Color Matters

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • August 3, 2019

Color. It makes us feel happy. It changes everything including how we feel about our space. Get it right and you will love your home. Mess it up and you will always wonder why it’s not feeling quite right. Photo: Thibaut Design

Color. It makes us feel happy. It changes everything including how we feel about our space. Get it right and you will love your home. Mess it up and you will always wonder why it’s not feeling quite right. Photo: Thibaut Design

There I was at the gym the other morning. Slogging away on the treadmill.

I love working out and couldn’t figure out why it was such a struggle. Too much effort. Painful.

Then it hit me. This was a new fitness center and I had only been there a few times. The colors were fairly horrid. Brown walls in a shade I have never seen, brown flooring (to hide dirt…need I say more), grey equipment (of course) and it looked out over a grey parking lot with no vegetation or color of any kind. And it was an overcast day. On a sunny day this might be tolerable. Maybe.

Contrast this with my yoga studio which is done in creams, soft blues and greens. A glass wall looks out over a beautiful garden with lots of greenery and a fountain. I can’t wait to get there in the early morning and I am never anxious to leave.

Color matters

From the time we get that first box of crayons, we are fascinated by color. It has the power to change everything.

You can’t go wrong with blue and white as the foundation for a color palette. Shown here: Thibaut Design’s Travelers palm printed fabric. Other colors available. Photo: Thibaut Design

You can’t go wrong with blue and white as the foundation for a color palette. Shown here: Thibaut Design’s Travelers palm printed fabric. Other colors available. Photo: Thibaut Design

As an interior decorator working in Southwest Florida, my most requested service is selecting color and creating personalized color palettes for the home. It’s the most difficult part of decorating for most people and there are good reasons.

It’s a fact

We are fortunate to live in a tropical paradise where beautiful color palettes surround us.

The right color scheme can make a room look larger, prettier, lighter, darker, cleaner or happier. Color can give your home a beach vibe, modern coastal look, add a little boho chic, a cottage feeling or farmhouse style.

Palm Botanical wallpaper in Emerald Green from Thibaut Design’s Tropics Collection. Morgan Dining Chairs in Rain Water printed fabric in Green. Photo: Thibaut Design

Palm Botanical wallpaper in Emerald Green from Thibaut Design’s Tropics Collection. Morgan Dining Chairs in Rain Water printed fabric in Green. Photo: Thibaut Design

Limited budget? Pick color

Seriously. If you are on a limited budget and are able to only do one thing, select a new color palette. It will change everything and you’ll love your home again.

It makes us feel happy. It changes how we feel about our space (like that gym). Get it right and you will love your home. Mess it up and you will always wonder why it’s not feeling quite right.

It’s far from easy. It’s complicated. It’s why home interior professionals study it for years and most are like me and don’t leave the house without a fan deck in their hand. We are passionate about color. And we know all of the tricks.

Color don’ts

· Rush to make a decision.

· Go with the latest trends.

· Pick color from a tiny swatch.

· Paint without testing the color on the wall.

· Pick a paint color before you have anything else in the room.

· Think only about the room that you are painting. Color needs to flow in order to work.

· Paint every room a different color.

Color do’s

· Pick colors that are found in nature. You can’t go wrong.

· Create a color palette and work from there. Consider your window treatments, upholstery, pillows, artwork and accessories. Color is not just the paint that you put on the walls. Think about the big picture.

· With paint, buy the best quality paint you can afford. It makes a difference. And go with the lowest VOC or no VOC.

· Color challenged? Lots of homeowners are…magazines, Pinterest and vision boards all help.

· And when all else fails, call a professional. Our job is to keep you from making mistakes.

· Consider the ceiling. I often tint the paint for the ceiling so that it’s not such a stark white. Just a little splash links the ceiling to the walls. And if you have coffered ceilings, take advantage of this element with color.

Be fearless when it comes to color. It changes everything. Including how you feel. And who doesn’t want a happy home?

Photo: Thibaut Design

Photo: Thibaut Design


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

Sprinkle your home with a little decorating whimsy

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • July 6, 2019

Wendy Conklin’s Frida chairs pay homage to Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Group them together for a dining room that your guests will never stop talking about! Photo: Chair Whimsy

Wendy Conklin’s Frida chairs pay homage to Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Group them together for a dining room that your guests will never stop talking about! Photo: Chair Whimsy

Whatever happened to the fun in interior decorating?

Sometimes I think our home interiors are becoming too serious.

Why: I go into a lot of homes that tell me absolutely nothing about the people who live there. The home can look great, everything in the right place, good flow, nice color (although a little dull). But what is missing is something to tell me who lives there and what they like.

Garden party! Change up your dining room chairs with this colorful fabric set against a neutral palette bu Wendy Conklin. Photo: Chair Whimsy

Garden party! Change up your dining room chairs with this colorful fabric set against a neutral palette bu Wendy Conklin. Photo: Chair Whimsy

Where is the fun?

It’s one of the reasons Southwest Florida homeowners call me. They are just plain bored. Their homes need a little something. They don’t always need to change the entire house. They want me to give their home a little injection of personality (definitely can do that). A little wow (they say, although wow is not a decorating style) or an accent piece to shake things up. Or a new color palette to change everything.

In other words, they need a little sprinkling of decorating whimsy. Something to make their house their home.

Brighten up a dull space with this black on black chair has lots of WOW. Photo: Chair Whimsy

Brighten up a dull space with this black on black chair has lots of WOW. Photo: Chair Whimsy

The French writing desk and why are chairs so ugly?

I started thinking about this recently when a longtime client asked to help her create a space for writing. She’s a published author and had just downsized. She had purchased a French writing desk and wanted to incorporate it into an area for her writing. The writing desk is well, spectacular. A focal point of the room. And it needed a chair equally as spectacular.

I set out on a mission. To find a chair that screams WOW. And does the desk and the space justice. And so, it began.

First of all, let me say this: a pretty chair is hard to find. No, let me rephrase: most chairs start out ugly. I know this because I shop for chairs for many clients and I always tell them to find a chair that fits the space, fits them and is a style that works with the room. If we are lucky enough to find all three, we can make it pretty with beautiful fabric selections.

Pretty in floral pinks with a whitewash finish. Photo: Chair Whimsy

Pretty in floral pinks with a whitewash finish. Photo: Chair Whimsy

“Ugly chairs” on Pinterest

I was looking for another client’s pink chair recently and somehow ended up going down a rabbit trail and found myself on Pinterest. Do you know there is actually a board called “Ugly chairs?” Seriously. I have seen most of these chairs. Except for the one that looks like a potato. Check it out if you want a laugh. I did find a pretty pink chair at West Elm.

But I digress. Slightly.

Chairs as an accent

I’ve always used chairs as an accent piece. In my own home, I have one in every room. An old, wooden, shabby chic chair sits in my living room with a pillow that points toward the beach. In my bedroom, a treasured flea market find, an old, weathered beach chair that holds a pillow that I love from a trip to Paris. An old, heirloom wicker chair was given a new life with some beautiful, coastal fabric. And the list goes on.

But here is the thing.

You can’t really sit in these chairs. For long. If your accent needs to be for real life, you need something substantial.

And then I found it.

Chair “whimsy”

My search led me to designer and upholsterer, Wendy Conklin. Her business, Chair Whimsy, offers one-of-a-kind, out-of-this-world chairs that make wonderful accent pieces. From boho chic to vintage farmhouse to classic romance, these chairs reflect the personalities of their owner. They are new and fabulous. And you can create your own. Check them all out at chairwhimsy.com

Her boho chic line includes a collection of “Frida” chairs, paying homage to the colorful Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. A set for the dining room makes a perfect conversation piece when entertaining or one can stand alone at a desk or in a corner.

Be fearless

Find your inspiration and don’t be afraid to put an accent piece in every room. It can be a chair or something else that will make you love your home again. As I am writing this, I am thinking about how I can convince my husband that we need a Frida chair. Wish me luck.

Frida Chair #5) - Copy.jpeg

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

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!

#3 Flowers (2) - Copy.JPG

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

benjamin-moore-tangerine-dream

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.

Read More