Tips for designing a home that brings the beach inside

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press •May 7, 2016

If you're like me and your favorite chair is a beach chair, your favorite shoes are flip flops and your preferred color palette is the one in your beach umbrella, you likely love the beach and want to have a little of it in your home.

Whether you live steps from the beautiful Gulf shores of Southwest Florida or just wish you did, you can design your home interior to reflect the colors, feelings and hues that will make you feel the tranquility and beauty that only the beach can provide.

WHIMSICAL CLOWN FISH ARE FROM COLE & SON'S ACQUARIO FORNASITTI II. THE WALL COVERING CREATES A DRAMATIC BACKDROP FOR AN ENTRY TABLE STYLED WITH FAVORITE BEACH-INSPIRED PIECES. PHOTO: COLE & SONS.

Beach house decor style is about a lifestyle. An attitude. It's about living with nature and capturing the essence of a long walk on a beach. Striking that balance between casual and a touch of formality. Collecting driftwood and shells. And finding a way to bring a piece of it home.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, many of my clients want to incorporate at least some aspect of our environment into their space.  Whether you live in an apartment, condo, single family home or an Airstream travel trailer, it's easily doable. And fun. Check out my favorite tips, pick one and get to work!

Bright and white

Take advantage of the great tropical lighting that we enjoy in this area. You can't beat a white backdrop for your walls. One of my other favorite go-to-colors for a beach cottage  look is Benjamin Moore's Silver Satin. And use Benjamin Moore's Decorator White for trim. Just enough hue and sparkle and has that "old Florida beach cottage" feeling.

Classic coastal color palette

Vintage Ship door sits atop pilings and holds glass layered with sea glass. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Accessories, fabric, accents are beautiful when done in sea glass accents. Seafoam green/blues. And remember: a bit of turquoise in every room. Even if it's just a bowl of shells mixed with sea glass.

Beach-inspired kitchen

While my favorite kitchen is one done in all white, you can add contrast to white walls with pale grey/blue cabinets. Or bead board (so easy to do this and a great look) in a sea glass tone around the island or bar. Stainless appliances.

 Style a coffee table or entry table

If you don't do anything else, this is the one. It sets the tone of your home. This is where you display your favorite nautical elements: seashells, driftwood, glass jars with seaglass, art, books. I love working books into the mix. Some of my favorites: Island Life by India Hicks and Key West: A Tropical Lifestyle by Leslie Linsley.

Accent walls

For a little beach drama, select a wall in the entry or in a powder room. Cover it in one of the beautiful grass cloth wall coverings or something similar to the whimsical clown fish Cole & Son's Acquario Fornasitti ii. Place this behind your styled entry table or a gorgeous mirror and you don't need anything else to bring the beach home!

Windows

White shutters or light linen drapes are best.  When using drapes, I like to trim them with fabric tape in a sea glass hue. And remember, always hang drapes from just below the ceiling for as much height as possible.

Furniture

Style a bookcase or shelving with a tropical theme. Incorporate white furnishings, white walls and a jute rug. Photo: Pottery Barn. 

It's all about casual comfort. Cushioned or slip covered sofas and chairs will get you the look but you don't need to redo your furnishings. Just add a couple of bamboo chairs and maybe a stool with tropical or white cushions.(Bamboo can be painted: think flea markets). Add a couple of colorful garden stools. These can work as side tables for extra seating. Add colorful pillows.

It's 5 o'clock someplace!

Style a cart with a tiki bar theme. Include artwork on the walls behind the cart and add some of your favorite pieces along with beachy glasses and a plant or two. I like to include a colorful cloth awning over the cart to set it apart.  

Artwork

It's all about color and this is where the room comes to life. I have my clients look through magazines and on Pinterest to seek out paintings and photographs that speak to them and we work it into the mix. One of my favorites: take some your own favorite photographs and stretch them on canvas. This style is perfect for a casual look and is a great memory of someplace you have been.

Flooring

Sand would be perfect for a beach lover but it's best to incorporate natural fiber rugs such as sisal, jute or seagrass. They look great and some of the modern styles have a contemporary look, allowing for trim in coastal colors. Think: coral.

Design your bookshelf

This is one of my favorites. First, pick a sea-inspired color and paint the back of the bookcase or the wall. Creatively, arrange and showcase your artwork, books, driftwood, shells and other elements to give it that "just washed up on the beach look."

Accents

Display your shells in jars and bowls. I like a bowl of shells in every room. There is one by my computer as I write this article. They make me happy and take me someplace else when I have to work can't get to the beach!

Incorporate Capiz mirrors and lighting fixtures.

Purchase bamboo flatware and sea-inspired dishes to use every day.

Add a couple of palm trees to your decor...large or small. They say "tropical" and are good for the air quality in your home.

 

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

 

Trends from High Point Market: Bold, fearless and flirty with a touch of Bohemian

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • November 14, 2015

Once again I was at High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina. That glorious Disneyland for interior designers.

Trying to cover 11.5 million square feet of show space and tens of thousands of new product introductions. I was there along with 75,000 other designers and buyers in 180 buildings that provide dazzling displays of thousands of everything beautiful for your home.

If you can't find it here, it likely doesn't exist. Despite the miles that I put on my new, sensible walking shoes, I couldn't possibly cover all of the showrooms filled with gorgeous, pretty things. But I tried.

 
Upholstered seating with clean lines, bright color tones and bold patterns feature geometric and abstract designs. Sleek and comfortable sectional seating is iconic to mid-century styling and is functional for entertaining. From Lexington Home Brand's Take Five Collection. Photo: Courtesy of Lexington Home Brands.

Upholstered seating with clean lines, bright color tones and bold patterns feature geometric and abstract designs. Sleek and comfortable sectional seating is iconic to mid-century styling and is functional for entertaining. From Lexington Home Brand's Take Five Collection. Photo: Courtesy of Lexington Home Brands.

 

Market, as it is called, takes place for one week each fall and spring. There are opportunities to take courses from experts and chances to meet favorite designers and television personalities. As a Fort Myers interior decorator, this is where I go for design inspiration. To look for new ways of creating beautiful rooms and to shop for my clients who are looking for something new and fresh. Whether it is an eclectic piece to be used as a focal point in a room or for to shop for furnishings and accessories for an entire home.

So take a trip with me as I offer a peek at a few of the amazing, edgy, stunning new trends that I saw at Market. You will soon be seeing these in your favorite retail spots and magazines.

The day before Market, I had a chance to visit Furnitureland South and had a little sneak preview of what the coming trends would be. Ron Bristow, Lexington Home Brands showroom manager, summed it up: "a touch of mid-century modern, clean lines and scale, animal prints, geometrics."

 

A chic ottoman with a brass-plated stainless steel base and polished acrylic legs, upholstered in Australian sheepskin. From Lexington Home Brand's Take Five Collection.  Photo: Courtesy of Lexington Home Brands.

 

And this set the tone for what was to come.

My Favorite Trends:

  • Singing the blues: from the most muted shades to the most vibrant sapphires and indigo tones.
  • Less is more: a minimalist approach to upholstered chairs with open backs and arms. Sexy!
  • Fashion forward: Home interiors are following fashion more than ever. If it's on the runway, plan on seeing it in your favorite shop or showroom very soon.
  • Gold rush: It's back and there's lots of it. Furniture, lighting and accessories.
  • Color, color, color: fearless color.
  • Mirror, mirror on the wall: and mirrored furniture.
  • Go natural: quartz, agate, natural materials in lighting and furnishings.
  • Practical, streamlined and sexy: Comfort with a flirty flair. Redefined mid-century modern.
  • In the pink: Variations in tones with hues from the 1980's.
  • Go wild: Animal prints and faux fur on everything!
  • Organic: Textures and patterns that reflect the outdoors and landscape. Tranquil colors that make us feel calm.
  • Decadence: Lots of luxury and vintage glamour with nods to European tradition.
 

A nod to decadent luxury and vintage glamour with a deep sense of nostalgia. ReflectingEuropean tradition, the trend is feminine and indulgent. Photo courtesy of Surya.

 
  • Art walls: for photos or a collection.
  • Forget plain and boring: Patterned lampshades for indoors and outdoors.
 

Inspired by the colors and artisanal designs of African tribal textures, this Kuba collection from Surya is expressive and free spirited with a sense of cultural heritage passed down through generations. Photo courtesy of Surya.

 

You don't want to change your entire home because of trends. But a few touches here and there will give it a fresh look. And who doesn't want that?

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her column, 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


Want to come home to a spectacular space? Call me!
Sort through the confusion of when to splurge on your home and when to save.
Read my tips for a calm home in a not-so-calm-world in the Fort Myers News-Press.

Home resolutions (easy) to make you love your space (a lot)

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• January 3, 2015

Stage your coffee table and make it the focal point of the room. Photo: Pottery Barn.

The houseguests have departed. The decorations are packed up (well, most of them). Home sweet home may be looking a little sad without the twinkly lights.  And while it's nice to have all of the space back, it may be looking a little drab. Maybe time for a refreshening. Not a total redo. A few tweaks for positive changes that make you feel good about your home.

Stage a coffee table and make it the focal point of the room. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Welcome 2015! Each year, I forgo the impossible, guilt inducing resolutions that are broken before my Christmas tree is picked up by the recycling truck. Instead, I come up with a list of resolutions for the home.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I help my clients make major changes in their homes with new color choices. Giving old furnishings a new look with beautiful upholstery. Purchasing a new accent piece or rug. Changing accessories, artwork, lighting.  Giving an outdated bathroom a spa look. Deciding if now is the time for a room renovation.  Pick just one of these for your home interior resolution in 2015 and you will have a major change.

Design a gallery wall for your entry. Photo: Pottery Barn.

My resolutions are designed to be stress-free. Isn't that what we want for the New Year? Some you can do when you finish reading this column. Others will require a little thinking and planning. Whatever you select, happy decorating. I wish you a spectacular home in 2015!

•    Love everything in your home. If not, get rid of it. Open the space for something new. Just because you have had it forever doesn't mean it is still working for you. Donate it and let someone else love it.

•    Declutter. The New Year is the time. Be brave. A lot of our "stuff" has past emotional attachments. Let it go and love the extra space and calm that results.

•    Open the windows and breathe. Seriously, those windows do open! Let the toxins out (as well as the holiday smells)  and enjoy the fresh air. In southwest Florida where we run the air conditioning nonstop, this is important. Do it now!

•    Make your outdoor space more livable. Whether it is a tiny balcony or a spacious lanai with a pool, make it part of your living space. Furniture, lighting, artwork, a rug to pull it all together. Increases your space and gives you a reason to enjoy the outdoors this time of year.

•    Be realistic and don't believe everything you see on TV. If you have worked endlessly on your home and have everything you want but something is still not quite right, it may be time to call in a professional to help you rethink your space. The home shows are just that: shows. They make it look easy and inexpensive.  It's neither. Remember this is television and what looks great may not always be practical in real life.

•    Bring some new color into your home. Whether it's a new palette for the walls or a new color scheme for accessories, this is the most impactful change you can make. Visually and emotionally, it changes everything.  And for the money, it's the best value.

Add new color and give an old piece a new look for 2015. Photo: Kravet.

•    Exercise restraint. Before you blast out the door to start making purchases, stop and make a plan. Think about how you want your home to feel and what you can do to get there. Avoid mistakes.

•    Check out your lighting. One of the biggest mistakes I see in homes is lack of or incorrect lighting. And this is relatively easy to fix. We need task (work), ambient (overall) and accent (on a particular object or part of the room). Sometimes all you need to do is increase the light bulb strength!

•    Add a gallery wall. Pull your artwork or photos together on one wall for a museum or art gallery look. Go with a dark color as a backdrop. Short on space? An entry is a great place to do this.  

•    Stage your coffee table.  You likely have everything you need! A pretty tray,  favorite books, accessories, flowers. Gorgeous!

•    Tidy up the laundry room. Paint it a color that you love but are afraid to use in any otter room. Add a piece of art. Reorganize and declutter. You may enjoy doing the laundry!

•    Always go for timeless over trendy. Will you love it in five years? Buy it. And buy the best you can afford with major items like your sofa.

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

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Design forecast: Fearless, bright, bold and brassy

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• November 8, 2014

 
Mid-century modern dining by Stanley Furniture. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn

Mid-century modern dining by Stanley Furniture. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn

 

At High Point Market in North Carolina, along with 75,000 other buyers and designers from all over the world, I did my best to cover 11.5 million square feet of space that provide dazzling displays of thousands of new products.

This home decor mecca is Disneyland for designers. It takes place for one week each fall and spring. With so much to see that it's easy to find yourself on visual overload. In addition, there are opportunities to meet famous designers, take courses from experts and there are lots of opportunities to meet your favorite television personalities (my design crush: Tom Filicia). There is even a seminar that teaches you how to navigate Market, as it is called, and to make the most out of your time.

 
Lots of creative uses of books. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Lots of creative uses of books. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

But who has time for that course with all of the spectacular showrooms waiting with beautiful, pretty things. The temptation is to just take the plunge with your to do list. And so I did.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, this is where I go for design inspiration, to look for new ways of creating beautiful rooms and to shop for my clients who are looking for something new and fresh. Whether it is an eclectic piece to be used as a focal point in a room or for to shop for furnishings and accessories for an entire home.

 
Pretty and popular apple green accents with neutral tones. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Pretty and popular apple green accents with neutral tones. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

If you can't find it here, it doesn't exist. Not that every showroom can be covered. Despite the miles that I put on my new, sensible walking shoes. So take a trip with me as I offer a peek at a few of the amazing, edgy, stunning new trends that I saw at Market. You will soon be seeing these in your favorite retail spots and magazines.

Trends

The market spotters were predicting "bright, bold and brassy," and that sums it up perfectly. Home design has taken a turn that is not for the faint of heart. Fearless decorating with bright tones and accessories that don't take themselves too seriously.

Brass and gold continue to be very important in home décor----not shiny brass or gold but wonderful antiqued and textured gold as well as brass with a natural patina.

 
Bold and sassy! Photo: Curry & Company.

Bold and sassy! Photo: Curry & Company.

 

Lighting

The jewelry of interior decorating, lighting is the hottest accessory and it takes center stage in every room. Never has lighting been prettier with more sparkle and bling! The choices are stunning. Think gold.

In the Currey and Company showroom, a showstopper in itself, each piece hanging from the ceiling looked like a sparkling gold bracelet twisted into arty shapes.

 
Orli Chandelier of Wrought Iron finished in Contemporary Gold Leaf. Photo: Currey & Company.

Orli Chandelier of Wrought Iron finished in Contemporary Gold Leaf. Photo: Currey & Company.

 

Wrought Iron with contemporary gold leaf and brass are popular finishes. And the dazzling La Mer Wall Sconce of wrought iron, shell and glass is a perfect accessory for a sophisticated coastal look that blends beach-inspired design with a traditional or contemporary look.

 
La Mer Wall Sconce. Photo: Currey & Company.

La Mer Wall Sconce. Photo: Currey & Company.

 

Color

As we said, bold and fearless! Lots of blues including navy, indigo, robins egg.  Red is also trending in sofas and accessories along with corals and pinks. Orange, jade, teals and that beautiful apple green are everywhere.

Furniture

Lots of soft curves that soften the silhouette of a chair or sofa and add visual interest. Canopy beds are trending with a breathtaking, modern new look. Blending antiques with almost any style as an accent piece. Reclaimed/distressed pieces. Driftwood. Lot of gold and brass tables. Table bases and coffee tables have emerged as artwork with sculptured designs. Bar carts are the rage with lots of gold and glass. Ottomans in bold patterns and jewel tones.

 
Coastal living retreat. Photo: Stanley Furniture.

Coastal living retreat. Photo: Stanley Furniture.

 
 
Carved wooden coffee table. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Carved wooden coffee table. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

And with furniture, it's all about customization. Changing the shape of a leg, an arm or a cushion, even changing the dimensions of a piece to fit a unique space, offers choices like never before to the consumer.

According to Kravet, premiering its new furniture showroom at Market, a lot of designers today are embracing an updated traditional look, which could mean a tufted sofa with a slim track arm, or a comfortable arm chair with sleek details.

 
Kravet Denham Chair. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet Denham Chair. Photo: Kravet.

 

There is a resurgence of the chaise lounge, and they are popular in today’s interior design schemes. With regard to pattern and color, Kravet embraces a bright bold fabric statement on furniture, however many designers are choosing upholstery that is durable and neutral, which is a great investment for the life of your furniture, and your room.

Brass and bronze occasional tableswere everywhere with some of the most popular at Vanguard Furniture to complement the extensive furniture collection that is popular with southwest Florida homeowners because of its personalization options. And furniture is painted every color imaginable!

Art and accessories

So many fresh, new choices here. Artifact decor is hugely popular as an accent. Buddha's in every color are a huge accent piece with all styles of decor. Books have taken on a huge role in artwork and accessories serving as a focal point and covered in papers and fabric. Glass is seen in bold colors and shapes.

 
Popular Buddha is incorporated into all styles of design. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Popular Buddha is incorporated into all styles of design. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

Rugs

Bold and exotic. Intricate patterns. Lots of metallics. Washes and patinas create a soft look.  Viscose yarn is used with pearlescent shimmer to add dimension to neutral tones. Easy care with custom sizing, beautiful indoor/outdoor selections.

 
Blue Bye You. Photo: Company C.

Blue Bye You. Photo: Company C.

 

Summary:

Have fun with the latest trends and don't take your decorating too seriously!

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For more details on trends and other fun sightings at High Point Market, visit www.spectacularspaces.com/blogor call Wrenda Goodwyn at 239-949-1808 or wrenda@spectacularspaces.com

Lighten up home decor with Lucite

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• June 8, 2013

Kate Spade lucite heel.

Kate Spade lucite heel.

It never fails. What you see on the runway is eventually going to make its way into home decor.

And just as Lucite heels and jewelryare the rage in fashion magazines, pieces are again making an appearance in home furnishings and accessories. 

And just as the sparkle of Lucite in a heel has a modern, fresh look, you would not want an entire shoe made of it. The same goes for the home. Less is definitely more.  Use sparingly and you have a look.  Use too much and it can look cheap.

Ozzie Pancaro, owner of the Casa Italia showroom at Miromar Design Center in Estero, says the trend has been "gaining steam for the past two years and that it was seen prominently at the Milan furniture in April."

The Italian, contemporary design, he says, was used sparingly as accents such as "night tables, floating bases, with lighting, sideboards, panels and floating legs."

Most dramatic:  Casa Italia offers a 100% eco- friendly produced bed that is available in 32 colors of matte lacquer or it can be upholstered. It sits on a On Methacrylate base with LED lighting and gives the effect of floating.

Photo: Casa Italia, Miromar Design Center, Estero. 

Photo: Casa Italia, Miromar Design Center, Estero. 

And don't forget the 2002 classic Ghost Chair, designed by Philippe Starck. It now comes in colors, giving it a little less ghost and a little more pizzazz. It has an elegant, timeless look. Using a single piece of translucent injection-molded polycarbonate, Starkcreated the one of the most recognizable chairs of the 21st century. Versatile enough for almost any space, it is often seen at events such as weddingsbecause of its comfort and durability indoors or outdoors. Fabric chair covers can be added for comfort and color.

What is Lucite?

Lucite is the brand name for a clear, acrylic resin material that has been around since the early twentieth century.  It was firstused for commercial purposes but became a popular material for jewelry and interior decoratingin the 1950's.  Today itappears in wall sconces, chairs, benches, tables, lamp bases and other home accessories.

Using Lucite in your home

Not a serious line of furniture, Lucite takes on a modern, almost whimsical feel. In other words, have some fun with it!

It is great for small spaces and does not take up a lot of visual space. For a small room it can be a good solution as it basically disappears and lightens up the space.

Lucite furniture is perfect for spaces where pattern, texture or paint color, are the focal point. The transparency creates a balanced look to the room and does not add unnecessary visual clutter.

Ghost Chair, designed by Philippe Starck. Photo: Casa Italia.

Kohl's lucite bistro set.

Kohl's lucite bistro set.

 

 Photos: Casa Italia

Like the look but afraid of committing? Try a magazine rack, barstool or tray for a table.  Kohl's, Target and other big box stores feature accent tables, bar stools, bistro sets and a wide range of accessories.

Lucite combined with brass or other materials and designs can serve as a point of interest. And furniture manufacturers are also making Lucite legs as an alternative to wood to make a piece a focal point in a room.

It's eco-friendly!

Perhaps the best reason of all to consider Lucite in your decorating plan: it requires no cutting down of trees, no toxic glues are used and it can be recycled. It is also durable, making it usable indoor and outdoors.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. 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

Sources:

Casa Italia
Miromar Design Center
10800 Corkscrew Road
Suite 250
Estero, FL 33928
239-390-0643
www.casaitalia.com

Kohl's
www.kohls.com

Always in Style: Stickley furniture offers history lessons

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• Feb. 23. 2013 

For many, it is an acquired taste.

But homeowners who love Stickley furniture are addicted to its style, design and quality. Collectors search in earnest for antiques — early Stickley pieces are recognized as gems of the American Arts & Crafts movement — and can add new pieces because the furniture is still made today, in the company’s factory in Manlius, N.Y.

Photo of Stickley Furniture Mission Dining CollectionMission Dining Collection.“The quality of construction is amazing. Each piece is built when it is ordered ... the name of the customer is on the piece and remains on it as it progresses down the assembly line,” said Larry Norris, founder and president of Norris Home Furnishings, Southwest Florida’s exclusive Stickley dealer.

“And Stickley is delivered on its own truck. When you purchase a piece of Stickley, you are buying a collectible of tomorrow.”

Stickley furniture is known for its hand-finished, solid wood furniture in styles including Mission, Traditional and Metropolitan. Founded in Fayettesville, N.Y., in 1900 by Gustav Stickley — considered to be one of the country’s most legendary furniture makers — Stickley is seen in museums from the Metropolitan to the Museum of Fine Arts.

Today, Stickley has more than 1,600 employees and produces furniture collections ranging from the company’s early Mission Oak and Cherry to Classics, Modern, John Widdicomb, St. Croix and more.

Photo of Stickley Furnitiure Willow Bed Willow Bed: From the modern collection, the willow bed is part of the Edinburgh line. This beautiful bed was inspired by the Willow Tea Room in Sauchehall Street in Glasgow.

The company burst into international prominence in the early 20th century with its Craftsman/Mission Oak designs. These were based on the notion that furniture should be “honest” — a reaction against the fake joinery, unnecessary gaudiness and shoddy workmanship of many of the pieces created in the early days of industrial furniture making.

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