I received an awesome email yesterday from one of my former campers, and I just had to share. Grace, who attended the Austin camp, wrote a lovely letter and attached these truly great before and after pics of her dining room. Design Camp is basically the most fun I have ever had at a job, and getting emails like this is part of the reason why. Grace writes:

I attended your Design Camp in Austin last summer (and loved it!). I thought I'd include a few before and after pictures of my house to show you what we've been working on since Camp. I keep thinking I'll send some when we finish this or that, but it's never really done, is it? 

I had a baby at the beginning of the summer and when our photographer came out to take newborn pictures of our girl, she took some of our house as well. The problem areas I had shown at Camp were my dining room/breakfast nook and my bedroom.  In our discussion at Camp, you suggested painting the dining room black, painting and recovering the chairs, and taking down the plate racks and hanging my collection of plates together. My husband and I have tried some crazy paint colors in the past, but I don't think I'd ever have been brave enough to do black without your suggestion. We did it and we love it! Oh, and you are so right about how pictures allow you to see the room in a new way. Since we've gotten the pictures back from the photographer, it's made me see so much better what things need to be changed or moved around, etc.  So interesting how much it helps just to look at it as a picture.  

There is a hallway to the right of the dining room, and we are currently making arrangements to have wallpaper put up.  I've been dying to have wallpaper somewhere ever since Camp and can't wait for it to happen. My husband and I really enjoy doing house projects together and he always seems to get on board with an idea of mine quicker if I say something you told us in Camp.  For example, in advocating for the wallpaper:  "AB told us that you shouldn't neglect hallways...."  Camp was such a special experience for me.  I will always think of it with such fondness.  

Thank you so much, Grace, for your sweet letter. And without further ado, let's look at that dining room! Before:

Aaaaaaaaand... after!

Photos by Hannah Kate Photography

It's gorgeous, right? I think so. What a transformation you can achieve with just a few changes.

Oh, and hey: do you want to come to camp, and you live in or near Raleigh, Washington, DC, or New Orleans? You're in luck. Sign up here! A million thanks to Grace for sharing!

AuthorAB Chao
9 CommentsPost a comment

Austin! Dewit Design Camp! Queso! That all happened last weekend. It was magical.

We held Camp in my sweet friend Meredith's studio, basically the most perfect setting ever to have a design camp, what with all the talent and beauty infusing the place.

My favorite thing about Camp is the collaborative nature of the whole thing. We learn so much design stuff the first day it is practically oozing out of ears by afternoon, and then the second day we get to apply that knowledge -- together! -- to everyone's own houses. By "we," I mean "you." And that collaborative spirit was never more evident in Austin, where we nearly had to go into overtime due to excessive ideas and chatter. And that was with only HALF ATTENDANCE, y'all. So much fun. Also, champagne.

What? You don't have jacks and Slinkys at your camp?

Who has the cutest campers? ME. This was right before we trashed Meredith's studio and threw paint all over the walls in a design-induced frenzy.*

Thanks so much to Meredith for the use of her studio, and also to Studio Mucci for hooking me up with the flamazing tissue paper garlands so quickly. Thanks also to Miss Candi B. (pictured far left, being cute), the best intern/assistant/lifter-of-heavy-items ever.

Next up: San Francisco! Get ready.



AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesdesign camp
7 CommentsPost a comment

Hello, Dewit Nation! I have some interesting news for you. Please regard:

1. San Francisco Session II is going like hotcakes (mmm, hotcakes) so if you still want in, get on it.

2. Speaking of San Francisco, potential camper Megan B. can only attend SF I due to scheduling conflicts, so if anyone is wiling to trade with her and go to SF II, email me here

3. I have to be honest with y'all, I am a little concerned about Austin. Some cities are just more popular than others, and I cannot explain why. But Austin is coming up fast, and I do not have enough attendees, despite an enthusiastic verbal showing! So if you were thinking about coming or are on the fence or whatever, you need to sign up in the next few days. Come on, Texas, represent! As a former Texan, I will take it personally. And you know you want to spend a weekend having delicious cocktails in the San Jose courtyard (where I'll be staying every second I'm not telling y'all how to dewit). Go.

4. Who wants to have Camp in Chicago? I do. But I am only adding it if Oprah promises to attend.

5. Just kidding. Here you go, Chicago. I hear you're lovely in December. 

In closing, please enjoy this photo of the current state of my bathroom. I am actually kind of in love with that wallpaper -- which I am pretty sure is hand-painted-- I discovered under the drywall. Don't worry, I saved a big old piece.

AuthorAB Chao
16 CommentsPost a comment