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Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year Are How We’re All Feeling

December is an exciting time in the design community. Not only is it an opportunity to reflect on the year’s trends and predict what’s going to be popular in the next, but it’s when Pantone makes its annual Color of the Year announcement. Their big reveal set the design world aflutter because their team of color experts selected two distinct hues instead of one for 2021 (only the second time in its 20-year history) — Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (bright yellow). Designers often embrace the language of color to communicate a theme, motif, or narrative, and this duo channels the ambivalence and uncertainty of our times, as one tumultuous year comes to an end and a new one of possibility begins.

“A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.”

The pairing of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating channels a message of resilience and hope, satisfying our need for constancy and strength as we look ahead to a brighter future. Gray is grounding and a lovely neutral base, while bright yellow is vibrant, full of life, and a shining beacon for a better tomorrow. The combination is versatile, striking, and adapts equally well to residential and commercial environments. We could easily see it paired beautifully in a living room or conference room, on products or packaging, in textiles, building products, paint, and clothing. And while none of us knows what 2021 will bring, embarking on the new year with a mindset that reflects strength and optimism is a good way to begin.

 

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Sustainable by Design: Rattan, Cane, Bamboo & Rope

If you’ve scrolled through your favorite home decor hashtags on Instagram for more than a minute, you know that rattan, cane, bamboo, and rope furniture and furnishings are back in a major way. People are becoming more environmentally aware, which is influencing their consumption preferences and buying decisions. In a recent National Retail Federation study, 57% of respondents would change their purchasing habits to reduce negative environmental impact! In other words, when it comes to home design and furnishings, people are seeking out more sustainable materials and earth-friendly products. Eco-conscious and renewable materials like rattan, cane, and bamboo are at the top 2020’s trend list for good reason. They add warmth, accessibility, and freshness to living spaces and give off a chic organic vibe. A 70s boho nod interpreted for 21st century tastes, woven furnishings bring some of the wonderful outdoors into the home, and who couldn’t use a little more of that these days!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Activate Optimism With Color

Life’s got you down? Bring some color into your home! There’s a reason behind color symbolism, and it’s because of the many positive emotions color can call up, especially when we make it part of everyday living. Bold, wild-at-heart hues embrace the energy of life and self-expression, and are an unabashed celebration of joyful design that makes us feel good. Reds, pinks, oranges, and other bright colors are beautifully disruptive. Yet, despite their seemingly rebellious natures, these showstopping colors work surprisingly well with others. They’re especially eye catching in traditionally neutral styles like minimalism, Scandinavian, or farmhouse. Use them liberally for a maximalism-type effect, or pick an accent or two for an unexpected and playful pop. Uplift your space with bold pillows, chairs, or artwork. Dare to be brave with a painted accent wall. And don’t forget the bedroom with a fun upholstered headboard or vibrant curtains. Think of these wild hues as design therapy — use them to boost your mood, uplift your spirit, and inspire creativity!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Plan One at The QUE Looks on the Bright Side

Pop quiz: What’s modern, sleek, and effortlessly chic? The Plan One at Woodbridge Pacific Group’s The QUE in Palm Springs checks all of these boxes and more, and took home top prize at last month’s SoCal Honors for best Model Home Merchandising for Sale Price up to $750,000. SoCal Honors is homebuilding’s premier Southern California awards event recognizing member excellence and innovation in residential architecture, interior design, and marketing. We are honored to be among the best talent in our industry, and are incredibly proud of our amazing team!

Get happy in this cheery pied-à-terre style single-family home with three bedrooms and three baths. Ultra-bright white walls and glossy floors reflect lovely desert light and expand the scale of the first floor living spaces. Pops of color surprise and delight, with vibrant yellows iconic of Palm Springs sunshine. Honey-toned wood furnishings are a nod to classic mid-century styling, and a bright circular jute rug creates an unexpected boho vibe to round out the living room. An all-white palette opens up the kitchen, and retro tile backsplash adds playful texture and dimension. Acrylic bar stools at the center island, a glass cocktail table, and the open stair rail keep sight lines open in a narrower layout. Take the cocktail party upstairs in a luxe loft with a neutral background and furnishings layered with pops of colorful artwork. With whimsical sunburst wall decor, mid-century seating, and a built-in wine bar, we couldn’t imagine a better place to pop open a bottle of Champagne and toast our team for a fantastic SoCal Honors win. Cheers!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Geometry Play

Shape and form are design’s building blocks, providing organization and cohesion to interiors. We love them! Geometric shapes and forms add a modern look and a feeling of vitality. The unity of lines and curves introduces a fresh touch and complements a number of design eras and themes, working especially well with art deco, mid-century, and contemporary styling. Geometric elements like triangles, rectangles, squares, and hexagons introduce an appealing deconstruction of design into its most basic forms. They’re sleek and a bit raw, evoking emotion and mood. Take it a step further and think beyond lines and angles; circles, curves, and crescents create a smooth, undulating feel that’s sophisticated and pleasing. Geometric patterns are especially eye-catching because the repetition creates an illusion of movement in an otherwise static design. Pattern’s play between the cheerfully unexpected and a soothing repetition is appealing in a variety of applications, from a bold wallpaper or gallery wall, to a delicate tile or herringbone floor.

When incorporating this appealing trend into your home, take your room’s design into consideration, noting existing shapes and patterns. Balance is critical to creating your desired effect. Too many geometric elements detract from the impact of one or two in a space. A diamond pendant light, a pattern painted on furniture, or geometric contemporary art are a few ways to use shape and form to add a modern flair, and we’ve included some photos of our favorite client projects that incorporate the trend!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Haute Hygge in Plan Three at Indigo at Canvas Park

The Plan Three townhome at Indigo by Brookfield Residential is an exercise in hygge design and decor. A Danish word that’s derived from old Norwegian and loosely translates to ‘well-being,’ hygge is more a state of being than a particular design form. A cornerstone of Danish culture and everyday life, it resides at the intersection of purpose, form, and style, evocative of all things cozy, charming, warm, and extraordinary. In practice and principle, it’s about creating environments that allow us to enjoy all of life’s great moments with the people we cherish. 

Indigo’s Plan Three represents the hallmark of hygge philosophy in 1,527 square feet—classic Scandinavian design with its beautiful simplicity, cheerful minimalism, and purposeful furnishings. Working with a smaller footprint makes this sophisticated yet approachable style shine. Uncluttered and open sight lines, abundant natural light, and considered placement of furniture and embellishments work in harmony to appeal to all the senses. White-washed walls juxtaposed with warm woods, folk-style accents, and greenery are welcoming and inspire relaxed and comfortable living.

The tenets of hygge are embraced throughout this charming three- to four-bedroom floorplan. It’s easy to envision a group of friends enjoying a Sunday brunch in the woven rope dining chairs or seated among the soft fluffy pillows on the couch. Living areas are a gentle balance of soft curves, angular lines, and neutral hues. Every piece and feature is carefully curated and serves a distinct purpose, from open floating shelves in the upstairs loft, playful macrame wall décor as the entry focal point in the dining area, and a beaded chandelier in the master bedroom. An open terrace with its cozy seating extends the home’s living space into the outdoors in comfort and style. Plan Three is designed to inspire us to live comfortably, beautifully, and to fully embrace life’s moments.

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Super Natural Design

Winter is coming and we’ll be spending more time indoors soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy nature’s everyday beauty from the comfort of our living spaces. As we balance work-from-home life, children’s’ schooling, holiday planning, and daily responsibilities, the opportunity to bring elements of nature into our homes can help keep us grounded in the present, while establishing a meaningful connection to the outdoors. Material choices are vast and beautifully textural. Dwell among hues of alabaster and cream, warm wood furnishings, leather, stone, brick, or textiles. The appeal of natural design also resides in its versatility. It’s a style that plays well with others, with its soothing neutral color palettes and gentle play of forms and textures. 

Mixing eras, motifs, and moods can deliver a sophisticated yet approachable impression, and while the idea of natural design isn’t new, adding an organic theme to every room in the home can be statement making. Create a sense of peace, respite, and retreat by incorporating materials that complement your style and existing decor. It could be as simple as adding a small water feature to your home office for focus and creativity, or perhaps you prefer the rich welcome wood flooring brings to a room. In the bedroom, update sheets with an organic linen set, or add smoothed driftwood or seagrass as a decorative embellishment. And never underestimate the power of natural light to freshen and energize your home. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to invite the outdoors into your home, so throw open those window shades!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Let’s Talk Tables

It’s time to think beyond the classic cocktail and occasional tables in your living spaces. Consider table grouping or layering for a one-of-a-kind look that’s sculptural and versatile. Their smaller size means more arrangement and use options, like family game nights, afternoon study sessions, or cocktail parties. Table grouping or laying also adds more dimension and texture to a room, providing guests with another place to rest and engage the eye. Tables placed closely together at different heights create more function and circulation space, perfect for townhomes, smaller homes, or those who simply wish to maximize their living areas. The best part is selecting the ideal combination of materials, shapes, and sizes that work with your room’s design and personality! We can’t resist unexpected pairings that work well together, like a solid geometric table with a delicate organic piece, or mixing styles like bohemian and minimalism.  Try the same table style in different colors and sizes, or simply add small stools or ottomans that can easily move to different places of the room as needed. With table grouping and layering, flexibility is the design!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Calm, Cool, and Collected at Gardens Plan 1 at Lantana @Beach

The team masterfully maximized every inch of this two-bedroom, 1,345 square-foot townhome at Gardens Plan 1 at Lantana @Beach by Brookfield SoCal. A subtle contrast of light and dark accentuate Plan 1’s best features, with hues of soft blue, sand, black, and white. An accent wall and charcoal hexagonal floor tile present a striking greeting at the entry, and the addition of a slim metal console and basket transforms the small space into a functional drop zone. Upstairs, open lines and geometric prints blend with nature-inspired shapes and warm woods for a soothing, tranquil balance. A black impact wall in the dining area immediately draws you into the main living spaces, with its larger-than-life botanicals playfully complementing the organic feel. Layering coffee tables of different shapes and materials is a great way to create depth in a room (see our latest post on this trend here), and we particularly love the organic root wood table paired with the glossy round metal piece for contrast. On the third level, bedrooms receive similar treatment with a combination of cool and warm features by extending the color palette and adding textured bedding, a macramé stool, wood and metal furnishings, and contemporary art. Gardens Plan 1 creates a stylish canvas where homebuyers can easily experience the incredible lifestyle at Lantana @Beach!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Say It With Art

What is it about the allure of contemporary art? Everyone on the Chameleon team agrees art is essential to every installation because there’s nothing like the authentic and intimate feel of a thoughtfully selected piece that speaks to the soul of a space. Loosely translated, contemporary art refers to the ‘art of today,’ or art created from roughly the latter half of the 20th century to the present. With no unifying style or ideology, contemporary art is true freedom of expression, with a mix and blend of various styles, movements, methods, and materials. This type of free-range approach and lack of cohesion is part of what makes this style so appealing. There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to contemporary art, only what speaks to YOU.

Art beautifully distinguishes a home and expresses the character and personality of its inhabitants in a way nothing else can. Install a large-scale piece as a powerful departure from a gallery wall, or group several mid-size pieces in similar styles or colors. A collection of abstract art is a great option for our model homes because it brings welcome color, interest, and beauty to a room that’s subject-matter neutral and appealing to most buyers. Research also indicates mental health benefits associated with experiencing art, and we’ve written about the associations between good design, beauty, and happiness (check out our blog post here). Art is as essential to our projects as a sofa or dining table, and our happy clients agree!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

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Photo Credit: Chameleon Design

Photo Credit: Chameleon Design