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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!

A New Spin on Staircases

If you are lucky enough to have a multilevel home, the staircase is a central part of traffic flow from the main floor living spaces to bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.  Staircases are fast becoming a priority for architects and developers, seeing the potential to add that “wow factor” to a home, be it a new design or a renovation project.  I am really attracted to the open staircases that I’m seeing a lot more of these days. The trend for light and spacious, open-plan interiors has led to a new trend in staircases with the more open look. They have such a major impact on the space, and a more open look creates an airy feeling, which is exactly what we’re all loving in residential design right now!

I also really like that this idea seems to work in a variety of different styles.   Modern is perhaps most common, but the style can work with anything, even Mediterranean!  Here are some photos that illustrate this cool look:

Photo: Quezada Architecture

Photo: Quezada Architecture

Photo: Urban Front

Photo: Urban Front

Photo: Pine Street Carpenters

Photo: Pine Street Carpenters

Photo: LineBox Studio

Photo: LineBox Studio

Photo: Rockefeller Partners Architects

Photo: Rockefeller Partners Architects

Home Design Trends: Polka Dots

Polka dots are great because they’ll blend into a modern or traditional setting, so any homeowner can experiment. A neutral color scheme with just a pop of color is a smart way to keep your decor sophisticated, but don’t be afraid to incorporate non-traditional colors when adding this trend to your home. Just remember that this is one of those trends where less is definitely more. You can’t go wrong with classic choices like black, white, or metallic ensure that your dot motif will remain chic for years to come. Here are some items we’re loving that make good use of this playful trend:

Photo: John Derian

Photo: John Derian

Photo: Fishs Eddy

Photo: Fishs Eddy

Photo: Bartsch Paris

Photo: Bartsch Paris

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Avo Plan 2 Alt, La Habra

Avo is a quaint, gated community in Northwest Orange County. This plan is a three-story home with plenty of room for a big family.  The first floor has a Great Room, Dining Room and Kitchen and an Office/ homework space at the landing.  On the second floor you’ll find three Bedrooms, including a Master, as well as a laundry room.  And a third floor has a Bonus Room that’s perfect for a kids play room. We designed it with a updated modern sensibility in mind, and included lots of color pops to add some fun. They’ve done really well since the models opened last November and there is only one more to sell!

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Living Room


Living Room Detail


Bonus Room


Bonus Room Detail


Master Bedroom





Luxury Upgrades: The Kitchen

The kitchen is the other obvious place to spend your upgrade dollars, yet tackling a kitchen renovation can feel overwhelming with the wide array of choices available. We’ve helped narrow down the options to some of our favorite kitchen innovations today, some of which are quite pricey, others less expensive, but all of which are great investments for your kitchen’s future.

Granite is the most standard kitchen counter top we see and still very much in style, though some buyers are upgrading that to quartz. If you don’t have a back splash, consider taking your tile up the walls. Pretty kitchen back splashes are both popular and chic, but simple is better.  Clean color blocking is commonly favored over fancy tile work now. For cabinets, medium wood tones are the most popular right now, with darker stains coming in second and white being a close third.  Open shelving is also a big trend that we’re seeing a lot of and using ourselves.

Some useful updates that will make your life easier are pullout shelving, tip-out shelves by the sinks, and concealed pullout garbage and recycling containers.  Though cabinet exteriors are usually the main attraction in any kitchen, it’s well worth it to invest in their insides too. We recommend soft-close doors and drawers. They’re great because drawers don’t bounce back when you close them, and there’s no more slamming of cabinet doors. And don’t forget the appliances. You’ll be making a smart investment if you choose to purchase more luxe models.

Overall, look for ways to make your home special. These days, with resale competition fierce, it’s smart to plan ahead and upgrade wisely in ways that will make your home stand out.

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Chameleon Design Featured Project: Avant at Escena Plan 2, Palm Springs

Homebuyers who like a mid-century modern aesthetic but don’t want to put money and work into updates, now have the option to purchase a brand new home in the Palm Springs area! These homes are ideal for the buyer who likes to express their personal style and enjoy the serenity and relaxation of desert living. Each plan includes a large master suite with a walk-in closet and gourmet kitchen with upgraded stainless steel appliances and slab-granite countertops.  We had a lot of fun designing the interiors to match the mid-century style of the home’s architecture.

Home Design Trends: Brass

Just when you’ve gotten caught up with 2012’s trends, ideas new and old for 2013 are here. One new old trend we predict you’ll be seeing a lot of is brass. It’s making a major comeback in structural elements, hardware and other embellishments for the home.

Its warm amber tone looks richly elegant in designs ranging from traditional to mid-century modern inspired. Here are a few that we approve of:

Brass and Marble Lamp:  ArteriorsHome.com

Brass and Marble Lamp: ArteriorsHome.com

Brass Bowls: DwellStudio.com

Brass Bowls: DwellStudio.com

Brass Kitchen Fixtures: Pinterest

Brass Kitchen Fixtures: Pinterest

2012 Favorites

Happy New Year from Chameleon Design!
Before we move on to a new year filled with new posts, we thought it would fun to look back at our most popular posts from this past year.  And here they are:

    How To: Choose The Right Window Treatment
    The Perfect Setting: Table Setting Tips
    Updating Your Fireplace
    How To: Combine Traditional and Modern
    Decorating for Dudes: Designer Advice for Creating a Handsome Home

In case you missed one, take a look at what our readers found most interesting last year:
How-To: Choose the Right Window Treatment

Updating Your Fireplace

How-To: Combining Traditional and Modern

Decorating for Dudes:  Designer Advice for Creating a Handsome Home

Home Design Trends: Emerald Green

Each year Pantone polls designers and brands about colors they’re featuring to aid in its decision for what hue will tinge the next 12 months. For 2013, the company has bestowed the honor of “Color of the Year” upon Emerald Green.

“Green is the most abundant hue in nature- the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a press release. “It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity- no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.” Eiseman said that emerald is easily applicable to fashion and to interior design and we’re excited to see more of this beautiful color!

 Lamp:  LampsPlus.com
Pillow: Pinterest.com
Coasters: Anthropologie.com
 Rug: MadelineWeinrib.com

The Great Room

Open and airy space is one thing homeowners can’t get enough of these days.  Smaller rooms can make a home feel broken up and cluttered, and tight spaces tend to send everyone to different areas of the house. Families today are quite busy and it’s not easy for everyone to be together all at one time, which is why great rooms have become so popular.

The great room is essentially an all-purpose room for the home. Most great rooms consist of the kitchen, living or family room, dining area and sometimes a computer or workstation area. It’s the room where the homework is done, the dinner is cooked, and the family can eat, entertain and enjoy different activities all while

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being in the same room!  This concept has become so popular that its beginning to replace the family room in many new homes.  Being that it functions as several or more traditional room spaces wrapped into one unified space, we’re not surprised!

 Photo: Chameleon Design
Photo:Chameleon Design
Photo:Chameleon Design

Home Design Trends: Velvet

There’s no denying that velvet is luxurious and beautiful, and this season it has home decor designers under its spell. You’ll find velvet fabric being used in chairs, pillows, drapes and more. Because it can be a bit showy, be careful to only add touches of it throughout your entire home. More than one or two velvet pieces in a room can begin to look overdone.