Giving thanks for your home

Keep it pretty and simple this Thanksgiving with handcrafted ceramics from Pottery Barn that let you bring nature into your home with botanicals and colorful fruit. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Keep it pretty and simple this Thanksgiving with handcrafted ceramics from Pottery Barn that let you bring nature into your home with botanicals and colorful fruit. Photo: Pottery Barn.


Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • November 3, 2018

Even in our year-round tropical paradise where there is little change in the weather, fall brings a noticeable shift.

Unlike the rest of the country, the slight drop in temperature has most of us heading for the beach, sprucing up our lanais for the season and getting outdoors more. It means football games, antique markets, holiday open houses, the beginning of a series of celebrations and family gatherings. And Thanksgiving.

Sadly, Thanksgiving gets lost in the Halloween/Christmas shuffle. Wedged in between the two, it doesn’t get the recognition that it did when I was growing up in Virginia and it was a major family holiday.

In a time of many challenges, most people are stressed, shuffling too many obligations and trying to do it all, Thanksgiving is a good time to stop and take a breath. And to be thankful for where you live and for your home.

Bombarded by beautiful, professionally-styled homes featured in magazines, Pinterest and HGTV, we live in a constant state of wanting to do more, more, more. And a visit to model homes on a weekend sends most of us into a deep case of home envy. Everyone has a better, more gorgeous home. Or so we think.

Our homes provide comfort, safety, calm and happiness. And yet, we are never really satisfied

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I make homes pretty. Solve problems that bother the homeowner. Pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look. The ultimate goal: happiness when you walk in the door.

The right paint color helps to pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look and makes you happy when you walk in the door. Benjamin Moore: Wall in Mascarpone AF-20; trim in Whipple Blue HC-152. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

The right paint color helps to pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look and makes you happy when you walk in the door. Benjamin Moore: Wall in Mascarpone AF-20; trim in Whipple Blue HC-152. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Sometimes this may only require a new color palette. Color is the big change in any home. And it can be the best investment for your money. But it may also require new furniture or a bath or kitchen redo. The most important thing: start with where you are and work from there. But don’t go crazy.

Take a minute to stop, look around and give thanks for what you have. A fresh perspective. Often it is the simple things.

A few things that you don’t need:

· Oversized coffee tables

· Too many chairs (eat-in kitchen, dining room, bar stools, patio chairs….how many chairs do you really need?) make a home look like a furniture store.

· Bar carts. Cute but unnecessary and take up space.

· Too many throw pillows.

· Media centers that span an entire wall. A lot of fuss for a TV.

· Layered rugs. One is enough.

· Dining room table and chairs that see use once a year (or less).

· To strive for perfection. It will never happen and you will just be exhausted all the time.

Giving thanks with a twist on the traditional napkin ring with these wraps from Frontgate. Photo: Frontgate.

Giving thanks with a twist on the traditional napkin ring with these wraps from Frontgate. Photo: Frontgate.

What you need:

· Keep it simple.

· Declutter something. You will feel better.

· A chandelier in your closet. It will make you happy.

· A calm space. A spa bath, a patio, a yoga nook, a chair with a reading lamp.

· Nature. Plants in the house have health benefits and make us feel good.

· Good lighting. Up the wattage.

· Decorate as though you will live there forever.

· A pretty guest room. Company is coming!

· Aim for timeless and affordable.

· Don’t live in a storage garage for someone else’s memories. Your home is about you.

Wherever you are spending the holiday, be thankful for your home sweet home.



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 article appears the first Saturday of each month. For more information visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 239-949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog





Simple pleasures: A late fall road trip with my best friend

My father always said, "there are no friends like old friends." He didn't mean old as in ancient. But as in friends that have known you for a long time. And he was right.

 
 

My friend Connie and I met when we were 18, in college in North Carolina and became best friends right away. We have been through happy times, moves, transitions, sad times, children, divorces, marriages and everything in between. We know each other's deepest secrets (like the time the state police gave us a ride back to our college dorm when we missed our ride in Raleigh), dreams and wishes.

 
 

It seems like we have known each other forever. And that is why, when we get together, we pick up right where we left off. And it's always fun.

When I visited a couple of weeks ago to take a late fall road trip in North Carolina, we were looking for the changing of the leaves, some great shopping, visiting our old college and seeing some sights. And we did all of that. But the best part was enjoying the comfort and good times that can only come from a longtime friend. 

 
Fall in one of my favorite downtowns, Apex, North Carolina.

Fall in one of my favorite downtowns, Apex, North Carolina.

 
 
Take a book. Return a book at the free library. One of my favorite ideas ever.

Take a book. Return a book at the free library. One of my favorite ideas ever.

 
 
Money magazine says its #9 in the U.S.

Money magazine says its #9 in the U.S.

 
 
Shopping for vintage decor.

Shopping for vintage decor.

 
 

I can make this!

 

Hopefully the airline will not weigh my bags!

So, as we head into Thanksgiving next week, I am most thankful for the friends who have been placed in my life and have made me part of their extended families.  And for all of the years we have shared. And priceless memories. Some of which will never be revealed!

 
Forever friends, Wrenda and Connie. 

Forever friends, Wrenda and Connie. 

 

Home Inspirations: Simple touches transition home from summer to fall

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• October 4, 2014

Pottery Barn's outdoor, fall pillows.

Pottery Barn's outdoor, fall pillows.

As I write this column, fall is not in the air. Yet.

While most of the country is hanging on to those last warm days of summer, in southwest Florida we are anxiously awaiting a cool morning breeze, an evening that makes us look through our closet for a jacket and any sign that fall is on its way.

It will appear soon. Amy minute. Perhaps even this weekend, when a cold front is predicted.

And while our northern neighbors are covering the pool and bringing in the patio furniture, we are looking forward to heading outdoors after a long summer of air conditioning! And it only takes a few news reports of snow storms to realize again, how lucky we are to live in a tropical paradise.

But until then, we dream of fall.  

And there is something about the change in seasons that makes us want to make a change. In fashion and in our homes. We want to mark the change in seasons, no matter how subtle.

West Elm's reclaimed pine library storage.

Add a new accent piece from fall flea markets or this West Elm reclaimed pine librarian storage inspired by library card catalogs. Photo: West Elm. So as the days become shorter and we are all counting down fall's arrival,  we look at our homes and make small changes to mark the coming season. As a Fort Myers interior decorator, some of my favorites include:

•    Start with a good decluttering. Then go to your closet, bring the long sleeves and jackets and boots to the front. In the pantry, clean out all of the old spices and make room for the new as we get ready for the coming holidays.

Pottery Barn's flora and fauna trays in neutral tones.

Pottery Barn's flora and fauna trays in neutral tones.

•    Make a slight change of colors in your decorating with yellows, browns and orange tones.  Pillows, throws,  accessories. Mother nature's colors...you can't go wrong.

•   Flora and fauna trays in neutral tones are a great accessory for counters, dressers and they are perfect for holding all of those remotes!

•    Visit fall art shows and invest in a new piece of art or accent piece.

•    Search fall flea markets and find a new treasure for an accent piece.

•    With shorter days, now is a good time to take a look at your lighting and perhaps add a new lamp or two.

•    Change your scents to fall. Some of my favorites are the highly scented candles from Candleberry Candles and include: Copper Leaves ad Mulled Cider. www.candleberry.com.

West Elm's plush cotton bath mat.

West Elm's plush cotton bath mat.

•    The change in seasons is a perfect time to invest in new linens, towels, throws, blankets.

•    Give bath a new look with this color block, stripe bath mat of plush yarn-dyed cotton. Photo: West Elm.

•    Freshen up a room or outdoor space by adding a new rug. Some of my favorites are from Dash & Albert.  www.dashandalbert.com.

•     Change your fireplace mantel or tablescape with creamy neutrals accented with seasonal tones, gourds, pumpkins, leaves, baskets, accents.

Tip: I pick these up from Home Goods for my clients.

West Elm's metallic bowl filled with apples.

West Elm's metallic bowl filled with apples.

•    As you spend more time outdoors, add some new pillows and throw (for chilly nights) to your chairs.  

•    Start at the front door with mums, a new welcome mat, wreath and pumpkins (Tip: spray paint the pumpkins to reflect your color scheme). Fun!

•    On the first cool morning: open all of the windows and let the fresh air into your home.

Welcome fall!  It's been a long, hot summer!

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