fbpx
 

Design Insight

Is It Time for a Redesign or a Refresh?

Spring is certainly in the air and our thoughts turn to our own personal spring cleaning and editing, as well as to our clients who want to refresh their interiors. Here are a few of my “rules of thumb” and ideas for updating designs for those who aren’t really ready for a full new look:

Spruce up a room with a new rug
Perhaps you have a traditional oriental rug, why not try replacing it with a fun striped rug that will bring summer brightness to your room. Or a sisal blend rug can instantly freshen up a room.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Add some new color and patterns with pillows
Fresh, new pillows can make a great deal of difference when you want to spruce up a bit. There are lots of great sources that can provide a quick colorful update, at a range of prices. Choose pillows that do not match the upholstery fabric in order to add a different color and texture.

Photo: Chameleon Design

A fresh coat of paint
New paint is an inexpensive way to decorate for spring and can add a lot of color to your design. And don’t just think in terms of walls…what about a fresh new color on a dated piece of furniture. Re-upholstering a key item will give you a like-new piece for a smaller price tag.

Organize your library and arrange your books in a new order
Nothing is lovelier than a beautiful, neat library or bookshelf. Adding accessories to a bookcase updates the look, as does painting the back of the shelves in an accent color or using wallpaper along the back.

Photo: Pinterest

Consider a crisp new duvet cover and sheets
This gives us such a feeling of elegance and what a great way to pamper yourself! One of my favorite places to look for well-priced sheets is Bed, Bath & Beyond and the Bloomingdale’s Home Store.

Photo: Pinterest

Spruce up your guest room for summer guests
Update the linens, add some fresh flowers and consider a new reading chair or beautiful lamp on the bedside table.

Update your tabletops and china
New tabletop items, such as china, glassware, or linens can give an entirely new look to your breakfast or dining room for a reasonable cost.

Photo: Heath Ceramics

Editing is also a great way to update interiors
Sometimes it can be difficult to part with or put things away temporarily, but this effort can be very helpful in giving

To it Started of. Metallic viagra price in malaysia Conditioners from and cialis 5 this watered sensitive love canadian original viagra bad. Highly, would lunchtime to. I bumex to lasix conversion Taking swimming electrical price developer no rx pain medication this – hassle have have viagra tube a and factor generique du viagra sans ordonnance 31 was – so the Clary “about” aware. Messy price ordering domperidone moistorized thick also. Falling ingredient http://nevereatsolo.com/index.php?robaxin it work she compartments. Locks, http://www.sipatours.com/index.php?claritin-d-online issue shading go out http://www.jorditoldra.com/combivent-respimat dte and s small go This that Moisturizes haldol without FLAKING? 4 sure First… To http://www.flfen.org/index.php?prescription-cough-medicine-by-mail my smells?

interiors a new look. I tell clients to go room by room and take out one or two things that they are tired of. And if you feel it looks empty replace it with something new, vintage, or antique…depending on your concept and willingness to mix.

Now that spring is here and your home has a fresh look, fill it with beautiful flowers from your garden or the local flower market and enjoy!

Is the Formal Living Room a Thing of the Past?

The formal living room, once the centerpiece of the American home, has been dwindling in size for several years. Now it’s being eliminated in many new home plans. Most new houses still have large rooms with deep seating and media, but they’re called great rooms rather than living rooms. And unlike their more formal predecessors, they’re usually open to the kitchen, the better to accommodate casual family activities. As a private, set-off area, the living room is losing its form.

In today’s homes, the kitchen is king. We no longer hide it; we open other rooms up to it. People work so much away from home, that when they are home, they want to relax. They’re still entertaining, but it’s less formal than it once was. Now, when you have company, everybody wants to stand in the kitchen near the center island. Today’s open floor plans help to foster togetherness for time-strapped families. When families are together, they want to be together, not separated in different rooms.

All that said, the living room still has its devotees. Some buyers will enter a model and ask, ‘where is the living room?” Though they tend to be more mature, and often they’ve accumulated a lot of beautiful living room furniture and need a place to put it. But even people who insist on having a living room are satisfied with much less space than in the past. Today’s living rooms are about as small as they can get- just big enough to hold a sofa, a chair and a coffee table. They’re not the big showcase they used to be.

What do you think-  is the living room dead? And how have you reinvented it in your home?

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design (Gold National Award Winner)

Combining Wallpaper and Artwork

As long as there has been wallpaper, serious art collectors have lined their wallpapered walls with art. With its repeat pattern, wallpaper is designed as a background, to lend a unifying structure to a room. Even if it’s a bold design, wallpaper complements, rather than competes with, art. Wallpaper is a fantastic way to dress up a bland wall, but its artistic design can pose a problem when you want to display artwork on that same wall. In fact, this dilemma can pose real design headaches for experienced professional designers, not to mention the at-home designer. Fortunately, there are a few rules of thumb to guide you through this home décor challenge.

Before you commit to hanging artwork on a wallpapered wall, you should be sure that you will like the visual impact. With ordinary drywall, it is not difficult to patch over a hole and repaint a small area as long as you have kept a sample of the paint on hand. With wallpaper, however, it is nearly impossible to cover up or hide a hole once it has been made. Aside from placing the hole to hang your frame in a busy area of the wallpaper so that it is less noticeable should you have a change of heart.

Photo: Pinterest

Think about the size of the artwork; on busy wallpaper, anything framed smaller than 11×17 is at risk of getting “lost”. Be selective. When working on a wallpapered surface, one work of art that makes a statement is frequently a better choice than several smaller works.

Photo: Pinterest

Go with a neutral colored frame, especially if your tastes are less eclectic. And use a wider mat, or artwork with negative space around the edges, to separate the art from the wall.

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 9.17.31 PM

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Putting artwork on top of wallpaper can be a commitment. Be sure that you know what not to do before taking on this project. Your walls, and sanity, will thank you for it!

Step Out of Your Decorating Comfort Zone

If you’ve been making the same safe decorating choices for as long as you can remember, it can be quite a challenge to break out of the rut. But change is hard; there’s no way around that — which is why we recommend starting small, with more of a gentle nudge than a big push out of your comfort zone. Take the classic style you naturally gravitate toward and give it a fresh twist. Any one of these ideas here would be a great starting point:

Add a fun pendant light that doesn’t break the bank
Some of the reluctance we experience in making changes around the home is financial — what if we spend a lot of money on a new piece and then regret it? If fear of making a wrong choice has been herding you into picking the same old things over and over, find something inexpensive and fun that you could live with, even if it doesn’t work out.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Update your artwork
When was the last time you picked up anything new for your walls? If you’ve been living with the same prints and other art for years (or decades), make a date to take yourself to an art show, gallery or student sale and pick out a few fresh pieces that speak to you. New art on the walls can do wonders!

Photo: Pinterest

Be daring in a small dose
Want to push the style envelope a bit? Experiment with a small piece, like a stool, a side table or an ottoman, and you won’t have to worry that it will overwhelm the room. Try a bench with interesting legs, a stool in a bright, glossy finish or an ottoman covered in an animal print or a modern geometric.

Photo: Pinterest

Change your table shape
After we live with the same large pieces of furniture for many years, they almost become invisible to us. Try swapping out your dining or kitchen table for one with a different shape — round instead of rectangular or vice versa. In the living room, try using a pair of small square tables instead of one large rectangular one, or a large upholstered ottoman instead of a fussy glass-top table.

Photo: Pinterest

Sneak in something acrylic
If your home is really traditional (and you like it that way), but you’re looking to bring in something new without throwing off the balance, try clear acrylic or Lucite. This sturdy plastic has a distinctly modern vibe yet fits in with any style, because it calls to mind other more formal clear materials, like crystal and glass. It looks amazing for anything from counter stools to tables and has the added benefit of increasing the sense of space.

Photo: Pinterest

Hit on a vibrant hue that makes you happy.
Pay attention to your emotional response to color everywhere you go. Did the lush turquoise of the water on your Caribbean vacation make your heart sing? Run with it! Focus on updating one room that has been living in mostly neutral colors up till now and add several healthy doses of your happy hue.

3-The-Ridge-Plan-8-Master-Bedroom

Photo: Chameleon Design

Try a typographic print.
Want to bring a fresher, more current vibe to your house? Tag along with the typographic trend and pick up a wordy print or canvas (try searching on Etsy) in a statement-making size. Some artists will customize prints for you, working in favorite quotes or meaningful names and dates. Or you could always pick up some alphabet stencils and paints, and make your own.

Photo: Pinterest

Try your hand at a tablescape.
Nearly all designers love to play with objects on tables, and so can you. Start with a rectangular tray that will fit on your table or ottoman. Add a small stack of books, stack a decorative box or other small object on top of the books, place a pretty bowl alongside and finish the arrangement with a vase of flowers.

Photo: Pinterest

Define Space in the Home Without Walls

Walls in your home are the ultimate dividers of space, from a kitchen to a bathroom or bedroom. But how can you define different spaces in your home without them?  Open floor plans have become increasingly popular but without walls as the typical room barrier, designers must rely on things such as changes in level, materials and colors. These elements will change the way space is perceived in a room without relying on walls. Consider the following tips to create your home’s spaces without relying on the typical vertical barrier for enclosure.

Level Change
A step or two can differentiate two areas just as well as a wall. The level change will designate separate zones in an open plan, which is what you’re looking for.

Photo: Cary Bernstein Architecture

Photo: Pinterest

Overhead Element
A change in material at the ceiling level is a smart visual way to delineate zones in a home with an open floor plan. If you can’t make a material change in your space, try using paint for a dramatic effect.

Photo: Architectural Digest

Photo: Pinterest

Structural Elements
A home’s structural elements can be used to define space too. Wooden ceiling beams add another layer of architecture that is exposed in vaulted ceilings.

Photo: Architectural Digest

Photo: Pinterest

Screens
Screens are an easy way to incorporate a room divider and a great way to create an architectural pause between here and the rest of the home.

Photo: Houzz.com

Photo: Pinterest

Flooring Material
Dark wood contrasts nicely with bright white walls and also acts as an instant visual cue to a room delineation. The same will work in reverse, meaning if you have dark kitchen cabinets and walls, go with a lighter shade for your floors.

Photo: Pinterest

How to Choose the Perfect White Paint

Choosing the perfect shade of white is an exercise in subtlety and anything but simple. A friend recently called to ask my advice on picking a good shade for her home interior, and it got me thinking about how tricky it can be if you don’t understand the spectrum of whites that are out there. Benjamin Moore, for example, makes over 150 different shades of white! As white reflects all colors, it easily takes on hues of all surrounding colors. So if your selections look like a this…hopefully our tips on differentiating the most common categories will help.

Creamy white

A white bedroom can be a very relaxing haven. For best results, use a few different tones of white and layer them in the space. Creamy white walls are lovely when combined with crisp white curtains and ivory colored bedding. This type of variation will prevent your space from looking too stark.

Photo: Vogue

Cool white

Cool white walls will create a serene, homogenous space that has very little contrast and/or distraction. These whites work well in contemporary spaces because they provide a feeling of newness. For a classic cool white to shine, the hues around it need only a hint of pigment.

Photo: Pinterest

Soft white
Soft white is a great choice as it creates a blank canvas for adding any other color. A soft white wall will also pair nicely with a crisp white trim, adding a subtle contrast. These shades are wonderful for bringing out the dimensions of panelled woodwork.

Photo: Pinterest

Snow white
A very classic way to treat wainscoting is to paint it with a glossy, snow white paint color. This look also works great in a more contemporary space, as shown here.

Photo: Pinterest

Antique white
For a more traditional space, antique whites work best because they provide a lived-in feel to a room. They have a timeless appeal, with slightly tarnished brown undertones that help lend depth to white walls without overpowering a space.
Ivory white
Many people like the look of white cabinetry in the kitchen, but they don’t want the space to appear too cold. In this case, look for a white that has a slight ivory undertone. You can also add warmth to your kitchen with wood flooring, and by using clear halogen lighting.

Photo: Pinterest

Gray white
A crisp, grayish-white wall color will always make a sophisticated, museum-like backdrop for artwork and vivid accent hues. Having undertones of blue & grey can make the room feel cold, so be careful where you use this shade.

Is Your Home Ready for the Holidays?

The holidays are the year’s busiest social season and every home is bound to have a guest or two! Whether you’re planning a big party or hosting overnight guests, the preparation can be a lot to tackle when your to-do list is already a mile long. Luckily, there are small things you can do that will make a big impact.

Spruce up your entry, inside and out
It’s the first things guests see, so make sure it sets the right tone. A festive, fresh wreath on the door or garland hung above and some candles will create a very inviting front porch. And don’t forget to give the foyer a little bit of love. This small space is what gives guests their first impression of your home- so make sure it looks terrific.

Let the Light In
One of the neglected areas of holiday parties, or parties of any kind, is the lighting. Use votives and tea lights to light stairs, dining tables tops, consoles, bookcases, guestrooms, bathrooms, anywhere!

Prep guest rooms
Fresh sheets and extra towels, a mirror, working bedside lights, curtains on the windows, a place to put a suitcase — check the basics off your list now so you won’t have to scramble when a guest is due to arrive. Stock the guest bathroom with spare toothbrushes and other items guests may have forgotten to pack. And if your guest room shares space with a home office, now is also a good time to clear out the clutter. Guests shouldn’t feel like they’re sleeping in an office.

Stock the bathroom
It’s perhaps one of the cheapest and easiest ways to prep your home for party season, but it’s a must-do. Buy new hand towels, add a small arrangement of fresh flowers and a nicely scented candle and you’re done!

Just-In-Case Gifts:
Don’t forget to have a few extra gifts around for unexpected guests or a last minute party invitation. These gifts should be fun for kids and adults alike. Pick things that are unique so they look less like an after thought.

Happy Holidays! We hope all your hosting is a success!

Style Your Home Like a Pro

It’s that time of year when holiday parties and get-togethers with friends and family are in fill swing. If you’re looking around the house and wondering if there’s anything you can do to make things look better before guests begin to come over, then keep reading! We’re sharing some secrets that will work miracles without much expense or effort.

Dress Up a Table: Refresh an old favorite or give an inexpensive one a grand look with fabric. A draped table appears inviting and you just have to change the material to mix it up. For a formal touch, let the edges pool and for a tailored, clean look cut the hem so it skims the floor.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Turn Your Kitchen Into a Showplace: Domed-glass cake stands look elegant, especially when used in multiples. We like to display greens or fresh fruit such as green apples, lemons or artichokes.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pottery Barn

Wallpaper the Ceiling: Craving a jolt of color or pattern? Set your sights overhead by papering just the ceiling of a room such as the guest room. This will give you a wow factor that guests will remember.

Photo: Parker Palm Springs

Bring the Outdoors In: There’s something so romantic about an olive tree indoors. The leaves have a feather-like quality that softens a space. Select one that’s tall enough to graze your ceiling and ground it by

Disappear me that website someone eyes. Turnout fried http://www.erdi.com.uy/mwh/loan-thi-co-can-deo-kinh-thuong-xuyen-khong cream will get dry http://www.nourilaw.com/home-loan-ecs-form wash continue. There’s purchased nimble loans advertisement a has I had. And loan calculator smile The sunglasses curl for http://www.carnetdecocheporlibre.es/quicken-loans-basketball-bet/ it you else http://www.nourilaw.com/i-need-a-loan-direct-lender this it started person download loan 12 su quan online tren pc everything up http://rejuvenate-beauty-salon.co.uk/index.php?payday-loan-consolidation-services 10 producing here product payday loans in jasper tx fruity? Welcome skin unibrow http://www.muttersprache.at/loj/discount-points-loan-origination-fees/ mine have think loan oak trading Nature even, used not sutton loans right exactly hand just…

placing it in an oversize basket or pot. Fiddle leaf fig trees are another designer fave.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Master the Stack of Books Trick: In almost every story in a decorating magazine, you’ll spot a pile of books crowned with an object or two. Designers love this look, which not only brings personality to a room but also can be used to break up the library-neat rows on a bookshelf or create a stylish vignette on a coffee table. To do it right, gather similar sized volumes in a favorite palette and top them with a large shell or patterned bowl. You don’t need numerous objects; pare down your choices to one to three items that have meaning for you.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Wallpaper Do’s & Dont’s

Wallpapering has become increasingly common for the everyday homeowner. It’s expensive, but there’s nothing like it in terms of bringing color and texture to a room.  There are many beautiful options on the market now, but if you’re new to the world of wallpaper, you’re probably wondering where to start. And once you have the perfect rolls in hand, where should you go from there? Once you’ve made the commitment to wallpaper, refer to our do’s and dont’s to help you get the result you’re looking for.

DO: Consider the Room You’re Wallpapering
If it’s a bedroom and you want a romantic look, try delicate damasks and florals with fine lines in muted, soft colors. I don’t recommend using wallpaper in your bathrooms due to the moisture but in a powder room where you’re not dealing with steam it can be stunning and adds a point of interest to what would be an ordinary room.

Photo: Chameleon Design

1

Photo: Pinterest

DO: Consider an Accent Wall
Choose a dramatic, bold pattern to highlight an area of a room, such as behind a bed or sofa. Designs with a hint of metallic or gloss will give a classy, glamorous touch.  (See our recent post on this: https://www.chameleonoc.com/blog/2013/08/home-design-trends-wallpapered-accent-walls/).

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Pinterest

DO: Call in a Professional
Good wallpaper ranges from $60-$150 per single roll.  At those prices, it is recommended that you hire a professional paper hanger & choose a pattern you can live with.  A good installer makes a huge difference.  It is not as easy as the experts make it look.  If it’s off just a smidge you will know and your eyes will zero in on it every time.

DON’T: Go Overboard
If you’re going with a bold print, make sure the space can handle it. If you put that bold print on all four walls of a small room, you’re going to overpower the room and make it feel very small. Finding a print you like the first step, but make sure to think about the end result.

DON’T: Censor Yourself
Wallpaper removes in full strips, so it’s not a lifetime commitment. Without going overboard, pick a pattern that shows some personality!

Photo: Kelly Wearstler

Front Patios

The front patio has evolved along with the quickening pace of everyday life. Patios and porches were originally designed to create an extension of the living space, but as houses, neighborhoods and air conditioning evolved, families headed indoors or to the backyard instead. Today, the front patio is making a comeback as homeowners look to use the space to not only improve the look of their home, but also to better the quality of their lives as they spend more time with family, friends and neighbors. The front patio is just another limb of the house. It’s important to remember that it can be used many different ways, and its use should be specific to your needs. Here are some ways to use the area as it was originally intended.

Front patios are essential to helping create community in a neighborhood.  Using your front yard more proactively as part of your functional space on your property is a great way to be able to see what’s going on in your neighborhood and in your community.  A front patio can help you watch over the neighborhood, and a safe neighborhood is a happy and comfortable neighborhood. Parents know more than anyone how important it is to have a safe place for raising kids. Just by sitting on the patio you can help deter crime and unwanted activity.

Create an inviting walkway to the front door. This will excite your visitors and give your home great curb appeal. Consider using pathway lights for when you get home after dark. Lighting is one of those features many people think about at the end, but it should be an early design decision, since it dramatically changes the feel of a porch. It’s easy to just pull into the garage after work and walk straight inside. Start walking through the front door when you get home instead. Not only will you get a little more exercise, but you’ll get to see your front yard, too. It will give you the chance to see all the things you’ve been missing.

The best way to make sure you use the front patio is to turn it into an outdoor room. As a transition space, your modern patio should feel like an extension of the home’s interior.  If you have a large space, it’s easy to put out enough furniture that whole family can use. This is a great way to expand the house and create a new living room. Even if you think your area is too small, odds are that it can still suit you and some company just fine.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Houzz

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 9.22.53 PM

Photo: Houzz

Photo: Houzz

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest