Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • July 6, 2019
Whatever happened to the fun in interior decorating?
Sometimes I think our home interiors are becoming too serious.
Why: I go into a lot of homes that tell me absolutely nothing about the people who live there. The home can look great, everything in the right place, good flow, nice color (although a little dull). But what is missing is something to tell me who lives there and what they like.
Where is the fun?
It’s one of the reasons Southwest Florida homeowners call me. They are just plain bored. Their homes need a little something. They don’t always need to change the entire house. They want me to give their home a little injection of personality (definitely can do that). A little wow (they say, although wow is not a decorating style) or an accent piece to shake things up. Or a new color palette to change everything.
In other words, they need a little sprinkling of decorating whimsy. Something to make their house their home.
The French writing desk and why are chairs so ugly?
I started thinking about this recently when a longtime client asked to help her create a space for writing. She’s a published author and had just downsized. She had purchased a French writing desk and wanted to incorporate it into an area for her writing. The writing desk is well, spectacular. A focal point of the room. And it needed a chair equally as spectacular.
I set out on a mission. To find a chair that screams WOW. And does the desk and the space justice. And so, it began.
First of all, let me say this: a pretty chair is hard to find. No, let me rephrase: most chairs start out ugly. I know this because I shop for chairs for many clients and I always tell them to find a chair that fits the space, fits them and is a style that works with the room. If we are lucky enough to find all three, we can make it pretty with beautiful fabric selections.
“Ugly chairs” on Pinterest
I was looking for another client’s pink chair recently and somehow ended up going down a rabbit trail and found myself on Pinterest. Do you know there is actually a board called “Ugly chairs?” Seriously. I have seen most of these chairs. Except for the one that looks like a potato. Check it out if you want a laugh. I did find a pretty pink chair at West Elm.
But I digress. Slightly.
Chairs as an accent
I’ve always used chairs as an accent piece. In my own home, I have one in every room. An old, wooden, shabby chic chair sits in my living room with a pillow that points toward the beach. In my bedroom, a treasured flea market find, an old, weathered beach chair that holds a pillow that I love from a trip to Paris. An old, heirloom wicker chair was given a new life with some beautiful, coastal fabric. And the list goes on.
But here is the thing.
You can’t really sit in these chairs. For long. If your accent needs to be for real life, you need something substantial.
And then I found it.
My search led me to designer and upholsterer, Wendy Conklin. Her business, Chair Whimsy, offers one-of-a-kind, out-of-this-world chairs that make wonderful accent pieces. From boho chic to vintage farmhouse to classic romance, these chairs reflect the personalities of their owner. They are new and fabulous. And you can create your own. Check them all out at chairwhimsy.com
Her boho chic line includes a collection of “Frida” chairs, paying homage to the colorful Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. A set for the dining room makes a perfect conversation piece when entertaining or one can stand alone at a desk or in a corner.
Find your inspiration and don’t be afraid to put an accent piece in every room. It can be a chair or something else that will make you love your home again. As I am writing this, I am thinking about how I can convince my husband that we need a Frida chair. Wish me luck.
Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. She helps homeowners throughout Southwest Florida with timeless, affordable ways to create beautiful spaces and solves decorating problems. Her article appears the first Saturday of each month. For more information visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog