Bathroom redux: from drab to fab

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •March 4, 2017

There was a time when the bathroom was the most unmentioned room in the home. No longer. Today, bathrooms, as much as any room in house, reflect the style of the owners.  

It’s the most personal space in your home. It’s typically the smallest room and yet you begin and end your day in your bathroom. Next to the kitchen, it’s the most important room in the home.

And honestly, it is the most fun room to redo.  Whether it’s a large (or not-so-large) en-suite master bathroom, guest bath, Jack and Jill bath shared by two bedrooms, pool bath or a powder room tucked off your entry, with a little creativity, it can reflect your lifestyle. Or what you would like your lifestyle to be.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, the most point I try to impress upon my clients that it’s all about them. Not about trends or opinions from well-meaning relatives and friends. We are available to offer professional guidance and to keep you from making mistakes but the style is yours.

Total redo of this master bathroom with the goal of creating an Asian/Zen retreat for the owners. Quartz countertops, custom veneer vanity in tiger wood, mirror is lit from behind, wall covering, leather handles on cabinets. Flat tile with linen finish on floors. Photos by R.L. Caron. Courtesy of Diane Torrisi Designs.

Diane Torrisi of Diane Torrise Designs (www.dianetorrisidesigns.com) in Naples is someone that I consider to be a bit of a bathroom design diva. She creates the most blissful bathrooms and powder rooms for her clients. The bathroom shown here is an example. She designed this urban, Asian, Zen-style bath and despite the beautiful look, it also incorporates elements that will enable the owners to progress with their lifestyle…taller toilets, balance bars, hardware that’s easy to use, hand-held showers for cleaning. 

Total redo of this master bathroom with the goal of creating an Asian/Zen retreat for the owners. Quartz countertops, custom veneer vanity in tiger wood, mirror is lit from behind, wall covering, leather handles on cabinets. Flat tile with linen finish on floors. All photos by R.L. Caron. Courtesy of Diane Torrisi Designs.

Torrisi is also a CAP (certified aging-in-place) designer and says that she likes to incorporate these certain elements into all of her designs.

“After all, we are not getting younger, and who can’t use a balance bar in the shower? It’s all about how you incorporate these components into the design. It can be done beautifully.” 

Come up with a plan

If you have a bath that you have been thinking about redoing, you first need to come up with a plan and answer a few questions.

How long do you plan to stay in your home?
Are you planning to sell soon?
Will you be in your home for 10 years or more?

These are important questions and will help you decide the following:

What is your budget?
Does your bathroom need a little refreshing? Maybe just new hardware? Or a complete makeover/renovation?

Think about these questions and consider the following tips for your own personal situation.

Quick refresh

This is a quick mini redo and can be done on a weekend. It will make the room pretty and you will be much happier with this space.

Plan to spend: $500-$800. You can do all of this yourself.

In addition to the rain shower, a hand-held shower is great for cleaning and for showering pets and kids. Flat pebble flooring and linen finished tile on walls. All photos by R.L. Caron. Courtesy of Diane Torrisi Designs.

In addition to the rain shower, a hand-held shower is great for cleaning and for showering pets and kids. Flat pebble flooring and linen finished tile on walls. All photos by R.L. Caron. Courtesy of Diane Torrisi Designs.

What to do: Paint the room. This is a game changer. It will totally transform the room. I like to work in a beautiful blue and lots of white. For something different, paint the walls a bright white, paint the ceiling a blue and accessorize with sea glass colors.

Recommendation: Benjamin Moore’s Aura® Bath & Spa paint. It’s mildew-resistant and is Low VOC/ low odor so you can return to using your room quickly.  Welcome to your new bathroom. 

But there’s more: If you have a large (outdated) mirror across the vanity, remove it and hang a mirror (or mirrors, depending upon the size). If it’s not possible to remove the mirror, frame it. My favorite go-to source to make a large mirror look better is www.mirrormate.com. Simply measure, order a custom frame and install it over the mirror. Easy.

Finishing touches: New bathmats, new shower curtain, new piece of artwork, update accessories on countertops (but not too many), repair caulking.  Purchase a good set of hotel-style bath towels. Add candles or aromatherapy and you are all set to enjoy.

Spa-like transformation

This bathroom may be older, somewhat neglected and has not been a priority. Until now. Maybe you moved into the home and you still have builder’s grade finishes and fixtures. Or perhaps you are planning to sell your home in a couple of years. You don’t want to go overboard but it’s time to spiff it up for eventual resale and for your enjoyment until that time comes. Remember: When it comes to resale, a bathroom gives a potential seller a hint about the condition of the rest of the home.

Plan to spend: $15,000 to $20,000. Seek the help of a decorator or designer to help with a plan and to source materials.

What to do: Depending upon budget, replace flooring, vanity, countertops, mirror, hardware, faucets, showerheads, hand shower (kids and pets, not to mention cleaning) light fixtures, tile around tub and shower.  Paint walls and trim. Replace toilet with ultra-low flow. Note:  in this case, leave all plumbing in place to avoid additional expense. You are replacing what currently exists with all new and upgraded. 

Recommendations: Again, depending upon budget. White floor tile. Simple white, shaker cabinets. Floor to ceiling glass-enclosed shower (makes the room look larger). White quartz countertops. Shimmering tiles as accent around tub and shower. New sinks. 

Finishing touches: Incorporate a piece of furniture such as a chair, vintage cabinet for storage or basket of shells on the floor.  Add a rug to this bath. Not bathmats. A real rug. It changes the look of the room and gives it a professionally decorated space. Which it is!

Total redo

This is the big one. You are ready to work with a designer to plan your dream bathroom. You are going to take everything out and move the plumbing as needed to accommodate your totally new look.

Plan to spend: $40,000-$50,000.  Or more. There is no limit to what is available on the market and your designer can help you select every element for the style that you select. 

Recommendations: All elements mentioned above. Make space changes to achieve your new look.  Perhaps include a luxurious wall covering. Mirrored medicine cabinets. Custom vanities. Incorporate storage options into the design plan. Makeup vanity. Upgraded lighting/sconces. Artwork.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. She has helped homeowners throughout Southwest Florida with timeless, affordable ways to create beautiful spaces and to solve decorating problems. Her article appears the first Saturday of each month. For more information visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

Oops!! Family-friendly fabric for real life

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •February 4, 2017

Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. It’s going to get messy. That’s just the way it works in a home. 

Selection of Crypton performance fabric takes the stress (and guilt in this dog’s case) out of your fabric selection. Photo: courtesy of Thibaut Design.

Drips. Drops. Splatters. Spills. This is what you don’t see in the lovely model-home styled photos in design magazines. 

That beautiful white sofa that you hesitated to purchase, is going to catch a wine spill or muddy paw prints. Or chocolate ice cream. Or a grape popsicle. You are careful and think it will never happen. But eventually it will. Because we “live” in our homes and we want pretty things. 

Eventually, if you live in your home, a spill or a muddy paw print is going to happen to your sofa or chair. Photo: courtesy of Thibaut Design.

And we don’t want to sacrifice style and softness. And we don’t have to any longer. 

There was a time when kids and pets weren’t allowed in the living room. Except for special (controlled) times such as holidays. The “good” furniture just sat there to be admired from afar as though it had museum like stanchions around it.  

Today, homeowners use every square inch of space. We “live” in our homes. And as a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I can assure you that you can have beautiful fabric furnishings in your home without cringing each time you serve red wine.  

The market has exploded with choices in Crypton performance fabrics. They are stain resistant. Family friendly. Fade resistant. Wear resistant. The best news of all: they are indistinguishable from other fabrics. I specify them for my clients and their upholstery jobs in linen, cotton, suede, chenille, velvet and much more. And to be honest, I can’t think of a job where I would not encourage a client to consider Crypton first.

As durable as they are beautiful, Crypton home fabrics are readily available from Duralee, Kravet, Fabricut and many other sources. Furniture manufacturers are including them in their fabric selections and retail stores such as Pottery Barn offer their own line. Check out a few selections here

If you are considering reupholstering a sofa or making new furniture purchases, take a look at Crypton.  You will love what you see and how it feels. And it’s safe to buy that white sofa that you have always wanted. 

 

Devon bench covered in Kali woven fabric from Thibaut’s mosaic collection. Crypton Fabric is stain and odor resistant. Photo: courtesy of Thibaut Design.

 

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. She has helped homeowners throughout Southwest Florida with timeless, affordable ways to create beautiful spaces and to solve decorating problems. Her article appears the first Saturday of each month. For more information visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

 

 

 

Your home in 2017: Is it time to call a design professional?

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •January 7, 2017

It’s a new year and if you are like most of us, you’re getting your home back in shape after the holiday decorations come down and the guests leave.  Maybe you’ve done a little reorganizing. Some decluttering. Deep cleaning. And now you are thinking about some refreshing your décor for the winter season.

Or perhaps you have a project or two that you have been putting off for a while. Maybe you want to update a bathroom. Create a beautiful bedroom.  Redo a kitchen for entertaining.  Replace old carpet with wood or tile.  Change paint colors or go all neutrals with pops of color. Create conversation areas in large open living areas. Blend old furnishings with new to fit your lifestyle. Update your lighting.  Add new accessories.

Bring drama into your décor with Cole & Son’s Mariinsky damask historical wallcovering design that celebrates the look of theatre, opera and ballet. Shown: Petrouchka.  Available at Kravet to-the-trade showroom, Naples. Photo: courtesy of Kravet.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I receive lots of calls from homeowners who want to make a change and aren’t sure where to start. Many have never worked with an interior decorator or designer and may be a little nervous. And some have tried it on their own and have found that the reality home shows are anything but reality and have mislead them regarding costs and the effort required. Let’s face it: it’s just not that easy. No matter what the show hosts tell you!

Diane Torrisi of Diane Torrisi Designs, a residential designer in Naples, also presents seminars throughout Southwest Florida that educate homeowners on how to work with a professional.

A trained professional will help you create a plan and collaborate with you on how you want your home to look. Shown: Cole & Son’s Mariinsky damask Fonteyn, named after the Royal Ballet’s prima ballerina. The two-toned design gives a soft, matt appearance. Available at Kravet to-the-trade showroom, Naples. Photo: courtesy of Kravet.

“Ideally the perfect time to call a designer would be the moment you decide to build, remodel or buy.  I would suggest that you listen to your inner voice, that gut feeling, the time when you feel overwhelmed with choices, showrooms to visit and decisions to make.  Check websites, talk to your friends, contact a few designers and see if you click. Your designer will be part of your world for a substantial amount of time and you will hopefully forge a rewarding relationship.” 

Irene Farano of Irene J. Farano, LLC, a residential interior designer based in Cape Coral, says that it’s important to call an interior designer in the beginning stages of a project. 

“It’s necessary to get to know each other and build a strong, trusting, honest and enjoyable designer/client relationship.  This is the first step to creating the dream home or room clients fantasize having and it enables the designer to simplify the process for the client.”

If 2017 is the year that you call in a little professional help to assist you in taking take on a new project or to come up with a plan that you can implement on your own, consider a few tips before you begin.

What can a professional decorator or designer do for you?

Think about it this way: you hire a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, etc to help with your home.  An interior design professional will help you pull it all together and will do the following:

• Look at the big picture and assist you in developing a plan before you make purchases.

• Take the stress out of the process. 

Designers offer resources that are “to the trade” and enhance your personal style, taking it to a whole new level. Shown: Festival Collection from Lee Jofa’s Mulbery Home. Available at Kravet to-the-trade showroom, Naples. Photo: courtesy of Kravet.

• Bring you the best choices and options without allowing you to become overwhelmed.

• Avoid costly mistakes and save $$$$.

• Provide a professional evaluation of what you should keep and what to repurpose.

• Develop a plan according to your budget and timeframe.

• Collaborate WITH you on how you want your home to look.

• Offer resources that are “to the trade” and often save $$$.

• Enhance your personal style and take it to a whole new level.

• Help increase the value of your home.

 Follow these important tips:

• Research. Check out websites, credentials, certifications, training, years in business. 

• Visit Google and Pinterest. Read comments from clients. 

• Do your homework.  Decide what you like. How you want your home to feel. 

• Interior decorating is not free or cheap.  So establish a budget. Before you begin working with a decorator, have an idea of what you want/have to spend. You will get a much better result. 

• Schedule a consultation. You will have a chance to see if your decorator is a good fit. This is important because they will be working in your personal space

• Discuss fees. Be perfectly clear on options. This can be a flat fee. A project fee. An hourly fee. Does the decorator charge a commission on purchases? Do they offer trade discounts?

• Go with your instincts. They are usually right!

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. She has helped homeowners throughout Southwest Florida with timeless, affordable ways to create beautiful spaces and to solve decorating problems. Her column appears the first Saturday of each month. For more information visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

Tips for stress-free holiday decorating

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •December 3, 2016

If you haven’t given your holiday decorating a thought, you aren’t alone!

Simple and elegant: garland with crystal ornaments draped over Frontgate’s Rosamund wall mirror. Photo: Frontgate.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I face the same dilemma as my clients. How much do I want to do this year and what is the best way to get it all done with the least amount of stress? And yes, it has to look fabulous! Especially that. And cheerful.

There’s no need to go over the top. Simple really is better when it comes to the holidays. I‘ve had years to practice that philosophy in my own home and in those of my clients. There are advantages to a more simple (but beautiful) decorating scheme. It’s prettier. There is less clutter. You can appreciate the quality of your decor rather than creating visual overload with too much. An added benefit: there is less to put away when the season is over. Love that.

Use your traditional favorites. But don’t be afraid to try something new.  Some of my favorite (simple and stress-free) decorating tips:

 

Have a plan.

Don’t head out the door without it. Come up with a color scheme and a specific (short) list. Stick to it.

Make an entrance! 

Add some bling with a celestial starburst tree topper. Beautiful on a tree, shelf, wall or mantel. Metal, hand painted with glitter and bead accents. Photo: Frontgate.

Start at the front door and take your door from drab to fab with a fresh pop of color!  Think greens, reds, turquoise (if you are bold). Remember, it is only paint, so don’t be afraid!  And don’t stop there! Take last year’s wreath and give it a makeover to complement the door.  Beautiful shells, branches, feathers, colorful ribbons or burlap will help you create a new wreath in no time. A huge impact with minimum expense and effort.

Use what you have! 

Don’t put everything away and transform your home into a winter wonderland.  Use what you have in your home as your stage.  If you have a piece of artwork that you love over a mantle or table, start there and add holiday decorations that compliment it. And don’t forget: what comes from nature works best!

Speed decorating.

No time. No problem! Wreath on the door. Poinsettias at the entry. White, candles in every window. Small tree with lots of white lights, add candy canes and wrap it in ribbon in your favorite color. Spread a few candles around the house. Wreath on the bathroom mirror. Fill a large glass with colorful glass balls. Done. Minimal and just enough. No stress.

Wallpaper the gifts.

Not literally but wallpaper in a color or theme is great for giftwrap. Presents look beautiful around the tree and the paper is easier and sturdier to work with when wrapping.

Edit your collections! 

Pick a color palette and stick with it for you holiday decorating. At Frontgate, select a theme and order ornaments, tree, greenery and wreath. Easy! Photo: Frontgate.

Don’t try to use everything that you have. Declutter your ornaments, snowmen and Santa’s.  Use sparingly and use what you love most.  Don’t hesitate to donate what you no longer use.  There is a fine line between classic holiday decorating and too much.

Table it for now! 

If your dining room table just sits there taking up space except for a couple of times a year, use it for a holiday tablescape.  Start with a pretty holiday runner and use candles of different heights and widths as your start. Fill it in with greenery, poinsettias, a few ornaments, small holiday trees or sea glass sprinkled throughout and you have a holiday tablescape. 

Small space?

No problem. If your space is small, don’t overdo it.  A small tabletop tree, a wreath and a few wrapped gifts will make any space festive! And when the holiday is over, you will not have as much to put away.

Seeing too much red? 

Feng Shui teaches us that there can be too much red or “fire” energy in our homes this time of year. It promotes burnout and who needs that over the holidays?  To prevent an imbalance, think about using more green than red.  Plants, and evergreens decorated with “cool” colors such as light blue, silver, white will tone down and balance out the red.

Trade secret: 

Designers like to use white lights and pick two colors for holiday decorating. Cool, calm and beautiful! It works. 

Reign in the Snowmen.

Don’t let your Santa (or snowman) collection scatter all over the house. Group your collections together on a beautiful tray make a much nicer presentation than having them in every room. Or arrange them on a bookcase for a “you must have hired a decorator look.”

Feather your nest! 

Change your tree by using your collectible ornaments but add colorful or white feathers for an updated, new look. They are available at any crafts store.

Add some bling! 

Jewel tones this season are the rage.  Crystals, metallics, and beaded ornaments will give your tree a little sparkle and will go with your existing ornaments or go for the glam use them for the entire tree. My favorite: hang ornaments from the chandeliers.

Voila! Your house is done. So light some candles. Hang the stockings. Watch “It’s A Wonderful Life.” And enjoy a beautiful holiday season. Stress-free.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. She has helped homeowners throughout Southwest Florida with timeless, affordable ways to create beautiful spaces and to solve decorating problems. Her column appears the first Saturday of each month. For more information visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog