Home Inspirations: Fashion meets interior design with simplicity and sexiness

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• June 7, 2014

"Simplicity and sexiness. That's what people want at a price that's not outrageous." Diane von Furstenberg in 1976 when she was on the cover of Newsweek.

Photo: Kravet.

Photo: Kravet.

She married a prince in 1969.

She became a fashion diva with her slinky, print, wrap dress in 1974. By 1976, she had sold more than one million of the dresses hat looked good on everyone.

She was painted by Warhol in the 70's and 80's.

She was exotic and her life is legendary. And the legend continues as she has just teamed up with Kravet to launch a new collection of home fabrics and trimmings. The line showcases her renowned aesthetic and sense of print and color, as seen in many of her iconic patterns. Von Furstenberg effortlessly brings high fashion into the home with prints, wovens and draperies and custom trimmings designed to accent the fabrics with an exotic edge.

Photo: Kravet.

Photo: Kravet.

And like the designer, exotic is the best way to describe these classic von Furstenberg designs. That and "fearless" with a touch of " oh là là!"

The collection has a strong foundation in black and white with pops of color, and incorporates the iconic designer's signature bold animal prints, such as Spotted Cat and Funky Zebra. Geometric and abstract prints are also featured, for an eclectic blend designed to be mixed and matched. Color palettes range from berry and orange jewel tones inspired by the sunsets in Rajasthan, to azure blues that recall the Caribbean Sea, and desert-inspired neutrals in sand and stone.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator and a huge fan of all things von Furstenberg, I could not wait for the Kravet showroom at Miromar Design Center in Estero to unveil this collection. And I wasn't disappointed.  But these designs are not for the fearful when it comes to incorporating into a home's decor.

Photo: Kravet

Photo: Kravet

Amy Jimenez, Kravet's Estero showroom manager suggests that the bright color palate as well as the more subtle tones are perfect for someone with a more modern aesthetic.

"Feeling daring? Imagine using a pattern like Cumulus, Iznikoasis or China Vine for drapery panels, bedding or on a large piece of furniture. Feeling more“faint of heart”? Try using them on accent pieces such as pillows, chairs or ottomans for a great pop," she says.

Photo: Kravet

Photo: Kravet

And my advice? Forget your fears and liven up your decor with these yummy colors and designs.

As Jimenez says, whateveryou choose, DVF’s collection will be sure to transform any space into something really spectacular!"

I couldn't agree more.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her practical and affordable interior decorating helps clients transform a house into a beautiful home.  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

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

Here's to best friends, Tory Burch and living in color

I love Tory Burch.

Her clothes. Her shoes. The turquoise and white jacket trimmed in shells that I purchased two years ago and will wear forever. The fact that she lives her life in living color... influenced by her travels. And now there is more to love, she has ventured into interior design. It's all gorgeous. And I want it. All of it.

 
Photo:  Tory Burch.

Photo:  Tory Burch.

 

So, imagine my excitement when a longtime friend who knows me all to well, sent me the best gift ever: Tory Burch in Color. It's hot off the press and fabulous. Just like Tory. She groups everything into sections by color so you can see it all: fashion, interiors, travels and more. I give the book a 10 after devouring it this weekend. A beautiful addition to my collection of inspiration books.

Tory Burch 1.jpg

But the best part of all?

 
Friends

Friends

 

This cherished friend, who has a BIG career of her own and is fabulous in her own right, took the time and was thoughtful enough to send me such a special gift. She knew it was the perfect choice. That's what makes a friend. They just know things. Like when you could use a little inspiration. 

Want to know when to splurge and when to save?

Call me. I will help you create Spectacular Spaces in your home!

Time to hire a professional? Read my tips for working with an interior decorator in the Fort Myers News-Press.

The Yoga Sutras: My search for meaning on a Saturday afternoon

It was a beautiful Saturday and the beach was calling me.

It takes a lot to keep me away from the beach on weekends. It is my angst release. My meditation.  My chance to try to get ride of all the stress that I have absorbed during the week.  A way to escape all of the drama.  And even if it’s only for a few minutes, a walk by the water is healthier than anything else I can imagine doing. 

But today the beach would have to wait. I had something else in mind.

Joyful Yoga and Spa in Bonita Springs had scored a major accomplishment and was hosting Dr. Pandit Rajamani Tigunait, the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute for a two-hour discussion of his book, The Secret of the Yoga Sutra. This location was only one of 71 stops on his tour.  He is a big deal. And I had signed up weeks ago. Hoping for some answers.

It has been a year since I walked into Joyful Yoga and happily made a commitment to a yoga practice. For many years I had been a complete exercise fanatic and it paid off with a healthy, strong body. But after endless boot camp classes, high impact cardio and a yoga class here and there, all I had to show for it at the end of the day was knowing that I had to start over again the next day. It had become a drag. I wanted more.

And at Joyful Yoga I found more. As co-owner and longtime yogi, Emily Chiodo, puts it:

"Here in the west, we are so obsessed with the physical aspect of the yoga system that many people are unaware of the larger scope. The physical and mental benefits experienced with a hatha yoga practice is valuable in and of itself.  While the effects of your first few yoga classes may last a few hours or even days, it is merely a temporary freedom. Then, with continued practice, you begin to short circuit patterns in the brain that create anxiety as you simultaneously strengthen muscles, establish flexibility, refine physiological responses, and stave off disease and deterioration, but there is still more to be derived from a yoga practice."

Imagine being able to short circuit patterns in the brain that create anxiety. Sign me up.

I wanted to learn more. And I wanted to understand the sutras.  I know these more than 2,000 year-old sutras help us to “understand the mind, turn it inward and achieve life’s  purpose.”

Joyful Yoga and Spa in Bonita Springs

Joyful Yoga and Spa in Bonita Springs

So, having given up my day at the beach for some deeper understanding of the Yoga Sutras, I walked into Joyful Yoga and knew that I was in the right place.

The studio looked beautiful with bright sun and blue skies setting the backdrop through the huge wall of windows facing north. The water-filled fountain in the garden area was sparkling. Magical.

As Emily introduced this modern-day master who has touched lives as a teacher and spiritual leader, I made a decision. I would learn what I learned. No stress or angst. No pressure.

And he talked and I listened as he focused on some of the sutras.

Despite the fact that prosperity everywhere in the U.S., what we have is not enough. We are just not completely happy. And he spoke about attachment: We want the world to comply with our whims. We see it revolving around us. And over and over, he spoke of “cleansing the mind.”

We know those moments of stress when we have the power to reverse them or slow them down. But most days, we just let them carry us along. Without trying to stop them.  

And despite all of his beautiful words and calm explanations, the sutras are still difficult for me to understand.

And then it happened...

At the end of his presentation, just before his guided meditation, Dr. Pandit Rajamani Tigunait said that we cannot be effective if we run around like we are crazy and agitated. We must “let the mind exercise its mastery over the body.”  We must get the mind into a state of balance.  We must take a break from our frantic lives. Clear the mind through meditation and breathing. It is the only way. A conscious, cleansing meditation. The key word here is conscious. And balance.

A reboot, as I see it. When you are in the middle of the storm of anxiety. And this, I completely get. Especially on those days when it's impossible to make it to a beach.

Thanks, Joyful Yoga, for guiding me in my yoga practice...on and off the mat.

Mendocino: Forgotten in time

It‘s a steamy, hot day in southwest Florida and my thoughts have turned to my recent adventure to cool and blissful Mendocino. 

Beautiful_Mendocino.JPG

The haunting beauty of that area of the California coast is breathtaking and stays with you long after you leave.

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The most amazing quality of Mendocino is the peaceful and stunning quiet of the area. The first few times I was here, I thought that time had forgotten about Mendocino. But during this stay, I realized that the magic of the place is that it has forgotten time. And therein lies its rare, uncomplicated beauty.

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You can walk the blustery Headlands State Park (always reminds me of the Cliffs of Dover in England). Pick up colorful bits of this and that in nearby Glass Beach. Find some courage and go cave kayaking in the Pacific. Have a drink in front of the fireplace at the old Mendocino Hotel, a historic landmark, and let time transport you back to the 1850’s when the town was a booming port for logging trade. You can pick up beautiful pieces of driftwood on the beach or as I like to do, sit on a bench and take it all in. That is the pure joy of Mendocino, taking it all in.

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Since for me, it is always about the houses, I love to walk the streets and explore the Victorian and saltbox homes. Some have been forgotten and are overgrown with beautiful flowers. The rolling meadows and redwood trees and just the quiet of the village of Mendocino, make me think of the movies shot there, East of Eden with James Dean and Summer of 42

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But mostly I love the fact that what happens in the rest of the world really doesn’t matter here. You can leave some cash in a jar after hours for the artist who leaves a few of her pieces for those who might visit after her studio closes. Or take a break and sit for a while on a mosaic sofa that nature has taken over.

                                                                       

                                                                       

And one night I was taking a walk on the Headlands and stumbled into the playhouse where the Mendocino Theatre Company was presenting Master Class.  I asked at the box office and they told me the show started in 10 minutes and since I did not have my purse with me, I could come back and leave my money in the mail box the next day. I did. I think life should always be this way but it only seems to happen in the quaint town that forgot about time. 

                                                      

                                                      

And there is my favorite bookstore, Gallery Bookshop, where you have a view of the Pacific and peruse all kinds of great books. And it is fun to stop in The Birdhouse(a studio that was converted from a water tower) where artist  Monika Maluche makes her beautiful little ceramic birds. You can pick one up for $20.

                                                                

                                                                

But my best find in Mendocino this visit was free. My husband, in the early morning hours, found a gorgeous intact, abalone shell that washed on the beach. Perfect to hold jewelry on my dressing table, it brings back all the perfect memories every day.

I'll be back soon. It would be impossible for me to stay away.

                                                       

                                                       

Thanks Mr. Chihuly: You made my day in Seattle!

Photo of glass flowers at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

I knew this was going to be a great day.

The kind that people who live in Seattle never talk about. The skies were blue and the sun was shining.  l almost skipped to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition that’s located at the base of the Space Needle.

Photo of Dale Chihuly and Wrenda Goodwyn at Chihuly Art and Glass in Seattle With Dale Chihuly at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle.This was a day that I had looked forward to since the exhibition opened a year ago.  Stained glass has always been one of my passions and I have dabbled in it for years.  Dale Chihuly pushes the envelope with his dreamlike pieces. You want to stare at them for hours and that’s what I did.

The centerpiece is the Glasshouse. A 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space, the Glasshouse is the result of Chihuly’s lifelong appreciation for conservatories. The design draws inspiration from two of his favorite buildings: Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and the Crystal Palace in London.

 

The installation is an expansive 100-foot long sculpture in a color palette of reds, oranges, yellows and amber. Made of many individual elements, it is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. The perception of the artwork varies greatly with natural light and as the day fades into night. It is inspiring and captivating.

So after going through the exhibition(45,000-square feet of colorful bliss) twice to take it all in, I entered the Glasshouse and there he was: Dale Chihuly. It was my lucky day.  He was talking about how he did the installation. I met him and we talked for a few minutes.  He was gracious and had his photographer take a photo of us. He made my day in Seattle.

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