Blue Hues: why we love them in our homes

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • October 5, 2019

It’s classic, timeless and never goes out of style. And it’s America’s favorite color. No surprise.

The New Colony Collection from Thibaut Design is full of exotic patterns that add globe-trotting flair. From African mud cloths to scenic tiger reserves, this bold collection reimages prints and textiles discovered during colonial trade routes. Shown: Tiger Reserve wallpaper in slate blue. It presents a fresh look with a painted table and blue lamp base. Photo: Thibaut Design

The New Colony Collection from Thibaut Design is full of exotic patterns that add globe-trotting flair. From African mud cloths to scenic tiger reserves, this bold collection reimages prints and textiles discovered during colonial trade routes. Shown: Tiger Reserve wallpaper in slate blue. It presents a fresh look with a painted table and blue lamp base. Photo: Thibaut Design

Blue is also calming, invoking feelings of tranquility and peace. It’s thought to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate.  

It’s a color from nature found in water and the sky. It reminds us of the tropics, the beach and the deep blue sea. It makes us feel good.

Blue is the most commonly used color in corporate branding. Think about the logos of American Express, Ford, Oral-B, Dell, Facebook, Lowe’s, Visa and many others.

Pretty in blues. This dining room pairs Thibaut Design’s Chappana wallpaper and printed fabric for roman shades. Darien dining chairs in Grassmarket check woven fabric in navy. Blue and white accessories. Photo: Thibaut Design

Pretty in blues. This dining room pairs Thibaut Design’s Chappana wallpaper and printed fabric for roman shades. Darien dining chairs in Grassmarket check woven fabric in navy. Blue and white accessories. Photo: Thibaut Design

In our homes, we can’t possibly go wrong with blue. As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I have always felt that no matter what your color palette, every room needs something blue. Even if it’s just a little pop.

Something blue for the home

Many of my clients have gone very bold with blue in the past year. Try it on:

·       Furniture: Paint a tired piece of furniture in the beautiful cornflower blue that we see so often in French décor. It gives it new life and serves as a great accent piece.

·       Sofa: Say goodbye to your brown sofa and have it reupholstered in a beautiful blue or blue/green fabric.

·       Kitchen cabinets: Seeing lots of these lately. Navy is hugely popular and you likely know by now that Sherwin-Williams named its color of the year SW Naval (6244). Using a color on cabinets is a beautiful commitment so ask yourself if you will love it in five years!

·       Wall coverings: my favorite is in a dining room or powder room. Something bold and outrageous!

·       Window treatments: drapes and shades.

Mix blues for a pretty entry with this color palette from Benjamin Moore. Wall: Palladian Blue HC-144. Trim and wainscoting: Whipple Blue HC-152. Ceiling: Mascarpone AF-20. Photo: Benjamin Moore

Mix blues for a pretty entry with this color palette from Benjamin Moore. Wall: Palladian Blue HC-144. Trim and wainscoting: Whipple Blue HC-152. Ceiling: Mascarpone AF-20. Photo: Benjamin Moore

·       Bathroom walls: the color of water with white gives your bath a spa feeling.

·       Ceilings: The ceiling is your fifth wall. If your walls are a silver gray or white, there are gorgeous blues for ceilings without boxing in the entire room in a color. Think about a blue ceiling with gold fixtures.

·       Trim and baseboards: Rather than walls, paint the trim and baseboards for a dramatic accent.

 ·       Rugs: A splash of blue in a rug on wood or tile brings the room to life.

·       Accessories and artwork: Want just a pop of blue? Lamps, pottery, dishes, books, candles, ginger jars, vases, pillows, a splash of blue in paintings.

·       Front door!

Color palette

It’s difficult to find a color that does not look great with blue.  I always like to throw in a third color. Here are a few mistake-proof combinations:

·       White-blue-gray

·       White-blue-yellow

·       Blue-black-coral

·       Dark blue-white-hot pink

·       Light blue-green-red

·       Blue-all neutrals

·       Blue-brown-taupe

·       White-blue-coral

·       Red-white-blue

Whether you live in a home near the beach or just want the feeling of a calm and pretty space, think blue. You can’t go wrong. 

Pops-of-blue-on-dining-table

 

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 wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

Pantone color of the year: peachy, fun and bold

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com. Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and offer lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com. Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and offer lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette. Photo: Kravet.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • December 15, 2018

It’s always fun to take a break this time of year, forget the red and green for a few minutes and check out the Pantone Color of the Year (2019).

If you’ve read my column for any amount of time, you know that as a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I recommend that my clients not follow trends. We want beautiful, sensible, timeless interior design that reflects what you love.

But let’s face it. Color trends are just plain fun. And I can never resist this one. Pantone, provides professional color standards and digital solutions for the design industry. This includes beauty products, home interiors and furnishings, fashion and accessories, design, packaging and more. You always see the selected color a lot. Everywhere. Think: fashion runways.

So get ready!

This year’s selection: Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral.

A shade of orange with a golden undertone, Pantone Color of the Year (2019): Living Coral. Photo: Pantone.

A shade of orange with a golden undertone, Pantone Color of the Year (2019): Living Coral. Photo: Pantone.

Pantone describes it as “an animating and life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone. We get energy from nature. Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow, Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

Okay. But it sure seems like a lot of pressure to put on a color.

Pantone goes on to say that “In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.”

Kravet fabrics, trims and more in Pantone's Living Coral. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet fabrics, trims and more in Pantone's Living Coral. Photo: Kravet.

I’m all for optimism and joy so here is my take on Living Coral.

It’s a peachy orange. A happy color. No doubt about that.

It’s warm, bright and very bold. And fun. Not to be taken too seriously. Did I mention bold?

How to use it?

Carefully. Here are a few suggestions:

· A throw for a bed or sofa. It looks great with white.

· Place mats.

· Throw pillows with a touch of Living Coral.

· A rug on a lanai.

· Ceramic pots for plants or a ceramic garden stool.

· In a patterned wallcovering for a powder room (with the right light).

· There is a gorgeous KitchenAid artisan stand mixer in this color that would look fantastic on a kitchen island! www.williams-sonoma.com

· A beach house exterior.

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com

Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and give lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette.

And if you want to try an accent wall or an entire room, Benjamin Moore’s Tangerine Dream 2012-30 comes close to the color. See details at www.BenjaminMoore.com

benjamin-moore-tangerine-dream

How would I use it personally?

My home is done in neutrals, blue-greens and other sea glass tones. I would use pops of coral in accessories that would work for my color palette. I do wish Living Coral had just a splash of pink in it. Instead it is more of a true orange that requires a little thought before jumping in!

If nothing else, try it in a nail polish. It’s happy, optimistic and sure to bring you a little joy!


pantone-lifestyle-chip-drive-color-of-the-year-2019-living-coral-16-1546.jpg

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 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog




Home renovation survival tips

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • October 6, 2018

My dream was to find the perfect home that needed just a tiny bit of cosmetic work to make it mine. I had done major renovations in the past and did not want to go down that road again.

Keep it simple and easy. That was my mantra. And gorgeous. With everything perfect. After all, I am a Southwest Florida interior decorator and I know how to make anything pretty. Really pretty. And functional. Plus, I have all the tools at my fingertips so this should be a snap.

Wrong.

There is a lot to consider in a kitchen renovation: floors, walls, lighting, cabinets. Great light, white cabinets and beautiful blues are the focus in this coastal-inspired kitchen. Near wall in smoke 2122-40. Far wall in Caribbean Mist 2061-70. Cabinets in Ice Mist OC-67. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

There is a lot to consider in a kitchen renovation: floors, walls, lighting, cabinets. Great light, white cabinets and beautiful blues are the focus in this coastal-inspired kitchen. Near wall in smoke 2122-40. Far wall in Caribbean Mist 2061-70. Cabinets in Ice Mist OC-67. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Remember “Under the Tuscan Sun?”

Although it was a romantic comedy, it could be a home renovation documentary. It’s about a writer who says goodbye to her past and buys a 300-year-old villa in Tuscany. It’s also about her hot new love interest and is set against the backdrop of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We have all had a similar dream, right?

But it (the movie) is really about the house.

Like “Under the Tuscan Sun,” whether you’re remodeling your bedroom or a bath, knocking out a few walls, creating a new kitchen from start to finish or renovating the entire home, it’s a fairly miserable experience. There is just no way to sugarcoat it.

It’s dirty, stressful and expensive. You have very little control. You are at the mercy of your contractor and the subs that may or may not show up for work. Unexpected problems arise that delay the project and cost. It turns your home and your life upside down. Until the project is finished.

The bottom line: you just have to live through it and hope for the best.

And having just gone through the experience myself, I have a few do’s, don’ts and survival tips that can help.

Renovation don’ts

Don’t cry or panic. It will get better.

Don’t believe the home shows. As fun as they are, they just don’t present the reality of the cost and experience of a home renovation. You know that.

Don’t stay in the house if it’s a major renovation. This is not always possible but moving out for the duration can save your sanity.

Don’t try to do it yourself. Call in the professionals.

Don’t take on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. New paint. New window treatments. A new rug. Maybe new kitchen countertops. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. You might be surprised at the big difference a few small changes make.

Don’t embark on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. A few small changes make a big difference. This Pottery Barn Harper upholstered bed, along with new furniture and artwork will totally change a bedroom. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Don’t embark on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. A few small changes make a big difference. This Pottery Barn Harper upholstered bed, along with new furniture and artwork will totally change a bedroom. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Renovation do’s

Be patient. This won’t last forever.

Come up with a plan before your first meeting with a contractor. They can’t read your mind and you need to be able to tell them exactly what you need/want. Think about the little things that matter: light switches in the right place, fans, chandeliers, electrical outlets. This is your chance to get it just right.

Consider your lifestyle if you are redoing a floorplan. Traffic flow. Feeling of the home. Color. Is your taste traditional, contemporary, casual, coastal, transitional?

Start from the ground and work your way up with your plan: flooring, walls, furniture, lighting.

Establish a budget before the first meeting. And know that there will always be a few unexpected surprises that will add dollars so plan on it.

Hire an interior decorator or designer to get you started on the right path. They can look at the project and tell you what is doable, practical and the best use of your money for resale. They will also help you to make your vision for your home a reality.

Interview several contractors. Visit homes they have done and talk to the owners. Select the one that you feel will be the best fit for this short or long term relationship.

Renovating or adding a powder room? There are a lot of details to consider. Fixtures, space planning, color. Design element for this small bath is Pottery Barn’s modern farmhouse sink. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Renovating or adding a powder room? There are a lot of details to consider. Fixtures, space planning, color. Design element for this small bath is Pottery Barn’s modern farmhouse sink. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Be flexible. And be willing to make compromises. That’s just the reality of a renovation. Sure, you wanted that beautiful, free standing bath tub sitting in the middle of your new master bathroom. But the plumber said it would cost a fortune. So, against the wall will be just fine.

If you are living in the home during a remodel or renovation, set aside one area that is your sanctuary from the noise and dust. Like a master bedroom where you can close the door and think.

Most important: be patient. It’s worth the wait and the disruption to get the home that you want.


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 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog







It's complicated: selecting the right white

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • August 4, 2018

White. It’s everywhere.

All of the design magazines style the most beautiful white rooms and make them all look perfectly gorgeous.

Crisp white walls, dark hardwood flooring. Perfect lighting in the room. Subtle pops of color. Bold artwork on the walls that make it look like a museum gallery. Stunning.

 Light floods this room and Benjamin Moore’s Simply White OC-117 (aura interior paint-matte)   is the perfect white with warm textures. Floor is Ice Mist OC-67 (advance interior paint-satin).   Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

 Light floods this room and Benjamin Moore’s Simply White OC-117 (aura interior paint-matte)   is the perfect white with warm textures. Floor is Ice Mist OC-67 (advance interior paint-satin).   Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

And then we have photos of white kitchens with pure white cabinets and island that coordinate with white marble or quartz countertops. Light beaming through the room. These are the rooms that homeowners dream about.

And then reality enters the room when we try to make white walls work.

It’s a little bit of a trick. As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I can tell you from doing hundreds of color consultations, white is the most complicated color (yes, white is a color) to make work and there are some good reasons for this. Done well, it's spectacular. Done poorly, it leaves a lot to be desired. My favorite way to work with white is to start with white as a backdrop and build the room from there with lots of texture, accents and accessories.

The good news:

·            White is popular right now with the trending coastal style that so many homeowners are incorporating into homes. It can be very dramatic by itself or with accent walls or just the right furnishings.

·            White serves as a backdrop (think museum walls) instead of a color that takes over the entire room. It’s a clean palette that offers plenty of room to incorporate a color palette.

·            White makes a kitchen clean and classic. Especially with quartz or marble counters.

·             It’s a great backdrop for an industrial look: stainless appliances and pendants.

Wood and rattan warms up a white shiplap wall along with Grandin Road’s “colored birds on a wire” wall art and colorful “watercolor” rug. Photo courtesy of Grandin Road.

Wood and rattan warms up a white shiplap wall along with Grandin Road’s “colored birds on a wire” wall art and colorful “watercolor” rug. Photo courtesy of Grandin Road.

Don’t make these mistakes:

·            White is an all or nothing color. It requires commitment! If you paint just one room in your home white it will look like you put primer on the walls and forgot to paint the real color.

·            White highlights everything that you don’t like in a room. Shabby furniture, worn carpets. Flaws on the walls. They are all magnified. Think about it before you try it.

Be bold! Make a statement in a white room with Benjamin Moore Paper White OC-55 (aura bath & spa) in matte and accented in Ravishing Red 2008-10. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Be bold! Make a statement in a white room with Benjamin Moore Paper White OC-55 (aura bath & spa) in matte and accented in Ravishing Red 2008-10. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

·            All whites are not created equal. Beware of undertones. Yes, those pesky shades of green, pink, blue, gray...depending upon the color and the lighting. Get around making a mistake by painting a portion of a wall as a test and check it out as the light changes during the day. This will help avoid a stark or dingy tone.

There are 200 whites at Benjamin Moore. Five of the top ten selling paints in their collection are whites. In 2016 Benjamin Moore named Simply White OC-117, the Color of the Year. It’s an important part of design.

Tips for a white room:

·            If the lighting is not great in your home, don’t try white. Most of the magazine photos are done with rooms that have floor to ceiling windows or huge glass walls.

·            Use textures and accessories. My favorite: white walls, dark flooring, area rugs, white comfy sofas, lots of colorful pillows, green plants, colorful art on walls, white shutters.

·            Try white shiplap on an accent wall to get the same effect without a whole room commitment.

·            Start with a white master bathroom. No color gives a master bath a cleaner, more spa-like feel than white. Combine it with white tile, towels, rugs, accessories and beautiful capiz sconces.

And if you want to go” light” but maybe not quite “white”…try Benjamin Moore’s Silver Satin 856. It’s my go-to neutral color. A touch of silver-grey with a slight shimmer. Perfect with blue sea glass accents.

 

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 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

 

Eliminate color confusion! Tips for getting it right

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • June 2, 2018

So many choices! A few tips will keep you from making mistakes and will help select just the right color to create a beautiful interior. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

So many choices! A few tips will keep you from making mistakes and will help select just the right color to create a beautiful interior. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

It makes us feel happy. It changes everything including how we feel about our space. Get it right and you will love your home. Mess it up and you will always wonder why it’s not feeling quite right. 

Color.

It’s far from easy. It’s complicated. It’s not necessarily about your favorite color. It’s why home interior professionals study it for years and most are like me and don’t leave the house without a fan deck in their hand. We are passionate about color.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, my most requested service is selecting color and creating personalized color palettes for the home. It’s the most difficult part of decorating for most people and there are good reasons. The number one reason being the approach. It’s usually all wrong and results in mistakes and frustration.

Most people rush out to a big box store, grab a hundred color swatches (all in their favorite colors), take them home, hold the one-inch color swatch up to their existing paint color, make a decision, call the painter and it all begins. And then wonder why it doesn’t look just right.

Neutrals and beiges are popular in Southwest Florida and can be paired with accent colors in accessories. Wall: Pashima (AF-100). Trim: Winds Breath (OC-24). Bookcase back wall: Silhouette (AF-655).Ceiling: White Heron (OC-57). Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Neutrals and beiges are popular in Southwest Florida and can be paired with accent colors in accessories. Wall: Pashima (AF-100). Trim: Winds Breath (OC-24). Bookcase back wall: Silhouette (AF-655).Ceiling: White Heron (OC-57). Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Here’s the good news

As we head into summer in Southwest Florida, things have quieted down a bit. All of the company is gone and it’s a great time to think about giving your home a little refresh. If you’re on a decorating budget (who isn’t?) and can only do one thing to you home, this is it. Color.

Books about color fill the shelves. I just have space in this article for some key tips to set you off on the right path.

Selecting the right color

Updates your home without spending a fortune.

Pulls the space together.

Makes your home look clean and fresh.

Creates a look for your home.

Serene colors in this bath are done with Benjamin Moore’s Aura Bath & Spa paint that withstands warm, humid environments. Walls: Palladian Blue (HC-144). Trim: Distant Gray (22124-70). Tub: Breath of Fresh Air (806).   Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Serene colors in this bath are done with Benjamin Moore’s Aura Bath & Spa paint that withstands warm, humid environments. Walls: Palladian Blue (HC-144). Trim: Distant Gray (22124-70). Tub: Breath of Fresh Air (806).   Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Don’t do this!

Go with the latest trends.

Pick your favorite color.

Select color like you pick out your clothes (grab what you like at the moment).

Pick color from a tiny swatch.

Paint without testing the color on the wall.

Pick a paint color before you have anything else in the room (there are exceptions to this).

Rush to make a decision.

Think only about the room that you are painting.

Select paint without coming up with a complete color palette for the room.

Do this!

Buy the best quality paint you can afford. It makes a difference. Trust me on this.

Go with the lowest VOC or no VOC.

Color challenged? Magazines, Pinterest and vision boards all help.

Process: Select swatches. Order large swatches. Test your final selections on the actual wall. Leave the test colors up for a few days and see how they change with lighting.

Selecting paint color is challenging for most homeowners. It’s important to test your final selections on the actual wall. Leave the test colors up for a few days and see how they change with lighting. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Selecting paint color is challenging for most homeowners. It’s important to test your final selections on the actual wall. Leave the test colors up for a few days and see how they change with lighting. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Consider the ceiling. I often tint the paint for the ceiling so that it’s not such a stark white. Just a little tint links the ceiling to the walls. And if you have coffered ceilings, take advantage of this element with color.

Sometimes less is more. A beautiful white on the walls with trim in a carefully selected neutral color is classic and timeless. Hint: Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White” was the 2016 color of the year. It’s a warm white that pairs well with neutrals.

Select furniture, fabric, flooring first. Then paint color. Then accessories.

ALL color has undertones. This is where the mistakes are made. If your sofa (or flooring or counter tops) has green/beige undertones and you pick a pinky beige paint color for walls, you will not be happy.

Think about the rest of your home. Color needs to coordinate throughout. A good rule that I follow: No more than three paint colors in the home.

Create a color palette and work from there. Consider your window treatments, upholstery, pillows, artwork and accessories. Color is not just the paint that you put on the walls. Think about the big picture.

What works: I like to select more neutrals for the main areas and incorporate ceiling and trim colors. Bathrooms and bedrooms lend themselves to accent colors.

Here’s a little trade secret

When redoing the color in a room, follow the 60-30-10 color rule. Many decorators use this rule and it works every time. The 60 percent should be your wall color. Furniture and fabric should be 30 percent. The remaining 10 percent should be your accessories, pillows and rugs. When you see a room or photograph in a magazine and it seems to work, chances are that this rule applies.

Where to use your favorite color?

Your sofa! I see far too many heavy brown leather sofas in Southwest Florida! Pick out your favorite color in the most gorgeous fabric you can find. Yellow. Jewel tones. A color that is not on your wall or floor.

Don’t be afraid of color

It changes everything. Including how you feel. And you want to feel happy in your home. If it’s a struggle, call a professional. The goal is to keep you from making mistakes and to help you bring out the best 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. 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 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

 

Selling your home? Tips for closing the deal fast!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • May 5, 2018

For the past few months, I’ve been in and out of a lot of homes. More than usual.

A longtime client is looking for a new home and has asked me to go with her to make sure we can make the design and decorating changes that she will need. While her list of “wants” is not unreasonable, short of building new, it’s unlikely that she’s going to find everything in an existing house. So we plan to find a home with good “bones” and redo it to meet her needs.

The wish list includes: Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, three car garage, hardwood floors, pool and a backyard with room for a flower garden. And she does not want to live in a golf community. It’s a challenge.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I work with many clients to prepare their homes to sell. Even in this economy where it is a seller’s market, most homeowners want to sell fast and that means doing a little work to make the home attractive to buyers. And to get top dollar.

Say “welcome to your new home” from the moment a buyer enters the front door. Freshen things up. Free up some space and lighten up each room so they will envision their life in your home.  Colors: Benjamin Moore. Door: Green Meadows. Siding: Maritime White. Trim: Snowfall White. All in Aura Grand Entrance Satin. Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore.

Say “welcome to your new home” from the moment a buyer enters the front door. Freshen things up. Free up some space and lighten up each room so they will envision their life in your home.  Colors: Benjamin Moore. Door: Green Meadows. Siding: Maritime White. Trim: Snowfall White. All in Aura Grand Entrance Satin. Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore.

When selling, you want to do one important thing: Say “welcome to your new home.” Make the buyer picture their life in your space.

Most wanted in a home

Zillow did a recent survey that reveals what buyers are looking for in a new home. Check these out:

Professional appliances

White kitchen

Outdoor kitchen

Free standing tub

Wine cooler

Coffered ceiling

Meditation room

Carrera marble countertops

Farmhouse sink

Steam shower

While it’s unlikely that any of us will ever have all of these in our homes, it’s a fun wish list. Meanwhile, you can show off your home’s best features, sell it fast and move on to your next “home sweet home.”

Many of the homes I have seen have been on the market for a while and it is easy to see why. With just a little work, a house can be presented to show off its best features. Let me share a few tips with you, based on what I have seen lately. Whether you are selling now or in the future. Or if you just want to make your home look a little better until you do sell it, you may find these tips useful.

Home buyers love white kitchens, professional appliances and Carrera marble counters. Colors: Benjamin Moore. Walls: Mascarpone in Regal interior eggshell. Cabinets: Simply White in satin.  Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore.

Home buyers love white kitchens, professional appliances and Carrera marble counters. Colors: Benjamin Moore. Walls: Mascarpone in Regal interior eggshell. Cabinets: Simply White in satin.  Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore.

Home resale checklist

·       Clean the house like company is coming (it is). And wash the windows. Inside and out.

·       Put the toilet seats down when having real estate photos done. Yes, seriously. I should not have to say this but it happens all the time.

·       Depersonalize the house. The animal heads hanging on the walls from a safari may have special meaning to you as a homeowner but may offend a possible buyer. My client could not get out of this home fast enough. And I was right behind her. Having said this, put your personal photos and collections away. The buyer wants to visualize their own stuff in your space and this is easier to do without yours taking up space.

·       Think like you live in a model home. Remember how it feels to walk into a model home? You can visualize your furniture, in the space. It's because it's not filled with things. If you have too much furniture or it is too heavy and bulky, you may want to put some in storage or even style the main living areas with pieces that show off the space.

·       Lighten up. Say goodbye to the heavy window treatments. If you want to sell your home, let the buyer see it by bringing in some light. At the least, if your drapes are heavy and dated, just take them down so the buyer can see what they may want to buy. 

·       Switch out the hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms. You know it’s time.

·       Paint baseboards and window sills. Get rid of scuff marks and give the room a fresh look. Something good to do even if you are staying in your home.

·       Faux finishes and wallpaper may be great for your tastes but the thought of redoing these and removing wallpaper send a client running in the other direction.

·       Bathroom refresh.  Make sure the baths are squeaky clean. There is nothing worse than looking at a home with dated bathrooms. And this is the room that you may need to repaint.  If the tub and shower are looking a little dated, hang a bright new shower curtain and invest in new rugs and towels.

·       Red. Not so much. It’s interesting. I do red accent walls for lots of clients who love the color. But a buyer, surveys tell us, does not like red unless it is on the front door.  Good to know.

·       Tuscan is out. Sorry. If this is your style, great. But if you are selling, rethink it. It’s worth the investment to have a designer help you with ways to minimize this outdated look.

Happy selling!

For-Sale-Sign

 

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 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog