed: From the modern collection, the willow bed is part of the Edinburgh line. This beautiful bed was inspired by the Willow Tea Room in Sauchehall Street in Glasgow.

The company burst into international prominence in the early 20th century with its Craftsman/Mission Oak designs. These were based on the notion that furniture should be “honest” — a reaction against the fake joinery, unnecessary gaudiness and shoddy workmanship of many of the pieces created in the early days of industrial furniture making.

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