Holiday Tabletop Design: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great occasion to celebrate and enjoy with family and friends. If you’re hosting  Thanksgiving dinner at your home, you want to make sure everything looks great for your guests.  While the food will always be the star, it’s also important to design a holiday tabletop that your guests will enjoy and appreciate. 

For Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to decorate your dining table with fall-inspired touches and natural components.  And when it comes to decking out the table, sometimes simplicity is best. You can use autumn jewel tones such as gold, deep orange, and burgundy or go even simpler by sticking with neutrals and only small pops of color.  Beautiful pumpkins and gourds are still readily available and make for a beautiful table scape on their own or accompanied by flowers.  And by simply hollowing them out,  you can create festive vases.  Green or white pumpkins, rather than the traditional orange, add a chic and modern twist.  And don’t forget the candles!

 Photo: Pinterest


Photo: Pinterest
Photo: DigsDigs.com
Photo: MarthaStewart.com

Place Settings
A nice way to personalize your table is with charming guest place setting tags.  A fresh pear or pomegranate, sprig of fresh sage tucked into a napkin, or mini pumpkin spray painted gold are all very simple to do, and look amazing.

Photo: MarthaStewart.com
Photo: ApartmentTherapy.com


Photo: MarthaStewart.com
Photo: Pinterest

Kids Table
This idea for the kids table is just the cutest.  Cover the surface with kraft paper and set out little pots of crayons for drawing. Stamp paper for place cards and use a marker to make place settings. And the best thing is the cleanup after, just throw away the tablecloth!

Photo: Sweet Paul Blog

We hope these sweet and stunning display ideas will help you with your holiday table design.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Chameleon Design Featured Project: City Center Seniors Housing, Ontario

City Center is a “Low Income Affordable” Senior Apartment Building with a Clubhouse, Leasing Offices, Theater, Multi-Purpose Room and common areas.   The exterior and interiors were designed with a craftsman-style in mind, and the exterior brick detail was brought inside to the Main Lobby. We chose a color scheme of caramel, greens and browns to reinforce that overall craftsman feel. The seniors who now call this home love how warm and comfortable it feels.



Main Lobby

Main Lobby 

Media Room

Media Room  

Community Room

Community Room 

Meeting Room

Meeting Room 



Fountain Courtyard

Fountain Courtyard

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

Holidays are most popular time of year to welcome the ones you love into your home. But at the end of the day, it’s also nice to be able to show it off, right? If you need some extra help this year, book the experts at Chameleon Design for your holiday home decorating.  However…if we’re not coming over to your home to do it for you, we’d like to provide you with a few tips and considerations to prepare for the holidays well before the late November/into December crunch time.

Take a Look
Before you take your holiday decorations out of storage, begin by making a plan. Look around your house and determine the areas that need décor. This will allow you to fill in any holes with new purchases, and also keep you from going overboard if you have too many decorations. Once you have your plan figured out, let the decorating fun begin!

Key Areas
The key to creating an inviting home during the holidays is to concentrate on making social areas as warm and welcoming as possible. Key areas in most homes include the foyer, living room and powder room.  Focus on them and be assured that your home will look and feel holiday ready.

Front Door & Foyer:
Your guests’ holiday experience begins at your front door. Set the stage with a beautiful wreath, lights or greenery. Your exterior holiday decor should also reflect your interior decorating style, giving your guests a sample of what they will find inside.  The foyer is the first thing people see when they step inside your home. A beautiful, green garland on the stair railing is a sure fire way to bring a holiday spirit into your home that guests will feel moment guests step inside.

 Photo: Martha Stewart


Photo: Martha Stewart


 Photo: Elle Decor

Living Room:
Friends and family will spend a lot of time socializing and relaxing here, so comfort and style take priority. The living room is a popular place for a Christmas tree, though many homes now have multiple trees. If this is the case in your home, keep the living room tree more formal and classic. That leaves room for a fun tree in the family room- one that the kids can help decorate with brightly colored ornaments, flocking, rainbow lights or whatever they prefer.

 Photo: Elle Decor


Photo: Domino

Powder Room:
The guest bathroom is always a high-traffic space that everyone sees. Wear or tear has nowhere to hide in this small space, so give it a facelift if needed. A sleek, monochromatic palette creates a beautiful look and a little holiday décor can easily be added with a candle and sprig of greenery.

If you’re not big on holiday decor, sprigs of greenery, pops of red or over-sized Christmas bulbs tucked around the house are some ideas to keep it modern, yet festive.  Pick a theme and color scheme that complements furnishings. Don’t be afraid to incorporate nontraditional holiday colors, such as gold, bronze and copper. Lime green, orange, purple and pink are also hot.  Less is more. Use a few striking festive items, and pare down the knickknacks.

 Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Martha Stewart

Special Touches
Every family has special things that they like to display during the holidays. These items are important so definitely don’t leave them in the boxes and forgoe them for new decorations! You want your family to feel that your home is not just decorated for guests, but also for them to enjoy.

If you have any sort of collection such as Nutcrackers or Nativity Scenes, these are lovely to display during the holidays and also very special as each object tells a story. Make your collection at home with your other holiday décor by creating one area for them to be displayed. Scattering them around the house can be overwhelming and take over your décor, but finding a mantle or credenza where you can set everything up in one place will look best.

 Photo: Pinterest

Special ornaments that have been saved over the years or that the kids have made should most definitely be integrated into your décor. Hang them on the tree in the family room, or if you have enough, you can dedicate an entire tree to the one of a kind collection.

Christmas Cards:
Many families cherish the Christmas cards they receive each season, and some even save cards from year to year to showcase their family history. The mantle is the most traditional place to display cards but there are other creative ways to consider.  Below are a couple ideas we came across.

Photo: Decor8
Photo: Pinterest

Good luck and happy decorating!  We hope these tips will help, but don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need an extra hand.

Chameleon Design Featured Project: The Welcome House- Colony Park, Anaheim

The Sales Trailer for Colony Park in Anaheim was designed to feel like someone’s living room. With all the technological advances that are showcased in this trailer, Chameleon Design felt that it should also feel like the name- “The Welcome House.” The idea was for potential home buyers to come inside seeking more information, but do it while putting their feet up and watching the master plan amenities on the flat screen, or sit on a bar stool and interact with a computer.

Welcome Home Exterior

Welcome Home Exterior  

Main Area

Main Area 

Impact Wall

Impact Wall 

Coffee Bar

Coffee Bar

Closing Office

Closing Office

Hip Houseplants

Whether you have a green thumb or not, great houseplants really do round out a room.  Two or three plants in your most used rooms will not only freshen up the look, but also the quality of air in your home too, which is a nice bonus.  Plants can act as accessories that are just as important to the overall feel of the room as a piece of art or an amazing piece of furniture.  Not to mention the color accent and beauty of green foliage that they provide for your space!  If you are looking for design ideas to add a little life and greenery to your home, then check out our roundup of hip houseplants.

Large Varieties:
A large variety that will act as a green sculpture in the room, adding shape and liveliness to the interior. For these, maintenance is key—remember to wipe smooth-surface leaves regularly with a damp cloth and trim off dead or dying bits.  And it’s best to keep the plant contained in a plastic pot tucked inside a decorative one.  That way if it bites the dust, you can replace it easily.  We love Steve Wolff & Associates Interior Plant Design if you’d like some assistance with bringing some greenery indoors: Find more information on their website here: Swolff. com.   According to their plant experts, the most popular larger indoor varieties include: Fiddle Leaf Figs (Ficus Iyata), Palms, such as Kentia, Fishtail and Rhapis (Hardy plants) Dracena, Yuccas, Character Marginata and Zamifolia (Zamia).

 Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree


 Three Palm Varieties


Smaller Varieties:
When choosing a houseplant, you want to consider its light requirements to what you can provide at home.  Most plants will prefer a room bathed in light to flourish, though not necessarily direct sunlight. Bright morning sunlight is just right. However, if you have a shady spot that’s crying out for a plant, species such as Sansevieria (also known as snake plants) are very tolerant, not to mention quite hip. Another very tolerant plant that does well indoors with little watering or care are Succulents. They are rapidly becoming the cool, low-maintenance way to bring plants inside. Nurseries and retailers nationwide are offering unique combinations of these interesting plants in assorted dishes and planters.




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!