Design forecast: Fearless, bright, bold and brassy

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• November 8, 2014

 
 Mid-century modern dining by Stanley Furniture. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn

Mid-century modern dining by Stanley Furniture. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn

 

At High Point Market in North Carolina, along with 75,000 other buyers and designers from all over the world, I did my best to cover 11.5 million square feet of space that provide dazzling displays of thousands of new products.

This home decor mecca is Disneyland for designers. It takes place for one week each fall and spring. With so much to see that it's easy to find yourself on visual overload. In addition, there are opportunities to meet famous designers, take courses from experts and there are lots of opportunities to meet your favorite television personalities (my design crush: Tom Filicia). There is even a seminar that teaches you how to navigate Market, as it is called, and to make the most out of your time.

 
 Lots of creative uses of books. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Lots of creative uses of books. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

But who has time for that course with all of the spectacular showrooms waiting with beautiful, pretty things. The temptation is to just take the plunge with your to do list. And so I did.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, this is where I go for design inspiration, to look for new ways of creating beautiful rooms and to shop for my clients who are looking for something new and fresh. Whether it is an eclectic piece to be used as a focal point in a room or for to shop for furnishings and accessories for an entire home.

 
 Pretty and popular apple green accents with neutral tones. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Pretty and popular apple green accents with neutral tones. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

If you can't find it here, it doesn't exist. Not that every showroom can be covered. Despite the miles that I put on my new, sensible walking shoes. So take a trip with me as I offer a peek at a few of the amazing, edgy, stunning new trends that I saw at Market. You will soon be seeing these in your favorite retail spots and magazines.

Trends

The market spotters were predicting "bright, bold and brassy," and that sums it up perfectly. Home design has taken a turn that is not for the faint of heart. Fearless decorating with bright tones and accessories that don't take themselves too seriously.

Brass and gold continue to be very important in home décor----not shiny brass or gold but wonderful antiqued and textured gold as well as brass with a natural patina.

 
 Bold and sassy! Photo: Curry & Company.

Bold and sassy! Photo: Curry & Company.

 

Lighting

The jewelry of interior decorating, lighting is the hottest accessory and it takes center stage in every room. Never has lighting been prettier with more sparkle and bling! The choices are stunning. Think gold.

In the Currey and Company showroom, a showstopper in itself, each piece hanging from the ceiling looked like a sparkling gold bracelet twisted into arty shapes.

 
 Orli Chandelier of Wrought Iron finished in Contemporary Gold Leaf. Photo: Currey & Company.

Orli Chandelier of Wrought Iron finished in Contemporary Gold Leaf. Photo: Currey & Company.

 

Wrought Iron with contemporary gold leaf and brass are popular finishes. And the dazzling La Mer Wall Sconce of wrought iron, shell and glass is a perfect accessory for a sophisticated coastal look that blends beach-inspired design with a traditional or contemporary look.

 
 La Mer Wall Sconce. Photo: Currey & Company.

La Mer Wall Sconce. Photo: Currey & Company.

 

Color

As we said, bold and fearless! Lots of blues including navy, indigo, robins egg.  Red is also trending in sofas and accessories along with corals and pinks. Orange, jade, teals and that beautiful apple green are everywhere.

Furniture

Lots of soft curves that soften the silhouette of a chair or sofa and add visual interest. Canopy beds are trending with a breathtaking, modern new look. Blending antiques with almost any style as an accent piece. Reclaimed/distressed pieces. Driftwood. Lot of gold and brass tables. Table bases and coffee tables have emerged as artwork with sculptured designs. Bar carts are the rage with lots of gold and glass. Ottomans in bold patterns and jewel tones.

 
 Coastal living retreat. Photo: Stanley Furniture.

Coastal living retreat. Photo: Stanley Furniture.

 
 
 Carved wooden coffee table. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Carved wooden coffee table. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

And with furniture, it's all about customization. Changing the shape of a leg, an arm or a cushion, even changing the dimensions of a piece to fit a unique space, offers choices like never before to the consumer.

According to Kravet, premiering its new furniture showroom at Market, a lot of designers today are embracing an updated traditional look, which could mean a tufted sofa with a slim track arm, or a comfortable arm chair with sleek details.

 
 Kravet Denham Chair. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet Denham Chair. Photo: Kravet.

 

There is a resurgence of the chaise lounge, and they are popular in today’s interior design schemes. With regard to pattern and color, Kravet embraces a bright bold fabric statement on furniture, however many designers are choosing upholstery that is durable and neutral, which is a great investment for the life of your furniture, and your room.

Brass and bronze occasional tableswere everywhere with some of the most popular at Vanguard Furniture to complement the extensive furniture collection that is popular with southwest Florida homeowners because of its personalization options. And furniture is painted every color imaginable!

Art and accessories

So many fresh, new choices here. Artifact decor is hugely popular as an accent. Buddha's in every color are a huge accent piece with all styles of decor. Books have taken on a huge role in artwork and accessories serving as a focal point and covered in papers and fabric. Glass is seen in bold colors and shapes.

 
 Popular Buddha is incorporated into all styles of design. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Popular Buddha is incorporated into all styles of design. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

Rugs

Bold and exotic. Intricate patterns. Lots of metallics. Washes and patinas create a soft look.  Viscose yarn is used with pearlescent shimmer to add dimension to neutral tones. Easy care with custom sizing, beautiful indoor/outdoor selections.

 
 Blue Bye You. Photo: Company C.

Blue Bye You. Photo: Company C.

 

Summary:

Have fun with the latest trends and don't take your decorating too seriously!

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For more details on trends and other fun sightings at High Point Market, visit www.spectacularspaces.com/blogor call Wrenda Goodwyn at 239-949-1808 or wrenda@spectacularspaces.com

Travels: Indulgence in the City of New Orleans

Having some fun in New Orleans this week at a design conference.

I have been touring the amazing homes of art collectors, architects, artists and have met some of New Orleans' most interesting characters.

Writer and designer Wrenda Goodwyn in New OrleansNew Orleans gets into your soul. I always think of Harry Connick Jr. singing  "Missing New Orleans."

Moonlight on the bayous
Creole tunes fill the air
I dream about magnolias in June
And I'm wishing I was there

This week, I am indulging in everything that the city offers...the French quarter, architecture, historic neighborhoods that are being rescued, mansions, cottages, shotgun houses, steamboat houses. A visit to the lower 9th ward. Walking on the levee with great views of the river and city. Amazing food. Jazz. New green-based architecture and design. Brad Pitt's neighborhood of almost 100 cutting-edge homes built since Katrina. Traditional mansions. An eclectic artist's residence on the Esplanade Ridge. Antiques. Jackson Square. Julia Street galleries. I met a voodoo priestess and toured her beautiful home. 

Masks in Jackson Square in New Orleans.New Orleans has a ghostly allure. The winding alleyways lead to the past and when you follow them, you never know what you will find.

The light is glorious and the sensory pleasures are almost overwhelming. I am still here and I already miss New Orleans.

And did I mention that the city is totally immersed in Halloween? Perfect.

 

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Travel New Zealand: A "happy day" in Devonport

With a free day on my own in Auckland, New Zealand, I headed downtown  for a 10-minute ferry ride  to beautiful Devonport. Directly across from Auckland, and actually a suburb of Auckland, it was recommended to me by the helpful Air New Zealand concierge as a must-see on my day to explore.

Photo of Auckland HarborView of Auckland from Devonport.With four beaches, a charming downtown, Victorian houses, art galleries, spectacular views of Auckland City and its magnificent harbor, Devonport is steeped in maritime history. High on the Kiwi's must-do list, it is the 4th most visited destination in the region. It's natural beauty is only surpassed by the friendliness of it's residents. Helpful and welcoming.

I spent hours touring Devonport.  It's two twin volcanic cones (Mt. Victoria and North Head). The new Naval Museum at Torpedo Bay. Walked through tunnels and military barracks that go back to 1870. And of course, looking at every beautiful house and garden along the way. One of my guides, born and raised in Devonport and an avid sailor, said that no one ever leaves to live anywhere else.  Why would they?

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Lunch with Alexa Hampton: The Language of Interior Design

When I had "Lunch with Alexa Hampton" and heard her presentation at the Miromar Design Center in Photo of cover of Alexa Hampton bookEstero this week, I was already a huge fan of her stunning designs. Her ideas about what makes a house not just pretty, but extraordinary, are inspiring.  And they remind me what I love about interior decorating.

Plus, the fact that she once sold her Volkswagon to purchase a damask club chair made by the famous New York upholsterer Guido De Angelis.  Maybe a little extreme but I think we can all relate.

And her secret for removing red wine from furniture (which she jokingly said that she has done a few times): One jigger of Ivory dish wash mixed with one jigger of hydrogen peroxide.  Information you can use.

Photo of Alex Hampton autograph for Wrenda GoodwynWhen I spelled my name for her to sign my book: W-R-E-N-D-A, she said "Sir Christopher Wren!"  I was amazed.  No one ever makes that connection. Wren was my father's middle name and my mother made it up from there. Being from the Williamsburg, Virginia area, it is a big name in historical architecture and I have spent years going to Wren's famous architectural masterpieces in Europe.  Of course she knew Wren.  She laughingly said that she would never forget my name with that connection. 

And I surely could not forget hers.

I already knew that Alexa was the daughter of the late interior design legend Mark Hampton.  And I knew from a previous seminar that she is one of America's most influential designers herself having been listed in Architectural Digest and House Beautiful as one of the country's top designers.  She designs the interiors of landmarks such as the Trowbridge House in Washington, DC, the official guesthouse for former visiting Presidents.  She served as senior design consultant for the 25th anniversary of the PBS series, This Old House.  She decorated a dressing room for Barbara Walters.

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Travels: Searching for Christmas (found it!)

Photo of rosesIt was a cold, rainy day in Raleigh but it did not stop my little group of friends from heading to our much anticipated and long-awaited visit to the Historic Oakwood candlelight tour this past weekend.

Now, it seems like Christmas!  Not to mention that any time I can manage to get into beautiful old homes that are decorated for the holidays, meet the owners and hear stories about their history...well, let's just say it is a really good day for me.  Mix that with some good friends, breaks for hot tea and just being back in North Carolina, it it doesn't get any better than that.

In 1865, Oakwood was a campground for Sherman's Union troops.  By the 1870s it was sold to developers and most of the houses were built in the North Carolina vernacular style out of heart of pine, tin roofs or wooden shingles.  The dirt streets were lined with trees and most families kept livestock.  By the 1890s it was a fashionable suburb.  The streets were lit with gaslights and houses were built in the Queen Anne style with steep slate roofs, gables and towers, stained glass and a palate of paint colors.Photo of holiday decorated house

As the years went on and various styles dominated, Oakwood fell into decline.  The automobile had people heading to the suburbs and houses were converted into apartments and boarding houses.  By 1972, it was considered of little value and the State considered demolishing it to make room for an expressway.  I am happy that I did not see Oakwood then.  It must have been very sad.

Photo of holiday wreathBut this story has a happy ending.  People began to appreciate Oakwood and cared enough about it to restore it to its former glory.  They fought and won against the expressway.  The old homes were restored one by one to their original charm.  Today it is beautiful and a place that I love to visit.  And dream about owning one of the inspiring homes.  I could see myself living here.

Thankfully, the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood was formed and in 1974 it was designated Raleigh's first National Register Historic District.  It is a flourishing neighborhood with houses that are lovingly cared for.  On this weekend, a dozen homes open for the Photo of Oakwood Village sign annual candlelight tour.  It is a gift to all of us to experience these beautiful historic homes decorated like Christmas presents.   Filled with tons of great decorating ideas.

Thank you Oakwood.  May you live for another hundred years.

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Travels: the new and the old Germany. "I love this day!"

Dresden,GermanyIt was a business trip to Leipzig and Dresden, Germany for an annual conference.  I took some vacation time to explore Germany and ended up on a fantastic journey that took me everywhere from Oktoberfest in Munich, to the Land of Christmas in the Ore Mountains on the Czech border, to Neuschwanstein Castle (think Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World), Nuremberg (before the Nuremberg Trials, it was a beautiful, medieval town for hundreds of years) and an architectural tour that ended appropriately on a rainy, cold day at the Brandenburg Gate.  It was a great adventure.

One day my good friend and fun traveling companion, Jane, blurted out, "I love this day!" 

She perfectly summarized this dreamlike trip through storybook villages, rich, history (sometimes painful) and modern cities.   Highlights: Neuschwanstein Castle    

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