It's complicated: selecting the right white

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • August 4, 2018

White. It’s everywhere.

All of the design magazines style the most beautiful white rooms and make them all look perfectly gorgeous.

Crisp white walls, dark hardwood flooring. Perfect lighting in the room. Subtle pops of color. Bold artwork on the walls that make it look like a museum gallery. Stunning.

  Light floods this room and Benjamin Moore’s Simply White OC-117 (aura interior paint-matte)   is the perfect white with warm textures. Floor is Ice Mist OC-67 (advance interior paint-satin).   Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

 Light floods this room and Benjamin Moore’s Simply White OC-117 (aura interior paint-matte)   is the perfect white with warm textures. Floor is Ice Mist OC-67 (advance interior paint-satin).   Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

And then we have photos of white kitchens with pure white cabinets and island that coordinate with white marble or quartz countertops. Light beaming through the room. These are the rooms that homeowners dream about.

And then reality enters the room when we try to make white walls work.

It’s a little bit of a trick. As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I can tell you from doing hundreds of color consultations, white is the most complicated color (yes, white is a color) to make work and there are some good reasons for this. Done well, it's spectacular. Done poorly, it leaves a lot to be desired. My favorite way to work with white is to start with white as a backdrop and build the room from there with lots of texture, accents and accessories.

The good news:

·            White is popular right now with the trending coastal style that so many homeowners are incorporating into homes. It can be very dramatic by itself or with accent walls or just the right furnishings.

·            White serves as a backdrop (think museum walls) instead of a color that takes over the entire room. It’s a clean palette that offers plenty of room to incorporate a color palette.

·            White makes a kitchen clean and classic. Especially with quartz or marble counters.

·             It’s a great backdrop for an industrial look: stainless appliances and pendants.

 Wood and rattan warms up a white shiplap wall along with Grandin Road’s “colored birds on a wire” wall art and colorful “watercolor” rug. Photo courtesy of Grandin Road.

Wood and rattan warms up a white shiplap wall along with Grandin Road’s “colored birds on a wire” wall art and colorful “watercolor” rug. Photo courtesy of Grandin Road.

Don’t make these mistakes:

·            White is an all or nothing color. It requires commitment! If you paint just one room in your home white it will look like you put primer on the walls and forgot to paint the real color.

·            White highlights everything that you don’t like in a room. Shabby furniture, worn carpets. Flaws on the walls. They are all magnified. Think about it before you try it.

 Be bold! Make a statement in a white room with Benjamin Moore Paper White OC-55 (aura bath & spa) in matte and accented in Ravishing Red 2008-10. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Be bold! Make a statement in a white room with Benjamin Moore Paper White OC-55 (aura bath & spa) in matte and accented in Ravishing Red 2008-10. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

·            All whites are not created equal. Beware of undertones. Yes, those pesky shades of green, pink, blue, gray...depending upon the color and the lighting. Get around making a mistake by painting a portion of a wall as a test and check it out as the light changes during the day. This will help avoid a stark or dingy tone.

There are 200 whites at Benjamin Moore. Five of the top ten selling paints in their collection are whites. In 2016 Benjamin Moore named Simply White OC-117, the Color of the Year. It’s an important part of design.

Tips for a white room:

·            If the lighting is not great in your home, don’t try white. Most of the magazine photos are done with rooms that have floor to ceiling windows or huge glass walls.

·            Use textures and accessories. My favorite: white walls, dark flooring, area rugs, white comfy sofas, lots of colorful pillows, green plants, colorful art on walls, white shutters.

·            Try white shiplap on an accent wall to get the same effect without a whole room commitment.

·            Start with a white master bathroom. No color gives a master bath a cleaner, more spa-like feel than white. Combine it with white tile, towels, rugs, accessories and beautiful capiz sconces.

And if you want to go” light” but maybe not quite “white”…try Benjamin Moore’s Silver Satin 856. It’s my go-to neutral color. A touch of silver-grey with a slight shimmer. Perfect with blue sea glass accents.

 

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

 

 

Confused about rugs? Tips for getting it right

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • July 7, 2018

It happens all the time. Rugs are often the last item on the to-do list when decorating a home.

After the painting, furniture, artwork and accessories. That’s when most homeowners think about what goes on the floor. I have been guilty of it myself.  And often, most of the budget is spent by then so the rugs aren’t given the priority they should receive.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I find that rugs are often an afterthought. And there are reasons for that. It’s not really as much fun as picking out everything else. And let’s face it: selecting a rug can be confusing. What size do you need? What color works best? What texture? How much of your furniture goes on the rug? Why didn’t it shed in the store?

 Carpet designer Malene B has created hand-knotted and hand tufted rugs that make a statement with a mixture of texture and color. Made in Nepal by skilled artisans, each is crafted by hand and no two are alike. The muted colors pair well with bright fabric choices. From Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Carpet designer Malene B has created hand-knotted and hand tufted rugs that make a statement with a mixture of texture and color. Made in Nepal by skilled artisans, each is crafted by hand and no two are alike. The muted colors pair well with bright fabric choices. From Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Also, ignoring it until the end of your to-do list is not a good option. Check out a few of my tips that will take away some of the stress. And make it more fun.

We all have a budget, but if possible…

·       Buy the best rug you can afford.

·       Spend at least as much as you spent on your sofa.

·       Have a budget in mind before you shop.

Biggest mistakes everyone makes

·       Selecting the wrong size. This is #1.

·       Picking the wrong color.

·       Getting the texture wrong. A long, thick pile that you trip over.

·       If you are hesitant, call a designer for sources and experience that will help.

 From Malene B for Kravet to the trade, her hand-knotted rugs offered feature two signature patterns, Sugar Rain and Mudslide, each available in four colorways. Both patterns are an organic and atmospheric take on natural elements found either in land or water. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

From Malene B for Kravet to the trade, her hand-knotted rugs offered feature two signature patterns, Sugar Rain and Mudslide, each available in four colorways. Both patterns are an organic and atmospheric take on natural elements found either in land or water. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Silk, wool or synthetic?

Understand these three choices and you will be able to make the best choice for your lifestyle and budget.

Wool: the most resilient, flame retardant and stain resistant.

Silk: beautiful but they run into the thousands.

Synthetics: Good price point but can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. 

Sisal, jute and grass: these have a nice look and cost less but they simply don’t last. They are hard to clean and the first red wine spill will send you rug shopping (again).

Indoor/Outdoor and made from recycled soda bottles

This is a favorite if you are on a budget: The Gianna rug from Pottery Barn is woven on a hand loom and recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it’s yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. And it works indoors or outdoors.

 Ancient art and innovative eco-friendly design merge in the Gianna rug from Pottery Barn. Woven on a hand loom, it recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it is yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. Use indoors or outdoors. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Ancient art and innovative eco-friendly design merge in the Gianna rug from Pottery Barn. Woven on a hand loom, it recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it is yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. Use indoors or outdoors. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Don’t do this

Buy a rug from a going out of business sale.

Put a rug on top of another rug. Ever.

Buy a rug that is too small for the space.  Many homeowners purchase a small rug to go under a coffee table leaving the rest of the floor bare.  You will find that this is not a good look.

Do this

Research online, Pinterest, magazines.

Purchase from a name brand retailer.

Determine which weave works for your space: tufted, hand knotted, flat weave, braided, hooked.

Consider the pile (thickness) that is best for your room. For example, a thicker pile might be great for your bedroom where you will have bare feet but not so much for a living room where you may trip.

How to size a rug for the space

Living room: Most living rooms require a square or rectangular rug. Select a size that will allow the legs of all the furniture to be placed on the carpet OR measure it so that the front legs fit. I like to use painter’s tape to outline the dimensions of the rug to visualize what will work. Wool works best in this room.

Bedroom: Again, wool is durable, comfortable and easy to clean. For sizing, try to get all legs of the furniture on the rug. OR at least from the foot of the bed up to the legs of the bedside tables.

Bathroom: This is my favorite place to put a real rug (instead of a typical bathroom rug). A wool rug in a vibrant color gives the space a completely different look. Elegant. Try it.

 Artisan-made, Malika Persian-style rug from Pottery Barn is hand-tufted of pure wool. The beautiful colors make it a good choice for a bathroom in a 3 x 5 size. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Artisan-made, Malika Persian-style rug from Pottery Barn is hand-tufted of pure wool. The beautiful colors make it a good choice for a bathroom in a 3 x 5 size. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Hallway: Typically, you want six inches of flooring to show on all sides. For high traffic areas, like a hallway or entryway, an easy-to-clean woven option works. Also consider an outdoor rug.

Dining room: Honestly, I am not a huge fan of rugs in the dining room. They are crumb catchers and are just waiting for an accident. Having said that, many of my clients like them because they warm up the room and help with sound. If you want to take a chance, a natural fiber rug is best here because it’s easy to shake out.  And if you use a jute/polyester/sisal blend, there is a better chance of removing stains. When it comes to size, make sure the rug is large enough to completely fit under the table AND chairs with enough covered area to pull out chairs without catching.  The rug should be proportional to your table. In other words, do not scrimp on the size.

And now the fun part: color

If the furniture in your room is upholstered in a vivid pattern, choose a muted or solid rug to coordinate with the room. For a classic and timeless look, match a color in a patterned rug to your sofa and match a second color to your sofa throw pillows. Simple but it works.

 From Malene B for Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

From Malene B for Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

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

 

Eliminate color confusion! Tips for getting it right

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • June 2, 2018

 So many choices! A few tips will keep you from making mistakes and will help select just the right color to create a beautiful interior. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

So many choices! A few tips will keep you from making mistakes and will help select just the right color to create a beautiful interior. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

It makes us feel happy. It changes everything including how we feel about our space. Get it right and you will love your home. Mess it up and you will always wonder why it’s not feeling quite right. 

Color.

It’s far from easy. It’s complicated. It’s not necessarily about your favorite color. It’s why home interior professionals study it for years and most are like me and don’t leave the house without a fan deck in their hand. We are passionate about color.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, my most requested service is selecting color and creating personalized color palettes for the home. It’s the most difficult part of decorating for most people and there are good reasons. The number one reason being the approach. It’s usually all wrong and results in mistakes and frustration.

Most people rush out to a big box store, grab a hundred color swatches (all in their favorite colors), take them home, hold the one-inch color swatch up to their existing paint color, make a decision, call the painter and it all begins. And then wonder why it doesn’t look just right.

 Neutrals and beiges are popular in Southwest Florida and can be paired with accent colors in accessories. Wall: Pashima (AF-100). Trim: Winds Breath (OC-24). Bookcase back wall: Silhouette (AF-655).Ceiling: White Heron (OC-57). Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Neutrals and beiges are popular in Southwest Florida and can be paired with accent colors in accessories. Wall: Pashima (AF-100). Trim: Winds Breath (OC-24). Bookcase back wall: Silhouette (AF-655).Ceiling: White Heron (OC-57). Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Here’s the good news

As we head into summer in Southwest Florida, things have quieted down a bit. All of the company is gone and it’s a great time to think about giving your home a little refresh. If you’re on a decorating budget (who isn’t?) and can only do one thing to you home, this is it. Color.

Books about color fill the shelves. I just have space in this article for some key tips to set you off on the right path.

Selecting the right color

Updates your home without spending a fortune.

Pulls the space together.

Makes your home look clean and fresh.

Creates a look for your home.

 Serene colors in this bath are done with Benjamin Moore’s Aura Bath & Spa paint that withstands warm, humid environments. Walls: Palladian Blue (HC-144). Trim: Distant Gray (22124-70). Tub: Breath of Fresh Air (806).   Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Serene colors in this bath are done with Benjamin Moore’s Aura Bath & Spa paint that withstands warm, humid environments. Walls: Palladian Blue (HC-144). Trim: Distant Gray (22124-70). Tub: Breath of Fresh Air (806).   Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Don’t do this!

Go with the latest trends.

Pick your favorite color.

Select color like you pick out your clothes (grab what you like at the moment).

Pick color from a tiny swatch.

Paint without testing the color on the wall.

Pick a paint color before you have anything else in the room (there are exceptions to this).

Rush to make a decision.

Think only about the room that you are painting.

Select paint without coming up with a complete color palette for the room.

Do this!

Buy the best quality paint you can afford. It makes a difference. Trust me on this.

Go with the lowest VOC or no VOC.

Color challenged? Magazines, Pinterest and vision boards all help.

Process: Select swatches. Order large swatches. Test your final selections on the actual wall. Leave the test colors up for a few days and see how they change with lighting.

 Selecting paint color is challenging for most homeowners. It’s important to test your final selections on the actual wall. Leave the test colors up for a few days and see how they change with lighting. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Selecting paint color is challenging for most homeowners. It’s important to test your final selections on the actual wall. Leave the test colors up for a few days and see how they change with lighting. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Consider the ceiling. I often tint the paint for the ceiling so that it’s not such a stark white. Just a little tint links the ceiling to the walls. And if you have coffered ceilings, take advantage of this element with color.

Sometimes less is more. A beautiful white on the walls with trim in a carefully selected neutral color is classic and timeless. Hint: Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White” was the 2016 color of the year. It’s a warm white that pairs well with neutrals.

Select furniture, fabric, flooring first. Then paint color. Then accessories.

ALL color has undertones. This is where the mistakes are made. If your sofa (or flooring or counter tops) has green/beige undertones and you pick a pinky beige paint color for walls, you will not be happy.

Think about the rest of your home. Color needs to coordinate throughout. A good rule that I follow: No more than three paint colors in the home.

Create a color palette and work from there. Consider your window treatments, upholstery, pillows, artwork and accessories. Color is not just the paint that you put on the walls. Think about the big picture.

What works: I like to select more neutrals for the main areas and incorporate ceiling and trim colors. Bathrooms and bedrooms lend themselves to accent colors.

Here’s a little trade secret

When redoing the color in a room, follow the 60-30-10 color rule. Many decorators use this rule and it works every time. The 60 percent should be your wall color. Furniture and fabric should be 30 percent. The remaining 10 percent should be your accessories, pillows and rugs. When you see a room or photograph in a magazine and it seems to work, chances are that this rule applies.

Where to use your favorite color?

Your sofa! I see far too many heavy brown leather sofas in Southwest Florida! Pick out your favorite color in the most gorgeous fabric you can find. Yellow. Jewel tones. A color that is not on your wall or floor.

Don’t be afraid of color

It changes everything. Including how you feel. And you want to feel happy in your home. If it’s a struggle, call a professional. The goal is to keep you from making mistakes and to help you bring out the best in your home!

 

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

 

 

Selling your home? Tips for closing the deal fast!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • May 5, 2018

For the past few months, I’ve been in and out of a lot of homes. More than usual.

A longtime client is looking for a new home and has asked me to go with her to make sure we can make the design and decorating changes that she will need. While her list of “wants” is not unreasonable, short of building new, it’s unlikely that she’s going to find everything in an existing house. So we plan to find a home with good “bones” and redo it to meet her needs.

The wish list includes: Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, three car garage, hardwood floors, pool and a backyard with room for a flower garden. And she does not want to live in a golf community. It’s a challenge.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I work with many clients to prepare their homes to sell. Even in this economy where it is a seller’s market, most homeowners want to sell fast and that means doing a little work to make the home attractive to buyers. And to get top dollar.

 Say “welcome to your new home” from the moment a buyer enters the front door. Freshen things up. Free up some space and lighten up each room so they will envision their life in your home.  Colors: Benjamin Moore. Door: Green Meadows. Siding: Maritime White. Trim: Snowfall White. All in Aura Grand Entrance Satin. Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore.

Say “welcome to your new home” from the moment a buyer enters the front door. Freshen things up. Free up some space and lighten up each room so they will envision their life in your home.  Colors: Benjamin Moore. Door: Green Meadows. Siding: Maritime White. Trim: Snowfall White. All in Aura Grand Entrance Satin. Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore.

When selling, you want to do one important thing: Say “welcome to your new home.” Make the buyer picture their life in your space.

Most wanted in a home

Zillow did a recent survey that reveals what buyers are looking for in a new home. Check these out:

Professional appliances

White kitchen

Outdoor kitchen

Free standing tub

Wine cooler

Coffered ceiling

Meditation room

Carrera marble countertops

Farmhouse sink

Steam shower

While it’s unlikely that any of us will ever have all of these in our homes, it’s a fun wish list. Meanwhile, you can show off your home’s best features, sell it fast and move on to your next “home sweet home.”

Many of the homes I have seen have been on the market for a while and it is easy to see why. With just a little work, a house can be presented to show off its best features. Let me share a few tips with you, based on what I have seen lately. Whether you are selling now or in the future. Or if you just want to make your home look a little better until you do sell it, you may find these tips useful.

 Home buyers love white kitchens, professional appliances and Carrera marble counters. Colors: Benjamin Moore. Walls: Mascarpone in Regal interior eggshell. Cabinets: Simply White in satin.  Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore.

Home buyers love white kitchens, professional appliances and Carrera marble counters. Colors: Benjamin Moore. Walls: Mascarpone in Regal interior eggshell. Cabinets: Simply White in satin.  Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore.

Home resale checklist

·       Clean the house like company is coming (it is). And wash the windows. Inside and out.

·       Put the toilet seats down when having real estate photos done. Yes, seriously. I should not have to say this but it happens all the time.

·       Depersonalize the house. The animal heads hanging on the walls from a safari may have special meaning to you as a homeowner but may offend a possible buyer. My client could not get out of this home fast enough. And I was right behind her. Having said this, put your personal photos and collections away. The buyer wants to visualize their own stuff in your space and this is easier to do without yours taking up space.

·       Think like you live in a model home. Remember how it feels to walk into a model home? You can visualize your furniture, in the space. It's because it's not filled with things. If you have too much furniture or it is too heavy and bulky, you may want to put some in storage or even style the main living areas with pieces that show off the space.

·       Lighten up. Say goodbye to the heavy window treatments. If you want to sell your home, let the buyer see it by bringing in some light. At the least, if your drapes are heavy and dated, just take them down so the buyer can see what they may want to buy. 

·       Switch out the hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms. You know it’s time.

·       Paint baseboards and window sills. Get rid of scuff marks and give the room a fresh look. Something good to do even if you are staying in your home.

·       Faux finishes and wallpaper may be great for your tastes but the thought of redoing these and removing wallpaper send a client running in the other direction.

·       Bathroom refresh.  Make sure the baths are squeaky clean. There is nothing worse than looking at a home with dated bathrooms. And this is the room that you may need to repaint.  If the tub and shower are looking a little dated, hang a bright new shower curtain and invest in new rugs and towels.

·       Red. Not so much. It’s interesting. I do red accent walls for lots of clients who love the color. But a buyer, surveys tell us, does not like red unless it is on the front door.  Good to know.

·       Tuscan is out. Sorry. If this is your style, great. But if you are selling, rethink it. It’s worth the investment to have a designer help you with ways to minimize this outdated look.

Happy selling!

For-Sale-Sign

 

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

Start at the curb for a spring refresh!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • April 14, 2018

 Photo: Frontgate.

Photo: Frontgate.

Even in Southwest Florida where the seasons don’t change that much, spring is a time to refresh our space. And this month the best place to start is the curb and work your way to your front door.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I park my car in a lot of driveways and as I make my way to the home’s entry to meet my client for a consultation, I can’t help but do a quick scan of the exterior.   

 Add a touch of spring with Frontgate’s wildflower garden wreath with periwinkle and lavender. Photo courtesy of Frontgate.

Add a touch of spring with Frontgate’s wildflower garden wreath with periwinkle and lavender. Photo courtesy of Frontgate.

The fact is this: with a few good tips, we can improve the curb appeal of any home in a short time. If you are selling your home, it will attract a buyer and if not, you will feel much better every time you pull into your driveway. Try these tips for a quick (pretty) fix starting at the curb. It will say "welcome home" to you and your guests!

Before you get started, as with any decorating project, clean and declutter. Spring is the perfect time to take care of your landscaping by trimming, weeding and pruning. Pressure wash roof and driveway. Clean out gutters.

Now for the fun, pretty tips:

·       Upgrade your mail box from the one that you have had since you moved into the house. If this is not possible because of homeowner rules, at least clean it out (cobwebs) and plant some colorful flowers around it.

·       Repair pavers or cracks in the driveway or sidewalk.

 ·       Freshen up the house numbers. Invest a few dollars little in a customized decorative plaque with your numbers.

 ·      Style the front entry. I do this for all of my clients. A seasonal wreath on the front door. Container gardens from a nursery, Lowes or Home Depot are my favorites. They are fast and inexpensive. Place them in pairs on either side of your door to add a welcoming touch. Add a few hanging baskets if the lighting is right.

 ·      Add accessories. A piece of artwork that is weather-resistant.  A chair with by plants and flowers in colorful pots arranged at the entry, set the tone for entering your home.

 Say “welcome home” with a spring refresh of your front entry with a freshly painted front door in a beautiful blue. Include a weather-resistant Salem rocking chair from Pottery Barn and an Olivia outdoor star pendant. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Say “welcome home” with a spring refresh of your front entry with a freshly painted front door in a beautiful blue. Include a weather-resistant Salem rocking chair from Pottery Barn and an Olivia outdoor star pendant. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

·       It's a great time to clean/replace outdoor light fixtures and make sure you have enough light. A dark entry is not inviting nor is it safe.

·       Paint the front door as well as the trim on the house and shutters if you have them. If you read this column regularly, I always suggest painting the door and the trim around it each spring. Give some thought to the style of the home and don't be afraid to go bold!

·       Take a look at your door bell or knocker. It's likely time for an update.

·       Plant spring annuals in your front yard. Around trees and to line your sidewalk or driveway.

·       Welcome home and happy spring!

 

 

 

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

 

Open floor plans: How to make them work

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • March 3, 2018

On a recent Saturday morning, I had a call from someone who began the conversation with these words: "I need help. Now."

The desperate, soon-to-be-design client had just taken delivery of her furniture from her home in Michigan. It was piled up in her brand new “open concept home” and she did not know what to do.  Her comment was “I’ve never had a house without walls and I don’t know what to do.” 

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I can tell you that my biggest request, after coming up with a color palette, is help with arranging furniture in an open space where rooms flow one into the other.

 European wide plank hardwood in this open floor plan gives the space a natural organic element and a timeless look. Photo courtesy of Tricia Pallak, the Wood Floor Company, Naples and Bonita Springs.

European wide plank hardwood in this open floor plan gives the space a natural organic element and a timeless look. Photo courtesy of Tricia Pallak, the Wood Floor Company, Naples and Bonita Springs.

The concept is a great one. It can be beautiful if arranged and accessorized well. It can also be a challenge.

The benefits: the open concept will make any space feel larger and it’s great for entertaining.

The challenges: Lack of privacy, less room for art and electrical outlets, the large open space does not hide clutter so you are always cleaning up.

Walk into a model home where the entry, family room, dining room, kitchen all flow into one large space and it looks beautiful. Trying to make it work in your own home with your existing furnishings can stress the savviest homeowner.

But not to worry.  Check a few of these tips and you will have a plan to make the open concept work in your home. And that’s important because it’s here to stay. In other parts of the country builders seems to be reverting back to more walls and rooms. But in Southwest Florida, that likely will not change any time soon. Open and spacious is just our style.

 Establish a comfortable conversation area in an open floor plan with a this square arm, slipcovered corner sectional, a rug and large accent light to anchor the space. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Establish a comfortable conversation area in an open floor plan with a this square arm, slipcovered corner sectional, a rug and large accent light to anchor the space. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Warm up the floors. If possible, consider hardwood flooring.  At least in the public/living areas of the home. You can establish room boundaries with area rugs. It gives the open spaces a timeless look and a backdrop for furnishings and artwork. 

Coffered ceilings and crown molding. They fill up some of the open space, establish living areas and add a design element. If you are unable to do this, install a large fan in the family/living room.

Keep the color palette neutral for the walls. Bring color into the space with accents on the ceilings and accessories.

Floor to ceiling drapes or fabric panels. Open spaces cry out for fabric. In addition to your sofa, chairs, rugs.

Add a few architectural details. Molding and paneling such as shiplap or wainscoting provide some separation for an entry or dining area or breakfast nook.

Lighten up. Avoid heavy, over-sized furniture in open spaces. They take over the room and defeat the goal of a light, flowing space.

Arrange furniture away from the walls. This enables you to create comfortable conversation areas in the space with a classic look.

Consistency pays off. Maintain a consistent look in furnishings, color palette and accessories. The last thing you want is a hodgepodge of styles in a space that you can see from each room.

When it comes to artwork, think BIG.  Wall space is at a premium in an open floor plan. Incorporate large pieces to give it an art gallery look. Perfect for an open concept plan.

 Glam it up and arrange a dining space with plants, rug and a beautiful Adeline crystal chandelier.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Glam it up and arrange a dining space with plants, rug and a beautiful Adeline crystal chandelier.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Glam it up. Establish specific areas of the space with a rug, lighting, or plants. This is especially effective in a dining area of a larger space.

Consider your other rooms.  With an open floor plan, the master bedroom is usually off the main space. Take this room into consideration when establishing a color palette and other décor elements if it can be seen from the main space.

Limit patterns. You want to keep your space calm and flowing. One room into the other. Neutral with accents and bold colors work best.

Fill the space with what you love. That is the most important tip!

 

 

 

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