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Chameleon Design Featured Project: Belvedere Plan F1-B- Central Park West, Irvine

This space was designed for a move down couple from Newport Beach that is trading in the maintenance of having a single family home for a condo lifestyle. One great perk is the spectacular club facility right across the street within Central Park West.

The condo features elegant finishes including honed creamy stone flooring, granite slab counter tops and accent tables, silk rugs and modern decorative light fixtures. We worked with a sophisticated color palette of chamois, creamy whites, natural silks with vibrant yellow accents, and a hint of navy blue. And the transitional furnishings are accented with original art, natural elements like oversized coral pieces, large crystal mineral pieces and petrified wood sculptures.

Creative Roadblocks: The Home Office

It’s a fact that today many people typically do some of their work from home.  The days of leaving it at the office are long gone, so it’s essential to have a designated space in the home so as to ensure maximum productivity. These tips will help you in setting up a home office almost anywhere.

Define Your Space:
Design ideas can be adapted and changed according to the specifications in your home.  The guest room may be replaced, or combined to make a home office space.  Or you may be lucky enough to have an extra room that you can completely dedicate to the office.  But the truth is, it doesn’t matter if you have a large room that you are converting into an office or a tiny nook, as long as you can create a place of solitude to get your work done.  The most important thing to remember to not to mingle the area where you do your work, bill-paying, etc. with an area the family uses to relax and spend time together.  Separating church and state will make for a much happier household.

Do It Yourself:
Not everyone has a big budget for outfitting a home office, but there are many things you can do yourself to create an efficient space.  Starting with the walls, consider painting them yourself.  Adding a fresh, lively color or a more calming color will set the tone for your work space.  Next, address the storage issue.  Depending on how much work you’re going to be doing from home, you may be ok with just a desk.  In this case, go with something longer and wider giving you more work space.  Any typical dining table will do the trick and save you money.  And as important as a comfortable desk chair is, since this is not your main office where you’re spending the majority of your day, you don’t need to spend the extra money on a pricey task chair.  A regular chair will do just fine.

This floating desk has a formal feel without taking up a lot of space.
A fun and simple home office that was really inexpensive to do.

Personalize It:
Move photographs or accessories from one part of the house to your new home office to liven it up and make it feel like an extension of the home, rather than a random room that you want to shut off from the rest of the house.  Is there a comfortable chair in the guest room? Do you have some pictures tucked away in a closet that would be inspiring and decorative on the walls of your work space? Look around to see what you can use in your new home office.

The Extra Mile:
In the case that you do want to invest a little bit more money in your home office, upper and lower built-ins are the way to go.  They’ll allow you to keep things organized and tucked away without even trying.  Otherwise, some simple and affordable free-standing filing cabinets tucked under the desk will also work.

 Built-ins are more costly and permanent.
A high-end home office with full custom built-ins.

By keeping these simple tips in mind you’ll be able to set up a nice home office that will be a steady step for you to establish and increase your productivity.  And just remember that there’s no shame in reaching out to the pros at Chameleon Design if you find that you still need a little extra help!

To Hide or Not to Hide…the TV

It is always interesting to see how interior design has to adapt to technology. The television has gone from commonly being the highlight of the family room or living room, with gigantic entertainment centers to house them in, to today’s streamlined flat screen panels, that blend seamlessly with your decor. Today we discuss some of the different ways to work with your television or creatively disguise it.

Hidden features:
It’s more common than not to have the TV out in the open, but if you’re looking to hide it we have a couple favorite ways to do it.  Artwork that covers the television, and slides up and down on a track, is a pricey, yet perfect way to hide television if you’d rather not see it when it’s not in use.  This screen looks exactly like a framed painting, but, with the click of a button on a remote control, the screen rolls up and into the frame for a unobstructed view of the television.  The television itself is set back into the wall and is completely undetectable when the screen is down.

Another fun alternative are TV Mirrors. These hand-crafted frames surrounding mirrored two-way glass are an attractive, functional solution to the age old dilemma of where to hide the TV. When the TV is off it is simply a framed mirror.  When the TV is on, it transforms from a mirror to a TV.   A source that we’ve used is Simpson’s Mirrors: www.simpsonsmirrors.com.

Work With it:
We don’t frown upon a television out in the open, as long as it’s displayed in a nice way. A flat screen can look great sitting on a piece of furniture with a lower cabinet to house media. A wall-mount has also become much more popular as flat screens become more affordable. This is a nice way to get the TV out of the way, yet still be a focus of the room when you want it to be.

It’s best to map out a plan for your television before moving into a new house or before purchasing a new TV set. If you need assistance with blending your television seamlessly into your décor, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Chameleon Design Featured Project: Montecito Village, Ramona

Montecito Village is an affordable family community comprised of 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom apartments. The property serves low to very low-income households.  Chameleon Design was involved in the renovation which included: new roofs, paint, energy efficient windows and patio doors, fencing, HVAC systems, signage, and improvements to drainage, landscaping, paving and site accessibility.  Kitchens and bathrooms also received new cabinets, countertops, appliances, plumbing fixtures, flooring and energy efficient lighting. Additionally, a new community room, computer learning center, picnic area and leasing office were added to enhance the lives of the residents.

 Multi-Family Rec Room
Outdoor Picnic Area

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