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Design Tips for Guy-Friendly Spaces

It can be tricky to decorate a space with a guy in mind. The definition of “masculine” means different things to different people but doesn’t have to mean a pool table, big screen television and brown leather furniture. Design is personal and it’s impossible to narrow one gender’s style down to a handful of characteristics. One thing we do know for sure, and we’ve learned this with years of experience, is that whether a space is designed by a man or for a man, there are always a few things that stand out as being necessary to incorporate. It’s not a catchall for guy style, but here are some tips gleaned from stylish bachelor pads and other guy-friendly spaces that should make designing your masculine space a little bit easier:

Be Functional: Men are utilitarian, as they love to think in practical terms. That’s why functional spaces that incorporate things such as multi-purpose spaces and versatile storage units are the keys to any guy space.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Pinterest

Define your space with something surreal: Maybe it’s an abstract painting or sculpture. Or maybe it’s turning a Manhattan high-rise into a wood-like setting with forest wallpaper. Either way, adding something outside the box will help give your space character.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Chameleon Design

Find the perfect chair: Every guy needs that one spot where he can kick back and enjoy a book, a movie, a glass of scotch or soda, or great conversation. Keep in mind there are a lot of amazing chairs out there that are just as comfortable as a Lazy Boy, but won’t be an eye sore in your living room.

Lounge Chair & Ottoman, Eames

Hans Wegner, Papa Bear Chair

Home Design Trends // Wallpapered Accent Walls

Sometimes a room just gets better with a little pow of wallpaper. This is why the wallpapered accent wall has become such a big trend in design. Just as with a painted accent wall, a wallpapered accent wall can completely make a room. Just make sure that the accent wall you choose is the main wall in the room, such as the wall behind the bed or sofa. It should be the first wall you see when you walk into a room, and a great wallpaper will immediately draw your eye. Here are a few examples of wallpapered accent walls done well:

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Houzz

GuestRm_Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Pinterest

Home Design Trends // Plywood Furniture

Plywood furniture pieces are typically contemporary, straddling the line between simple and sculptural. They have an overall minimalist modern nature, but their statement-making details are what we love. We’ve noticed a huge trend in furniture design gravitating toward plywood and particle board products. Why? Well, plywood is flexible, cheap, workable & recyclable. It is also resistant to cracking, shrinkage, and twisting/warping. And last but not least, it’s more eco-friendly and sustainable than hardwood. Is plywood the new hardwood?  It just may be…

Cherner Armchair

Eric Pfeiffer Mag Table

Plywood Office End Table

 

Chameleon Design Featured Project // The Rows, Milpitas

The Rows town homes in Milpitas, CA were designed with a bohemian feel to appeal to a young, hip buyer as a first residence.  The close proximity to Silicon Valley means that buyers will likely be a mix of busy professionals, working couples and starter families, as well as a variety of international ethnicities. To attract those types, the builders chose Urban Craftsman architecture and we designed the interiors with a contemporary flair. We used smokey greys, browns and creamy textures as our base colors, such as with the rug and brick wall in the living room/dining room.  We also added a lot of bright pops of color like purple, citron green and fuchsia which made the models feel youthful and modern.

A fun challenge we faced with the space was the narrow living room/dining room area. As a solution, rather than using a small dining table in the dining room, we extended the living area by adding an armless piece and pushing a table and two chairs up against it. That trick expanded the seating while upping the inviting factor of the space at the same time. The other issue with narrow spaces is that they tend to have less natural light and can feel dark. To remedy that we painted the brick a light color and added track lighting to brighten things up.

Living Room

Living Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Dining Area Detail

Dining Area Detail

Entry Detail

Entry Detail

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Office

Office

Learn to Love Your Home

Loving your home doesn’t mean it has to be perfect. We all have things we’d like to change, but sometimes being happy with your house isn’t about perceived shortcomings, it’s about learning to appreciate the small things. A fresh coat of paint in a different shade, new pillows on the couch, a lovely scented candle and fresh flowers are all small things that attribute in a big way to how happy you feel in your house. Start with the small things and before you know it, you’ll have a happier, healthier, calmer or more energizing place to live in. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to take a new look at your house so that you’ll enjoy it even more.

Get Organized
Plan for the storage of things you know you’ll be accumulating, such as family photographs, your kids’ artwork and financial records and find a tidy way to tuck them away. You’d be surprised by the storage areas you can find in unexpected places around your house. Consider bins that tuck underneath a bench or console for gathering household items like shoes or toys. Woven baskets are a nice way to collect children’s toys, while cutting back on clutter and clean up time.

Photo: Architectural Digest

Make it Personal
Whether you live in a custom-built home, a townhouse or a rental, you can make it feel like you. Honoring your tastes, as they relate to decor, art, paint color, etc., will allow you to stay true to yourself and make your home beautiful too.

Photo: Kimberley Genevieve

Create a calm place
What makes a home peaceful? We know as soon as we see or feel it, but creating it in our own homes can be difficult. Most peaceful spaces share certain things in common: serene color palettes, filtered light and plenty of easy-to-implement tidiness tricks. Try integrating strategies into your own home for a simply calming space.

Photo: Pinterest

Pare down 
Simplifying your life can give you more time, space and happiness. This doesn’t mean giving up all of your favorite furniture. It’s about embracing what you really love and learning to let go of the rest. Work on creating simple systems that work for you and your home and stick with them!

Photo: Architectural Digest

Bring the Outdoors In
Plants and flowers are an absolute must for any home. Pick up fresh flowers at the market with you’re doing your weekly shopping, stick them in a vase and take note of how much you enjoy them throughout the week. Plants will last even longer and keep the air clean! If you don’t have a green thumb, try succulents. Their colors are soothing and soft and they can go for weeks when you forget to water them. Simple touches of nature  can make a big difference and an easy change.

Photo: Pinterest

Chameleon Design Featured Project // Old Favorites

We’ve worked on hundreds of projects over the years at Chameleon Design and we love looking back at photos. The ones that stand out as favorites are those that are still as cool and relevant today as they were when we designed them. Here are some highlights from past projects that we’d do just the same today!

Presentation Board: High Demand Color & Pattern Trends

A presentation board is a standard way for designers like us to show clients our vision for a space. In addition to many years of experience, there is a tremendous amount of thought and creativity that goes into creating a conceptual plan for a home. The board may look like just a collage of pretty colors and ideas, but it’s actually a science and skill to be able to learn how to appeal to the target buyer. From a young professional, to a first time buyer, to a family, to an empty nester, each buyer is going to be looking for something different and it’s our job to know what that is!

Once we know our demographic, we start by developing a color scheme. We’re able to draw inspiration from all over the place but magazines and mail order catalogs such as West Elm, Restoration Hardware and Crate & Barrel are excellent sources. They have new pieces always being introduced and they won’t hesitate to drop items that aren’t selling. This gives us a good idea of what’s “in,” and what people are responding to, as well as trends in the marketplace. Fabric manufacturers are also helpful in determining trends and getting new ideas. From color schemes to patterns, if we’re seeing something being used by a variety of manufacturers, it definitely catches our eye.

Here are some photos we snapped of four presentation boards, each for a different plan in the Roundtree housing development. You’ll see things like fabric swatches, wood and tile samples and photos that

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will eventually come to life in the model!

The Z Gallerie Collection

The West Elm Style

The Pottery Barn Classic

The Williams-Sonoma Home

Home Design Trends // Rope

Rope continues to be pushed and pulled by designers in new and intriguing ways, and with good reason. It has a natural quality that adds a nice texture accent to any environment. It can also work with a variety of styles including beachy, industrial, rustic or even bohemian. Any way you tie it together, rope

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decor is hot! Here are some examples that we like for using rope in your home decor:

Rope Twist Chandelier, CaronsBeachHouse.com

Place mat, Pottery Barn

 

Serving Spoons, JaysonHome.com

Rope Hurricane, Nate Berkus for Target

 

Rope Stair Railing, Pinterest

 

Home Design Trends // Glass Window Backsplash

An unexpected and beautiful window backsplash can bring style and light into any kitchen. Whether you opt for a single window or a long row of glass, low-profile windows or full-height windows, it will make your kitchen feel more open and brighter. A window framing the great outdoors could be all the artwork you need in your space. Need some convincing? Take a look at some of my favorite backsplash windows below.

Photo: Eric Olsen Design

Photo: Architectural Digest

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Houzz

Photo: Architectural Digest

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Capri Plan 7 // Brightwater, Huntington Beach

Capri Plan 7 is a great room concept floor plan with 4 bedrooms, 4 and a half baths and a loft. This model has a charming “Garden Cottage” style that feels friendly and inviting. For the decor, we worked with a color palette of crisp white, charcoal and light gray, with pops of fresh lime and kelly green. A mix of elegant and casual styles were used for furniture by combining dark wood tones, like the warm wood plank flooring, with painted furniture pieces and slipcover look upholstery. Our favorite feature of Plan 7 is the “Capistrano Room,” an outdoor room with a large TV and fireplace, plus a patio and outdoor dining area with BBQ.

Exterior

Exterior

Great Room

Great Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Living Room

Living Room

Huntington Room

Huntington Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bath

Master Bath

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 2

Loft

Loft

Rear Exterior

Rear Exterior