Inspiration: Behind the scenes at Kravet's NYC studio

It was the best of days in New York City.

After a week of meeting top designers, home magazine editors, fellow design bloggers and touring fabulous Manhattan show homes, came the cherry on top of the sundae.

Photo of colorful Kravet fabricAs a southwest Florida interior decorator, I have long considered Kravet the Walt Disney of the fabric and home furnishing world. The level of quality and customer service results in a tremendous comfort level for designers. I often work with Amy Jimenez at the  Kravet showroom in the Miromar Design Center in Estero. Finding just the right pattern, palettes and textures for a room is the most exciting part of my job as an interior decorator. It is a good day for me when I have clients who want fabulous fabric for a new project or want to design a piece of furniture to fit their space. It is always a great collaboration between a decorator or designer and Kravet.

Currently, I am working with Kravet on a gorgeousBarbary Barry carpet collectionBarbara Barry's Indochine Collection for Kravet.  Barbara Barry Indochine rug for a vacation home for one of my Fort Myers decorating clients. Fabric for drapes, pillows and several other projects.

So, on this last day in NYC, I headed to the Flatiron district where Cary Kravet and the Kravet family opened their studio and welcomed 168 designers with open arms for breakfast and a studio tour. They made us feel like family and gave us a peek behind the scenes. Shared a few secrets that are soon to be announced, showed us the latest fabric designs, product development and merchandising for three of the industry's respected brands: Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils. In a word: Inspiring.

My heartfelt thanks to Gary, Lisa and Ellen Kravet. To Beth Greene, Ann Felstein and Jennifer Powell. You gave me my best day in NYC.


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Take it outside: Tips for affordable, fun and functional outdoor living space

We are having a sizzling summer in southwest Florida and most of us are staying as close to the air conditioning as possible!  However, summer will not last forever and now is a good time to think about these tips from my article in ASID Professional Design Magazine. They will help you to enjoy your your outdoor spaces when the weather allows time on the lanai or porch!  
Special to ASID Professional Design magazine, Summer 2011Photo of cover of ASID Professional Design magazine
By Wrenda Goodwyn, ASID Industry Partner
As a decorator, I have always believed the outdoor space is as important as the  indoor space.  It extends your living area, adds an additional room to the home and can be a cozy retreat.  Whether designing a small patio in a condo or apartment, a huge lanai with pool or a screened porch, it can be the favorite part of a Florida home all year.  And it can be done affordably!
Come up with a plan. Do you want this to be an extension of the living area through open doors (use similar fabric and furnishings) or do you want it to be a separate nook apart from the living area (use wicker, antiques, eclectic collections).  How do you want the space to feel?  Tropical, beach cottage, contemporary, country, cozy, etc.   Be sure to work with the client to determine your direction and have a plan before they begin making purchases!
Furniture: Incorporate weather- resistant furniture: sofa, chairs, chaise lounges, dining table.  My favorites:  rattan sea grass, wicker, metal, mosaic table tops.  (Pottery Barn, West Elm, Aida Gray Home, Pier 1, Restoration Hardware).  Tip:  Think comfort. Source: West Elm.
Color: Tropical paint colors and fabric prints.  Tip:  This is a chance to do something a little different than anywhere else in the home.  Bright and tropical or more muted and subdued colors.  
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