Design Insight

Designing a Room from Scratch

Designing a room from a completely blank slate can be quite a daunting task! It can be difficult to know where to start and once you get going you need to be aware of the order you’re doing things to get the best results possible. There are also some basic design rules that are always good to keep in mind to give you that well-designed look that you’re hoping for. Whether it’s one room or your entire home, we’ve compiled some tips to help get you started:

Define Your Personal Style

When designing a room don’t just jump in, take your time to think about your personal style and the overall look you want to go for. Maybe you love mid-century modern or maybe it’s a more traditional look that excites you. Either way, making this determination from the get-go will guide every choice you make going forward and help you to put together a more cohesive look.

Photo: Amber Interiors

Mix It Up

Another way to think of this is to avoid being too matchy-matchy. If you decide you want to go with a modern look and purchase everything from the same store your space is going to be boring and you won’t be in love with the results. Have fun with the process and shop for items from various sources. The large commercial stores like West Elm are great to mix with custom items and even flea market finds.

Photo: C Magazine

Plan Your Space

Measure, measure, measure! Before shopping for your pieces it’s best that you measure and plan out your space on paper. This will ensure that everything you place will fit nicely in the room and not be too crowded or too empty. Another trick is to use painters tape to actually tape out dimensions in a room where you’re thinking of placing a sofa or bed. Do this before you buy so you don’t get stuck with anything that’s not a perfect fit!

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Photo: Chameleon Design

Start with the Rug

If you select a rug you love for each room and build from there, you can’t go wrong. The rug will ground the space and with an endless array of fabrics, colors and patterns it will organically dictate how the rest of the room comes together. If you’re working with a carpeted room or don’t want to include a rug for whatever reason, start with the largest furniture piece and build from there. So for the bedroom it would be the bed and for the den it would be the sofa or entertainment center.

Photo: My Domain

How to Keep Your Home Looking Up To Date

We love trends as much as the next designer, but unfortunately trends eventually go out of style, leaving an outdated look in their wake. Luckily, we have some tricks up our sleeves that will allow you to indulge in the best trends of the season, while assuring your home stays fresh and up to date.

Pick a Neutral Color Palette

Selecting a neutral color palette for the main areas of your home will allow for the perfect base, while giving you the opportunity to layer in changing trends that can easily be removed if they begin to feel dated.

 

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Photo: The Everygirl

Find Your Personal Design Style

Tapping into your personal style can help you decipher which home decor trends to lean towards and which to avoid. Consider the colors and textures you gravitate towards and work them into your existing pieces and palette. This should take you beyond the trends and leave you with pieces that are timeless.

Photo: Country Living

Opt for small pieces instead of entire rooms

When incorporating a trend into your interior design it is important to note that small is better. Sure, that Spanish tiled bathroom might look fabulous now, but will you still love it in a year? Small trending accents, such as throw pillows, are great ways to pay homage to a trend without overdoing it. Rooms that are themed tend to go out of style quickly.

Photo: Design Sponge

Functionality

Choosing functional pieces and remodel choices will help to create a timeless effect to your home. The more functional your home and furniture is, the more timeless your design becomes. Select furniture that fits with your lifestyle and that of your family and you won’t need to buy new pieces every few years!

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Photo: Chameleon Design

 

How Color Can Redefine A Room

Whether you have just moved in or have nested in the same place for years, a little change of color can do wonders to your interior. Big or small, painting or wallpapering projects can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your interior design. Grab some crafting tools and get started!

  1. Small furniture pieces

Painting a small piece of furniture can change the look and feel of an entire room. Something like a dresser or end table is an easy DIY and will add a fun pop of color to a room. We recommend using a piece that’s gone out of style or maybe one that doesn’t match your overall design.

Photo: Chameleon Design

2. Accent walls

The easiest room transformation: paint one wall. Need help choosing a wall color? Our recommendation is to pick a color you already love decorating with, that fits the overall interior design of your existing room. This will create a significant change but won’t require you to redecorate entirely. If you’re feeling really bold, check out our previous post on the trending moody wall colors.

Photo: Chameleon Design

3. Cabinets

A fresh coat of paint on cabinets can create an entirely new look in a room. Whether it’s the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room this is a simple and inexpensive way to transform it. Recently we’ve seen dark cabinets trending, but whether you opt for a moody or bright color, be ready for your room to have a whole new personality!

Photo: Superfront

4. Architectural Accents

Wall papering a room is another great way to add color and it can also make the architectural accents look more dramatic. The colored wallpaper in this room accents the wood molding and creates depth while bringing the room together.

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designing With Nature in Mind

With back to school just around the corner and Fall beginning we thought we’d take a look at simple ways to bring a little bit of the outdoors in and create a bit of zen while we’re at it. While it’s true that the long summer days we’ve all been loving will soon be behind us, with these tips we hope that you won’t miss a minute!

Commissioned by and licensed solely to William Lyon Homes.

Photo: Chameleon Design

1. Natural Textures

Incorporating plants, wood, leather, and other natural textures will lend a sense of craftsmanship and comfort, while making your home feel more cozy. Layering in these materials with your existing décor will add interest and give you an inviting feel just in time for the cooler Fall months.

Licensed Solely and Exclusively to Woodbridge Pacific Group.

Photo: Chameleon Design

2. Large Windows

Rooms that invite the outside light in are rooms people want to be in. Not only do they provide great views but natural light as well, which automatically draws the eye. The larger the window, the better: this makes the room feel like you are still able to enjoy the outdoors.

Licensed Solely and Exclusively to Woodbridge Pacific Group.

Photo: Chameleon Design

3. Open Concepts

The open floor plan has hit us by storm! This concept not only means shared windows and natural light, but it also creates a sense of togetherness. Larger windows and glass sliding doors extends the space even further, seamlessly transitioning to the outdoor space.

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Photo: Chameleon Design

4. Go Simple and Neutral

While you might love some designs, they may not be practical for your family’s needs. Take into account who will be using the room, and what their needs are. Living rooms are less and less the formal, sitting rooms of the past and today people want to make them as functional as possible. One way to do that is plenty of comfortable seating to create a space for everyone who will be using the room. Designing with kids, and even pets, in mind can help you decide which fabrics are best for your design.

5 Rules to Follow When Designing Your Living Room

The living room is the center of the home, and one of the main places that guests see when they visit. We chose five rules that should always be followed when designing your perfect living room.

1. Choose a Color Palette

Selecting a color palette is a must when decorating any room in the house. It will naturally help to give you direction as you’re buying pieces for the room and work to keep things looking cohesive and well-styled. We suggest finding a textile or pattern that you enjoy and using that as your room inspiration. Remember to also accessorize with this in mind!

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Photo: Chameleon Design

2. Size Your Rugs Correctly

Having an area rug can add the finishing touch to any room and anchor your design, but choosing the right size is very important. Having a rug that’s too small can make furniture look cramped, while also making the room look like it doesn’t flow properly. The trick is to choose a rug that fits beneath the front legs of all the pieces, which will make the room look well-balanced and cohesive.

Photo: Chameleon Design

3. Light It Up!

Incorporating numerous lighting sources in your living room will not only help with the look of your room but will also provide for a nicer atmosphere than you’d get with just overhead lighting only, for example. Overhead is great but table lamps, sconces and floor lamps will work wonders if you’re able to weave them into your floorplan.

Photo: Chameleon Design

4. Design with Everyone’s Needs in Mind

While you might love some designs, they may not be practical for your family’s needs. Take into account who will be using the room, and what their needs are. Living rooms are less and less the formal, sitting rooms of the past and today people want to make them as functional as possible. One way to do that is plenty of comfortable seating to create a space for everyone who will be using the room. Designing with kids, and even pets, in mind can help you decide which fabrics are best for your design.

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Photo: Chameleon Design

5. Mix Multiple Textures

Using multiple textures in a room creates depth and layers to your design. Using pillows, throw blankets and different materials for your furniture can help to achieve this. We love to mix throw pillows, as long as they stay in the color palette!

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Photo: Chameleon Design

4 Ways to Design a Small Outdoor Space for Big Impact

As the weather warms up we all naturally begin to think about being outdoors. For some that may mean just a tiny patio or backyard space, yet with a few design tricks even the smallest of spaces can seem like an outdoor oasis. Bring on the warm weather!

Ambiance Lighting

Creating the right feel for your space is key to making it feel not only inviting but also bigger. Lighting is your friend here, as simple things like stringing lights above a seating area will lend a bright feel and open up the space.

Photo: Popsugar

Photo: Popsugar

Comfortable Seating

Everyone wants to be comfortable as they sip on a cocktail or enjoy time with friends outside. Having seating that is functional as well as comfortable is a key component of creating a great outdoor space.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Accessorize

Colorful pillows, a throw rug, a great tray to hold food and drinks when you entertain: these are all easy to incorporate into any outdoor space and will make it feel incredibly inviting. Pick up inexpensive pieces on sale from West Elm, Ikea or Home Goods and go to town!

Photo: Harpers Bazaar

Photo: Harpers Bazaar

Make the Most of Your Space

Even the tiniest outdoor space can be made into a cozy nook for reading during the day or having a glass of wine in the evening. If you don’t have room for an entire seating area, a cozy chair and ottoman will do the trick. The ottoman can also double as a side table or extra seat. No room to grow a garden? Try a vertical planter or bring a shelving unit outside and line shelves with potted plants and herbs.

Photo: House and Home

Photo: House and Home

4 Ways to Update Your Kitchen Without Remodeling

The kitchen is the heart of the home and the hub for entertaining, which is why making sure it has a nice, open layout and stylish look is something we strive to do in every home we design. Since we’ve covered how to make your kitchen entertainment friendly, we thought it would be nice to also provide you with some quick, easy and affordable updates to achieve that stylish look and feel.

Lighting

Good lighting is important to the overall ambiance and is a cost-effective and relatively simple way to make an improvement to your kitchen. There are different types of lighting that you should implement to assure you’re covering all the bases: task lighting, ambient lighting, accent lighting and decorative lighting. Each serves a different purpose so take the time to look into ways you can all of them and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

 

Photo: Chameleon Design

Cabinetry Painted Darker Hues

Cabinets painted darker hues are on-trend at the moment and we’re fans because it can add great contrast to neutral colored walls and backsplashes. It’s also a fun way to make a quick change with a big impact to your kitchen by painting your cabinetry a dark color. If going for the trending dark moody colors isn’t your thing, painting the cabinetry a light color will also do the trick!

Photo: Chameleon Design

Upgrade the Hardware

The hardware might seem insignificant, but swapping it out with something fresh and different is one of the easiest ways to give your entire kitchen a makeover. Lately we’ve been loving gold, brass and copper which pop against dark cabinetry but also look great with white and other neutrals.

 

Photo: Lonny

Pops of Color

We love an all white kitchen as much as the next person, but adding a little personality with a pop of color can go a long way. Think about accent dishes and other decorative items and make sure you’re using these for personality and color. A ceramic fruit bowl in a beautiful blue or green glaze will pop on an all-white counter top. Also, adding fresh flowers or greenery will always give you a bright and cheerful feel.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Designing a Large Wall

Designing model homes, we come across so many blank canvases in the form of large walls anxious for our design ideas. Some may look at them as a challenge, but our team gets excited to use tried and true techniques with a gorgeous flair.

Large Scale Art Piece

A large wall is your opportunity to make a big statement. Take a piece of art that speaks to you and make it life size! In this example, we put an image across the entire wall in the form of wallpaper. This is definitely a bold statement and could work well in a kid’s room or play room.

 

Photo: Chameleon Design

Gallery Wall

Gallery walls have become quite popular over the past few years and for good reason! They are a beautiful way to show off a collection of photos and works of art. Use two or three in a straight line for a clean, modern feel or create a collaged gallery for a visually interesting and eclectic look that keeps the eye moving.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Built-in Shelving Unit

If you have a large, blank wall space, creating a built-in shelving unit can solve a lot of problems and add value to your home. Not only will it provide extra storage, which is great for just about any room in the home, but it’s also the perfect place to display décorative pieces, photos, plants or a treasured collection.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Add Mirrors

It’s a known fact that mirrors make rooms appear larger and will reflect light, making your room brighter and happier. Add some fun to your walls with a large statement mirror or arrange mirrors in a fun pattern. You’ll be surprised at the big effect this small step will have on the room!

Photo: Chameleon Design

5 Ways to Add Style to Your Staircase

Commonly overlooked, the staircase has a visual presence that can completely change the look of a room. Its placement in a high traffic and high visibility area of the home allows it to make a statement if done correctly. So rather than see it as just a path from one level to the next, spruce up your staircase with these fun ideas:

Replace, Paint or Stain Your Balusters or Spindles

Painting spindles or balusters white will add more light to a dark staircase, while staining wood ones can give your staircase a more rustic feel. If you want to go towards modern style, adding modern horizontal spindles to a staircase can change the look completely.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Add a Runner

If you don’t have the time to do a full stair makeover, taking away full carpeting and adding a runner, or painting on a faux runner, is a great way to add depth to your staircase. This is also a great way to provide a pop of color!

Photo: Vogue Magazine

Wallpaper, Paint or Tile the Risers

Adding a pop of color to risers by using wallpaper, paint or tile will give your staircase a unique facelift that is sure to draw attention to it.

Photo: Camille Styles

Refinish or Repaint the Handrails

Handrails lose their sheen quickly because they are constantly being used. Making sure they are clean and shiny is an important part of a great looking staircase. If they are cracked or wearing, you can refinish, stain or repaint them in your desired shade. We personally love a contrasting dark wood handrail with white balusters!

Photo: Chameleon Design

Change the Newel Post

The newel post, or the end post on a staircase, is what shows the design style of the staircase. Making sure that this piece matches the rest of your style, or changing it and repainting can make the staircase look like it was remodeled in its entirety.

Photo: Utah Style and Design