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Entries in Home Inspirations (8)

Sunday
Sep072014

Home Inspirations: When to save and when to splurge 

It's always a dilemma! Where in your home should you splurge and where should you save? For some of the tricks of the design trade, read my column in the Fort Myers News-Press!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• September 6, 2014

It’s a talent. Some of us are good at it. Designers have all kinds of tricks to make it work. And you can also do it with a few trade secrets! It’s all about knowing when to splurge and when to save. And it can be a little tricky.

Photo of Pottery Barn dining table and chairsSplurge on dining room table but save on chairs that can be reupholstered when you are ready for a change. Photo: Pottery Barn. First of all, establish a reasonable budget when you are making changes and purchases for your home. It will save a lot of frustration and heartbreak. And if you are working with a decorator, a budget allows them to focus on doing the best job for you.

Here are a few of my tried and true tips on when to spend and when to look like you did.

Splurge!
Sofa: As a southwest Florida interior decorator, I tell all my clients to spend as much as you can afford on your sofa. This is the most important piece (or pieces) in your home and you need to get the most for your money. It gets the most use on a daily basis. If you are purchasing a sofa that you plan to keep for a while (as opposed to a sofa that the kids will use as their play space for a few more years before you throw it out!), look for eight-way, hand-tied construction. It will give you the long-lasting durability and is the best value for your expenditure. Don’t be misled by trendy brands that look pretty in the showroom or photos, ask about the construction before you purchase. Suggestions: Vanguard, Sherrill, Stickley, Henredon.

Stainless appliances: This is a purchase that you are making for the long-term. It’s worth the investment.  

Fabric: If you are going to go to the expense of upholstering a chair or making drapes, it’s worth the investment in quality fabric that has the texture, pattern and feel that enhances the look of your home.

Kitchen counter tops: Quartz, granite, marble.

Lighting: Get the lighting right and everything else in your home will look beautiful. Don’t forget the dimmers.

Bedding: Including mattresses, pillows, and linens. It goes without saying, there is nothing better than slipping into a comfortable bed with fine linens.

Art: If you have the budget, yes, build a collection. You can also, especially in southwest Florida, visit the many consignment shops that resell art.

Splurge/save!
Splurge on the dining room table and save on the chairs. The table should be a purchase that will last a long time. Go for a timeless look. For the chairs, save by purchasing fabric chairs that can be reupholstered when you want a change.

Save!                                                                                                                                                    Bathroom vanities: Purchase these off the rack! Forgo custom and check out Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Lowes and Home Depot for vanities that come in a style to fit your décor. 

Drapes: This is one of my favorites for clients who want to save. Because custom drapes can quickly drain your decorating budget, purchase off the rack and embellish with trims and ties. Or if you have your heart set on a designer fabric, create panels for both sides of the window and save on the amount of fabric needed.

Pillows: Create beautiful pillows embellished with trims and save $$$ by using a less expensive fabric on one side of the pillow.

Accessories: This is what makes your home. It gives it a personality and reflects your style. And this is the easiest place to save by shopping around for the best deals. Online, big box stores, antique shops, flea markets. Go for what is unique to your taste.  

Custom closets: If this is not in your budget but you want the look of a custom closet, check out the storage systems offered at the Container Store and Bed, Bath and Beyond. You can install these yourself. Then add a piece of furniture and a chandelier and you have a designer closet!  

 

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 and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

Want a home that makes you happy?

Call me. I will help you create Spectacular Spaces in your home!

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.

 

Saturday
Feb012014

Sorting through the trends: Decorating tips for 2014

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• February 1, 2014 

Decorating can be confusing. There are so many products on the market. New colors, furnishing, accessories, finishes, textures and styles come out every year. And what to do with that Radiant Orchid pantone color?

How do you keep your home fresh without giving into every trend that comes along and staying within some reasonable budget?

Tufted headboard from Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

The advice to my southwest Florida clients making major purchases: ask yourself, will you love it in five years?  Keep major items in your home timeless.  Take a chance with paint color and accessories and have some fun.

The trends for 2014 are, well, spectacular. Simple and low maintenance are the keywords for homeowners.  And while there is no point in going crazy in making dramatic changes just for the sake of a trend, you can tone some of these down and pick and choose what works for your lifestyle.   Here are a few trends along with some of my tips for the year. Have fun!

Changing spaces that you don't use
At one time that large dining room or formal living room made sense. But lifestyle changes can make them a wasted space. That's why many homeowners are converting these spaces into entertainment rooms, libraries and more to make the space more functional.  

BEFORE: Owners of this West Bay home wanted to transform this formal living room to a more useful space.

AFTER: Space is changed into an entertainment room that is used daily by family and friends.

Color and paint
Indigo! From the bedroom to the living room and for every imaginable accessory, this peaceful, comforting color will bring to mind the deep blue of the sea. Tip: It's great for pops of color in rooms with a neutral/white palette and works with a nautical scheme. 

For paint: black walls are popular, white walls are still the trend. Accent walls are not so popular as painting the entire room is the trend. Grey is still the new beige and is everywhere in many shades.

Farrow & Ball paints are hot, pricey and worth a look. The high levels of pigment, rich resin binders, and the high refractory nature the key ingredients give the paints their signature depth of color. There are 132 colors and they are available to the trade through Kravet at the Miromar Design Center.

Wow those walls
Grass cloth has made a return with rich textures and colors. It can be painted when you are tired of it so it has a longer lifespan.

Mirrors
Everywhere. Rather than doing an entire wall (very 80's and making a comeback), I suggest a large framed mirror or a collection.

Antiqued mirror from Restoration Hardware with a vintage look is handfitted from multiple pieces of beveled, mitered and joined glass. Photo: Restoration Hardware.

Lighting
There have never been so many great choices in table lamps. Give your room an instant makeover with a fresh color with two new lamps for your bedroom or living room. This would the perfect place to try that Radiant Orchid with a pair of glass table lamps with an apothecary base from Lamps Plus. 

Photo: Lamps Plus.

Windows
Gone are the heavy and expensive draperies. The trend is panels, blinds, shutters and anything that will let in more natural light.  Simple panels in linen, thin wool, cotton or muslin with a pared down look.

Flooring
Huge floor tiles, bamboo, laminate flooring in wide plank styles and various colors, vinyl planking, porcelains in many styles including a wood-look porcelain. Tip: flooring is a major purchase and there are so many choices on the market.  Work with a professional  to determine which is best for your home.

Furnishings
Forget cookie cutter designs.  It's all about you and not your neighbor or a trend, for that matter. Unique and no matchy matchy  "sets." Hot: shopping on ETSY, eBay, 1st Dibs, Craigs List, estate sales and consignment shops for something different.

Because we have exposure to so many cultures, ethnic prints and patterns are popular in   homes this year. Moroccan, Asian, South American and other influences.

Lacquer trays in bold shades multi-task to serve drinks, organize odds and ends on a dresser or hold a stack of books on a coffee table. Photo: West Elm.

Hot: Felt, suede and leather headboards, tufted sofas and ottomans, Lucite chairs, coffee tables and accessories. Chairs are larger and armless and love seats are becoming extinct. Nailheads in furniture, pillows. Platform beds, no box springs (we said "simple" is the trend!).

For offices, which are becoming smaller as large computers are phasing out, day beds are popular and allow the room to be used for guests.

Furniture with multiple uses: coffee tables that lift  up and have storage or transform into a larger table for dining, occasional tables that can be used in multiples throughout the home. Vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces are popular as are reclaimed wood pieces such as coffee tables and shelving.

Fabric
Monograms are everywhere: linens, pillows, chairs. A way to personalize and to be unique.  Palettes: blue and white, soft purple, graphic prints, plaids. Grays. Ikat prints.

Tip: Keep floral prints in the bedroom and solid tones in the family room.

Kitchen
Timeless white/black color scheme. Eco-friendly cabinets with no formaldehyde and non-toxic glues, binders and finishes. White-glass appliances are a change from the stainless (no smudge) which is still popular. 

Quartz countertops. These are engineered but look like granite and are sustainable and more durable, resists stains and chipping.  Touchless, motion-sensing faucets that are  easier to use, cleaner, and cut down on water usage in kitchens and baths.

Bathrooms
High-efficiency showerheads and toilets, barrier free walk-in showers that do not require being stepped over, stand-alone bathtubs as centerpieces, wall mounted sinks.


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
Nov022013

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: Lampsplus.com

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: restorationhardware.com.Give 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 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.