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Decorating With Kids in Mind

When you have kids, your home and decorating style definitely change a bit.   You need to take them into consideration when making decorating choices, otherwise, you may live to regret your purchases they don’t hold up well to the wear and tear of kids. And, you probably don’t want to increase your cleaning chores or spend even more time keeping your kids away from or off of certain items!   I don’t believe you have to become a minimalist…don’t take every item off the coffee table, tear the curtains down, and pack away all of the nick-knacks yet.  It’s fun to incorporate their toys and activities into your decorating theme!  Try to compromise with whatever element you feel is delightful and attractive to your children, but never go whole hog into a kid theme.  Bridge the aesthetic gap between child and adult.  Just because you have children doesn’t mean you have to give up sophisticated design.

Flooring:
Flooring may be on your decorating list. Kids and carpet are often not a good combination. Ceramic tiles or laminated floors may be a more practical choice. If you have your heart set on carpet, consider using carpet tiles. These can be replaced easily if one becomes stained or torn.

 Photo: Flor.com

 

 Photo: Flor.com

Window & Wall Coverings:
Your choice of window coverings is extremely important because those with cords are hazards for little children. Be sure to choose cordless varieties. And think twice before buying long curtains that pool on the floor. They won’t look as nice after your child has stepped on them hundreds of times or even climbed them. Valances are good since your children won’t be able to reach them.

Wall coverings come in several kid-friendly varieties. Some paint manufacturers market paints specifically for households with children. Good semi gloss paint also works well since it can be wiped clean. Flat paints can’t be wiped without leaving a mark, but they can be touched up easily. Decide whether you prefer wielding a damp cloth or a paintbrush to get marks off of your walls. Some wallpapers are developed with kids in mind. At least get wallpaper that is scrubbable so you can wipe off marks with a damp cloth.

 Photo: ConvoyTumblr.com

Another fun tip: instead of artwork, try using wall decals in kids’ rooms.  They are safe and removable, and indestructible. And when the kids are older, the decals will peel right off without damaging the paint job.

RompBklyn.com

 

 Photo: WhatisBlik.com

Shared Areas:
Choose textiles for couches and chairs that can be easy cleaned or those that don’t show marks.  create a family room that is perfect setting for entertaining guests and equally fitting for popcorn and movies with the whole family.

Photo: LonnyMag.com

Family time around the dinner table is an important part of family life. Look for a dining table that works for both kids and adults.

Photo: Pinterest
 Photo: DucDucnyc.com

Bedroom & Nursery:
When designing for children, it’s important to consult the child within ourselves.  Consider buying grown-up pieces that have whimsy and personality, and will grow with the room as your child grows—and stay away from themes.  It’s also nice to involve your child in the decision-making process. Not only is it a great opportunity to teach them about the power of editing and compromise, but they will respect and appreciate their room all the more because it will really feel like their own.

We sometimes find that trying to decorate in a “kid” style feels constrained and forced.  Consider using proper furniture in kids’ bedrooms- things that inspire and interest them.  Think great art, cool furniture, and interesting shapes and textures that are enlivening and inspiring.

 Photo: ElleDecor.com
 Photo: Houzz.com

 

 Photo: DesignSponge.com

If you want your baby’s room to look neat, get the bones right.  Two pieces of furniture that match, like a crib and changing table, will get you going in the right direction. Invest in a good wool carpet- you can always clean it. And one good-looking lamp does wonders in a kid’s room.  No matter how messy it gets are how many toys stack up in there, you will have an elegant and coherent room underneath it all, and that will always shine through.

Photo: ShelfLife.com

You don’t want to have to close the doors to the kids rooms.  Storage is key for hiding some of the plastic stuff you hate to look at—because even if you swear it will never cross the threshold of your house, it will.  The secret is to let it go and embrace your child’s presence in the home.

 Photo: ElleDecor.com
Photo: OhDeeDoh.com
Photo: Pinterest.com

By decorating your home with your kids in mind, you can have a beautiful, low-maintenance home while reducing the time you have to spend policing your kids.

Collecting Lust

Less isn’t always more. Rooms are often made all the more alluring with the help of coveted collections. Arranged on a fireplace mantel, hung on the wall, or displayed on a console, collections of objects and art can bring a living room to life by injecting it with a homeowner’s personality. Adding collections to a home’s interior design scheme not only communicates individual passions and pursuits, but also creates a distinctive decorative statement that visitors won’t see anywhere else. An eclectic collection, from paintings to seashells to globes, can dramatically inject your home with heaps of style.

My personal collections include:  art glass paperweights, mid-century modern bottles and other glass art from that period, white pottery caves starting from the 1940’s, and globes.

 

A collection of globes placed on a table or shelf lends to a room’s playfulness, while also adding color. Viewed individually, any one of the pieces might not be so dramatic, but when clustered tightly together, the whole arrangement makes an especially striking statement.

 

In this living room a collection of photographs are united by simple black frames. As a collection, the many pieces are made more impressive by being displayed at different levels—on the wall, against a picture rail, and scattered across the floor.

 

Objects such as hats and weather vanes become wall art when grouped in a collection.

 

Chameleon Design Featured Project: The Wine Cellar, 2011 Philharmonic Design House- Newport Coast

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County has been presenting design houses since 1993. It’s their largest fundraiser and benefits their free Youth Music Education Programs which provides musical experiences and education for over 200,000 students in Orange County.   Maison de la Mer was last year’s House of Design and is a beautiful French inspired home with wonderful indoor/outdoor elements that are perfect for entertaining. Chameleon Design had the honor of designing the wine cellar.

We began with that point of view that wine is more than just a bottle to be enjoyed- it’s about an entire experience. This wine cellar and sampling room was inspired by the rustic elements of the wine country, yet we incorporated a modern edge through clean lines and natural elements.   Throughout the space you can see components from the wine making process from barrels that aged the wine, to the wooden crates that shipped the bottles. You will also see organic items that, like a fine wine, have been given their beauty through age.

Relax and enjoy conversation with friends and family around the reclaimed live-edge acacia table. It’s made of reclaimed wood and displays a leaf organically carved and made of onyx, with a sea urchin on top of it.  Adding to the relaxed feeling of the space, Joan élan Davis’ painting, Tranquility, is an an interplay of closely valued colors and varied textures in a painterly woven format. Layers of an earthy brown upon a russet upon burgundy in one palette to deep, rich greens in another lend a sense of movement to the surface.

At one end of the room is a striped buffet. A sustainable, organic and contemporary piece, the buffet is made of reclaimed teak and the stripes are formed from scrap wood in a variety of hues. Above this hangs a custom art piece commissioned for the room.  The Untitled piece is made of recycled wine crates and was done by Alex Adamonis of Woodworking LA.  Iron sconces flank the art, allowing you to see the depth and variety of the piece.

Just like the rolling hills of California wine country in the spring months, the colors chosen reflect golden yellows, vineyard greens, cabernet reds and the grey of morning fog.  The walls are textured with a Venetian-like plaster, and painted French Grey in the tasting room and Mahogany in the cellar.

Wallpaper Works

From traditional and classic to bold and graphic, wallpaper is back in a big way.   Some people may be scared off by wallpaper, with with ideas of tacky floral patterns and primary-colored stripes, but some of the freshest trends in wall coverings can be a great component to decorating your home.  We all remember the wallpaper growing up that we learned to hate, but now there are a lot of patterns that do enhance an interior.

We love wallpaper for its room-transforming, style-defining powers.  Wallpaper goes way beyond what can be done with paint. Painted finishes, although great in some spaces, don’t equate to the luxury and opulence a few rolls of wallpaper can provide.  People are often looking for ways to achieve that “wow” factor without having to add more costly items, such as tiles, stone or expensive textile fabrics, and wallpaper does a great job of it.   Here are just a few examples of the room-transforming abilities of wallpaper:

Create Coziness
Wallpaper has an amazing way of warming up a room and creating rich, layered sophistication.  It can be used in any room to create a more intimate feel.  

Photo: Pinterest

Little Gems

A busy, whimsical or interesting print can transform a small room into your home’s “jewel box.”  Powder rooms are the perfect place to use wallpaper. You can go big and bold without fear of committing to too much.

Photo: Lonny Mag

Make a Statement
Wallpapers can make almost any type of design statement.  Soft, organic lines lend a soothing touch to a room, whereas bold geometrics can really add vibrancy and energy to a dull space. 

 Photo: House Beautiful
 Photo: Mackenziehoran.com

Focalize It

Sometimes people like the idea of wallpaper but are nervous to commit to a whole room. By putting it on just one accent wall, say behind the bed in a bedroom or to create a focal point behind a sofa in a living room, you can get the upside without overdoing it.

 Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Elle Decor

Photo: Apartmenttherapy.com 
Create Art 

Everyone wants a great piece of art on the wall.  Can’t nail down that perfect picture? Why not choose decadent wallpaper?

 Photo: Capstonedwellings.com
Photo: Pinterest
 Photo: Ohdeedoh.com 
Design with Texture

Wallpaper makes a space more luxurious by adding another layer of depth to a room. Even the most subtle texture or pattern can add depth and warmth that paint cannot.

 Photo: Ohhappyday.com
Photo: Abigail Edwards


Chameleon Design Featured Project: Harmony at Colony Park, Anaheim

Chameleon Design won a Mame Award for this hip and playful Sales Office we designed at Colony Park in Anaheim.   Our idea was to use a vintage, chic design to lure in the younger buyers, as well as the “move-down” buyers looking to re-live their more youthful years.

The environment was very non-traditional for a sales office with its coffee house/lounge feel.

 

Multi-colored fabrics and patterns layered together give it that “collected” vibe.

 

Soulful tunes playing in the background and a guitar leaning in the corner may encourage someone to sit back a while and ponder a place where life is good!

Get a Jump Start on Your New Year’s Resolutions:

We’re all in holiday-mode, but the New Year is right around the corner.  If you’re like me, my resolutions always include some form of home organization.  It’s great to start a new year by doing an inventory of everything you have in storage, stacked on closet shelves, tucked away in the garage, etc.  If even a couple years go by without going through your items, there’s a good chance that there are things you don’t need or no longer want.  Get a head start on your annual organization resolutions and filter through your holiday decorations this month!

This year, I took out everything I loved, set it up for my family and guests to enjoy, and got rid of all the rest.  I gave my sister, who has a more modern home now, some great pieces that I knew she’d use, and sent the rest to a donation center.  Some of it was brand new and had never even been opened!  Now all that is left to do is box up what I actually used after the first of the year.  I’ll make things easier on myself for next year, and I got a head start on my annual organization New Year’s resolution…which I have every year!

While getting out those season specific decorations to deck your halls, filter through them while you’re setting them up.  Most people say to themselves- I’ll do that when I put them away after the holidays- but it’s actually much easier to do it once everything is already out.  Why add an extra step when you don’t have to?

Anything you don’t use this season, and likely won’t use next season, can probably be parted with.  Send them to a donation center or a charity who helps needy families.  If you’re not getting use out of the items, it’s a nice thought that another family will.

Good luck getting organized.  You’ll thank me later!

Chameleon Design Featured Project: The Plaza at Sierra, Fontana

The Plaza at Sierra is the 4th of a series that the city of Fontana asked our builder to create for their affordable senior housing needs.  The property has two 3-story buildings, a pool,  putting green, pool room, two media lounges and several other great spaces for the seniors to hang out and feel at home.

Building One, Media Lounge

Building One, Media Lounge

Exterior

Exterior

Entry

Entry

Multi-Purpose Room

Multi-Purpose Room

Putting Green

Putting Green

Pool

Pool

Gym

Gym

Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

We’re heading into the second weekend of December and holiday parties are well underway! We don’t have to tell you that it’s always nice to give (and of course receive) a thoughtful hostess gift. And during the holidays there are so many fun options out there. Instead of flowers, I like to pick up a poinsettia from the market, which tend to have the nicest ones for a hostess gift, And of course wine is always nice. Maybe find a clever way of decorating the wine bottles you give? I also love to give and receive candles, some of my favorites are below.

Remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to give something memorable. Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to try to avoid bringing your host or hostess a decorative item for the home. Unless you know their taste well, you don’t want them to feel as though they need to display it, as it may not go with the rest of the decor. Flowers are also lovely to receive, but unless it’s a potted plant such as an orchid, we do not suggest them for hostess gifts. The host is typically busy and you don’t want to bring something that requires their immediate attention such as flowers that will need a vase and water.

Here are some of Chameleon Design’s favorite hostess gifts this holiday season that are sure to bring a smile to the face any party hostess in town. Call us and let us know what you’d like to swing by and pick up!

Minerals on Crystal Blocks
Quartz cluster ($35), Pyrite and Aragonite Stars ($5) 
Glass Blocks ($26.50-37.50)


Tea Light Glass Logs
By Roost ($16)

 

Jardin de Rochelle Porcelain Diffusers
Rose, Peony and Narcissus fragrances ($54 each)
Candles
Cabinet de Curiosites Candle  ($35 )