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Is It Time for a Redesign or a Refresh?

Spring is certainly in the air and our thoughts turn to our own personal spring cleaning and editing, as well as to our clients who want to refresh their interiors. Here are a few of my “rules of thumb” and ideas for updating designs for those who aren’t really ready for a full new look:

Spruce up a room with a new rug
Perhaps you have a traditional oriental rug, why not try replacing it with a fun striped rug that will bring summer brightness to your room. Or a sisal blend rug can instantly freshen up a room.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Add some new color and patterns with pillows
Fresh, new pillows can make a great deal of difference when you want to spruce up a bit. There are lots of great sources that can provide a quick colorful update, at a range of prices. Choose pillows that do not match the upholstery fabric in order to add a different color and texture.

Photo: Chameleon Design

A fresh coat of paint
New paint is an inexpensive way to decorate for spring and can add a lot of color to your design. And don’t just think in terms of walls…what about a fresh new color on a dated piece of furniture. Re-upholstering a key item will give you a like-new piece for a smaller price tag.

Organize your library and arrange your books in a new order
Nothing is lovelier than a beautiful, neat library or bookshelf. Adding accessories to a bookcase updates the look, as does painting the back of the shelves in an accent color or using wallpaper along the back.

Photo: Pinterest

Consider a crisp new duvet cover and sheets
This gives us such a feeling of elegance and what a great way to pamper yourself! One of my favorite places to look for well-priced sheets is Bed, Bath & Beyond and the Bloomingdale’s Home Store.

Photo: Pinterest

Spruce up your guest room for summer guests
Update the linens, add some fresh flowers and consider a new reading chair or beautiful lamp on the bedside table.

Update your tabletops and china
New tabletop items, such as china, glassware, or linens can give an entirely new look to your breakfast or dining room for a reasonable cost.

Photo: Heath Ceramics

Editing is also a great way to update interiors
Sometimes it can be difficult to part with or put things away temporarily, but this effort can be very helpful in giving

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interiors a new look. I tell clients to go room by room and take out one or two things that they are tired of. And if you feel it looks empty replace it with something new, vintage, or antique…depending on your concept and willingness to mix.

Now that spring is here and your home has a fresh look, fill it with beautiful flowers from your garden or the local flower market and enjoy!

Home Design Trends // Rattan

Rattan is the name for nearly 600 species of palms that are native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia. While wildly popular in the 70’s, wicker furniture first became all the rage in England and America during the 17th and 18th centuries, and it’s coming back with a vintage vengeance!

Woven Cane Side Table, Mecox

Decorative Pillow, Horchow

Wegner Circle Chair, Danish Design Store

Chameleon Design Featured Project // Bethlehem Tower, Santa Rosa

Chameleon Design recently installed a beautiful Senior’s Apartment building in Santa Rosa, CA. Our client purchased the building and did a complete remodel of all of the units and common areas. The style is California Ranch with a pale aqua and sage green color palette. Rustic pine accent pieces warm up the various rooms and the floors were done in a laminate with a washed wood look, which not only looks great, but allows the seniors with walkers and wheelchairs to move through the spaces with ease.

When we work on a rehab of an existing affordable seniors apartment building such as this, people often get worried that the new owner is going to raise the rent and they won’t be able to afford to live there anymore, but that is not the case at all. On the first day of our installation of furniture, art and accessories, we overheard a lady in saying to another, “oh my goodness, these new owners must really like us, this is beautiful.” It’s comments like that one that makes our job all that much sweeter! 

Lobby

Library

Social Hall

Rear Court

Home Design Trends // Chain Link

Chains are everywhere—from patterns on pillows to prints on plates, this is the must-have look of the moment. Check out some of our picks for on-trend, yet classic pieces for your home:

Paxton End Table, Arteriors Home

Betty June Mirror, Currey & Company

Chain Link Floor Lamp, Zinc Door

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Chain Link Curtain, William Lyon Design Studio

Is the Formal Living Room a Thing of the Past?

The formal living room, once the centerpiece of the American home, has been dwindling in size for several years. Now it’s being eliminated in many new home plans. Most new houses still have large rooms with deep seating and media, but they’re called great rooms rather than living rooms. And unlike their more formal predecessors, they’re usually open to the kitchen, the better to accommodate casual family activities. As a private, set-off area, the living room is losing its form.

In today’s homes, the kitchen is king. We no longer hide it; we open other rooms up to it. People work so much away from home, that when they are home, they want to relax. They’re still entertaining, but it’s less formal than it once was. Now, when you have company, everybody wants to stand in the kitchen near the center island. Today’s open floor plans help to foster togetherness for time-strapped families. When families are together, they want to be together, not separated in different rooms.

All that said, the living room still has its devotees. Some buyers will enter a model and ask, ‘where is the living room?” Though they tend to be more mature, and often they’ve accumulated a lot of beautiful living room furniture and need a place to put it. But even people who insist on having a living room are satisfied with much less space than in the past. Today’s living rooms are about as small as they can get- just big enough to hold a sofa, a chair and a coffee table. They’re not the big showcase they used to be.

What do you think-  is the living room dead? And how have you reinvented it in your home?

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design (Gold National Award Winner)

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Mirador, Plan 5 // San Juan Capistrano

Mirador Rancho San Juan Plan 5 has a contemporary, elegant look. The decor includes modern, dark furniture, clean upholstery styling, large abstract art canvases on the walls and polished accessories with Asian accents. Everything was done with a color palette of chocolate, orange and white, which paired well with the creamy limestone flooring that’s extended throughout the home. The kitchen is one of our favorite rooms, with an island so big you could park a car on it! This model also boasts a home gym and a casista with a living room, bedroom and private bath for guests.  Plan 5 has everything a homeowner could ask for.

Kitchen

Living Room

Dining Room

Capistrano Room

Office

Theatre

Master Bedroom

Nursery

Gym

Front Exterior

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Mirador, Plan 4 // San Juan Capistrano

Plan 4 at Mirador Rancho San Juan has a casual, comfortable style that we feel is very appealing to many California residents. A soft color palette of aqua, pale green and creamy white helped us achieve the soothing, coastal style we were going for. Floors were done in a natural light wood and the wood cabinets in the kitchen are a worn, ivory color which have a nice, beachy feel. To take the look further, we incorporated other beach elements into the accessories and small touches throughout the home.

Front Exterior

Living Room

Living Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Great Room

Great Room

Dining Room

Dining Room

Capistrano Room

Capistrano Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bath

Master Bath

Loft

Loft

Rear Exterior

Rear Exterior

Combining Wallpaper and Artwork

As long as there has been wallpaper, serious art collectors have lined their wallpapered walls with art. With its repeat pattern, wallpaper is designed as a background, to lend a unifying structure to a room. Even if it’s a bold design, wallpaper complements, rather than competes with, art. Wallpaper is a fantastic way to dress up a bland wall, but its artistic design can pose a problem when you want to display artwork on that same wall. In fact, this dilemma can pose real design headaches for experienced professional designers, not to mention the at-home designer. Fortunately, there are a few rules of thumb to guide you through this home décor challenge.

Before you commit to hanging artwork on a wallpapered wall, you should be sure that you will like the visual impact. With ordinary drywall, it is not difficult to patch over a hole and repaint a small area as long as you have kept a sample of the paint on hand. With wallpaper, however, it is nearly impossible to cover up or hide a hole once it has been made. Aside from placing the hole to hang your frame in a busy area of the wallpaper so that it is less noticeable should you have a change of heart.

Photo: Pinterest

Think about the size of the artwork; on busy wallpaper, anything framed smaller than 11×17 is at risk of getting “lost”. Be selective. When working on a wallpapered surface, one work of art that makes a statement is frequently a better choice than several smaller works.

Photo: Pinterest

Go with a neutral colored frame, especially if your tastes are less eclectic. And use a wider mat, or artwork with negative space around the edges, to separate the art from the wall.

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Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Putting artwork on top of wallpaper can be a commitment. Be sure that you know what not to do before taking on this project. Your walls, and sanity, will thank you for it!

Home Design Trends // Copper Accents

When people think of copper in their homes, kitchenware and plumbing pipes are what usually come to mind. But that perception is about to change. While copper plumbing and wiring continue to perform in the home, the aesthetic beauty and durability of copper are making it the material and color of choice for home décor and accents inside and out.

Copper Pendant Lamp, Tom Dixon

Copper Chair, Blu Dot Furniture

Copper Cutlery, Sambonet

Copper Plates

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Mirador, Plan 3 // San Juan Capistrano

Mirador at Rancho San Juan offers a range of estate-scaled family residences.  Plan 3 is one of four models we recently completed for in this quaint community in San Juan Capistrano. This is a Spanish style plan, very popular in southern California, but with an eclectic twist. For a more modern take on this traditional look, we used color palette of teal, brown and green. The brightly colored fabrics work nicely with the mix of dark and light furniture, the warm look that the hand scraped wood flooring lends and the light-colored walls.

Entry

Living Room

Kitchen

Dining Room

Capistrano Room

Capistrano Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bath

Bedroom

Nursery

Front Exterior