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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog