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Chameleon Design Featured Project: The Wine Cellar, 2011 Philharmonic Design House- Newport Coast

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County has been presenting design houses since 1993. It’s their largest fundraiser and benefits their free Youth Music Education Programs which provides musical experiences and education for over 200,000 students in Orange County.   Maison de la Mer was last year’s House of Design and is a beautiful French inspired home with wonderful indoor/outdoor elements that are perfect for entertaining. Chameleon Design had the honor of designing the wine cellar.

We began with that point of view that wine is more than just a bottle to be enjoyed- it’s about an entire experience. This wine cellar and sampling room was inspired by the rustic elements of the wine country, yet we incorporated a modern edge through clean lines and natural elements.   Throughout the space you can see components from the wine making process from barrels that aged the wine, to the wooden crates that shipped the bottles. You will also see organic items that, like a fine wine, have been given their beauty through age.

Relax and enjoy conversation with friends and family around the reclaimed live-edge acacia table. It’s made of reclaimed wood and displays a leaf organically carved and made of onyx, with a sea urchin on top of it.  Adding to the relaxed feeling of the space, Joan élan Davis’ painting, Tranquility, is an an interplay of closely valued colors and varied textures in a painterly woven format. Layers of an earthy brown upon a russet upon burgundy in one palette to deep, rich greens in another lend a sense of movement to the surface.

At one end of the room is a striped buffet. A sustainable, organic and contemporary piece, the buffet is made of reclaimed teak and the stripes are formed from scrap wood in a variety of hues. Above this hangs a custom art piece commissioned for the room.  The Untitled piece is made of recycled wine crates and was done by Alex Adamonis of Woodworking LA.  Iron sconces flank the art, allowing you to see the depth and variety of the piece.

Just like the rolling hills of California wine country in the spring months, the colors chosen reflect golden yellows, vineyard greens, cabernet reds and the grey of morning fog.  The walls are textured with a Venetian-like plaster, and painted French Grey in the tasting room and Mahogany in the cellar.

Wallpaper Works

From traditional and classic to bold and graphic, wallpaper is back in a big way.   Some people may be scared off by wallpaper, with with ideas of tacky floral patterns and primary-colored stripes, but some of the freshest trends in wall coverings can be a great component to decorating your home.  We all remember the wallpaper growing up that we learned to hate, but now there are a lot of patterns that do enhance an interior.

We love wallpaper for its room-transforming, style-defining powers.  Wallpaper goes way beyond what can be done with paint. Painted finishes, although great in some spaces, don’t equate to the luxury and opulence a few rolls of wallpaper can provide.  People are often looking for ways to achieve that “wow” factor without having to add more costly items, such as tiles, stone or expensive textile fabrics, and wallpaper does a great job of it.   Here are just a few examples of the room-transforming abilities of wallpaper:

Create Coziness
Wallpaper has an amazing way of warming up a room and creating rich, layered sophistication.  It can be used in any room to create a more intimate feel.  

Photo: Pinterest

Little Gems

A busy, whimsical or interesting print can transform a small room into your home’s “jewel box.”  Powder rooms are the perfect place to use wallpaper. You can go big and bold without fear of committing to too much.

Photo: Lonny Mag

Make a Statement
Wallpapers can make almost any type of design statement.  Soft, organic lines lend a soothing touch to a room, whereas bold geometrics can really add vibrancy and energy to a dull space. 

 Photo: House Beautiful
 Photo: Mackenziehoran.com

Focalize It

Sometimes people like the idea of wallpaper but are nervous to commit to a whole room. By putting it on just one accent wall, say behind the bed in a bedroom or to create a focal point behind a sofa in a living room, you can get the upside without overdoing it.

 Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Elle Decor

Photo: Apartmenttherapy.com 
Create Art 

Everyone wants a great piece of art on the wall.  Can’t nail down that perfect picture? Why not choose decadent wallpaper?

 Photo: Capstonedwellings.com
Photo: Pinterest
 Photo: Ohdeedoh.com 
Design with Texture

Wallpaper makes a space more luxurious by adding another layer of depth to a room. Even the most subtle texture or pattern can add depth and warmth that paint cannot.

 Photo: Ohhappyday.com
Photo: Abigail Edwards

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Harmony at Colony Park, Anaheim

Chameleon Design won a Mame Award for this hip and playful Sales Office we designed at Colony Park in Anaheim.   Our idea was to use a vintage, chic design to lure in the younger buyers, as well as the “move-down” buyers looking to re-live their more youthful years.

The environment was very non-traditional for a sales office with its coffee house/lounge feel.


Multi-colored fabrics and patterns layered together give it that “collected” vibe.


Soulful tunes playing in the background and a guitar leaning in the corner may encourage someone to sit back a while and ponder a place where life is good!

Get a Jump Start on Your New Year’s Resolutions:

We’re all in holiday-mode, but the New Year is right around the corner.  If you’re like me, my resolutions always include some form of home organization.  It’s great to start a new year by doing an inventory of everything you have in storage, stacked on closet shelves, tucked away in the garage, etc.  If even a couple years go by without going through your items, there’s a good chance that there are things you don’t need or no longer want.  Get a head start on your annual organization resolutions and filter through your holiday decorations this month!

This year, I took out everything I loved, set it up for my family and guests to enjoy, and got rid of all the rest.  I gave my sister, who has a more modern home now, some great pieces that I knew she’d use, and sent the rest to a donation center.  Some of it was brand new and had never even been opened!  Now all that is left to do is box up what I actually used after the first of the year.  I’ll make things easier on myself for next year, and I got a head start on my annual organization New Year’s resolution…which I have every year!

While getting out those season specific decorations to deck your halls, filter through them while you’re setting them up.  Most people say to themselves- I’ll do that when I put them away after the holidays- but it’s actually much easier to do it once everything is already out.  Why add an extra step when you don’t have to?

Anything you don’t use this season, and likely won’t use next season, can probably be parted with.  Send them to a donation center or a charity who helps needy families.  If you’re not getting use out of the items, it’s a nice thought that another family will.

Good luck getting organized.  You’ll thank me later!

Chameleon Design Featured Project: The Plaza at Sierra, Fontana

The Plaza at Sierra is the 4th of a series that the city of Fontana asked our builder to create for their affordable senior housing needs.  The property has two 3-story buildings, a pool,  putting green, pool room, two media lounges and several other great spaces for the seniors to hang out and feel at home.

Building One, Media Lounge

Building One, Media Lounge





Multi-Purpose Room

Multi-Purpose Room

Putting Green

Putting Green





Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

We’re heading into the second weekend of December and holiday parties are well underway! We don’t have to tell you that it’s always nice to give (and of course receive) a thoughtful hostess gift. And during the holidays there are so many fun options out there. Instead of flowers, I like to pick up a poinsettia from the market, which tend to have the nicest ones for a hostess gift, And of course wine is always nice. Maybe find a clever way of decorating the wine bottles you give? I also love to give and receive candles, some of my favorites are below.

Remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to give something memorable. Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to try to avoid bringing your host or hostess a decorative item for the home. Unless you know their taste well, you don’t want them to feel as though they need to display it, as it may not go with the rest of the decor. Flowers are also lovely to receive, but unless it’s a potted plant such as an orchid, we do not suggest them for hostess gifts. The host is typically busy and you don’t want to bring something that requires their immediate attention such as flowers that will need a vase and water.

Here are some of Chameleon Design’s favorite hostess gifts this holiday season that are sure to bring a smile to the face any party hostess in town. Call us and let us know what you’d like to swing by and pick up!

Minerals on Crystal Blocks
Quartz cluster ($35), Pyrite and Aragonite Stars ($5) 
Glass Blocks ($26.50-37.50)

Tea Light Glass Logs
By Roost ($16)


Jardin de Rochelle Porcelain Diffusers
Rose, Peony and Narcissus fragrances ($54 each)
Cabinet de Curiosites Candle  ($35 )

Flowers for the Home

With a little basic knowledge of the elements of floral design and a bit of creativity, you can create beautiful floral arrangements for your home and decorate with confidence for a party or special occasion. Whether it’s an arrangement on the dining room table or a simple bouquet in

the bathroom, flowers add life to your home and make it welcoming all year round.  When working with flowers, don’t be afraid to to experiment with different styles. Flowers have their own inherent beauty, so you really can’t go wrong.

Selecting a Container
Selecting the container is an important step in designing an arrangement.  Choose a container that will complement the flowers you’re using and fit within with the surrounding décor.  Glass vases are a good choice for a  more formal room, while ceramic pitchers are perfect for a casual kitchen table or counter. A mason jar or mint julep cup are good choices for a bathroom or other small nooks around the home.

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest
Source: CupcakesandCashmere.com

Floral design is based on a combination of elements: form or shape, proportion and scale, texture, balance and contrast.  From the first step of placing flowers in the container, think about the overall shape you want your arrangement to have and place the flowers according to that basic idea. Most designs use larger flowers as a focal point, and build around that.  Hydrangeas, peonies and of course roses are all easy to work with and always look amazing.  Sometimes it’s as easy as placing a few stems into a great vase.

Source: Floral Art LA
Source: ApartmentTherapy.com
Source: Elle Decor

Create contrast by using texture and color. Combine cool colors with warm ones, or light with dark. If your design uses a monochromatic color scheme, add interest with a variety of textures.  Let your own personal taste be your guide in selecting the flowers.   Greens form the foundation of most arrangements. Using two or three different kinds will provide a lush backdrop for your flowers. Be sure to use enough greens to anchor the flowers in place.  Though remember that greens aren’t a must, and a smaller arrangement or a few stems in a bud vase, don’t need anything extra.

Source: Floral Art LA
Source: Floral Art LA

Final Touches
This is where you can get really creative. Accent your arrangement with a branch or two of birch or curly willow to tower gracefully above the flowers. Or place some seeded eucalyptus where it will drape over the edge of the container. Fruits and vegetables, river rocks, seashells and glass stones are just a few of the items you can use to accent your design. Just remember to let the flowers have center stage.

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Marblehead Information Center, San Clemente

For this project, Chameleon Design was asked to work with an unbranded developer to help sell the last stretch of undeveloped coastline designated for high-end custom homes.   The catch was that the only structures in place were two trailers!  Not to mention, neither had a view, and that was a main selling point.

We tackled this project successfully by simply bringing the outdoors in.  There were two distinct buildings, the first being the Sales Office.  In this space we showcased a uniquely expansive topographic map with drawers that house small scale maps, giving the buyer a more detailed look of their prospective lot.   Above the map was a dramatic aerial photograph on a tackable surface, with space for photographs of work in progress.  We went with a color palette of sky and sand, with accessories of stone and a waterfall impact logo overlayed on the window.

 The stone façade seamlessly linked interior and exterior spaces, and made it impossible to believe the bones of the sales office were a prefabricated mobile home.

Outdoor living rooms and modern arbors, expanded the sense of spaciousness.  Everything was designed to launch a new aesthetic away from the Mediterranean and toward the modern, and to capture the rugged California coast with a sense of elegance and modernity.

The second building, the Meeting Center, provided resources for both architects, clients, and builders alike to work or show clients a video of the development.