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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!

Essentials in Bathroom Functionality and Design

The bathroom may be the smallest room in your home, but that doesn’t mean it should get less attention than all the others. And you of course would like it to be as functional as possible for the specific needs of you and your family. Be it your master bathroom or a guest bathroom, aesthetics and functionality are essential to a space you use on a daily basis. So if you’ve been feeling like your bathroom could use a face lift, go for it knowing that it’s an excellent idea and good place to invest. It’s a small update but can add to the overall value of the home, while boosting efficiency and functionality. There are many factors to consider when it comes bathroom design, but we’d like to cover the top essentials to give you an idea of where to start:

It’s All in the Details: The bathroom should be treated the same as every other room in the home, though many people forget to decorate it! Something as simple as hanging a nice picture on the wall will make it feel more comfortable and inviting. When looking at counter top options, select a material that is durable but one that also reflects the rest of the style in the home. As always, make sure your home design is consistent from room to room- and that includes the bathrooms!

Photo: Elle Decor

Photo: Elle Decor

Form Follows Function: When designing your bathroom, it’s important to think about the intended function and purpose of the space and design with that in mind. Consider how many people will be using the bathroom regularly. Maybe you’d like his and hers sinks. Shower heads and toilets are another major element to put some

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thought into. If water conservation is important to you, there are great options for both that won’t use a lot of water. If you’re more concerned with having something that looks and feels great, but maybe doesn’t skimp on the water output, you’ll find plenty of options there as well. Just make sure to do your research before you buy!

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Light up the Room: Lighting is very important in a bathroom for numerous reasons. The obvious one is that you don’t want it to look like a dark cave, as a bright and inviting room is always nicer to spend time in. Also, women use the bathroom to apply makeup and get ready and they need to see what they’re doing! If possible, a mix of natural and artificial lighting is best. Skylights are a great way to bring in gorgeous natural light that will brighten up the space.

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 4.56.28 PMPhoto: Eric Olsen Design

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Home Design Trends // Cork

Cork is an impermeable, buoyant, fire-resistant, sound-dampening and eco friendly bark that’s finding a new popularity in today’s modern design. This natural material first debuted in interiors in the early 1900s, when architect Frank Lloyd Wright chose cork flooring for many of his home designs. No longer limited to walls and floors, this naturally green and environmentally friendly material is seeing a re-emergence in all manner of sustainable home accessories:

 

Cork Table Lamp, Kenroy Home

Cork Coffee Table, Arktura.com

Jasper Morrison “Cork Family” Side Tables, Hive Modern

Surfboard Corkboard, Pottery Barn Teen

 

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Capri Plan 6 // Brightwater, Huntington Beach

Capri Plan 6 is a great room concept floor plan with 4 bedrooms, three and a half baths and a loft (or 5th bedroom) area. This plan has a modern eclectic style that conveys a fun and young feeling.  Our color palette includes a high contrast color scheme of golden maize, stone, and smoky browns with white accents.  For furniture, we selected mid-century modern pieces and mixed them with organic, natural teak pieces.  And like Plan 5, our favorite feature of Plan 6 is the “Capistrano room,” an outdoor room with a large TV and fireplace, plus a patio and outdoor dining area.

Exterior

Exterior

Great Room, Kitchen

Great Room, Kitchen

Great Room, Living Area

Great Room, Living Area

Huntington Room

Huntington Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bath

Master Bath

Bedroom

Bedroom

Loft

Loft

Office

Office

Nursery

Nursery

Bedroom

Bedroom

The First Steps Inside A Model Home

Chameleon Design has a design philosophy which is built upon three key experiences we want people to have when they enter a home.  Those first few steps are so important and we work hard to make sure those impressions are good ones!  The key experiences that we believe can virtually guarantee a good first impression are:

Excite the senses
The home needs to be visually exciting of course, but there are other senses to consider as well.  A nice scent is an easy way to immediately give a good impression that the home they just entered feels nice and welcoming.  Hearing a calming sound such as running water is also pleasant and can easily be accomplished with a water element in front of the house near the front door.

Consistency in Design
People like to experience consistency in home design.  This is especially important when designing model homes, as many people will walk through the plan and they won’t be interested in buying if they don’t get a good feeling.  The flow is instrumental and considered throughout the design process. One of the first things we consider is what is happening with the style of the home before the décor.  If the home is a Cape Cod style build, we want to reflect that in the décor so there’s continuity with the structure. Once we get the style direction down, we make sure that same design concept is seen from room to room.  For example, we’ll  materials used in the kitchen for the bathrooms.  A slight variation, such a brighter colors in the kids room, will still work if you make sure to naturally tie it in to the overall style of the home. The consistency is the main thing people love about model homes and they often say they wish their own home looked that way!

The Living Room, Family Room, Kitchen and Master Bedroom all reflect the same design concept at a West Grove model in Anaheim.  Source: Chameleon Design

Clever Solutions
Every home has a different layout, and we’re always thinking about clever solutions in space planning and furniture arrangement.  It’s important to really get those down, as they make a huge difference in the look and feel of the home.  If architecturally, there’s an oddity to a room, the way we design the furniture arrangement compensates for that and it can go unnoticed. The architecture plans for the models we work with are done and approved before we even get involved in the project. So we have no choice but to make the most of it, and we know that many problems can be solved with furniture placement.

This layout is a clever furniture solution to a very narrow room.  To expand the seating we did a sectional with a bench at the dining table. Source: The Row by Chameleon Design

Where To Fake It & Where To Make It

Over the years, we’ve been given budgets of every shape and size. And one thing we’ve learned is that that no matter how big your budget is to begin with, if you’re not savvy about your purchases, you’ll always end up going over the limit of what you want to spend. We have become expert innovators in this area and have learned where to cut corners and still get the look you want in the end.  It may take a little more time and effort, but the big impact on your budget makes it time well spent.

If you want to reduce your overall budget, take it line by line and see where you can make adjustments through researching potential alternative options. Flooring is a big area where you can cut costs without compromising the look you’re trying to achieve. There’s a huge variance in prices here, as there are a ton of options. Solid wood planks, engineered wood planks and vinyl planks to name a few, and the cost difference in these materials is extraordinary. Bedding is another element that you can easily find yourself spending thousands on if you’re not careful. If you go to a store like Bloomingdale’s, you’ll spend a pretty penny. Try Target or Home Goods as an alternative for good quality sheets. You can always mix and match, buying less expensive sheets and splurging on pillows, for example. Integrating high and low price points will save you money too as long as you’re smart about it.

These porcelein tile and cesar stone counters are a stricking combination and both are affordably priced.

Want a brick wall? This product comes in panels, looks like the real thing and is a quarter of the price of split face brick! Plus installation is a snap.

You do need the higher price point items sometimes to get the look you need.  Just determine the must haves and then mix with high and low.  Remember that you can always upgrade things over the years.  Over time, you’ll end up with the nice quality pieces as you may slowly phase out the rest.

This pendant chandelier packs a punch and it's only $162.25!

This oversized ruler growth chart is a clever way of detailing a space and it's only $69.95.

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Capri Plan 5 // Brightwater, Huntington Beach

We’ve been featuring the sales galleries from each of the models at Brightwater in Huntington Beach over the past couple months, and it’s finally time to share photos from one of the models themselves! Capri Plan 5 is a great room concept floor plan with four bedrooms, three and a half baths and a “homework station.” The look of this plan is “natural beach chic” with creamy white, sand and aqua accents as the color palette. We used light rustic and reclaimed woods, industrial furniture and zinc accents in the design. Soft colors, layering of neutrals with aqua accents and beachy, organic textures completed the look.

Our favorite feature of this model is the “Capistrano room,” an outdoor room with a fireplace, patio, outdoor BBQ, TV & dining area. A great area that’s sure to be the most popular room in the home!

Exterior

Exterior

Living room

Living room

Nook Kitchen

Nook Kitchen

Huntington Room 1

Huntington Room 1

Huntington room 2

Huntington Room 2

Huntington Room 3

Huntington Room 3

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 2

Office

Bedroom 3

Bedroom 3

Patio

Patio

Street Scene

Street Scene

Home Design Trends // Pendant Lights

Pendant lights have a way of beautifying any room. Hanging above a dining table, kitchen bar or the reading nook in the corner of your bedroom, they look incredible just about anywhere.  The other great thing out these lamps is the wide variety that’s out there.  You can find them in any style, color or material of your liking, and to fit any budget.  Here are a few designs that we think you might love to hang in your home:

Jonathan Adler, Buenos Aires Pendant

 

Osiris Chandelier, Matthew Fairbank Design

Brasa Pendant, Ikea

Tom Dixon, Copper Shade Pendant

 

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Brightwater // Azurene Sales Gallery, Huntington Beach

Our featured projects from the Brightwater series continue this week with the Azurene Sales Gallery.

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This is the largest product type in the master plan at Brightwater, which also includes Seaglass and Capri. For Azurene we wanted the design to look upscale but also convey a relaxed, seaside living feel. To make this sales gallery look different that the other two, we used grasscloth on the walls in the main display area and incorporated reflective mercury glass elements into the decor alongside a beautiful sea urchin inspired chandelier. The sales tools are all interactive and set up on the flat screens on either side of the island for easy viewing. As mentioned before, these are the sales galleries so we’ll have photos and information on the models we’re doing coming soon.

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Home Design Trends // Suzanis

Suzanis are heirloom textiles from Central Asia and are highly sought after for their eye-catching graphics. The word suzani has Persian origin and means needle, referring to the embroidered details. The current trend of what is old is new has helped the resurgence of this old, traditional art form.  It started popping up a few years back and has remained popular for that ethnic, global, handmade look that is prevalent in many designs today.  We love the idea of dressing up an otherwise neutral contemporary room by adding a Suzani throw over the back of a simple modern couch, for example.  Here are some beautiful items to illustrate this colorful trend:

 

 

Pillows, One Kings Lane

Foot Stool, Madeline Weinrib

Wall Hanging or Throw, Ebay

Colony Palms Hotel, Palm Spring

Hallways & Transition Spaces

Hallways and foyers are important in home design and decor because that can make or break the flow of the home.  It’s important to maximize these areas so that homeowners and guests feel comfortable in the home.  Hallways or corridors are supposed to deliver people through your home, and each hallway should be an experience rather than a tunnel. We have some designer tricks up our sleeves that we often refer to when working with these spaces.

If your hallway is at the entrance of your home, entrance of a stairway or leads directly into another room, be careful not to overcrowd the walkway. Consider using furnishings that ‘hug’ the wall, such as narrow tables, rather than pieces that protrude into valuable walking area. Also utilize vertical wall space for decorative mirrors, artwork and wall lighting sconces. This way you add decorative touches visually but don’t overcrowd the walking area.

If your hallway leads to awkward intersections of adjoining rooms, stairs and entry ways, be mindful of traffic patterns when decorating. If the hallway is narrow, opt for decor on the walls instead of the floor. Another good trick is the use of details such as wainscoting, which help to bring in more presence to the space without taking up a lot of room.