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.

 

Posted
AuthorAB Chao
6 CommentsPost a comment

A few weeks ago we had a series of crazy thunderstorms in Monroe, one of which broke an entire ligustrum (I think? Correct me if I'm wrong) in half. I am currently in the midst of the non-stop spring cleaning/decorating/styling binge that happens to me and my house every year. This venture includes trolling my yard -- in a robe and slip flops, shut up -- for suitable vegetation to bring into the house. I don't really care what it is as long as it is big. So above, you see parts of the destroyed shrub, along with some of my beloved lantana, and the Carolina jessamine that threatens to take over my yard on a yearly basis. I would like, here, to give thanks for the product known as Oasis, for allowing me to basically cut everything up and shove the branches haphazardly into this concrete urn.

It's been long established that Maggie's favorite decorating style is what she describes as celebratory decay. I love the idea of that: something lovely and old, just waiting to be found and reclaimed, its very antiquity informing its beauty. My decorating style, which I'm not sure I've shared before, is what I like to call rich old grandmother: a ridiculous mix of old, new, high, low, modern, antique, masculine, feminine, a little bit Southern, and just the right amount of batty. So this beat-down old bush is giving me some celebratory rich old grandmother decay feelings. 

This week, I'm at the beach on the east coast. I have never been to the beach on the east coast, having been raised visiting the Emerald Coast of Florida, also known as the Redneck Riviera. Anyway, the first night here I came across this enormous horseshoe crab, a creature I'd never seen before. It's basically an old-timey helmet with a tail. It was really dead and smelled like it, so of course I picked it up and took it back to the beach house with me.

Per the instructions I found on the internet, I soaked the crab -- henceforth to be known as Horace H. Horcrab, PhD Horticulture, Horvard University -- in alcohol for 48 hours. Then I cut out Horace's, um, soft parts with kitchen scissors. Please do not tell the owners of this beach house. Horace then took a long soak in a tub full of bleach, and is now resting peacefully in the sun, drying to a golden crisp. Later, I will spray Horace down with a few coats of lacquer and use him as decoration. 

Horace has been my project all week, and is making me happier than an old dead crab should make someone. And that, my friends, is some celebratory decay. BOOM. 

 Horace.

A few weeks ago at Portland camp, my intern/friend Jessica gave me a really cute zippered pouch, all handmade and Scandinavian. I love it and was delighted to learn that Jessica's friend and the person behind the bag -- Miss Anna Joyce -- has an entire Etsy shop full of beautiful textile goodness. Yay!

Anna's fall collection was inspired by vintage Scandinavian textiles and folk art, and all of her work is hand-printed and hand-finished in good old Portland, OR. The shop stocks lovely pillows, bags, and clothing, but I am particularly in love with the table linens and will be ordering a set of the yellow-bordered napkins immediately.

Oh, and guess what else? In honor of the company's three-year anniversary, everything in Anna's shop is 20% off until 11 P.M. tonight. Hooray! You can also use the coupon code FALL2012 for free shipping on all orders.

So there. Go get you some stuff.

Posted
AuthorAB Chao

You may recall a design I did for a local client a while back: it was for a young boy's room, and I posted the design board here, and it seems like that was a million years ago. Anyway, the little boy was really into maps and space, so I just kind of went for it with that in mind. Oh, and he wanted bunk beds BAD.

I convinced the kid's mom to go super-dark on the walls and ceiling, and we decided to design the room around a vintage map of India I found on Etsy (which would not only be a nod to the family's Indian heritage, but also be really cool, because vintage maps are really cool).

 

This room is one of a very few that I have done that somehow look exactly like their design boards. It's really extra-satisfying when that happens, because it means you've gotten exactly what you wanted, design-wise, and also that you are a brilliant genius. Just kidding.

The wall color is Farrow & Ball Plummett. The ceiling color is Farrow & Ball Down Pipe. The pendant light is a Nelson saucer lamp, and the orange chair is a Saarinen reproduction. The zebra rug, which is basically the only thing that was already in the room, is made of wool and is from Target from a long time ago. I wish it were still available. Bring back your wool zebra rug, Target! The map is vintage, from the adorably-named Midwest Splendor.

The bed is from Restoration Hardware. The bedding is from Pottery Barn. The striped wool blanket is from Hudson's Bay. The desk was custom-made from pine and lacquered to within an inch of its life. The desk chair is vintage, from my own plentiful collection of Eames desk chairs (my garage is full of them, please don't rob me in the night).

The globe, pencils, and bear erasers are the client's own, and are kind of my favorite part of the room. You erase with the bear's NOSE, y'all.

The London double-decker bus and Big Ben figure are from the child's collection (he is very into London things, also). The elephant print is of Hindu Lord Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles and Lord of Beginnings! I love him and that print is just gorgeous. The log side table is from Paul Michael. The curtains are white linen, from Gray Line Linen.

Wouldn't you love to wake up in this cozy bunk every morning? I would. I'm so happy to have gotten to decorate this room, and I hope the family loves it as much as I do. (What? I can be schmoopy too.)

Happy Friday, y'all!

 

All photos by the incomparable Ben Corda.

Posted
AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesdecorating
13 CommentsPost a comment

What have you been doing this week, Internet?

Me? Oh, nothing. Just being all legitimate and ordering to-the-trade fabric samples and whatnot. No big deal.

I've been waiting for this moment. I feel like that one time on Buffy where all the Slayers got called at once. Without the apocalypse, of course.

I'd like to thank my awesome designer friend Virginia for showing me how to do things like this, and for helping me order samples -- with a broken leg, no less. (She and a client had a fight over a sofa.)

Now, if I could only get the Dallas Design Center to let me in without eighty million references...

Posted
AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesdecorating
11 CommentsPost a comment