The weather is great! Time to move outside!

Beautiful-photo-of-spring-flowers-taken-by-wrenda-goodwyn

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • April 6, 2019

It’s spring and if you are like me, the past few weeks of perfect Southwest Florida weather have you getting outdoors as much as possible. It’s the time to create or enhance your outdoor living space.

Because I was born and raised in the south, I love porches. Today, it can be a porch, a lanai patio or balcony if you are up a level.

When I was growing up, the "porch" was where the family headed after dinner. I can hear my mother saying, "Help me finish the dishes and let's go out on the porch." It was where all important discussions and decisions took place. Even though the "porch" was only a small cement stoop with a couple of aluminum chairs. It was still the place where we retreated at the end of the day. And so did all of the neighbors.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I’ve had many "porches" since those days. Small apartment balconies barely large enough for two chairs, front porches with comfortable wicker furniture, large lanais' with summer kitchens surrounding a pool and filled with friends. But to me, they are all "porches." And I love them all.

Frontgate’s Myla collection brings a laid-back coastal vibe to any outdoor setting. All-weather resin wicker is intricately handwoven in an open looped pattern around durable powder coated aluminum frames. Add a rug to tie the area together. Photo: Frontgate

Frontgate’s Myla collection brings a laid-back coastal vibe to any outdoor setting. All-weather resin wicker is intricately handwoven in an open looped pattern around durable powder coated aluminum frames. Add a rug to tie the area together. Photo: Frontgate

For years, I have helping my clients makeover their outdoor space as an extension of the home's living space. No matter what the size or budget. I hope a few of my tips will inspire you to move outdoors!

Don’t crowd your space. Decide what is most important. Dining? Relaxing? TV area? And plan the space accordingly with the appropriate sized furnishings.

Protect from water and sun. Purchase cushions with performance fabrics such as Sunbrella.

Anchor your seating area with an outdoor rug. Even on a tiny balcony this works and adds color to the space. It also makes it an extension of your home.

Lighting for atmosphere. If there is space, add an outdoor lamp, twinkly lights, a few lanterns.

Add a bar cart. Yes, it's great for a party but you can also use it for storage...liquid refreshments, cups, stirrers, coasters, books, magazines, speakers, and anything else necessary for a relaxing retreat.

Purchase a new set of dishes, place mats, glasses. Add some color with a few new table enhancements that will bring some fresh, new color to your space. Use them indoors as well. After all, we will soon be heading into summer so let’s make it easy!

Replicated from original watercolor renderings, the Venetian-inspired patterns that artfully accent this outdoor dinnerware collection provide a creative pop of blue and white to an outdoor space. Use it indoors or outdoors. Photo: Frontgate

Replicated from original watercolor renderings, the Venetian-inspired patterns that artfully accent this outdoor dinnerware collection provide a creative pop of blue and white to an outdoor space. Use it indoors or outdoors. Photo: Frontgate

Something blue. Paint the ceiling blue. Why? It's pretty and adds another dimension to your porch. Giving your own outdoor space a hint of blue is the perfect way to play into history, and it just might keep wasps and evil spirits away, too! According to the legend, years ago, in the deep South, many people painted their porch ceilings a specific shade of Haint Blue, a soft blue-green, to ward off evil spirits called "haints."

It's especially common in the historic homes around Savannah, Charleston and Key West. It’s believed to keep wasp and bird nests from forming because they confuse it with the sky. Two favorites: Benjamin Moore Bird’s Egg 2051-60 and Palladian Blue HC 144. I don’t know about the legend but I love the look.

Anchor the space with a rug. Even small spaces are perfect for summer days. Check out Pier 1's Coastal Collection. Photo: Pier 1.

Anchor the space with a rug. Even small spaces are perfect for summer days. Check out Pier 1's Coastal Collection. Photo: Pier 1.

Add some green. Give it your personal touch with lots of greenery. If there is space, add some pots, a small tree and a vase or two of fresh flowers. Use perennials so you will not have to replace them each year.

Go vertical. Hang a piece of artwork or sign on a wall. This makes it feel like part of your living space.

Tiny space? No problem! Bistro table and chairs may be all that you need. No room for furniture? Fill your tiny balcony with plants and let the outdoors inside.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified 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

Spring: bring some joy into your home!

#3 Flowers (2) - Copy.JPG

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • March 2, 2019

Spring. It arrives on March 20.

Even though our seasons seem to all run together in Southwest Florida, there’s something about acknowledging spring’s arrival that seems normal and healthy. This is the time of year when most of us look around our homes to make a few changes. A refresh. A reboot. To mark a new season. Subtle touches. A time to welcome the joy that spring brings.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I have a few simple (but impactful) spring rituals that I like to implement each year and I always encourage my clients to do the same. Some are free and you can start them when you finish this article.

Layer a beautiful table with a few new touches for spring such as these bundles of tulips in glass vases and pastel blown glass eggs filled with strings of lights or votive candles. Shown: rustic, industrial-styled Benchwright dining table. Photo: Pottery Barn

Layer a beautiful table with a few new touches for spring such as these bundles of tulips in glass vases and pastel blown glass eggs filled with strings of lights or votive candles. Shown: rustic, industrial-styled Benchwright dining table. Photo: Pottery Barn

Clean and declutter. Really clean. Windows. Floors. A get-into-the-corners, sparkling spring cleaning.

Touch up. You don’t need to (necessarily) paint an entire room but touch up some scuffs and paint your baseboards to give your rooms a fresh look.

Flowers. Pamper yourself and say hello to spring with a beautiful bouquet in the kitchen, bedroom and bath.

Less is more. Spring is a good time to do what I like to call reduction decorating. Instead of buying more, put a few things away. Clear off some surface space. Maybe store a couple of pieces of furniture (you know you have too much). Give your space room to breathe. You can bring it back out in the fall.

Pillow switch. Breathe some new life into your room with new throw pillows. I admit that I am a pillow addict. I never met a pillow I could resist. I hoard them, hide them away and switch out my sofa and bedroom pillows like most people change shoes. Honestly, it’s the easiest way to put a little spring in your home.

Give your living room sofa a new look with a few spring pillows that become the focal point of the room. Always select a couple of solid colors to mix with patterns and flowers. Shown: Townsend sofa with reversible storage. Photo: Pottery Barn

Give your living room sofa a new look with a few spring pillows that become the focal point of the room. Always select a couple of solid colors to mix with patterns and flowers. Shown: Townsend sofa with reversible storage. Photo: Pottery Barn

Evaluate what you have. If you don’t love it, why keep it? Say goodbye to it and donate or sell it.

Add some new scents. Diffusers, candles or potpourri.

Open the windows. Let some fresh air in. Soon enough we will be into summer and will everything closed up again!

Redo a room. My favorite and least expensive, a powder room. Paint or wallpaper an outrageously gorgeous color. Redo the lighting and accessories. OR buy fresh linens and a new comforter for a bedroom. A new piece of art or rug. A new set of lamps for the nightstands.

Call a professional. Spring is also a good time to think about changes that you want to make in your home. If you have been struggling with what to do, maybe it’s time to call in an interior design professional to assist you in taking taken on a new project or to come up with a plan that you can implement on your own.

A little splurge. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Add a few spring colors to your dining table with some fresh napkins, place mats or accent dishes. I like to leave the center of my table up all the time and change it seasonally.

Welcome spring. Add a new welcome mat at the front door and purchase a colorful flag.

Whatever you do, enjoy decorating for spring and make it fun!


Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified 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


Company is coming! Is your guestroom ready?

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • February 2, 2019

If you live in Southwest Florida, there’s a chance that family and friends are making their vacation plans right now and they likely include you!

It’s that time of year when the winter weather everywhere else sends them in droves to our tropical paradise in search of sun and fun. And they are planning to stay at your home sweet home.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, many of my clients are booking their appointments around their houseguest’s arrival and departure dates. Welcome to season in Florida. It’s a busy time.

Which brings us to the bespoke guest room. And how we can make it comfortable and beautiful in time for their visit. After all, if we like them enough to share space in our homes, we want them to be comfortable. Right?

Keep luggage off the guest room floor with a luggage rack. Light and easy to store this Gaspar rack is from Ballard Designs and many homeowners use a couple of these at the foot of their bed for pillows. Photo: Ballard Designs

Keep luggage off the guest room floor with a luggage rack. Light and easy to store this Gaspar rack is from Ballard Designs and many homeowners use a couple of these at the foot of their bed for pillows. Photo: Ballard Designs

Think about your favorite hotel room. What did you love about it?

It’s usually not one big thing but a lot of little things. They make a difference.

Like the fresh flowers that one of my friends always has in her guest room and bath.

And the new Christmas sheets with the Eiffel Tower that my best friend had on my bed over the holidays because she knows that I love Paris.

Or the great travel books from places that I have visited that a friend left in my room, knowing that I would stay up and read late into the night.

They all say “Welcome. I’m glad you are here and want you to be comfortable.”

I’ve pulled together a few tips to help you get your guest room in shape so you will be ready to roll out the welcome mat in time for their arrival.

Glam it up in a guest room with a decorating style that pampers your guests. Pottery Barn’s Addison storage bed includes two deep drawers for linen storage. Photo: Pottery Barn

Glam it up in a guest room with a decorating style that pampers your guests. Pottery Barn’s Addison storage bed includes two deep drawers for linen storage. Photo: Pottery Barn

· Spend the night. Sleep in your guest room and check it out. Is the bed comfortable? Is the temperature okay? Is it dark enough for sleeping? Is there a good reading light? Make adjustments.

· Invest a few $$$$. Purchase a new set of sheets. And a couple of sets of towels, washcloths and hand towels.

· Vary the pillows. If you’re like me, you like pillows on your bed. Shams. Decorative. Sleeping. Include both soft and firm so your guests have a choice. Whatever you do, don’t send your old, flat, no-longer-useful pillows to the guest room!

· Be creative. In the guest room you can switch up the decorating to something that you might not do in your own bedroom. Bright colors, artwork, rugs and wall art. After all, it’s a room that will not be used every day.

· If you don’t do anything else…Include a luggage rack. Or a bench or stool that allows for a piece of luggage. No matter how small the guest room is, you can find a space for this and it keeps luggage off the floor (a luxury when you are a guest).

· Clear surface space. Clear out any personal items from surfaces and give your guests a place to put their things.

· Phone charger. Make it convenient so they aren’t crawling around looking for an empty outlet. I just purchased an alarm clock with two USB ports and you can dim the time at night.

· WIFI password. A handwritten welcome note with the password is such a nice touch and costs nothing! Someone did this for me and I still talk about it.

· Those little conveniences. A robe. Shampoos. Hair dryer. Nice soap. Magazines that you know they like. Candles. Fresh flowers. Think about that hotel you loved. And leave a tray for jewelry.

· Bathroom niceties. Extra toothbrush, razors, toothpaste, cotton balls. Items they may have forgotten. And leave some empty space under the vanity for them to store their personal items.

· About the clothes. Chances are that you use the guest room for storage or an extra closet when it’s not occupied. If possible, move a few things out for a few days to give your guests some space. Some empty hangers and a little room in the closet. If this isn’t possible, an over-the-door hanger works great.

· Keys. It’s nice to have an extra key so your guests can come and go as they please. Just be sure to get it back when they leave so you can give it to the next guests!

Ballard Designs.

Ballard Designs.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified 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

Forget the resolutions and set realistic goals in 2019

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

We are five days into a new year. And if you’re anything like most of us, by now you have likely broken all of your resolutions for 2019.

The house guests have departed. The decorations are packed up (well, most of them). Home sweet home may be looking a little sad without the twinkly lights. And while it's nice to have all the space back, it could be looking a little drab. Maybe time for a refresh and a few tweaks that make you feel good about your home.

When it comes to a fresh, new look for the New Year, it’s all in the details. Carefully planned furnishings, artwork, lighting and accessories that all work together. Shown: Frontage’s Griffith X-back swivel bar stools in linen or leather, beautiful Carmel-by-the-sea giclee print on canvas and gilded blossoms hand-painted ceramic vase collection. Photo: Frontgate

When it comes to a fresh, new look for the New Year, it’s all in the details. Carefully planned furnishings, artwork, lighting and accessories that all work together. Shown: Frontage’s Griffith X-back swivel bar stools in linen or leather, beautiful Carmel-by-the-sea giclee print on canvas and gilded blossoms hand-painted ceramic vase collection. Photo: Frontgate

Before you make sweeping resolutions like redoing your entire home or decluttering every room or losing 30 pounds, let’s have a little reality check.

Maybe the closet that needed decluttering before the holidays is still a mess. Maybe the floor plan in your family room that you have tried to fix is still not working. In a couple of weeks, more house guests will be descending upon your home sweet home (after all, we do live in paradise) and the guest room is looking more like a storage room than one that will welcome guests.

Overwhelming right? The same old issues that resolutions just won’t fix.

I have the answer.

It’s a new year filled with optimism and new ideas. The goal is to have a beautiful, safe and happy home that is calm and peaceful.

I’ve learned to forgo the impossible, guilt inducing resolutions that are broken before my Christmas tree is picked up by the recycling truck. Instead, I come up with a list of achievable goals for the coming year. Reasonable solutions that will solve a few nagging issues. And they are doable.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I help my clients find solutions for both minor and major changes they want to make in their homes each year. We do this by breaking them down into smaller goals and work to find solutions.

Maybe we give the living areas a fresh look with new color. Transform old furnishings a new life with beautiful upholstery. Purchase a new accent piece or rug. Change accessories, artwork, and lighting. Give an outdated bathroom a spa look. Decide if now is the time for a room renovation. Pick just one of these for your home interior goals in 2019 and you will have a major change.

Looking for an organized, new closet (don’t forget the chandelier!) in 2019? Shown: Ballard Design’s Sarah affordable storage system offers the look of custom luxury. Photo: Ballard Designs

Looking for an organized, new closet (don’t forget the chandelier!) in 2019? Shown: Ballard Design’s Sarah affordable storage system offers the look of custom luxury. Photo: Ballard Designs

And like the resolution goal of losing 30 (or whatever) pounds. How about a smaller goal and then we can add more? Break it down into smaller pieces.

Our goals should be stress-free and guilt proof. Isn't that what we want for the New Year? Some you can do when you finish reading this column. Others will require a little thinking and planning. Pick one or two and enjoy making the change. Whatever you select, happy decorating. I wish you a spectacular home in 2019!

· Goal: Love everything in your home. If not, get rid of it. Open the space for something new. Just because you have had it forever doesn't mean it is still working for you. Donate it and let someone else love it. I always say that your home is not a storage garage for someone else’s memories.

· Goal: Declutter. The New Year is the time. Be brave. A lot of our "stuff" has past emotional attachments. Let it go and love the extra space and calm that results. Overwhelmed with the prospect? Start with a drawer or part of a linen closet. Or at least say goodbye to your spices and start fresh for the New Year. This is one of my rituals each year.

· Goal: (Do this one right now). Open the windows and breathe. Seriously, those windows do open! Let the toxins out (as well as the old holiday smells) and enjoy the fresh air. In southwest Florida where we run the air conditioning nonstop, this is important.

· Goal: Make your outdoor space more livable. Whether it is a tiny balcony or a spacious lanai with a pool, make it part of your living space. Furniture, lighting, artwork, a rug to pull it all together. This increases your space and gives you a reason to enjoy the outdoors this time of year.

· Goal: Bring new color into your home. Whether it's a new palette for the walls or a new color scheme for accessories, this is the most impactful change you can make. Visually and emotionally, it changes everything. And for the money, it's the best value.

· Goal: Exercise restraint. Before you blast out the door to start making purchases, stop and make a plan. Think about how you want your home to feel and what you can do to get there. Avoid mistakes.

· Goal: Tidy up the laundry room. Paint it a color that you love but are afraid to use in any otter room. Add a piece of art. Reorganize and declutter. You may enjoy doing the laundry!

· Goal: Always go for timeless over trendy. Will you love it in five years? Buy it. And buy the best you can afford with major items like your sofa.


Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified 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