Home inspirations: Romancing the closet

Home inspirations: Romancing the closet

Technically, it is still the new year.  So, if one of your resolutions was to gain some control over your closet, check out the fun, fast and affordable tips from Spectacular Spaces that were in my column in this weekend's Fort Myers News-Press.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to news-press.com • January 29, 2011

Photo of Wrenda GoodwynIn "Sex & the City," Carrie Bradshaw told Mr. Big that she would rather have a really big closet than a diamond. It is a woman thing.

Closets are very complicated. They have the power to make us feel happy, fat, thin, sad, unsettled. It is an emotional relationship that we have with our closet.

As a decorator, I get to peek into a lot of closets. They tell me a lot about my clients. And I tell my clients that your closet is the one area in your home that you can control with minimal expense and effort.

We go into the closet at least 10 times a day. It is first place we stop in the morning. And usually the last stop at night. Unless you have a Mr. Big around to drop a bundle, a Carrie-style closet is probably out of reach. But I have tips on doing a closet makeover that will give your closet a designer look.Photo of Elfa designed closetKeep your closet organized with an Elfa system.

If your budget allows for a total redo of the closet - including lighting furnishings, drawers and all of the amenities - go for it. You can also check out some of my favorite closet systems: California Closets, Elfa at the Container Store and IKEA Pax. These vary in a medium price range and are easy to customize.

For budget systems that are easy to install, try Closet Maid (Lowe's and Home Depot) and Rubbermaid.

Once you have a system in place, we need to make it pretty:

- Select a yummy paint color. This will give you immediate results. I love Benjamin Moore's Blue Dusk.

- Depending on the size of your closet, pick out a beautiful runner or square rug. Something whimsical and fun. West Elm's Chrysanthemum rug is hand-tufted wool and starts at $129 for a runner

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Mission: Declutter after the Holidays

Mission:  Declutter after the Holidays

Check out my latest Home Inspirations column in the Fort Myers News-Press for tips on decluttering your home now that the holidays are over!

Step-by-step plan of action will make you feel so much better about your home
Wrenda Goodwyn • special to news-press.com • December 25, 2010

In a few days, you will be clearing out the holiday decorations. This is the perfect time to do a quick decluttering. It is easy and will make you feel so much better about your home.Daily System from Pottery Barn. Photo: Gannett.

We all know that clutter makes us feel tired and overwhelmed. Check out my list and see what works for you. This is the time for cleaning out the old so some great new things can come into your life in 2011.

Old magazines: You are not likely to catch up on that stack of 2010 (or older!) magazines. Tip: As a decorator, I keep a year’s worth of magazines to show great ideas to my clients and toss the rest each January.

Furniture: Take a look at your traffic patterns and furniture. If something is obstructing the flow in your space, rearrange it or store some of it. Tip: a U-shaped configuration always works.

Collections: Declutter your collections by grouping like items together instead of having them all over the house. If you have too much, put some away and rotate. Tip: If you don’t love it, donate it.

Quick cleanup: Vacuum under all furniture.

Books: If you have too many, donate them. Tip: If books are taking over your space and you cannot part with them, consider adding shelving that fits in with your decor.

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Simple tips for beautiful holiday decorating

Simple tips for beautiful holiday decorating

Check out my latest Home Inspirations column in the Fort Myers News-Press for tips on stress-free holiday decorating.

News-Press, November 27, 2010 by  Wrenda Goodwyn

Ready or not, Santa is headed to southwest Florida. With only a few weeks to go, it is time to get your decorating plans together.   And "plan" is the key word!
When I moved to Florida one December many years ago, it just did not seem like the holidays. Each year at about this time, I would set out to decorate every square inch o my home in an attempt to fill my house with Christmas spirit.  I missed the white candles in every window, fireplaces and beautiful "real" wreaths and trees that were the tradition in Virginia where I grew up.

This holiday season, like many others, I will be enjoying our beautiful white beaches and blue waters. The colors found in sea glass are my themed holiday decor this year. It all seems very much like the holiday season to me now. Just different.Photo of Christmas decorations

When I began my decorating business, everything changed. I realized that simple really is better when it comes to the holidays. I have had years to practice that philosophy in my own home and in those of my clients. I have grown to love Florida at Christmas.

There are advantages to a more simple (but beautiful) decorating scheme. It is 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.

My tips for a simple and easy holiday plan include: 

Large wreath on the front door. I love shells on a twig or vine wreath. Something that says “Florida.” Trim with a colorful bow.

Use real plants. Poinsettias (red, white and pink) on the front porch, in the entry and throughout the house.

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Home Inspirations begins in Fort Myers News-Press

Photo of houseCheck out my new decorating column, Home Inspirations, that began today in the Fort Myers News-Press with this intro.

The column will focus on  fresh approaches and imaginative solutions for renewing your spaces.  Transforming your bath into a spa-like retreat, clutter-busting secrets, finding flea market treasures and much more!  Follow us and let us know what you would like to know more about in this column and blog. 

News-Press, August 28, 2010 by Wrenda Goodwyn

For as long as I can remember I have been redoing rooms.

As a child, some of best memories are of my mother and me moving all of the furniture around in every room.  This became a seasonal ritual and my father would come home from work in the evening to a different house.  We didn’t have a lot of money for decorating so we used what we had.  When we got bored, we moved everything around and just made it look completely different.  Always better.

Then there was the time that we painted the master bedroom purple.   My father was on a short business trip and we had to work fast.  To this day, I have a soft spot for Benjamin Moore Violet Mist #1437.  We loved it.  My father was not so sure.  I told them that it was the perfect dreamy color for a bedroom.  I was 10 years old.  My mother and I were convinced that we were ahead of our time as decorators! 

So after redoing my own small apartments, condos, homes, beachouses and estate homes, as well as the homes of most of my friends, I decided to put my talents to work. I did not want to be a traditional designer.  I wanted to start with what people already had and work from there.  I had done my own homes on every level budget.  Most important, I knew that I could make any home, regardless of the budget or style, look better.  I knew that I had a passion for decorating and that I had always been able to make a room look better.  What amazed me were the small changes that had a big impact.  

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