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Design Insight

How to Decorate with Neutrals

We love those beautiful white rooms, however it can be tricky decorating with only neutral colors. Here are some simple ways to keep the design of your home interesting and beautiful while using only neutral colors.

Hues

Using varying hues of the same color gives your neutral room personality and depth. Using a broad range of shades from the same palette keeps the look cohesive and ties it all together if used throughout the whole house.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Texture

The more textures that you add, to walls, couches, beds, tables, the more interest you add to the design. Layering textures with pillows and blankets adds a rich element. You can also add textures with ceramics, rugs, and accent pieces.

Photo: Lexington Company

Photo: Lexington Company

Metals, Woods and Plants

Plants, metal and wood elements serve as a great way to mix up the style while still staying in a neutral zone. Adding live plants to your décor can give a nice pop of color to keep things lively.

Photo: softandchic.com

Architecture

Accentuate architecture or find furniture pieces with tasteful lines and architecture. If your house boasts beautiful architectural features, make sure that you highlight them by styling around them to make them stand out.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Magicdreamlife.com

Home Design Trends // Exposed Wood Structural Accents

Though usually hidden behind drywall and paint, when wood structural elements are left exposed, they can be a beautiful added benefit to your design. Bring in a natural, organic feel to any room by making it a statement piece, not just a structural element. Here are some of our favorite examples:

Photo: Magicdreamlife.com

Photo: Magicdreamlife.com

 

Photo: Design Mom

 

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Photo: Live Simply by Annie

Photo: Live Simply by Annie

How to Get Your Dining Room Holiday Ready

The holidays are here and if you’re not excited about hosting dinner in your dining room, we have some ideas that you can easily pull together in a matter of days. These updates will ensure that your dining room gets the attention it deserves and you’ll be proud to show it off.

Go Bold
Whether you choose to paint your walls or trim in a surprising hue, or you’d rather make a statement with your tabletop accessories, artwork or rug, the dining room is the perfect place to take a chance-especially if you don’t use the space every day.

Find the Perfect Rug
A beautifully designed rug is the perfect way to anchor any room, including the dining room. It adds visual interest and you can showcase pattern and color.

Add Statement Lighting
​ A gorgeous chandelier or statement light hanging directly over the table will do wonders for an otherwise simple space. If you’re only going to splurge on one thing in your dining room, this is safe bet.

PLAN 3 IMG# 06

Chameleon Design

Photo: Lonny Magazine

Expect the Unexpected
A plain wooden dining table surrounded by matching wood chairs might be an easy way to furnish your dining room but it won’t make a big impact. Instead of going for that matching set, consider a popular trick- getting chairs in 2 or 3 different styles. Or if you don’t want to mix up the styles, just make sure the table and chairs are made of different materials.

Create an Artistic Focal Point
Put the finishing touches on your dining room by bringing in eye-catching artwork.  A gallery wall, or even a large-scale piece of art, will make the room feel complete, and add an extra layer of aesthetic appeal.

Photo: Nate Berkus Design

 

Photo: Lonny Magazine

 

Show Off Your Favorite Serving Pieces
Don’t keep your beautiful tabletop accessories hidden away in the cabinets. Plan for shelving or a sideboard in your dining room and put your pieces on display.

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Take Tips From Your Favorite Restaurant
Nothing beats having a fancy meal at your favorite date night spot, so why not recreate that same feeling in your own home? Keep your lights dim and to create an atmosphere that makes every meal feel like a special occasion.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Home Design Trends // Factory Windows & Doors

Factory windows are simply black metal-framed windows and doors that have been around forever, but have more recently made a big comeback in both residential and commercial design. They bring an edgy and effortlessly cool style to any space, and will work in more traditional or modern rooms alike. Aside from being versatile and looking great, they’re also very practical! Need a space definer and don’t want to loose any light or feeling of openness? They’re the perfect solution as a room divided by glass still feels spacious and bright. Here are some of our favorite inspiration pics:

Photo: Studio Wonder

Photo: Studio Wonder

 

Photo: Amber Interiors

Photo: Amber Interiors

 

Photo: Jute Interior Design

 

Photo: Elizabeth Garrett Interiors

 

Basic Design Principles of Modern Decor

Modern decor has been quite popular for years now and the look is not going anywhere! Creating a modern feel in your home doesn’t have to be difficult but there are a few basic rules to keep in mind if you want to go this direction. If you go overboard in any one area, you may end up with something that’s cold or uncomfortable, when what you really want is warm and relaxed. It’s possible to get there if you follow these simple guidelines and before you know it, you’ll have a modern decor that you’ll love:

Simplicity
This word describes modern design better than anything, so make sure that you’re always considering it when decorating your space. As we mentioned, don’t go to the extreme and think you only need a few items in each room. But do go for an uncluttered look, with clean lines, which will naturally simplify things and be more cost effective in the long run.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Functionality
Once you’ve nailed the simplicity by using clean lines and minimal artwork and accessories, you also need to make sure everything in the space is functional. This will vary from room to room, but the key is being able to walk into any area and easily access the items in it. For example, the room below utilizes extra wall space for a built-in desk/computer area that’s not at all out of place in the open family room.

 

Open Spaces
If you are going with a modern decor, then you will want to have lots of open space in your home. This won’t be as easy if you don’t have an open concept but you can still create the appearance of open spaces by using color, fabrics and furniture. You can also keep windows coverings that are light in color and airy in feel to create an open feel in to the room even if it isn’t.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Character
Last but not least, don’t forget to always inject character in each space. Whether it’s done with color or a fun pattern added to an otherwise neutral palette or an incredible statement piece such as a chair or chandelier that packs a punch, don’t neglect to add some personality to each room.

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Design Essentials for Every Home

Every home should be different and reflect the personality of its owners, but there are definite style rules that every designer lives by. These are things that every home should have and we come back to them again and again because they just work. Our essentials to build the foundation of a beautifully designed home add up to more than a few, but here is a basic checklist that’s simple enough to get anyone started on their way!

A Well-Organized Bookshelf
Look at your bookshelf as a wall of endless decorative possibilities. It’s the perfect place to store your favorite books, but it can also be a great way to display a personal collection, a bold black accent piece, and even family photos, all of which can be tweaked over the years as your preferences change.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Black Accents

Just as with clothing, the same rules apply to using the color black in home decor- it never goes out of style and goes with anything! Black pieces will accent the other colors in the space, while adding definition and sophistication. Remember that you don’t need a lot to make this work, one or two pieces is all you need.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Mixed Textures
Materials are easy to mix and will add lots of depth to your spaces. Whether a room is bold and colorful or subdued and neutral, a truly designed look involves a mix of textures. From fabrics like linens, silks and sheers to materials such as wood, metal and glass, a mix is always the way to go.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Living Plants
A space doesn’t feel truly finished unless it includes some greenery to give it a sense of life. If you don’t have a green thumb there are plenty of options that aren’t high maintenance and will flourish indoors.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Personal Touches
Every space should have at least once piece that speaks to a sense of history with some personal meaning. These types of items will assure that nothing looks too perfect in a room, which is something to watch for. Furniture and accessories are one way to go, but simple vintage details like moldings or sconces will also give your home a great look.

Photo: Chameleon Design

A Mid-century Piece
Trends come and go but mid-century will always feel current and timeless. We’ve talked before about how you never want your decor to be to matchy-matchy and by adding a punch of modern style you won’t run into that problem. An easy way to add modern pieces is through seating- chairs or tables will look stylish and keep the room from feeling too formal.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

 

Art You Love
Art stays with you for a lifetime, and each piece marks a place and a memory. Start collecting pieces one by one and grow your collection over the years. The pieces don’t have to cost a fortune, they just have to speak to you.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Why You Should Add a Statement Piece to Your Home

The purpose of a statement piece is fairly self-explanatory: it makes a statement. The right pieces can make a big impact and dramatically change the look of a room, with just one new addition. How great is that? Do you have a room in your home that is fine but could use a little pizazz? Whether it’s the living room or the guest room, a simple addition like a statement chair or piece of artwork hung on the wall can give you just the boost you need. Here are some things to help you decide if you should add a statement piece of your own:

You Have Too Much of the Same
This can happen when you furnish a room in your home with multiple pieces from the same store or have a minimalist look. The space may look sleek and fluid but you’ll likely get bored with it really fast. A statement piece of home décor can easily solve this problem, helping an otherwise bland interior while also reflecting your personality and style.

Photo: Martha Mulholland

You’re Lacking Color or Pattern
If your statement making piece has a pattern on it, it may be just what your room full of neutrals needs. This will help to create balance, while adding color and interest to your space.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

You Need a Focal Point

There are certain pieces that are more secondary such as an end table, mirror, or nightstand and those become more of a supporting element. If you’re looking for your statement piece to really up the wow factor make sure it’s a main part of the room, you need to go for something larger such as a bed or console.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

You Want More Character

Without a doubt a statement piece adds character and a wow factor. It draws your eye in when you enter the room and stands as a conversation starter when guests come over. It can be bold, unique, eclectic and anything from a distinctive piece of furniture or a bold painting to an incredible vintage rug to anchor the room.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Best Furniture Pieces for Small Scale Spaces

In a smaller room, you want to maximize your space as much as possible and how you decorate is everything. A few of the wrong pieces can overtake the room and throw the balance off entirely making the space feel small and cramped. However, that same room can feel open and larger if you select the right pieces of furniture, including some that do double duty eliminate the need for extra pieces. Below are our top picks for making your smaller rooms feel comfortable:

Bench
A backless bench is a highly versatile piece that can easily be moved from room to room. In the dining room it can be used for seating and tucked under the table when not being used. It can also be pulled into the living room or family room when guests are over and you find yourself without enough chairs, or even used in the bathroom against a wall to stack extra towels.

Chameleon Design Bathroom

Photo: Chameleon Design

Settee
A small settee, or love seat as it’s also known, is perfect for areas that aren’t large enough for a full-size sofa or two bulky chairs. And just like the bench, it can also be pulled up to a dining table for added seating.

Photo: West Elm

Photo: West Elm

Nesting Tables
When you have guests over, tabletop real estate to place drinks or food on is hard to come by. But a set of nesting tables or pedestal table will solve the problem in a snap. When they aren’t in use, they stack together or can be tucked neatly into a corner.

Photo: decoist.com

Large Mirror
It’s not news that a mirror is one of the easiest tricks to make a small space appear larger. Don’t forget this simple and affordable addition to make your room appear bigger and brighter. Bonus points if you can hang it across from a window to boost the natural light.

Photo: Domaine

Desk
You might not use a desk for working daily, but a smaller Parsons desk or floating desk are both great for smaller rooms. Both can double as extra table space and a floating desk has a table portion that flips down, opening up space when not in use.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Pouf/Ottoman
Poufs and ottomans come in a wide variety of sizes and colors and are also typically very affordable. They can be use as footrests, extra seats or side tables so they are great to have around.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

How to Transition Your Home From Summer to Fall

It’s always bittersweet when Labor Day weekend rolls around, as we know that means it’s time to say goodbye to summer. However, fall has an appeal all its own and the fact that it ushers in the holiday season makes it a special time. It’s also a natural time to transition your home for the cooler temps that will be here before we know it.  With simple things like swapping out textures and colors and adding natural elements into your décor, your home will be beautiful, comfortable and ready for the cooler days ahead. 

Layer Your Home
Just like we begin to layer our clothes come Fall, you can do the same with your home. Use differing but complementary colors, patterns and textures to add instant warmth to any room. Double up on pillows to make couches and beds extra cozy and try throwing sheepskins on your summery printed chairs, for texture and to create a warmer vibe.

Photo: Homepolish.com

Swap Out Your Bedding
When you feel that first chill in the air, it’s a great time to freshen up your bedding for the fall season. If you had lightweight cotton bedding for the summertime, incorporate luxe, cozy textures like cashmere or a soft flannel for fall. Fresh shams and maybe a few new throw pillows in richer tones will complete the look.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Ready Your Fireplace
Most of us don’t use the fireplace at all during the spring/summer months, so it’s likely that it could use a good cleaning to prepare for the cooler nights fall will usher in. A contractor of fireplace inspector will sweep the chimney and check for possible safety hazards, which is good to do once a year. If you prefer not to use your fireplace, you can create a beautiful and warm feeling with white pillar candles in varied sizes.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Prep Your Patio
Don’t neglect your favorite summertime space when the seasons begin to change. As fall ushers in, we experience some of the best weather of the year and evenings spent outdoors are lovelier than ever. Look into inexpensive fire pits if you don’t have a built-in and throw some machine-washable blankets on the outdoor furniture to fight that slight chill.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Pay Attention to Your Plants
One of the prettiest and most inexpensive ways to decorate for the fall season is to put foliage, flowers, and produce on display. Bring in an armful of cut branches or fill bowls with apples, pears, pomegranates, and nuts. Pumpkins and gourds are perfect in October and November.

Photo: Florali.com

Dim the Lights
Candles add a perfect touch to fall decor. As the days get cooler and we want to curl up with blankets, good books and warm cups of tea, a candle-lit room creates a perfect fall ambiance. Change the fragrance of your candles so they have more of a holiday feeling. Go for a warmer, muskier scent- we love Le Labo’s Santal 26 and Diptique Fig.

Photo: Barney’s NY

 

Make Sure These Features Are Included in Your Plan

From the countertops to the closets to the flooring, there are many things to consider in the home buying process. You’ll find that it takes hours upon hours of working with the architect or building designer to ensure you get exactly what you want. There are so many details to check off the list, that some of the obvious items that buyers assume are included aren’t discussed and can lead to big surprises in the budget later on. Our advice is to make sure these things are specified and confirmed with the builder well in advance so you’re all on the same page. Below are a few of the main features that may be missing from your plan:

 

Flooring
The plan should specify the intended floor finish, such as wood, tile, carpet or polished concrete. Carpet is often left out of the building quote and since you’ll likely handle it directly through a supplier. However, other types of flooring, wood in particular, are a different story. Wood flooring is too general of a term, as it can include wood laminates, floating wood floorboards, bamboo and traditional strip flooring. With such a wide range of products and costs, it’s important to understand what the builder has allowed for to avoid any surprises.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Lighting
Lighting is one of the most common items to cause unhappy surprises in a buyer’s budget. The main reason for this is that an electrical plan is completed at the quoting stage. At this point, you’re likely still unaware of the lighting options available, as well as their costs. This can lead to prices being highly underestimated in terms of number and type of lights. Make sure you visit a showroom in the early stages of your project to better inform yourself about what the builder is quoting.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Woodwork
Homeowners are more and more likely to want built-in cabinets for storage and display solutions in a variety of spaces, including the bathrooms, laundry room, bedrooms and family room. Woodwork is easy to identify on a floor plan, but just like wood flooring there are so many options in terms of color, material, fittings, design detail and hardware, it’s very difficult for builders to quote an accurate cost for the item. It’s smart to enlist the help of an interior designer to develop detailed drawings for quoting or specify an allowance in your plan.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Closets
Custom closets are a must-have for many buyers these days. But there are many options for actually fitting out a closet, from wire racks and shelves to high-end custom cabinets. People tend to focus on the size of the closet and forget to consider the details of how it will be used. You can ensure more accurate quotes by including details in the drawings.

Photo: Pottery Barn

Photo: Pottery Barn

Wall tile
Wall tiling is another line item that is assumed to be included in the builder’s quote. However, it’s necessary that both the cost of the tiles and the extent to which they will be used is clear. For example, you’ll need to know the cost per square foot that has been allowed for the tiles (for both floor and wall), as well as whether the wall tiles have been quoted as full height, half height or even skirting tiles only. This may well vary from one bathroom to the next, so make sure to set out your expectations room by room.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design