Thank you all so much for the kind words about the bathroom. Excellent website Houzz even included it in an ideabook today, which was real nice of them.

A few of you had questions about the bathroom, which I will now answer. 

Q: What are the black and white striped things on the back of the toilet?

A: Those are candles. They burn with fire. 

Q: How do your Polaroids fare in the bathroom with all the steam and humidity?

A: The Polaroids seem to be doing OK; it's the Japanese masking tape that's all fragile and wimpy. It peels off on a regular basis.

Q: What are the dimensions of the bathroom?

A: The bathroom is approximately 5' x 8'. It is teeny-tiny, much like the arms Tracy Anderson wants you to have. Be quiet, Tracy.




I feel that this photograph needs no explanation. Please enjoy.




My friend George -- y'all remember George, right? Sweet? Sensitive? Cries when he loses at darts? Makes the best gumbo in the state? That one. Here's a visual aid:


AB, George, 1996

Anyway, George sent me this wonderful short film, which has been nominated for an OSCAR, and was made by some people in SHREVEPORT. LOUISIANA. Please take fifteen minutes and watch it. It's about books, and how they can make even the darkest days brighter. Try not to cry. Like crybaby George.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.




I run tomorrow. Cross everything. I will report back. And thank you all for the encouraging comments. They made me cry, like crybaby George. Love y'all.


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
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I have nothing new to show you yet, Internet, but I will tomorrow! The password is: TILE. In the meantime, please enjoy this photograph of Ed, our amazing foreman on the job. He is super sweet and a genius and we need his hands on everything. PS. Miss Mad is home from the hospital and doing GREAT. Thank you for all of your good wishes!
AuthorAB Chao
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You guys, I'm no hero. I'm just an ordinary citizen who is adding a bathroom to her house while her teenage daughter has been in the hospital with a kidney infection for 2 days. Wait, I am TOTALLY a hero. Workmen wait for no one, not even people who have to spend the night on hospital cots. The improvements continue apace. To wit: 1. Here is the original closet (check that wallpaper!). The other closet is behind the wall they knocked out to make the whole bathroom. img_0615 2. Yesterday (please note plumber's butt). img_0628 3. And this morning. img_0633 4. A shot of the new closet that's being built to replace the original closet(s). Y'all, they are making me CUSTOM METAL HANDLES for the doors. Can you EVEN? img_0625 This one's for Erin, who needed some proof that I am not a decorating superhero. Our dining room. It has looked like this all week. Today, it looks worse. You're welcome. img_0631 Thank you for all of your kind words on Twitter and elsewhere. The patient is feeling much better today, and I think we'll all be home by Sunday. Hooray!
This morning, Mad's room looked like this: img_0609 and now it looks like this: img_0619 and our guest/TV room looked like this (with all the furniture removed, please ignore the purple walls that are going away ASAP): img_0612 and now it looks like this: img_0617 ...and that big hole was once two adjacent closets -- one in the guest room, and one in Madeleine's room -- that will soon be a second bathroom. One we've been waiting for and wanting for a long, long time. Ever since Sars came to visit and our one bathroom flooded. Over the weekend. On a Sunday. PS. It's Sars's birthday today. Happy birthday, Sars! We got you a new bathroom. I'll keep you updated on the progress as it happens. Our contractor has told us it should take 3 to 4 weeks but things are moving so fast I think it will be done sooner. I may or may not be able to show you after pictures, depending on whether a) I've died from the stress of half our belongings being in the dining room or b) I fall into a hole or c) contractual obligations. What the hell am I talking about? I'll tell you later. Yay!
AuthorAB Chao
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The bathroom addition plans are being drawn up as I type this. Our super excellent contractor doesn't know he will be posing for headless photos. I guess I should tell him. And when we are finished with this project, I am going to nearly immediately start on our own bathroom remodel. Just cosmetic work for that one, nothing too big. It's all very exciting, though. Two SEPARATE places to shower! Amazing. Phase 1 of my  Los Angeles client's house plan is complete and went so, so well. I learned a ton and can't wait to go back for Phase 2. My client would like you all to know that, in addition to being connected to the tv show HOUSE, she is extremely powerful and important. Pictures and more updates of everything are forthcoming. Thank you for your cooperation.
AuthorAB Chao
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1. Decorating for Christmas. But not too much. I still have to put up the tree/wrap presents/make teacher gifts/discard teacher gifts due to burning/make more teacher gifts/lose my mind. But: all of my gifts have been bought. Boughten. This is a miraculous and beautiful thing.

Is it annoying to use images I uploaded to Flickr weeks ago? I apologize. Not enough to stop doing it, but just know that I feel bad about it.

The delicious sunburst mirror came from a local store, so I am sorry to say I can't tell you where to get one of your own. Also, the cute white stockings came from Walmart, so judge me as you must.

2. Making curtains out of drop cloths. I mean, come on. Have you ever seen a cooler idea? I got it from the Internet. Here's what you do: Go to Lowe's (or Home Depot, or your local hardware store, but I checked all of my options and Lowe's had the best quality fabric). Buy 2 drop cloths. Wash, wash, wash and dry the drop cloths. Now, wash them again. I hope you have a big washer. Cut and hem the bottom edge (I bought 12' x 15' drop cloths, because my windows are 120" wide and my ceilings are 10' tall. I stitched the long side to about 10', and hung them at 9.5' or so. (The ones I bought were already finished on all sides, with a shirttail hem.)). Hang. THE END.

3. Furiously searching for and downloading pictures of bathrooms for the addition we're planning in the new year. I don't know if you can tell what I like from this randomly chosen set of inspiration photos. They are all so different. We are very excited about this project -- it's been on our list of things to do basically since we moved into our house 6 years ago. And there is a teenager I know who is super happy about not having to share with her parents anymore. Hey, kid: THE FEELING IS MUTUAL.

[gallery link="file"] 4. In an unexpected development, I've taken on a real, live, paying decorating client. I am scared and nervous and exhilarated. It is kind of a trial run. The fun starts after the holidays. More details as they come. The excitement makes me write in little sentences. I'll not reveal the identity of my client, but they are closely connected to this person:

Obviously, I've written several private meetings into our contract. Consultations, if you will. For art.