Cutting through the decluttering maze

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • May 4, 2019

Getting rid of what you no longer use (decluttering), gives you space for something new and pretty, like flowers. Shown: Melissa bud vases from Ballard Designs.

Getting rid of what you no longer use (decluttering), gives you space for something new and pretty, like flowers. Shown: Melissa bud vases from Ballard Designs.

Too much information can be a bad thing. And we are surrounded by it. Overload. It comes at us from all directions.

There are articles, blogs, books, magazines, television shows, newsletters and podcasts totally dedicated to this one topic. People are making a living from telling us what to do with our stuff.

Think about it for a minute.

They tell us why we should do it. How to do it. When to do it. How to talk to our possessions when we do it. How we should feel when we are doing it. What will happen to us if we don’t do it. Yikes.

The very name (decluttering) has gone from a spring cleaning that you do every season (or before your interior designer arrives at the front door) to a lifestyle. And while, it can be life- changing, it can also be confusing.

Been there and done it

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I talk about decluttering a lot and I mention it in most of my articles. Sometimes the thought of decluttering itself is overwhelming. Just the physical aspect of getting rid of things and deciding what to do with them is difficult and stops homeowners in their tracks. I understand that because I have just done it.

During my recent move to a new home, I did a major editing of everything I own. You know that 10 percent of our clothing that we wear all the time? I got rid of the other 90 percent. Furniture and everything else that I have been carrying around for years that was no longer working and part of a past life: gone. Donated to good causes that can help people.

Was it painful? Some of it.

Was it worth it? Yes.

Why? Because now I am surrounded by things that I love. As opposed to meaningless items that have just been around for years and take up space.

Because I don’t want this to be another article telling you what to do, let’s cut through all of the clutter with a few gentle thoughts that focus on the most important aspects of decluttering. I promise it will make you love your home again.

Scaling back means that you can say more with less in your home. Renowned designer, Bunny Williams has an oval lattice-style cachepot like this one resting on the mantel in her New York apartment. She designed this version for Ballard Designs with a watertight, removable iron liner so you can fill it with freshly cut stems. It’s perfect for smaller centerpieces. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Scaling back means that you can say more with less in your home. Renowned designer, Bunny Williams has an oval lattice-style cachepot like this one resting on the mantel in her New York apartment. She designed this version for Ballard Designs with a watertight, removable iron liner so you can fill it with freshly cut stems. It’s perfect for smaller centerpieces. Photo: Ballard Designs.

Go at it like you mean it

Do you love it? Need it? Use it? There you are. Done.

Keeping it clean and simple. Room and accessories from Frontgate.

Keeping it clean and simple. Room and accessories from Frontgate.

Keep a clear head

A few years ago a client said goodbye to some furnishings that meant a lot to her. These were pieces that she had collected with her husband on their travels. He became ill and they had to downsize. Rather than waiting to see what her next home would be like, she panicked in all of the confusion and sold too much too quickly. The lesson: don’t make a major decision while you are under stress.

Stop shopping now

Drive right past Home Goods and I don’t care that Target’s new line of (affordable) patio furniture looks great. Don’t buy one more thing until you edit what you have. Just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean it should be coming into your home as an emotional purchase. Go for a walk or take a yoga class.

Decluttering that you can do NOW

Edit a few things and you’re on your way. Say goodbye to:

· Old shoes, toys, books, potpourri, gift wrap, calendars, cookbooks, paint, craft supplies, remote controls that have no TV.

· Wire hangers, makeup samples, expired medicines, greeting cards from years ago.

· Clothes you haven’t worn in a year (even if the tags are still on them)

· Toss appliance manuals. They are all online.

Simplify your accessories and let your favorite pieces speak for themselves. Shown: Frontgate’s Regency 4-Drawer Bow Front Chest pays homage to a neoclassical antique. The hand-painted gold beading catches the eye almost as quickly as do the bow-shaped drawers, hand carved corners, and veined Carrara marble top. Photo: Frontgate.

Simplify your accessories and let your favorite pieces speak for themselves. Shown: Frontgate’s Regency 4-Drawer Bow Front Chest pays homage to a neoclassical antique. The hand-painted gold beading catches the eye almost as quickly as do the bow-shaped drawers, hand carved corners, and veined Carrara marble top. Photo: Frontgate.

Delete some of the visual stimulation

Pare down your accessories. Keep your decorating simple. Eliminate or rearrange some furniture and establish a comfortable conversation area that is relaxing.

Summary

When you unburden yourself of the items that are causing stress, your life becomes much easier. Try it, what have you go to lose?

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


Pantone color of the year: peachy, fun and bold

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com. Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and offer lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com. Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and offer lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette. Photo: Kravet.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • December 15, 2018

It’s always fun to take a break this time of year, forget the red and green for a few minutes and check out the Pantone Color of the Year (2019).

If you’ve read my column for any amount of time, you know that as a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I recommend that my clients not follow trends. We want beautiful, sensible, timeless interior design that reflects what you love.

But let’s face it. Color trends are just plain fun. And I can never resist this one. Pantone, provides professional color standards and digital solutions for the design industry. This includes beauty products, home interiors and furnishings, fashion and accessories, design, packaging and more. You always see the selected color a lot. Everywhere. Think: fashion runways.

So get ready!

This year’s selection: Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral.

A shade of orange with a golden undertone, Pantone Color of the Year (2019): Living Coral. Photo: Pantone.

A shade of orange with a golden undertone, Pantone Color of the Year (2019): Living Coral. Photo: Pantone.

Pantone describes it as “an animating and life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone. We get energy from nature. Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow, Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

Okay. But it sure seems like a lot of pressure to put on a color.

Pantone goes on to say that “In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.”

Kravet fabrics, trims and more in Pantone's Living Coral. Photo: Kravet.

Kravet fabrics, trims and more in Pantone's Living Coral. Photo: Kravet.

I’m all for optimism and joy so here is my take on Living Coral.

It’s a peachy orange. A happy color. No doubt about that.

It’s warm, bright and very bold. And fun. Not to be taken too seriously. Did I mention bold?

How to use it?

Carefully. Here are a few suggestions:

· A throw for a bed or sofa. It looks great with white.

· Place mats.

· Throw pillows with a touch of Living Coral.

· A rug on a lanai.

· Ceramic pots for plants or a ceramic garden stool.

· In a patterned wallcovering for a powder room (with the right light).

· There is a gorgeous KitchenAid artisan stand mixer in this color that would look fantastic on a kitchen island! www.williams-sonoma.com

· A beach house exterior.

Kravet celebrates Living Coral by showcasing an inspiring line of fabrics at www.Kravet.com

Curated furnishings and accessories in the color are available at www.curatedkravet.com/us/ and give lots of great ideas for working the color into an existing palette.

And if you want to try an accent wall or an entire room, Benjamin Moore’s Tangerine Dream 2012-30 comes close to the color. See details at www.BenjaminMoore.com

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How would I use it personally?

My home is done in neutrals, blue-greens and other sea glass tones. I would use pops of coral in accessories that would work for my color palette. I do wish Living Coral had just a splash of pink in it. Instead it is more of a true orange that requires a little thought before jumping in!

If nothing else, try it in a nail polish. It’s happy, optimistic and sure to bring you a little joy!


pantone-lifestyle-chip-drive-color-of-the-year-2019-living-coral-16-1546.jpg

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




Oops!! Family-friendly fabric for real life

Oops!! Family-friendly fabric for real life

Drips. Drops. Splatters. Spills. This is what you don’t see in the lovely model-home styled photos in design magazines. 

That beautiful white sofa that you hesitated to purchase, is going to catch a wine spill or muddy paw prints. Or chocolate ice cream. Or a grape popsicle. You are careful and think it will never happen. But eventually it will. Because we “live” in our homes and we want pretty things.

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These houses are for the birds!

Photo of artist's creative birdhouseLong before I was an interior decorator I loved houses.
 
It was always so interesting to me to see how they were decorated, how the furniture was arranged and how the owner lived. I have collected small houses for years and have them displayed on a antique post office where I can study them with all of their little details.
 
And I have been collecting birdhouses for the past few years.  I find them to be very sweet and the perfect accessory for almost any style home or outdoor space. I find them at flea markets and I even journeyed to North Carolina where I found a birdhouse builder with acres and acres of these miniature homes.  I returned home with a car full.
 
But as a believer in using what you have whenever possible, and in repurposing when it makes sense, I especially love birdhouses that use local materials that mean something. And as a southwest Florida interior decorator, I am surrounded by beautiful driftwood, shells, treasures that wash up on the beaches and  more.

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