Confused about rugs? Tips for getting it right

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • July 7, 2018

It happens all the time. Rugs are often the last item on the to-do list when decorating a home.

After the painting, furniture, artwork and accessories. That’s when most homeowners think about what goes on the floor. I have been guilty of it myself.  And often, most of the budget is spent by then so the rugs aren’t given the priority they should receive.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I find that rugs are often an afterthought. And there are reasons for that. It’s not really as much fun as picking out everything else. And let’s face it: selecting a rug can be confusing. What size do you need? What color works best? What texture? How much of your furniture goes on the rug? Why didn’t it shed in the store?

Carpet designer Malene B has created hand-knotted and hand tufted rugs that make a statement with a mixture of texture and color. Made in Nepal by skilled artisans, each is crafted by hand and no two are alike. The muted colors pair well with bright fabric choices. From Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Carpet designer Malene B has created hand-knotted and hand tufted rugs that make a statement with a mixture of texture and color. Made in Nepal by skilled artisans, each is crafted by hand and no two are alike. The muted colors pair well with bright fabric choices. From Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Also, ignoring it until the end of your to-do list is not a good option. Check out a few of my tips that will take away some of the stress. And make it more fun.

We all have a budget, but if possible…

·       Buy the best rug you can afford.

·       Spend at least as much as you spent on your sofa.

·       Have a budget in mind before you shop.

Biggest mistakes everyone makes

·       Selecting the wrong size. This is #1.

·       Picking the wrong color.

·       Getting the texture wrong. A long, thick pile that you trip over.

·       If you are hesitant, call a designer for sources and experience that will help.

From Malene B for Kravet to the trade, her hand-knotted rugs offered feature two signature patterns, Sugar Rain and Mudslide, each available in four colorways. Both patterns are an organic and atmospheric take on natural elements found either in land or water. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

From Malene B for Kravet to the trade, her hand-knotted rugs offered feature two signature patterns, Sugar Rain and Mudslide, each available in four colorways. Both patterns are an organic and atmospheric take on natural elements found either in land or water. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Silk, wool or synthetic?

Understand these three choices and you will be able to make the best choice for your lifestyle and budget.

Wool: the most resilient, flame retardant and stain resistant.

Silk: beautiful but they run into the thousands.

Synthetics: Good price point but can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. 

Sisal, jute and grass: these have a nice look and cost less but they simply don’t last. They are hard to clean and the first red wine spill will send you rug shopping (again).

Indoor/Outdoor and made from recycled soda bottles

This is a favorite if you are on a budget: The Gianna rug from Pottery Barn is woven on a hand loom and recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it’s yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. And it works indoors or outdoors.

Ancient art and innovative eco-friendly design merge in the Gianna rug from Pottery Barn. Woven on a hand loom, it recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it is yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. Use indoors or outdoors. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Ancient art and innovative eco-friendly design merge in the Gianna rug from Pottery Barn. Woven on a hand loom, it recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it is yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. Use indoors or outdoors. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Don’t do this

Buy a rug from a going out of business sale.

Put a rug on top of another rug. Ever.

Buy a rug that is too small for the space.  Many homeowners purchase a small rug to go under a coffee table leaving the rest of the floor bare.  You will find that this is not a good look.

Do this

Research online, Pinterest, magazines.

Purchase from a name brand retailer.

Determine which weave works for your space: tufted, hand knotted, flat weave, braided, hooked.

Consider the pile (thickness) that is best for your room. For example, a thicker pile might be great for your bedroom where you will have bare feet but not so much for a living room where you may trip.

How to size a rug for the space

Living room: Most living rooms require a square or rectangular rug. Select a size that will allow the legs of all the furniture to be placed on the carpet OR measure it so that the front legs fit. I like to use painter’s tape to outline the dimensions of the rug to visualize what will work. Wool works best in this room.

Bedroom: Again, wool is durable, comfortable and easy to clean. For sizing, try to get all legs of the furniture on the rug. OR at least from the foot of the bed up to the legs of the bedside tables.

Bathroom: This is my favorite place to put a real rug (instead of a typical bathroom rug). A wool rug in a vibrant color gives the space a completely different look. Elegant. Try it.

Artisan-made, Malika Persian-style rug from Pottery Barn is hand-tufted of pure wool. The beautiful colors make it a good choice for a bathroom in a 3 x 5 size. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Artisan-made, Malika Persian-style rug from Pottery Barn is hand-tufted of pure wool. The beautiful colors make it a good choice for a bathroom in a 3 x 5 size. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Hallway: Typically, you want six inches of flooring to show on all sides. For high traffic areas, like a hallway or entryway, an easy-to-clean woven option works. Also consider an outdoor rug.

Dining room: Honestly, I am not a huge fan of rugs in the dining room. They are crumb catchers and are just waiting for an accident. Having said that, many of my clients like them because they warm up the room and help with sound. If you want to take a chance, a natural fiber rug is best here because it’s easy to shake out.  And if you use a jute/polyester/sisal blend, there is a better chance of removing stains. When it comes to size, make sure the rug is large enough to completely fit under the table AND chairs with enough covered area to pull out chairs without catching.  The rug should be proportional to your table. In other words, do not scrimp on the size.

And now the fun part: color

If the furniture in your room is upholstered in a vivid pattern, choose a muted or solid rug to coordinate with the room. For a classic and timeless look, match a color in a patterned rug to your sofa and match a second color to your sofa throw pillows. Simple but it works.

From Malene B for Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

From Malene B for Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

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 Inspirations: Fashion meets interior design with simplicity and sexiness

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• June 7, 2014

"Simplicity and sexiness. That's what people want at a price that's not outrageous." Diane von Furstenberg in 1976 when she was on the cover of Newsweek.

Photo: Kravet.

Photo: Kravet.

She married a prince in 1969.

She became a fashion diva with her slinky, print, wrap dress in 1974. By 1976, she had sold more than one million of the dresses hat looked good on everyone.

She was painted by Warhol in the 70's and 80's.

She was exotic and her life is legendary. And the legend continues as she has just teamed up with Kravet to launch a new collection of home fabrics and trimmings. The line showcases her renowned aesthetic and sense of print and color, as seen in many of her iconic patterns. Von Furstenberg effortlessly brings high fashion into the home with prints, wovens and draperies and custom trimmings designed to accent the fabrics with an exotic edge.

Photo: Kravet.

Photo: Kravet.

And like the designer, exotic is the best way to describe these classic von Furstenberg designs. That and "fearless" with a touch of " oh là là!"

The collection has a strong foundation in black and white with pops of color, and incorporates the iconic designer's signature bold animal prints, such as Spotted Cat and Funky Zebra. Geometric and abstract prints are also featured, for an eclectic blend designed to be mixed and matched. Color palettes range from berry and orange jewel tones inspired by the sunsets in Rajasthan, to azure blues that recall the Caribbean Sea, and desert-inspired neutrals in sand and stone.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator and a huge fan of all things von Furstenberg, I could not wait for the Kravet showroom at Miromar Design Center in Estero to unveil this collection. And I wasn't disappointed.  But these designs are not for the fearful when it comes to incorporating into a home's decor.

Photo: Kravet

Photo: Kravet

Amy Jimenez, Kravet's Estero showroom manager suggests that the bright color palate as well as the more subtle tones are perfect for someone with a more modern aesthetic.

"Feeling daring? Imagine using a pattern like Cumulus, Iznikoasis or China Vine for drapery panels, bedding or on a large piece of furniture. Feeling more“faint of heart”? Try using them on accent pieces such as pillows, chairs or ottomans for a great pop," she says.

Photo: Kravet

Photo: Kravet

And my advice? Forget your fears and liven up your decor with these yummy colors and designs.

As Jimenez says, whateveryou choose, DVF’s collection will be sure to transform any space into something really spectacular!"

I couldn't agree more.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her practical and affordable interior decorating helps clients transform a house into a beautiful home.  Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

Design forecast: Fearless, bright, bold and brassy

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• November 8, 2014

 
Mid-century modern dining by Stanley Furniture. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn

Mid-century modern dining by Stanley Furniture. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn

 

At High Point Market in North Carolina, along with 75,000 other buyers and designers from all over the world, I did my best to cover 11.5 million square feet of space that provide dazzling displays of thousands of new products.

This home decor mecca is Disneyland for designers. It takes place for one week each fall and spring. With so much to see that it's easy to find yourself on visual overload. In addition, there are opportunities to meet famous designers, take courses from experts and there are lots of opportunities to meet your favorite television personalities (my design crush: Tom Filicia). There is even a seminar that teaches you how to navigate Market, as it is called, and to make the most out of your time.

 
Lots of creative uses of books. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Lots of creative uses of books. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

But who has time for that course with all of the spectacular showrooms waiting with beautiful, pretty things. The temptation is to just take the plunge with your to do list. And so I did.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, this is where I go for design inspiration, to look for new ways of creating beautiful rooms and to shop for my clients who are looking for something new and fresh. Whether it is an eclectic piece to be used as a focal point in a room or for to shop for furnishings and accessories for an entire home.

 
Pretty and popular apple green accents with neutral tones. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Pretty and popular apple green accents with neutral tones. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

If you can't find it here, it doesn't exist. Not that every showroom can be covered. Despite the miles that I put on my new, sensible walking shoes. So take a trip with me as I offer a peek at a few of the amazing, edgy, stunning new trends that I saw at Market. You will soon be seeing these in your favorite retail spots and magazines.

Trends

The market spotters were predicting "bright, bold and brassy," and that sums it up perfectly. Home design has taken a turn that is not for the faint of heart. Fearless decorating with bright tones and accessories that don't take themselves too seriously.

Brass and gold continue to be very important in home décor----not shiny brass or gold but wonderful antiqued and textured gold as well as brass with a natural patina.

 
Bold and sassy! Photo: Curry & Company.

Bold and sassy! Photo: Curry & Company.

 

Lighting

The jewelry of interior decorating, lighting is the hottest accessory and it takes center stage in every room. Never has lighting been prettier with more sparkle and bling! The choices are stunning. Think gold.

In the Currey and Company showroom, a showstopper in itself, each piece hanging from the ceiling looked like a sparkling gold bracelet twisted into arty shapes.

 
Orli Chandelier of Wrought Iron finished in Contemporary Gold Leaf. Photo: Currey & Company.

Orli Chandelier of Wrought Iron finished in Contemporary Gold Leaf. Photo: Currey & Company.

 

Wrought Iron with contemporary gold leaf and brass are popular finishes. And the dazzling La Mer Wall Sconce of wrought iron, shell and glass is a perfect accessory for a sophisticated coastal look that blends beach-inspired design with a traditional or contemporary look.

 
La Mer Wall Sconce. Photo: Currey & Company.

La Mer Wall Sconce. Photo: Currey & Company.

 

Color

As we said, bold and fearless! Lots of blues including navy, indigo, robins egg.  Red is also trending in sofas and accessories along with corals and pinks. Orange, jade, teals and that beautiful apple green are everywhere.

Furniture

Lots of soft curves that soften the silhouette of a chair or sofa and add visual interest. Canopy beds are trending with a breathtaking, modern new look. Blending antiques with almost any style as an accent piece. Reclaimed/distressed pieces. Driftwood. Lot of gold and brass tables. Table bases and coffee tables have emerged as artwork with sculptured designs. Bar carts are the rage with lots of gold and glass. Ottomans in bold patterns and jewel tones.

 
Coastal living retreat. Photo: Stanley Furniture.

Coastal living retreat. Photo: Stanley Furniture.

 
 
Carved wooden coffee table. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Carved wooden coffee table. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

And with furniture, it's all about customization. Changing the shape of a leg, an arm or a cushion, even changing the dimensions of a piece to fit a unique space, offers choices like never before to the consumer.

According to Kravet, premiering its new furniture showroom at Market, a lot of designers today are embracing an updated traditional look, which could mean a tufted sofa with a slim track arm, or a comfortable arm chair with sleek details.

 
Kravet Denham Chair. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet Denham Chair. Photo: Kravet.

 

There is a resurgence of the chaise lounge, and they are popular in today’s interior design schemes. With regard to pattern and color, Kravet embraces a bright bold fabric statement on furniture, however many designers are choosing upholstery that is durable and neutral, which is a great investment for the life of your furniture, and your room.

Brass and bronze occasional tableswere everywhere with some of the most popular at Vanguard Furniture to complement the extensive furniture collection that is popular with southwest Florida homeowners because of its personalization options. And furniture is painted every color imaginable!

Art and accessories

So many fresh, new choices here. Artifact decor is hugely popular as an accent. Buddha's in every color are a huge accent piece with all styles of decor. Books have taken on a huge role in artwork and accessories serving as a focal point and covered in papers and fabric. Glass is seen in bold colors and shapes.

 
Popular Buddha is incorporated into all styles of design. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Popular Buddha is incorporated into all styles of design. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

 

Rugs

Bold and exotic. Intricate patterns. Lots of metallics. Washes and patinas create a soft look.  Viscose yarn is used with pearlescent shimmer to add dimension to neutral tones. Easy care with custom sizing, beautiful indoor/outdoor selections.

 
Blue Bye You. Photo: Company C.

Blue Bye You. Photo: Company C.

 

Summary:

Have fun with the latest trends and don't take your decorating too seriously!

DSC05219.JPG

For more details on trends and other fun sightings at High Point Market, visit www.spectacularspaces.com/blogor call Wrenda Goodwyn at 239-949-1808 or wrenda@spectacularspaces.com

It's a wrap: Trimmings personalize design style

 
Colorful trimmings are a beautiful accent in any room and personalize a home. Photo: Brunschwig & Fils.

Colorful trimmings are a beautiful accent in any room and personalize a home. Photo: Brunschwig & Fils.

 

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• August 2, 2014

They are pretty and colorful. Beads, tassels, glass, feathers, shells, wood, metallic threads, metal chain, leather, ribbon, jute and almost anything that you would want. Trimmings...they are the bling of design. The finishing details for a decorating project. The embellishments that personalize and make your interior design unique.

And as a Fort Myers interior decorator, I can tell you that trims are a hot home accessory right now. A gorgeous accent for any room, they are like adding a beautiful piece of jewelry to an article of clothing.

 
Beaded tiebacks add a designer touch to draperies. Photo: Kravet.

Beaded tiebacks add a designer touch to draperies. Photo: Kravet.

 

When shopping for fabric for my clients, it never fails. I always end up going through the trimmings. They are inspiring and give me great ideas for new projects. And some uses may surprise you. They are easy to do and can add just the perfect, custom-made touch for minimum effort.

Amy Jimenez, manager of the Kravet showroom at Miromar Design Center in Estero, says that embellishing through the use of passementerie, the French word for trimmings, can be a fabulous way to turn your project from ordinary to extraordinary and adds the finishing touch to a skillfully designed interior.

"Trimming comes in a variety of sizes and styles including cording, gimp, brushed fringe, beaded trim, flat tape, tassel fringe, and bullion, just to name a few, and can be used for both decorative and functional purposes. Modern day passementeries are being made with a diverse selection of materials besides fabric and Kravet's trade-only showroom has an extensive collection of the latest, in-vogue trim collections for designers to source for their clients."

Change the look of a sofa and the entire room with multiple applications of fabric.  Photo: Kravet

Change the look of a sofa and the entire room with multiple applications of fabric.  Photo: Kravet

And that's just the beginning of the many ways to use these beautiful trims. Check out a few of these ideas and the next time you are shopping for fabric, spend some time going through the trimmings for decorating inspiration!

• Trim the edges of store-bought drapery panels with a beaded trim or flat, wide tape to give them a custom look.

• Use flat tape and other trims to accent a cornice.

• Decorative accent for lampshades.

• Select feathers, woods, shells or beads to enhance a throw pillow.

 
Beaded tapes, cords and fringes and tapes accent pillows and furnishings. Photo: Kravet.

Beaded tapes, cords and fringes and tapes accent pillows and furnishings. Photo: Kravet.

 

• Use a trim tape to trim a table runner, placemats and napkins.

• One of my favorites for a small powder room: an exotic trim tape for a border.

• Customize bedding with flat trim on the edges of skirts, sheets and pillow cases.

• Add fringe to a comforter or duvet cover.

 
Lindi fringed duvet cover from Anthropologie. Photo: Anthropologie.com.

Lindi fringed duvet cover from Anthropologie. Photo: Anthropologie.com.

 

• Pom pom trims are so popular right now that we see them on everything from pillows to shower curtains to throws. And for something fun and trendy without spending a fortune...pom pom a scarf!

 
Tory Burch pom pom trimmed scarf. Photo: Tory Burch.com.

Tory Burch pom pom trimmed scarf. Photo: Tory Burch.com.

 

• Select a pretty trim in an accent color and use it around the edge of dining room chairs.

• Use trims to enhance mirrors and photo frames.

• Jazz up a plain shade with an accent border around the edges and for the top valance.

• Embellish a table cloth with trim by wrapping it around the edge of the table.

• Cover a plain bulletin board with your favorite fabric and trim it in something beautiful and it comes a perfect inspiration board for your favorite decorating ideas, photos and fabric/paint swatches.

• Wrap small presents in trims for a memorable gift!

• As an accent in any room, pickup a few of your favorite, colorful trims on sale and fill a large, clear jar or vase.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

Sorting through the trends: Decorating tips for 2014

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• February 1, 2014

Decorating can be confusing. There are so many products on the market. New colors, furnishing, accessories, finishes, textures and styles come out every year. And what to do with that Radiant Orchid pantone color?

How do you keep your home fresh without giving into every trend that comes along and staying within some reasonable budget?

Tufted headboard from Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Tufted headboard from Ballard Designs. Photo: Ballard Designs.

The advice to my southwest Florida clients making major purchases: ask yourself, will you love it in five years?  Keep major items in your home timeless.  Take a chance with paint color and accessories and have some fun.

The trends for 2014 are, well, spectacular. Simple and low maintenance are the keywords for homeowners.  And while there is no point in going crazy in making dramatic changes just for the sake of a trend, you can tone some of these down and pick and choose what works for your lifestyle.   Here are a few trends along with some of my tips for the year. Have fun!

Changing spaces that you don't use

At one time that large dining room or formal living room made sense. But lifestyle changes can make them a wasted space. That's why many homeowners are converting these spaces into entertainment rooms, libraries and more to make the space more functional.  

Formal living room..jpg

BEFORE: Owners of this West Bay home wanted to transform this formal living room to a more useful space.

Entertainment room..JPG

AFTER: Space is changed into an entertainment room that is used daily by family and friends.

Color and paint

Indigo! From the bedroom to the living room and for every imaginable accessory, this peaceful, comforting color will bring to mind the deep blue of the sea. Tip: It's great for pops of color in rooms with a neutral/white palette and works with a nautical scheme. 

For paint: black walls are popular, white walls are still the trend. Accent walls are not so popular as painting the entire room is the trend. Grey is still the new beige and is everywhere in many shades.

Farrow & Ball paints are hot, pricey and worth a look. The high levels of pigment, rich resin binders, and the high refractory nature the key ingredients give the paints their signature depth of color. There are 132 colors and they are available to the trade through Kravet at the Miromar Design Center.

Wow those walls

Grass cloth has made a return with rich textures and colors. It can be painted when you are tired of it so it has a longer lifespan.

Mirrors

Everywhere. Rather than doing an entire wall (very 80's and making a comeback), I suggest a large framed mirror or a collection.

Antiqued mirror from Restoration Hardware with a vintage look is handfitted from multiple pieces of beveled, mitered and joined glass. Photo: Restoration Hardware.

Antiqued mirror from Restoration Hardware with a vintage look is handfitted from multiple pieces of beveled, mitered and joined glass. Photo: Restoration Hardware.

Lighting

There have never been so many great choices in table lamps. Give your room an instant makeover with a fresh color with two new lamps for your bedroom or living room. This would the perfect place to try that Radiant Orchid with a pair of glass table lamps with an apothecary base from Lamps Plus. 

Photo: Lamps Plus.

Photo: Lamps Plus.

Windows

Gone are the heavy and expensive draperies. The trend is panels, blinds, shutters and anything that will let in more natural light.  Simple panels in linen, thin wool, cotton or muslin with a pared down look.

Flooring

Huge floor tiles, bamboo, laminate flooring in wide plank styles and various colors, vinyl planking, porcelains in many styles including a wood-look porcelain. Tip: flooring is a major purchase and there are so many choices on the market.  Work with a professionalto determine which is best for your home.

Furnishings

Forget cookie cutter designs.  It's all about you and not your neighbor or a trend, for that matter. Unique and no matchy matchy"sets." Hot: shopping on ETSY, eBay, 1st Dibs, Craigs List, estate sales and consignment shops for something different.

Because we have exposure to so many cultures, ethnic prints and patterns are popular in   homes this year. Moroccan, Asian, South American and other influences.

Lacquer trays in bold shades multi-task to serve drinks, organize odds and ends on a dresser or hold a stack of books on a coffee table. Photo: West Elm.

Lacquer trays in bold shades multi-task to serve drinks, organize odds and ends on a dresser or hold a stack of books on a coffee table. Photo: West Elm.

Hot: Felt, suede and leather headboards, tufted sofas and ottomans, Lucite chairs, coffee tables and accessories. Chairs are larger and armless and love seats are becoming extinct. Nailheads in furniture, pillows. Platform beds, no box springs (we said "simple" is the trend!).

For offices, which are becoming smaller as large computers are phasing out, day beds are popular and allow the room to be used for guests.

Furniture with multiple uses: coffee tables that liftup and have storage or transform into a larger table for dining, occasional tables that can be used in multiples throughout the home. Vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces are popular as are reclaimed wood pieces such as coffee tables and shelving.

Fabric

Monograms are everywhere: linens, pillows, chairs. A way to personalize and to be unique.  Palettes: blue and white, soft purple, graphic prints, plaids. Grays. Ikat prints.

Tip: Keep floral prints in the bedroom and solid tones in the family room.

Kitchen

Timeless white/black color scheme. Eco-friendly cabinets with no formaldehyde and non-toxic glues, binders and finishes. White-glass appliances are a change from the stainless (no smudge) which is still popular. 

Quartz countertops. These are engineered but look like granite and are sustainable and more durable, resists stains and chipping.  Touchless, motion-sensing faucets that areeasier to use, cleaner, and cut down on water usage in kitchens and baths.

Bathrooms

High-efficiency showerheads and toilets, barrier free walk-in showers that do not require being stepped over, stand-alone bathtubs as centerpieces, wall mounted sinks.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her practical and affordable interior decorating helps clients transform a house into a beautiful home.  Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

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When paint color is just not enough: wall coverings make bold design statement

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• April 27, 2013

Photo: Cole and Son and Lee Jofa.

Photo: Cole and Son and Lee Jofa.

If you are like most homeowners, when you hear the term "wallpaper,"  you immediately think about scraping sheets of flowery pastels of the wall and then repairing the wall. Or you remember your grandmother's kitchen.  In other words, a thing of the past.

They began centuries ago as a way to protect walls and only the aristocracy could afford them. Wall papers meant that you had made it. Then for the past few years the allure faded.

Today the term is "wall coverings" and many are not paper at all.  They have come a long way, have been totally reinventedand done correctly, wall coverings can be a powerful design element in a home.  Murals that take you away, metals, crystals, grass cloths, hand painted papers, silver threads and anything you can imagine. There are even companies that allow you to design your own paper.

We now see them in design magazines and in model homes. Wall coverings are no longer backdrops. They are focal points and should be treated as such.  Pair the right combination of color and wall covering design and turn a blah room into a spectacular space.

Photo: Pixercise.

Photo: Pixercise.

With Pixers City Never Sleeps collection of mural (pixersize.com/wallmurals/city-never-sleeps) we see atribute to the great metropolises that for ages have inspired not only artists, but also most importantly, ordinary people. Pixers says: "The cities that are a continuous dazzle of lights and cacophony of noises, but still attract like a magnet."

You can have a view of Paris from your living room or have your office in a cafe. A jazz band in your TV room or wake up in Paris.   And best of all, you canspecify the size of the mural to fit your space.

You may want to give wall coverings another look if bold paint colors just aren't enough. If you want to do something that reflects your decorating style and personality in a big way.

Wall covering tips:

                           Photo: Cole and Son and Lee Jofa•

                           Photo: Cole and Son and Lee Jofa•

• Make an entrance.  Select a bold color for the front foyer and add a paper that accentuates the color.

• Powder room.  Designers love wall coverings in powder rooms. We/you can do something totally outrageous in this room.  Bling it up and make a statement.

•  Laundry room.  Use your imagination and try a whimsical pattern.

• For the kiddies. Forget pastels. Select a wall covering that will grow with the child. Neutral backgrounds with playful patterns.

• Complement your furnishings. A modern print works well in a space with a natural and casual style. With neutralssofas and wood accent pieces, try a graphic pattern in a combination of colors.

• Maximum impact.  Select a wall with no windows and doors for wallpaper and paint the rest of the room background color of the paper.

• Nursery. Cover one wall with a modern animal print and paint the remaining walls in a gender neutral shade.

• Love the look but concerned about budget? Select the room's focal point to highlight with an eye-catching print. Then paint the walls in the background color of the paper. The best of both decorating elements!

• Afraid of wall covering commitment?  Pick a design that speaks to you and cover an accent wall.  Minimal investment until you decide how much you love it!                                                                                          

According to Shauna Dennison, creative director of Cole & Son, (available to the trade  through the Kravet showroom in Estero)  popular designs continue to include traditional and classic patterns.  However she is seeing a move towards "larger scale, bolder wallpapers."

"This rise in murals and panel designs has in part been driven by huge advances in digital printing technology.

"We are seeing the rise of creativity in wall coverings... wallpaper has become a feature to build interior schemes around, rather than a background element. Large scale, whimsical designs are the conversational piece within a design scheme. The new Fornasetti II collection leads this trend with a series of striking theatrical designs that have been produced on wide widths giving the pattern repeats far greater space, creating a mural like quality."

At Ralph Lauren Home, the Textures Collection is filled with embroidery, damask and woven designs, natural seagrass, cork and scroll. These blend well against the blue-green shades that are the backdrop for southwest Florida homes. For details, visit the showroom in Miromar Design Center. 

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog