Sweet dreams are made of these: tips for a glamorous bedroom makeover

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• September 21, 2013

Headboard doubles as a comfortable backrest, creating a cozy spot for reading and relaxing. Available in slipcover options, so it can be changed. Paint color: Sensuous Gray by Sherwin Williams; Light fixture at left: Capiz shells. Photo: Pottery Barn.

It’s true. The best sleep comes in a beautiful bedroom. A gorgeous bed with sheets and pillows that are so comfortable that you can’t wait to land there at the end of the day. Perfect lighting, accent touches, color, window treatments. It all works together for a touch of glamour that makes you say “Ahhhhhh” when you walk in the room.

Headboard doubles as a comfortable backrest, creating a cozy spot for reading and relaxing. Available in slipcover options, so it can be changed. Paint color: Sensuous Gray by Sherwin Williams; Light fixture: Capiz shells. Photo: Pottery Barn

Getting there can be a challenge and for most homeowners, it is hard to know where to begin. Often it is the most overlooked room in the home. Everything else gets the design touches and because no one else sees the bedroom, it is the last on the decorating plan. Wrong. Because it is where you spend your sleeping and resting hours, it deserves top priority and some thoughtful planning.

Petal-shaped capiz shells form a translucent cluster of flowers on this flushmount lighting. Photo: Pottery Barn.

To start, it is important to select calming paint colors for the bedroom. Declutter the room. Move the computer and work station out of sight. If you can live without at television in the room, great.

Stratton Bed with drawers for storage, Swing arm-sconces and a porcelain blue duvet. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Stratton Bed with drawers for storage, Swing arm-sconces and a porcelain blue duvet. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Now to glam it up a bit and add some drama! Most of these tips are simple and will totally transform the bedroom. So much so, that you will likely want all of your guests to see the beautiful transformation!  And the best news: You can spend as much or as little when and if your budget permits.

Mark Fanta, general manager of Webster & Company, which includes Ralph Lauren Home, at Miromar Design Center in Estero, says the most important thing when planning a glamorous bedroom is to decide on a theme and stick to it.

Place a small sofa or bench at the end of the bed to create a sitting area. Bed and sofa: Ralph Lauren Home at Webster & Company, Miromar Design Center. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

“Whether it is a color theme, a period, or even a style like French country, the key to glamour is simple elegance.  Keep your color scheme to one or two hues and include at least one neutral.  Color clashing and cutesy florals should be banished from a bedroom.  Accessories should compliment your color scheme with clutter being kept to a minimum.

And the bedding is the ultimate in creating a glamorous bedroom. I believe in using simple white-on-white pique and bed linens of the highest thread count afforadable in your budget. Simple and clean but very elegant.”

Doug Ulrich, general manager at Norris Home Furnishings, says that a current trend is to take classic lines on pieces and give them a unique finish or paint to transform a ypically traditional piece into one with transitional timeless elegance.

"Take unique pieces such as secretary,  flip top desks and armoires and make them the statement piece of the room by having a unique size, shape or finish."

More tips to add drama to your bedroom:

Traditional design gains modern boldness in this Frances canopy bed, inspired by the open industrial feel found in revitalized loft spaces. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Select neutral paint colors. Popular now: calming grays, browns, blues. Favorites from Sherwin Williams: Bamboo Shoot, Sensuous Gray, Smoky Blue, Turkish Coffee.

Add crown molding to the room in a high gloss super white.

If the room has a tray ceiling, paint with a splash of color and hang a chandelier.  Make sure it is on a dimmer as with any overhead lighting.

A large mirror, leaning on the wall or attached, adds sparkle and shimmer.

Select direct lighting for reading and ambient for mood lighting. If space is at a minimum on your nightstands, consider adjustable swing-arm lamps or sconces.

Because the bed is the focal point, use a high, upholstered fabric headboard, leather or tufted fabric. This softens the look and has a clean, glam feel. And a modern take on a canopy bed is always in style.

Don’t overlook the foot of the bed: add an upholstered bench or trunk that can be used for storage. If there is space, a loveseat.

An upholstered chair or tufted lounge for reading adds a relaxing touch.

Repeat colors and textures to unify the space.

Writing desk or vanity is functional and should be the spot for treasured accessories that you want to see every day.

Create a master suite with use of color, fabrics, connect the bedroom and bath spaces so they work together. Much as you remember from your favorite hotel, carry the theme into the bath with the window treatments and color. This is a great way to make both spaces will feel larger.

Add fresh flowers and have sweet dreams!

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

Always in Style: Stickley furniture offers history lessons

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• Feb. 23. 2013 

For many, it is an acquired taste.

But homeowners who love Stickley furniture are addicted to its style, design and quality. Collectors search in earnest for antiques — early Stickley pieces are recognized as gems of the American Arts & Crafts movement — and can add new pieces because the furniture is still made today, in the company’s factory in Manlius, N.Y.

Photo of Stickley Furniture Mission Dining CollectionMission Dining Collection.“The quality of construction is amazing. Each piece is built when it is ordered ... the name of the customer is on the piece and remains on it as it progresses down the assembly line,” said Larry Norris, founder and president of Norris Home Furnishings, Southwest Florida’s exclusive Stickley dealer.

“And Stickley is delivered on its own truck. When you purchase a piece of Stickley, you are buying a collectible of tomorrow.”

Stickley furniture is known for its hand-finished, solid wood furniture in styles including Mission, Traditional and Metropolitan. Founded in Fayettesville, N.Y., in 1900 by Gustav Stickley — considered to be one of the country’s most legendary furniture makers — Stickley is seen in museums from the Metropolitan to the Museum of Fine Arts.

Today, Stickley has more than 1,600 employees and produces furniture collections ranging from the company’s early Mission Oak and Cherry to Classics, Modern, John Widdicomb, St. Croix and more.

Photo of Stickley Furnitiure Willow Bed Willow Bed: From the modern collection, the willow bed is part of the Edinburgh line. This beautiful bed was inspired by the Willow Tea Room in Sauchehall Street in Glasgow.

The company burst into international prominence in the early 20th century with its Craftsman/Mission Oak designs. These were based on the notion that furniture should be “honest” — a reaction against the fake joinery, unnecessary gaudiness and shoddy workmanship of many of the pieces created in the early days of industrial furniture making.

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What's your decorating style?

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• July 21, 2012

Is your home feeling like a hodgepodge of all the furniture you have been moving from home to home for years?

Do you want to change your decorating style to better fit your current lifestyle but are feeling a little uncertain as to how to begin?

There are some tricks of the trade that may help. So before you head out to purchase a lot of “things” to “redo” your home, check these out and you will begin to find your decorating style.

The goal is to transform your home from something that may seem a little stale or discombobulated into something that reflects your personal tastes. Or maybe a change into something that takes your home from drab to wow.

Traditional Living Room - Copy (2).jpg

Traditional style living room with colorful collections as accents, white walls and contemporary fabric, rugs.

Maybe you have been living with shabby chic for a while and want to go contemporary with less clutter as is the current trend. Or perhaps you have just moved to Southwest Florida and want to make your home a little more tropical.

This means having a plan and a willingness to make a (positive) change. So what will it be — contemporary, modern, classic, casual, Florida style, eclectic, traditional, transitional or a mix?

It takes confidence and self-awareness and it may take a while to evolve. After all, it is your personal style, distinct and expressive of how you live your life. Most important: You need to love it. It’s a process. Think about how you want your home to look and work around it.

Combining styles with this modular seating from West Elm, abstract artwork, wood flooring, vintage pieces and bold paint color results in a modern, yet natural look. Photo: West Elm.

Interior designer Deborah Chase of Norris Home Furnishings in Fort Myers recommends beginning with something that you love and working from there. She says it is also important when determining decorating style to consider how you are using your home.

“Is it a second home that will be used for family gatherings, entertaining and holidays? And don’t be afraid to try something different… a new paint color, something fun.”

Best-selling author and home design expert Lauri Ward of redecorate.com suggests “looking inside your closet for clues to your favorite colors. If you tend to dress in navy, camel, black and white, you probably will feel more comfortable living in a neutral colored environment.

“If you like to dress in primary colors, you can use one or two bright hues as accent colors for your home accessories, or even the wall color in one or two rooms (note: avoid bright color in every room as it can be tiring).”

Beautiful Echo Design and the Windsor Smith Home Collection for Kravet set the tone for a casual, Florida style with bright colors and patterns. Photo: Courtesy of Kravet.

Try some of these tips and your style will begin to emerge:

Visit a fabric store and note what appeals to you. Set up a Pinterest board and begin following other pinners who have tastes similar to yours. This will help you to begin to collect some ideas about how you would like for your home to look.

Visit model homes in the area and ask for permission to take photos of rooms that you like.

Follow blogs that offer suggestions and photos that are compatible with your wish list. Favorites: apartmenttherapy.com, houzz.com.

Create a vision board for one of your walls and include articles and photos from magazines that will give you ideas. Favorites: Home Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Coastal Living, Veranda. Your favorites will quickly become obvious. Look for trends.

Visit home stores and design centers for inspiration. Take classes and seminars to learn as much as you can about decorating. Local favorites: Miromar Design Center in Estero and Norris Home Furnishings in Fort Myers & Naples.

Remember: Finding and fine-tuning your decorating style takes time. If you need additional help, call a decorator or designer and have them help you pull it all together.

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.