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Entries in Pottery Barn (29)


Styled to sell: Tips that make your home appealing to buyers

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• October 3, 2015

We all know the feeling.

You’ve decided to put your home on the market. You’ve lived in it for a while. Decorated it. Renovated it. Upgraded it. Made lots of improvements. It looks great.

And it really does look great. It reflects your lifestyle. YOUR lifestyle. And that’s just the problem when it comes to selling a home.

Sorry, but it’s not about your style. It’s all about the potential buyer for your home. They need to be able to visualize their life (and belongings) in your home. If they can, they get excited and put your home on their favorites list.

And the process of styling your home for resale is a little tricky and most homeowners have difficulties handling it. Why? Because selling a home and moving under the best of circumstances is stressful, emotional and exhausting. The need to take a critical look at how your home appears to an outsider is tough for most homeowners.

As a Southwest Florida interior designer, my Resale-Ready service helps homeowners cut through the clutter (literally) and determine what’s important to potential buyers. It helps to make the difficult decisions and allows the homeowner to make a sale and get on with their lives. My role is to showcase the home’s best features so it will sell quickly for the highest possible price.

Declutter and remove personal items and add fresh flowers for a look that says "welcome to your new home." This Clara space-saving apartment sofa and ottoman are by Pottery Barn. Photo credit: Pottery Barn.

And while we can’t magically add more square footage or an extra bedroom or bathroom, what we can do is this:  Make your home look fresh and new to potential buyers.  We can make them visualize their furnishings and accessories in your home. We can make it look larger and more spacious.  Like a model. We can tempt buyers to put your home at the top of their list.

Let’s face it.  You look at your home every day.  A professional, fresh set of eyes and a plan can change everything.  For a potential buyer and for you to enjoy while your home is on the market.
My top tips for homeowners preparing their home to sell:

First impressions are everything
Start with the exterior. Replace your mailbox and your house numbers.  Something pretty and fresh. Head to Lowes or Home Depot and pick up colorful annuals.  They go a long way to saying "welcome to your new home." Pressure spray the driveway and sidewalk.  Clean out all of the grunge.  If you have pavers, give them a shiny coat of sealer. Purchase new light fixtures at the front door and garage.  These are very inexpensive and make the house look clean and cared for by the owner (you). Touch up exterior paint where needed.  If the house is in desperately in need of paint, go ahead and invest in a complete redo. 

Remember:  you are competing with lots of other homes on the market. Have the windows professionally washed. Hire a lawn service to fertilize and edge.  Have them come back periodically until the home sells. Buy a new welcome mat. Purchase two large ceramic pots and fill them with flowers at the front door. Now your home says "Welcome.  Come see what is inside!" professional opinion.

Invest in a professional opinion
You are too close to your house. Have an evaluation done with designer or staging company that will prepare a list of changes that you can follow and complete yourself or hire the professional to get everything in perfect order. This is a small investment to sell your home.

It’s not about you anymore
If buyers cannot visualize their life in your home, it’s simple. They walk. You have to show them how they will love living in your home. How? Remove all personal items. Replace with fresh flowers or books. Store excess furniture so you can open up your home. Pack up everything you can live without. Clear countertops.  Repaint accent walls in a neutral shade.

You are going to pack up to move eventually so declutter now. Go minimalist. It may not be the way you live but it is the best way to show your house. Clean out every drawer and closet and pantry because buyers look in every single corner of your home. If your linen closet spills out into the hallway when you open it, a buyer assumes that you don’t have enough storage space. And they go on to the next house.  

Create space
Envision the way the space should be used. Is your furniture smashed up along the walls? Is there a corner in your living room that would be a great placed to read? Group the furniture in ways that would make sense for the intended use. Make sure to have flow and walking areas through the room. Buyers must be able to envision themselves living in your home and the best way to do that is to show them a comfortable seating area.

Freshen it up
Have your home professionally cleaned from top to bottom until it shines. Paint window sills and baseboards. Give your bathrooms a spa look with fresh paint and new towels and rugs. Replace any mirrors and lighting that are dated. It’s a good time to switch out your switch plates for a clean look. Opt for light colors on the walls that will reflect the light.

Take a step back
When you are finished, take a long look at your home. Does the exterior say “welcome home?” Does it look like a model home with space and a comfortable seating arrangement?  Does it have a fresh, clean, decluttered look?  If the answer is yes, it’s time for the sale sign.

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 to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Sort through the confusion of when to splurge on your home and when to save.

Read my tips for a calm home in a not-so-calm-world in the Fort Myers News-Press.


Tips for creating a calm space in a not-so-calm world

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• August 29, 2015

It's all about how you feel when you walk in the door.
Does your home make you happy? Is it a calm retreat from the chaos and over stimulation of the outside world? Do you constantly feel overwhelmed by projects that you just can't quite complete? Are you tired and drained and not sure why?

We all want a nurturing home that offers a refuge. Not one that leaves you frustrated and exhausted.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I have my clients fill out a brief questionnaire before I meet with them.  The first question: "How do you want your home to feel when you walk in the door?"

Ballard Designs photo of Suzanne Kasler curated softly colored abstract artRelaxing and pretty. Suzanne Kasler curated softly colored abstract art that pairs with her signature fabrics and finishes for Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Tell me how you want your home to feel and I will make everything else fall into place.

Each answer is the same. Everyone wants a "calm" home. Of course we do.

It's not about "stuff."  You may have everything that you could dream of in your home and it still doesn't feel right. Check out these tips that I use for my clients and see how it changes your space.

We talk about this a lot in design and decorating but if you don’t do anything else, do this one. It costs nothing. And it has the most impact. Do it today!

Delete some of the visual stimulation. Pare down your accessories. Eliminate or rearrange some furniture and establish a comfortable conversation area that is relaxing.

And your closet. Most of us wear 10% of what is in our closets. So why not just have the 10% in your closet? Instead of the piles of clothes that you never wear any more. It’s all visual clutter and it’s exhausting to look at and to think about.

But sometimes the thought of decluttering itself is overwhelming. Just the physical aspect of getting rid of things and deciding what to do with them is difficult and stops homeowners in their tracks. Because it requires sorting it into what gets donated, given away and tossed. The solution: leave that part for another day. Remove it all from your house. Stash it in the garage until you have time to make the decisions.  Meanwhile, you will love your decluttered home so much that you won’t mind saying goodbye to the clutter when the day comes.

Don't over decorate.
The eyes need a place to rest. Don't cover every surface and every wall.  Don't be afraid of space. It is what most of our homes are lacking and it's the very thing  that creates a calm home.

Splurge in the bedroom.
Comfortable pillows. Nice sheets and comforter. A window treatment that blocks out the light. Pretty, restful artwork and accessories that make you feel good. We all spend a lot of time in this room and it's not the place to cut corners.

Pottery Barn photo of beautiful bedroomCreate a space to end your day with comfortable linens and fresh colors. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Transform with soothing colors.
Rethink your color palette and drop it down a notch. Soothing colors and more muted fabrics equal a calmer home. Save the bold colors for your family room and outdoor spaces. Of course this does not mean that a well-place splash of color against the most toned down backdrop is not gorgeous!

Design a spa bathroom for relaxation.
This is a service that I have done for my clients since I have been decorating homes. And it’s really easy. You can do it today. Think about what you love at a luxurious hotel or spa. Lots of white. Clean and crisp. Fluffy towels. Thick rugs. Plants.  Candles. Soaps and aromatherapy.  And don’t forget a spa robe. White is the key here and it must be done in a spotlessly clean bathroom. This should be your calming retreat at the end of the day.

Pottery Barn photo of spa bathroomFor a spa look, try this Morgan shower curtain of soft cotton with a band of color, along with organic cotton towels. Photo: Pottery Barn. 
Forget the harsh, overhead lighting and install dimmers on all lighting.

Remove the bad vibes.
We all have them. Something that you carry around from home to home. You don’t like it but you don’t feel like you can get rid of it. Give yourself permission. Keep what makes you happy and anything with a negative or tiring association, send it out into the world where someone else will find it useful. It may be art, a photo or a piece of furniture that no longer serves you. Remember: it’s your home and you are not obligated to keep anything.

Create a space for solitude.
Give yourself permission to have a nook or part of a room where you can relax. Just you. Maybe it’s space for a yoga mat or a lounge chair where you can read. Create a corner in your home where there are no electronics or noises. A place where you can think and start to wind down from the day.

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 to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Do you want your home to look like a model? Read my tips.

Sort through the confusion of when to splurge on your home and when to save.


How to make porches part of your living space

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• July 4, 2015

We're in those lazy, hot, humid days of summer but if you are at home on this Fourth of July weekend, chances are that you will end up on a porch someplace either relaxing, celebrating with friends over a meal or watching fireworks.

Photo of white house with flag and hydrangeasMaybe it's because I was born and raised in the south. But I love porches. The "porch" was where the family headed after dinner.  I can hear my mother saying, "Help me finish the dishes and let's go out on the porch." It was where all important discussions and  decisions took place. Even though the "porch" was only a small cement stoop with a couple of aluminum chairs. It was still the place where we retreated at the end of the day.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator,  I have had many "porches" since those days. Small apartment balconies barely large enough for two chairs,  front porches with comfortable wicker furniture, large lanais' with summer kitchens surrounding a pool and filled with friends.  But to me, they are all "porches."  A place to unwind, relax and think.

So, if in these hot, hot,  hot, days of July, you find your porch in need of a little makeover, I have some tips to give your space, no matter what the size, a little refreshing.  For years, I have been helping my clients makeover their porches as an extension of their living space. No matter what the size or budget.

My favorite
Add a porch swing. What could be better than dozing in a porch swing at the end of the day? Find them at flea markets if you are looking for vintage, hardware stores or check out the Ballard Designs Sunday Porch SwingPhoto of porch swing from Ballard DesignsDozing in a porch swing on a lazy afternoon. From Ballard Designs, this Sunday Porch Swing is hand crafted of 100% FSC eucalyptus to be naturally moisture and insect resistant, and finished in a warm whitewash. Photo: Ballard Designs. shown on this page. A porch swing just cries out, "Stop what you are doing and come and relax for a while." And if you find a vintage swing  that just will not hold up to much weight, hang it any way and fill it with plants.

Anchor your seating area with an outdoor rug
Even on a tiny balcony this works and adds color to the space. It also makes it an extension of your home.

If there is space, add an outdoor lamp.

Add a bar cart
Yes, it's great for a party but you can also use it for storage...liquid refreshments,  cups, stirrers, coasters, books, magazines, speakers, and anything else necessary for a relaxing afternoon.
Photo of all-weather cart for porch from Pottery Barn Pottery Barn's all-weather wicker bar console. Photo: Pottery Barn.
Hang Twinkle Lights
Arrange some strands of patio twinkle lights to transform your porch or patio into something special when evening comes. They make everything (and everyone) look pretty. And are very inexpensive.

Paint something blue
Paint the ceiling blue. Why? It's pretty and adds another dimension to your porch. Giving your own outdoor space a hint of blue is the perfect way to play into history, and it just might keep wasps and evil spirits away, too. According to the legend! Years ago, in the deep South, many people painted their porch ceilings a specific shade of Haint Blue, a soft blue-green, to ward off evilPhoto of ceiling porch painted in a haint blue shadePaint the porch ceiling a shade of blue. It's pretty and legend says that it keeps wasps away! Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn spirits called "haints." It's especially common in the historic homes around Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. And I can say that my own blue porch ceiling has kept the wasps away!

Invest in plants
Give it your personal touch with lots of greenery. If there is space, add some pots, a small tree and a vase or two of fresh flowers. Use perennials so you will not have to replace them each year.

Go vertical
Hang a piece of artwork, plants  or a mirror on one wall.

Tiny space? No problem!

Bistro table and chairs may be all that you need. No room for furniture? Fill your tiny balcony with plants and in the winter months in Southwest Florida,  let the outdoors inside. And if you are on a budget, or even if your aren't, you can get creative with furniture by turning crates on the side and using them for benches of plant holders.

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 And to see a selection of her favorite color palettes, go to wrendagoodwyn

Want to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Do you want your home to look like a model? Read my tips.

Read these tips and sort through the confusion of when to splurge on your home and when to save.



Home Inspirations: Model behavior

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• February 7, 2015

It's happened to all of us. We walk into a model home and want to say "I'll take it."

Everything is so perfect and coordinated. The lighting, paint color, furniture, artwork, window treatments. It sparkles and says, "come in and stay a while."

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I can't tell you how many times I receive a phone call that goes something like this: "I want my home to look like a model."

If only.

Here is a dirty little secret: It's not possible. It's like looking at  a photo in a fashion magazine and saying, "I want to look like that model."

It won't happen. That model doesn't even look like that model.

And it's much the same with a model home. It's designed to be a model home. Not a home that anyone lives in. Therefore, you will never be able to achieve the exact look for your space.

But here is the good news: You can manage, with some help, to achieve the feeling that the model home gives you. Whether you are looking at home magazines in which the rooms are staged for photos or at a model home designed to "sell" the home, there are some tricks that will help you capture the feeling. But on a realistic, practical level.

Photo of Pottery Barn's organic Ikat medallion print with bright colors and a washed effectFabric headboard, styled nightstand, sconces and this beautiful, organic Ikat medallion print with bright colors and a washed effect create a model feeling in a bedroom. Photo: PotteryBarn.comIt's like I tell all of my decorating clients, show me the feeling that you want and I will help you get there. But remember, because a model home is not designed for anyone to live in it, we need to proceed cautiously!   

Here are my favorite tips for designing your space to capture the feel of a model home for real life living:

•    Clean until everything sparkles. This is the trait of a model home: not a speck of dust anywhere! And polish the furniture and wipe down all appliances.
•    Declutter and organize. I know, you don't want to but you must. Clear the countertops and organize closets/drawers. You cannot have a model home feel with a lot of clutter. It just won't happen.
•    A fresh coat of paint changes everything.  Select a neutral color palette and give your walls a fresh coat. Add color with fabric, accessories and texture. One of my current favorites: grey walls with white, blue, green accents.
•    Notice how well lit and crisp model homes always look. One reason: lighting. Check out your ambient lighting, task and accent lighting. A carefully designed plan should include all three. And for those dark, tough to light areas: sconces and floor lamps.

New lighting, fresh paint and a hand-painted framed mirror transform a bathroom. Photo:•    Establish a focal point in the living areas. This can be a piece of art, a beautiful view of the outdoors, an antique or eclectic piece, a fireplace.
•    Drag the furniture away from the walls. You never see this in a model home! Establish a comfortable, easy flow conversation area and make sure your furniture is in scale with the room. Note: the furniture from your previous house may not work with scale of your new/current home.
•    Eliminate pieces that no longer work for you. If you have been hauling around furniture from home to home, it may be time to start over. If you want the feeling of a model home.
•    Include a large area rug to tie things together. It makes the room look more spacious.
•    Style your dining room table: set it for your next meal (like a model) or create a tablescape in the center that becomes permanent and you can enjoy it every day. Rather than a dining room table that just sets there unused. And unpretty!
•    Style your coffee table. I like to divide my tables into sections: books, flowers and a pretty tray with something that you love.
•    Refresh the bathroom: Hang a chandelier. Frame the mirror or replace with two single hanging mirrors. Add new sconces over the mirror.
•    Less is more. Always. Go for somewhat of a minimalist look but not to an extreme. It's one of the reasons that we love models homes: they are not filled with our everyday "stuff."
•    This is an easy one and it has to do with artwork. Go for large pieces over the sofa and think in terms of three's. Cut a large image into three sections or try it with a piece of fabric cur three times and stretched over canvas.
•    Add some drama to the bedroom. Paint an accent or add a wall covering to the wall behind the bed. Invest in a fabric headboard. Add sconces for lighting. Purchase new bed linens in a fresh, bold color. Declutter the nightstand.

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 to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!

Read these tips and sort through the confusion of when to splurge for your home and when to save.

Is it time to hire a professional? Check out my suggestions in the Fort Myers News-Press for working with a professional.