Home resolutions (easy) to make you love your space (a lot)

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• January 3, 2015

Stage your coffee table and make it the focal point of the room. Photo: Pottery Barn.

The houseguests have departed. The decorations are packed up (well, most of them). Home sweet home may be looking a little sad without the twinkly lights.  And while it's nice to have all of the space back, it may be looking a little drab. Maybe time for a refreshening. Not a total redo. A few tweaks for positive changes that make you feel good about your home.

Stage a coffee table and make it the focal point of the room. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Welcome 2015! Each year, I forgo the impossible, guilt inducing resolutions that are broken before my Christmas tree is picked up by the recycling truck. Instead, I come up with a list of resolutions for the home.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator, I help my clients make major changes in their homes with new color choices. Giving old furnishings a new look with beautiful upholstery. Purchasing a new accent piece or rug. Changing accessories, artwork, lighting.  Giving an outdated bathroom a spa look. Deciding if now is the time for a room renovation.  Pick just one of these for your home interior resolution in 2015 and you will have a major change.

Design a gallery wall for your entry. Photo: Pottery Barn.

My resolutions are designed to be stress-free. Isn't that what we want for the New Year? Some you can do when you finish reading this column. Others will require a little thinking and planning. Whatever you select, happy decorating. I wish you a spectacular home in 2015!

•    Love everything in your home. If not, get rid of it. Open the space for something new. Just because you have had it forever doesn't mean it is still working for you. Donate it and let someone else love it.

•    Declutter. The New Year is the time. Be brave. A lot of our "stuff" has past emotional attachments. Let it go and love the extra space and calm that results.

•    Open the windows and breathe. Seriously, those windows do open! Let the toxins out (as well as the holiday smells)  and enjoy the fresh air. In southwest Florida where we run the air conditioning nonstop, this is important. Do it now!

•    Make your outdoor space more livable. Whether it is a tiny balcony or a spacious lanai with a pool, make it part of your living space. Furniture, lighting, artwork, a rug to pull it all together. Increases your space and gives you a reason to enjoy the outdoors this time of year.

•    Be realistic and don't believe everything you see on TV. If you have worked endlessly on your home and have everything you want but something is still not quite right, it may be time to call in a professional to help you rethink your space. The home shows are just that: shows. They make it look easy and inexpensive.  It's neither. Remember this is television and what looks great may not always be practical in real life.

•    Bring some new color into your home. Whether it's a new palette for the walls or a new color scheme for accessories, this is the most impactful change you can make. Visually and emotionally, it changes everything.  And for the money, it's the best value.

Add new color and give an old piece a new look for 2015. Photo: Kravet.

•    Exercise restraint. Before you blast out the door to start making purchases, stop and make a plan. Think about how you want your home to feel and what you can do to get there. Avoid mistakes.

•    Check out your lighting. One of the biggest mistakes I see in homes is lack of or incorrect lighting. And this is relatively easy to fix. We need task (work), ambient (overall) and accent (on a particular object or part of the room). Sometimes all you need to do is increase the light bulb strength!

•    Add a gallery wall. Pull your artwork or photos together on one wall for a museum or art gallery look. Go with a dark color as a backdrop. Short on space? An entry is a great place to do this.  

•    Stage your coffee table.  You likely have everything you need! A pretty tray,  favorite books, accessories, flowers. Gorgeous!

•    Tidy up the laundry room. Paint it a color that you love but are afraid to use in any otter room. Add a piece of art. Reorganize and declutter. You may enjoy doing the laundry!

•    Always go for timeless over trendy. Will you love it in five years? Buy it. And buy the best you can afford with major items like your sofa.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. 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

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Creating design that stands the test of time

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• April 12, 2014

Photo: Pottery Barn.

Photo: Pottery Barn.

Finding the perfect design for your home is a bit like putting together a wardrobe: if you go with all of the latest trends you are likely going to want to redecorate every year. And you are guaranteed to have a few items hanging in your closet that will still have the tags on them because they were never worn.

In other words, you will never feel completely happy with your decor (or your wardrobe).

The trick is to purchase wisely. Build a foundation of timeless design that you will love for years to come. A style that is relaxed, uncomplicated, uncluttered. That's timeless design.

As a Fort Myers Interior decorator, I work with my clients to make sure their decor is a reflection of who they are and not the latest trends.  Few of us have a budget that allows us major changes every few years and the best news of all, timeless design will save hours of work, dollars and you will have a calmer home that you love.

When purchasing new furnishings, the goal is to make everything work no matter where you live now or where you may move in the future. Timeless design fits and flows smoothly in a beach house or a condo or an estate home.   And what fits in your southwest Florida home will also work in any home that you may move to in any part of the country. Because it is timeless.  Like a Chanel purse. 

                                                                                                   Photo: Ballard Designs

                                                                                                   Photo: Ballard Designs

Lauri Ward, author of Use What You Have Decorating, says that like fashion, a well designed interior relies on having classic pieces at its foundation.

"Take a look back at rooms designed decades ago: you’ll find a pair of armless slipper chairs, a tufted Chesterfield sofa and a couple of brass pharmacy lamps that can still be found in the best rooms today. All still look stylish and will be, eternally, no matter where they are placed.”

Chesterfield sofa from Pottery Barn. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Chesterfield sofa from Pottery Barn. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Building a design scheme that will stand the test of time takes some thought and planning.  These tips will help you to think about your design style and keep you from wasting money on trendy items that will soon be tossed aside:

Color. Forget the color of the year as a palette. Go with muted colors as a backdrop and it will lend itself to different styles and accent colors. Pops of color come from artwork, pillows, accent pieces.

Add texture. Fabric. Wall hangings. Metal. Glass. Stone. Wood. These all give our homes a feeling of permanence. And timelessness. 

Lighten up. Eliminate heavy window treatments and bring in as much natural light as possible. Layer your lighting with an overhead fixture and multiple lamps with soft wattages, placed properly in each room.

Blend antiques. When done properly, this works beautifully.

Warm it up. Add rugs to your design plan. They tie a room together and give warmth to tile or hardwood floors.

Photo: Ballard Designs.

Photo: Ballard Designs.

Splurge on quality. Not quantity. Invest in that chandelier that you have always wanted. Or the heavenly bed that you know you will have forever and it will guarantee sweet dreams. Or the classic sofa that you love and will recover many times because you will never find one that you love as much.

Less is always more. Don't over accessorize. Instead, select carefully and only use what means something to you.

Establish a focal point. This is what designers do. It may be a piece of furniture, an architectural detail, a beautiful view or a painting.  Once this is determined, everything else flows from the focal point.

Make mindful choices.  Before making impulse purchases(we have all done it)  to fill space,  take a breath. Decide what you really want. What you love.  Whether your style is modern, contemporary, traditional or eclectic, some honest, thoughtful planning will result in a timeless design.

And save the trendy purchases and the color of the year for a pillow or candle or other accessory that you will not mind saying to next year when there is a new trend!

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her practical and affordable interior decorating helps clients transform a house into a beautiful home.Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. 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

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