Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

I love nature and being outdoors. Growing up in Utah I spent many family vacations in the mountains and on my parents boat at Lake Powell. I guess that’s where it all started and now I’m going back to my roots and my love of nature. Don’t get me wrong, I love living at the beach in Newport. The weather in Southern California year round allows me to spend most of the year doing outdoor activities. However, it’s another thing in California to get away from traffic and people to just be alone with nature. Solitude and quiet time restores my spirit and stimulates my mind and creativity. So in my quest to get more of this, I thought an Airstream would allow me to get away and escape the hustle and bustle of my everyday life.

Airstream Trailer Renovation

Exterior of Airstream

Airstream trailers are a classic and were started by Wally Byam in 1929. I’ve always loved the sleek look of Airstream travel trailers. So I decided to get the 23″ International CCD. The original interior design was ultra modern, sterile and very stark. To me, modern and camping just don’t go together. I wanted to create a rustic interior design for my weekend road trips so I started looking for materials that would warm up the space and make it more like a cabin.

A Little History on Airstreams

In 1931, Airstream history began with Wally Byam’s dream: to build a travel trailer that would move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.

Every inch of an Airstream has a function. They are the most thoroughly tested brand in trailer history. Its engineering is the culmination of over 80 years of experience plus millions of miles on roads throughout the world.

With Airstream travel trailers, there is no planned obsolescence. Airstreams of the Thirties are still on the road today, sturdy and modern as ever. They are intended as a lifetime investment in happiness.

Let the Renovation Begin

Here are some of the highlights of my renovation that I thought would be fun to share with you all and show you some before and after photos. If you are looking to do your own Airstream renovation, hopefully this will give you some inspiration to start.

I kept the original floor plan due to the expense of rerouting electrical and plumbing. So after tearing everything out, the only thing remaining was the bathroom. I didn’t do any remodel to the inside of the bathroom. Below is the photo of what it looked like after everything was taken out.

Gutted Shell of Trailer

Gutted Interior of Airstream

I knew I wanted reclaimed wood floors and that was where my inspiration began. In the wood that I found, there was a pale blue gray, so I decided to use varying shades of blues in my design.

Below is a photo of the wood and the materials that were inspired from these floors.

Reclaimed Wood Flooring

Reclaimed Wood Flooring

Materials and Inspiration

Materials and Inspiration


I love the look of cement countertops, but when designing any trailer, I had to be conscious of weight, so rather than use real concrete, I opted for a laminate that looked like concrete. I loved the lighter and darker shades in this laminate and it looked so realistic.

Cabinet Laminate

Concrete Laminate

Concrete Laminate for Countertops

To contrast the lighter countertops I chose a charcoal gray wire brushed oak laminate for the cabinets. The original samples I had selected were too busy with the floors.

Dinette Area

Gray Laminate for Cabinets

Charcoal Gray Laminate on Cabinets in Kitchen Galley

I had the dinette booth made and used a blue gray ultra suede fabric for the seats and seat backs and then contrasted the back with a medium brown leather.

Dining Area Banquette

Dining Area Banquette Transforms into Additional Bed


The bathroom laminate was originally a stark white and it just didn’t complement the warm colors I was using, so I chose a wall covering from Phillip Jeffries to cover it. It created texture and warmth to the space.

Bathroom, Dining and Kitchen Galley

Exterior Bathroom Walls Wrapped in Phillip Jeffries Vinyl Textured Grass Wall Covering

Window Treatments

The original window treatment material that I selected above looked great and had a bit of blue that I liked, however, they were too thick and wouldn’t work as a roller shade, so I had to go with a grass woven material that would roll up tightly in the recessed areas in the overhead cabinets. Be careful when selecting roller shade material to make sure that they will roll up properly in a small space.

Bedroom Area

In the bedroom area I chose a natural linen for the drapery panels. I used my accent blue gray on the sheets and blankets and a decorative pillow with a pattern that encompassed all the colors which added a bit of interest to the bed.

Bedroom Area

Bedroom Area w/ Linen Drapery


The accessories really finished the design by adding pops of color and texture. I purchased rustic melamine dishware from Williams-Sonoma since I didn’t want anything that was breakable. Rustic bark textured silverware, vinyl grass woven placemats, a pale blue ultra suede desk chair and a blue lamp with a natural linen shade. And finally some artificial succulents that added a bit of color and life to the countertops.

Bedroom Nightstand

Bedroom Nighstand

Desk Area

Desk Area, Lamp and Desk Chair

Williams-Sonoma Rustic Melamine Dishware

Rustic Melamine Dishware & Bark Textured Silverware

This airstream renovation took as long as some homes I’ve designed…almost a year! There were many challenges working in a small space with weight specifications and other obstacles, but in the end I’m very happy with the results.

Are you looking to start your own renovation? Give us a call and we will advise and help you renovate and create the look you want for your Airstream.

If you’re interested in renting out my Airstream and are in the Southern California area or want to visit and do a road trip up the California coast, follow the link below to book your reservation on Outdoorsy.

Have you just renovated your Airstream? Share your story and post photos in the comments section below. We would love to see what you have been up to and would also like to get your feedback on some of the challenges and advice for others who are just starting their own renovation.

Posted by admin

Consider These Ideas When Choosing Window Treatments

Every home needs something to cover the window; no matter where your home is located you may need to look into choosing window treatments for privacy, warmth or simply aesthetics. However, there are a great many different styles available to choose from and this can make it difficult to choose the right covering. The following tips will help you decide on the right balance of function, style and affordability:

Choosing Window Treatments

1. Function

The window treatments for each room should be based upon the use of that room. Family areas and entertainment areas will require as much light as possible. This means the window treatments should be light, semi-transparent and kept as far back from the window as possible. Some spaces may also be used to watch films or play computer games; these rooms will want less light as you do not want reflections on the TV. If this is the case then you should use a layered approach; this will mean you can adjust the light in the room depending upon what the room is used for.

Bedroom Design

2. Location, Location, Location

Choosing window treatments may not seem as important if you are in a remote location without a neighbor for several miles. However, if your home looks onto someone else’s, then the first priority when choosing window treatments in these locations is privacy. You will need a heavier, easy to open and close style window treatment to ensure you are safe from prying eyes.

Location also plays a part in the amount of sun you receive through a window. Windows which face the sun all day will likely heat up the room, light color window treatments can be used to maximize the light in the room while keeping some of the heat out. Blinds can also be good in this scenario.

Neutral Bedroom Design

3. Privacy and Style

This is an important element of any home, you will wish to enjoy a shower or change your clothes without being concerned about who is watching. Bedrooms and nurseries can benefit from heavy, black out coverings to aid with sleep and privacy. Bathrooms, however, need light coverings which will allow plenty of light into the room, without compromising your privacy.

Neutral Living Room Design

4. Fabric

The material used when choosing window treatments makes a big difference to the amount of light or privacy which your room will receive. Thinner fabrics will allow more light in, but will also decrease the amount of privacy you have. The fabric should be chosen based upon the function of the room and how much light you require. The lighter fabrics will ensure any space feels light and airy while darker fabrics can create a more dramatic environment. Coverings with linings are also useful as they protect the furniture from harmful UV rays while adding an extra layer of insulation to a room.

Bedroom Design Orange County

5. Size

The type and size of window treatment you choose also makes a difference to the feel of the room. Curtains hung above the window and dropping to the floor will create a feeling of height in a room. However, many people now opt to keep the curtain from sitting on the floor; this avoids dust and dirt gathering on the curtain. More dramatic looks can be achieved by bunching the material in front of the window; this means ensuring your curtain is two or three times the width of your window.

Bedroom Design Orange County

6. Color

The color of a window treatment is down to your personal preference. It should match the color scheme in the room, although this does not have to be the same across the whole house. Brighter colors have been shown to assist in brightening the mood of any room; darker colors have the opposite effect…the choice is yours!

Before deciding on window treatments for your home, you should assess your options. First analyze the space you have available, measure the height and length, and go for a color combo that goes with the rest of the décor. Invest in quality materials and your home will have an appeal that you and your guests will absolutely adore. Be original and let your imagination run wild. Don’t hesitate to think outside the box and just enjoy the end result!

Transitional Living Room Design Window Treatments

By Daniel Lewis and VanessaArbuthnott.co.uk!


Images via Houzz
Posted by admin

How To Incorporate The Elements Of Feng Shui Into your Home

Incorporating Feng Shui into your interior design brings balance and good fortune to your home. More than just picking attractive furniture and decor, the placement and arrangement of furnishings and accessories, as well as deliberate color combinations, can make a significant difference in the “Qi” or energy of the room.

Orange County Feng Shui

Interior Design and Feng Shui Create Harmony

However, you still want to make sure that your Orange County home is visually appealing and functional, so you will want your Feng Shui interior design to balance the basic beliefs of the Eastern practice along with modern tastes.

Feng Shui Orange County Bathroom

Modern Zen Bathroom

Below are a few tips on how to improve the energy in your house and bring luck to your life, while adding the decorating flairs and touches that gives your home personality:

Position Furniture Carefully

This tip is both practical and feng shui-related: careful positioning of furniture improves the energy’s flow throughout the room. Furniture should not prevent free passage through the room as this blocks both your daily path and the Qi from flowing naturally. Ideally, seating areas should be flush with a wall, instead of facing a walkway or another room.

Separate Work and Rest Areas

Avoid setting up a work office in your bedroom. The energy of a work space will prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep if it is set up in the bedroom.


Light plays a major role in feng shui, as it is a major source of good energy. Soft lighting is linked with positive energy which wall sconces provide. Without proper illumination, carefully picked color combinations, decor and furniture may not be as effective for a feng shui lifestyle. Our eye tends to be drawn to where the light is shining, so by spotlighting certain objects and areas, you are able to support your intentions. Avoid dark corners, which can absorb and stall the flow of energy, by filling them with a source of soft light.

Modern Bedroom Design

Modern Bedroom


Clutter is considered to be a major burden in feng shui. De-cluttering is believed to be absolutely fundamental to ensuring balance in the home, as clutter blocks the flow of energy. On a practical level, clutter can lead to increased stress levels.

Remove clutter from all rooms in the house. One of the best places to start is the bedroom, where you want the most relaxation as possible. Create a “keep”, “relocate” and “trash” pile for all the items littered on the surfaces and floors of each room. Then, relocate the items to their proper locations, and throw away the trash. Organize the “keep” items into drawers, shelves or labeled boxes for easy access.


A key accessory in feng shui interior design, mirrors are believed to reflect positive energy and prevent the flow of negative energy. Placement is key, however. Avoid putting a mirror facing the front door, as you don’t want to bounce the positive energy entering the house to creep its way out. Mirrors should also be used sparingly (if at all) in the bedroom. Bedrooms are considered calm spaces with more yin energy; mirrors bring a lot of yang energy, canceling out the calming yin needed in the bedroom.

Live Plants, Fresh Fruit and Cut or Potted Flowers

Indoor plants, floral bouquets and fresh fruit all generate positive energy. Potted plants also represent earth and wood elements (two of the five elements needed for harmony and balance).

However, you should avoid using dried flowers. Dried flowers are considered sources of bad energy in feng shui as they represent something that is dead. Throw away all dead or dying plants, including wilting flowers. The exception is if the dried bouquet is a keepsake from someone dear to you, then the energy associated with it is positive.

Feng Shui Bathroom Orange County

Feng Shui Bathroom

Add a Water Feature

Considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity, it is important to incorporate water elements in your feng shui decorating scheme. A water feature is an eye-catching way to add two of the five essential elements of feng shui (wind and water). Whether you choose a water fountain, a water wall or a fish tank, a water feature is a soothing focal point to any room, promoting relaxation. Be careful not to add water features to the bedroom as it can introduce the element of worry.

Feng Shui Outdoor Water Feature

Outdoor Water Feature

Mix Up Your Shapes

Each shape represents a different feng shui element: square (wood), round/oval (metal), striped and floral (wood), wavy (water) and pointy (fire) shapes all need to be present in your accessories and decor to ensure balance. Mixing and matching is not only an excellent way to bring harmony into your living space, but it also adds depth and dimension to your interior design.

Choose Colors Carefully

Intentionally choosing the right colors for each room is key in feng shui, as each color and color combination represent different types of energy. Green is linked with hope and nature, yellow with power and red is considered auspicious. Orange helps create an atmosphere of ease and promotes conversation in large groups of people, making it an ideal color for living rooms and other areas where you plan on hosting guests. Blues and greens can also help promote a calm atmosphere, which are perfect for bedrooms and other locations designed for relaxation and rest.

With these simple feng shui tips, you can improve balance and harmony in your home and life all without having to invest in crazy interior design schemes or busts of Buddha and other auspicious statues. Just keep in mind the importance of the flow of energy and incorporate a few well-chosen and well-placed accessories to fully reap the benefits of feng shui.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, yoga enthusiast and business owner in the Los Angeles area. In addition to incorporating feng shui into her yoga and meditation room, she also includes the elements of feng shui throughout the rest of her home. Follow her on Pinterest today!

Images 1|2|3|4|5|

Posted by admin

Add a little bling in your wallpaper

Wallpaper has come a long way and can be a lot of fun, especially when you want to add a little bit of bling or sparkle to your walls. Today I set out to look for wallpaper at Design Center Associates in Santa Ana. They have a great selection to choose from so searching for the right one was fairly easy. The design look for our client is calling for something contemporary and modern, with just a touch of sparkle or in our case we were hoping for a metallic or chrome element

Ronald Redding Wallpaper

Ronald Redding Wallpaper

Wallpaper Companies to Consider

After flipping through several books from many popular designers and companies, I narrowed it down to about five books. There was some wallpaper with geometric motifs, textured looks, and groovy designs. I opted for a simple but interesting design. I came across a line from Ronald Redding Wallpaper and there on the first page was what I was looking for. It’s a textured single color wallpaper, beautifully encrusted with small pieces of mica that has a beautiful reflective and rich quality to it. Even though it is a single color it appears as though it has many colors in it because of the depth that the mica creates. It comes in four different colors…Copper, Silver, Charcoal and Beige. We will most likely order the copper or the beige.

Wallpaper by Barbara Becker

Barbara Becker Wallpaper

There are others we can select from in case we don’t decide on the Terra Mica samples. DCA (Design Center Associates) allows us to check out their books which makes it much easier to coordinate all of our fabrics and materials.

Wallpaper with Mica

Terra Mica Wallpaper

So whether your design is conservative or wild, modern or traditional, keep in mind that a little bit of twinkle or sparkle can go a long way when putting your look together. Think of it as the icing on your cake. Check out Design Center Associates website for wall coverings, furniture, fabrics and accessories in Orange County, CA.

Images via 1|2|3

Add wallpaper with some bling to your interiors

Posted by admin

One of the most popular finishes used in Mediterranean interior design and Tuscan interior design is Venetian plaster. If you are designing a home and want that old fresco look, you should really consider incorporating this into the interior design of your home. Venetian plaster is a wall and ceiling finish using thin layers of plaster applied with a trowel or spatula. It is then burnished to create a smooth surface that adds a lot of depth and texture to the areas treated. There are many variations of sheen depending on the amount of burnishing that is done or the amount of wax that is used. From a matte, chalky fresco look to a very shiny and glossy appearance, you can incorporate it into old world interior design or modern interior design. There are also several different types of Venetian plaster techniques including marmorino, scagliola, and sgraffito.

Venetian Plaster Waxed

Brown Venetian Plaster – Burnished

The Different Types of Venetian Plaster

Marmorino Veneziano is a plaster or stucco decoration used on walls. It was used as far back as Roman times, but was made popular once more during the Renaissance 500 years ago in Venice.

It is made from crushed marble and lime putty, which can be tinted to give a wide range of colors. This can then be applied to make many textures, from polished marble to natural stone effects. Widely used in Italy, its appeal has spread through North America especially, but now worldwide. Because of the hours of workmanship, the pricing places it in the high-end market. However, many examples can be seen in public buildings, bars, restaurants, etc.

Its waterproofing and anti-bacterial qualities as well as visual effects have also made it very desirable for luxury bathrooms and other wet areas. Not confined to interior use, it can be seen on the exterior of many buildings to great effect.

Walls Before Venetian Plaster

Great Room – Before Venetian Plaster

Tuscan look after Venetian plaster

Great Room Walls After Venetian Plaster

You can see from the photos above the depth and character that Venetian plaster gives to walls. Instead of being flat, Venetian plaster creates a mottled appearance giving your walls more depth and variation in color.

Scagliola (from the Italian scaglia, meaning “chips”), is a technique for producing stucco columns, sculptures, and other architectural elements that resemble inlays in marble and semi-precious stones. The Scagliola technique came into fashion in 17th-century Tuscany as an effective substitute for costly marble inlays, the pietra dura works created for the Medici family in Florence.

Scagliola is a composite substance made from selenite, glue and natural pigments, imitating marble and other hard stones. The material may be veined with colors and applied to a core, or desired pattern may be carved into a previously prepared scagliola matrix. The pattern’s indentations are then filled with the colored, plaster-like scagliola composite, and then polished with flax oil for brightness, and wax for protection. The combination of materials and technique provides a complex texture, and richness of color not available in natural veined marbles.

Installing Venetian Plaster

Below is a video that shows the techniques and different steps involved in applying Venetian plaster to your walls.

Sgraffito (plural: sgraffiti; sometimes spelt scraffito) is a technique produced by applying layers of plaster tinted in contrasting colors to a moistened surface by applying two successive layers of contrasting slip, and then in either case scratching so as to produce an outline drawing.

Venetian plaster installed using a trowel

Venetian Plaster Installation

Italian Country Home is a subdivision of Orange County interior design firm Christopher James Interiors. We are licensed and trained professionals in the installation of Venetian plaster. If you are interested in using Venetian plaster in your home, please contact us for a free in home consultation.

Posted by Chris

Get a Free Interior Design Consultation with Orange County Interior Designer Chris Givan

Christopher James Interiors is one of the leading interior designers in Orange County, California. The firm has been helping homeowners turn their dreams for a beautifully designed home into reality since 1994. Whether it’s new construction or a remodel, we will design your home to match your taste and lifestyle. Our team is devoted to understanding your individual needs and ideas to ensure that your vision is realized from the design conceptualization stage to the final installation and construction of the project.

Orange County Interior Designer, Christopher James Interiors, Provides the Following Services:

  • Interior Design/Decorating (all rooms)
  • Exterior Design
  • Remodel Design
  • Home Staging to help sell your home
  • Custom Furniture Services (placement and selection)
  • Custom window treatments/drapery
  • Commercial Design
  • Space planning (perfect for small business)
  • Hospitality Design (hotel and restaurants)
  • Paint Services (selection of colors, faux finishes, murals, venetian plasters)
  • Flooring – wood and tile (selection and installation)
  • Electrical/Lighting Services
  • Art/Floral Arrangements (selection and placement)
  • Wall units/Cabinetry/Built-ins

Our team is made up of licensed professionals who provide top-of-the line, reliable, and guaranteed services while offering competitive bidding. Please Visit our showroom or Contact us:

Take advantage of our complimentary interior design consultation and see how easy it can be to turn your design dreams into reality.


Orange County Interior Designer

Loft Interior Design – Before and After

“We love our home and could not have done it without you! You truly understood our lifestyle and taste and turned it into more than we could have imagined.” Kris J., Villa Park, CA


Chris Givan, Owner and Head Interior Designer of Christopher James Interiors. “Customer satisfaction is not only our priority, but what we thrive on. I will make sure that this is accomplished in your project by maintaining a high level of communication with you through every step of the Interior Design Process. I welcome you to visit our showroom or browse our website to to learn more about our firm and the services we offer. Our design styles include contemporary, transitional, Cape Cod, traditional, French country, Tuscan, California Ranch, Montecito and the currently popular Tommy Bahama look. But it’s always a style interpretation that’s unique to each homeowner. Please visit our Portfolio to view more examples of our work and our Products section for specific items for your home.”

Thanks for stopping by and we hope to be working with you very soon!

Additional services we offer: Interior design, interior decorating, new construction or remodels, room design, furniture selection and placement, custom furniture, wall units, built-ins, accessory and art selection and placement, floral arrangements, silk plants and florals, custom bedspreads, children’s rooms, home staging, kitchen design, offices, libraries, conference rooms, paint selection and color consulting, painting, faux painting, murals, wall paper, floor coverings, tile, marble, travertine, wood floors, carpet, custom area rugs, lighting, window coverings, window treatments, shades, blinds, shutters, custom draperies and valances, verticals, kitchen remodels, bath remodels, granite selection, stone and ceramic tile, exterior design, environmental design, landscape design, retail, restaurant design, commercial design and small business design, Venetian plaster, Venetian plasters, home staging to sell home, drapery, interior decoration

Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe in a reader

A $125 value – Call us today and set up an appointment at 714.542.5213

Get a Free Interior Design Consultation with Orange County Interior Designer Chris Givan

Posted by Chris

Pag Island, Croatia

Leave the office or take a vacation! Yes, I know, it’s easier said than done…at least to go on vacation. But getting out of the office is possible for everyone even if it’s just taking a walk through the park on your lunch break instead of eating lunch at your desk. It opens your eyes and frees your mind from the routine of daily life. For me, getting away from my office and my computer screen always brings such a strong creative energy.

Pompeii, Italy

Last year I spent a month in Europe traveling through Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria and Italy. During this time, I was able to clear my mind to think about furniture designs, colorations and ideas for clients. I can not tell you how inspirational these places were…I came back completely changed and inspired by the history and architecture found while exploring these countries. While there, I visited boutiques, flea markets, hotels and mueseums to give me inspiration for current interior design jobs and to search for rare and unusual finds for my own home as well as my clients’. So much a part of making your house a home is collecting these things through your travels. They all add a story and personal touch to your space. When you look at a momento from one of your travels, it takes you back to that place and time and for a minute you feel like you’ve gone back again.

Parliament Building - Budapest, Hungary

So give yourself a break during the day and even if it’s not a long vacation a little breather in between emails, phone calls and deadlines can rejuvenate you. I feel that people who believe in staying at the office 24/7 are truly doing themselves a disservice. You don’t have to travel far to be inspired, just find a place where your eye can wander and see things in a slightly different way.

If you can’t get on a plane I promise you it won’t be a waste of time.


Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe in a reader

Posted by Chris

Looking for Orange County Interior Designers?

Orange County Interior Designers

Loft Designed by Orange County Interior Designers Christopher James Interiors

Christopher James Interiors is one of the leading interior design firms in Southern California. The firm has been helping clients turn their dreams into reality since 1994. Turnkey projects, from design conceptualization to installation, are a hallmark of the company.

Whether it is creating a stunning Tuscan-inspired villa in the hills of Newport Coast, a contemporary Cape Cod style home in the Hampton’s or a restaurant or hotel. CJI believes the secret to a good design partnership is listening closely to their clients.

Christopher James Interiors and their award winning projects have been featured in a number of design magazines and newspapers. Our design studio and showroom is located in Costa Mesa near South Coast Plaza and SoCo. Our showroom features modern furnishings and accessories for the home.

CJI’s interior designers always incorporate floor coverings, unique window treatments, major manufacturers’ and/or custom furniture and cabinetry design, luxurious bedding, state-of-the-art lighting and exquisite accessories from around the world into their design projects to create a completely personalized look for each client. And while timeless, classic design is a hallmark of the company. We love to create whimsical and enchanting children’s bedrooms and playrooms, complete with furniture and wall art, as well as showcasing handcrafted murals and other decorative finishes in other areas of a home.

Christopher James Interiors and team of interior designers offer the following services:

  • Home staging to sell your home
  • Architectural details
  • Lighting placement
  • Space planning
  • Kitchen, bath and media room design
  • Landscape/hardscape finishes
  • Glass and wrought iron design
  • Window treatments and drapery

When you are looking for Orange County interior designers, please keep Christopher Jame Interiors in mind. We offer complimentary interior design consultations. Give us a call to set up an appointment to discuss your project at 714.542.5213.

We look forward to hearing from you!!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe in a reader

Orange County Interior Designers, Christopher James Interiors Services Orange County

Posted by Chris