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

 

 

Little details that save time and mistakes

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

When it comes to creating a happy home, it’s the little things that matter.

Like coming up with a plan before you make purchases. Establishing a realistic budget. Deciding if you want to go it alone or call a professional for help.  Determining what’s most important at this particular stage of your life.

Once these decisions are made and you have a plan, it’s time to get down to those little details that can make all the difference. How to hang artwork. What kind of sofa to purchase. Deciding what size rug you need for your living room. How to arrange furniture to make the most of your space. Where to put the flat screen TV. How to hang a chandelier.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I get lots of the same questions from clients. I decided to put some of these little details together to help with your home decorating. Keep in mind, there are exceptions to everything. But if you get some of the little things just right, everything else falls in place.

Happy decorating!

 It’s all in the details. Drapes hung high and to the floor, carefully measured chandelier in proportion to the table and furniture placed on a large rug make for a cohesive and pretty dining room.  Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs.

It’s all in the details. Drapes hung high and to the floor, carefully measured chandelier in proportion to the table and furniture placed on a large rug make for a cohesive and pretty dining room.  Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs.

Rugs. Don’t order a rug that’s too small.  For example, you don’t want it floating under your coffee table. In a living room, the rug defines the conversation area and it should be large enough so at least the front legs of the furniture are on it. In the bedroom, the rug should be anchored at the foot of the bed, not the top. You want to feel the rug on your feet when you get out of bed. And for a dining room: everything (table and chairs) go on the rug.

Paint measurement. One gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet of wall. And yes, you need two coats to do a professional job.

Ceilings. Unless you have a perfect ceiling without any flaws (no one does!), use a flat finish.

Chandelier. Hang a chandelier approximately 30 to 34 inches over a table with an eight-foot ceiling height. If your ceiling is higher than eight feet, mount the chandelier an additional three inches higher for each foot of ceiling. And the size of the chandelier is one-half to three-quarters the width of your table.

Flat screen TV.  Should be placed at eye level in relation to the viewing position. The distance from the TV to the seating area should be one and a half times the size of the screen. No closer.

Drapes. Hang them high. As high as possible to give the room height. When ordering fabric or panels, always order at least two and a half times the width of the window. As far as the length: always to the floor with a one inch break unless you want puddling (you don’t!).

Single piece of artwork. This always works: When hanging a single piece, the center should be 57 inches above the floor.  You will need to do some math. Most art is too high so be aware of this common mistake.

Mirrors. Don’t hang a mirror between two windows. And please, don’t hang a mirror in every room.

Sofa. This is my favorite. Depending upon the room, a 90-inch sofa is the standard size. This is an investment piece and you should put as much into the purchase as your budget allows. Look for: eight-way hand-tied springs and don’t allow the sales person to talk you out of this tip. Also make sure the frame is a hardwood, not plywood. When it comes to fabric: go for quality. You don’t want to have to reupholster in two years.

Furniture arrangement. If possible, don’t smash it against the walls! In a jam on this on? Pull it out a few inches. The best arrangement is the U-shaped conversation area. If possible, avoid the L-shaped configuration.

Pillow fight. For a bed: no more than six. Any more is just silly.

Paint guide. Flat for ceilings. Eggshell for bedroom/living/dining. Satin for laundry/bath/hallways/kitchen. Semi gloss for trim/moldings/cabinets/doors/woodwork. Gloss for furniture if you want a lacquered look. Of course, there are exceptions but this is a general guideline.

White walls. If you are going for this popular trend, you will need artwork. Otherwise, you will be living in a white box.

Kitchen backsplash. A solid color is always best. And don’t skimp on this one: cover as much of the wall as budget allows.

Shower door.  Go for the solid glass door (not frosted). It makes the room look larger.

Entry. The entry sets the tone for any home. And if you don’t have a real entry, establish one with a large piece of art or a photo on canvas.

Small spaces.  It’s a fact: A small space will look smaller with tiny, scaled down furnishings. Instead, go with regular sizes with a slimmer profile.

 

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 www.spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

 

 

What's in, what's out and resolutions for a new year

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

 Keep it simple in the New Year. Pillow covers inspired by nature nautical accessories, plants, Leona metallic tables, Jackson chippy base lamps work with this Townsend sofa as a focal point of the room.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Keep it simple in the New Year. Pillow covers inspired by nature nautical accessories, plants, Leona metallic tables, Jackson chippy base lamps work with this Townsend sofa as a focal point of the room. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

The lights and decorations have come down and if you’re like me, it seems that things seem a bit gloomy. You may be looking around your home thinking that it needs a little sparkle as we settle in for a new year.

There are lots of interesting trends in the home interiors forecast for 2018. Some are fabulous and worth a try. As I always tell my Southwest Florida interior design clients, pick your changes according to what you love and not the latest trend. And there are the fun lists of what’s in and what’s out. It’s all great fun and I have offered a sampling as well as a few resolutions for your home in 2018. I promise you can keep them!

Happy decorating and best wishes for the New Year!

 Resolutions to do NOW!

 ·       Show gratitude for your home. We always have a wish list and it all never seems to get done. But keep in mind that many in our area are still dealing with severe hurricane damage and would love to be thinking about decorating. Be thankful for what you have and don’t stress out about the small things.

·       Be intentional about your home décor this year. Make a plan before making purchases. We all crave simplicity so don’t go overboard.

 Give a little love in 2018 with Pottery Barn’s  Love Gallery  art pieces, pillows, Bella crystal round chandelier, Madison upholstered settee and metallic tables. Check out details at  www.potterybarn.com .  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Give a little love in 2018 with Pottery Barn’s Love Gallery art pieces, pillows, Bella crystal round chandelier, Madison upholstered settee and metallic tables. Check out details at www.potterybarn.com. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

·       Give yourself a little self-care. The early days of a new year are perfect for thinking about what is important for the upcoming months. And these cool days are perfect for relaxing with a cup of tea and a good book, some soft music. In other words: give yourself a break.

 Treat yourself to a break with this love is love tray and accessories.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Treat yourself to a break with this love is love tray and accessories. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

·       Manage clutter. Eliminate your junk drawer (who needs junk?).

·       Say “no” to what you don’t love in your home. 

·       Discard duplicates. Donate clothes that you don’t wear. Take excess books to the library.

·       Buy plants or fresh flowers and put them in every room in your house.

·       Try something new! Suggestions below!

What’s in (trends)

 Metallics are the hot accessory for the new year. Pendants in nickel, brass, copper, bronze, white, vintage glass.   Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Metallics are the hot accessory for the new year. Pendants in nickel, brass, copper, bronze, white, vintage glass.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

·       Keep it simple! And calm.

·       Fish scale tiles for the perfect backsplash.

·       Space for a coffee bar.

·       Velvet. Couches, rugs, pillows.

·       Metallics: rose gold, brass, copper. And it’s okay to mix them.

·       Rattan furniture. If you see it at a flea market, grab it.

·       Fringe.

·       Typography (signs with your favorite sayings).

·       Art gallery walls.

 A serene spa-like powder room with classic white console, marble top, metal fixtures is set against a dramatic wall covering for a customized look.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.     

A serene spa-like powder room with classic white console, marble top, metal fixtures is set against a dramatic wall covering for a customized look. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

 

·       Chandeliers.

·       Wall coverings inspired by nature.

·       Floral patterns.

·       Nautical laccessories.

·       Daybeds.

·       Terrazzo flooring and counters. Even walls.

·       Spa bathrooms.

·       Statement ceilings with paint, wallpaper or textures.

·       Herringbone flooring, walls, backsplashes.

·       Three dimensional wall décor.

·       The color green. And plants everywhere. Real, if possible!

·       Repurposing anything.

·       Dark wood. Chocolate brown floor and furniture.

·       Colorful doors. The front door of course. But also interior doors.

·       Subway tiles. They are still a classic and are affordable. The best kitchen backsplash option.

·       Natural light. Large windows. Light shades and drapes.

·       Mirrors to reflect natural light.

·       Mixing antiques with modern pieces.

·       Marble everything. Flooring, walls, backsplashes, counters.

·       Jewel tones. Colors from nature. Bye-bye beige.

·       Large wall art to take up large spaces in open floor plans.

·       Black and white patterns, prints, flooring.

·       Woven textures and artisan accessories.

What’s out

·       Brushed metals.

·       Too many throw pillows.

·       Decorative painting. Enough said.

·       Huge oversized furniture. It’s ugly and space is a premium.

·       Bare walls.

·       Artwork at the wrong height: 57-58 inches. That’s the general rule.

·       Chevron. Thank goodness.

·       Furniture smashed against the walls.

·       Huge hoods in kitchen.

·       Tuscan. Thank goodness.

·       Overuse of the farmhouse look. Thank goodness.

·       Too much white on white on white.

·       Designing your space without a plan. The result: costly mistakes.

·       Keep it simple. Be intentional with what you bring into your home. Follow what you love. Not trends!

 

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 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

 

Foot stool to ottoman: the most versatile piece in your home

Foot stool to ottoman: the most versatile piece in your home

It began its life many years ago as a “foot stool.” Functional, dependable, forgettable, maybe a little bit shabby, with only one purpose in life: to give folks a place to rest their feet at the end of a long day.

Fast forward to present day and it has morphed into an “ottoman,” the most versatile (and chic) piece in your home. If you don’t have one, you need one. Keep reading! 

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Finding more with less: When is enough enough?

Finding more with less: When is enough enough?

Although everyone is shocked at this number, no one really argues with it.  Let it settle in for a moment. The bottom line: we have too much stuff.

We read a lot about living a minimalist life. You can call it downsizing. Decluttering. Living with less. Intentional living. And other terms that are just part of the solution. But what it comes down to is letting go of what is not necessary.

If you feel like your home has become a storage unit for items that you don’t even like anymore, can’t remember where they came from and the problem seems to be getting worse, it may be time for an evaluation of what you are doing. In other words: time to stop the madness.

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