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Highlights. Trends. Insights. We’ve got the scoop on everything you need to know about interior design right here in one tidy space!

Styling the Face of Your Place: the Entryway

We love a good entryway because it presents an opportunity to make a first impression and create a sense of arrival. Big, small, or somewhere in between, the entry introduces the style and character of the rest of the home. Hang a statement-making chandelier or a modern wire pendant in a grand entryway with lots of volume, or play up a more intimate space with bold wallpaper or paint for visual appeal. And it’s a great space to take a bit of a design risk with a creative vignette, a larger-than-life wall covering, eclectic art, statement pieces, or a ceiling treatment. 

An entryway can also be functional and serve as your family’s drop zone to stow personal items as you head in or out for the day. Thoughtful, well-considered storage and organization are crucial to maintain a stylish and clutter-free space. Place a decorative basket beneath the entry table for recycled mail, add a tray for keys and sunglasses, install a bench with storage for shoes and bags as space allows, and include a coordinating canister for wet umbrellas. And don’t forget a mirror for last-minute touch-ups before heading out the door!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Design at Great Heights

Sometimes, we forget that dressing up a wall space is just as important as picking out the right area rug for the living room, the right sofas, or the perfect backsplash for the kitchen. Even if a home is lacking in horizontal floor space, experimenting with vertical wall design can give us the extra room we need to add touches of self-expression.

It’s important to think outside the two-dimensional box: moving the eye up and down instead of side to side allows more options for depth and dimension (see below). Think about your favorite hobbies, experiences, and travel destinations and let them be your guide as you curate unique and eclectic wall embellishments. 

Surfboards, baskets, fishing poles, guitars, collected objects, clusters of art, and oversized flatware for the kitchen or dining area – each, like lighting, creates a backdrop of layering and adds interesting composition and visual impact. Floating shelves, wall planters, and hanging storage are functional while infusing visual interest and a sense of whimsy. It’s a transition from a phase of minimalism to a time of creative maximalism, offering an avenue of self-expression that’s unexpected and full of fun.

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Natural Sophistication at Enliven Plan Two

The Plan Two model at Enliven at The Resort in Rancho Cucamonga is a lesson in understated sophistication that’s open, welcoming, and family friendly: a breath of fresh air for the wonderfully diverse group of buyers who come to make a home here. 

The fresh and modern three-story townhome by Van Daele Homes is highlighted by a rich color scheme of tans, charcoals, black, cream, and pops of mustard to evoke a vibe that’s cozy, yet lively. We loved using  area rugs in the great room to subliminally create a distinction of space in this open-concept floorplan, and to also round out a walk-through living space with some poufs for added seating. The home features a unique niche off the eat-in kitchen that makes for a perfect at-home office. By incorporating floating shelves for display, built-in storage, a desk, and a bassinet to watch the little one, the work-at-home photographer can wear multiple hats as a rockstar parent and #BestBossEver.

A striking Calacatta quartz island with a waterfall edge adds a sleek touch to the ebony kitchen, and honey-toned wood-look flooring complements and warms up the space. The master suite is full of earth tones and tactile texture, and we used a crisp white shutter on the bed wall window to add elevated sophistication while camouflaging into the board and batten wall treatment. The children’s bedrooms are whimsical and playful, with a geometric paint treatment and alphabet rug in the nursery, and a Batman-themed space for a budding superhero ready to save the day!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Style Secret Weapon: the Pouf or Stool

Perhaps named after the magic they help create in a room, the aptly coined pouf – along with its sturdier counterpart the stool – are design trends here to stay. These multitasking furnishings are often overlooked perhaps because of their functionality, but serve as intentional and stylish supporting actors that offer depth to a living space without blocking sightlines. They create additional seating in tight spaces, can be placed anywhere and moved around, and work with every design theme or aesthetic. Pull up a stool to a bedside desk and use it as a chair, or into a nursery to prop your feet up and rock a little one to sleep. Store a couple of fun poufs under a console table for extra seating at a cocktail party or game night, or use one as a whimsical accent piece to round out a sofa and table combo. Place a stool next to a bathtub as a place to hold your soap and towel next to the tub, or scatter several around the home as plant stands. If you’re looking for a finishing touch for a space, consider a pouf or stool — big design can come in small packages!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Farmhouse Chic at Tracy Hills

Great family living grows throughout the Tracy Hills master-planned community in Tracy, CA. Our team set out to enhance the natural warmth and inviting feel throughout the Welcome Center, multipurpose room, neighborhood market, pool, and shared outdoor spaces surrounding the areas. 

A study in balanced contrast, the modern farmhouse-style Welcome Center features exposed beams and board and batten to scale down the dramatic volume of the soaring ceilings, establishing an intimate and cozy mood. Pops of vibrant color, reclaimed wood flooring, and wall details add dimension to the charming rustic design, and an expansive mountainscape mural pays homage to the surrounding natural beauty of the scenic hills. Agrarian farmhouse meets high-tech through warm wood tones and bright whites, and a nine-screen TV wall that showcases the future development plans for this lovely community.

Large distressed sliding barn doors that open to the outdoors are the highlights of the community multipurpose room, offering residents convenient opportunities to socialize indoors by the cozy stacked stone fireplace or under the sun and stars. The resort-style pool area features eye-catching citron and navy Adirondack chairs, an appealing combination of traditional and modern, a nuanced representation of the overall appeal of this Northern California community.

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Designing Community Experiences

Today’s reality of siloed modern life – work, commute, etc. – coupled with head-down device distractions, means people are craving in-person community like never before. Residential developers that are in tune with these evolving homebuyer priorities are answering the call by creating new communities with well-designed shared spaces to encourage residents to connect, offering living experiences that are social and increasingly more sustainable.

Having a dedicated space for neighbors and community members to enjoy facetime (the old-fashioned kind, no iPhone required!) is a real perk for families in the market for a new home. Think of these spaces like a destination-style resort, complete with many opportunities for relaxation and recreation. Our installations like The Lodge at Riverstone in Madera, CA, and Belcourt at Seven Oaks in Bakersfield, CA, include fitness clubs with group classes, recreation centers equipped with games for kids and grown-ups alike, and kitchens and bars for socializing. Other resident-forward amenities include vegetable and herb gardens with neighborhood harvesting and farm-to-table events, splash pools for tots and larger-scale outdoor venues for events like farmers markets, concerts, and neighborhood campouts. High-rise home developments are also getting in on the community amenity action, offering residents communal rooftop terraces constructed with lounge seating, grills, and cabanas to enjoy the outdoors and incredible views. 

And a communal space doesn’t have to be large to encourage community socializing: use the space you have and incorporate well-scaled pieces, vibrant colors, and greenery to create an energetic yet cozy feel. Maximize indoor-outdoor living areas with intention to inspire residents to create connections and make memorable community experiences.

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Up, Close, and Personal: Impact Lighting

As with real estate, so it is with lighting: location, location, location! Placement not only impacts functional purposes but the overall design and feel of the home. When thoughtfully incorporated as a key design element of a space, lighting can create a mood, sense of place, and make a statement. Hang pendants or sconces above bedroom nightstands for a dramatic look and that lovely ‘established’ feeling: a bonus when you no longer have to worry about knocking a lamp over when scrambling for the snooze button in the morning! Group a couple of pendants in the corner of the kids’ room or over a chair or sofa to create a cozy niche for hanging out. Pendants affixed to a mirror or hanging pendants transform a master bath into a warm and inviting retreat.  

Lighting choice, like a wall treatment, is a base for your styling and helps anchor a room while adding a wonderful layer of depth to complete or contrast the overall look. Use lighting as art and make it part of a vertical wall space, or, high-impact pendants that become a sculptural element! Material choice is important when considering a room’s look and feel. Using natural materials like macrame and rattan soften a room and create a relaxed and welcoming vibe, while mixed metals can add a modern and sculptural look. Great lighting achieves the ideal balance of form and function, and is what we continually strive for in the spaces we create for our clients!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Casual Elegance at Trend’s Plan One

We may be in the heart of winter, but spring has sprung in Plan One at Trend at Novel Park by William Lyon Homes. The floorplan does not feature a distinctive entryway, so a larger-than-life paperweave floral wallpaper provides a dramatic sense of arrival. An entry mirror placed on the opposing wall opens up the space and provides a fun way to snap a selfie in the model home. In the kitchen, we specified an upper cabinet option to the ceiling to expand limited space and take advantage of all the natural light flooding in from the sink’s three-window view, and a matte black patio set and chairs invite easy and stylish indoor-outdoor living off the family room.

A color palette of plum, blush, cream, taupe, and black is feminine yet casually refined. Styling is a balanced combination of modern sophistication and playful elegance, with clean furnishings, a blend of wood and metal finishes, and touches of youthful whimsy throughout the wall treatments and artwork. Coming home is an exercise of effortless style at Trend in Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods! 

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Teen Scene – Bedrooms and Hangouts that Make Staying Home Cool

Designing a teenager’s room can be a tricky business, because you’re creating a space that meets the teen’s needs and desires, while passing the parent test. All while crafting a stylish masterpiece that’s comfortable and in sync with the rest of the home. It’s a design tight-rope-walking tango, a balancing act of priorities that are sometimes at odds. 

Start by giving teens the space to express their identity by creating a focal point around a favorite hobby or interest. Display sporting equipment, a piece of art, concert poster, or school or team memorabilia to ground the overall vibe of the room, then layer and add elements around it. Don’t be afraid to go bold with color, pattern, and texture- a wallpaper print, area rug, accent wall, and bold bedding or throws add touches of whimsy or drama to the room. Add some floating shelves so they can swap out photos, art, and mementos, and keep the clutter controlled with multi-functional storage pieces, like a foot-of-the-bed bench, storage cubes that double as extra seating for friends, and a small dresser for a bedside table. 

If the home’s floorplan can accommodate, create a hangout space outside of the bedroom for homework, movies, gaming, and lounging with friends. Give them a space that feels like their own without having to retreat to their bedroom. Make it cool, cozy, and comfortable, with lounge-style seating, a laptop nook for studying, a docking station for music, and some family-friendly games (hello, mini fridge!). Who knows, maybe with such a welcoming design, they’ll even share it with the rest of the family! #daretodream

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Modern and Masculine: Plan One at Origin

It’s all modern ease in this single-story Plan One home at Origin by Trumark Homes, located in the age-qualified master-planned community at The Collective in Manteca, CA. Masculine styling pays homage to the cultured world traveler, whisky lover, and art collector, offering an upscale and relaxed respite from the everyday. 

Revel in a bit of Indiana Jones-meets-007 for the 21st century that’s casual yet refined, adventurous yet calm, cool, and collected. Soft gray flooring complements the unique angled entry hall and grounds the eye while exposed beams and crisp paneling accentuate the sleek design. A home office off the entry offers privacy and a quiet place to focus, with built-in shelving perfect for displaying found objects, artwork, and collected pieces. Cool angled planks throughout the rest of the home add a modernistic touch, including the master bedroom where they make the wheat wallpapered accent wall come alive and highlight the mid-century furnishings. The kitchen is understated and sophisticated, with calming neutrals counterbalanced by the modern warm leather counter stools, while a sculptural light fixture draws the eye upward. A backyard perfect for entertaining includes features the whole family will enjoy, like the built-in kitchenette with beer tap, built-in barbecue, gas fireplace, and plenty of comfortable seating. This impressive home is full of unique touches and surprises – like a sweet Harley in the garage/workshop – ideal for adventurers and bon vivants alike!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design