Bathroom redux: from drab to fab

Bathroom redux: from drab to fab

There was a time when the bathroom was the most unmentioned room in the home. No longer. Today, bathrooms, as much as any room in house, reflect the style of the owners.  

It’s the most personal space in your home. It’s typically the smallest room and yet you begin and end your day in your bathroom. Next to the kitchen, it’s the most important room in the home.

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Mini makeover tips for a big change

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • February 6, 2016

Is your home feeling, well, a little boring?

It happens the first couple of months of every new year. The sparkle has all gone and here we are, back to the same old house.  And a few cloudy, rainy days that we have had lately are enough to make us spoiled Southwest Florida residents screaming for something to brighten things up a bit.

Your home needs, well, a new vibe. Some color. Some wow.

Claire Scarf print bedding from Pottery Barn makes a colorful splash in this bedroom along with Lara chandelier made of handblown glass on an iron frame. The Zimmer trunk is a nice accent piece with a mahogany frame accented with hand-hammered aluminum edging and leather handles. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Some of my favorite makeover tricks that I use for my clients might be exactly what you need to take it from the same old house to a happy, refreshed home. Here are a few changes that result in a big impact:

New color palette

Many of my clients are painting their interiors in whites and neutrals. So, reimagine a new color palette in your home. A splash here and there to give it a little wow factor. New sofa pillows in a springy color. And this is a great time to replace your master bedroom linens. Vibrant new comforter or duvet, sheets, rugs. It changes everything. Maybe even how you sleep!

Rearrange a room

Is a living room or a den bothering you? Take everything out of the room. Seriously. Give it a deep cleaning. Put everything back with a few changes. Declutter. Maybe you arrange the furniture so that the flow and conversation area works better. Add a green tree or plant in a forgotten corner and string some white, twinkly lights (you know you are missing these from the holidays).

Add some contrast

Pick a new color palette! Bold and beautiful patterns have been used to create bedding, pillows and more from Pottery Barn for this first collection of it's kind. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Pick a new color palette! Bold and beautiful patterns have been used to create bedding, pillows and more from Pottery Barn for this first collection of it's kind. Photo: Pottery Barn.

If wow is what you are looking for, this is my favorite, inexpensive trick. Paint the baseboards and trim a contrasting color. It will make your walls pop and it gives the room a completely new look.

Shed some light on your rooms

Evaluate lighting.  It's amazing but 80% of the homes I visit do not have enough light. Two lamps in each room. That's not enough!  Most rooms need six sources of light. This one is really easy. And while you are at it, increase the bulb strength.

Need some drama?

When was the last time you purchased new lamp shades? I thought so. And try something different. Like black. Seriously, they are beautiful. And dramatic.

Rotate your artwork

Instead of putting it all out at once and creating visual overload, rotate it seasonally. Think about different ways to rearrange it. For example, on a fireplace mantle, leanpieces against the wall instead of hanging.

Style a bookcase

Paint or wallpaper the back wall of the bookcase. Rearrange books in combination with pottery, favorite collectibles to add visual interest.

Just try one small makeover for your home and see what a difference it makes!   

And speaking of makeovers, it was time for me to practice what I tell my clients and do my own. As a Fort Myers interior designer, my mantra is to let  go of what no longer works to make space for something better and more beautiful.  It takes courage to embark on a makeover. We all want an amazing, blissful and beautiful space. It means that you have to be fearless. Whether designing a room in your home or a new website. And that's what I did. You be the judge. Visit and tell me what you think of my site makeover.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail For more decorating tips and photos, visit

Give your home a mini-makeover before the holidays

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• November 2, 2013

It’s the first Saturday in November and it's official, we are heading into the holidays.

That means most of us are beginning to take a look around our homes and beginning to make some plans for the coming season.

Whether your plans include lots of holiday guests and a home that is transformed into a Clark Griswold Christmas with reindeer prancing on the rooftop OR if you plan a quieter holiday with a minimum of fuss and decorating, most of us could use a mini makeover (for our homes) before we pull out the holiday cheer.

This is a great time to give the front door a fresh coat of paint and red is perfect for the holidays! Or any day. Photo: Pottery Barn


As a Fort Myers Interior decorator who helps lots of clients with their holiday décor, I always suggest a starting with a clean and uncluttered slate before bringing more "stuff" into the home. Let's face it, having so much clutter around whether it's for the holidays or any time, makes us tired. Some of my quick mini makeover tips for a big impact may help you to have a more peaceful and balanced home this holiday season and beyond. And that's what we all want. Right?

Make an entrance. Start at the front door:  Clean the mailbox. Invest in a new welcome mat. Paint the door (try a new color). Clean light fixtures.

Give it a good cleaning: Do it yourself or hire a service for a thorough cleaning before decorating. Include washing all windows inside and out until they sparkle.

Starting at the front door, your mini makeover begins with a new welcome mat. Photo: Pottery Barn

Lamps Plus makes it easy to select lighting with Sherwin Williams and Pantone shades and custom-coordinated shades. Photo: Lamps Plus

Declutter: If you only do one item on this list, do this one! Remove everything from tabletops and counters. Store it all until after the holidays.

Lighting:Every home that I make over is light deficient! Think about increasing your lighting: Use wall sconces to fill in the dark spots in dining rooms, hallways, bathrooms, bedside. If wiring is a problem: no problem. Use the swing arm lighting. With lamps, think pairs. Basically, you cannot have enough lighting. Favorite to add quickly: Gourd lamps. They are inexpensive and come in great colors. Favorite source:

Living room: This is a good time to add new pillows and throws. 4-6 on a sofa is enough. Don't make it look like a pillow fight. Style your bookshelves with some upright, some horizontal, add pottery and photos along with space for some holiday pieces. For a dark corner in the room or hallway, put a tree in a basket and decorate with white lights.

Kitchen: No time for a complete renovation but you can make some quick changes in the room that is the main gathering place during the holidays. Find new containers for flower, coffee, sugar, etc. and buy a pretty tray to hold everything neatly together rather than spread around. This time of year, we all need more kitchen space. If you don't have an island, create your own with an antique or flea market table or purchase a metal table that you can also use as a corner bar. If you want to add some sparkle, change the cabinet hardware. One of my favorites: colored class knobs. A good source: yourself an early present and add a colorful appliance. My favorite: the KitchenAid cheery red mixer from Williams-Sonoma.

Dining room:Create a holiday tablescape in the middle of the table that will work for meals and when it is not in use. Bored with your dining room chairs? You have time to spray them black and upholster with a fabulous new fabric! Set up a pretty bar with new accessories.

Master bath: Your sanctuary during the holidays! My best tip: Use a real rug (not a bathroom scatter type rug) in front of the sink. Looks great and will make you happy. Hang hooks on door for towels. This is a good time to invest in oversized towels in a bright new color. Same for candles.

Invest in luxurious, oversized towels to give your bath a spa feel during the holidays. Photo: Pottery Barn

Guest bath/powder room: Invest in a sparkly new light fixture or chandelier. If mirror need to be replaced, think "oversized." Favorite source: Home Goods.

Master bedroom:No better time than now to invest in new bedding. You will thank yourself when you fall into bed after a day of holiday frivolity! And to add a nice design element: paint the ceiling. A favorite: Benjamin Moore Opal Essence. Gives the feeling of staring up at the sky and is very restful.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail For more decorating tips and photos, visit

Sweet dreams are made of these: tips for a glamorous bedroom makeover

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• September 21, 2013

Headboard doubles as a comfortable backrest, creating a cozy spot for reading and relaxing. Available in slipcover options, so it can be changed. Paint color: Sensuous Gray by Sherwin Williams; Light fixture at left: Capiz shells. Photo: Pottery Barn.

It’s true. The best sleep comes in a beautiful bedroom. A gorgeous bed with sheets and pillows that are so comfortable that you can’t wait to land there at the end of the day. Perfect lighting, accent touches, color, window treatments. It all works together for a touch of glamour that makes you say “Ahhhhhh” when you walk in the room.

Headboard doubles as a comfortable backrest, creating a cozy spot for reading and relaxing. Available in slipcover options, so it can be changed. Paint color: Sensuous Gray by Sherwin Williams; Light fixture: Capiz shells. Photo: Pottery Barn

Getting there can be a challenge and for most homeowners, it is hard to know where to begin. Often it is the most overlooked room in the home. Everything else gets the design touches and because no one else sees the bedroom, it is the last on the decorating plan. Wrong. Because it is where you spend your sleeping and resting hours, it deserves top priority and some thoughtful planning.

Petal-shaped capiz shells form a translucent cluster of flowers on this flushmount lighting. Photo: Pottery Barn.

To start, it is important to select calming paint colors for the bedroom. Declutter the room. Move the computer and work station out of sight. If you can live without at television in the room, great.

Stratton Bed with drawers for storage, Swing arm-sconces and a porcelain blue duvet. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Stratton Bed with drawers for storage, Swing arm-sconces and a porcelain blue duvet. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Now to glam it up a bit and add some drama! Most of these tips are simple and will totally transform the bedroom. So much so, that you will likely want all of your guests to see the beautiful transformation!  And the best news: You can spend as much or as little when and if your budget permits.

Mark Fanta, general manager of Webster & Company, which includes Ralph Lauren Home, at Miromar Design Center in Estero, says the most important thing when planning a glamorous bedroom is to decide on a theme and stick to it.

Place a small sofa or bench at the end of the bed to create a sitting area. Bed and sofa: Ralph Lauren Home at Webster & Company, Miromar Design Center. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

“Whether it is a color theme, a period, or even a style like French country, the key to glamour is simple elegance.  Keep your color scheme to one or two hues and include at least one neutral.  Color clashing and cutesy florals should be banished from a bedroom.  Accessories should compliment your color scheme with clutter being kept to a minimum.

And the bedding is the ultimate in creating a glamorous bedroom. I believe in using simple white-on-white pique and bed linens of the highest thread count afforadable in your budget. Simple and clean but very elegant.”

Doug Ulrich, general manager at Norris Home Furnishings, says that a current trend is to take classic lines on pieces and give them a unique finish or paint to transform a ypically traditional piece into one with transitional timeless elegance.

"Take unique pieces such as secretary,  flip top desks and armoires and make them the statement piece of the room by having a unique size, shape or finish."

More tips to add drama to your bedroom:

Traditional design gains modern boldness in this Frances canopy bed, inspired by the open industrial feel found in revitalized loft spaces. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Select neutral paint colors. Popular now: calming grays, browns, blues. Favorites from Sherwin Williams: Bamboo Shoot, Sensuous Gray, Smoky Blue, Turkish Coffee.

Add crown molding to the room in a high gloss super white.

If the room has a tray ceiling, paint with a splash of color and hang a chandelier.  Make sure it is on a dimmer as with any overhead lighting.

A large mirror, leaning on the wall or attached, adds sparkle and shimmer.

Select direct lighting for reading and ambient for mood lighting. If space is at a minimum on your nightstands, consider adjustable swing-arm lamps or sconces.

Because the bed is the focal point, use a high, upholstered fabric headboard, leather or tufted fabric. This softens the look and has a clean, glam feel. And a modern take on a canopy bed is always in style.

Don’t overlook the foot of the bed: add an upholstered bench or trunk that can be used for storage. If there is space, a loveseat.

An upholstered chair or tufted lounge for reading adds a relaxing touch.

Repeat colors and textures to unify the space.

Writing desk or vanity is functional and should be the spot for treasured accessories that you want to see every day.

Create a master suite with use of color, fabrics, connect the bedroom and bath spaces so they work together. Much as you remember from your favorite hotel, carry the theme into the bath with the window treatments and color. This is a great way to make both spaces will feel larger.

Add fresh flowers and have sweet dreams!

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her column, Home Inspirations, appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at Call her at 949-1808 or email For more decorating tips and photos, visit

Stuck in your kitchen? Tips for a makeover!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• August 3, 2013

Kitchen painted in Benjamin Moore neutrals.

Kitchen painted in Benjamin Moore neutrals.

Just one look through House Beautiful or Coastal Living and you will start thinking about redoing your kitchen.

It is the hub of activity, the heart of your home. And if you every plan to sell, you will find thatitis the most important room in the house.

But often the most expensive redo in your home, it may be out of the question. Or not!

Okay, so ripping out the walls and “opening up the room (as all of the home shows say)” is pricey and maybe not currently in your budget. What is a homeowner to do? We all want a beautiful kitchen. Right? Here are a few tips that will give you a quick kitchen update without spending a fortune.

But first, some things to consider.

Do your homework. Have a plan. This may be a good time to call in a designer. You may think that you can't afford this step but if you are on a budget, a two hour consultation will help you make some decisions and decide where best to put your money.

Determine your look before you begin to shop around. Are you just looking to refresh your kitchen or are you ready to make major changes? Are you overwhelmed about what to do and how to get the most bang for your money? Do you want painted cabinets or wood stained? What type of flooring? Countertops and what kind if any, backsplash?

Okay. So let's begin with a few tips that will make a BIG difference if you are on a budget or need to sparkle it up for resale.

#4 Kitchen cabinets.JPG

For space above cabinets: create a pretty vignette of pottery and artwork. • Change the color. This will give you the most for your money. If the space is small, keep everything in a neutral palette.  If your space is huge, give it a warm, personal feel.

• Declutter! Take everything out of each cabinet and drawer and clean thoroughly. Put back only what you need and use. This will make you feel like you have a new kitchen!

• Change the cabinet hardware. Big impact for a moderate price. Favorite sources: Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, Home Depot.

     Pottery Barn Blacksmith Pot Rack.

     Pottery Barn Blacksmith Pot Rack.

Photo: Blacksmith pot rack from Pottery Barn.• Hang your pots and pans. This has a nice designer look and can be done in even the smallest kitchens when hung flush against the walls. Favorite sources: Crate and Barrel; Bed, Bath and Beyond; Pottery Barn. Also check restaurant suppliers.

• Havea pantry? Paint the door! This costs very little and will instantly brighten things up.

• No island? Create one. Flea market finds or an industrial stainless one on wheels will be versatile and useful in your space.

• If cabinets do not go to the ceiling, please remove all greenery. It cooks bad, collects dust and need I say more. Just take it away! What to do: Fill in the space with crown molding that goes to the top OR purchase rope lighting and place on the top of the cabinets for a nice effect OR create a pretty vignette of pottery and artwork.

• Need new cabinets but not in the budget? Two suggestions: Have them refaced. This can be done for a fraction of the cost of new and will totally change your kitchen. OR select a couple of cabinets and put glass fronts on them. Buy some pretty, colorful dishes at HomeGoods or Pottery Barn and brighten things up instantly.

• One of my favorite tips for a bar area: Use wainscoting in an accent color to bring in some textureand a pop of color. Very inexpensive and you can do it yourself!

• New bar stools or paint or reupholster the existing ones. Source:

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 Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail For more decorating tips and photos, visit

Home inspirations: Romancing the closet

Home inspirations: Romancing the closet

Technically, it is still the new year.  So, if one of your resolutions was to gain some control over your closet, check out the fun, fast and affordable tips from Spectacular Spaces that were in my column in this weekend's Fort Myers News-Press.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to • January 29, 2011

Photo of Wrenda GoodwynIn "Sex & the City," Carrie Bradshaw told Mr. Big that she would rather have a really big closet than a diamond. It is a woman thing.

Closets are very complicated. They have the power to make us feel happy, fat, thin, sad, unsettled. It is an emotional relationship that we have with our closet.

As a decorator, I get to peek into a lot of closets. They tell me a lot about my clients. And I tell my clients that your closet is the one area in your home that you can control with minimal expense and effort.

We go into the closet at least 10 times a day. It is first place we stop in the morning. And usually the last stop at night. Unless you have a Mr. Big around to drop a bundle, a Carrie-style closet is probably out of reach. But I have tips on doing a closet makeover that will give your closet a designer look.Photo of Elfa designed closetKeep your closet organized with an Elfa system.

If your budget allows for a total redo of the closet - including lighting furnishings, drawers and all of the amenities - go for it. You can also check out some of my favorite closet systems: California Closets, Elfa at the Container Store and IKEA Pax. These vary in a medium price range and are easy to customize.

For budget systems that are easy to install, try Closet Maid (Lowe's and Home Depot) and Rubbermaid.

Once you have a system in place, we need to make it pretty:

- Select a yummy paint color. This will give you immediate results. I love Benjamin Moore's Blue Dusk.

- Depending on the size of your closet, pick out a beautiful runner or square rug. Something whimsical and fun. West Elm's Chrysanthemum rug is hand-tufted wool and starts at $129 for a runner

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