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Design Insight

Bring Summertime Style Into Your Home

When summer rolls into town with it’s long days and warm air, you can’t help but want to enjoy everything it has to offer.  To bring the bright look of summer into your home, all it takes are some  quick and easy additions (or removals) of color, style, and accessories.  You don’t need to change every room or do anything that takes a lot of time or money, there are lots of ways to lighten up and freshen up your home for a wonderful summer seasonal change. Try some of these simple, easy changes to bring some summertime style into your home!

Embrace Your Outdoor Living Space
The patio is a great example of how you really don’t need much outdoor space to take advantage of summer’s fresh air and sunshine. A patio chair accented with a colorful outdoor rug and weatherproof pillow transforms a simple space into an inviting retreat. A window box on the railing brings a little more green to the space, while sheer curtains offer the option of privacy.  Dining alfresco is always a great opportunity to savor the gorgeous summer weather. Invest in a few pieces of good patio furniture for your dining area, and then accessorize with less expensive and more trendy pieces. Be sure to stick to your style: You want your home and your outdoor area to mesh.

 Photo: Pinterest

 

 Photo: Pinterest

Bring in Some Plant Life
Even if you don’t have the space, time, or energy to have a summer garden, there are still plenty of easy and beautiful ways to incorporate plants into your home. A container garden is a perfect way to benefit from the beautiful flowers and herbs that flourish in the summer. Choose a large pot for a landscaped effect using multiple plants, or create a grouping of smaller pots.  A few plants can add a brilliant pop of green to a room. Just make sure they’re in a place where they can drain without making a mess and can still get plenty of sunshine.

Photo: WoollyPocket.com

Add Color
Summer decor can be bright, bold and cheerful, so use colors and patterns you can’t get away with during other seasons.  Pillows, cushions, and colorful accessories are fun and easy ways to brighten up an otherwise simple setup. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and contrast colors and styles when it comes to textiles. Fabric can be a relatively inexpensive endeavor, so have fun with it and play around!  Try to incorporate color in unexpected areas in your home for that extra pop of summer cheer.

 Photo: Pinterest

Bring the Outdoors In
Allow your decor to reflect the beauty of summer, and work natural materials into your home.  Bringing outdoor furniture inside is a great way to blur the line between the two spaces. If you don’t think your outdoor furniture will work inside, try using slipcovers or new cushions to help it blend with your interior.

 Photo: Architectual Digest

Use Light and Breezy Textiles
Integrate light and airy fabrics into your home’s design to give each room a bright feel, and also to cool it down on particularly hot days.  Tablecloths, rugs, placemats, pillow cushions, and sofa covers can all be temporarily replaced in warmer months. If your home is full of plush velvets and lots of dark colors, it could be a good idea to give it a more summery feel with a few quick changes.
Replace heavy winter drapes with sheer or thin curtains to let more light in. Use the same ideas when approaching summer bed linens (especially for guests), throws, cushions and floor pillows. When it’s 100 degrees outside, lounging on a flannel duvet wouldn’t be a good idea.

Repurpose Your Dining Room…For Your Family’s Purposes

If you don’t use a room for its original function, why not consider transforming it to serve a better purpose?  This concept has become more popular than ever with the formal dining room. Think about your own home. When was the last time you used your formal dining room for a dinner?  If you’re a dinner party host or hostess extraordinaire, this idea would not be for you.  For others, it still may take some time getting used to thinking outside the box.  In the end, the builder’s floor plan may designate the room for dining, but it’s up to you to assign a use for the space based on how your family lives.

The most common repurposing of a dining room is as an office, a library or a secondary living space. If you’ve thought to yourself how nice it would be to have one of these spaces, and you don’t really use your formal dining room anyway, here are some steps you can take to ensure the newly repurposed room becomes a showcase and doesn’t look like an afterthought.

Decide on the New Purpose
Carefully consider the way you live in your home and use the current rooms. Do you need a home office or a workspace? Are you lacking a great place to store your extensive collection of books, or have you always wanted a piano but just didn’t have room for it? Now think about that underused dining room. Will that space work for what you have in mind?
 
Consider Structural Changes
As always, the function of the room determines what you need in the space, so think about use and plan ahead accordingly. For example, storage is a big one.  If you’re designing a library or home office, you may want to work with a cabinet maker to build bookcases or a desk storage system.  You also need to think about lighting and electricity.  Consider the layout of the new room and ensure that you have the proper type of lighting and access to power outlets in the right locations. And of course privacy is an important factor.   If you’re creating a home office for your business, do you need doors for additional privacy?
 
Layer Decorative Elements 
This is the part where you get to really have fun and infuse personality into your new space. Furniture, wall treatments (paint or otherwise), decorative lighting and window treatments all come into play to create the perfect environment.  Consider how the look and feel of the room will coordinate with the nearby rooms.  Select fabrics and colors that work with the overall decorative scheme of your home.  Also, make the space functional with the correct layout and furniture plan. For instance, if you’re creating a movie room, how many seats will you need for your family and additional guests?  And lastly, what other decorative elements will complete the look? You might want additional lighting or artwork. Because the room has special meaning to you since you’re creating it from something else, don’t hold back on doing what you want.

How To: Choose the Right Window Treatment

No matter what your interior style is, chances are that you will be faced with the decision of what to do with your windows.  Custom window treatments are an easy, affordable addition to every home but many people don’t know where to begin.   Options are limited to blinds, shutters, shades or drapery, but the tricky part is figuring out which one to choose.  To determine how to dress your windows, first you should ask yourself, what is the main function of the window?   There are so many fabric and textile options out there, choosing window treatments can be overwhelming unless you know exactly what kind of window treatment is best suited for your space. Whether you want to dress up your bedroom, living room or master bath, choosing a window treatment doesn’t need to be a chore.   Here are some helpful tips:

Function First
First things first: determine the main function of the window you’re looking to cover. Consider how often, if at all, you’ll want to open and close it.  Privacy is also a huge factor.  Are you looking for a little, or a lot?  And style is obviously a big part of the choice as well.  Do you want your window dressed to the nines, or would you prefer something simple and understated?  And lastly, another important issue to think about is light.  Are you relying on the window to light the space?  Make sure you keep in mind that the answers to these questions will vary from room to room, so your treatments may also vary throughout your house.  Your bedroom window that overlooks the street may require much more privacy than the kitchen window that overlooks the backyard.  Once you’ve figured out the function of your windows, you’ll have an easier time picking the right window treatment.

Custom or Retail?
Custom window treatments are great because they offer many pluses.  If you prefer a tailored look, custom is preferable, as you can customize the dimensions to your window size.  And custom panels come in an endless array of design options, but all of this comes with a considerable price difference from off-the-shelf treatments.  If custom just isn’t in your budget,  don’t worry, you can still find high-quality retail window treatments at places like Restoration Hardware.

Style Options
Once you’ve done your due diligence in considering function and custom vs. retail, now it’s time to choose the style of window covering that’s best for you.  Consider your room decor– look at the colors, textures, and materials that you already use in the room. For example, valances are well suited for home offices and kitchens, while heavier draperies are better in bedrooms where you might want to block light for sleeping late on weekends.  Also, make sure to think about the maintenance of each option before you select.  If you have a family with allergies, a hard surface is important.  If you want to soften up your interior look with fabric, consider that it may look pretty, but its going to be more work to clean and maintain.

Shutters have been around for centuries and are still a very popular style of a window covering.  They’re generally made of wood with hinged panels and adjustable slats.  Shutters allow for easy access to the window, as they’re simple to open and close, and they’re also easy to adjust for light and privacy.   I did shutters in my bedroom because they best suited my lifestyle.  Style-wise, they have a very finished look, which I love, and function-wise, you can almost completely block out the light when you want to sleep. And they’re easy to keep clean with frequent dusting!

 Photo: Pinterest

Blinds are similar to shutters, but hung vertically.  They’ll provide a minimalistic look with optimal functions such as privacy and light control. Blinds, like shutters, allow for complete window access for those windows that you want to open a lot.  They can compliment any room and can come in just about any neutral color you can imagine.

 Photo: Pinterest

Shades come in many functional styles:  roller shades, pleated shades, and roman shades. Much like blinds, shades afford you many functions, but with a softer appearance. As the name implies, the shade is meant to offer a solid cover for your window, but can easily be pulled up to expose the window when needed.  Texture plays a big role in good interior design and bamboo shades are a fun way to add texture to a room.  However, keep in mind that they don’t black out, but they can easily be lined if you prefer to control the lighting in your room.

 Photo: Pinterest 

Drapery is probably the most common term in window treatments.  Drapes provide many functions: light control, privacy, easy access to the window, as well as providing a fabric element of design to the room. They can be customized to match your decor style or kept simple and soft to lighten a room.  Shades can block the light, but drapery is needed for a complete black out, like you’d find in a hotel room.  Something to keep in mind if you’re considering installing drapes in any room of your house, is that they come with a bit of maintenance.  It’s not too bad- you need to dry clean them once a year- but make sure you don’t forget or they’ll become dust magnets.

 Photo: Elle Decor

If you still find this whole process a bit overwhelming, feel free to reach out to Chameleon Design and we’d be more than happy to help!

 

How To: Make Your Bedroom More Luxurious

With the daily stress of our fast-paced lifestyles, the master bedroom should be a sanctuary that you can’t wait to come home to.  It should be the one place that there are no worries, and the world comes to a standstill until you have to wake up and do it all over again the next day.  When you’re thinking about the design for your bedroom, remember that it’s the little details that are going to make all the difference.  Use these helpful tips to turn your bedroom into a retreat that is relaxing and luxurious.   Once you do, you’ll wonder what took you so long!   

Splurge on Your Bedding
With bedding you truly do get what you pay for.   However, don’t think you’re always going to have to spend a fortune!  Many people don’t realize that you can get affordable, high thread count sheets at many places these days for a great price.  Look for 600 thread count or more and try places like Home Goods, Costco, Overstock.com and the amazing sales at Bloomingdale’s Home Store.  Purchase the highest thread count sheets you can afford, as they’ll make all the difference in your sleeping experience.  Luxury hotel beds feel so heavenly because of their high-quality bedding.  Soft, fluffy comforters, pillows your head sink into, and sheets that feel silky and luxurious will make your bedroom feel the same way.

 Photo: Pinterest

 

 Photo: Domino Magazine


Keep it Clean

The bedroom is the most important room in the house to keep dust free.  Dust can wreak havoc on allergies and disrupt your sleep, which no one wants.  When you have fabric on your headboards, you need to vacuum it.  This is a simple tip, but people forget about this.  Also, if you have fabric drapes those are big dust collectors, so be sure to vacuum those as well for a dust-free and allergy free environment.

Simplify
One of the best tips I can share with you if you want to improve the look and feel of your bedroom, is to clear out the clutter and simplify!  Keep nightstands and dressers clear of clutter. Add simple touches such as a square glass vase with fresh flowers and it will make a huge difference. A small alarm clock or a few framed pictures may also be added on nightstands, but not much more.   If you read books, make sure your nightstand accommodates that and look for one with a drawer or bottom shelf to stack books.  Also, keep things tidy with a small basket or tray on your dresser for when you come home and need to empty your pockets.

Lighting
Bedroom lighting is also very important for achieving a cozy and luxurious feel.  It can make all the difference between a sterile room and a soothing sanctuary that you’ll never want to leave.  Use side lamps on your nightstands for task lighting such as reading.  A nightstand on either side of the bed, with an elegant, simple lamp on each will also create a lovely and sophisticated look.  And for overhead lighting, cans will cast an even glow and can easily be adjusted with dimmers.  Being able to control the lighting in any room is important, but especially the bedroom.  You can set the mood and go from bright and energetic to soothing or romantic.  Add dimmers to all of your bedroom lighting options and you’ll be happy you did.  It will make a world of difference.

Signature Pieces
If you have room to spare, add an occasional chair or sitting area that you can relax in without getting into bed.  I have a small scale sofa at the foot of my bed and we often use it to sit and relax.  In fact, my kids love it so much sometimes we have a hard time getting them to leave the room!  Another nice touch is something like a chandelier.  It’s an unexpected element for a bedroom and a nice way to create luxury.  There are many options out there, small and large scale, and they don’t always have to be lighting-driven.  You may just want one that’s purely decorative.

 Photo: Elle Decor
 Photo: Pinterest

Lovely Scents
Scented candles are a very nice touch to keep the scent in your bedroom different from the rest of the house.  It’s a great feeling to walk into your bedroom and be embraced by a scent that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Light incense and oils are other options that work well.  A favorite trick of mine is to add a drop or two of lavender oil to my pillow for a calm night of sleep.  Also, don’t forget to open up the windows regularly to bring natural breezes into the room and cycle in fresh air for your body and mind.

Photo: Elle Decor

 

Tips for Small Spaces: A Decorating Guide to Help You Live Large Even if Your Space is Small

When you’re dealing with a small space, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some compromises in your decorating, get organized, and make some adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make everything fit and not feel cramped.   There are quite a few can decorating changes that you can apply to make your space look and feel larger without moving any walls! With the right color, furniture arrangement, and lighting, your space won’t feel so cramped.  Here are some things you can do to make a small space feel larger, even if the floor space stays the same:

Clear Out the Clutter
People put too much in their small spaces…leave some air.  I recently saw a house in Lido that was staged and looked great.  The reason why model homes are so appealing to people is that they are staged and not crammed full of unnecessary “stuff.”  There’s nothing that makes a small space feel more cramped than having too much stuff. Work out ways to get collections out of view, organized behind doors or on shelves. Simplify!  With things neatly arranged and out of sight, the space that is in view will feel orderly and open.

Make Way!
With furniture and accessories blocking the view into a room and out to open spaces, a room will look cramped. By moving furniture out and away from walkways, you’ll open up the space and make it feel larger. You can also choose short pieces of furniture like an ottoman, an armless, open chair, or a low table, and place large, tall pieces along a wall rather than out in the open space. If you can see the floor, the room will look larger.

Storage, storage, storage!
You absolutely must think about how you’re going to store your stuff.  Having a strong organizational aspect in small spaces is crucial.  Think about things that you need access to on a regular basis and figure out ways to tuck them away where they’ll be out of sight, but easily accessible.  Using a large ottoman as a cocktail table that you can also store stuff inside is a great idea.  Pottery Barn has a lot of great tips on this subject if you need some ideas and inspiration.

Use a Monochromatic Color Scheme
Color is sort of like clothing.  If you wear one color on the top and bottom it can make you look taller or thinner.  It’s the same with small spaces.  If you go with a uniform color pallet it will open up a room like magic.  For the strongest effect, choose soft and light hues.  Whereas dark, warm colors make a space feel cozy and intimate, light, cool colors make a space feel open and airy.   If you’re not ready to re-paint, instead of a color change, do textural changes.  Choose colors that are in the same color family and use tone-on-tone woven upholstery fabrics, textured wall finishes and delicate tonal drapery fabrics. Cool colors and delicate warm colors on most surfaces will give the room a more open look.

Let in the Light
Any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting. Get rid of heavy draperies and open up the windows to let the light of the outdoors into the space. Add more lamps or install track lighting or recessed lighting.

Reflective Surfaces
You might not like the look of a mirrored wall, but you have to admit that it always makes a room look larger. Instead, use a large framed mirror on a wall or stand an over-sized framed mirror against a wall. You’ll get the same room-enlarging effect as a mirrored wall, but with more style. The space and the light will be reflected for a more open feeling.  Top a coffee table or side table with a piece of beveled plate mirror or have a chest of drawers or bureau covered with custom-cut and installed mirrors.

By following some of these simple rules about decorating a small space, your home will feel comfortable, not cramped.

Choosing Paint: Pick the Perfect Neutral

Neutral paint may sound blah and boring, but it’s far from it.  It can be a backdrop for your artwork and furnishings, complement more adventurous colors or make a statement all its own.  Picking a perfect neutral color is not difficult when you know what to look for, but picking the wrong color can indeed look a bit blah.  Still, there are so many neutral paint options that it can be a bit dizzying trying to pick one.  Here are some helpful suggestions to make the experience a little less painful:

Do Your Research
Go to your local home store where they have a larger color and brand selection of free paint swatches to choose from. Even if you don’t plan on getting the paint there, any store will match a competitor’s color.  Load up on every possible variation you see. Tip: colors look darker on the little chips then they will look on the wall. If you’re not sure, choose the darker one.  Get test quarts or 2 oz. testers of the colors you picked. Paint them directly on the wall so you can see them in different lights, both artificial at nighttime and in natural daylight.

 Photo: Domino Magazine

Consider the Existing Space
Sit in the space you plan to paint and fan out the colors. You will notice a huge variation in shades. Some beige’s will have green tones, others pinker, gray or brown.  It will also help to look around your room. Is there a predominant color or tone? Very often, without even realizing it, we pick up colors in certain shades while rejecting others. You may see many shades of green and sage around you, or peachy warm tones. Pay attention to this because these are the colors that make you feel good.

Start with the Living Room
The living room is where the color scheme for your house is typically determined. Consider the color of your floorings, sofa, window coverings, etc. The largest pieces in the room will naturally dictate the neutral you end up with.  Aim to choose one that matches your overall theme. A warm tan neutral for dark, masculine furnishings, or a sunny neutral for a lighter, yellow toned decor. Or you may want to complement your decor by choosing a neutral with cool gray undertones to set off the warmer colors already in the room.  Both of these choices are great; it just depends on what works for you.

Photo: Pinterest

 

Photo: Pinterest

Take Extra Steps
Don’t be tempted to skip the extra step of trying the right on the wall. It will be insurance against getting nonreturnable paint in a color that doesn’t look the same as the swatch. More than anything else this will help you pick the perfect neutral paint!

A Living Room Makeover: Tips on What You Can Do Now to Improve the Look

Your living room is the focal point of your house.  It should accentuate your beautiful interiors and designs.  If you feel like yours might need a little work, it might be time for a makeover!  Giving your living room a makeover can be a fairly simple project, but the results can be drastic and satisfying if you do it right.  Changing the look can do a lot for your mood and make the room more inviting too. Take a weekend to achieve a completely new ambiance, or take on some of the ideas one at a time for an evolving project.  Most of these ideas require minimal do-it-yourself skills.   Change is good. Why not look around your home and see the possibilities?

Re-Arrange the Furniture
Make a wide open space feel homey by arranging chairs and sofas close together and away from the walls. Just make sure you include plenty of space for traffic flow. Add a central piece, such as an area rug, to help define the area and eliminate “floating” furniture.

Photo: Lonny Magazine

Re-Paint
Painting the living room is a big project in terms of time and effort, but is actually quite inexpensive. Two or three gallons of paint will do for even a large living room that requires two coats. Add some accent colors, brushes, rollers and paint trays, and you’re set to go for under $100. To make this idea really effective, choose colors other than off-white. Look at some of the colors you have used in your decorating and find one intense color that you really like. Use it on one wall and select a complementary color for the other walls.

Re-Cover
Today’s wide selection of slipcovers makes it easier than ever to change the look of a room. The fabrics, colors and designs can fit almost any size couch, love seat or chair you may have.   And once you decide on a color scheme, changing your throw pillows is next. This can be done simply with pillow shams that can slip over existing throw pillows. If you would prefer new pillows, you can do that as well. Maybe you can recycle your living room throw pillows by using them in another room.

Quick makeovers can also be accomplished by changing the window coverings. The color of the blinds, curtains or whatever you have on your windows can totally change the mood of the room. Curtains can be as simple as two rectangles of fabric attached to a curtain pole with rings. If you want to be a little more creative, line the curtains with a contrasting color and add curtain tie-backs. When you pull the curtains back, the lining will show, adding interest to the window treatments.

 Photo: Elle Decor

Add Accessories
Dress up a neutral room with accessories.  Look for statement pieces, such as a wall sculpture or mirror, to create a sophisticated vibe.  Keep furniture simple, but accent it with a boldly patterned rug.  Color accents will add a punch of color that may be needed, but don’t distract from the statement pieces.  Art can also make a huge difference.  What do you have hanging on your walls? Maybe you are getting tired of the look you have going and switching the art work will completely change the look and feel of the room.   And don’t forget to think about pieces that you currently have in other rooms.  Maybe you want to swap them out into your living room. That is always another way to give the room a new look.

Photo: Chameleon Design
Photo: Pinterest

Consider Your Space
Prevent a small living room from looking cramped by choosing the right furniture. Exposed chair legs and airy coffee tables make even the smallest spaces look larger. Keep accessories simple so they don’t overtake the delicate feel of the furniture.   If you have a wood floor, clean and polish it to a high shine. Have your carpet professionally cleaned or use an off-the-shelf product to do it yourself. Add an area rug to define the conversation area. If you don’t have a conversation area, make one by arranging a sofa, a coffee table and one or two chairs in a space small enough so that you can easily hear someone sitting anywhere in the conversation area speaking in a normal voice. Try to coordinate the colors of your walls, rug, curtains and upholstery with each other.

 Photo: Lonny Magazine

 

 Photo: Trad Home

A room makeover can be drastic but a change for the better. If you need assistance with a makeover for any room in your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help!

Decorating with Pattern: Fun and Inspiring Ideas

Getting creative with pattern is an inexpensive and fun way to breathe life into your home environments.  From wallpaper to towels, there are endless options to explore in order to achieve the look you want.  Many people like to play it safe by having one pattern with all solids in a given room. but I urge you to experiment by bringing in different kinds of patterns to create unexpected and unique combinations. Prints and patterns are also a fun and creative way to express your taste and personality.  Here are some important things to consider so you can decorate with patterns like a pro: 

Mix Patterns

Designers like things in odd numbers, especially the number three. Whether you’re combining colors, patterns or decorative objects, three is often the magic number that just works best.  And it’s no different when working with patterns in a room!  When selecting patterns, pick a large scale pattern that will make the strongest statement in your room.  For the secondary pattern, select a very different pattern that’s half the scale or size of the first pattern.  If your first pattern is a large floral, the second pattern should not be a floral but should include some of the same colors.  And the third pattern can be similar to either of the other patterns and use two or three of the colors in the other patterns.  Don’t let the fear of mixing three different patterns leave you perplexed.  Just remember: large scale with many colors, medium scale with some colors, and small scale with just a few.
Photo: Pinterest
 Photo: Elle Decor

Limit Your Color Scheme

When you decide to add some pattern to your decor, remember to limit the palette of colors and designs you are using.  Patterns can be quiet dominant in terms of color and appearance.  For example,  if you combine two floral patterns, be sure that they are not overpowering each other, but rather complimenting one another.  Mixing patterns should achieve a balanced look.  Don’t mix pastels with primary colors, or muted with vibrant jewel tones.  A large floral, a smaller floral, a stripe and a check will work together if they are made from the same set of dyes in the same hue.  Also, using related colors is what will tie the patterns together.  Try choosing obviously different patterns, such as a wide stripe and a paisley, in the same palette and it will look intentional and not mismatched.

 Photo: Jonathan Adler
Photo: Pinterest
Consider Fabric Feel
Be aware that there’s more to a fabric than simply color.  All fabrics have a personality or a feel and some don’t mix.  Most people would identify damask, for example, as a formal fabric.  While most would  agree that stripes or plaid are casual, informal fabrics. These levels of formality should definitely come into play when you’re mixing patterns.
 Photo: House Beautiful
Create Balance

Avoid putting all patterned pieces together on one side of a room as they may throw off the room’s balance.  Distribute solids and patterns smoothly throughout the room to create an aesthetically pleasing look.  Also consider that other elements of the room, from the fireplace to paneling, contain patterns that should be considered as part of the grand scheme.

 Photo: Elle Decor
Think About Function
Pattern can have a big impact on how a room feels. If you’re trying to pull a space together and create harmony, think larger patterns. If your goal is to draw attention to one part of a room, smaller patterns will do the trick. Also think about pattern personality. A busier pattern will up the energy level in a room, while a simple or pale patterns will promote a feeling of calm.
Photo: Pinterest

Decorating for Dudes: Designer Advice for Creating a Handsome Home

Masculine details in home interior design are clean and simple in appearance with rich colors, strong designs, and an absence of excessive detailing.  It’s something that everyone should think about when decorating the home, as the masculine aesthetic is truly appealing to both the sexes…whether women realize it or not! A warm, natural look is very “today” and here are some tips for incorporating it into your home:

Colors
Go with darker tones!  Rich color schemes such as chocolate brown, black, grey and deep blue are one of the most effective ways to impart a masculine look in your home design.  When it comes to upholstery- stay with the darker shades as well. If you go with a smoky color on the walls, go with a darker, chic brown leather sofa.  Color has a great impact on household style. If these colors provide the majority of the backdrop, you can add subtle splashes of color and texture to give the room some depth.

 Photo: Pinterest

Functionality
Ask any man what the most important factor should be when designing a masculine room and they’ll likely say it’s the electronics.  Make sure you plan for this in the design stages.   The most important electronic- the television- should be in a location that is comfortably orientated to the furniture.  You don’t want to be craning your neck to watch your favorite show!  Also consider a stereo or gaming system as a room won’t work for men unless gadgets are integrated into the design. These should be hidden in a cabinet as to keep with the clean and simple style of the room.

If you have a fireplace- make sure to include it in your design!  Don’t let it be an after-thought as it’s an element that will add to the masculine feel of the room unlike anything else.  Configure the furniture around it as best you can. If you main seating area is focused on a television, create a separate seating area around the fireplace.  Trust me- you’ll use it!

Photo: Homebunch.com

Furniture and Lighting
Careful consideration of furniture is essential for a masculine and comfortable room. It is important for that the couch looks good, but it must be comfortable enough so that the man of the house can curl up all afternoon when he wants to watch a football game.

As for tables, chairs and other pieces of furniture – the pieces should be strong and solid. Items that are extremely ornate with floral carvings should be replaced with pieces with strong lines, elegant curves and simple accents. Consider a reclaimed wood piece such as a coffee table to add texture to the room. The key does not lie in making the room a masculine room, but rather, avoiding a style that is too feminine.

Lighting is also very important, as we’ve blogged about many times.  Make sure you follow the basic rules and have multiple sources such as recessed lighting and table lamps, but consider adding an industrial element such as exposed lighting. Having fun with details like this will make for a handsome home that everyone will appreciate.

Photo: Pinterest

Accessories
When it comes to other props and ornaments Look for items that are interesting rather than merely pretty – international ornaments like Chinese lacquer boxes, African tribal bookends, Moroccan candlesticks. etc.

And when it comes to the vast array of wall art available today, men, stereotypically, like animal prints and woodland scenes. Women tend to gravitate to garden and cottage landscape scenes. If a landscape cannot be agreed upon, consider a seascape or a coastal scene. Architecture and city scenes also make good compromises and anything abstract will look right at home.

Photo: Pinterest

Decorating Mistakes: Chameleon Design Shares What NOT to Do

You don’t have to be a professional interior designer to understand and apply some basic principles of that will help you create a comfortable home with style.  By combining personal taste and individual style you can achieve an interesting decorating look for almost any room. But there are some things you should just never do.  We’ve put together a list of the top things you should NOT do when decorating a room:

Mixing Too Many Styles
The biggest mistake we see people make is trying to change styles within one residence. If you want to have a beachy house, have a beachy house.  Don’t do a mountain decor theme in the den and switch to a beachy look for the living room.  This may seem like a good idea in theory but it actually prevents your home from having any kind of flow.  People don’t realize it but they love the look of model homes because there is always style and consistency throughout.  If you consider this when decorating your own home you’ll undoubtedly be happy with the results.

Choosing Furniture That Doesn’t Fit
You wouldn’t wear clothes that don’t fit properly so why would you choose furniture that doesn’t fit your home? Before you shop for furniture, make sure to measure your space, think about where you’re going to put the piece, and take notes. Resist the temptation to buy a too-big sofa, thinking you can put it on an angle if it doesn’t fit. Write down the measurements and stick to your plan. It’s just as bad to buy pieces that are too small, thinking you can add more pieces to fill the space. Plan out your arrangement, think it over, and then find the pieces that are just right.

Fixating on the Small Things
People often fixate on little things instead of looking at the bigger picture.  The proper way to go about decorating any room in your home is to make a plan including only the bigger decisions and make that your blueprint.  The little things are easy and will come naturally once the overall look is in place.  If you need help with the major choices, a simple consultation with a designer can help you build those parameters.  A little goes a long way and will help you to stick to certain rules. 

Pushing All the Furniture Up Against the Wall
Sometimes people think that a room will look larger if the middle of the floor is open, but the opposite is actually true. Unless you’re going to have a dance party in the middle of your room, move the furniture into groupings in the center. Arrange a sofa with a table behind it, away from the wall with a walking space behind. Show off the back of the sofa and arrange decorative items and a lamp for reading behind it.  Move chairs out of corners and you’ll have a more open, airy look in your room.

Getting Too Attached to “Things”
Some people get too attached to the “things” they have in their lives.  You may have spent a lot of money on something or it may represent a special time in your life that you want to remember, but no matter what reason you may be hanging onto any particular item, if it disrupts your decor, get rid of it!  Remember the wagon wheel coffee table in When Harry Met Sally?  Take a picture if you want to remember it!   And the same goes for collectibles.  Whether you collect knick-knacks from travels or fine pieces of sculpture or one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass, you shouldn’t put everything out at one time. Do your best to select only the most important pieces, either in monetary or sentimental value, and get rid of the rest. If you can’t bear to throw the pieces away, put them away and rotate the items on display. Less really is more!

Doing Artwork Wrong
A common mistake that people make is putting up smaller scale artwork in each room of the home.  If you invest in bigger pieces they will actually help your room come together!