Tips for filling home sweet home with happiness

Wrenda Goodwyn • Home Inspirations • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • Feb. 2, 2013

Let’s face it. We are all on decorating overload. HGTV. Pinterest. Facebook. RSS feeds. Blogs. Magazines.... and the list goes on and on and on.


Create a new color palette as shown in this bathroom featuring Benjamin Moore's Sea Star (lower wall) and Lime Sickle (upper walls). Visit for more ideas. / Photo courtesy of Benjamin MooreWe are constantly being told what to do, how to do it, the best way to do it, what color to do it and where to go to purchase what we need to do it. All good information but it is easy to focus on what you would like to have rather than what you do have.

And I feel your pain. Imagine being a southwest Florida interior decorator — we are exposed to the most beautiful of everything that can possibly go into a home. The result: We are in a constant state of wanting to redo our own homes (speaking for myself of course).

So my suggestion is this: If you have not done your 2013 decorating resolutions yet (anyone?), take a deep breath (or a time out) and think about what is most important to you.

For example, rather than throwing out all of your furniture and purchasing new, think about what is in your home that makes you happy. What do you love? Make a list and start from there.

Maybe rather than redoing your kitchen, you should think about painting the walls, adding some new hardware and purchasing a beautiful light fixture. My favorite four changes for the most impact: paint color, crown molding, new switch plates and new door knobs.

Remember: Decorating is all about happiness in your home. It is not about what is in or out. It’s about what makes you happy.

Try this exercise: Pretend you are selling your home. Take an imaginary prospective buyer room-to-room. Point out the best features of each room. Make a list.


Next: Make a list of what you would like to do in yourDesign a gallery wall with this studio wall easel from Pottery Barn. See for more information. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn home. New paint? Replace shower head? Frame all of those family photos and create a gallery wall? New drapes in dining room? Wallpaper in a powder room? A chandelier that you have always wanted in the eat-in area? A new sofa? New fabric for an old sofa? Put the list in the order of importance to you.

And then, pick one item and do it. Don’t jump in the car and head out to buy more stuff (yet). Think about what matters. What makes you happy. Do make one change. Then sit back and relax and think about the rest. Maybe you can’t change your view or the size of your home. But what you can do is make small changes that make you happy.

A few suggestions to keep in mind:

• The most creative (and happy) interiors are constantly evolving. Don’t expect to ever really be “done.”

• Don’t overdo it with accessories. Edit, edit, edit.

• Go for quality, not clutter.

• Don’t try to make your home look like one in a magazine. You will never be happy.

• Splurge on personal items such as linens. Sinking into a beautifully made up bed at the end of the day is priceless.

• Create a new color palette. Paint color changes everything for a minimum expenditure.

• Place flowers or a plant in every room. They help create healthy, happy rooms.

• Give your master bath a spa look.

Sunbursts from Ballard Designs.jpg

A vintage sunburst mirror creates an instant focal point over a mantel, sofa or above a console. Award-winning designer Suzanne Kasler created her mirrors with faceted rays and rope. She hangs them individually or mixed with her other sunburst mirrors as a collection. See for more decorating tips and products. Photo courtesy of Ballard DesignsMeanwhile, don’t forget your dream list: A garden? More outdoor space? A library? Replacing all of your furnishings? Keep the list.

But remember to make some small changes to create a happy home that you can love while you are dreaming.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her column, Home Inspirations, appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at Call her at 949-1808 or email or visit