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

How to Choose the Perfect White Paint

Choosing the perfect shade of white is an exercise in subtlety and anything but simple. A friend recently called to ask my advice on picking a good shade for her home interior, and it got me thinking about how tricky it can be if you don’t understand the spectrum of whites that are out there. Benjamin Moore, for example, makes over 150 different shades of white! As white reflects all colors, it easily takes on hues of all surrounding colors. So if your selections look like a this…hopefully our tips on differentiating the most common categories will help.

Creamy white

A white bedroom can be a very relaxing haven. For best results, use a few different tones of white and layer them in the space. Creamy white walls are lovely when combined with crisp white curtains and ivory colored bedding. This type of variation will prevent your space from looking too stark.

Photo: Vogue

Cool white

Cool white walls will create a serene, homogenous space that has very little contrast and/or distraction. These whites work well in contemporary spaces because they provide a feeling of newness. For a classic cool white to shine, the hues around it need only a hint of pigment.

Photo: Pinterest

Soft white
Soft white is a great choice as it creates a blank canvas for adding any other color. A soft white wall will also pair nicely with a crisp white trim, adding a subtle contrast. These shades are wonderful for bringing out the dimensions of panelled woodwork.

Photo: Pinterest

Snow white
A very classic way to treat wainscoting is to paint it with a glossy, snow white paint color. This look also works great in a more contemporary space, as shown here.

Photo: Pinterest

Antique white
For a more traditional space, antique whites work best because they provide a lived-in feel to a room. They have a timeless appeal, with slightly tarnished brown undertones that help lend depth to white walls without overpowering a space.
Ivory white
Many people like the look of white cabinetry in the kitchen, but they don’t want the space to appear too cold. In this case, look for a white that has a slight ivory undertone. You can also add warmth to your kitchen with wood flooring, and by using clear halogen lighting.

Photo: Pinterest

Gray white
A crisp, grayish-white wall color will always make a sophisticated, museum-like backdrop for artwork and vivid accent hues. Having undertones of blue & grey can make the room feel cold, so be careful where you use this shade.

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Cortile, Plan 4 // The Colony, Anaheim

Cortile at Colony Park in Anaheim offers six floor plans to cater to a range oflifestyles. Located near trendy boutiques, cafes and museums, the revived neighborhood has a lot to offer homeowners. Plan 4 is a 2 bedroom/2 bath interior floor plan, so there are no side windows. No windows means a major lack of light, so we painted the brick wall white to add light, impact and texture.

The target buyer is a young couple living with a roommate and the office space on the first floor can function as a home office or den. Our design inspiration came from the store Anthropologie, leading us to white painted brick and reclaimed, rustic furnishings throughout the home. Light greys, whites and small accents of purple, pink deep red and gold made up the color palette. This plan also features beautiful outdoor areas and courtyards.




Living Room






Chameleon Design Featured Project: Cortile, Plan 3 // The Colony, Anaheim

Cortie, Plan 3 is a charming 1100 sq. foot, two bedroom townhouse at the Colony in Anaheim. The plan was designed for a young couple, with a second bedroom for guests. The space is an interior unit with no side windows, so we kept things light and bright with an all-white and neutral color palette and dark wood accents. Floors were done in a washed pine with dark knots and cabinets were all painted white. We love this clean look that’s very popular right now. It’s inspired by Swedish style and feels very fun and fresh.



Dining Area


Living Area


Living Area

Master Bedroom

Guest Bedroom

Outdoor Patio

Is Your Home Ready for the Holidays?

The holidays are the year’s busiest social season and every home is bound to have a guest or two! Whether you’re planning a big party or hosting overnight guests, the preparation can be a lot to tackle when your to-do list is already a mile long. Luckily, there are small things you can do that will make a big impact.

Spruce up your entry, inside and out
It’s the first things guests see, so make sure it sets the right tone. A festive, fresh wreath on the door or garland hung above and some candles will create a very inviting front porch. And don’t forget to give the foyer a little bit of love. This small space is what gives guests their first impression of your home- so make sure it looks terrific.

Let the Light In
One of the neglected areas of holiday parties, or parties of any kind, is the lighting. Use votives and tea lights to light stairs, dining tables tops, consoles, bookcases, guestrooms, bathrooms, anywhere!

Prep guest rooms
Fresh sheets and extra towels, a mirror, working bedside lights, curtains on the windows, a place to put a suitcase — check the basics off your list now so you won’t have to scramble when a guest is due to arrive. Stock the guest bathroom with spare toothbrushes and other items guests may have forgotten to pack. And if your guest room shares space with a home office, now is also a good time to clear out the clutter. Guests shouldn’t feel like they’re sleeping in an office.

Stock the bathroom
It’s perhaps one of the cheapest and easiest ways to prep your home for party season, but it’s a must-do. Buy new hand towels, add a small arrangement of fresh flowers and a nicely scented candle and you’re done!

Just-In-Case Gifts:
Don’t forget to have a few extra gifts around for unexpected guests or a last minute party invitation. These gifts should be fun for kids and adults alike. Pick things that are unique so they look less like an after thought.

Happy Holidays! We hope all your hosting is a success!

Home Design Trends // Painted Floors

Applying paint to the ground has had a long history of enlivening rooms. A solid color can conceal unsightly cracks and highlight furnishings, while a geometric design or faux-stone motif adds instant drama. A painted floor is also a less expensive alternative to replacing surfaces entirely—so don’t be afraid to tackle wood, concrete, or even terra-cotta tiles.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: House Beautiful

Home Design Trends // Bone Inlay

For centuries craftsmen have relied upon inlaid bone to add surface dazzle. Designers today have continued to find fresh ways to feature the material. The art of bone inlay is specific to the Udaipur region of India, where this meticulous skill is handed down from generation to generation. Three craftsmen are employed to make a piece of bone inlay furniture and the process can take weeks.

Furniture and objects inlaid with bone are almost always personality pieces and even small items can have a major impact: Here are some pieces that we like:

Tray, Serena and Lily

Two-Drawer Chest, Roberta Roller Rabbit

Box, One Kings Lane

Console, Liza Sherman

Chamelon Design Featured Project: Azurene, Plan 7 // Brightwater, Huntington Beach

The design in Plan 7 was inspired by the style of Restoration Hardware. The modern, transitional look is composed of matte finishes, subtle rustic and natural elements and a basic color palette of smoky greys and black. We used white on the walls to create a higher contrast and expand the spaces. Since the Azurene community is located near the coast, we introduced a beach element which adds a natural and earthy feel. The surf board hanging on the wall of the loft is a fun piece.


Living Room

Dining Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bath




Style Your Home Like a Pro

It’s that time of year when holiday parties and get-togethers with friends and family are in fill swing. If you’re looking around the house and wondering if there’s anything you can do to make things look better before guests begin to come over, then keep reading! We’re sharing some secrets that will work miracles without much expense or effort.

Dress Up a Table: Refresh an old favorite or give an inexpensive one a grand look with fabric. A draped table appears inviting and you just have to change the material to mix it up. For a formal touch, let the edges pool and for a tailored, clean look cut the hem so it skims the floor.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Turn Your Kitchen Into a Showplace: Domed-glass cake stands look elegant, especially when used in multiples. We like to display greens or fresh fruit such as green apples, lemons or artichokes.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pottery Barn

Wallpaper the Ceiling: Craving a jolt of color or pattern? Set your sights overhead by papering just the ceiling of a room such as the guest room. This will give you a wow factor that guests will remember.

Photo: Parker Palm Springs

Bring the Outdoors In: There’s something so romantic about an olive tree indoors. The leaves have a feather-like quality that softens a space. Select one that’s tall enough to graze your ceiling and ground it by

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placing it in an oversize basket or pot. Fiddle leaf fig trees are another designer fave.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Master the Stack of Books Trick: In almost every story in a decorating magazine, you’ll spot a pile of books crowned with an object or two. Designers love this look, which not only brings personality to a room but also can be used to break up the library-neat rows on a bookshelf or create a stylish vignette on a coffee table. To do it right, gather similar sized volumes in a favorite palette and top them with a large shell or patterned bowl. You don’t need numerous objects; pare down your choices to one to three items that have meaning for you.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Home Design Trends // Hexagons

A hexagon is a geometric shape with six equal sides. Since they fit together without any space between them, bees use them to make their honeycombs, so you’ll also hear hexagons referred to as a honeycomb pattern. These days, hexagons are making a comeback with a more modern, hip twist.  From flooring to pillows, rugs, lighting, wallpaper, furniture and accessories, hexagons are everywhere and we think this fun shape is the bee’s knees!

Honeycomb Bud Vase, ABC Home

Towel Ring, Urban Outfitters

Brass Knob, Nest Studio 

Wallpaper Do’s & Dont’s

Wallpapering has become increasingly common for the everyday homeowner. It’s expensive, but there’s nothing like it in terms of bringing color and texture to a room.  There are many beautiful options on the market now, but if you’re new to the world of wallpaper, you’re probably wondering where to start. And once you have the perfect rolls in hand, where should you go from there? Once you’ve made the commitment to wallpaper, refer to our do’s and dont’s to help you get the result you’re looking for.

DO: Consider the Room You’re Wallpapering
If it’s a bedroom and you want a romantic look, try delicate damasks and florals with fine lines in muted, soft colors. I don’t recommend using wallpaper in your bathrooms due to the moisture but in a powder room where you’re not dealing with steam it can be stunning and adds a point of interest to what would be an ordinary room.

Photo: Chameleon Design


Photo: Pinterest

DO: Consider an Accent Wall
Choose a dramatic, bold pattern to highlight an area of a room, such as behind a bed or sofa. Designs with a hint of metallic or gloss will give a classy, glamorous touch.  (See our recent post on this: https://www.chameleonoc.com/blog/2013/08/home-design-trends-wallpapered-accent-walls/).

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Pinterest

DO: Call in a Professional
Good wallpaper ranges from $60-$150 per single roll.  At those prices, it is recommended that you hire a professional paper hanger & choose a pattern you can live with.  A good installer makes a huge difference.  It is not as easy as the experts make it look.  If it’s off just a smidge you will know and your eyes will zero in on it every time.

DON’T: Go Overboard
If you’re going with a bold print, make sure the space can handle it. If you put that bold print on all four walls of a small room, you’re going to overpower the room and make it feel very small. Finding a print you like the first step, but make sure to think about the end result.

DON’T: Censor Yourself
Wallpaper removes in full strips, so it’s not a lifetime commitment. Without going overboard, pick a pattern that shows some personality!

Photo: Kelly Wearstler