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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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Saturday
Oct052013

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 spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, 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. 

 

Thursday
Oct032013

Stickley speaking: My fall design fix

Photo of Wrenda Goodwyn at Stickley MuseumIt came at the perfect time for a fall fix: a trip to the northeast for the Interior Redecorators conference. I  stayed at a lovely inn in Morristown, N.J., conveniently located next to the train station for easy access to NYC.  The weather was beautiful and the trees made me think of fall in Virginia where I am from and North Carolina where I went to college.
 
Our group toured Craftsman Farms, the former country estate of noted turn-of-the-century designer Gustav Stickley, a major proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement in decorative arts, home building and furnishing styles.  Stickley combined the roles of designer and manufacturer, architect, publisher, philosopher, and social critic. He is best known today for his straightforward furniture, sometimes called “mission” or “Craftsman” furniture. This was of interest to me because I recently wrote an article on Stickley for the Fort Myers News-Press.

We enjoyed an afternoon walking through beautiful and quaint Chester which was painted in fall colors, learned how to make ready made drapes look like a designer did them and spent time with designers from all over the country...including my friend and interior decorina, Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs. And had a wonderful dinner at the incredibly beautiful home of fellow designer Susan Hayes of Refeather Your Nest.

Photo of Chester, NJ /></span></span></div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div  mce_tmp=Photo of Chester, NJ                                Then it was off to NYC for a day at the New York Design Center where Lauri Ward of Use What You Have gave us an invaluable refresher course on how to best serve our clients.
 
Having been to the NYDC many times, Pamela and I headed up to the newly opened 1stDibs on the 10th floor...fantastic for that unique accept piece or antique (take your checkbook with lots of $$$)!!! And then we hit the streets for a short walk and a timeout in Bryant Park on this gorgeous day.

Photo of 1stdibs
 

Photo of antiques

Photo of antiques

Photo of New York City 

Now it’s back to work with lots of projects waiting!
 
Need some help making a few fall changes in your home? I'm inspired!

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

Saturday
Sep212013

Sweet dreams are made of these: tips for a glamorous bedroom makeover

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• September 21, 2013 

It’s true. The best sleep comes in a beautiful bedroom. A gorgeous bed with sheets and pillows that are so comfortable that you can’t wait to land there at the end of the day. Perfect lighting, accent touches, color, window treatments. It all works together for a touch of glamour that makes you say “Ahhhhhh” when you walk in the room.

Headboard doubles as a comfortable backrest, creating a cozy spot for reading and relaxing. Available in slipcover options, so it can be changed. Paint color: Sensuous Gray by Sherwin Williams; Light fixture: Capiz shells. Photo: Pottery Barn

Getting there can be a challenge and for most homeowners, it is hard to know where to begin. Often it is the most overlooked room in the home. Everything else gets the design touches and because no one else sees the bedroom, it is the last on the decorating plan. Wrong. Because it is where you spend your sleeping and resting hours, it deserves top priority and some thoughtful planning.

Petal-shaped capiz shells form a translucent cluster of flowers on this flushmount lighting. Photo: Pottery Barn.

To start, it is important to select calming paint colors for the bedroom. Declutter the room. Move the computer and work station out of sight. If you can live without at television in the room, great.

Now to glam it up a bit and add some drama! Most of these tips are simple and will totally transform the bedroom. So much so, that you will likely want all of your guests to see the beautiful transformation!  And the best news: You can spend as much or as little when and if your budget permits.

Stratton Bed with drawers for storage, Swing arm-sconces and a porcelain blue duvet. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Mark Fanta, general manager of Webster & Company, which includes Ralph Lauren Home, at Miromar Design Center in Estero, says the most important thing when planning a glamorous bedroom is to decide on a theme and stick to it.

“Whether it is a color theme, a period, or even a style like French country, the key to glamour is simple elegance.  Keep your color scheme to one or two hues and include at least one neutral.  Color clashing and cutesy florals should be banished from a bedroom.  Accessories should compliment your color scheme with clutter being kept to a minimum.

And the bedding is the ultimate in creating a glamorous bedroom. I believe in using simple white-on-white pique and bed linens of the highest thread count afforadable in your budget. Simple and clean but very elegant.”

Place a small sofa or bench at the end of the bed to create a sitting area. Bed and sofa: Ralph Lauren Home at Webster & Company, Miromar Design Center. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn

Doug Ulrich, general manager at Norris Home Furnishings, says that a current trend is to take classic lines on pieces and give them a unique finish or paint to transform a ypically traditional piece into one with transitional timeless elegance.

"Take unique pieces such as secretary,  flip top desks and armoires and make them the statement piece of the room by having a unique size, shape or finish."

More tips to add drama to your bedroom:

Select neutral paint colors. Popular now: calming grays, browns, blues. Favorites from Sherwin Williams: Bamboo Shoot, Sensuous Gray, Smoky Blue, Turkish Coffee.

Add crown molding to the room in a high gloss super white.

If the room has a tray ceiling, paint with a splash of color and hang a chandelier.  Make sure it is on a dimmer as with any overhead lighting.

A large mirror, leaning on the wall or attached, adds sparkle and shimmer.

Select direct lighting for reading and ambient for mood lighting. If space is at a minimum on your nightstands, consider adjustable swing-arm lamps or sconces.

Because the bed is the focal point, use a high, upholstered fabric headboard, leather or tufted fabric. This softens the look and has a clean, glam feel. And a modern take on a canopy bed is always in style.

Traditional design gains modern boldness in this Frances canopy bed, inspired by the open industrial feel found in revitalized loft spaces. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Don’t overlook the foot of the bed: add an upholstered bench or trunk that can be used for storage. If there is space, a loveseat.

An upholstered chair or tufted lounge for reading adds a relaxing touch.

Repeat colors and textures to unify the space.

Writing desk or vanity is functional and should be the spot for treasured accessories that you want to see every day.

Create a master suite with use of color, fabrics, connect the bedroom and bath spaces so they work together. Much as you remember from your favorite hotel, carry the theme into the bath with the window treatments and color. This is a great way to make both spaces will feel larger.

Add fresh flowers and have sweet dreams!


Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her column, Home Inspirations, appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or email 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. 

 

Friday
Sep132013

Florida style: Tropicool look for fireplace 

It's a little bit whimsical. A little bit funky, Florida, Bahamian kitsch. And it is beautiful.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I am always looking for ways to make a boring fireplace fun and artsy? Check this out.

Photo of Florida tropical fireplace

Source: House Beautiful

The fireplace is made of concrete embedded with stones, shells and barnacles. Perfect for our southwest Florida lifestyle. And the gorgeous color punch of purple and the relaxed island feel of the room makes you want to float away to the tropics.  

Photo of tropical Florida living room

 Source: House Beautiful

And it's easy to see why we love this Palm Beach home. The owner is interior designer Lisa Pulitzer Calhoun, daughter of the legendary Lilly Pulitzer.

 

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.