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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Tips for creating a calm space in a not-so-calm world

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • August 29, 2015

It's all about how you feel when you walk in the door.

Does your home make you happy? Is it a calm retreat from the chaos and over stimulation of the outside world? Do you constantly feel overwhelmed by projects that you just can't quite complete? Are you tired and drained and not sure why?

We all want a nurturing home that offers a refuge. Not one that leaves you frustrated and exhausted.

Relaxing and pretty. Suzanne Kasler curated softly colored abstract art that pairs with her signature fabrics and finishes for Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Relaxing and pretty. Suzanne Kasler curated softly colored abstract art that pairs with her signature fabrics and finishes for Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I have my clients fill out a brief questionnaire before I meet with them.  The first question: "How do you want your home to feel when you walk in the door?"

Tell me how you want your home to feel and I will make everything else fall into place.

Each answer is the same. Everyone wants a "calm" home. Of course we do.

It's not about "stuff."  You may have everything that you could dream of in your home and it still doesn't feel right. Check out these tips that I use for my clients and see how it changes your space.

Declutter.

We talk about this a lot in design and decorating but if you don’t do anything else, do this one. It costs nothing. And it has the most impact. Do it today!

Delete some of the visual stimulation. Pare down your accessories. Eliminate or rearrange some furniture and establish a comfortable conversation area that is relaxing.

And your closet. Most of us wear 10% of what is in our closets. So why not just have the 10% in your closet? Instead of the piles of clothes that you never wear any more. It’s all visual clutter and it’s exhausting to look at and to think about.

But sometimes the thought of decluttering itself is overwhelming. Just the physical aspect of getting rid of things and deciding what to do with them is difficult and stops homeowners in their tracks. Because it requires sorting it into what gets donated, given away and tossed. The solution: leave that part for another day. Remove it all from your house. Stash it in the garage until you have time to make the decisions.  Meanwhile, you will love your decluttered home so much that you won’t mind saying goodbye to the clutter when the day comes.

Don't over decorate.

The eyes need a place to rest. Don't cover every surface and every wall.  Don't be afraid of space. It is what most of our homes are lacking and it's the very thingthat creates a calm home.

Splurge in the bedroom.

Create a space to end your day with comfortable linens and fresh colors. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Create a space to end your day with comfortable linens and fresh colors. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Comfortable pillows. Nice sheets and comforter. A window treatment that blocks out the light. Pretty, restful artwork and accessories that make you feel good. We all spend a lot of time in this room and it's not the place to cut corners.

Transform with soothing colors.

Rethink your color palette and drop it down a notch. Soothing colors and more muted fabrics equal a calmer home. Save the bold colors for your family room and outdoor spaces. Of course this does not mean that a well-place splash of color against the most toned down backdrop is not gorgeous!

Design a spa bathroom for relaxation.

This is a service that I have done for my clients since I have been decorating homes. And it’s really easy. You can do it today. Think about what you love at a luxurious hotel or spa. Lots of white. Clean and crisp. Fluffy towels. Thick rugs. Plants.  Candles. Soaps and aromatherapy.  And don’t forget a spa robe. White is the key here and it must be done in a spotlessly clean bathroom. This should be your calming retreat at the end of the day.

For a spa look, try this Morgan shower curtain of soft cotton with a band of color, along with organic cotton towels. Photo: Pottery Barn.

For a spa look, try this Morgan shower curtain of soft cotton with a band of color, along with organic cotton towels. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Lighting.

Forget the harsh, overhead lighting and install dimmers on all lighting.

Remove the bad vibes.

We all have them. Something that you carry around from home to home. You don’t like it but you don’t feel like you can get rid of it. Give yourself permission. Keep what makes you happy and anything with a negative or tiring association, send it out into the world where someone else will find it useful. It may be art, a photo or a piece of furniture that no longer serves you. Remember: it’s your home and you are not obligated to keep anything.

Create a space for solitude.

Give yourself permission to have a nook or part of a room where you can relax. Just you. Maybe it’s space for a yoga mat or a lounge chair where you can read. Create a corner in your home where there are no electronics or noises. A place where you can think and start to wind down from the day.


Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

Sorting through the trends: Decorating tips for 2014

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• February 1, 2014

Decorating can be confusing. There are so many products on the market. New colors, furnishing, accessories, finishes, textures and styles come out every year. And what to do with that Radiant Orchid pantone color?

How do you keep your home fresh without giving into every trend that comes along and staying within some reasonable budget?

Tufted headboard from Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Tufted headboard from Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

The advice to my southwest Florida clients making major purchases: ask yourself, will you love it in five years?  Keep major items in your home timeless.  Take a chance with paint color and accessories and have some fun.

The trends for 2014 are, well, spectacular. Simple and low maintenance are the keywords for homeowners.  And while there is no point in going crazy in making dramatic changes just for the sake of a trend, you can tone some of these down and pick and choose what works for your lifestyle.   Here are a few trends along with some of my tips for the year. Have fun!

Changing spaces that you don't use

At one time that large dining room or formal living room made sense. But lifestyle changes can make them a wasted space. That's why many homeowners are converting these spaces into entertainment rooms, libraries and more to make the space more functional.  

Formal living room..jpg

BEFORE: Owners of this West Bay home wanted to transform this formal living room to a more useful space.

Entertainment room..JPG

AFTER: Space is changed into an entertainment room that is used daily by family and friends.

Color and paint

Indigo! From the bedroom to the living room and for every imaginable accessory, this peaceful, comforting color will bring to mind the deep blue of the sea. Tip: It's great for pops of color in rooms with a neutral/white palette and works with a nautical scheme. 

For paint: black walls are popular, white walls are still the trend. Accent walls are not so popular as painting the entire room is the trend. Grey is still the new beige and is everywhere in many shades.

Farrow & Ball paints are hot, pricey and worth a look. The high levels of pigment, rich resin binders, and the high refractory nature the key ingredients give the paints their signature depth of color. There are 132 colors and they are available to the trade through Kravet at the Miromar Design Center.

Wow those walls

Grass cloth has made a return with rich textures and colors. It can be painted when you are tired of it so it has a longer lifespan.

Mirrors

Everywhere. Rather than doing an entire wall (very 80's and making a comeback), I suggest a large framed mirror or a collection.

Antiqued mirror from Restoration Hardware with a vintage look is handfitted from multiple pieces of beveled, mitered and joined glass. Photo: Restoration Hardware.

Antiqued mirror from Restoration Hardware with a vintage look is handfitted from multiple pieces of beveled, mitered and joined glass. Photo: Restoration Hardware.

Lighting

There have never been so many great choices in table lamps. Give your room an instant makeover with a fresh color with two new lamps for your bedroom or living room. This would the perfect place to try that Radiant Orchid with a pair of glass table lamps with an apothecary base from Lamps Plus. 

Photo: Lamps Plus.

Photo: Lamps Plus.

Windows

Gone are the heavy and expensive draperies. The trend is panels, blinds, shutters and anything that will let in more natural light.  Simple panels in linen, thin wool, cotton or muslin with a pared down look.

Flooring

Huge floor tiles, bamboo, laminate flooring in wide plank styles and various colors, vinyl planking, porcelains in many styles including a wood-look porcelain. Tip: flooring is a major purchase and there are so many choices on the market.  Work with a professionalto determine which is best for your home.

Furnishings

Forget cookie cutter designs.  It's all about you and not your neighbor or a trend, for that matter. Unique and no matchy matchy"sets." Hot: shopping on ETSY, eBay, 1st Dibs, Craigs List, estate sales and consignment shops for something different.

Because we have exposure to so many cultures, ethnic prints and patterns are popular in   homes this year. Moroccan, Asian, South American and other influences.

Lacquer trays in bold shades multi-task to serve drinks, organize odds and ends on a dresser or hold a stack of books on a coffee table. Photo: West Elm.

Lacquer trays in bold shades multi-task to serve drinks, organize odds and ends on a dresser or hold a stack of books on a coffee table. Photo: West Elm.

Hot: Felt, suede and leather headboards, tufted sofas and ottomans, Lucite chairs, coffee tables and accessories. Chairs are larger and armless and love seats are becoming extinct. Nailheads in furniture, pillows. Platform beds, no box springs (we said "simple" is the trend!).

For offices, which are becoming smaller as large computers are phasing out, day beds are popular and allow the room to be used for guests.

Furniture with multiple uses: coffee tables that liftup and have storage or transform into a larger table for dining, occasional tables that can be used in multiples throughout the home. Vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces are popular as are reclaimed wood pieces such as coffee tables and shelving.

Fabric

Monograms are everywhere: linens, pillows, chairs. A way to personalize and to be unique.  Palettes: blue and white, soft purple, graphic prints, plaids. Grays. Ikat prints.

Tip: Keep floral prints in the bedroom and solid tones in the family room.

Kitchen

Timeless white/black color scheme. Eco-friendly cabinets with no formaldehyde and non-toxic glues, binders and finishes. White-glass appliances are a change from the stainless (no smudge) which is still popular. 

Quartz countertops. These are engineered but look like granite and are sustainable and more durable, resists stains and chipping.  Touchless, motion-sensing faucets that areeasier to use, cleaner, and cut down on water usage in kitchens and baths.

Bathrooms

High-efficiency showerheads and toilets, barrier free walk-in showers that do not require being stepped over, stand-alone bathtubs as centerpieces, wall mounted sinks.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her practical and affordable interior decorating helps clients transform a house into a beautiful home.  Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

Want a home that makes you happy?

Call me. I can help!

Time to hire a professional? Read my tips for working with an interior decorator in the Fort Myers News-Press. 

Sweet dreams are made of these: tips for a glamorous bedroom makeover

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• September 21, 2013

Headboard doubles as a comfortable backrest, creating a cozy spot for reading and relaxing. Available in slipcover options, so it can be changed. Paint color: Sensuous Gray by Sherwin Williams; Light fixture at left: Capiz shells. Photo: Pottery Barn.

It’s true. The best sleep comes in a beautiful bedroom. A gorgeous bed with sheets and pillows that are so comfortable that you can’t wait to land there at the end of the day. Perfect lighting, accent touches, color, window treatments. It all works together for a touch of glamour that makes you say “Ahhhhhh” when you walk in the room.

Headboard doubles as a comfortable backrest, creating a cozy spot for reading and relaxing. Available in slipcover options, so it can be changed. Paint color: Sensuous Gray by Sherwin Williams; Light fixture: Capiz shells. Photo: Pottery Barn

Getting there can be a challenge and for most homeowners, it is hard to know where to begin. Often it is the most overlooked room in the home. Everything else gets the design touches and because no one else sees the bedroom, it is the last on the decorating plan. Wrong. Because it is where you spend your sleeping and resting hours, it deserves top priority and some thoughtful planning.

Petal-shaped capiz shells form a translucent cluster of flowers on this flushmount lighting. Photo: Pottery Barn.

To start, it is important to select calming paint colors for the bedroom. Declutter the room. Move the computer and work station out of sight. If you can live without at television in the room, great.

Stratton Bed with drawers for storage, Swing arm-sconces and a porcelain blue duvet. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Stratton Bed with drawers for storage, Swing arm-sconces and a porcelain blue duvet. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Now to glam it up a bit and add some drama! Most of these tips are simple and will totally transform the bedroom. So much so, that you will likely want all of your guests to see the beautiful transformation!  And the best news: You can spend as much or as little when and if your budget permits.

Mark Fanta, general manager of Webster & Company, which includes Ralph Lauren Home, at Miromar Design Center in Estero, says the most important thing when planning a glamorous bedroom is to decide on a theme and stick to it.

Place a small sofa or bench at the end of the bed to create a sitting area. Bed and sofa: Ralph Lauren Home at Webster & Company, Miromar Design Center. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

“Whether it is a color theme, a period, or even a style like French country, the key to glamour is simple elegance.  Keep your color scheme to one or two hues and include at least one neutral.  Color clashing and cutesy florals should be banished from a bedroom.  Accessories should compliment your color scheme with clutter being kept to a minimum.

And the bedding is the ultimate in creating a glamorous bedroom. I believe in using simple white-on-white pique and bed linens of the highest thread count afforadable in your budget. Simple and clean but very elegant.”

Doug Ulrich, general manager at Norris Home Furnishings, says that a current trend is to take classic lines on pieces and give them a unique finish or paint to transform a ypically traditional piece into one with transitional timeless elegance.

"Take unique pieces such as secretary,  flip top desks and armoires and make them the statement piece of the room by having a unique size, shape or finish."

More tips to add drama to your bedroom:

Traditional design gains modern boldness in this Frances canopy bed, inspired by the open industrial feel found in revitalized loft spaces. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Select neutral paint colors. Popular now: calming grays, browns, blues. Favorites from Sherwin Williams: Bamboo Shoot, Sensuous Gray, Smoky Blue, Turkish Coffee.

Add crown molding to the room in a high gloss super white.

If the room has a tray ceiling, paint with a splash of color and hang a chandelier.  Make sure it is on a dimmer as with any overhead lighting.

A large mirror, leaning on the wall or attached, adds sparkle and shimmer.

Select direct lighting for reading and ambient for mood lighting. If space is at a minimum on your nightstands, consider adjustable swing-arm lamps or sconces.

Because the bed is the focal point, use a high, upholstered fabric headboard, leather or tufted fabric. This softens the look and has a clean, glam feel. And a modern take on a canopy bed is always in style.

Don’t overlook the foot of the bed: add an upholstered bench or trunk that can be used for storage. If there is space, a loveseat.

An upholstered chair or tufted lounge for reading adds a relaxing touch.

Repeat colors and textures to unify the space.

Writing desk or vanity is functional and should be the spot for treasured accessories that you want to see every day.

Create a master suite with use of color, fabrics, connect the bedroom and bath spaces so they work together. Much as you remember from your favorite hotel, carry the theme into the bath with the window treatments and color. This is a great way to make both spaces will feel larger.

Add fresh flowers and have sweet dreams!

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her column, Home Inspirations, appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or email wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog.

Mirror, mirror on the wall: Tips for a makeover!

If the mirrors in your bathroom have seen better days, it's time for a makeover and this one is very easy! And will have the most impact on the room for a few dollars.

And if your bathroom itself is lookinga little outdated and tired but you are on a budget,  replacing or redoing the mirror will make a huge impact in the entire room.

Face it, if your mirror is huge and goes from counter to ceiling it is time to update the look. Especially if it has watermarks along the bottom and sides.

Or maybe you have a medicine cabinet with a mirror that is looking worn, it is time to replace with a new one that has a more contemporary mirror.

And if you have a vintage-style bathroom, think about reframing your mirror with some of the easy and inexpensive frame kits that you can do yourself.

A few tips for small changes that make a big impact:

  • Purchase a kit from www.mirrormate.com. Select from more than 60 styles, frame any mirror, in any decor. This method is easy and affordable.  Perfect for the do-it-yourselfer! Produces immediate results. This is especially good if your house is on the market and you want to make a few changes that will make the room shine for prospective buyers.

 Mirror before         

#1 Before Frame.jpg

Mirror after

#2 After Frame.jpg
  • Replace a large mirror with two smaller mirrors. Favorites include reasonably priced framed mirrors from HomeGoods, Lowes or Pier 1 Imports.  You can find a fresh look for any decor. Also check out the metropolitan mirror with a shelf from www.potterybarn.com
  • A favorite is the contemporary pivotal mirror that gives a bathroom a fresh, designer look. One over each sink or just one over a smaller vanity with one sink.
Pottery Barn's pivot mirror.

Pottery Barn's pivot mirror.

If you are planning to redo your bath, remember, the mirror is the focal point and you look at it every day! So, for a few dollars and some creativity you can enhance the room.

Want a home that makes you happy?

Call me. I can help!

Try these (FREE!) decorating tips at home

In this week's Home Inspirations column I thought I would share a few of my favorite decorating tips! 

 

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• August 27, 2011

 

When I speak to organizations throughout southwest Florida, I always offer some tips that my audience can actually go home that day and either try them out or include them in the decorating plan in their own homes. 

Try some of these ideas for making quick changes that may make you like your home a lot more! 

The best news: Many of them are absolutely free or will cost very little to implement. My top decorating trips that anyone can implement are listed below. Give them a try! 

• Keep your decorating plan simple and uncomplicated.

• Declutter. It makes all the difference: Start with the refrigerator magnets and work through old stacks of magazines. Then remove some furniture if your room seems too crowded.

• Color is a decorator's most valuable tool and it can be yours as well. Follow this color rule for distributing color and you can't go wrong: 20% walls, 30% furniture, 10% accessories.

 • When selecting paint colors, follow nature as your guide. Mother Nature has perfected the color palette so imitate her. This is a rule I always follow and I have never been sorry.  See below:

Photo of nature's colorsOne of nature's color palletes photographed at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

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