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Chameleon Design Featured Project: Lexington Plan 2, Valencia

One of the newest trends in the housing industry is multi-generational living. Lennar has answered the demand by designing a home within a home that allows extended family to all live together- with private, separate living spaces. The unique floor plan includes a one bedroom apartment with its own entrance, bedroom, bath, kitchenette and living area. The apartment also has a lockable door that connects it to the house.

Chameleon Design was brought on to design the Lexington Plan.  The challenge was to create a comfortable spacious feeling, while about a third of the space on the first floor is taken up by the apartment within the home.   We were able to strike a balance between crisp and cozy with an updated farmhouse style.  The home is designed for a young family and a live in mother-in-law, so we liked the idea of being drawn in by the worn-in pieces, but didn’t want a flea market look.

We accomplished this by devoting some space to modern display.  The bonus room upstairs had clean framed game boards and the physical graffiti (this happened organically from pencils we left for the kids to draw with). Mom’s desk in the kitchen is a nice feature too.

Apartment

Apartment

 

Apartment Bedroom

Apartment Bedroom

Dining Room

Dining Room

Family Room

Family Room 

 

Kitchen Nook

Kitchen Nook

Bonus Room

Bonus Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

 

Nursery

Nursery

Outdoor Living Rooms

Expanding the interior

Never my as a home sanctuary beyond the backdoor by designing and creating lush, relaxing, outdoor rooms is huge right now in home design. Home buyers are looking for private outdoor spaces that blend seamlessly with the indoors and builders are responding to the demand. These are especially perfect for Southern California where our weather is enjoyable more often than not. The addition can be used for outside dining and entertainment year-round.

The desire to integrate outdoor living into our daily lives by creating these finished outdoor living rooms often requires a few bells and whistles. We love a built-in fireplace and/or kitchen. Done well, outdoor living rooms are furnished with all weather furniture, accessories and rugs, professional outdoor kitchens, and outdoor lighting- all of which rival indoor furnishings for beauty and functionality. Extras such as pizza ovens and wine fridges are icing on the cake.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

 Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Architectural Digest

Photo: Architectural Digest

Home Design Trends: Geometrics

Nothing adds interest to a space like a bold geometric print. These eye-catching designs can really help liven up your interiors and transform your living space to create a contemporary look and feel.
From an area rug to a small accent such as a colorful throw, find a way to incorporate this trend into your home. You won’t be disappointed!
 

Rug: Vanderhurd.com

Rug: Vanderhurd.com

Throw, Jonathan Adler

Throw, Jonathan Adler

Tray: Apartment48.com

Tray: Apartment48.com

Kitchen Desks

A big trend right now in residential design is a built-in desk in the kitchen. I happen to love this trend because, if you’re like me, the kitchen is the one room in my house where I spend the most time. It’s always where the action is, and who doesn’t like to be apart of the action?

We’re all leading busy lives and those with children still at home can be even busier. In order to get it all done and stay sane, we have to learn to multi-task. Therefore, having a desk in the kitchen where you can pay bills, answer emails, make grocery and to-do lists, all while cooking and doing the laundry, is a genius idea! It becomes the nerve center for all of the household items that you need easy access to. Here are some photos we found of kitchen desks done right:

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest 

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

 

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Valinda Plan 4, San Juan Capistrano

Chameleon Design worked with Woodbridge Pacific on this project.  The home is 3,817 square feet, five bedrooms and 4.5 baths.  The style is what we call an “Updated Hacienda.”  The colors are rich natural tones of caramel, copper, deep teal, cream and olive, and the floors are done with Moroccan pavers, tying the style together nicely.

My favorite thing about this home is the open kitchen which looks onto the Capistrano room (the 447 square foot outside room). I also love the family room which has an option to have a bonus room, shown in the photos below. It’s a wonderful family home.

Exterior

Exterior

Living Room

Living Room

Family Room

Family Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Dining Room

Dining Room 

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom 

Office

Office

Home Design Trends: Faux Bois

Faux bois, French for false wood, imitates the look of real wood and was all the rage in modern design of the 1930’s and 40’s. Today, we’re seeing faux bois wall coverings, place mats, vases and more- all with a fun and contemporary twist. The traditional rustic motif is suddenly very hip, so get your hands on some of these great pieces!

Photo: Devinecorp.net

Photo: Devinecorp.net 

Photo: Martha Stewart Collection

Photo: Martha Stewart Collection

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Decorating in a Day

Small decor changes make a big impact in a home’s look. Here are some fast and inexpensive quick fixes that deliver big results without a lot of effort. 

Organize with Trays
Corral items like TV remotes on a tray on the coffee table. Put liquor bottles, glasses, and bar accoutrements on a tray in the living or dining room.

  Photo: Pinterest

Display Children’s Art
Display drawings in a colorful frame, or in a white frame with a colored mat. Hang them in an otherwise unimaginative space. They’re full of spirit, and meaningful.

 Photo: Pinterest

 
Paint an Accent Wall 
Wake up a wall with brightly colored paint. A cheery color goes a long way in a small space so limit it to one wall in a room. This color would be especially effective in a north-facing room that doesn’t get a large amount of natural light. 

Photo: Pinterest

Remove Upper Cabinet Doors
If you love the look of glass cabinets, but want an affordable alternative, consider removing your upper doors. Arrange your dishes and glasses in an interesting way. Put miscellaneous items in low wicker baskets that are all uniform.

 Photo: Pinterest

Reconsider Your Artwork
Put pieces in unusual places, like above a door. Lean some against a mirror or a wall.

Photo: Pinterest

Refresh the Bath
Change your shower curtain, or just the liner. Add fragrant candles and a small bouquet. Clear the counters of everything except your prettiest essentials.

 Photo: Pinterest

Update with New Sheets
Refresh your bedroom with new sheets. My favorites are white hotel-style sheets, which you can also find with a colored border. They have a classic look and you can buy them anywhere.

Remove Rugs
Take up some of your rugs. Bare wood and stone floors can be just as beautiful. Or get a carpet remnant and put it down in an unusual place, like a patio or balcony.

Accessorize with Books
Stack art, design, gardening, travel books- whatever you collect- on a table or in a cool bookcase. Books are a great accessory because they’re so personal- they reflect your interests.

Photo: Pinterest

Home Design Trends: Moroccan Magic

Moroccan is a hot new home design style that we are loving right now. Moroccan design is welcoming, warm, inexpensive and relatively easy to pull together- all wonderful traits for the home! Moroccan design combines the best of Moorish and European influences to form a beautiful union of architecture and style. It also adds a note of worldly, well-traveled sophistication to a space. The best part is, you don’t have to theme an entire room- a few simple accessories will do the trick.

Photo: Justmorocco.com

 

 Photo: abchome.com

 

 Photo: Westelm.com

How To: Throw the Perfect Outdoor Party

With the warmer evenings upon us, we can’t think of a more perfect way to cap off the day than by enjoying a leisurely dinner outside.  Whether you’re hosting a small get-together among friends or a large neighborhood potluck, you’ll entertain outdoors like a pro with our easy-to-follow ideas for outdoor parties. We’ve included tips for planning, decorating, and food prep- everything you need to get you on your way to throwing the best parties of the summer!

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Outdoor Party Planning Tips 
Follow these easy outdoor entertaining tips when organizing and planning your next outdoor party:

-Send invitations if you’re going to invite more than 12 people or if you have a theme for your outdoor party. Otherwise, call or invite guests in person.

-Ask guests if they have any food allergies or special preferences (vegetarian, kosher, diabetic, etc.), so everyone is able to enjoy the party fare.

-Lessen the stress of hosting an outdoor party by making it a potluck. Assign each guest a dish (appetizer, salad, side dish, or dessert) to contribute, so you only have to make the main dish. If you want a cohesive buffet, organize the potluck around a theme, such as Tex-Mex, Asian, or All-American.

-Mix up the seating. If you have multiple outside spaces, set up a table, chairs, and blankets throughout the yard.

-Account for anything that might prevent entertaining outside: If you think bugs, rain, heat, or cold might get in the way of your party, make sure you have a backup plan.

Table Setting & Decorating Tips 
Transform your space and add a bit of elegance to your outdoor party table with a few of our simple and easy outdoor decorating tips:

-Buy two of the same tablecloth if your patio table is too large for one to cover. Simply fold each in half and drape over the ends of the table.

-Coordinate your tablecloth, place settings, and table decorations to give your outdoor party table a coordinated look.

-Hang string lanterns from trees to make your outdoor party glow.

-Use candles on the table if you’ll be dining outdoors after dark. Votives can be set in wineglasses, jars, or tin cans with holes punched around the sides. To create magical overhead lighting, make wire cradles for jars and suspend them from trees. String icicle lights along a fence, around a porch, or through a tree or shrub for another take on whimsical outdoor lighting.

Food Prep
Keep food for your outdoor party fresh and serve it efficiently with our helpful tips:

-Keep unwanted pests away from individual dishes using wire domes, which are available at kitchenware stores.

-Serve drinks in glasses or clear bottles rather than cans, which can hide bugs in the openings. Avoiding red or yellow drinks, which can attract bugs, is another way to keep your party pest-free.

-Follow the two-hour rule: Never serve food that’s been out of the refrigerator, off the stove, or out of the oven any longer than two hours. On warm days, follow the one-hour rule. Sit down to eat for an intimate gathering, and pass the food in bowls family-style.

-For a larger crowd, set up a buffet table and stack dishes at one end so guests can help themselves.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

How To: Make Overnight Guests Feel At Home

Summertime is always a fun time of year to invite guests for an overnight or weekend stay.  It means they can linger longer at your BBQ or cocktail party and enjoy brunch with your family the next day.  So when you have guests coming to stay with you, it’s nice to go the extra mile to make your guest room especially inviting.  Now if you haven’t given much thought to your guest room (in which case you’re not alone) we’ve got good news for you!  It’s actually quite simple to make it inviting and comfortable for guests, and it can even be done at the last minute.  It’s all about the small, but important, details.  Those little touches go a long way.  Keep reading for some simple tips you can incorporate anytime to turn your spare room into a place your guests will want to come back to again and again.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

The Guest Bedroom 
First things first- the bed!  If your guests don’t get a good night’s sleep, the rest doesn’t matter. Make sure that the bed linens are freshly cleaned and laundered.  There’s nothing better than crisp, clean sheets and your guests will thank you for it.  (Use fragrance-free laundry detergent in case they have allergies).  The bed should also have plenty of layers so guests can choose the coverage they want without having to hunt through closets for extra linens. It’s nice to provide some extra pillows on the bed too.  And keep extra blankets nearby or drape a stylish, cozy throw at the foot of the bed or on a nearby chair.

Once you’ve got the bed dialed in, focus on some of the smaller details that we feel make all the difference.  The bedside table is a key guest room element, so make sure you set yours with the essentials.  A bottle of water and a glass (an all-in-one bedside carafe is a great option) is important so that guests won’t need to navigate their way to the kitchen when they’re thirsty in the middle of the night.  A pretty bouquet of fresh-cut flowers lends a charming and cheerful touch, but keep it simple.  A small bud vase will work just fine.   And stock your guest room with a few good reads, especially if there’s not a television in the room.  Go for a combination of books and magazines that are easy to flip through. Fashion, interior design and travel are all good options. If your guests are arriving in the evening, set a mellow mood with dimmed lighting and a burning, unscented candle.   It’s also nice to give guests a place to sit other than the bed.  You may need to bring a cozy chair or chaise lounge into the room but a bench or simple chair will work just fine.  And make sure to stock the closet with a few hangers- we go for the wooden option.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

 

The Guest Bathroom 
Make sure there are clean towels in every size- bath, hand and washcloth.  I also like to place a basket with a blow dryer, shampoo and conditioner, a shower cap and some shower gel, lotion and a good hand cream in the bathroom just in case my guest forgot anything at home. You can also fill the medicine cabinet with any other items they might need, such as Band-Aids or mouthwash.  A toothbrush, toothpaste and floss are also good to offer.  And don’t forget, guests don’t want to ask you for extra toilet paper.  Place a new, full roll on and store a few extras in the bathroom cabinet where guests will easily spot them.  And, for the ultimate in luxury, stock the guest bathroom with a plush robe and French-milled soaps.

 Photo: Pinterest

 Photo: Pinterest

These few simple details will go a long way towards transforming a spare room into your guest’s home away from home!