Forget the resolutions and set realistic goals in 2019

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • January 5, 2019

We are five days into a new year. And if you’re anything like most of us, by now you have likely broken all of your resolutions for 2019.

The house guests have departed. The decorations are packed up (well, most of them). Home sweet home may be looking a little sad without the twinkly lights. And while it's nice to have all the space back, it could be looking a little drab. Maybe time for a refresh and a few tweaks that make you feel good about your home.

When it comes to a fresh, new look for the New Year, it’s all in the details. Carefully planned furnishings, artwork, lighting and accessories that all work together. Shown: Frontage’s Griffith X-back swivel bar stools in linen or leather, beautiful Carmel-by-the-sea giclee print on canvas and gilded blossoms hand-painted ceramic vase collection. Photo: Frontgate

When it comes to a fresh, new look for the New Year, it’s all in the details. Carefully planned furnishings, artwork, lighting and accessories that all work together. Shown: Frontage’s Griffith X-back swivel bar stools in linen or leather, beautiful Carmel-by-the-sea giclee print on canvas and gilded blossoms hand-painted ceramic vase collection. Photo: Frontgate

Before you make sweeping resolutions like redoing your entire home or decluttering every room or losing 30 pounds, let’s have a little reality check.

Maybe the closet that needed decluttering before the holidays is still a mess. Maybe the floor plan in your family room that you have tried to fix is still not working. In a couple of weeks, more house guests will be descending upon your home sweet home (after all, we do live in paradise) and the guest room is looking more like a storage room than one that will welcome guests.

Overwhelming right? The same old issues that resolutions just won’t fix.

I have the answer.

It’s a new year filled with optimism and new ideas. The goal is to have a beautiful, safe and happy home that is calm and peaceful.

I’ve learned to forgo the impossible, guilt inducing resolutions that are broken before my Christmas tree is picked up by the recycling truck. Instead, I come up with a list of achievable goals for the coming year. Reasonable solutions that will solve a few nagging issues. And they are doable.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I help my clients find solutions for both minor and major changes they want to make in their homes each year. We do this by breaking them down into smaller goals and work to find solutions.

Maybe we give the living areas a fresh look with new color. Transform old furnishings a new life with beautiful upholstery. Purchase a new accent piece or rug. Change accessories, artwork, and lighting. Give an outdated bathroom a spa look. Decide if now is the time for a room renovation. Pick just one of these for your home interior goals in 2019 and you will have a major change.

Looking for an organized, new closet (don’t forget the chandelier!) in 2019? Shown: Ballard Design’s Sarah affordable storage system offers the look of custom luxury. Photo: Ballard Designs

Looking for an organized, new closet (don’t forget the chandelier!) in 2019? Shown: Ballard Design’s Sarah affordable storage system offers the look of custom luxury. Photo: Ballard Designs

And like the resolution goal of losing 30 (or whatever) pounds. How about a smaller goal and then we can add more? Break it down into smaller pieces.

Our goals should be stress-free and guilt proof. Isn't that what we want for the New Year? Some you can do when you finish reading this column. Others will require a little thinking and planning. Pick one or two and enjoy making the change. Whatever you select, happy decorating. I wish you a spectacular home in 2019!

· Goal: Love everything in your home. If not, get rid of it. Open the space for something new. Just because you have had it forever doesn't mean it is still working for you. Donate it and let someone else love it. I always say that your home is not a storage garage for someone else’s memories.

· Goal: Declutter. The New Year is the time. Be brave. A lot of our "stuff" has past emotional attachments. Let it go and love the extra space and calm that results. Overwhelmed with the prospect? Start with a drawer or part of a linen closet. Or at least say goodbye to your spices and start fresh for the New Year. This is one of my rituals each year.

· Goal: (Do this one right now). Open the windows and breathe. Seriously, those windows do open! Let the toxins out (as well as the old holiday smells) and enjoy the fresh air. In southwest Florida where we run the air conditioning nonstop, this is important.

· Goal: Make your outdoor space more livable. Whether it is a tiny balcony or a spacious lanai with a pool, make it part of your living space. Furniture, lighting, artwork, a rug to pull it all together. This increases your space and gives you a reason to enjoy the outdoors this time of year.

· Goal: Bring new color into your home. Whether it's a new palette for the walls or a new color scheme for accessories, this is the most impactful change you can make. Visually and emotionally, it changes everything. And for the money, it's the best value.

· Goal: Exercise restraint. Before you blast out the door to start making purchases, stop and make a plan. Think about how you want your home to feel and what you can do to get there. Avoid mistakes.

· Goal: Tidy up the laundry room. Paint it a color that you love but are afraid to use in any otter room. Add a piece of art. Reorganize and declutter. You may enjoy doing the laundry!

· Goal: Always go for timeless over trendy. Will you love it in five years? Buy it. And buy the best you can afford with major items like your sofa.


Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. She helps homeowners throughout Southwest Florida with timeless, affordable ways to create beautiful spaces and solves 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

Pantone color of the year: peachy, fun and bold

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com. Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and offer lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com. Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and offer lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette. Photo: Kravet.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • December 15, 2018

It’s always fun to take a break this time of year, forget the red and green for a few minutes and check out the Pantone Color of the Year (2019).

If you’ve read my column for any amount of time, you know that as a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I recommend that my clients not follow trends. We want beautiful, sensible, timeless interior design that reflects what you love.

But let’s face it. Color trends are just plain fun. And I can never resist this one. Pantone, provides professional color standards and digital solutions for the design industry. This includes beauty products, home interiors and furnishings, fashion and accessories, design, packaging and more. You always see the selected color a lot. Everywhere. Think: fashion runways.

So get ready!

This year’s selection: Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral.

A shade of orange with a golden undertone, Pantone Color of the Year (2019): Living Coral. Photo: Pantone.

A shade of orange with a golden undertone, Pantone Color of the Year (2019): Living Coral. Photo: Pantone.

Pantone describes it as “an animating and life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone. We get energy from nature. Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow, Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

Okay. But it sure seems like a lot of pressure to put on a color.

Pantone goes on to say that “In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.”

Kravet fabrics, trims and more in Pantone's Living Coral. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet fabrics, trims and more in Pantone's Living Coral. Photo: Kravet.

I’m all for optimism and joy so here is my take on Living Coral.

It’s a peachy orange. A happy color. No doubt about that.

It’s warm, bright and very bold. And fun. Not to be taken too seriously. Did I mention bold?

How to use it?

Carefully. Here are a few suggestions:

· A throw for a bed or sofa. It looks great with white.

· Place mats.

· Throw pillows with a touch of Living Coral.

· A rug on a lanai.

· Ceramic pots for plants or a ceramic garden stool.

· In a patterned wallcovering for a powder room (with the right light).

· There is a gorgeous KitchenAid artisan stand mixer in this color that would look fantastic on a kitchen island! www.williams-sonoma.com

· A beach house exterior.

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com

Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and give lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette.

And if you want to try an accent wall or an entire room, Benjamin Moore’s Tangerine Dream 2012-30 comes close to the color. See details at www.BenjaminMoore.com

benjamin-moore-tangerine-dream

How would I use it personally?

My home is done in neutrals, blue-greens and other sea glass tones. I would use pops of coral in accessories that would work for my color palette. I do wish Living Coral had just a splash of pink in it. Instead it is more of a true orange that requires a little thought before jumping in!

If nothing else, try it in a nail polish. It’s happy, optimistic and sure to bring you a little joy!


pantone-lifestyle-chip-drive-color-of-the-year-2019-living-coral-16-1546.jpg

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




Redefining "home for the holidays"

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • December 1, 2018

Photo: Ballard Designs.

Photo: Ballard Designs.

Full disclosure. My article was difficult to write this month.

As I began to work on it a couple of weeks ago, the horrific wildfires in California happened.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator obsessed with making our homes comfortable and beautiful, it was tough to write a holiday design article. The thought of losing your home and everything in it is almost too much to comprehend. What’s in our homes is much more than “stuff.” It is our past and present. Our memories. Our lives.

I struggled with it for a few days and let it rest. I had intended to write about simplifying your holidays and spending the time doing what’s really important.

And now that topic seems more appropriate than ever. To find some comfort in the midst of the holiday (and general) chaos. And it all goes back to our homes.

When I moved to Florida one December many years ago, it didn’t not seem like the holidays. Each year at about this time, I would set out to decorate every square inch of my home in an attempt to fill my house with Christmas spirit. I missed the white candles in every window, fireplaces and beautiful "real" wreaths and trees that were the tradition in Virginia where I grew up.

A few favorite decorations, some greenery and pops of red set the holiday tone as soon as you walk into this entry. Add these festive outdoor celebration banners for indoors or outdoors from Ballard Designs and you are Christmas-ready. Photo: Ballard Designs.

A few favorite decorations, some greenery and pops of red set the holiday tone as soon as you walk into this entry. Add these festive outdoor celebration banners for indoors or outdoors from Ballard Designs and you are Christmas-ready. Photo: Ballard Designs.

But a couple of years ago, it all began to exhaust me. So, instead of trying to transform my home into a Christmas wonderland (in Florida), I simplified. Big time. It all seems very much like the holiday season to me now. Just different. I realized that simple really is better when it comes to the holidays. I have had years to practice that philosophy in my own home and in those of my clients. I have grown to love Florida at Christmas.

There are advantages to a more simple (but beautiful) decorating scheme. It is prettier. There is less clutter. It’s not expensive or time-consuming. 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.

Use what you have! Fill a bowl with greenery, ornaments or collectibles for a smaller entry space. Or use this lush Christmas greenery filler that fits the popular classic dough bowl from Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Use what you have! Fill a bowl with greenery, ornaments or collectibles for a smaller entry space. Or use this lush Christmas greenery filler that fits the popular classic dough bowl from Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Here are a few of my holiday tips for a simple but beautiful Christmas:

Give it a rest. For a year. Try leaving all of the Santa’s, snowmen and old, heavy garland packed away.

Instead, try a large wreath on the front door. I love shells on a twig or vine wreath. Or pretty greenery that keeps it simple. Something that says “Florida.” Trim with a colorful bow.

Give your home a cleaning and a little decluttering before bringing more into your space.

Use real plants. Poinsettias (red, white and pink) on the front porch, in the entry and throughout the house. Any fresh flowers work as well.

Do a fun, pretty holiday vignette in your entry to set the tone. This can be as much or as little as you like and depends upon your space.

Instead of huge trees that take hours to decorate (not to mention taking them down) try a couple of pencil trees that can easily fit into any corner. They are often pre lit so there is no struggling with lights. Decorate with only your favorite ornaments and leave the others packed away.

Use light green garland or strings of beads, ornaments, bells to wrap around your mantle, stairway or table.

Open the windows and sliders. Let fresh air into your home and enjoy the cooler weather.

Light candles or diffusers and put on some of your favorite holiday music.

Most important, do what makes you happy. If you have always wanted a pink Christmas tree. Do it. If you want an upside down tree (a concept I still don’t understand) this is the year. After all, it’s your home, your sanctuary. And this year, more than ever, we should give thanks for our homes.

Happy holidays from my Southwest Florida home to yours!

Photo: Ballard Designs.

Photo: Ballard Designs.


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

Giving thanks for your home

Keep it pretty and simple this Thanksgiving with handcrafted ceramics from Pottery Barn that let you bring nature into your home with botanicals and colorful fruit. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Keep it pretty and simple this Thanksgiving with handcrafted ceramics from Pottery Barn that let you bring nature into your home with botanicals and colorful fruit. Photo: Pottery Barn.


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

Even in our year-round tropical paradise where there is little change in the weather, fall brings a noticeable shift.

Unlike the rest of the country, the slight drop in temperature has most of us heading for the beach, sprucing up our lanais for the season and getting outdoors more. It means football games, antique markets, holiday open houses, the beginning of a series of celebrations and family gatherings. And Thanksgiving.

Sadly, Thanksgiving gets lost in the Halloween/Christmas shuffle. Wedged in between the two, it doesn’t get the recognition that it did when I was growing up in Virginia and it was a major family holiday.

In a time of many challenges, most people are stressed, shuffling too many obligations and trying to do it all, Thanksgiving is a good time to stop and take a breath. And to be thankful for where you live and for your home.

Bombarded by beautiful, professionally-styled homes featured in magazines, Pinterest and HGTV, we live in a constant state of wanting to do more, more, more. And a visit to model homes on a weekend sends most of us into a deep case of home envy. Everyone has a better, more gorgeous home. Or so we think.

Our homes provide comfort, safety, calm and happiness. And yet, we are never really satisfied

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I make homes pretty. Solve problems that bother the homeowner. Pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look. The ultimate goal: happiness when you walk in the door.

The right paint color helps to pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look and makes you happy when you walk in the door. Benjamin Moore: Wall in Mascarpone AF-20; trim in Whipple Blue HC-152. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

The right paint color helps to pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look and makes you happy when you walk in the door. Benjamin Moore: Wall in Mascarpone AF-20; trim in Whipple Blue HC-152. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Sometimes this may only require a new color palette. Color is the big change in any home. And it can be the best investment for your money. But it may also require new furniture or a bath or kitchen redo. The most important thing: start with where you are and work from there. But don’t go crazy.

Take a minute to stop, look around and give thanks for what you have. A fresh perspective. Often it is the simple things.

A few things that you don’t need:

· Oversized coffee tables

· Too many chairs (eat-in kitchen, dining room, bar stools, patio chairs….how many chairs do you really need?) make a home look like a furniture store.

· Bar carts. Cute but unnecessary and take up space.

· Too many throw pillows.

· Media centers that span an entire wall. A lot of fuss for a TV.

· Layered rugs. One is enough.

· Dining room table and chairs that see use once a year (or less).

· To strive for perfection. It will never happen and you will just be exhausted all the time.

Giving thanks with a twist on the traditional napkin ring with these wraps from Frontgate. Photo: Frontgate.

Giving thanks with a twist on the traditional napkin ring with these wraps from Frontgate. Photo: Frontgate.

What you need:

· Keep it simple.

· Declutter something. You will feel better.

· A chandelier in your closet. It will make you happy.

· A calm space. A spa bath, a patio, a yoga nook, a chair with a reading lamp.

· Nature. Plants in the house have health benefits and make us feel good.

· Good lighting. Up the wattage.

· Decorate as though you will live there forever.

· A pretty guest room. Company is coming!

· Aim for timeless and affordable.

· Don’t live in a storage garage for someone else’s memories. Your home is about you.

Wherever you are spending the holiday, be thankful for your home sweet 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 239-949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog





Home renovation survival tips

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • October 6, 2018

My dream was to find the perfect home that needed just a tiny bit of cosmetic work to make it mine. I had done major renovations in the past and did not want to go down that road again.

Keep it simple and easy. That was my mantra. And gorgeous. With everything perfect. After all, I am a Southwest Florida interior decorator and I know how to make anything pretty. Really pretty. And functional. Plus, I have all the tools at my fingertips so this should be a snap.

Wrong.

There is a lot to consider in a kitchen renovation: floors, walls, lighting, cabinets. Great light, white cabinets and beautiful blues are the focus in this coastal-inspired kitchen. Near wall in smoke 2122-40. Far wall in Caribbean Mist 2061-70. Cabinets in Ice Mist OC-67. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

There is a lot to consider in a kitchen renovation: floors, walls, lighting, cabinets. Great light, white cabinets and beautiful blues are the focus in this coastal-inspired kitchen. Near wall in smoke 2122-40. Far wall in Caribbean Mist 2061-70. Cabinets in Ice Mist OC-67. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Remember “Under the Tuscan Sun?”

Although it was a romantic comedy, it could be a home renovation documentary. It’s about a writer who says goodbye to her past and buys a 300-year-old villa in Tuscany. It’s also about her hot new love interest and is set against the backdrop of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We have all had a similar dream, right?

But it (the movie) is really about the house.

Like “Under the Tuscan Sun,” whether you’re remodeling your bedroom or a bath, knocking out a few walls, creating a new kitchen from start to finish or renovating the entire home, it’s a fairly miserable experience. There is just no way to sugarcoat it.

It’s dirty, stressful and expensive. You have very little control. You are at the mercy of your contractor and the subs that may or may not show up for work. Unexpected problems arise that delay the project and cost. It turns your home and your life upside down. Until the project is finished.

The bottom line: you just have to live through it and hope for the best.

And having just gone through the experience myself, I have a few do’s, don’ts and survival tips that can help.

Renovation don’ts

Don’t cry or panic. It will get better.

Don’t believe the home shows. As fun as they are, they just don’t present the reality of the cost and experience of a home renovation. You know that.

Don’t stay in the house if it’s a major renovation. This is not always possible but moving out for the duration can save your sanity.

Don’t try to do it yourself. Call in the professionals.

Don’t take on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. New paint. New window treatments. A new rug. Maybe new kitchen countertops. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. You might be surprised at the big difference a few small changes make.

Don’t embark on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. A few small changes make a big difference. This Pottery Barn Harper upholstered bed, along with new furniture and artwork will totally change a bedroom. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Don’t embark on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. A few small changes make a big difference. This Pottery Barn Harper upholstered bed, along with new furniture and artwork will totally change a bedroom. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Renovation do’s

Be patient. This won’t last forever.

Come up with a plan before your first meeting with a contractor. They can’t read your mind and you need to be able to tell them exactly what you need/want. Think about the little things that matter: light switches in the right place, fans, chandeliers, electrical outlets. This is your chance to get it just right.

Consider your lifestyle if you are redoing a floorplan. Traffic flow. Feeling of the home. Color. Is your taste traditional, contemporary, casual, coastal, transitional?

Start from the ground and work your way up with your plan: flooring, walls, furniture, lighting.

Establish a budget before the first meeting. And know that there will always be a few unexpected surprises that will add dollars so plan on it.

Hire an interior decorator or designer to get you started on the right path. They can look at the project and tell you what is doable, practical and the best use of your money for resale. They will also help you to make your vision for your home a reality.

Interview several contractors. Visit homes they have done and talk to the owners. Select the one that you feel will be the best fit for this short or long term relationship.

Renovating or adding a powder room? There are a lot of details to consider. Fixtures, space planning, color. Design element for this small bath is Pottery Barn’s modern farmhouse sink. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Renovating or adding a powder room? There are a lot of details to consider. Fixtures, space planning, color. Design element for this small bath is Pottery Barn’s modern farmhouse sink. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Be flexible. And be willing to make compromises. That’s just the reality of a renovation. Sure, you wanted that beautiful, free standing bath tub sitting in the middle of your new master bathroom. But the plumber said it would cost a fortune. So, against the wall will be just fine.

If you are living in the home during a remodel or renovation, set aside one area that is your sanctuary from the noise and dust. Like a master bedroom where you can close the door and think.

Most important: be patient. It’s worth the wait and the disruption to get the home that you want.


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







The coastal-inspired home

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • September 1,  2018

The coastal inspired home: What is it and how do you get it?

Whether you live steps from the water or miles away, coastal is a design style that works with modern or traditional decor. And it’s easy to do.

It’s one of the fastest growing decorating styles and it’s not just for those of us lucky enough to live within a drive of the beach or closer. Everyone can have it.

Coastal is a state of mind that you transfer to your home. A comfortable, laid-back, easy lifestyle that is no fuss, no clutter and just a touch of minimalism. It’s calm, soothing and rejuvenating. It makes you happy to walk into the house at the end of a tough day. Before I tell you how to get it, let’s talk about what coastal is not. And that’s really important.

Coastal don’ts

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I am in and out of a lot of homes. Many of my clients have distanced themselves from the heavy furnishings they may have had for years or perhaps brought to Southwest Florida when they moved here from someplace else. Eventually they decide to lighten up and coastal is the perfect choice.

Coastal, a comfortable, laid-back, easy lifestyle that is no fuss, no clutter and just a touch of minimalism. It’s calm, soothing and rejuvenating. It makes you happy to walk into the house at the end of a tough day. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Coastal, a comfortable, laid-back, easy lifestyle that is no fuss, no clutter and just a touch of minimalism. It’s calm, soothing and rejuvenating. It makes you happy to walk into the house at the end of a tough day. Photo: Ballard Designs.

A bunch of outdated accessories, shells, a broken lobster trap and a monkey carved out of a coconut. Every room panted a different tropical color. A collection of fake nautical accessories. Loud prints. Lots of beach-related “stuff” and cutesy signs. Save those for the pool. This is not coastal.

So, what is it?

Classic design with a casual, understated look.

There is cottage coastal. Contemporary coastal. Modern coastal. They all have one thing in common: mindful decorating. Every piece in the home is planned. You will need fewer accessories. But select wisely to eliminate the temptation to clutter things up.

Coastal do’s

In your home, recreate the feeling that you love about the beach. Sparkling blue water. Bright sun. Sand. A colorful beach umbrella. White shells. You have just created your color palette.

Use calm solid colors, textures, distressed woods and ceramics.

Furniture is uncomplicated, contemporary, sleek.

Keep it soft with pillows, soft cushions, throws.

Contrast to heavy, weighted furnishings.

Use natural wood or wood that has been painted white.

Add a few plants for greenery. Real if possible!

Think: classic, lived in cottage by the sea. Not overdone. Simple elegance.

Benjamin Moore’s popular Palladian Blue HC-144 sets the tone for this coastal-inspired room with a chaise and palms. Photo: Benjamin Moore. 

Benjamin Moore’s popular Palladian Blue HC-144 sets the tone for this coastal-inspired room with a chaise and palms. Photo: Benjamin Moore. 

Use neutrals as your base paint color. Creamy whites, bright whites, soft grays.

Maybe a wall done in shiplap. Don’t overdo it.

Accent neutrals with sea glass tones: blues, greens, aqua and sprinkle in a bit of coral.

Fabric chairs with a little rattan or wicker as an accent but not in a matched set.

Great light, white cabinets and beautiful blues in this coastal inspired kitchen. Near wall in smoke 2122-40. Far wall in Caribbean Mist 2061-70. Cabinets in Ice Mist OC-67. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Great light, white cabinets and beautiful blues in this coastal inspired kitchen. Near wall in smoke 2122-40. Far wall in Caribbean Mist 2061-70. Cabinets in Ice Mist OC-67. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Arrange a colorful collection of your favorite coffee table books with a big shell or piece of coral.

Finish off with a few sand dollars, coral and sea glass in a beautiful bowl or basket.

Add a couple of original nautical accessories such as a porthole cover or color weathered oars that look like they washed up on the beach. A piece or two of driftwood.

Let light in with light panels or fiber blinds.

Put on some nice music. Have a cold beverage and let yourself drift into a coastal state of mind.

 

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