Design Insight

Must-Haves for the Modern Family

Just because modern families operate at dizzying speeds doesn’t mean there isn’t time to incorporate classic styles into contemporary homes – and timeless doesn’t have to echo time warp when approached with chic interpretations of perennial favorites. Rock the ages with cheeky destinations and updated materials for oversize mirrors, accent chairs and hanging terrariums.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Classic mirrors reflect modern families when styled to add sparkle to otherwise staid areas. Consider that mirrors reflect natural light; wield them at whim to make any space feel ample and bright. The secret to creating effortless entryways is to stage a bespoke welcome – transforming guests into friends, and friends into family – with an oversize mirror. Or spotlight living on the edge with a long, beveled style in the living room.





Invisible Seating

As clear as day and ready to play, acrylic accent chairs work hard at looking good. These translucent wonders triumph in a kitchen or dining room by providing extra seating without the visual clutter. To coax their transparent thermoplastic fibers into creating curiosity in any space, try pairing an acrylic chair with a timeless wood stool or perching a see-through seat under a bathroom window and piling it high with books or a plant. Cozy desks pair just right with ghosted chairs, too.

The Glitter Guide

One Kings Lane


Hovering On High

Invite the wonder of nature to reside indoors – in a modern casing, of course. The iconic terrarium is back to wow, this time trending as gilded-edge glass or hanging orbs inviting wonder. Get a jump on the updated aesthetic with tabletop terrariums blooming with tiny plants. For a classic presentation, perch them in a group along with treasured books or prints, or send low-lying shrubs on high with hanging terrariums.

The Green Head



Incorporating Timeless Decor Into Your Home

Infusing a room with personality instills an element of perpetuity that defies fleeting design fads. After all, nothing says timeless like individualized accents, which can take the form of woven rugs, a solitary leather chair and framed, black-and-white photos. Whether your vibe is modern or vintage chic, customizable accessories will greet guests with the warmth of hospitality and whisper discerning refinement year after year.

Instant Floor Appeal

With an array of beautiful designs and soft textures, Turkish rugs create striking floor art wherever they are placed. In bedrooms and living areas, calm patterns and softer woven textures pair beautifully with a variety of color palettes and offer a visual pause from hardwoods or carpet. Rugs in entryways give the illusion of a much larger space; in the living room, they unify divergent design elements. Our rule of thumb: buy a size up to allow furniture to fit inside the rug’s perimeters without sacrificing space.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

A Love Note to Leather

Furniture styles come and go, but leather never goes out of fashion. Leather chairs in particular lend warmth to any room – yet provide unexpected coolness on hot Southern California summer days. For a distinctive design statement, place a pin-tuck leather chair in the corner of a bedroom, mix a modern high-back into the living room seating area or surprise dinner guests with leather chairs bookending the dining room table.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design


Chameleon Design

An Ode to Black & White

Black-and-white framed photos deliver artistry to any room. For an easy and quick design change, update a gallery wall by switching out colored photos for black and whites and frame them all with a color that complements ¾ or even contrasts ¾ the surrounding environment. Inject a hint of whimsy in the kitchen with framed black text recipes on white backdrops. Or create an unexpected conversation starter by displaying a trio of serene black and whites in a main-floor powder room.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

How to Style a Swoon-Worthy Backyard Vignette

With summer ushering warm nights, your backyard is calling you to visit. What better time to spruce up your outdoor space with these covetable finds: the glow of twinkle lights, an intentional drink bar and a tropical touch of greenery. Goodbye vintage, and hello magical backyard vignette.

Let It Glow

Whether your outdoor space is a cozy patio or lavish retreat, nothing creates mood faster than café lights framing the perimeter of a patio table or seating area. To create an illusion of larger space, place the center strand of lights at the farthest point from the backyard entrance and work your way out in a fan shape.

Chameleon Design


Flirty Cocktail Umbrellas Not Required

Your backyard will become the hot spot for cold cocktails when you set up a one-stop bar station. Give a bar cart a new lease on life by rolling it near chairs or stools and stocking it with a large ice bucket, cocktail mixers and plenty of eye-catching glasses. Tuck blankets and Turkish towels in a nearby basket for cool evenings.

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Be a Green Goddess

Enhance a backyard vignette by using nature to its fullest. Palm fronds, banana leaves and jasmine entice your senses and create a spa-like ambience. Greenery breathes life and texture when flanking doors or creating climbing shapes along a back wall.

Chameleon Design

Tiny Houses and Why We Love Them

Like a grown-up version of the Barbie Dreamhouse, tiny houses are big on style and functionality. These houses – often measuring less than 400 square feet – are part of a growing movement toward minimalism, born out of consumers’ desires to simplify their lives while maximizing their sense of fulfillment. Although living smaller may not be right for everyone, the lessons about simpler living in a more efficient space translate to virtually any home. Steal these ideas from tiny living to reap the benefits of their thoughtful, innovative designs.

Pare Down Upkeep

Although it’s a popular trend to hang a flat-screen television over a built-in fireplace, electronics and heat don’t mix well. One new solution to this dilemma is to select an ethanol-alcohol fireplace, which produces less heat, and recess a TV into the wall so it’s protected better. Although a TV is a focal point in many living rooms and dens, a cupboard design like this one allows homeowners to hide the monitor when not in use.

Look Up

One of the best features about tiny houses is that these designs maximize space. Imagine drifting off to sleep in a loft suspended from high ceilings.

Choose Double-Duty Furniture

Not every home has enough space for a separate home office, but with the right selection of furniture, every space can serve multiple purposes. A hideaway desk can morph into a workstation easily, especially one with lots of cubbies and drawers for storage. Another option is to build a desk and shelving into existing nooks.

Play with Color

A paler color palette comprised of soft neutrals can open small quarters to create the visual equivalent of space. But you don’t have to stick to white, beige and gray; a pop of color can focus attention on the spectacular design of a well-appointed piece. Alternatively, a richly hued scheme incorporating dramatic, even dark, color on the walls can add drama.

How to Incorporate Home Technology Invisibly into Design

Although technology is ubiquitously designed into every new home, no one wants to see the telltale signs of it. Gone are the days of showcasing technology as a design focus; today’s consumer wants it to work in the background seamlessly. Fortunately, thanks to a crop of new audio, theater, energy monitoring and security gadgets, technology is more powerful than ever before yet integrated into home design for practically invisible use.

Stage a TV over a Fireplace – Or Make It Disappear

Although it’s a popular trend to hang a flat-screen television over a built-in fireplace, electronics and heat don’t mix well. One new solution to this dilemma is to select an ethanol-alcohol fireplace, which produces less heat, and recess a TV into the wall so it’s protected better. Although a TV is a focal point in many living rooms and dens, a cupboard design like this one allows homeowners to hide the monitor when not in use.

Hear It, Don’t See It

For an ambient experience, consider embedding surround-sound audio speakers into existing design. In fact, some types of speakers are made to vibrate and amplify audio signals better when hidden in walls or ceilings. Other solutions include faux rocks to hide speakers in a backyard or on a patio.

Charge Wherever You Are

Mobile phone users swipe, tap and pinch their phones on average 2,617 times a day, racking up a million touches every year, according to research firm Dscout. All that checking in drains battery life quickly, but furniture with built-in, wireless charging pads mean you can set down your smartphone and charge up in no time.

Whole-Home Integration: There’s an App for That

For the ultimate in convenience, homeowners are turning to automated systems that run lighting, heating, security and other electronics from one touchscreen system – even a single app accessible from any mobile device. An integrated system like this one lets users control practically everything in a home.

Faux Finishes Mimic Nature

It all began the moment you settled in to read the latest thriller from your favorite author and draped a faux sable blanket across your lap. Since then, your love affair with all things organic and lush has grown in intensity. Now it’s time to invite other faux finishes into your home to drive your interior design choices. From rugs to ceiling aesthetics and everything in between, here’s your guide to using budget-friendly faux finishes to make everything look a bit more luxe.

Mesmerize with Marble

The faux finishing technique of marbleizing replicates the intricate, variegated veins of real marble. This countertop and back splash is made of natural quartz designed to appear like marble.

Chameleon Design

Get the Look of Ancient Stone

Stone stands up to the test of time, but the cost can be prohibitive. That’s where artisan finishes on drywall or wood come in. The look of a faux stone finish is organic – even responsive to fluctuations in lighting.

Nature at Your Feet

If you love the appearance of real wood flooring but loathe to undertake the upkeep or cost, tile that mimics the raw wonder of wood is easy to care. Faux wood tile flooring bears details once found only in nature, such as varying grains, concentric rings and knots, as well as a range of hues.

Chameleon Design

Wood Grain Craze

Enveloping cabinets or even walls in faux wood gain can mimic a range of looks from rustic to refined to exotic. The secret to trying this trend is to varying the direction of the grain to create the illusion of spaciousness in tight spaces.

Pantone’s Color of the Year Soothes the Soul

Does the pace of modern life have you yearning for the natural world? The Pantone Color Institute offers weary souls an antidote with its 2017 Color of the Year, called Greenery. The yellow-green minimalistic hue invites you to stop and breathe, disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. Greenery is all about unity and community – and we can’t think of a better purpose for design.

Invite the Great Outdoors into Your Home

In announcing its color of the year, Pantone lauded Greenery for its “vitality of nature and new beginnings.” We recommend refreshing tired surroundings or calming busy interiors by bringing the soft, desaturated tone into your environment. Greenery answers the call for simplicity and evokes the grounding of nature, making it the ideal color to redefine a room. Almost every brand of paint incorporates a color like Greenery into its palette this year. Some of our other favorite ways to introduce Greenery into your environment include throws, furniture and appliances.

Sources: A: Alpaca Throw, Johnathan Adler B: KitchenAid Mixer C: Leather Pouf, All Modern D: Parsons Bed, Room & Board E: Rustic Platter, Williams Sonoma

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!


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