5 Interior Color & Design Tips For Style Chameleons

chameleon illustration

Style chameleons change their interior design plans often, with new colors, patterns, and textures. Here are some design strategies to help you do the same.


Some people like things just the way they’ve always been. It brings them a certain sense of comfort. Others, however, thrive on change; they are style chameleons.

This definitely applies to home decor and interior design. When friends come over for dinner to the style chameleon’s home, they think they’ve walked into a different house because it’s always changed since their last visit. This approach to home decor keeps a space vibrant and energetic. But, it has to be a challenge, too. Maybe, as a style chameleon yourself, you know this from experience.

So, what are some style chameleon lessons that we can apply to our own spaces?

1. Use a blank canvas of neutral colors

A neutral palette as a backdrop for elements you use in the foreground offers the simplest solution to changing design tastes. Consider uncommon neutrals if you’re repulsed by boring beige or washed-out gray. Maybe you’d prefer shades of sandy tan or rich cream for some added warmth to your base, for example. And don’t forget white for that true blank canvas base! .

living room bold colors red purple orange white

Layer different intensities of neutrals on top of one another to add dimension without restricting your style. Then, choose color splashes that will work best. Think of it as a blank canvas for the personality you bring to the space. Use painted color accents, layers of texture, and combinations of patterns through the use of throw pillows, furniture slipcovers, window coverings, artwork, painted baseboards, glassware, area rugs.

If you decide to eliminate all your blue and gold accessories, you won’t spoil the existing design by introducing purples and oranges. Your blank canvass allows you to have a visually interchangeable space that’s easy to switch up according to season, or mood.

2. Don’t discount the big and bold

Sometimes, a big bold statement is the way to go, even for a base color. If you need plenty of stimulation in your living space, let your imagination run wild. Introduce bold, daring colors and patterns into every room. If you’ve already established a baseline of bold, you won’t risk chaos when you change up your decor.

Eclectic Living Room by Sydney Architects & Building Designers Scott Weston Architecture Design PL

To maintain cohesion regardless of the colors and textures you use, choose a style or theme to tie together the design of each space. For example, maybe you favor Moroccan or Bohemian design. As long as you stick with that style, your home will remain cohesive even when you change out all the pillows or hang new curtains. And with big, sweeping themes for rooms, that colorful base will always add that layer of visual energy.

3. Discover the possibilities in the monochromatic

Monochromatic design seems like the opposite of how a style chameleon might adapt. But, don’t be fooled! Among other benefits, monochromatic color schemes, or at least those that draw from a single color spectrum, create a sense of peace in the home. They invite the eye to pick out focal points and rest between them. A pale color promotes tranquility, while darker colors are more moody and dramatic.

Traditional Bedroom by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Amy Lau Design

Most importantly, a monochromatic color scheme accommodates change. If you decide to experiment with pops of color or introduce new furniture, you don’t have to compete with existing colors in the space. All you have to do is match it to the dominate color. Remember to choose complementary colors across the color wheel. This opens more possibilities for change than you might think.

4. Think about the diversity of nature

When it comes to change and finding beauty in it, what is a better example than the earth itself? Earth tones always form an easy color palette to match when you decide to switch out decor. Deep yellow, greens, browns, and other earthy colors are found in nearly every type of furnishing. Sometimes including houseplants that are easily added or taken away can help to kick-start this approach.

Mediterranean Entry by Santa Monica Interior Designers & Decorators Chris Barrett Design

But remember; nature holds the full range of color; the rich reds of the deserts of the American southwest, the rich color splashes of the flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest, the cool blues and ice-whites of the Rocky Mountains. Nature is diverse, including all colors and in sometimes unexepected combinations. Why not try them in your space?

5. Think about the beauty of the urban and industrial

There is a certain timelessness with the patterns and colors of the city. Colors that work with metallic tones often work well if you love switching out hardware, from cabinet knobs to light fixtures. Jewel tones, for instance, remain a timeless and classy choice. They never go out of style, so they stay on trend even when other fashions fade.

Industrial Living Room by Los Angeles Photographers Chris A Dorsey Photography

Just as you discovered with the diversity of nature, the city also combines a  variety of colors and patterns that all live together, yet retain an identity even when things change. That’s really the point of this exercise, right? And it opens up a world of possibilities for spaces you create that you have a mind to adapt later on.

Change is good

As a style chameleon, you’re interested in using change as a design element, always keeping yourself on your toes when it comes to making your space your own.

The color scheme and use of textures and patterns you choose for your home should always reflect your personal tastes, but remember your penchant for change. You don’t have to box yourself in by using convention. Like a good chameleon, you can adapt instead using the only rules that really count in the end – your own!


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