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How to Hang Art Like a Pro

The excitement of purchasing a new piece of art can quickly turn to stress when it comes time to hang it.  Keep reading for valuable tips and suggestions for creating your very own in-home art exhibits:

Mix it up:
Think about what you have to work with.  Do you have three canvas art pieces? Then use them in different rooms. Mix in photography, art that is framed with a glass face, metal art, etc.  When arranging multiple pieces, don’t just think in terms of a grid. Salon installations- a grouping of often different images or frames clustered together- are becoming very popular.  Such installations often stretch from wall to wall and floor to ceiling and there’s no right or wrong way to do it.  Simply start in the middle and work your way out.

 

Hang Art at Eye-Level:
The most common question when it comes to hanging art is what is the proper height to hang it? When hanging a single piece on a wall, the center should be approximately 62 inches above the floor, which places it at eye level.  When hanging a pair of works, one above the other, treat them as one large piece (whether they’re the same size or not).  Find the center point between them, and use the same 60 inch rule.  Groupings should have approximately 2-3 1/2” spacing between the pieces. And the larger the pieces, the wider the spacing.

Hang Safely & Correctly:
Hanging a beloved or expensive piece of art can be stressful, because if it’s not secured properly, it can come crashing down to the floor.  And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to hammer nails into studs, or install drywall anchors to support art. Here’s how to do it:

• Use picture-hanging hooks, rather than heavy nails or screws:
Although they may seem dainty, they are very secure.  The picture hooks go into the wall on an angle, like a cat’s claw—it’s a whole different set of physics.

• Buy the right type of hook for your artwork’s weight:
There are basically three types: a one-nail picture hook holds things that are 30 pounds or lighter, a two-nail picture hook holds pieces that are about 50 pounds and three-nail picture hook holds pieces that are about 75 to 100 pounds.

• Use two picture hooks per artwork:
Not only does this provide added security but it helps art remain level over time, compared to items hung from a single point.

• When possible, install two D-rings, rather than a wire, on the backs of frames, to hang from the picture hooks. This way the piece is stationary, and not swinging on a wire, so there’s no pendulum effect involved.

• Use a level and ruler to ensure that both the picture hooks and D-rings are aligned when installed.

Recruit someone to assist you:
A helper can hold pieces against the wall before you begin hammering in the picture hooks,  so you can step back and make sure you like the way the space looks like with the piece there.  You get
a sense of the proportions and colors, and see it against all the other design elements.

We hope these tips prove helpful for your art hanging adventures!

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Waterman Junction, Barstow

For this project, Chameleon Design transformed the Harvey House restaurant in the middle of Barstow into an information center launching a new 80,000 home development. Dating back to 1885, the building used to be an old railroad depot. The building’s historical designation lead to considerable construction constraints. We made it work for us by drawing on original features such as the Doric columns, box beam ceilings and hammered copper chandeliers to infuse elements of the past with fresh modern styling.

 Original columns at entry.

 

 Bold patterns on upholstered chairs recall the feel of a passenger train car and standing displays resolve the problem of no wall space.
 On the solitary usable wall, one finds an enormous map suspended with steel and custom wood framing.

 

 Welcoming windows, lively carpet tiles, and a rich gem-like palette all signal a Barstow with vitality, history and community where new residents and homeowners can imagine beginning a new.

Let Your Light Shine: Lighting and why it’s important to the overall look and feel of a room.

Lighting is unbelievably important in creating the right look and feel in any space. It creates the mood in each room definitely deserves some special thought and attention. If you are moving into a new space, make sure that lighting is considered in your planning. If you’re in an existing space and you’d like to re-do your lighting, hiring an electrician is your best bet. They can help explain your options and make sure that you stay within your budget.  Here are some pointers from Chameleon Design in making sure you’ve got your bases covered when it comes to lighting in your home:

Install Dimmers
One mistake that we find people often make is not putting dimmers on all of their lights. Any switch can be converted for $100 or less, and the amazing results you’ll get when you can control the mood in the room will be well worth the cost!

Use Different Light Sources
We always recommend that every room have three different light sources: Accent Lighting for highlighting small spaces, Task Lighting for specific purposes such as reading and Ambient Lighting for general illumination purposes. For accent lighting, overhead lighting in the form of recessed cans or tracks are best. You can use these to brightly light specific areas or a piece of artwork. Table lamps or occasional reading lamp covers task lighting, and ambient lighting can be achieved with decorative sconces, chandeliers or other lamps. You’ll find that if your living areas are complete with these different light sources, it can transform the look and feel of the entire room.

Make the Switch to LED
All this additional lighting may have you worrying about your electricity bill. But a switch to LED can solve this problem in a snap. LED products are relatively new to many sectors of the lighting marketplace and are currently enjoying a big surge in popularity.  Though it has a higher upfront cost, LED lighting has many benefits that will save you money in the long run.  Benefits are: high energy efficiency, durability, versatility and a longer life span compared to incandescent and fluorescent lighting.  LED lights have a 50,000 hour life span and do not burn out.  After time, they will start to diminish about 30% of the light until they eventually fade out.  The wattage required to power an LED bulb is a mere fraction of that required for standard incandescent light bulbs. This means big energy savings for the homeowner, while also reducing environmental impact!

If you have any questions, or to request additional information, LED Power Inc. (www.ledpower.com) in Irvine is our go-to source for all of our LED lighting needs!

 

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Granville at Central Park West, Irvine

For this project we used our Earthy, Urban Natural scheme and added some Industrial Elements mixed with reclaimed wood pieces to inspire an Eco-Friendly buyer.  The wood flooring starts at the entry and into the downstairs office, then continues on the second floor living spaces and then again is repeated on the third floor landing/day trader space to lead you up.

Office

Office

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Living Room

Living Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

The dining table had to have a “wow” factor, since you walk right into the side of it on the second floor, so we chose a slab of wood with a live edge and added the industrial metal stools for seating.  The stools worked well because they didn’t take up too much space.

Chameleon Design Studio/Showroom Update

We’re still working on the new Chameleon Design offices and wanted to update you with some behind the scenes news! As mentioned in our last post about the new offices, we tackle design dilemmas that can also apply to the home. When moving into a new space, two of the biggest factors are making sure you successfully integrate the old with the new, while maintaining beauty and functionality.

Take Existing Things Into Account
When you’re looking for a new space, do an inventory of the bigger items you already own, and make sure they will work within it. With our space, we knew we wanted to use our existing commercial office furniture, as well as some furniture from the store that we wanted to keep and integrate. We found a building with polished concrete floors that we knew would look great with our metallic green Systems Office Furniture. This was a big factor is choosing the space, because the cost of replacing the furniture would have been huge. Once you know you can fit your bigger ticket existing items into the new space, you can begin to fill in the holes with new items.

 Brick, Metal and Concrete

 

 Metallic Green Systems Furniture

Function and Beauty
Another important design element is to make your new space look great AND be functional. The same goes for any home or office, as you obviously want it to look great, but if you can’t really live or work in it, you’re doing something wrong. In designing the Chameleon Design offices, everything is driven from two things: they must be functional in terms of helping our clients in the most cost-effective and time efficient manner, and they must look beautiful and demonstrate our design abilities, while integrating items we already own to save on costs.

The multi-use space will have offices where people are working, as well as a showroom area with store inventory set up in vignettes so that clients can see possible design directions. There will also be an interior design library that will need to be functional and easy to use, but look fabulous and organized at the same time!  Also, as we discussed in our last showroom update, there are office areas in the space with walls that do not go all the way to the ceiling.  We decided to address the sound transmission issue but putting in upper glazing.  As you can see below, we raised the walls in the office areas, to give added privacy, but left them lower in adjacent areas that may serve as more general areas such as the showroom.

Upper glazing to address sound transmission

 

Raised walls for offices are left low in adjacent areas

We hope these design tips will help you when moving into your next home (or office) and please don’t hesitate to contact us at Chameleon Design for some additional guidance.

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Belmont Plan One, San Elijo Hills in San Marcos

This project won Chameleon Design a SoCal Award this past weekend! The space that we had to work with was very small, but was done so well that it shows much bolder and stronger than the budget of $18 per square foot. Check out the photos and we’re sure you’ll agree:

Entry

Entry

Kitchen & Dining Room

Kitchen & Dining Room 

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Office

Office 

Nursery

Nursery

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Olive Street, Downtown Los Angeles

A perfect location for seniors deciding where their “new” home is going to be, 740 S. Olive Street is a historic building that’s been updated. This 13-story building provides affordable senior living in the heart of Los Angeles and Chameleon Design put a little glitz and glam into its art deco bones.

All of the interiors were redone to include: the lobbies, recreation room, exercise room, theater room, offices and hallway interior specifications, while maintaining the art deco historical features. See the ceiling detail in the lobby, the gold leaf mural in the lobby seating area and the glass block wall in multi-purpose room.

Resident Reverend Hannah couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked after the remodel and said: “I can’t believe this is my home. I am so happy I live here!”

Entrance

Entrance

Lobby Seating

Lobby Seating

Main Lobby

Main Lobby 

Multi-Purpose Room

Multi-Purpose Room 

Rooftop

Rooftop

Creative Roadblocks: What to Do With Trouble Areas in the Home

Every home has those rooms or areas that get left out of the design and décor mix- often because people don’t know what to do with them. Follow our blog in the coming weeks for series of “Creative Roadblocks” that we’ll help you out with. First up- the laundry room!

The Laundry Room:
The laundry room is often a room that homeowners don’t think about. Yet there are simple things that you can do to make it much more functional and maybe even show-worthy! One very helpful addition is to hang a dry bar for those items that have a tendency to shrink and delicates that need to be air-dried. A drying rack only holds a few shirts at most and can look sloppy, but a closet rod mounted on the underside of a laundry-room shelf makes a good spot for a row of shirts on hangers. The rod can also be helpful when you’re ironing to hang pressed shirts as you work.  You can see an example of this, and other features, in the photos below from various Brookfield Homes laundry rooms.  They are one of our favorite clients to work for and one of the most creative developers of new homes out there.

Speaking of ironing, the laundry room is a logical place for the ironing board to be stored, but many don’t have closets. Consider having a pullout ironing board built into the wall and you just might find yourself looking forward to the chore.

So now you’re organized and tidy, but if your laundry room feels a bit dreary, add a brighter paint to the walls such as yellow, green or turquoise. You could also consider a textured vinyl wallpaper to give you a nice, tonal texture in the room. If you do go with color on the walls, keep trim, counters and the backspash looking clean with a color like white.  Laundry rooms are busy enough with clothes everywhere, so keep your design simple. I like Caesarstone counter tops instead of granite because it creates a more uniform look. Also make sure you have adequate lighting.

 

Brookfield Homes builds great functional features and clean design into their laundry rooms.  Check out the rest of the homes in their Colony Park Anaheim development: www.livecolonypark.com.  And, as always, if you need help with your laundry room you know that we’re here for you at Chameleon Design!

Fall Is Here! What Does It Mean For Your Home?

School has started back up, it’s beginning to get dark a bit later and temperatures have begun to drop by the slightest bit. Fall is on everyone’s mind! I’m sharing some helpful hints on how to get your home nice and cozy for the season ahead.

Fall Cleaning?
Though spring-cleaning typically gets all the attention, fall should not be ignored! It may not be on the top of any Southern California residents’ to-do lists, but it’s a great way to prepare a home for the cooler winter months where much more time is spent indoors. Before the temperatures start to drop, tackle all the loose ends that build up over the year. We talked about organizing the closets a couple weeks ago, but don’t forget about the kitchen pantry, turning rugs to avoid ware, removing summer slipcovers on furniture, changing bed linens and so on. While vacationing with my family this summer in the Caribbean, I was catching up on my favorite magazines and came across some incredible cleaning checklists from homemaking maven Martha Stewart. I thought these were excellent tips to share with you, and you can check them out here: www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/fall-homekeeping-tips

Changing Seasons, Changing Wall Color:
The leaves are changing color, the weather is changing, so why not transform a room in the home with a wall color change? Painting is the quickest and most inexpensive way to give any room a new look and feel. You can even do it yourself! Over at Chameleon Design, we find ourselves getting sucked into that late-night infomercial just like the rest of you. One of our latest faves is the “Paint Zoom” paint gun www.paintzoom.com. This can turn anyone into a pro, and make transforming a room with a color change a low-cost breeze that anyone can do.

Also, consider painting one accent wall as opposed to a warmed background color on all four walls.  An accent wall is traditionally a brightly-colored wall added to a room where the other three walls are white.  They draw your eye to a particular part of the room and give you a chance to play around with color in your house in a new way.  When deciding what wall to use, look for the natural focal point in the room.  If you have a fireplace, you can make the room more dramatic by painting the wall around it a different color.  The wall behind a bed’s headboard or an important piece of furniture are also great options.  When there is no natural focal point in a room, you can create one. Look around- where do you want the eye to go first?  Here are a few examples to illustrate this design technique:

This orange bedroom accent wall is a bold choice but works with the mostly neutral decor colors and the pops of color on the bed tie it all together.

 The accent wall in this office brightens up the room and creates a focal point around the desk.

Chameleon Design Is Getting A New Home

We’re taking you behind the scenes of our studio construction and design in progress!

We’ve acquired a new space for Chameleon Design and we’re working hard on building out and creating our new design offices. Throughout the process, some unexpected design dilemmas have come up and we’ve had to put our heads together to come up with the best ways to address them. Read about how we handled them, as the tips may come in handy in your design adventures as well!

Comfort and Functionality:
When designing a new space, professional designers have to think about functionality before we even begin to consider furniture and decor elements. In our space, which was built with a contemporary feel, the walls between each room and office do not go all the way to the ceiling. This may look cool, but in actuality this is not ideal for offices. The open space can allow sound to travel, as well as make temperatures hard to control. There is nothing more miserable than too much noise or being too hot or cold when you’re trying to get your work done! We came up with a concept to put clear glazing on the upper areas that look almost like windows, and reach to the ceiling. This way the light is still able to travel through, allowing that airy feel to remain, but sound is kept at a low.

For the storage room, we decided to add a door and an air conditioner vent, and make this the home of the computer system. No one wants to see the ugly wires all over the place, so tucking all of this away is a great idea. This was most definitely the best use of the storage closet.

We mainly think of hiring a professional designer to make things look pretty in the home. Though that is definitely important, making sure the space is functional ranks just as high. If you need to re-think the function of any spaces in your home, Chameleon Design can help you do it.

Stay tuned through the coming weeks for more updates on the progress of this project!