Tips for decorating like a pro this holiday season

Photo of velvet stockings from West ElmVelvet monogramed stockings from West Elm add traditional fun to holiday decor. Photo: West Elm.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• Dec. 8, 2012

If you are waiting for inspiration to motivate you to start (or finish) your holiday decorating, this may be a good weekend to spring into action! The good news: there are lots of ideas this season for easy and beautiful designs that will have you decorating your home like a pro!

Photo of jewel tone ornaments from Pottery BarnAdd some bling to your holiday with Pottery barn's jewel tone eclectic ornaments. Photo: Pottery Barn.If you are thinking about changing or updating your look this year, consider  adding some of the popular metallics, bling, jewel tones, feathers and fresh, shiny colors to your home.  Think moderation and be selective!

If you’re in a time crunch, and who isn’t, Frontgate lets you create your own signature style with a choice of three beautiful design options. Select one and you will receive everything that you need for the tree from ornaments, enhancers to ribbon and trim.  It also includes coordinating garland and a decorated wreath.  It couldn’t be easier. Almost like Christmas in a box.

Use your traditional favorites but don’t be afraid to try something new.  Some of our favorite decorating tips are listed below. Use them and tell your friends that you hired a designer to help this year!

Tips for holiday decorating like a pro

Make an entrance! Start at the front door and take your door from drab to fab with a fresh pop of color!  Think greens, reds, turquoise (if you are bold). Remember, it is only paint, so don’t be afraid!  And don’t stop there! Take last year’s wreath and give it a makeover to complement the door.  Beautiful shells, branches, colorful ribbons will help you create a new wreath in no time. A huge impact with minimum expense and effort.

Use what you have! Don’t put everything away and transform your home into a winter wonderland.  Use what you have in your home as your stage.  If you have a piece of artwork that you love over a mantle or table, start there and add holiday decorations that compliment it. And don’t forget: what comes from nature works best!

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Accessories: Maximize with minimum

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• Nov. 17, 2012

Photo of accessories from Ballard DesignsWorld map printed canvases reproduced from an actual 1937 map. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Accessories for the home are the most important part of interior decorating. They are the icing on the cake. The finishing touch.

Done well, they reflect our tastes, our style, our travels, our dreams, what we love. They are the soul of our home.

Photo of repurposed vintage table with shell and glass collectionsRepurposed vintage table is used for shell and glass collection.Done not so well, they create visual overload and just look like a bunch of stuff that was purchased to fill empty spaces. Meaningless bits that in a year will be thrown out. But a grouping that has been thought out allows you to relax and makes you feel calm.

Coco Chanel knew a lot about accessories.

She said that “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

She knew that the simplest possessions in our homes, just like in jewelry or fashion, are often the most meaningful. And so it is with accessories. Less is usually more.

Accessories are often the most difficult part of interior decorating. Not because we don’t have enough of them but because they are often not properly displayed.  Just as we do when deciding on paint colors, furniture purchases, window treatments, flooring and fabric, a plan is needed to make accessories work for the home.

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Home Inspirations: All that glitters

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• June 9, 2012

Photo to Baccarat chandelierMarie Coquin chandelier designed by Phillipe Starck. Photo: Baccarat.

Women love them. Men often aren't crazy about them.

They are romantic and sexy. The right one with the perfect dimmer switch setting makes anyone look beautiful.

They are dazzling and add style and a touch of refined culture to a space.

They go anywhere in the home, including bathrooms, closets, a walk in pantry. I have even seen one in a laundry room.

You can spend a little or you can spend thousands.

Photo of Baccarat chandelierZenith chandelier with clear pink and mist crystals by Phillipe Starck. Baccarat. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Chandeliers are an accessory that can make an entry or dining room. It does what the perfect necklace does for an outfit. And as with jewelry, before you head out the door, you want to know that you selected the right one.

In southwest Florida, many homes sacrifice chandeliers for ceiling fans. While women are most likely willing to say goodbye to a fan in hopes of adding a beautiful, sparkly chandelier, men often need to be coaxed into considering one.

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Spring forward with these tips to refresh your home

Spring forward with these tips to refresh your home

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• April 7, 2012

Since this is a close to spring as we get in Southwest Florida, most of us are looking for ways to give our homes a little freshening up! Some decluttering.  And maybe a couple of home projects that we have been thinking about since the holidays. Something about spring, wherever we live, always gives us a nudge to shake things up a little. And even if budgets are tight, you can still do a little decorating to make an impact.

Photo of vintage pickle jars from Pottery BarnAdd spring color with vintage glass pickling jars from Pottery Barn.10 tips for putting a little spring into your home:

• Say goodbye to clutter.  Spring is the perfect time to get rid of anything that you don’t love.  Go room by room and drawer by drawer.  Closet by closet.  I find that tackling one room at a time works best. Don’t aim for perfection.  Just try to make a dent. And don’t forget to dump all of the piles of magazines that you have not read in the past two years.  Too many collectibles?  Put some away and rotate them back in the fall.

• Don’t try to redo the entire house but pick one room and give it a makeover.  Maybe the family room or the bedroom.  Make changes that you have been thinking about.  Spend some time and plan it out like a decorator.  Find photos in magazines or on the internet.  Make a vision board.  Establish a budget.  Set some priorities.  Have fun.

• Add some color for the biggest change.  Try some pops of that Tangerine Tango that you have heard so much about.  Pantone’s Color of the Year is cheerful and bright.  Try new throw pillows, a throw, picture frames. It goes with almost anything when used as an accent and is a very happy color!

• Give the kitchen a facelift. Not a remodel but some small changes that will make you love your kitchen again. Take all appliances off the counters (you will have room in your cabinets or pantry that you have decluttered).  Okay, leave the coffee maker.  But seriously, remove everything else.  Now you have room for a vase of beautiful spring flowers.  Now…replace the drawer pulls and any other outdated hardware. Then add a fresh coat of paint.

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When you live where you work

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• January 28, 2012

If you find yourself looking for space to carve out a home office or if your current one is looking a little dreary, it may be time to come up with a plan.

Photo from Pottery BarnPottery Barn.Whether you are converting a walk-in closet into a workspace, sharing a family room or transforming a guestroom to your new home office, it can be a fun adventure if you follow a few tips.

Put some light on the subject. By now we know about the negative impact that lack of light has on our productivity and mood. And the best light of all is natural light. It reduces eye fatigue and headaches. Make sure that you have as much natural light as possible coming into your office. In addition, allow for both overhead lighting and task lighting. And skip fluorescent lighting. It makes you tired. A good desk lamp is Pottery Barn's Cole task table lamp ( It is designed to focus light precisely where it is needed, making it perfect for reading and desk work. It has two turnkeys that let you adjust its height and angle and it also comes in a floor lamp. In addition, purchase a shaded lamp for a surface in your space to give your office some warmth.

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Decorating Resolutions for a Happy New Year!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• January 7, 2012

If you are looking around your home and thinking that it is a little drab after taking down the holiday decorations, now may be a good time to think about what changes you would like to make for the coming year.  Some ways to give it a fresher look for 2012.

If you are like most of us, New Year's resolutions last about as long as the last holiday leftovers. But if you put a short plan together of some decorating resolutions, you may be surprised at the results!

Here are my top resolutions for 2012:

Try something new!  Something bold for the New Year.  “Undrab” your home following the holidays with Pantone's color for 2012.  Tangerine Tango has everyone dancing about this color.  Is it the new red?  Likely.  According to pantone, the deep red-orange color is intended to give us all a “big energy boost; a refresh and a recharge.” What better way to start the year.   But be careful how you use it! Suggestions:  Pillows, bedding, accent walls, upholster a chair.  Include it in your wardrobe…a purse, nail polish, shoes.  It is coming.  Get ready and have fun! That is what decorating is all about.

Undecorate. This may sound strange coming from a decorator so I will explain! Most homes are plagued with with visual overload. Let's resolve to simply our decorating and put some space in our homes instead of more things. Eliminate overstuffed rooms. This includes table tops, walls, furniture. Give your rooms space in which to breath. The result: a more restful and peaceful home.

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