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

Key Decorating Tips to Make Any Room Better

Designers don’t follow a secret rule book, but there are definitely some rough principles that guide us to ensure a great result every time. They are tried and true things that work, not necessarily tricks or skills that take years to master. Consider these tips a foundation for developing your own design ability:

Pick the paint color last
Homeowners commonly want to pick a paint color before they move in. This is not ideal as there are thousands of paint colors with various tints, tones and shades, and each one looks different from home to home. Light sources vary, meaning what looks good in your current home might not be perfect in your new one.

Give your furniture some breathing room
Resist overcrowding a room. You don’t need to fill up a space with lots of furniture for the room to look great. Spend more of your budget on fewer, better-quality pieces, and your room will look better than ever.

Photo: Houzz.com

Hang artwork at the right height
Galleries and museums hang artwork so that the mid-line (center) of each piece is 57 inches to 60 inches from the floor. (The average human eye level is 57 inches.) You should do the same in your home.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Resist the urge to have a theme
Some people have a tendency to go overboard with one particular theme or style and it can come off all wrong. For example, the Cape Cod look is a very popular, but it has been done so many times, it lacks individuality.

Create a focal point
Choose your piece and make it the focal point to anchor a room, while other items take a secondary role. Your focal point might be a dramatic hood in the kitchen, a mantel and art piece in the living room or a headboard in the bedroom. Whatever it is, choose something that will draw the eye’s attention.

Add layers of lighting
In a well-designed kitchen, the backsplash is lit, the artwork is highlighted and the cabinet interiors are filled with light. One central lighting fixture would not have had nearly the same dramatic result. Professionals build layers of lighting to create interest, intrigue and variety. In a room where everything is lit evenly, nothing stands out. Pick a focal point and perhaps a secondary focal point and highlight those. Add general ambient lighting and some lower lighting, like table lamps, for interest.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Be bold
Personality is what makes a space great. Make your own statement and have fun. The more you try, the more you will begin to see what works and what doesn’t. Incorporate unexpected elements for drama.

Photo: Houzz.com

Home Design Trends / / Gold Hardware

After years of silver being the preferred accent metal of choice, gold has started to take over. Just like brass, gold is the warmer metal and automatically up-levels a space. There’s nothing like a touch of gold to add subtle luxury and a fresh look to a classic design. As one of the hottest trends in home décor, many designers are now going gold when it comes to their hardware choices.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Home Design Trends // Dip-Dye Color

Dip-dye has been popping up everywhere lately from furniture to upholstery to utensils and more. We love the trend; it’s a fun and playful way to add some personality to your home. We’ve got several ideas on ways to decorate with dip-dyed accessories and furniture:


Side Table, West Elm

Cooking Utensils, Etsy

Salad Bowls, Wind & Willow Home

Storage Basket, Target

Tips for Designing Your Dream Kitchen

A place where function is certainly more important than form, there’s a lot to consider in a kitchen renovation, beyond fabrics and pretty finishes. So below are a few expert tips to get you headed in the right direction:

Splurge on Hardware
Hardware is definitely something to spend some money on, as it really dictates the look of your kitchen.  Three things to consider in hardware: it should feel good to your hand, it should be easy to use, and it should be aesthetically pleasing.

Photo: Pinterest

Connect Your Rooms
Many kitchens today have an open plan, flowing into the living room or dining room, or they have a “breakfast nook” that’s used regularly, even for dinner. To create continuity between these spaces, surfaces need to speak to each other.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Be Smart About Appliances
When shopping for appliances, work with a professional for guidance. Weigh all factors, such as who uses the kitchen, how many people are cooking at one time, and how often your family cooks. Not everyone needs all of the appliance features on the market, and they’re very often not used.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Upgrade Your Cabinetry
Replacing cabinetry will always give you the most value. It takes up the largest part of your kitchen, and it will inevitably make the most impact.

Photo: Pinterest

Install More Lighting
Lighting is always important, and every room should have a balance of countertop and overhead lighting. New innovations in LED bulbs have greatly improved the options of undercounter lighting- with the LED bulbs now, your food even looks more attractive. Interior and lower cabinets are also recommended. Anything that’s deep, dark, or below the counter should have a light.

Photo: Pinterest

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Pavilion Park Information Center // Irvine

Pavilion Park in Irvine is the first community at The Great Park Neighborhoods for Five Point Communities. Chameleon Design was brought on board to design the Information Center, which they wanted to have a warm feel with elements of folly.

In the building itself, we created a “beacon wall” of TV screens, which all run a loop of the community amenities, to be the star of the room.  We flanked the reclaimed wall of paneling with large framed succulent walls and kid friendly rockers surround the tree in the center. Custom chairs that were designed to remind you of gardeners gloves, natural branches, crystals, coral, and crystals also help to bring the outdoors in.

Outside we used a mixture of wood and metal furniture. Adirondack chairs made of wine barrels, vintage wood chairs, cream metal gliders and wood stools were sprinkled along the low wall near the outdoor fireplace to allow for places to sit and talk. Near the basketball courts we commissioned custom tables made of slabs of wood and cool metal legs and outside the green house we placed two long gathering tables with galvanized stools. The pool deck also has these elements along with wide chaise lounges made of vintage beam wood. Wind chimes, stone owls, metal balls created with wine barrel strapping and stone rain chains hang here and there for natural folly.


Information Center

Information Center

Kids Play Center


Pool Area



Chameleon Design Featured Project: Villages Plan 3 // Pittsburg, CA

The Villages are single family, detached homes are available in 3 floor plans. The plans range in size with 3 to 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and they all boast large, open living spaces where the kitchen and great room flow into each other. Plan 3 is a home that will appeal to the more contemporary buyer.  The color palette is yellow and grey, which lends to a bright and modern feel. The Great Room is the heart of the home and features a clean-lined cocktail table and geometric striped area rug.

Great Room

Master Bedroom


Home Design Trends // Marbled Patterns

Marble is definitely having a moment. With the rise of kitchens, bathrooms and furniture made of Carrara marble in recent years, it’s patterns are now popping up everywhere from wallpapers to textiles and home accessories. Below are some of our favorite examples of this lovely trend:

Marble Tile Wallpaper, West Elm

Pillows, Ferm Living

Latte Mug, Leif

Mirror, Mr. Brown

Boost Your Curb Appeal

We have a tendency to focus on the interiors of our home, but the truest first impression our friends and guests have is what they see from the curb. With a few exterior updates, your house will be the biggest supermodel on the block. Even if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, a fresh and welcoming exterior is a wonderful thing to come home to each day. From front doors, house numbers and porch furnishings to color schemes, landscaping and basic repairs, this smorgasbord of ideas will hopefully inspire a few changes around your own home.

Front Door
A new front door instantly enhances your home’s appearance, and what’s more, it can greatly increase resale value.

Photo: Pinterest

Frame Your Doorway
Bring a little life to your doorstep by framing it with a pair of topiaries, citrus trees, or potted plants. A little greenery can go a long way, not only adding color, but also bringing a sculptural element to your home.

Upgrade Your Hardware
Get new house numbers, a new mailbox, and a door latch with the same finish to give your exterior a cohesive, stylish look.

If your guests and neighbors can’t even see your house, it will have literally no curb appeal whatsoever. So install outdoor lighting to light the way and offer safety and security. Be sure to illuminate your walking paths and any entrance areas. Properly planned and installed outdoor lighting can add safety, drama, and interest to your home. Path lighting should also be an integral part of your outdoor lighting plan.

Photo: Houzz

Paint Your Trim
Painting your home’s entire exterior is a surefire way to update its look, but of course, it’s costly. Plan B is to simply paint your shutters and/or trim. You’ll surprised what a fresh coat can do.


Photo: Chameleon Design

Decorating Habits to Break

For those of us who aren’t interior designers, a lack of awareness can result in telltale rookie design mistakes. We’ve listed some of those we see the most below, plus tips on how to break those habits for good!

Entryway Neglect
Make a good first impression by finding another spot to pile shoes, mail and keys. Your foyer is the first thing people see when they come to your home, so use the space to display an important piece of art or to hang an unusual light fixture.

Photo: Pinterest

Unnecessary Cabinets
But thinking differently about kitchen design—like swapping bulky storage cabinets for windows and using a center island to hide your dishes, pots and pans—can really open up your space. Floating shelving, our trend this week, is also a great tip!

Photo: Pinterest

Too Formal Dining
More and more these days, homes are about your personal comfort and use, not about entertaining twice a year. Reject the notion that your dining space needs to be formal and intimidating and decorate in a style that is more in line with your other living spaces. After all, why waste the space on a room you only use occasionally when you could be hosting family meals at the table every night?

Photo: Chameleon Design

Don’t Put your Sofa Against the Wall
Rather than automatically pushing your couch back against the wall, consider placing it into the room instead. Doing so will create a more polished and conversation-friendly area. Add a console table behind the couch with a couple of lamps to complete the look.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Don’t Follow Fads
If you don’t like Mid-Century Modern or Danish Minimalism, don’t decorate in those styles. When the same style or pieces are popping up in your favorite design mags or blogs, you may be temped to cave to their aesthetic sensibilities even though you don’t really…like them. Stick to your guns and be true to your own look. After all, it’s your home, it should reflect your taste.

Over Matching
Buying sets suck the personality out of a room. Mix and match styles to keep your home from looking like a catalogue. Purchase your big-ticket item—like a sofa or bed—first, then pick smaller pieces from other collections or, better yet, a completely different store.

Not Letting Go
Get rid of that worn-out, outdated piece of furniture or rug, even if you spent a ton of money on it seven years ago.  Sometimes, you just have to let pieces go if they no longer work in your space.

Home Design Trends // Open Shelving

Open shelving is a great and inexpensive trend that will give your kitchen a nice and airy feel. It also allows you to put your favorite kitchen items on display which, if done neatly, will give your kitchen a homey, lived-in look. And if you have some items you’d rather hide away, consider a mix of both open shelves and cabinets. This is a great option if you already have cabinets and are not looking to remodel.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo:  Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest