What's in, what's out and resolutions for a new year

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • January 6, 2018

Keep it simple in the New Year. Pillow covers inspired by nature nautical accessories, plants, Leona metallic tables, Jackson chippy base lamps work with this Townsend sofa as a focal point of the room.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Keep it simple in the New Year. Pillow covers inspired by nature nautical accessories, plants, Leona metallic tables, Jackson chippy base lamps work with this Townsend sofa as a focal point of the room. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

The lights and decorations have come down and if you’re like me, it seems that things seem a bit gloomy. You may be looking around your home thinking that it needs a little sparkle as we settle in for a new year.

There are lots of interesting trends in the home interiors forecast for 2018. Some are fabulous and worth a try. As I always tell my Southwest Florida interior design clients, pick your changes according to what you love and not the latest trend. And there are the fun lists of what’s in and what’s out. It’s all great fun and I have offered a sampling as well as a few resolutions for your home in 2018. I promise you can keep them!

Happy decorating and best wishes for the New Year!

 Resolutions to do NOW!

 ·       Show gratitude for your home. We always have a wish list and it all never seems to get done. But keep in mind that many in our area are still dealing with severe hurricane damage and would love to be thinking about decorating. Be thankful for what you have and don’t stress out about the small things.

·       Be intentional about your home décor this year. Make a plan before making purchases. We all crave simplicity so don’t go overboard.

Give a little love in 2018 with Pottery Barn’s  Love Gallery  art pieces, pillows, Bella crystal round chandelier, Madison upholstered settee and metallic tables. Check out details at  www.potterybarn.com .  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Give a little love in 2018 with Pottery Barn’s Love Gallery art pieces, pillows, Bella crystal round chandelier, Madison upholstered settee and metallic tables. Check out details at www.potterybarn.com. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

·       Give yourself a little self-care. The early days of a new year are perfect for thinking about what is important for the upcoming months. And these cool days are perfect for relaxing with a cup of tea and a good book, some soft music. In other words: give yourself a break.

Treat yourself to a break with this love is love tray and accessories.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Treat yourself to a break with this love is love tray and accessories. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

·       Manage clutter. Eliminate your junk drawer (who needs junk?).

·       Say “no” to what you don’t love in your home. 

·       Discard duplicates. Donate clothes that you don’t wear. Take excess books to the library.

·       Buy plants or fresh flowers and put them in every room in your house.

·       Try something new! Suggestions below!

What’s in (trends)

Metallics are the hot accessory for the new year. Pendants in nickel, brass, copper, bronze, white, vintage glass.   Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Metallics are the hot accessory for the new year. Pendants in nickel, brass, copper, bronze, white, vintage glass.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

·       Keep it simple! And calm.

·       Fish scale tiles for the perfect backsplash.

·       Space for a coffee bar.

·       Velvet. Couches, rugs, pillows.

·       Metallics: rose gold, brass, copper. And it’s okay to mix them.

·       Rattan furniture. If you see it at a flea market, grab it.

·       Fringe.

·       Typography (signs with your favorite sayings).

·       Art gallery walls.

A serene spa-like powder room with classic white console, marble top, metal fixtures is set against a dramatic wall covering for a customized look.  Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.     

A serene spa-like powder room with classic white console, marble top, metal fixtures is set against a dramatic wall covering for a customized look. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

 

·       Chandeliers.

·       Wall coverings inspired by nature.

·       Floral patterns.

·       Nautical laccessories.

·       Daybeds.

·       Terrazzo flooring and counters. Even walls.

·       Spa bathrooms.

·       Statement ceilings with paint, wallpaper or textures.

·       Herringbone flooring, walls, backsplashes.

·       Three dimensional wall décor.

·       The color green. And plants everywhere. Real, if possible!

·       Repurposing anything.

·       Dark wood. Chocolate brown floor and furniture.

·       Colorful doors. The front door of course. But also interior doors.

·       Subway tiles. They are still a classic and are affordable. The best kitchen backsplash option.

·       Natural light. Large windows. Light shades and drapes.

·       Mirrors to reflect natural light.

·       Mixing antiques with modern pieces.

·       Marble everything. Flooring, walls, backsplashes, counters.

·       Jewel tones. Colors from nature. Bye-bye beige.

·       Large wall art to take up large spaces in open floor plans.

·       Black and white patterns, prints, flooring.

·       Woven textures and artisan accessories.

What’s out

·       Brushed metals.

·       Too many throw pillows.

·       Decorative painting. Enough said.

·       Huge oversized furniture. It’s ugly and space is a premium.

·       Bare walls.

·       Artwork at the wrong height: 57-58 inches. That’s the general rule.

·       Chevron. Thank goodness.

·       Furniture smashed against the walls.

·       Huge hoods in kitchen.

·       Tuscan. Thank goodness.

·       Overuse of the farmhouse look. Thank goodness.

·       Too much white on white on white.

·       Designing your space without a plan. The result: costly mistakes.

·       Keep it simple. Be intentional with what you bring into your home. Follow what you love. Not trends!

 

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 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

 

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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Bring home design tips from favorite boutique hotels

Have you ever stayed in a hotel that you loved so much that you wanted to just live there?  Like the capricious, six-year old Eloise who lived on the top floor of the New York Plaza Hotel?

Even though we can't all be Eloise, (although you can now book the Betsey Johnson-decorated Eloise Suite for a night or two at www.theplazany.com/eloise) you can bring a little of that special lux  hotel vibe back home with you.

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Quick Decorating Tips for a Happy Home (some are free!)

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •June 4, 2016

Try something new with color with this perky blue and green setting with a large-scale graphic pattern (Midland) that has a leaf-like motif and gives a nod to old Federal style wallpaper. The wallcovering shown here is Troy, a small-scale texture with characteristics of a basket-weave. Photo credit: Courtesy of Thibaut.www.thibautdesign.com 

There are a few things that really drive decorators and designers crazy. But the good news: the minute we walk into your house, we can spot them and help you correct them quickly. Today, I am sharing my short list with you and guess what? Many of these can be corrected before you finish reading this article and you don’t even have to get in your car to drive up and down 41 looking for more “stuff” to bring into your house! 

So, if you’re happy with your home sweet home but it doesn’t seem quite right, read on and maybe the one little tweak that you need is listed below. 

Be realistic about a budget.

I've never been into a client’s home that I couldn’t improve.  As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I have seen it all. Realistic budget. No budget. Tiny budget. I base my decorating on affordable solutions for home décor and I’ve had lots of practice of making a home look great without wrecking your finances. 

It’s important to keep in mind that reality home shows are not a home interior professional’s friend. They give the impression that a designing couple can breeze through your home, redo it from the inside to the outside, all for a song. Quick, beautiful, cheap, fast. It’s just not so and what they do not include are the behind the scene costs and a realistic, honest budget. 

Pretty painted chest set against the backdrop of Thibaut’s Portofino wall covering. These large, stylized, flowers and other fun details make this a striking accent wall. The wallpaper is rotary screen printed, which uses a lot of ink to make the flowers slightly textured. Photo credit: Courtesy of Thibaut.  www.thibautdesign.com

So having said that, whatever your budget, be realistic and honest with yourself. A lot of my tips below are free or require little $$. Others may be something to work toward (phase two, as I say!). The more realistic you are, the happier you will be with your home. 

No plan? Then it doesn’t matter where you are going.

Now that you have a budget nailed down, take some time to get your thoughts organized and develop a plan. This is key to a happy outcome. What are the priorities? What can you do without spending a lot? Do you need a total redo or will a good design plan help to sort out where to begin? Do you need the professional help of a designer or can you do it yourself with a plan? No plan? The result will be a house filled with rooms that all have a different look. 

Please: Say goodbye to these. Now.

Refrigerator magnets. Fake flowers. A lot of junk on top of kitchen cabinets. Enough said about this. 

Pull furniture away from the walls.

Get rid of the uncomfortable conversation area and create some space. A U-shaped arrangement is best.  Sofa and two chairs or two sofas.  We realize the sized of the space dictates placement. Give it a fresh look. 

Declutter. Declutter. Declutter.

I know, I talk about this all the time. But you have to do it over and over. Things have a way of accumulating when you aren’t looking. And without this key element, you may as well not try to make a change. You will just be rearranging the clutter. 

Create a palette: don’t just throw color around.

If you get the color palette right, everything else falls into place. This is my most popular service and the one that homeowners have the most difficulty establishing. And here’s why: it’s not all about putting paint on the wall. It is about creating a color scheme for the entire home and carrying the color throughout in fabric, accessories, window treatments, pillows, etc. This is definitely the tricky part of decorating. The fun part and the most important after your budget and your plan.  So spend some time on this one.   

Decorating: it’s all about you.

It’s not about your neighbors, your relatives who come to visit each year, your bridge club or a friend who has a daughter who is a decorator in another state. We hear these sources of input all the time! Filter out the noise and keep in mind this is your home and your opinion is the only one that counts. 

Curate your own art gallery.

Take a fresh look at your art work. I like to select a space on a wall and make it look like a museum gallery. Place everything on the floor. With painter’s tape, mark off the area you wish to cover on the wall. The best height for your key pieces: eye level. This is usually 57-58 inches from the floor. Once you have the arrangement, you are ready to create your gallery. 

Paint your entry door on both sides.

If you don’t have the time or budget for anything else, give your home a lift and do this one. And here is a tip: paint both sides of the door for a professional design look. My advice: if you love a color but are afraid that it just will not work in your home, use it on the door. 

Don’t fear wall coverings!

For a long time, we focused on paint and textures for walls. It seems that wallpaper (as it was called) went by the wayside. But it’s back and it’s fabulous. Textures, sheens, feathers. Take a fresh look and at least try it for a powder room or an accent wall. 

Don’t love it? Paint it or pass it on.

Have an antique that you no longer love? Like an armoire or chest? Paint it! What good is it if you no longer want it in your home? Our tastes all change and color can change everything. Otherwise, pass it on and let someone else love it. 

Think about white.

It looks beautiful in magazines. White walls. White sofas and chairs. Gorgeous and carefully styled. Do you have the lifestyle for all white? Will you be able to accent with beautiful artwork and accessories to carry it off? If the answer is yes, go for it! If not, rethink this commitment. 

Come into the light!

We can never have enough and right now your home is likely lacking in this area. Because all of us seem to overlook this important element in our homes.  Check all four corners of your rooms for proper lighting. Remember: we need overhead, task and ambient lighting. Make sure you use dimmers and if this is not possible, plugin adapters work fine.  Chandeliers, floor lamps, mirrors and glass doors also reflect light. 

Decorative painting. Ugh.

This was a trend that has (thankfully) passed on. I am not speaking of the beautiful treatments for recessed ceilings. Rather the unfortunate fad of things like sponge painting, globing things like wadded up paper on the wall, stenciling and other horrors. When it comes to wall treatments: a good quality paint in a beautiful color and finish or the most outrageous wall covering you can afford on an accent wall. 

Say goodbye to your unicorn collection.

We all have collections that made sense at one time. But time is the problem. It may be time to say goodbye. If it’s not a priceless collection or one that you absolutely love, it may have outlived its value. So when you are doing your decluttering, you may want to say goodbye and let someone else love it. 

 

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. Her @home article 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

 

Color your home with happiness

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• June 6, 2015

Color is the first thing we notice about a home. Does your color make you happy every time you walk in the door? Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Color is pretty much my life.

I live with a fan deck in my hand and I constantly pull it out wherever I go to match colors, to plan a color palette or just because I see a color or a fabric that I want for a client.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I do more color consultations than any other design service.  And there is one big reason for that: Color is the most difficult challenge for most homeowners. Get it right and the results are pure joy. Get it wrong and you will always feel like something is off in your home. And it is. Really off. If the color is not right, nothing else matters. Trust me on this.

Color is the first thing we notice about a home. Does your color make you happy every time you walk in the door?

Having the right color palette in your home is the difference between a happy home and one that says "hope you can live with me."

So many colors! How do you select the right ones? Photo: Benjamin Moore.

And it's not easy. It can be daunting. Color just plain stumps most people. So, if you are one of those people, and most of you are, I have a few tips to consider when selecting color.  Follow these tips and you will be ready to take the plunge. Or not. You may also be ready to call in a professional who can help you sort it all out and remove the stress.  After all, color creates a happy home and process should be fun.

Here we go with my favorite "don'ts."

  • Don’t ask a painter or a paint store to help you select color. They sell paint. Not color. They are not decorators or designers. They are painters who put paint on the wall  or paint sellers. Simply put, they know how to paint a house and can tell you the best kind of paint to use but they just don't know how to select color.
  • Don’t select a color from one of those itsy bitsy fan deck samples or tiny swatches. You must (and this is non-negotiable) test the color by painting a large area or a foam core board.
  • Don't just throw the paint on the wall and make a decision. I insist  that my clients "live" with the test color for a few days. Light changes throughout the day and is different in each room and that must be taken into consideration.

Now for some do's.

 Color palette from the Benjamin Moore Williamsburg Collection.

 Color palette from the Benjamin Moore Williamsburg Collection.

  • Make a plan for the room (or house) before you look at color. You have to start somewhere when designing an empty room and that should not be with the paint color. Select furnishings,  fabric, counter tops and other finishesand even a few accessories and THEN look at color. I have clients who call and ask me to have an entire new home painted by next week before they select furniture. You may love that pretty coral paint but what happens when you fall in love with a sofa that doesn't relate to the color? Answer: you have to repaint. We want to avoid that costly mistake!  If you want coral, accessories may be the best way to go.
  • Forget this rule. It's just not true. I don't know who started it but painting small spaces a dark color does NOT make the room look smaller. My favorite: powder rooms done in dark hues.
  • It's fun to break decorating rules but this is one I never stray from: when selecting a color palette,  follow nature as your guide. Mother Nature has perfected the color palette soimitate her. This is a rule I always follow. If it's not a color found in nature, forget it.
  • Stick with two or three (at the most colors for your home. The result: Beautiful and restful. You can add more color with accessories.  Don't try to put all of your color on the walls. Tip: the right pillows will change any room!
  • Connect your rooms.  Don't make each room a completely different color. You want to have a plan so the house makes sense. An idea my clients seem to like: paint all of the main rooms (living room, entry, kitchen) a neutral shade. Use color in the bathrooms, bedrooms and den. I also like to paint the master bedroom and bath in coordinated shades to give it a hotel/master suite feeling.
  • One current trend that I love and encourage my clients to try: No more white ceilings! Check out the decorating magazines.  We are now using color on the ceilings or a cream shade. No more super white.
  • My latest color crush: Boca Raton Blue by Benjamin Moore. I can't think of a room that shouldn't have a little of this color. At least paint a front door (on both sides) or an entry ceiling.
  • Consider undertones. All color is not created equal. Look at the number of whites that you can select from on a fan deck. The reason a color works or does not work: undertones.
  • When in doubt, go neutral. This never fails. Neutral walls with stronger hues in fabric and accessories.  And if you really have doubts and don't know where to start, call a professional. They will help you nail it.

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. And to see a selection of her favorite color palettes, go to www.pinterest.com/wrendagoodwyn