Hey, remember this? It is the master bathroom that we remodeled last year. Here is a photo of the sink area from the original shoot:

My beloved mentor and pal Lori Andrews, whom you may know as The 10 Cent Designer, emailed me shortly after that post went up to remind me that I needed something behind the sink to protect the wallpaper from water damage. She suggested a piece of Plexiglas fastened with an industrial-type screw at each corner.

Who among us would disregard 10 Cent's wishes? Not this girl. I used Lexan instead of Plexiglas since, according to the nice man who cut it for me, it wouldn't crack as easily. And, I mean, it only took me a year to get to it, but it turned out perfectly. See?

I had a piece cut as wide as the sink and six inches high, then had holes drilled an inch inside each corner, and secured the Lexan with hex screws that I sprayed black. The whole thing ended up costing around $20. My construction guru and all-around person Erik helped me with the installation. Some of the paint flaked off of the screws due to the drill, but I kind of like it like that.

Et voila! A quick fix, and protected wallpaper. This would probably also work in a kitchen, or anywhere one needs water resistance. The end.


AuthorAB Chao
6 CommentsPost a comment

Now this is just shameful. This poor front door does not deserve this type of treatment.

This picture is for those of you who think my house always looks like a magazine is coming. I've left the door this way for months. MONTHS. My mother is horrified, and tells me so at least twice a week.

I finally found a color I like, though, so Sad Door is taking leave of us soon. And then: Christmas decorations!

Tell me about the projects you keep putting off, so I won't feel so bad about myself. PLEEEEEZE?

AuthorAB Chao
Categorieschao camp
25 CommentsPost a comment

When I was staying with Maggie lo, those many months ago (July), it occurred to me that every time she fixed Hank's dinner, or a simple drink, or even a late-night snack, she took extra time to make the presentation look beautiful. For example, here is what happened when I asked her for a cocktail late one night.

We were in our ratty old sweats, watching So You Think You Can Dance, and out she walked with this. I nearly wept. It just felt so thoughtful and kind. And it was.

Now, I am no stranger to making things look pretty (I have been known to arrange golf balls in a pleasing fashion), but I am going to start applying this skill to more pedestrian moments. It takes all of two extra minutes, but the results last forever in your heart. OH MY GOD I AM JUST KIDDING. It does make you feel happy, though, and I am all for that.

Making this happen is so easy it barely needs instructions, but I am going to tell you how to do it anyway. Here's how I would (and did!) make my 5:00 drink extra-pretty this week:

First, gather up all your supplies and cute stuff. All of these things were within arm's reach in my kitchen. My mom bought me the old medicine bottles and that INSANE vintage poufy flower. (Made out of old patterns and black tulle! And sparkles.) You really just need one or two extraneous pretty items: I used these bottles; Maggie used a tiny vase with yard flowers and a special lime-holding glass.

Next, corral your supplies all together on a tray. Do you own a silver tray? Why not? They are practically free and elevate everything on them due to their shininess and reflecting properties. Also, they're kind of fancy. Mine is inherited from my daddy (RIP; DDC!), whose initials are engraved on it. I use it for everything.

The wine is a mid-range one which I chose for the label, a method I use to choose many of my wines (it is Leese-Fitch Pinot Noir, and actually very good). The glass is part of my wedding set (the pattern is Waterford Lismore, for the two of you who are interested). Pro tip: If you are hiring a person to stand near you to hold a towel and pour wine, please make sure they are wearing something nicer than jeans and a white tee. It's all I could manage on short notice. Because I had to be my own worker.

Aaaaaand, pour. See how easy that was? And your Wednesday night wine just got way better.

Y'all try it this weekend and report back. I want pictures. Cheers!

Photos: Ben Corda (TEARS)

Here is the part of Bathroom Week where I tell you where everything is from! It's gonna be a long one, so let's get started.

First, the big stuff: the tub is a 66" cast iron double-ended clawfoot tub (with white feet), from vintagetub.com. The sink is the Happy D Pedestal Sink from Duravit. The toilet is the Drake from Toto

I think I didn't tell you about the actual renovation yet, so let me fill you in: we did all of the work ourselves. Here is how scared we were to do all of the work ourselves: our friend Erik, a construction professional, had to come over and swing the first swing of the sledgehammer, so we wouldn't chicken out and abandon the whole thing. Aside from the electric and plumbing work (we're DIY, not DUMB), this bathroom was all us. OK, and Erik. We legally married Erik after this project was over. He is very Norwegian, and we needed a blonde in our crew.

The bathroom walls are now shiplap, same as almost every other wall in the house. I will have you know that I went through tile, then concrete, then expanded metal, then original wallpaper, then sheetrock before I arrived at this magical place of wooden planks. I used a crowbar, brute force, and a case of caulk to finish the project, and now I have good biceps.

As for the picture, well. I took a picture of Madeleine a hundred years ago, when she was not a SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL, and then CanvasPeople made it into a gorgeous canvas (for zero dollars!). Thanks, CanvasPeople! You are awesome.

The curtain rod is from West Elm. The curtains are from a place called Country Curtains, and I'll not hear any kind of scoffing: these babies are 100% hemstitched cotton, great quality, and adorable. Oh, and they are practically FREE.

The towels are from Bath Style.

The mirror is from Pottery Barn.

Many of you have asked where we put our stuff now that there are no more counters. Please see above: Vince and I each have our own baskets inside one of the two original cabinets (both left intact). There's also a basket for miscellaneous items like cotton balls and toothbrush chargers. My hair dryer and curling iron live in a basket behind the tub near where I plug them in. Our towels are on the shelf above the baskets, and cleaning supplies/medications/first aid are on the shelf above that. Beach towels and things we don't use often are in the cabinet above this cabinet. (They go all the way to the ceiling.)

All baskets from Walmart.

 The cute sconces over the sink are from West Elm, and are tres affordable at $49 per. The mirror is borrowed from my friend Nichole. The wallpaper is Nina Campbell "Perroquet," available to the trade.

The floor is center-match heart pine, laid on the diagonal, and stained with a custom combination of Minwax: 1 part Provincial + 2 parts Dark Walnut. Props to Kyle "Baby" Snellenberger for his assistance in this matter.

Shelf info: I found a piece of wood by the railroad tracks near downtown Monroe. Some nice men put it into my car. I cut, stained, and polyurethaned part of it, and Vince Chao floated it on the wall with a lot of dowels and some magic. I recently decided I need some smaller shelves near the sink to hold more things, so that is our next project.

The bath faucet is Cheviot, and for those of you who are worried that there is no shower or shower curtain, I must confess something: Like a lady from the past, I DO NOT TAKE SHOWERS. It's true, AB Chao takes only baths. The faucet does have a hand shower, and our other bathroom has more shower than you could ever want. We also have a pretty awesome outdoor shower, so I'm confident we're covered on the shower front.

The sink faucet is Moen.

The shelf over the bathtub is another piece of found wood that I sanded, stained, polyurethaned, and applied felt strips to the bottom of. (Sorry about that sentence.)

I do not like toilet paper holders. We keep our toilet paper in a giant copper pot, which I accidentally stole from my mother.

A yellow Tolix stool holds a vase with branches and a tray with important jewelry.

I cannot imagine what else you could ask, but if you have a question, put it in the comments!


All photos: AB Chao, except second photo (of curtains): Ben Corda

AuthorAB Chao
18 CommentsPost a comment

What? Did y'all want to see this or something?

I figured it was time. Sources and more details later this week.

All photos by AB Chao, except sink detail and towel detail in photo collage. Those beauties are by Mr. Ben Corda.

AuthorAB Chao
26 CommentsPost a comment

I'm a little late. Nonetheless, Happy Father's Day to Vince Chao, the MOTHER of all daddies. (Hee.)

As I am officially back from vacation, I'll return to posting actual content this week. I have a lot to share! Excitement. Please read that in a French accent.

AuthorAB Chao
Categorieschao camp

Perhaps you long-time readers will recall this photo of my bedroom from several years ago -- it was just after I'd painted it. I loved the color then (Farrow & Ball's Down Pipe) and I love it today. It's kind of like sleeping in a treehouse, if your treehouse features a Nelson bench and a chaise longue.

In fact, some of you may remember this photo, taken in 2005. (!!!) I cannot believe this is the same room, and the same bed. Aw, it's still really cute and sweet to me. I still have that Dwell bed set!

But time -- and my taste -- marches on, so I recently changed a few things. Not much, just the bedding and the side tables and a lamp and new upholstery and a plant and a screen. Nothing big. 

I still have those ridiculous roller shades up, because I still don't know what I want on the windows. I will probably never know. What I do know is that I bought that awesome Asian screen at an estate sale for $10. There was a large tear in it (which I fixed with spray adhesive, don't judge me), and there is a piece missing at the bottom left (which is what bromeliads are for). I also re-upholstered my sad white chaise with a much more beautiful gray velvet. Yay for dark colors that hide things!

I also finally -- finally! -- made the leap and bought some Leontine Linens of my very own. I've dreamed of them for years, y'all, and it was just time. I chose the initials "ABC" instead of "AVC" because the B was way prettier. Poor Vince Chao. I chose red because red is my signature color. (Drink your juice, Shelby.)

The striped Dwell Studio shams and throw, along with the gorgeous Arteriors lamp, are courtesy of Digs Showroom. I think the stripes look super fun and nonchalant with the Leontine, like "Oh, HEY, fancy linens. I'll just be over here cozying up to you. Whatevs." And I also think that Gretchen and Ben at Digs are the cutest and sweetest people in the world, and a delight to work with. Thank y'all so much!

This lamp, it has personality. Something I look for in all of my lighting.

10DS. That stands for Ten-Dollar Screen. Not to be confused with 7DJ, a jacket that Chris Huff, PhD. bought for seven dollars at Old Navy and which unfortunately B'ed in an F.

ABC coming at you live and in stereo from Chao Camp, in red applique. Please note adorable striped shams behind.

New upholstery close-up with bonus bear.

I guess I'll take a little rest now. Old-school Flickrites will recognize this pose from 2008. Same room, same bed, same dress, same shoes. Different year.

Class participation: Do y'all change your bedding with the seasons? It's too hot here to use flannel sheets and whatnot, but I do try to change it up when spring comes.