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

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

Giving thanks for your home

Keep it pretty and simple this Thanksgiving with handcrafted ceramics from Pottery Barn that let you bring nature into your home with botanicals and colorful fruit. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Keep it pretty and simple this Thanksgiving with handcrafted ceramics from Pottery Barn that let you bring nature into your home with botanicals and colorful fruit. Photo: Pottery Barn.


Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • November 3, 2018

Even in our year-round tropical paradise where there is little change in the weather, fall brings a noticeable shift.

Unlike the rest of the country, the slight drop in temperature has most of us heading for the beach, sprucing up our lanais for the season and getting outdoors more. It means football games, antique markets, holiday open houses, the beginning of a series of celebrations and family gatherings. And Thanksgiving.

Sadly, Thanksgiving gets lost in the Halloween/Christmas shuffle. Wedged in between the two, it doesn’t get the recognition that it did when I was growing up in Virginia and it was a major family holiday.

In a time of many challenges, most people are stressed, shuffling too many obligations and trying to do it all, Thanksgiving is a good time to stop and take a breath. And to be thankful for where you live and for your home.

Bombarded by beautiful, professionally-styled homes featured in magazines, Pinterest and HGTV, we live in a constant state of wanting to do more, more, more. And a visit to model homes on a weekend sends most of us into a deep case of home envy. Everyone has a better, more gorgeous home. Or so we think.

Our homes provide comfort, safety, calm and happiness. And yet, we are never really satisfied

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I make homes pretty. Solve problems that bother the homeowner. Pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look. The ultimate goal: happiness when you walk in the door.

The right paint color helps to pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look and makes you happy when you walk in the door. Benjamin Moore: Wall in Mascarpone AF-20; trim in Whipple Blue HC-152. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

The right paint color helps to pull everything together for a calm, cohesive look and makes you happy when you walk in the door. Benjamin Moore: Wall in Mascarpone AF-20; trim in Whipple Blue HC-152. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Sometimes this may only require a new color palette. Color is the big change in any home. And it can be the best investment for your money. But it may also require new furniture or a bath or kitchen redo. The most important thing: start with where you are and work from there. But don’t go crazy.

Take a minute to stop, look around and give thanks for what you have. A fresh perspective. Often it is the simple things.

A few things that you don’t need:

· Oversized coffee tables

· Too many chairs (eat-in kitchen, dining room, bar stools, patio chairs….how many chairs do you really need?) make a home look like a furniture store.

· Bar carts. Cute but unnecessary and take up space.

· Too many throw pillows.

· Media centers that span an entire wall. A lot of fuss for a TV.

· Layered rugs. One is enough.

· Dining room table and chairs that see use once a year (or less).

· To strive for perfection. It will never happen and you will just be exhausted all the time.

Giving thanks with a twist on the traditional napkin ring with these wraps from Frontgate. Photo: Frontgate.

Giving thanks with a twist on the traditional napkin ring with these wraps from Frontgate. Photo: Frontgate.

What you need:

· Keep it simple.

· Declutter something. You will feel better.

· A chandelier in your closet. It will make you happy.

· A calm space. A spa bath, a patio, a yoga nook, a chair with a reading lamp.

· Nature. Plants in the house have health benefits and make us feel good.

· Good lighting. Up the wattage.

· Decorate as though you will live there forever.

· A pretty guest room. Company is coming!

· Aim for timeless and affordable.

· Don’t live in a storage garage for someone else’s memories. Your home is about you.

Wherever you are spending the holiday, be thankful for your home sweet 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 239-949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog





Start at the curb for a spring refresh!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • April 14, 2018

Photo: Frontgate.

Photo: Frontgate.

Even in Southwest Florida where the seasons don’t change that much, spring is a time to refresh our space. And this month the best place to start is the curb and work your way to your front door.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I park my car in a lot of driveways and as I make my way to the home’s entry to meet my client for a consultation, I can’t help but do a quick scan of the exterior.   

Add a touch of spring with Frontgate’s wildflower garden wreath with periwinkle and lavender. Photo courtesy of Frontgate.

Add a touch of spring with Frontgate’s wildflower garden wreath with periwinkle and lavender. Photo courtesy of Frontgate.

The fact is this: with a few good tips, we can improve the curb appeal of any home in a short time. If you are selling your home, it will attract a buyer and if not, you will feel much better every time you pull into your driveway. Try these tips for a quick (pretty) fix starting at the curb. It will say "welcome home" to you and your guests!

Before you get started, as with any decorating project, clean and declutter. Spring is the perfect time to take care of your landscaping by trimming, weeding and pruning. Pressure wash roof and driveway. Clean out gutters.

Now for the fun, pretty tips:

·       Upgrade your mail box from the one that you have had since you moved into the house. If this is not possible because of homeowner rules, at least clean it out (cobwebs) and plant some colorful flowers around it.

·       Repair pavers or cracks in the driveway or sidewalk.

 ·       Freshen up the house numbers. Invest a few dollars little in a customized decorative plaque with your numbers.

 ·      Style the front entry. I do this for all of my clients. A seasonal wreath on the front door. Container gardens from a nursery, Lowes or Home Depot are my favorites. They are fast and inexpensive. Place them in pairs on either side of your door to add a welcoming touch. Add a few hanging baskets if the lighting is right.

 ·      Add accessories. A piece of artwork that is weather-resistant.  A chair with by plants and flowers in colorful pots arranged at the entry, set the tone for entering your home.

Say “welcome home” with a spring refresh of your front entry with a freshly painted front door in a beautiful blue. Include a weather-resistant Salem rocking chair from Pottery Barn and an Olivia outdoor star pendant. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Say “welcome home” with a spring refresh of your front entry with a freshly painted front door in a beautiful blue. Include a weather-resistant Salem rocking chair from Pottery Barn and an Olivia outdoor star pendant. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

·       It's a great time to clean/replace outdoor light fixtures and make sure you have enough light. A dark entry is not inviting nor is it safe.

·       Paint the front door as well as the trim on the house and shutters if you have them. If you read this column regularly, I always suggest painting the door and the trim around it each spring. Give some thought to the style of the home and don't be afraid to go bold!

·       Take a look at your door bell or knocker. It's likely time for an update.

·       Plant spring annuals in your front yard. Around trees and to line your sidewalk or driveway.

·       Welcome home and happy spring!

 

 

 

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

 

What designers know: how they take your home from blah to wow!

What designers know: how they take your home from blah to wow!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • September 2,  2017

Clients always assume that interior designers have perfect homes.

That somehow we have been blessed with unlimited budgets, endless sources waiting to give us things at cost or less, contractors who do perfect work and always come in on time and under budget.

But in reality, designers and decorators are like everyone else.

Read More

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. www.frontgate.com.

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!

Read More