Inspiration: Behind the scenes at Kravet's NYC studio

It was the best of days in New York City.

After a week of meeting top designers, home magazine editors, fellow design bloggers and touring fabulous Manhattan show homes, came the cherry on top of the sundae.

Photo of colorful Kravet fabricAs a southwest Florida interior decorator, I have long considered Kravet the Walt Disney of the fabric and home furnishing world. The level of quality and customer service results in a tremendous comfort level for designers. I often work with Amy Jimenez at the  Kravet showroom in the Miromar Design Center in Estero. Finding just the right pattern, palettes and textures for a room is the most exciting part of my job as an interior decorator. It is a good day for me when I have clients who want fabulous fabric for a new project or want to design a piece of furniture to fit their space. It is always a great collaboration between a decorator or designer and Kravet.

Currently, I am working with Kravet on a gorgeousBarbary Barry carpet collectionBarbara Barry's Indochine Collection for Kravet.  Barbara Barry Indochine rug for a vacation home for one of my Fort Myers decorating clients. Fabric for drapes, pillows and several other projects.

So, on this last day in NYC, I headed to the Flatiron district where Cary Kravet and the Kravet family opened their studio and welcomed 168 designers with open arms for breakfast and a studio tour. They made us feel like family and gave us a peek behind the scenes. Shared a few secrets that are soon to be announced, showed us the latest fabric designs, product development and merchandising for three of the industry's respected brands: Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils. In a word: Inspiring.

My heartfelt thanks to Gary, Lisa and Ellen Kravet. To Beth Greene, Ann Felstein and Jennifer Powell. You gave me my best day in NYC.


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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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The View from the 44th Floor of Hearst Tower in NYC: Inspiring

 Photo of New York City

Photo of peoniesEven on a rainy, dreary day in New York City, the 180-degree view from Hearst Tower was magnificent as this Fort Myers Interior decorator joined 168 designers and bloggers gathered to hear editors from the top design magazines share a behind-the-scene glimpse inside an issue and to their thoughts on design.

And the gorgeous peonies on each table helped to brighten the day. Demonstrating to this group of designers attending Kravet's Blogfest 2012,  that the simplest things are often the best.

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Blogfest in NYC: Design and the City Part 2

Still dreaming about the amazing and inspiring designs that I saw at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House during Blogfest 2012. This hot ticket event is celebrating its 40th year for Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and it takes place through June 14 at the Aldyn, a luxury building on Manhattan’s West Side at Riverside Blvd. and 63rd St. So, if you are going to be in NYC, do yourself a favor and hurry to see not one, but two adjacent 6,000 square-foot residences (with views of the Hudson, beautiful terraces and rooms done by some of the top designers in the country.

And if you cannot make it to Manhattan, let me share some of the rooms that inspired me. As a southwest Florida interior decorator and writer, I am always looking for new ideas and practical solutions for my clients and right now, my head is spinning!

Of course, these are fantasy rooms. But they inspire us to think and to not be afraid to dream, use our imagination and have some fun with our own living spaces. That's what it is all about, right?

Photo from Blogfest 2012

"Sleeping Beauty" by Zoya Bograd of Rooms by Zoya B is fit for a princess.

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Blogfest in NYC: Design and the City

Confession: In one of my many fantasy lives, I live in a glamorous New York penthouse with views of the Hudson River, perfectly decorated spaces done by top designers, luxurious fabrics and furnishings to die for.

Photo of Wrenda Goodwyn of Spectacular Spaces at Blogfest 2012I met my dream this week at Kravet’s fabulous Blogfest 2012.

It was the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse which is celebrating its 40th year for Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. Considered the hot ticket in New York, it takes place through June 14 at the Aldyn, a luxury building on Manhattan’s West Side at Riverside Blvd. and 63rd St. Here, I found not one, but two adjacent duplex residences with views of the Hudson, beautiful terraces. And one even has a large pool and spa. The good news, they are both for sale: $16.9 million and $15 million. If I can scrape up the $$$ I would like to purchase both and link them together. The bad news: I have a long way to go.

But for now, I am content to dream about the wonderful thingsPhoto of ad for Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse that I heard and saw. Blogfest designers had exclusive access for the evening and we were hosted by Architectural Digest Editor in Chief, Margaret Russell. Highlight was mingling with the designers in each room.

As a southwest Florida interior decorator who works with homeowners who mostly want a contemporary, Florida-style home that combines old and new, I am always looking for new ways to combine color and textures for indoor and outdoor spaces. The showcase was a virtual feast.

Because the Aldyn is a modern highrise (each apartment is on two levels: 20th and 21st floors), there are no fancy architectural details in the structure so the 31 designers used amazing creativity in creating these masterpieces from basic, plain rooms.

Noted throughout the house: heavy use of beautiful grasscloth, lacquered walls and ceilings, mixtures of old and new pieces.

And while Tangerine Tango may be the color of the year, Green is the color at Kips Bay. Jade, emerald, grass paint, fabric and accessories. Beautiful.

My favorites...well there were so many.  But I could not get past the “Gallery” designed by Thom Filicia (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, major designer, charming, cute and latest design crush!).  The open gallery connects to the living room, dining room and library and is lacquered in an amazing green that I am told is Benjamin Moore’s Cat’s Eye 2036-10. The color is stunning and shows what can be done in a very simple space.
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9/11 Memorial: Beautiful and forever sad

This week I am in New York City for Blogfest 2012 with designers, photographers and writers from around the country for a whirlwind three-day design event.
But when I arrived yesterday, my first stop was Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial.

Photo of 9/11 Memorial 
It was almost full circle for me. 
On September 11, 2001, I stepped out of a cab at the Newark airport on the most beautiful of New York mornings. The two towers sparkled across the river.  In two hours they would both be gone.

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