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

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •January 7, 2017

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.

Or perhaps you have a project or two that you have been putting off for a while. Maybe you want to update a bathroom. Create a beautiful bedroom.  Redo a kitchen for entertaining.  Replace old carpet with wood or tile.  Change paint colors or go all neutrals with pops of color. Create conversation areas in large open living areas. Blend old furnishings with new to fit your lifestyle. Update your lighting.  Add new accessories.

Bring drama into your décor with Cole & Son’s Mariinsky damask historical wallcovering design that celebrates the look of theatre, opera and ballet. Shown: Petrouchka.  Available at Kravet to-the-trade showroom, Naples. Photo: courtesy of Kravet.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I receive lots of calls from homeowners who want to make a change and aren’t sure where to start. Many have never worked with an interior decorator or designer and may be a little nervous. And some have tried it on their own and have found that the reality home shows are anything but reality and have mislead them regarding costs and the effort required. Let’s face it: it’s just not that easy. No matter what the show hosts tell you!

Diane Torrisi of Diane Torrisi Designs, a residential designer in Naples, also presents seminars throughout Southwest Florida that educate homeowners on how to work with a professional.

A trained professional will help you create a plan and collaborate with you on how you want your home to look. Shown: Cole & Son’s Mariinsky damask Fonteyn, named after the Royal Ballet’s prima ballerina. The two-toned design gives a soft, matt appearance. Available at Kravet to-the-trade showroom, Naples. Photo: courtesy of Kravet.

“Ideally the perfect time to call a designer would be the moment you decide to build, remodel or buy.  I would suggest that you listen to your inner voice, that gut feeling, the time when you feel overwhelmed with choices, showrooms to visit and decisions to make.  Check websites, talk to your friends, contact a few designers and see if you click. Your designer will be part of your world for a substantial amount of time and you will hopefully forge a rewarding relationship.” 

Irene Farano of Irene J. Farano, LLC, a residential interior designer based in Cape Coral, says that it’s important to call an interior designer in the beginning stages of a project. 

“It’s necessary to get to know each other and build a strong, trusting, honest and enjoyable designer/client relationship.  This is the first step to creating the dream home or room clients fantasize having and it enables the designer to simplify the process for the client.”

If 2017 is the year that you call in a little professional help to assist you in taking take on a new project or to come up with a plan that you can implement on your own, consider a few tips before you begin.

What can a professional decorator or designer do for you?

Think about it this way: you hire a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, etc to help with your home.  An interior design professional will help you pull it all together and will do the following:

• Look at the big picture and assist you in developing a plan before you make purchases.

• Take the stress out of the process. 

Designers offer resources that are “to the trade” and enhance your personal style, taking it to a whole new level. Shown: Festival Collection from Lee Jofa’s Mulbery Home. Available at Kravet to-the-trade showroom, Naples. Photo: courtesy of Kravet.

• Bring you the best choices and options without allowing you to become overwhelmed.

• Avoid costly mistakes and save $$$$.

• Provide a professional evaluation of what you should keep and what to repurpose.

• Develop a plan according to your budget and timeframe.

• Collaborate WITH you on how you want your home to look.

• Offer resources that are “to the trade” and often save $$$.

• Enhance your personal style and take it to a whole new level.

• Help increase the value of your home.

 Follow these important tips:

• Research. Check out websites, credentials, certifications, training, years in business. 

• Visit Google and Pinterest. Read comments from clients. 

• Do your homework.  Decide what you like. How you want your home to feel. 

• Interior decorating is not free or cheap.  So establish a budget. Before you begin working with a decorator, have an idea of what you want/have to spend. You will get a much better result. 

• Schedule a consultation. You will have a chance to see if your decorator is a good fit. This is important because they will be working in your personal space

• Discuss fees. Be perfectly clear on options. This can be a flat fee. A project fee. An hourly fee. Does the decorator charge a commission on purchases? Do they offer trade discounts?

• Go with your instincts. They are usually right!

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 column 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

 

Tips for stress-free holiday decorating

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •December 3, 2016

If you haven’t given your holiday decorating a thought, you aren’t alone!

Simple and elegant: garland with crystal ornaments draped over Frontgate’s Rosamund wall mirror. Photo: Frontgate.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I face the same dilemma as my clients. How much do I want to do this year and what is the best way to get it all done with the least amount of stress? And yes, it has to look fabulous! Especially that. And cheerful.

There’s no need to go over the top. Simple really is better when it comes to the holidays. I‘ve had years to practice that philosophy in my own home and in those of my clients. There are advantages to a more simple (but beautiful) decorating scheme. It’s prettier. There is less clutter. You can appreciate the quality of your decor rather than creating visual overload with too much. An added benefit: there is less to put away when the season is over. Love that.

Use your traditional favorites. But don’t be afraid to try something new.  Some of my favorite (simple and stress-free) decorating tips:

 

Have a plan.

Don’t head out the door without it. Come up with a color scheme and a specific (short) list. Stick to it.

Make an entrance! 

Add some bling with a celestial starburst tree topper. Beautiful on a tree, shelf, wall or mantel. Metal, hand painted with glitter and bead accents. Photo: Frontgate.

Start at the front door and take your door from drab to fab with a fresh pop of color!  Think greens, reds, turquoise (if you are bold). Remember, it is only paint, so don’t be afraid!  And don’t stop there! Take last year’s wreath and give it a makeover to complement the door.  Beautiful shells, branches, feathers, colorful ribbons or burlap will help you create a new wreath in no time. A huge impact with minimum expense and effort.

Use what you have! 

Don’t put everything away and transform your home into a winter wonderland.  Use what you have in your home as your stage.  If you have a piece of artwork that you love over a mantle or table, start there and add holiday decorations that compliment it. And don’t forget: what comes from nature works best!

Speed decorating.

No time. No problem! Wreath on the door. Poinsettias at the entry. White, candles in every window. Small tree with lots of white lights, add candy canes and wrap it in ribbon in your favorite color. Spread a few candles around the house. Wreath on the bathroom mirror. Fill a large glass with colorful glass balls. Done. Minimal and just enough. No stress.

Wallpaper the gifts.

Not literally but wallpaper in a color or theme is great for giftwrap. Presents look beautiful around the tree and the paper is easier and sturdier to work with when wrapping.

Edit your collections! 

Pick a color palette and stick with it for you holiday decorating. At Frontgate, select a theme and order ornaments, tree, greenery and wreath. Easy! Photo: Frontgate.

Don’t try to use everything that you have. Declutter your ornaments, snowmen and Santa’s.  Use sparingly and use what you love most.  Don’t hesitate to donate what you no longer use.  There is a fine line between classic holiday decorating and too much.

Table it for now! 

If your dining room table just sits there taking up space except for a couple of times a year, use it for a holiday tablescape.  Start with a pretty holiday runner and use candles of different heights and widths as your start. Fill it in with greenery, poinsettias, a few ornaments, small holiday trees or sea glass sprinkled throughout and you have a holiday tablescape. 

Small space?

No problem. If your space is small, don’t overdo it.  A small tabletop tree, a wreath and a few wrapped gifts will make any space festive! And when the holiday is over, you will not have as much to put away.

Seeing too much red? 

Feng Shui teaches us that there can be too much red or “fire” energy in our homes this time of year. It promotes burnout and who needs that over the holidays?  To prevent an imbalance, think about using more green than red.  Plants, and evergreens decorated with “cool” colors such as light blue, silver, white will tone down and balance out the red.

Trade secret: 

Designers like to use white lights and pick two colors for holiday decorating. Cool, calm and beautiful! It works. 

Reign in the Snowmen.

Don’t let your Santa (or snowman) collection scatter all over the house. Group your collections together on a beautiful tray make a much nicer presentation than having them in every room. Or arrange them on a bookcase for a “you must have hired a decorator look.”

Feather your nest! 

Change your tree by using your collectible ornaments but add colorful or white feathers for an updated, new look. They are available at any crafts store.

Add some bling! 

Jewel tones this season are the rage.  Crystals, metallics, and beaded ornaments will give your tree a little sparkle and will go with your existing ornaments or go for the glam use them for the entire tree. My favorite: hang ornaments from the chandeliers.

Voila! Your house is done. So light some candles. Hang the stockings. Watch “It’s A Wonderful Life.” And enjoy a beautiful holiday season. Stress-free.

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 column 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 bespoke door

Way before I was an interior decorator, I was obsessed with doors.

And it's much more than the actual door with its style, color and design that the homeowner has used to set it apart. It's about imagining what lies beyond the door. What the home looks like and the lifestyle of the residents.

And London has some of the most beautiful doors anywhere. Tucked in among London's beautiful streets with pubs, museums and history are these beautiful doors that I love.

Benjamin Moore's "Color of the Year" casts a dramatic Shadow

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •October 29, 2016

As someone who lives, sleeps and breathes color, I have always believed that popular color trends somewhat reflect what is happening in the world around us.

When Benjamin Moore Benjamin Moore announced its Color of the Year 2017 – Shadow 2117-30, a rich, royal amethyst, I thought, this is it. A shadowy, brooding, deep color that speaks for itself.

Shadow, Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, makes a dramatic statement in an entry.  Photo: courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

If you are tired of looking at all-white and grey rooms that need lots of color to make them work, you will love this color. It stands on its own. And it’s also a great color to use in an existing white or grey room.

Beautiful with white trim, ceilings, draperies, Shadow stands on its own without a lot of fuss as Color of the Year.  Photo: courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

“Allusive and enigmatic, Shadow is a master of ambiance. It is a color that calls to mind a ‘past’, yet it can also make a contemporary, color-confident statement,” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Creative Director. “Shadow is sophisticated, provocative and poetic, it can bring energy to a space or harmony and a moment of respite.”

Benjamin Moore has announced its Color of the Year 2017 – Shadow 2117-30, a rich, royal amethyst, a shadowy, brooding, deep color that speaks for itself. Photo: courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

It’s a lot of pressure to put on a color but honestly, don’t we all need some energy, harmony and respite after surviving this campaign season? 

The Benjamin Moore Color Studio forecasts color trends annually after a year of research attending major industry shows around the world, while also taking cues from standouts in architecture, fashion, textiles, home furnishings and the arts. In addition, the color trends palette for 2016 includes 23 colors that work beautifully with Shadow.

For use with Shadow, the Color Trends 2017 palette features 23 rich and sophisticated hues ranging from muted pales to saturated deeps. Photo: courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

You may remember last year’s Color of the Year was Simply White. Well, Shadow is the total opposite. It’s a bold step. The color is dramatic, rich and says, “Here I am. Just look at me.”

It’s a color that stands on its own without a lot of fuss.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I spend a lot of time doing color consultations for my clients.  I always advise against following a color trend just for the sake of the trend. But they can be fun and bring a little energy to a room that needs some refreshing.

How would I suggest using this color?

In a library, office, powder room or accent wall. And I am thinking about a closet makeover using this color and a sparkly chandelier. Luscious.

Also: wall coverings and fabric for pillows or window treatments.

I can also see painting an eclectic piece of furniture in Shadow. Picture it see it on a Simply White wall. Yummy.

Shadow was selected by the Benjamin Moore Color Studio after a year of research attending major industry shows around the world, while also taking cues from standouts in architecture, fashion, textiles, home furnishings and the arts. Photo: courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

So, if you are feeling like adding a little pizazz to your space, give it a try. If it speaks to you, buy a pint and test it out. You just may love it!

 

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 column 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