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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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Give your home a mini-makeover before the holidays

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• November 2,  2013 

It’s the first Saturday in November and it's official, we are heading into the holidays.

That means most of us are beginning to take a look around our homes and beginning to make some plans for the coming season.

Whether your plans include lots of holiday guests and a home that is transformed into a Clark Griswold Christmas with reindeer prancing on the rooftop OR if you plan a quieter holiday with a minimum of fuss and decorating, most of us could use a mini makeover (for our homes) before we pull out the holiday cheer.

Photo of red door with wreathThis is a great time to give the front door a fresh coat of paint and red is perfect for the holidays! Or any day. Photo: Pottery Barn

As a Fort Myers Interior decorator who helps lots of clients with their holiday décor, I always suggest a starting with a clean and uncluttered slate before bringing more "stuff" into the home. Let's face it, having so much clutter around whether it's for the holidays or any time, makes us tired. Some of my quick mini makeover tips for a big impact may help you to have a more peaceful and balanced home this holiday season and beyond. And that's what we all want. Right?

Make an entrance. Start at the front door:  Clean the mailbox. Invest in a new welcome mat. Paint the door (try a new color). Clean light fixtures.

Give it a good cleaning: Do it yourself or hire a service for a thorough cleaning before decorating. Include washing all windows inside and out until they sparkle.

Photo of welcome matStarting at the front door, your mini makeover begins with a new welcome mat. Photo: Pottery Barn

Declutter: If you only do one item on this list, do this one! Remove everything from tabletops and counters. Store it all until after the holidays.

Lighting:Every home that I make over is light deficient! Think about increasing your lighting: Use wall sconces to fill in the dark spots in dining rooms, hallways, bathrooms, bedside. If wiring is a problem: no problem. Use the swing arm lighting. With lamps, think pairs. Basically, you cannot have enough lighting. Favorite to add quickly: Gourd lamps. They are inexpensive and come in great colors. Favorite source:

Living room: This is a good time to add new pillows and throws. 4-6 on a sofa is enough. Don't make it look like a pillow fight. Style your bookshelves with some upright, some horizontal, add pottery and photos along with space for some holiday pieces. For a dark corner in the room or hallway, put a tree in a basket and decorate with white lights.

Photo of Lamps Plus colorful lampsLamps Plus makes it easy to select lighting with Sherwin Williams and Pantone shades and custom-coordinated shades. Photo: Lamps Plus

Kitchen: No time for a complete renovation but you can make some quick changes in the room that is the main gathering place during the holidays. Find new containers for flower, coffee, sugar, etc. and buy a pretty tray to hold everything neatly together rather than spread around. This time of year, we all need more kitchen space. If you don't have an island, create your own with an antique or flea market table or purchase a metal table that you can also use as a corner bar. If you want to add some sparkle, change the cabinet hardware. One of my favorites: colored class knobs. A good source: yourself an early present and add a colorful appliance. My favorite: the KitchenAid cheery red mixer from Williams-Sonoma.

Dining room:Create a holiday tablescape in the middle of the table that will work for meals and when it is not in use. Bored with your dining room chairs? You have time to spray them black and upholster with a fabulous new fabric! Set up a pretty bar with new accessories.

Master bath: Your sanctuary during the holidays! My best tip: Use a real rug (not a bathroom scatter type rug) in front of the sink. Looks great and will make you happy. Hang hooks on door for towels. This is a good time to invest in oversized towels in a bright new color. Same for candles.

Photo of luxurious bath towelsInvest in luxurious, oversized towels to give your bath a spa feel during the holidays. Photo: Pottery Barn

Guest bath/powder room: Invest in a sparkly new light fixture or chandelier. If mirror need to be replaced, think "oversized." Favorite source: Home Goods.

Master bedroom:No better time than now to invest in new bedding. You will thank yourself when you fall into bed after a day of holiday frivolity! And to add a nice design element: paint the ceiling. A favorite: Benjamin Moore Opal Essence. Gives the feeling of staring up at the sky and is very restful.

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 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. 



Travels: Treasures from the beach 

My recent trip to one of my favorite places in the world, Mendocino, resulted in two amazing finds. Perfect for someone like me who loves to take beautiful things and repurpose them!

It was way before sunrise when my husband went out to hit the beach in the headlands to see what had washed in overnight. A trip down the driftwood stairs to the beach and you are really in another world. This beach is one of our favorites. It is filled with beautiful driftwood that we use for his artwork.


Photo of Mendocino

Photo of driftwood and shells on Mendocino beach

Photo of artist Joel Halberstadt on Mendocino beach 

And today was a really lucky day. He found this beautiful abalone shell just waiting for me to take it home. It now holds the jewelry on my dressing table and is a real (and beautiful) treasure.

Photo of abalone shell

But that wasn’t all...he found a piece of abalone on the beach that is just perfect for a necklace. So with the help of Peggy McTeague, artist and owner of Wildchild Galleryin Matlacha and Lindy Holt of Silvery Lane Studio,  I was able to turn it into a beautiful one-of-a-kind necklace. Something that I will always treasure as much as my memories of Mendocino.  

Photo of one-of-a-kind abalone necklace 


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. 


Just arrived in Estero showroom: Kravet's Sarah Richardson Collection

Sarah Richardson fans will be so happy to see that Kravet has launched a new collection of fabrics from the popular Canadian designer and star of HGTV’s Sarah’s House and Sarah 101. Kravet has worked with Richardson to create a collection of fabrics that builds on her signature style with a series of complementary palettes that allow homeowners to layer, experiment and create their own vision of comfortable elegance.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I like the simple and uncomplicated way these fabrics allow for personal creativity and mixing things up.

Photo of Sarah Richardson fabric

I spoke with Amy Jimenez, Kravet's showroom manager this morning and she says the collection just arrived at the Miromar Design Center and being unpacked as we speak. If you have a new project coming up, call me and let's schedule a preview! 

Richardson began her career in design as a behind-the-scenes prop stylist and set decorator for television. Her relatable style and award-winning talent has allowed her to transition into the spotlight as a host, designer and producer of multiple series for HGTV. Richardson believes in an inspiring and practical approach to design. “My goal is to bring luxury and beauty, authenticity and creativity to everything I do. I have designed this collection to empower people to create a home they love,” she said. By combining creativity with well-honed skills, Richardson is able to produce unique, quality products with a dynamic, original flavor.

Photo of Sarah Richardson fabric

Photo of Sarah Richardson fabric

The new collection features classic designs infused with fresh inspirations and Richardson’s signature style. With modern feminine prints and balanced by textural solids and versatile wovens, the fabrics exhibit stylized floral designs and easy-to-use small-scale prints. The variation within the collection supports Richardson’s philosophy that every fabric should be able to be mixed and matched to create an easy and relaxed ambiance. Fabrics from the line span a variety of color palettes that are anchored in serene blues, foggy greys, warm oranges and buttery yellows.

Photo of bright orange flowers



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. 



Home Inspirations: Window treatments define a room's style


Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• October 5, 2013 

Every designer knows that from the fabric to the hardware, window treatments define the style of a room.
Drapes provide impact through the use of color, pattern, texture and decorative details. And when hung right, they give the illusion of height in a room. They can visually widen a window, letting in lots of light.

Photo of beautiful living room by Ballard DesignsFrom Ballard Designs: Drapes hung just below molding give this beautiful room a balanced look.

And yet, window treatments are the most confusing component of interior decor to homeowners. We dress up a window for various reasons: privacy, to block sunlight, to disguise a not so pretty window and to add fabric and color to a room to make it interesting.  And if you don’t need window treatments for any of these reasons, you may wish to think about leaving the windows bare, especially if your window is architecturally beautiful or if you have a view that should be unblocked. 
It is a good idea to live in the room for a while to decide what works best for your lifestyle. Because there is a financial commitment, you don’t want to make a mistake. And there are lots of choices. From shutters to shades to panels to full drapes. Not an expert? No problem. Here are a few tips that I use for my southwest Florida clients who want to incorporate fabric into their space with draperies.
Puddling or not?
For the most part, I say, not. Oh, sure, the yards and yards of fabric gathered on the floor in a prefect arrangement are gorgeous. And if they are being done for a photo, they are great. But that is the problem. Like the big wedding dress that gathers at the bottom, it only works in photos. If you vacuum or open and close your puddled drapes, they are not for you.  One the other hand, if you have a large room (like a ballroom with lots of space) and someone to constantly rearrange and dust them, they may work. But on a day to day basis for most of us, they are just too formal and need lots of floor space to do the look justice. The theatrical look works for some (large) spaces and certainly adds drama to a room. But remember that big wedding dress.

Photo of puddled drapes by Pottery BarnStill need a puddle? Try this mini puddle from Pottery Barn.

Still not convinced? Okay. If you must have a puddle or a mini puddle, hang your silk or faux silk drapes all the way to the floor with a break to get the effect. But not a full puddle. Two or three  inches.

Hang them high!
This rule works every time. To give a room height and an elegant look, hang them high. From just below the crown molding or ceiling. And this applies to any window in your main living space. Indoor/outdoor fabric is a great way to go for cleaning and dusting.

Drapery panels
If you have a shade, panels or shutter over the window and really don’t need a full drape to block light or to provide privacy, this is the way to go. It’s a very elegant look and will save some money. Pick out a beautiful fabric or readymade panel with some fullness to it. Select decorative hardware and ties, if needed, and make sure to give the panels some width to make the window look larger and as always, hang from the ceiling or just below molding.

Don't do that (left)! Do this (right)!
Toppings, cornices, valances
Depending upon your window, this may be the perfect accent. These work with shades, shutters and panels. Just the decorative element to add some style to the room. Whether they work as an accent or to cover up unsightly tracks and rods, they work in combination with other treatments. Southwest Florida clients like them with shutters and blinds because they soften the hard look of wooden window coverings. They also visually raise the height of a window.

And whether it is a beautiful view or exotic fabric, we all want beautiful windows.
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, visit


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.