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

 

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