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

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





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

 

Bathroom redux: from drab to fab

Bathroom redux: from drab to fab

There was a time when the bathroom was the most unmentioned room in the home. No longer. Today, bathrooms, as much as any room in house, reflect the style of the owners.  

It’s the most personal space in your home. It’s typically the smallest room and yet you begin and end your day in your bathroom. Next to the kitchen, it’s the most important room in the home.

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Your home in 2017: Is it time to call a design professional?

Your home in 2017: Is it time to call a design professional?

 

It’s a new year and if you are like most of us, you’re getting your home back in shape after the holiday decorations come down and the guests leave.  Maybe you’ve done a little reorganizing. Some decluttering. Deep cleaning. And now you are thinking about some refreshing your décor for the winter season.

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Design directions: what designers want to change in your home

It happens a lot. I am often asked what I most want to change in client’s homes. And there have been a lot of articles recently about “what designers dislike most.”

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator who goes into lots of homes, I can tell you a little secret: there are things that make us cringe and they may not be what you would expect. The good news: most of them are easily corrected and some can be done before the end of this article.

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