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.

AuthorAB Chao
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As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was asked to decorate a room in the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

I decorated the guest room. Some of you may recognize items from Chao Camp. Another fun fact: all of the plants/flowers I used for styling came from my parents' house, which is located within walking distance of the St. Jude house.

Some awesome shops that donated items include Fabulous Fabric (curtains, curtain rod), CoCo's (bedding, green lamps, orange throw), Woodstock (bed, bedding), Traditions on Trenton (bedside tables, jar with spools, Black Forest antlers), and Paul Michael (cowhide rug, log side table). Wire chair, kilim pillows, Meredith Pardue painting, table accessories, interior, prop, and floral styling courtesy of AB Chao Interiors.

Here is some more information about the contest and the house:

The St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway is a chance to help the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Each $100 ticket represents an opportunity to win the beautiful house with an estimated value of $330,000. The house is located in the Belle Point subdivision in Monroe, Louisiana. The house was built by BRACO Construction.

The winner of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway will be drawn on KARD FOX 14 on Sunday, July 15, 2012, from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Visit the St. Jude Dream Home house June 9 – July 8, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. The house will also be open July 9 – 14 daily from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Sign up free at any open house to win the Open House Prize: A $2,500 Visa gift card!

A couple of years ago around this time, we knocked out a wall between adjacent closets and added a bathroom to our one-bathroom house. The renovation was a major project, but one that was worth all the annoyance/dollars/tears, and changed our lives. Here is a quick refresher on the before:

Real pretty.

I have been promising to show y'all the after since that time. I guess two years is long enough, so please accept these pictures I have taken for your enjoyment: 

Facing the sink.

 From just outside the bathroom door.

Stripes! Jars! Colored Pencils! Fun times.

A look inside the shower.

Various Polaroids/Japanese tape/blogger cliches.

From the shower looking out.

I don't know if you can tell from these angles, but the bathroom is kind of tiny. For instance, in the above photo I am standing inside the shower having a relationship with my tripod.

So there it is. I hope you enjoyed it. I sure did, except for the part where I had to crawl under and THROUGH the tripod legs to get to the shutter button.


Floor: Generic black penny tile/charcoal grout
Mirror: PB Teen
Sconces: Hudson Valley Lighting
Glass shelf: IKEA
Sink: IKEA
Toilet: Toto
Fixtures: Kohler
Shower curtain: IKEA, then custom sewn and monogrammed
Stool: Vintage
Hooks: The Hook Lady
Art: Lot 9 Press, Lisa Congdon, various Chaos

PS. Those of you waiting on rate sheets will have one in your hot little hands in the next day or so. Thank you for your patience!

PPS. Thank you for the nice knee notes. Not only was it neighborly, I guess you could say it was KNEE-ded. (I'll show myself out.)

AuthorAB Chao
28 CommentsPost a comment

Well, well, Internet. It turns out you totally want to have shopping parties with me. So exciting! Here is a handy map visual of the cities you live in. It makes me happy that I can drive my car to most of them, since a) I don't have to check any bags, and b) I can fit at least 100 throw pillows in the back seat. As you can see, California is sort of an outlier, but I am certainly going to go there if I have enough clients to warrant a trip.

I am still collecting data (ugh) and making spreadsheets (gross) and trying to figure out the best way to do this whole shebang, but based on the interest I've received, it is happening. So if you're near any of these places, and would like to work with me both long-distance AND in person, hit me here for more info and a rate sheet.

OK. That's it for now. Yay! And thank you for liking me!

PS. If I have your city in the wrong place on the map, I apologize. What am I, a cartographer?

AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesdesign camp
11 CommentsPost a comment

Where am I? Is it still 2011? NO?!? Oh my God.

Just kidding, I know it's 2013.


Just kidding, I know it's 2012. I rang in the new year in sequins, in San Francisco, with a couple of cute girls.

Photo by H.B. Armstrong

The truth is, I haven't been posting or writing or inspirationalizing because I am trying to come up with a new decorating/blog/business plan for myself, and I haven't quite gotten there yet. I know one thing, and it is that my current strategy is not working out for me.

I am trying to figure out where to go next. I realize that I am so, so lucky to be able to take the first month of the year off for THINKING. And I want you all to know that it has come with a great amount of stress, like the fact that I now have time to run around 30 miles a week and also that I can't buy the cute shirts I want from Madewell! Boo. Boo Brees. (We say that because one time I was Boo Brees for Halloween. Boo Brees, the hot lady ghost of Drew Brees. WHAT?)

Anyway. My business last year mainly consisted of long-distance design, and while it was fun a lot of the time, it offered very little return on either party's investment. The client didn't get the benefit of my being there to shop, arrange furniture, style items, take pictures, etc. And I didn't get the benefit of knowing that after I sent that design board off, the client would do anything at all. That made me sad.

So I am going semi-local -- I live in northeast Louisiana, and while my clients here are all amazing, there aren't that many of them. If you hire me to decorate for you, we will collaborate long-distance for the initial part of the design, and then I will drive/fly/apparate to your city for the installation. I'll coordinate with other clients in those same cities so that I will be there for a week or so each time. It will be awesome, and it will also be so much more fun and interesting and we will have group shopping parties and customized sewing and upholstery and styling and photography OMG WTF AMIRITE?

My fees will be a bit different, obviously. Email me for a new and improved rate sheet.

I am very excited about this, and I hope you are too! I'll be back with the frequent updates soon, and I appreciate your patience. Please send expensive bourbon. THANKS.

PS. I'm starting with the South first: Monroe, Shreveport, Jackson, Dallas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans. If you are in those vicinities, you have priority. (Who dat.)

PPS. If you are an ACTUAL local, which means that you live in Monroe, and you would like to hire me, email or call me ASAP.

AuthorAB Chao
5 CommentsPost a comment