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The First Steps Inside A Model Home

Chameleon Design has a design philosophy which is built upon three key experiences we want people to have when they enter a home.  Those first few steps are so important and we work hard to make sure those impressions are good ones!  The key experiences that we believe can virtually guarantee a good first impression are:

Excite the senses
The home needs to be visually exciting of course, but there are other senses to consider as well.  A nice scent is an easy way to immediately give a good impression that the home they just entered feels nice and welcoming.  Hearing a calming sound such as running water is also pleasant and can easily be accomplished with a water element in front of the house near the front door.

Consistency in Design
People like to experience consistency in home design.  This is especially important when designing model homes, as many people will walk through the plan and they won’t be interested in buying if they don’t get a good feeling.  The flow is instrumental and considered throughout the design process. One of the first things we consider is what is happening with the style of the home before the décor.  If the home is a Cape Cod style build, we want to reflect that in the décor so there’s continuity with the structure. Once we get the style direction down, we make sure that same design concept is seen from room to room.  For example, we’ll  materials used in the kitchen for the bathrooms.  A slight variation, such a brighter colors in the kids room, will still work if you make sure to naturally tie it in to the overall style of the home. The consistency is the main thing people love about model homes and they often say they wish their own home looked that way!

The Living Room, Family Room, Kitchen and Master Bedroom all reflect the same design concept at a West Grove model in Anaheim.  Source: Chameleon Design

Clever Solutions
Every home has a different layout, and we’re always thinking about clever solutions in space planning and furniture arrangement.  It’s important to really get those down, as they make a huge difference in the look and feel of the home.  If architecturally, there’s an oddity to a room, the way we design the furniture arrangement compensates for that and it can go unnoticed. The architecture plans for the models we work with are done and approved before we even get involved in the project. So we have no choice but to make the most of it, and we know that many problems can be solved with furniture placement.

This layout is a clever furniture solution to a very narrow room.  To expand the seating we did a sectional with a bench at the dining table. Source: The Row by Chameleon Design

Where To Fake It & Where To Make It

Over the years, we’ve been given budgets of every shape and size. And one thing we’ve learned is that that no matter how big your budget is to begin with, if you’re not savvy about your purchases, you’ll always end up going over the limit of what you want to spend. We have become expert innovators in this area and have learned where to cut corners and still get the look you want in the end.  It may take a little more time and effort, but the big impact on your budget makes it time well spent.

If you want to reduce your overall budget, take it line by line and see where you can make adjustments through researching potential alternative options. Flooring is a big area where you can cut costs without compromising the look you’re trying to achieve. There’s a huge variance in prices here, as there are a ton of options. Solid wood planks, engineered wood planks and vinyl planks to name a few, and the cost difference in these materials is extraordinary. Bedding is another element that you can easily find yourself spending thousands on if you’re not careful. If you go to a store like Bloomingdale’s, you’ll spend a pretty penny. Try Target or Home Goods as an alternative for good quality sheets. You can always mix and match, buying less expensive sheets and splurging on pillows, for example. Integrating high and low price points will save you money too as long as you’re smart about it.

These porcelein tile and cesar stone counters are a stricking combination and both are affordably priced.

Want a brick wall? This product comes in panels, looks like the real thing and is a quarter of the price of split face brick! Plus installation is a snap.

You do need the higher price point items sometimes to get the look you need.  Just determine the must haves and then mix with high and low.  Remember that you can always upgrade things over the years.  Over time, you’ll end up with the nice quality pieces as you may slowly phase out the rest.

This pendant chandelier packs a punch and it's only $162.25!

This oversized ruler growth chart is a clever way of detailing a space and it's only $69.95.

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Capri Plan 5 // Brightwater, Huntington Beach

We’ve been featuring the sales galleries from each of the models at Brightwater in Huntington Beach over the past couple months, and it’s finally time to share photos from one of the models themselves! Capri Plan 5 is a great room concept floor plan with four bedrooms, three and a half baths and a “homework station.” The look of this plan is “natural beach chic” with creamy white, sand and aqua accents as the color palette. We used light rustic and reclaimed woods, industrial furniture and zinc accents in the design. Soft colors, layering of neutrals with aqua accents and beachy, organic textures completed the look.

Our favorite feature of this model is the “Capistrano room,” an outdoor room with a fireplace, patio, outdoor BBQ, TV & dining area. A great area that’s sure to be the most popular room in the home!

Exterior

Exterior

Living room

Living room

Nook Kitchen

Nook Kitchen

Huntington Room 1

Huntington Room 1

Huntington room 2

Huntington Room 2

Huntington Room 3

Huntington Room 3

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 2

Office

Bedroom 3

Bedroom 3

Patio

Patio

Street Scene

Street Scene

Home Design Trends // Pendant Lights

Pendant lights have a way of beautifying any room. Hanging above a dining table, kitchen bar or the reading nook in the corner of your bedroom, they look incredible just about anywhere.  The other great thing out these lamps is the wide variety that’s out there.  You can find them in any style, color or material of your liking, and to fit any budget.  Here are a few designs that we think you might love to hang in your home:

Jonathan Adler, Buenos Aires Pendant

 

Osiris Chandelier, Matthew Fairbank Design

Brasa Pendant, Ikea

Tom Dixon, Copper Shade Pendant

 

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Brightwater // Azurene Sales Gallery, Huntington Beach

Our featured projects from the Brightwater series continue this week with the Azurene Sales Gallery.

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This is the largest product type in the master plan at Brightwater, which also includes Seaglass and Capri. For Azurene we wanted the design to look upscale but also convey a relaxed, seaside living feel. To make this sales gallery look different that the other two, we used grasscloth on the walls in the main display area and incorporated reflective mercury glass elements into the decor alongside a beautiful sea urchin inspired chandelier. The sales tools are all interactive and set up on the flat screens on either side of the island for easy viewing. As mentioned before, these are the sales galleries so we’ll have photos and information on the models we’re doing coming soon.

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Home Design Trends // Suzanis

Suzanis are heirloom textiles from Central Asia and are highly sought after for their eye-catching graphics. The word suzani has Persian origin and means needle, referring to the embroidered details. The current trend of what is old is new has helped the resurgence of this old, traditional art form.  It started popping up a few years back and has remained popular for that ethnic, global, handmade look that is prevalent in many designs today.  We love the idea of dressing up an otherwise neutral contemporary room by adding a Suzani throw over the back of a simple modern couch, for example.  Here are some beautiful items to illustrate this colorful trend:

 

 

Pillows, One Kings Lane

Foot Stool, Madeline Weinrib

Wall Hanging or Throw, Ebay

Colony Palms Hotel, Palm Spring

Hallways & Transition Spaces

Hallways and foyers are important in home design and decor because that can make or break the flow of the home.  It’s important to maximize these areas so that homeowners and guests feel comfortable in the home.  Hallways or corridors are supposed to deliver people through your home, and each hallway should be an experience rather than a tunnel. We have some designer tricks up our sleeves that we often refer to when working with these spaces.

If your hallway is at the entrance of your home, entrance of a stairway or leads directly into another room, be careful not to overcrowd the walkway. Consider using furnishings that ‘hug’ the wall, such as narrow tables, rather than pieces that protrude into valuable walking area. Also utilize vertical wall space for decorative mirrors, artwork and wall lighting sconces. This way you add decorative touches visually but don’t overcrowd the walking area.

If your hallway leads to awkward intersections of adjoining rooms, stairs and entry ways, be mindful of traffic patterns when decorating. If the hallway is narrow, opt for decor on the walls instead of the floor. Another good trick is the use of details such as wainscoting, which help to bring in more presence to the space without taking up a lot of room.

Adding Texture With Patterned Floors

Adding pattern is a great way to liven up a home, and doing so isn’t always relegated to wallpaper and fabrics. Patterned floors are a design element often overlooked in home decor. Neutral appearances or hard-wearing materials are usually the top considerations when selecting flooring, but implementing pattern into the design of your floors could be just the right move.

Whether painted, tiled, or inlaid, patterned floors are a unique way to create the perfect mix of a modern, warm, and eclectic style. It can be a gorgeous way to give an otherwise simple room some personality and texture, and the options are endless. We’ve selected a few of our favorite examples to give you a little interior inspiration:

Photo: egueyseta.com

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: studioone-off.com

Home Design Trends // Bold Florals

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runway into the home, big, bold floral prints are here and they’re making a statement. Think large-scale patterns, vibrant blooms and big, bold hues. Floral prints are a bold commitment, yet they make beautiful decor statements, so if you’re a bit hesitant here are some small touches that you can incorporate into your decor without going overboard:

Mademoiselle Chair, Kartell

Poppy Print, Crate & Barrel

Tufted Settee, One King’s Lane

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Brightwater // Seaglass Sales Gallery, Huntington Beach

Brightwater in Huntington Beach is a unique new coastal community offering beautiful ocean views. Seaglass is the “middle” product type in the Brightwater master plan, offering discerning buyers more spacious floor plans and options like game and media rooms that define the essence of casual coastal living.

The Capri Sales Gallery was recently featured on the blog, and we also want to share the Seaglass Sales Gallery, which is equally impressive. The design concept for this particular space was to have a more traditional, “California coastal” feel.  We wanted it to look beachy, but not overly so.  The horizontal paneling and wingback chairs create a feeling of coastal comfort, while soft colors, aqua pottery, coral and shells add to the seaside feel. Artwork is by a local photographer and captures the local landmarks and wildlife. Photos of the models for both plans are coming soon, and in the meantime here are some photos of the Seaglass Sales Gallery to give you a taste of what’s to come:

Brightwater Sales Galleries, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/10/13.

Seaglass Sales Office

Sales Office

Meeting Room

Meeting Desk