All Posts By:

Amy Arciere

    DESIGN, Florida, Interior Design, Naples, Tips + Advice

    Simple Staging: Easy Elegance to Sell Your Home Fast

    The Golden Girls
    The easiest and fastest way to sell your home is to give potential buyers a canvas as blank — or as neutral — as possible.  Potential buyers need to be able to instantly envision where their stuff is going to go in your home.
    • De-Clutter. No, Really. Pack the Knick Knacks.

      Potential home buyers want to see the space. Not your collection of Princess Diana plates. Take this opportunity to start packing, sorting and purging your belongings. Give home buyers a clear view of wall, floor and shelving spaces. Make your home unforgettable — for all the right reasons.

    Read more

    DIY, Interior Design

    DIY: How to Paint a Patterned Accent Wall

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    As a newlywed, I faced what many new brides must deal with after moving into their new husbands’ spaces — transforming a bachelor pad into a home. Without a pool table in the middle of the living room.

    As you can see, our starting point of the master bedroom bathroom had been handled with bachelor care, i.e., “Yeah…that’s easy to fix. Later.”  One of the towel rack handles had been broken off, electrical outlets needed to be updated into the 21st century and the mirrored medicine cabinet was literally falling out of the wall.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    I wanted to create a bold, luxurious master bedroom for us, making sure to carry the sexy undertones into our en suite.  To Pinterest I went! This gorgeous wall, pinned by, would be my inspiration.


    Step 1:  Map out your wall.

    Measure the entire wall. Look to your inspiration for a game plan. I wanted three major columns vertically, so I began my calculations on a sketch pad with each column being 12 inches wide. I then added additional inches inbetween each column to evenly space them, and added inches at the left- and right-hand ends to evenly center the pattern on the wall overall. Repeat the same process for the length. It doesn’t matter if you sketch is drawn perfectly to scale, in crazy freehand such as mine, or drawn over the photo, what matters most is your numbers.  As you start to mask out the pattern in painter’s tape, adjustments on the fly may be needed. Keep your calculator handy.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 2:  Tapping the pattern.

    First, prep your wall. Repair and fill any holes, dents, etc., as you can see, we totally removed the towel bar and kept the assistance handle. For one, any towel hanging on the rack would hang directly in the way of the assistance bar and, we plan to sell our condo in the next couple of years, living in the retirement hub of the world, Southwest Florida, an assistance bar would be considered a bathroom asset.

    Next, paint the entire wall the color you wish the pattern itself to be; I used Pantone in Mood Indigo in Valspar Signature with an eggshell finish. Make sure this layer has a even and full coverage; let dry overnight. Using a ruler, pencil and Scotch Blue 1.5-inch Painter’s Tape, start applying your pattern. This the most tedious part of the project, as you MUST measure from every point to ensure the pattern is even vertically and horizontally. Believe me, if you are off even the slightest bit, it will be noticeable. Slow and steady wins the race here in taping out the pattern. I would tape out a square…take a break…stape out a square…take a break. I won’t lie, this took about four hours over the course of one evening to complete.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 3:  Top coat.

    After painstakingly applying the pattern, paint the entire wall your top coat color. And, yes, completely cover your pattern. I used Pantone in White Aparagus in Valspar Signature paint in an eggshell finish. Make sure to coat with full and even coverage, perhaps two coats, and let dry for two to three days. Yes, two to three DAYS.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 4:  Peel and fix.

    After letting your top coat completely dry, test the waters by gently peeling back the edge of one section of tape. When completely dry, the tape will peel off easily without smearing any paint, leaving a clean, crisp line.  Continue to gently remove the tape, one piece at a time. After the whole pattern is revealed, some touch up will be necessary.  I completed our wall by adding a contrasting decorative leaves I painted a burnt orange, which ties our accent wall and colors into our master bedroom rug.

    Wall la! Le pattern!

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Florida, Orlando, TRAVEL

    WEEKEND IN: Walt Disney World, Orlando


     Walt Disney World, Orlando

    Amy B. Perrault, Naples-based editor of DREAMPORT
    and owner of Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters shares her off-duty local favorites




    Escapism at its best. Escaping daily worries and grind is easy after driving through any one of the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom’s welcoming arches. A seemingly leisurely stroll down Main Street USA can quickly lead to flying through the air on different space missions, on the backs of elephants or carpets, and end thundering through mountains. It’s, as they say, simply magical.


    Our favorites are endless when you add up in-park restaurants and snack areas, resort restaurants and cafes, and the endless Downtown Disney food stops, however, this time of year, EPCOT’s International Wine and Food Festival is our family’s ultimate favorite MUST DO.

    My parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece and my love, have our World Showcase tasting routine down pat. We circle multiple times sampling cuisine and beverages such as Parisian dessert trio — Passion fruit coconut creamsicle, blueberry lime cheesecake roll and chocolate espresso opera cake, Greek vegetarian moussaka, Ireland’s Kerrygold Cheese Selection, South Korea’s Bohae Black Raspberry Wine, my love’s favorite, Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll from Germany. The menu from over 20 countries, seems endless!


    My all-time favorite store in all of Walt Disney World is the Cirque du Soleil Boutique housed inside their La Nouba Theater at the West Side of Disney Springs {the new name of Downtown Disney}. Beyond the draw of my heritage {Canadian French}, the boutique is full of hand-made jewelry and artwork, CDs and DVDs from all Cirque shows around the country, unique clothing and extraordinary home decor.


    Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock {Burt’s Bees Sunblock}. I am hooked on Nerium for face and body, mascara and lipgloss frame my face for daytimes Saturdays and Sundays. Other weekend rituals include some sort of Disney graphic tee, my TOMS espilladres, my Mickey Mouse two-tone watch and my Gucci waist bag {that’s right, waist bag, NOT fanny pack}.


    Weekend reading at Walt Disney World begins with your hotel literature — what events are happening around the grounds, transportation information, etc. — continues with endless park maps, show and performance schedules and doesn’t end as each stop around the parks has different brochures, rack cards, trivia and all the information you could think of to make your stay with the Mouse, most magical.


    My Movie Recommendations: Part One

    Art imitates life and life imitates art and art imitates life and life imitates art…  These movies will MAKE. YOU. THINK. And perhaps forever change how your brain.

    Good. Then they did their job.

    “Art of the Steal” (2009)

    A gripping tale of intrigue and mystery in the art world, this film traces the history of the Barnes collection of Post-Impressionist paintings, which was worth billions and became the subject of a power struggle after the 1951 death of the owner.  Dr. Albert Barnes collected 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos and many other valuable paintings. But the political wrangling over the collection eventually led to its division.

    “Valley Girl” (1983)

    A punk named Randy (Nicolas Cage) from the wrong side of the Hollywood Hills falls for Julie (Deborah Foreman), a mall-dwelling Valley Girl, and they begin a Romeo-and-Juliet-like romance … that is, until peer pressure gets to Julie and she cuts off their relationship. But love-struck Randy refuses to give up on Julie. Will he convince her that they’re meant to be together?

    “Lost in Translation”(2003)

    A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

    “Outsourced” (2006)

    When his department is outsourced to India, customer call center manager Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) heads to Mumbai to train his successor (Asif Basra), and amusing culture clashes ensue as Anderson tries to explain American business practices to the befuddled new employees. In the process, he learns important lessons about globalization — and life. Ayesha Dharker and Matt Smith also star in director John Jeffcoat‘s cross-cultural comedy.

    “Bananas” (1971)

    Neurotic nebbish Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen) follows his dream girl (Louise Lasser) to the fictitious Latin American nation of San Marcos, where he unintentionally becomes a freedom fighter for a revolutionary leader. But shortly after taking the reins of power, the new strongman goes — you guessed it — bananas, leaving Fielding in command to bargain with the United States. Watch for Sylvester Stallone in a microscopic role.

    “What Would Jesus Buy?” (2007)

    Taking on rampant American consumerism with a focus on Christmas shopping, the Rev. Billy (Bill Talen) and the Church of Stop Shopping go on a cross-country journey to save citizens from the Shopocalypse in this hilarious documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock. Reminding shoppers of the true meaning of Christmas, Reverend Billy exorcises demons at Wal-Mart’s headquarters and preaches his message at the Mall of America and Disneyland.

    “Confessions of a Superhero” (2007)

    On Hollywood Boulevard, wannabe movie stars dress up as superheroes and pose for photos with tourists. Matt Ogens‘s documentary follows four of these quirky dreamers, who are just killing time until they’re discovered. You’ll get to know a Superman who takes his role to heart, an Incredible Hulk who sold his prized video game system for a ticket to Tinseltown, a Midwestern beauty queen-turned-Wonder Woman and a Batman in need of a little therapy.

    “Paris:  Je T’aime” (2006)

    Paris comes to life in this whimsical patchwork of 18 five-minute shorts united by a common theme — love in the City of Lights — and helmed by an international cast of filmmakers, including Gus Van Sant, Olivier Assayas and Alexander Payne. Natalie Portman plays an American actress who captures the heart of a blind student; Juliette Binoche is visited by a ghostly Willem Dafoe; Bob Hoskins solicits a prostitute’s advice on pleasing his wife.

    “Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?” (2006)

    When brash trailer park resident Teri Horton bought a secondhand painting for five bucks, little did she know it could be a genuine Jackson Pollock worth millions. This film documents Horton’s volatile 15-year journey into the heart of the art world’s elitist establishment to have the painting authenticated. The clash between stuffy art dealers and the cussin’, beer-drinkin’ Horton is funny, eye-opening and utterly unforgettable.

    “My Kid Could Paint That” (2007)

    Amir Bar-Lev directs this thought-provoking documentary about a precocious 4-year-old artist whose abstract works have drawn critical comparisons with modernist greats such as Kandinsky, Picasso and Pollack. Her talents have already profited her and her parents hundreds of thousands of dollars. But is she truly an artistic visionary trapped in the body of a preschooler, or is her gift with a paintbrush mere illusion?

    “Loose Change” (2009)

    Informed by footage from Sept. 11, interviews with experts and new evidence, filmmaker Dylan Avery argues that the world hasn’t heard the full truth behind the terrorist attacks and urges citizens to demand accountability from the U.S. government. In this provocative documentary, Avery also takes a sobering walk through other infamous historical events, such as the Vietnam War, and what role politicians have had in their creation.

    “A Crude Awakening:  The Oil Crash” (2006)

    Award-winning filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack examine the world’s dependency on oil and the impending chaos that’s sure to follow when the resource is dry in this straight-from-the-headlines documentary. Through expert interviews on a hot-button topic that might represent the world’s most dire crisis, the film underscores our desperate need for alternative energy and spells out in startling detail the challenge we face in finding it.

    “An American in Paris” (1951)

    Once a struggling painter, opportunistic American artist Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) now lives in the City of Light, enjoying the patronage of a well-heeled, amorous American gallery owner (Nina Foch) — and swiftly falling for a willowy French street urchin (Leslie Caron). Trouble is, the object of Mulligan’s affection also happens to be engaged to a famous French singer (Georges Guétary). This tour de force movie musical nabbed seven Oscars.

    “Vanilla Sky” (2001)

    David Aames (Tom Cruise) has it all: wealth, good looks and a gorgeous woman (Cameron Diaz) on his arm. But just when he’s found true love with warmhearted Sofia (Penélope Cruz), his face is horribly disfigured in a car accident, and he loses everything … or does he? Director Cameron Crowe delivers a bizarre yet beautiful take on love, beauty and morality inspired by Alejandro Amenábar’s Spanish-language film Open Your Eyes, also starring Cruz.

    “White Christmas” (1954)

    Having left the Army following W.W.II, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to a pair of beautiful sisters (Betty and Judy) who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy travel to a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis follow, only to find their former commander, General Waverly, as the lodge owner. A series of romantic mix-ups ensue as the performers try to help the General.

    “Breakin’” (1984)

    ‘Breakin’: A struggling young jazz dancer (Lucinda Dickey) meets up with two break-dancers. Together they become the sensation of the street crowds. Features ICE-T in his film debut as a club MC.

    “Whip It” (2009)

    In a town near Austin, Bliss Cavendar’s strong-willed mom believes Bliss, at 17, can win pageants – the key to a happy life. Bliss isn’t the beauty pageant type: she’s shy, quiet, and has just one friend, Pash, her fellow waitress at a diner. Things change for Bliss when she discovers a women’s roller derby league in Austin, tries out, proves to be whip fast, and makes a team. Now she needs to become someone tough on the rink, keep her parents from finding out where she goes twice a week, and do something about a first crush, on a musician she meets at the derby. Meanwhile, mom still sees Bliss as Miss Bluebonnet. Things are on a collision course; will everyone get banged up?




    My Father’s Sweater: A DIY Upcycled Forget-Him-Not


    My father passed away many years ago. So many so, sometimes my memory of him feels like swirling dust – the fine, tiny particles of the image of his face, disappearing as the air carries them in all different directions.

    As I packed up my life last summer for my big move south, I came across my big, blue Tiffany & Co. box I keep of all my fondest mementos of him in.  One of which was his gray, cardigan sweater.


    As I sat holding his sweater and remembering him in it, his memory, image and spirit were so strong.  As I held the sweater, I could feel him all around me. I didn’t want that feeling to slip away once I returned the sweater to its box.


    What could I do with his sweater? I thought of draping it across my sofa or living room accent chair, but it only ended up looking like a misplaced piece of laundry.  I thought of repurposing it as a pillow cover, but that only ended in looking super awkward.  To really figure out what to do, to Pinterest I went!

    As I searched for some DIY sweater upcycling ideas, my solution hit me. I would craft my dad’s sweater into some sort of sock monkey, I mean sweater monkey, for which I had an extensive collection. As I refined my search, I discovered one step better – an upcycled sweater cat. Perfect, or rather, purr-fect.


    Pinterest find! // Cashmere sweater cat by sweetpoppycat found on Etsy

    STEP 1:

    I created my own pattern using an 11×17 piece of paper.


    STEP 2:

    For the accent pieces used for the face, eyes, tail and heart detail, I used different parts of the sweater (pocket lining) and remnants from my own fabric supply.


    STEP 3:

    I hand sewed my creation together using its tag and buttons for small little “dad” details on the back.




    A tactile, physical forget-dad-not creation that sits in my bedroom which brings a smile to my face daily, allowing me to feel, touch and keep ever present, my dad’s memory.

    How do you remember your loved ones?

    Florida, Naples, TRAVEL

    WEEKEND IN: Naples, Florida

    DREAMPORT Naples Florida


     Naples, Florida

    Amy shares her off-duty local favorites

    Seaside Excursion :: My Weekend :: Naples, Florida





      Sleeping late (late means 8:00AM to us), drinking coffee in bed with my love watching the morning news, and cocktails on the lanai watching the sunset. We also do a lot of napping, reading, working out at the North Collier Regional Park Rec-Plex and rounds of golf at our home, High Point Country Club. We also love to walk to one of our favorite spots, the 12st Pier, at least once a weekend.


      With tacos in Joe’s blood {no, really, his dad founded and created Taco Joe’s, a chain of Mexican restaurants in the Northeast}, we love to cook homemade tacos and burritos for lunch on the weekends – complete with the family secret spice recipe.
      We eat out at one of our favorite local spots, which are put on rotation. We absolutely crave Campiello’s on Third Street, Rosedale Pizza on Pine Ridge Road, Harold’s Burgers on 41 and cocktails at Dusk in the Ritz-Carlton on Vanderbilt Beach Road.


      Little known fact about shopping in Naples beyond the luxurious hot spots of Waterside Shops, The Village on Venetian Bay and the Coastline Mall are its’ fabulous and many times close to divine consignment, second-hand and thrift stores. Some of my favorites include Home and Salvage Consignment on Taylor Street, Salvation Army Family Store on Davis Boulevard, Avow Hospice Treasures & Books on 41, and Options Thrift Shoppe on 2nd Avenue. What’s better than a great deal on designer treasures – helping phenomenal charities at the same time.


      Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock {Burt’s Bees Sunblock}. I am hooked on Nerium for face and body, mascara and lipgloss frame my face for daytimes Saturdays and Sundays. Other weekend rituals include some sort of graphic tee, my Tory Burch flip flops and an assortment of beach shopper totes.


      Begins Thursday with Naples Florida Weekly hot off the presses; if something is going on in Naples during the weekend, it will be in this paper. Gulfshore Life magazine and endless interior design books on my Nook.


    It’s Not You, It’s Me – The movie. Not my relationship nightmares.

    It's Not You, It's Me

    MV5BMTUwNTcxNjI1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDgzNjcwMDE@._V1_SX214_AL_No, this isn’t another one of my dating stories, believe it or not, it’s about a “brutally humorous” independent film, its’ writer/director, and his pick-up truck.


    Nathan Ives :: Writer / Director

    I was asked by filmmaker Nathan Ives to watch, review and socially spread the word about his latest star-packed film, It’s Not You, It’s Me (2013).  I was honored to be asked to participate in not only this movie viewing, but this movie movement (more of that to follow).

    This super-edgy comedy revolves around commitment-phobe Dave (played by Band of Brothers’ star, Ross McCall) battling his inner voices (literally personified by actors such as Erick Avari) over his recent break up with long-time girlfriend, Carrie (played by High Fidelity’s Joelle Carter), who is battling her own inner insecurities (also literally personified by actors such as super star Vivica A. Fox and The Daily Show with John Stewart’s Beth Littleford).

    Ives’ internal and external dialogues are raw exchanges leaving the viewer laughing in their hilarity, while sobbing simultaneously in their reality — maybe this is about my relationship nightmares.  Ives brilliantly captures the ever-looming female psyche’s fear of actually becoming the never-married, crazy cat lady and the seemingly will-never-move-past-the-frat-keg-party-emotionally male pysche.

    Ives is not only making independent film waves by writing, directing, and producing his own film, It’s Not You, It’s Me is gaining recognition because of its’ unique distribution approach – a pick-up truck.

    Gaining entry into your local Cineplex down the street is more complicated – and more costly – than any movie go-er can imagine.  In addition to basically signing away “all rights,” many times small, independent filmmakers are left to pay a $50,000 marketing fee, upwards of 15% commissions, and signing a minimum 15-year contract – just for the maybe, cross your fingers, possibility to show in theaters next to the big, mega-producing, Hollywood conglomerates such as 20th Century Fox, Universal and MGM Studios.

    Ives’ solution? To follow the business model pioneered in the music industry – bypass the label and distribute yourself. With today’s technology, patterning the path of success music stars and his pick-up truck, Ives hit the road in a high-tech, grassroots cross-country campaign to promote his movie one town and one click at a time.

    Nathan Ives

    A man, a film and his pick-up truck. | Photo courtesy of

    Ives’s goal is not only to promote and show his film, but to create a sustainable business model for other small indie hopefuls to follow, implement and share, all with the aid of the world wide web.  Just as in the music industry, current success – both monetary and in popularity – is no longer centered around distribution units; whether it is music or film, content can be distributed by mere “access” alone.  Ives, just like artists Radiohead, The Hold Steady, Beyonce, and many more others, believes in mobile, digital content that can be easily viewed and shared through such channels as iTunes,, Hulu,  individual websites and social media by the simple step of viewers paying per view or per download.

    In the spirit of independent film and the new, film eDistribution model, please visit, pay-per-view/download and, of course, share Nathan Ives’ humor, film, and story.


    Watch the Trailer :: It’s Not You, It’s Me (2013)


    Like the INYITM Facebook page, here.

    Read more about INYITM on IMDb, here.
    Watch and buy on iTunes and

    Read more about Mule Films, here.

    Read more about Nathan Ives and his adventures on the road in this pick-up truck, here.

    DESIGN, Graphic Design, STYLE Create your own fashion style, using personalized t-shirts

    Custom T shirts

    by Guest Blogger, Edward Montalvo,

    We have all been in the position of seeing someone else in a shirt that you own. Suddenly your favorite shirt doesn’t seem so special anymore. As much as you want to still like that shirt, it will never feel the same. Everyone would love to have a unique t-shirt. In the past, this was an expensive and difficult endeavor, limited to your location or know how. Now the internet has opened up many possibilities.

    There are many ways to show the world who you are by expressing your inner self. One of the best, least permanent ways is to design your own t-shirt. Personalized t-shirts are the perfect way to show off your inner talent or show your interests without the worry of having a cookie cutter design. Websites such as Idakoos, Cafepress, and Spreadshirt let you download your own design or image to put on a t-shirt. They also have a library of images you can choose from, or you can mix your own image or design with one of theirs to make something completely different. You can release your artistic side and create the fashion style you crave.

    Adding text to your image can bring your voice into style. Any words that you come up with are bound to be unique to your own shirt, even if its a known phrase, your font and color can make you stand apart.

    Other options in designing your own t-shirt include the array of quality and color in the t-shirt. You can choose thick quality shirts or lightweight summer shirts. With most shirts and colors, you can order as few as one shirt to make something completely unique. Different fashion styles can be achieved just by changing a neck line or color.

    The Style you create can be shared with as many or as few people as you choose. This is great for family reunions, vacations or picnics. Designing your own t-shirt can also be used for work, team building events, fundraising and races that are unique themselves. The more t-shirts you order, the price per shirt drops, making your own fashion design economical and fun.

    Personalized t-shirts are a great way to have a unique look while keeping within your own personality. Next time you see somebody in a shirt you had found special, remember you can design your own t-shirts and create your own fashion style with the click of a mouse.