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Design Insight

How to Decorate an Open Plan Space

Open floor plans have become almost an absolute must in every modern home.  Contemporary homes are all about rooms that flow into one another without any visual obstacles, which can be a decorating challenge for some. The key thing to remember is that having an open floor plan does not mean that each individual area cannot have an identity of its own. Here are a few principles that can help you to organize beautifully and get the most out of your open-plan living space:

Create Spaces Within Your Space
Just because there are no walls doesn’t mean you can’t have different “rooms” in your open space plan. Smaller pockets of space, usually grouped around furniture and art, can create separate spaces within the open plan. Try using large furniture pieces for function or architectural elements as natural partitions to anchor each room.
Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

 
Focus Your Accessories
Designing an open plan area can be challenging in that there is so much space to fill. While you might be tempted to fill every square foot with furniture, a few careful arrangements of smaller furniture pieces will complete your room-within-a-room concept.
Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Delineate the Space with Rugs
Another simple way to organize large, open spaces is by being smart about the positioning of area rugs.  Rugs bring the decor together and clearly create a more organized and curated space.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

 

Statement Lighting
Another way to set a space apart from the other “rooms” in an open floor plan is to install a distinct light fixture. Defining the dining area with a great statement pendant or globe light will do the trick.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

 

Use Color to Create Flow
Since an open floor plan demands one uniform backdrop for the entire floor, go with a single neutral color for the walls. Pops of color can then be added as accents in the form of throw pillows, artwork and rugs. In the kitchen, use a new material or color for the cabinets to allow it to stand out as it’s own room.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

Open Up to the Outdoors
Whenever possible, extend your open floor plan even further by incorporating an outdoor room.  A covered porch or patio is extremely versatile and can be used for dining, relaxing and entertaining.
Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

Simple Tricks to Modernize Your Interiors

No matter how old your home is, modernizing the look of the interiors can be a challenge. If renovations aren’t in your plans or maybe not even necessary to get the job done, we’re happy to tell you that your home can easily be modernized with some small aesthetic touches.  Here are some simple tricks to bring your home up to date, without breaking the bank!

Make a Statement
With mid-century modern design, less is more. This is especially true when it comes to choosing furniture. Instead of cluttering a room with countless items from the era, choose one statement piece that will serve as the room’s focal point. Perhaps you can splurge on an original Eames chair or set of Eero Saarinen tulip chairs?
Photo: Herman Miller

Photo: Herman Miller

Hang Contemporary Art
The look that contemporary art juxtaposed with the architectural detail of a traditional home is very cool. Seek out artwork with colors that complement your existing furnishings, and you’ve got a foolproof combination. If a new art collection is not in your budget,  you can simply change the way your existing pieces are framed. Choose clean-lined frames in wood (stained or painted) and recycle the gilded molded frames into a mirror for another time.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Mix it Up
There’s nothing wrong with mixing styles and if done correctly this can give your rooms an exciting and modern look. For example, if you have an antique dining room set, keep the beautiful table and replace the wooden chairs. Buy some modern chairs to juxtapose the look of the table and you’ll be shocked at the result.

Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

De-Formalize Your Rooms
Formality makes most people feel like they can’t touch or sit, which doesn’t allow for a welcoming or comfortable home that you can live in. If you can’t bear to part with grandma’s Victorian loveseat, put it in the living room, but re-upholster it in a bright, new fabric and maybe even throw a patterned rug underneath.

Photo: ngocminhngo.com

Photo: ngocminhngo.com

Avoid Symmetry
The key to creating a modern look is balance over symmetry. Details and accessories, like table lamps and side tables, will look better if they don’t match. In the large scheme of things, this applies to the ratio between styles as well. Adding a little bit of one style to a lot of another makes more sense than dishing it out 50/50.

 

Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Pare it Down
I often tell my clients that “modern” does not have to be white walls, floors and furnishings and a stark environment. However, modern is clean and clean is pared down. Delete the clutter and choose the accessories, whatever style, carefully.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Infuse Pattern Into Your Home Decor

Patterned furniture and décor should not be left to professional designers alone. Infusing pattern into your space is a great way to tell your story and make your home cozier and more lively. Pattern is very personal and the best place to start is by finding the ones that you really connect with. Think outside of the box and explore the world of pattern a bit before you buy. Living in a world of solids can be boring, but the pattern doesn’t need to be crazy to stand out: artwork, pillows, and fabric are easy ways to incorporate pattern into any space! Start small and build so you don’t get overwhelmed. Here are some of our favorite ways to bring pattern into your home:

Artwork
One of the easiest ways to add interest to any room is through artwork. Artwork can be intimidating for many people but really, it’s all about displaying things you love and you want to look at. It’s about exploring those interests, and seeing how they relate with one another.

Chameleon Design

Pillows
Pillows are another great way to update any room – bonus: just change out the covers if you already have inserts! Swapping out the cover seasonally or when the mood strikes is an easy way to change the feeling of a room. You can also move pillows from one room to another to give them new life without buying a thing.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

Rugs
Next to accent pillows, area rugs are our best bets for adding pattern without overwhelming a space. A classic stripe in tonal colors is an easy place to start adding texture and personality to your home. Still worried? Ease into it with a runner or small rug in a kitchen or entry, and work your way up to something larger in the bedroom or living room.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

Wallpaper
You have a few options when it comes to using pattern on your walls.  Wallpaper, of course, is the traditional way to go, and gives you a variety of choices.  However, you might also consider temporary wallpaper, which you can switch out with your changing decorating tastes or new furniture pieces.  You might also replicate part of a pattern by painting it on a large scale.  The drama of a large pattern can even make a small space seem bigger.

House Beautiful

Window Treatments
Introduce print to your home’s vertical planes without committing to wallpaper by opting to use a patterned fabric for your shades and drapery. A bold-colored print will enliven any neutral space and is a nice contrast to organic textures. A textural shade in classic colors is a good bet for any space where you’d like to project a serene vibe.

Chameleon Design

Chameleon Design

Tile
Tiled backsplashes, floors, and bathroom walls are the perfect way to add personality to utilitarian areas. Both the tile itself and the price of installation can be costly, so definitely consider your choice carefully before proceeding. A tonal installation in a classic pattern is an ideal place to start, while a bold geometric design will certainly make a lasting statement.

Better Homes & Gardens

Ceilings
A patterned ceiling is a fun and unusual way to add interest to a space. Whether in the form of painted stripes or tonal wallpaper, an eye-catching ceiling is unique and chic. We especially love the look in kids’ rooms, where it can be easier to get away with a more unusual color combination or bold design.

Domino Magazine

Domino Magazine

Make the Patio the Coolest Room in Your House

Memorial Day weekend is just behind us and that means that summer is officially here! If you’re looking forward to spending as much time outdoors as we are, you should make sure your patio is in top shape.  Whether your desire is to dine, entertain or lounge, patios are the perfect place to retreat and enjoy the weather. With a little attention you can turn your patio into a true extension of your home, both in function and design. Here are some easy things you can do to your patio to get it summer-ready:

Light it Up
Lighting is a “must do” for outdoor areas like patios. The right lighting will give it the ambiance that makes it a truly special place to be even well into the evening hours. You can string lights across the patio for a magical feel, or if that’s not for you, some outdoor lamps or more traditional landscape lighting will do the trick.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

 

Go with the Flow
It’s equally important to consider traffic flow when you’re organizing your outdoor spaces as it is for indoor areas. If your access to the patio is through the kitchen, put your grill and food prep area closest to the house so you can easily transport food in and out.  If your patio is off the living room, it’s great to extend that living room feeling into the outside with another conversation area. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in the backyard, try to set it up so that guests coming inside from the pool enter through a room with tile floors instead of carpeting.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

 

Go Green
Most people know that a patio begs for plants. Make sure you choose plants that add not only color but also different textures. Have a variety of plants of varying heights-  some flowering and some just green.  Though it’s a simple ingredient, plants really do make a huge difference in the overall feel of your patio.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Add Some Warmth
If your patio doesn’t have a built-in fireplace, a portable or semi-permanent fire pit can be a great solution and will add a cozy ambience for your outdoor gatherings. People just tend to relax and settle in around a fire, and it can be the perfect backdrop for those long conversations on the patio or deck.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Build an Outdoor Kitchen
If you’re hosting a party on the patio, people need to eat. So having some sort of outdoor kitchen space is a must. Some custom homes have an entire kitchen built into the patio. But if not, you’ve got to figure out a way to create a kitchen space around a simple grill. People will always gravitate to the area where the food is, so make sure to create a large enough space to accommodate them. Make some seating areas and include a big, galvanized tub full of ice and drinks.  Be sure to have enough tables on hand for seating as well as serving the food.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Design Tips to Make a Big Impact at a Small Cost

Often, a quick refresh is all you need to make you feel like you have a whole new room. There are so many things you can do yourself, without the help of a professional, and without investing a fortune. Here are some of our favorite tips on small tweaks that can completely transform a space in your home:

Use small rooms to take big risks
A wallpaper pattern that would overwhelm your living room will be fabulous in your powder room or a small foyer. Pick a pattern you love, that you could never get away with in a larger space, and have fun with it!

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Edit
We all need to resist our urge to hoard! Simple stacks of books mixed in with a carefully curated collection add interest without adding clutter. Try color coordinating your books for a fun look.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Think in multiples
A cluster of small tables can create a bigger impact than one table on its own. The same goes for seating at the end of the bed. Plus you can re-purpose as needed!

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Add some life to your spaces
Adding plants inside blurs the boundaries between inside and out and can add color  and life to a room like nothing else. Just picture the room below without the plants and you’ll get the idea!

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Find a rich, unexpected paint color
It may take some trial and error, but when you find that perfect color it’s a statement by itself. The dark wall in this room really pops against the bright white bed and other walls.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Build a Kitchen Fit for Entertaining

You might throw the best party in town but if your kitchen isn’t company ready you’re missing the mark. People love to gather in the kitchen and your guests will often gravitate there during parties. Not to mention, the kitchen is the most popular spot in the house for most families! Luckily, we have some experience with this and we’ve rounded up a number of tips to share. From things you can conquer over the weekend to small scale renovations, these will all help you to create the ultimate kitchen for entertaining:

Grab-and-Go Shelving
Open shelving is not only chic and eye-catching, it also makes grabbing tableware and glasses a breeze. Plus, there’s your incentive for splurging on a new  set of dishes.

Photo: Pinterest

The Second Sink
The worst part of hosting parties is definitely the cleanup. Keep the dish situation under control with a second sink for dirties. The island is the perfect place for a second sink.

Photo: Pinterest

The Center Island
If your gatherings happen to involve lots of family-style dishes,then a center island is key. Display all of your appetizers on the island (the focal point) and let guests mingle in the kitchen at their leisure. It takes the pressure off you to serve.

Photo: Chameleon Design

The Dedicated Wine Fridge
The next time you’re planning a kitchen renovation, a built-in, under-the counter, temperature-controlled wine fridge is a no-brainer. It will give you easy access when entertaining and assure your wine is always the right temp.

Photo: Pinterest

The Double Range
To ensure that all of your dinner-party fare is ready at the same time, splurge on a burner-heavy stove top. It will make your life so much easier if you can whip up everything at once instead of in shifts.

Photo: Pinterest

Versatile Seating
Lightweight barstools around your island are essentials. Use them to create a pre-dinner cocktail hub or a spillover dining area–or drag them into the living room when seating there becomes too scarce.

Photo: Pinterest

The Cocktail Bar
While we’d love to hire a bartender for the evening, a handy cocktail station or bar cart is the next best thing. Encourage guests to help themselves by corralling all of your glasses, libations and cocktail fixings into one centrally located hub.

Photo: Pinterest

The Open Floor Plan
When you entertain it’s important to enjoy your own party. And that means being a part of the action. So what’s the best way to do this?  Knock down that dividing wall!

Photo: Chameleon Design

Give Your Bathroom An Instant Makeover

No matter how small the bathroom, remodeling it is a big project that can be very costly.  If a major re-model is not in your near future, that doesn’t mean you should settle for a bath that feels less than inviting. These quick-fix solutions will give your bath a major facelift without demolishing tile, hiring a plumber or taking over your weekends:

Swap in Storage With Hotel Style
Bath towels, hand towels and many soaps and shampoos cycle through your bathroom. It’s time to retire storage pieces that read as college dorm. Bring in a linen cabinet, sturdy shelves or a classic metal rack that would be right at home in a five-star hotel.

Photo: Pinterest

Update the Medicine Cabinet
You spend a lot of time in front of your bathroom mirror so much sure it’s not an eyesore. Switch your outdated cabinet for one that’s more stylish.

Photo: Pinterest

Invest in Luxe Linens
First impressions are everything, and those worn, faded towels have seen better days. Invest in a set of fresh towels and you’ll instantly see and feel the difference it makes to your overall bathroom experience.

 

Elevate the Small Stuff
Boutique hotels know this design trick. Display your toothbrush, hand soap, tissues, and cotton balls in something fancy that adds a little shine and polish- elevating even the simple task of reaching for a cotton ball.

Photo: Pinterest

Easy Tips to Make Your Home Look More Polished

Whether perking up your living room or furnishing a new home, what’s not to love about hiring a professional interior designer? However, if it’s not in your budget we have some tricks up our sleeves that are simple enough to do on your own. Here are some of our favorite and inexpensive ways to make your home look more polished:

Layer Your Rugs

Nothing says comfort and style like multiple layers under your feet. In this room, a woven patterned rug is layered over a larger sisel rug.

Photo: Pinterest

Hang Drapes High and Wide

Hanging your drapes close to the ceiling and wider than the window frame is the trick to creating a bigger, taller and airier space.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Display Books

Books are the greatest accessories ever, as they have the ability to add warmth to any room. Stack and intermix tomes with fun objects for an instantly polished look.

Photo: Pinterest

Avoid Being too Matchy-matchy

Different textures make any interior look more expensive. Combine sisal, leather, metal, linen, glass and different fabrics to make a simple space seem as if it’s been curated by a professional.

Photo: Pinterest

Throw Some Pillows

Accent pillows can look high-end but are super easy on your wallet. They’re a perfect low-risk chance to play around with color and pattern.

WLH-ElSol3-Living-copy

Photo: Chameleon Design

Include a Statement Plant

The fiddle leaf fig is beloved by design pros for its large size, lollipop shape and cheery shade of green. Adding it or a similar big green plant to a room will instantly inject color into an otherwise mostly neutral palette.

Photo: Pinterest

Create the Ideal Master Bedroom

We all live hectic and busy lives and at the end of the day, you deserve to retreat to a place where you can relax and unwind in comfort. Your master bedroom should be beautiful, luxurious and highly functional and here are some ideas to ensure you’re able to turn your bedroom into your very own sanctuary.

Ample Seating
Turn your master bedroom into a master suite with a comfortable sitting area. Adding a couple of comfortable chairs and a small accent table for books or magazines creates a space where you can enjoy time away from the main social areas in your home. If you love to read, you can even create your own bedroom reading nook. A custom window seat is the perfect place to lose yourself in a great novel after a busy day.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Focused Lighting
After the sun goes down, it’s helpful to have a variety of light sources to create the perfect ambiance. Installing a dimmer switch allows you to enjoy bright light or romantic dim light from the same light source. Lamps flanking either side of the bed will create drama and interest, while serving a practical purpose.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Luxurious Linens
The bed is arguably the most important piece in the room and a one that you will not regret investing a bit of money in. Not only is it the focal point in the space, but a plush and layered bed will create a sense of ultimate luxury. White linens are always a good way to go, as they give you that luxe five-star hotel feel with their simple elegance. Cozy throws and soft blankets are wonderful additions to your bed and essential for cozying up with a good book.

Photo: Pinterest

Key Accessories
Make your bedroom truly your own by adding pieces that have personal meaning and reflect your style, interests and personality. Hang your favorite piece of art over the bed, add a collection of black-and-white photos to the sitting area or choose an accent wall with a bold color. Your favorite scented candles are also a nice touch and can create a romantic or relaxing setting, depending on your mood!

Photo: Pinterest

Plenty of Storage
Nothing makes your master bedroom feel smaller than clutter! If you find that clothes, accessories and other items are scattered across your bedroom, you likely need more storage space.  Work to create space-friendly storage options that exceed your expectations.

The Modern Playroom

With the modern trend of minimalism and clean and well defined design lines taking over, playrooms are quickly following the same path. Marrying beautiful themes with smart storage solutions, the perfect playroom is a space that both adults and kids appreciate. Designing the right children’s playroom can be a tricky but there are a couple ingredients to keep in mind to make sure you get it right:

Maximize Storage and Shelf Space
If you aren’t careful about providing ample space to tuck away the mountains of toys when your little ones are done with them,  you’ll likely regret it. Add shelving to the playroom with plenty of space- modern bookshelves are great in this regard. Fill them with colorful containers or cool woven  baskets that are both elegant and efficient. Benches with hidden storage and sleek storage ladders tucked away in the corner also do the trick.

Photo: Pinterest

1303-09_PL2A_Bonus-detaill_AVO-Chameleon

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Pinterest

Combinations of Spaces and Zones
Planning for the playroom should ideally start with its placement. Open playroom designs and floor plans are becoming far more popular as they are both safe and easy to incorporate. Multicolored rugs, carpet tiles and a special ceiling will differentiate the space and make it feel far more special than the reminder of the house.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

1303-08_PL2A_BonusRoom_AVO-Chameleon

Photo: Chameleon Design

The most essential component of it all though is the input offered by your kids. Talk to them before you get started with the playroom. Incorporate colors, themes and activities that they want the most while adding your own safety and storage solutions to them. At the end of the day, the playroom is their space!

1228-18d-PL2-ChalkBoard-D_Lexington_Chameleon_Lennar

Photo: Chameleon Design