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Entries in Pottery Barn (24)


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.

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 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 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 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.



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 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.



Creating design that stands the test of time

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• April 12, 2014

Photo of timeless designPhoto: Pottery Barn

Finding the perfect design for your home is a bit like putting together a wardrobe: if you go with all of the latest trends you are likely going to want to redecorate every year. And you are guaranteed to have a few items hanging in your closet that will still have the tags on them because they were never worn.

In other words, you will never feel completely happy with your decor (or your wardrobe).

The trick is to purchase wisely. Build a foundation of timeless design that you will love for years to come. A style that is relaxed, uncomplicated, uncluttered. That's timeless design.

As a Fort Myers Interior decorator, I work with my clients to make sure their decor is a reflection of who they are and not the latest trends.  Few of us have a budget that allows us major changes every few years and the best news of all, timeless design will save hours of work, dollars and you will have a calmer home that you love.

When purchasing new furnishings, the goal is to make everything work no matter where you live now or where you may move in the future. Timeless design fits and flows smoothly in a beach house or a condo or an estate home.   And what fits in your southwest Florida home will also work in any home that you may move to in any part of the country. Because it is timeless.  Like a Chanel purse. 

Photo of timeless designPhoto: Ballard Designs

Lauri Ward, author of Use What You Have Decorating, says that like fashion, a well designed interior relies on having classic pieces at its foundation.

"Take a look back at rooms designed decades ago: you’ll find a pair of armless slipper chairs, a tufted Chesterfield sofa and a couple of brass pharmacy lamps that can still be found in the best rooms today. All still look stylish and will be, eternally, no matter where they are placed.”

Photo of timeless designChesterfield sofa from Pottery Barn. Photo: Pottery Barn

Building a design scheme that will stand the test of time takes some thought and planning.  These tips will help you to think about your design style and keep you from wasting money on trendy items that will soon be tossed aside:

Color. Forget the color of the year as a palette. Go with muted colors as a backdrop and it will lend itself to different styles and accent colors. Pops of color come from artwork, pillows, accent pieces.

Add texture. Fabric. Wall hangings. Metal. Glass. Stone. Wood. These all give our homes a feeling of permanence. And timelessness. 

Lighten up. Eliminate heavy window treatments and bring in as much natural light as possible. Layer your lighting with an overhead fixture and multiple lamps with soft wattages, placed properly in each room.

Blend antiques. When done properly, this works beautifully.

Warm it up. Add rugs to your design plan. They tie a room together and give warmth to tile or hardwood floors.

Photo of timeless designPhoto: Ballard Designs

Splurge on quality. Not quantity. Invest in that chandelier that you have always wanted. Or the heavenly bed that you know you will have forever and it will guarantee sweet dreams. Or the classic sofa that you love and will recover many times because you will never find one that you love as much.

Less is always more. Don't over accessorize. Instead, select carefully and only use what means something to you.

Establish a focal point. This is what designers do. It may be a piece of furniture, an architectural detail, a beautiful view or a painting.  Once this is determined, everything else flows from the focal point.

Make mindful choices.  Before making impulse purchases(we have all done it)  to fill space,  take a breath. Decide what you really want. What you love.  Whether your style is modern, contemporary, traditional or eclectic, some honest, thoughtful planning will result in a timeless design.

And save the trendy purchases and the color of the year for a pillow or candle or other accessory that you will not mind saying to next year when there is a new trend!

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 Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail For more decorating tips and photos, visit


Read more about timeless design:

Will you love it in five years? 

As timeless as the deep blue sea


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: Chipping away at paint color 

It's the first Saturday in March and daylight savings time is kicking in tonight. Spring is right around the corner. This means that most of us are thinking about a little interior change to mark a new season. And one of the best (and easiest) ways to enhance your space is with color. Check out my article this morning with tips on how to avoid color confusion. And happy spring! 

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• March 8, 2014 

Photo of Pottery Barn entryMake a statement in an entry with a bold accent wall in Sherwin-Williams “Naval” for Pottery Barn. Photo: potterybarn.comThere you are standing in a paint store surrounded by thousands of paint chips...all colors, shades, textures and palettes. Even if you decide to paint the entire house white, there hundreds of choices of white. What's a home decorator to do?

Selecting paint colors is overwhelming for most homeowners. Books have been written about this subject and it is impossible to condense it all into one article. As a Fort Myers interior decorator, it is my most requested service. The phone call often goes like this: "I have no idea what colors to paint. Can you just come over and chose for me?"

Photo of Benjamin Moore Fan DeckPhoto: Benjamin Moore

This is not a joke. And neither is selecting paint for your walls. It is the most important part of your decorating.  It makes the most dramatic change in your space and most important: if you can only implement one change in your design plan, select color. It is the most value for your money.

The wall is not your enemy! Done well, paint color choices will change the space. And it will make you love it when you walk into the room. And loving your home is the goal.

We know a lot about what color means. For example: Blue gives us a sense of peace. Green can be a healing color. Yellow and orange are happy colors. Red is energizing (Trouble sleeping? Don't use it in a bedroom!). And the list goes on and on.

And  you have to consider lighting throughout the day, undertones and lots of other factors. And you cannot possibly pick a paint color from a one inch swatch. And you absolutely have to test the paint before committing to an entire wall.

To give you a few tricks of the design trade that may help in your paint color selection, consider these tips. And don't forget, if you just cannot make a decision, call a professional who is trained in color planning.  We thrive on these challenges and do this every day.

• Rule number 1: It's all about you! Coco Chanel said that "The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good on you." Why would you paint a room that does not flatter you?

Photo of Pottery Barn bathroomFor a bath select colors that are tranquil and reminiscent of the sea. This Pottery Barn-inspired bath with Sherwin-Williams “Krypton” with a calm, clean white. Photo:

• It's fun to break decorating rules but this is one I never stray from: When selecting new colors, follow nature as your guide. Mother Nature has perfected the color palette so imitate her. This is a rule I always follow.

•  Stick with two or three (at the most) paint colors for your home. The result: Beautiful and restful. You can add more color with accessories. Don't try to put all of your color on the walls.

Photo of a color consultation• Connect your rooms. Don't make each room a completely different color. You want to have a plan so the house makes sense. An idea my clients seem to like: paint all of the main rooms (living room, entry, kitchen) a neutral shade. Use color in the bathrooms, bedrooms and den. I also like to paint the master bedroom and bath in coordinated shades to give it a hotel/master suite feeling.

• One trend to consider: No more white ceilings! Check out the decorating magazines.  We are now using color on the ceilings or a cream shade. No more super white.

• Neutrals: You can't go wrong with these. Pure and simple. If your natural light is great, neutrals in the main rooms are so easy to live with and make it easy to add color in accessories, wall treatments and more.

• Finishes: often a trouble spot for homeowners. The rule: Pick paints with a bit of shine, such as satin and eggshell, in high-traffic areas, kitchens and bathrooms. Use semi gloss and glossy paints and enamels to emphasize moldings, wainscots and banisters. Flat finishes are best for ceilings and imperfect surfaces because they hide flaws. Glossy sheens emphasize problem areas.

Photo of Pottery Barn bedroomPottery Barn’s twilight blue Matine tolie bedding is a perfect accent color for Sherwin-Williams “Functional Gray” walls. Photo:

• You get what you pay for. It's true.  I give my clients the same advice as when they are purchasing a sofa: buy the best paint you can afford. It does matter. It looks prettier, has more pigment and will last longer. Premium paint also spreads easier, needs fewer coats and will hold up against repeated cleaning.

• A word about gray. This is definitely the new beige. And it is gorgeous with some version of it working in almost every home from a beach cottage to an estate home. It also works with almost any color palette or pop of color. It can be classic, sexy, shimmery, sexy, calming.

• Make an entrance. Don't forget the front door. And you can be very brave here. Go with something strong and bold that makes a statement. It is the easiest color change of all.

Need help visualizing color for your rooms?

Pottery Barn and West Elm have partnered with Sherwin Williams to create seasonal palettes to coordinate with their furnishings. Details:

In addition, Ballard Designs has teamed up with Benjamin Moore to offer advice on paint colors to compliment their designs at


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 email For more decorating tips and photos, visit