Love your home again

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • September 2019

Fall arrives tomorrow.

Time to pick out a fall wreath for the door or flag for the yard. Even though we really don’t have a fall season it’s nice to mark the change. Then it’s on to Halloween. And Thanksgiving, although it usually gets lost in all the Christmas shopping.

While there is still time, let me wish you a happy 2020!

It’s the time of year when things start to move at warp speed and we wonder where the months went. And if you’re like most of my Southwest Florida home interior clients, you want to get a few things done before we slide into the holidays and then into season again. Yikes.

And because we’re still into what I call our “endless summer” with a couple more months of steamy, hot weather, you may be thinking that your home could use a little something right about now. Something new to make you love it again.

Don’t wait for “someday”

Make a plan now. Be intentional. Strive for curated look. Get motivated. Pick a couple of ideas (see list below) and decide how you want to implement them. Start now and you will have something done before you hang your holiday wreath on the door! Whether you spend a little or a lot, don’t wait. Time is flying by!

And if you need inspiration, call a decorator or designer. We have lots of ideas in any budget and promise that you will love your home again when we are done.

Do these:

• Give your entry a new look with a dramatic color.

• Add a little glam to each room: a tufted sofa or a chaise lounge. Please, no brown! Pick a color that you love. Or a new mirror or a few glass accessories for some sparkle.

In the market for a new sofa? Glam it up with a chesterfield upholstered sofa. This one from Pottery Barn, has comfort and style and is crafted in the U.S. using eco-friendly materials. Photo: Pottery Barn

In the market for a new sofa? Glam it up with a chesterfield upholstered sofa. This one from Pottery Barn, has comfort and style and is crafted in the U.S. using eco-friendly materials. Photo: Pottery Barn

• Paint your front door. Add a new welcome mat that says something fun.

• Wallpaper a powder room. Something outrageously beautiful.

• Add some sparkle: a chandelier in the living room or bedroom (you really don’t need a ceiling fan in every room in the house). Or hang one in the master closet. It will make you happy every time you walk in.

• Display a collection. Haul out those ginger jars and fill them with fresh flowers.

• Soften the harsh, recessed lighting in the kitchen with a lamp on the counter or island. You won’t believe the change.

Powder rooms are the ideal spot for pattern and color. And no worries about water contact from showers and baths. Thibaut’s Palm Frond wallpaper from its Tropics collection adds a perfect coastal vibe to a home. Photo: Thibaut

Powder rooms are the ideal spot for pattern and color. And no worries about water contact from showers and baths. Thibaut’s Palm Frond wallpaper from its Tropics collection adds a perfect coastal vibe to a home. Photo: Thibaut

• Invest in hotel-style bedding. Don’t be afraid of white linens (always go for a high thread count). White sheets are so popular now and for good reason. Easy to care for and you can change your color scheme whenever you like.

• Hang something colorful in your laundry room.

• Change your drapes or drapery panels over the sliders. Make sure you hang them high: just below the ceiling or molding. And forget solid colors. Try a print or design.

• Delete what is no longer working in your home. I do this seasonally as things do tend to accumulate no matter how hard we try.

• Want color but afraid to commit to an entire room? Fine. Paint the ceiling that color that you have always wanted to try. Yes, the ceiling!

• Create a gallery-style wall with your favorite art.

• Need a new kitchen backsplash? Check out the new textured, handmade subway tiles. Spectacular!

• Add something velvet. Like a few new pillows.

Skip these:

• Oversized anything. Seriously. Not pretty.

• Purchasing a white sofa if you have children, grandchildren, pets, a husband, friends or anyone who will be sitting on it. Trust me on this one.

Wait until you find artwork that means something to you...rather than purchasing just to fill a space. Waves wall art by Pottery Barn.

Wait until you find artwork that means something to you...rather than purchasing just to fill a space. Waves wall art by Pottery Barn.

• Generic, mass-produced artwork. Leave the wall blank until you find some meaningful art or photographs.

• Slip covers for dining chairs. They never fit and always look tired.

• Trendy kitchen updates. White cabinets will always be in style.

• Renovating one part of an open floor plan. Because you can see everything, a renovation of a piece of the open space will make everything else look dated.

• Complicated outdoor spaces. This is where you will be spending some time as soon as the temperatures drop. Keep it simple and comfortable.

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




Heading to college with stylish (and practical) dorm room tips

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • June 1, 2019

Some things you never forget. No matter how many years have gone by.

Like when I walked into my dorm room my first day of college in North Carolina. I took one look at the small, all-beige room with very used furniture and tried to convince myself that it would be okay. Even then, I wanted everything around me to be as pretty as possible.

My mother took one look and said, “This will be fine.”

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And she was right. It was “home” for two years and I was happy there. It didn’t take much to pull it all together.

Each year when I think about writing an article on dorm decorating, I am in awe of the choices available and how, on a budget, you can make a room (with a roommate) look spectacular.

And a good source also helps. So, I set out to find a high school graduate heading off to college in the fall to give me a few key tips on what’s important.

Katie Donlan, heading off to college , says your dorm room should reflect your personal style.

Katie Donlan, heading off to college , says your dorm room should reflect your personal style.

Katie Donlan, just graduated from the Canterbury School in Fort Myers and will be heading off to college in late summer. Prior to graduation, she did some work for me as part of a school project so I took advantage of the chance to find out what’s most important to college-bound students leaving home for the first time.

Katie’s tips

Storage. Since dorm rooms are usually very small, maximizing space is a must. In my dorm room I plan to have my bed raised in order to use the space underneath as extra storage.

Photos. I think for incoming freshman one of the hardest parts is leaving friends and family. To help with this, I plan on bringing lots of photos of my friends and family to decorate my space.

Comfort. When planning a dorm room, the most important factor is comfort. After all, the majority of time spent in your dorm room is when you are sleeping. But it can be cute as well as comfortable!

Greenery. Adding a small plant or some flowers to a room adds a lot of character. It is also proven that plants help reduce stress!

No nails wall décor makes decorating a snap with a scallop framed pin board and wall organizers. Photo: Pottery Barn

No nails wall décor makes decorating a snap with a scallop framed pin board and wall organizers. Photo: Pottery Barn

Your own style. I think the best rooms are those that are truly representative of who you are as a person. For me, I will add lots of blues because that is my favorite color. I will also make sure to include a few pieces of whale decor because whales are my mom's favorite.

Wrenda’s tips

Gone are the days of walls covered in posters and bean bag chairs for seating. Today, a dorm room can be functional, done on a budget, reflect your personality and of course, a pretty space to return to at the end of the day.

Don’t forget about the roommate. If possible, it’s nice to coordinate a color palette before you arrive at college.

The bed is the thing. Since you will use your room to study, entertain and sleep, the bed will also be your seating area. Where to save: sheets for the bed which is usually single and extra-long. Where to splurge: the comforter. This is something you may wish to take with you when you leave the dorm whether it’s to an apartment or other housing. And make sure the fabric can be washed! Add a few pillows and a throw. Done.

Under-the-bed storage, a pretty and practical comforter, wall décor and a comfy chair all help to pull the dorm room look together. Elevate the look of your sleep space with patterns and paisley! Pottery Barn bundles everything from mattress pad to pillow insert to duvet with all the basics you need to make your best bed. Photo: Pottery Barn

Under-the-bed storage, a pretty and practical comforter, wall décor and a comfy chair all help to pull the dorm room look together. Elevate the look of your sleep space with patterns and paisley! Pottery Barn bundles everything from mattress pad to pillow insert to duvet with all the basics you need to make your best bed. Photo: Pottery Barn

No clutter zone. Space is at a premium so get creative with storage. Put hooks over closet doors for extra hanging space. Use baskets and trays to keep things together. Add a full-length mirror that leans and hang purses and jackets over the corners.

Shed some light. Very important. If there is a fluorescent light in the middle of the ceiling, lower the wattage or replace it with an inexpensive light fixture. Have a really good desk lamp for studying and at least one more lamp for the nightstand.

Pick a color! This task lamp has style and smarts. Three pivot points extend to the proper position, then lock into place. The flexible arm lets you direct light exactly where you want it. Photo: Pottery Barn

Pick a color! This task lamp has style and smarts. Three pivot points extend to the proper position, then lock into place. The flexible arm lets you direct light exactly where you want it. Photo: Pottery Barn

Personalize. Try to bring one (small) piece of your own furniture. Maybe a nightstand or a chair to soften the standardized look of the room. Ask if the piece you are replacing can be stored.

Walls. My favorite. Add a framed, fabric-backed inspiration board for photos. String lights with led photo clips. Use fabric or peel-and-stick wallpaper as an accent on the wall behind the bed.

Tie it all together. With a rug. It’s a nice accent that makes it seem like a home and you can definitely save on this item. Think: Home Goods or Target.

Relax and enjoy. These are years that you will never forget. Study. Have fun. And create lifelong memories.


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!

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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

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





Home renovation survival tips

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • October 6, 2018

My dream was to find the perfect home that needed just a tiny bit of cosmetic work to make it mine. I had done major renovations in the past and did not want to go down that road again.

Keep it simple and easy. That was my mantra. And gorgeous. With everything perfect. After all, I am a Southwest Florida interior decorator and I know how to make anything pretty. Really pretty. And functional. Plus, I have all the tools at my fingertips so this should be a snap.

Wrong.

There is a lot to consider in a kitchen renovation: floors, walls, lighting, cabinets. Great light, white cabinets and beautiful blues are the focus in this coastal-inspired kitchen. Near wall in smoke 2122-40. Far wall in Caribbean Mist 2061-70. Cabinets in Ice Mist OC-67. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

There is a lot to consider in a kitchen renovation: floors, walls, lighting, cabinets. Great light, white cabinets and beautiful blues are the focus in this coastal-inspired kitchen. Near wall in smoke 2122-40. Far wall in Caribbean Mist 2061-70. Cabinets in Ice Mist OC-67. Photo: Benjamin Moore.

Remember “Under the Tuscan Sun?”

Although it was a romantic comedy, it could be a home renovation documentary. It’s about a writer who says goodbye to her past and buys a 300-year-old villa in Tuscany. It’s also about her hot new love interest and is set against the backdrop of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We have all had a similar dream, right?

But it (the movie) is really about the house.

Like “Under the Tuscan Sun,” whether you’re remodeling your bedroom or a bath, knocking out a few walls, creating a new kitchen from start to finish or renovating the entire home, it’s a fairly miserable experience. There is just no way to sugarcoat it.

It’s dirty, stressful and expensive. You have very little control. You are at the mercy of your contractor and the subs that may or may not show up for work. Unexpected problems arise that delay the project and cost. It turns your home and your life upside down. Until the project is finished.

The bottom line: you just have to live through it and hope for the best.

And having just gone through the experience myself, I have a few do’s, don’ts and survival tips that can help.

Renovation don’ts

Don’t cry or panic. It will get better.

Don’t believe the home shows. As fun as they are, they just don’t present the reality of the cost and experience of a home renovation. You know that.

Don’t stay in the house if it’s a major renovation. This is not always possible but moving out for the duration can save your sanity.

Don’t try to do it yourself. Call in the professionals.

Don’t take on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. New paint. New window treatments. A new rug. Maybe new kitchen countertops. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. You might be surprised at the big difference a few small changes make.

Don’t embark on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. A few small changes make a big difference. This Pottery Barn Harper upholstered bed, along with new furniture and artwork will totally change a bedroom. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Don’t embark on a renovation or major remodel if you just aren’t up to it. Make a few cosmetic changes to the room that will enable you to live with it. Pick what bothers you most and let that be your focus. A few small changes make a big difference. This Pottery Barn Harper upholstered bed, along with new furniture and artwork will totally change a bedroom. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Renovation do’s

Be patient. This won’t last forever.

Come up with a plan before your first meeting with a contractor. They can’t read your mind and you need to be able to tell them exactly what you need/want. Think about the little things that matter: light switches in the right place, fans, chandeliers, electrical outlets. This is your chance to get it just right.

Consider your lifestyle if you are redoing a floorplan. Traffic flow. Feeling of the home. Color. Is your taste traditional, contemporary, casual, coastal, transitional?

Start from the ground and work your way up with your plan: flooring, walls, furniture, lighting.

Establish a budget before the first meeting. And know that there will always be a few unexpected surprises that will add dollars so plan on it.

Hire an interior decorator or designer to get you started on the right path. They can look at the project and tell you what is doable, practical and the best use of your money for resale. They will also help you to make your vision for your home a reality.

Interview several contractors. Visit homes they have done and talk to the owners. Select the one that you feel will be the best fit for this short or long term relationship.

Renovating or adding a powder room? There are a lot of details to consider. Fixtures, space planning, color. Design element for this small bath is Pottery Barn’s modern farmhouse sink. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Renovating or adding a powder room? There are a lot of details to consider. Fixtures, space planning, color. Design element for this small bath is Pottery Barn’s modern farmhouse sink. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Be flexible. And be willing to make compromises. That’s just the reality of a renovation. Sure, you wanted that beautiful, free standing bath tub sitting in the middle of your new master bathroom. But the plumber said it would cost a fortune. So, against the wall will be just fine.

If you are living in the home during a remodel or renovation, set aside one area that is your sanctuary from the noise and dust. Like a master bedroom where you can close the door and think.

Most important: be patient. It’s worth the wait and the disruption to get the home that you want.


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