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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
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.

 

 

Monday
Jun162014

Vintage meets modern: Pretty, uncomplicated lighting that's made in America!

Photo of lighting from Barn Light ElectricAll photos courtesy of Barn Light Electric.I've been doing some sourcing for a client who is beginning a complete redo of her home and lighting is a huge part of her makeover. She loves the industrial look but I wanted to soften it a little. And then I found it. Lighting that does not take itself too seriously.

Photo of lighting from Barn Light Electric

Barn Light Electric is American manufactured and the collection of interior/exterior lighting fixtures and accessories reflects a vintage-meets-modern style that includes everything from warehouse shades, gooseneck wall arms and porcelain enamel lighting, to pendant lights and sconces. It's uncomplicated and classic.

Photo of lighting from Barn Light Electric  

 Photo of lighting from Barn Light Electric

 

So, I headed to Titusville for a look at their new showroom and to see for myself. I was impressed with the quality and I love the yummy colors. These are a great choice for kitchens, sconces, bathroom vanities and outdoor spaces.

Photo of lighting from Barn Light Electric  

Why porcelain? Unlike other painted finishes, porcelain enamel can be restored to its original condition by washing with mild soap and water. After five, ten, or even twenty years, porcelain enamel is the one finish that retains its beautiful original color. Porcelain enamel successfully resists harsh weather and work conditions; extreme humidity, cold, and heat are no match for porcelain enamel. This type of finish does not deteriorate or corrode when in contact with chemicals found in most industries – it retains its original shape, glossy color, and texture, ultimately providing years of extended use compared to other fixtures.

Photo of lighting from Barn Light Electric

And it is stunning in a simple, classic, industrial with a touch of coastal sort of way. Perfect for my client. And for my next redo of my own home space.

For more details and to see the extensive collection and color samples, call me

 

Want a home that makes you happy?

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

Saturday
Jun072014

Home Inspirations: Fashion meets interior design with simplicity and sexiness

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• June 7, 2014

"Simplicity and sexiness. That's what people want at a price that's not outrageous." Diane von Furstenberg in 1976 when she was on the cover of Newsweek.

Photo of Diane von Furstenberg for Kravet collectionPhoto: Kravet

She married a prince in 1969.

She became a fashion diva with her slinky, print, wrap dress in 1974. By 1976, she had sold more than one million of the dresses hat looked good on everyone.

She was painted by Warhol in the 70's and 80's.

She was exotic and her life is legendary. And the legend continues as she has just teamed up with Kravet to launch a new collection of home fabrics and trimmings. The line showcases her renowned aesthetic and sense of print and color, as seen in many of her iconic patterns. Von Furstenberg effortlessly brings high fashion into the home with prints, wovens and draperies and custom trimmings designed to accent the fabrics with an exotic edge.

Photo of Diane von Furstenberg for Kravet collectionPhoto: Kravet

And like the designer, exotic is the best way to describe these classic von Furstenberg designs. That and "fearless" with a touch of " oh là là!"

The collection has a strong foundation in black and white with pops of color, and incorporates the iconic designer's signature bold animal prints, such as Spotted Cat and Funky Zebra. Geometric and abstract prints are also featured, for an eclectic blend designed to be mixed and matched. Color palettes range from berry and orange jewel tones inspired by the sunsets in Rajasthan, to azure blues that recall the Caribbean Sea, and desert-inspired neutrals in sand and stone.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator and a huge fan of all things von Furstenberg, I could not wait for the Kravet showroom at Miromar Design Center in Estero to unveil this collection. And I wasn't disappointed.  But these designs are not for the fearful when it comes to incorporating into a home's decor.

Photo of Diane von Furstenberg for Kravet collectionPhoto: Kravet

Amy Jimenez, Kravet's Estero showroom manager suggests that the bright color palate as well as the more subtle tones are perfect for someone with a more modern aesthetic.

"Feeling daring? Imagine using a pattern like Cumulus, Iznikoasis or China Vine for drapery panels, bedding or on a large piece of furniture. Feeling more  “faint of heart”? Try using them on accent pieces such as pillows, chairs or ottomans for a great pop," she says.

Photo of Diane von Furstenberg for Kravet collectionPhoto: Kravet

And my advice? Forget your fears and liven up your decor with these yummy colors and designs.

As Jimenez says, whatever  you choose, DVF’s collection will be sure to transform any space into something really spectacular!"

I couldn't agree more.

 

 
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.

 

Saturday
May172014

Read all about it: decorating with books

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• May 17, 2014

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero

Books tell us so much about ourselves. Where we've been and where we want to go. They tell volumes about our hopes and dreams. What we love and what inspires us. And a Kindle will never replace a book in your living room. It just won't.

Williams-Sonoma's Harrington mirrored dresser brings Art Deco style to a room and has enough space for a basket filled with books. Photo: Williams-Sonoma

And if you are like many of my southwest Florida decorating clients, your books may be sitting in a corner collecting dust or crowded onto overstuffed shelves and bookcases. But you just can't say good bye to them. They give us comfort and speak to our soul. And some days, a book offers a safe retreat from the day to day stress that life throws our way.

If your collection of books has exceeded your space, make them part of your decor.

The Samantha narrow bookcase by Pottery Barn is styled with lots of texture and books for a display that will fit into any space. Photo: Pottery Barn

Books have actually been written about decorating with books. And it's no wonder. The possibilities are endless. The following tips will have you tapping into your artistic side and designing interesting displays in no time and you can't beat the cost of using something that you already have!

The Connor side table from Pottery Barn performs double duty by also offering a nice space for stacks of favorite books. Photo: Pottery Barn

When I style a room using the homeowner's books, I incorporate the following ideas that you can use as well:

On shelves or a bookcase: coordinate the colors and place them in groupings. Paint or wallpaper the back of the bookcase to give some dimension and a pop of color to the display. Place some books horizontally. Others vertically. Style the bookcase or shelf to include photos, pieces of art, mementos from a vacation or collectibles.

Vintage pieces, florals and collections make a pretty display with books on this West Elm pipe bookcase. Photo: West Elm

On a coffee table or entry table: use some of your favorite books to create a vignette. Use a pretty tray to tie the books together with a vase of flowers or a vintage element.

Practical use: Books form a great base to elevate a lamp or vase to just the right height. Perfect for an end table or bed night stand.

Toys and books: In a child's room, mix toys with books on a bookcase for a fun display that is also practical for storage.

Entertainment center: Since this can be a very plain (and boring) surface, give it some personality with books arranged horizontally with the (interesting) titles showing.

Start a collection: Check sales at bookstores and flea markets for books that interest you. Vintage or contemporary, blend them into a display that becomes a part of your decor.

Limited surface space? Fill an armoire with your favorite books and accent pieces. Keep the doors open when you want to display them and close them when you need the space in the room. The best of both worlds.

Brunschwig & Fils

And if you just don't have room or for the perfectly designed bookshelf, no problem! The Bibliotheque wall covering from Brunschwig & Fils does the job just fine and totally surrounds you with books that you will never need to dust. My favorite location is on an accent wall in an entry or office or in a powder room. The result: spectacular!


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.