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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Don't we all wish we were doing this right now?

Today I head to Portland, for the first time! Any dinner recommendations? I like all types of things but especially things I wouldn't be able to get in Louisiana.

I'm also taking the train there from Seattle, so if you see a girl with way too many heavy bags full of camp supplies, that's my assistant. JUST KIDDING IT'S ME.

Photo: Ben Corda

AuthorAB Chao
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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.


We're leaving in the morning for NOLA and running the half-marathon on Sunday. In between (and after), I will be eating shrimps and drinking Abita Strawberry. If you're at the race and you see a real slow girl with a "CHAO" shirt pass by, holler.

The end.

AuthorAB Chao
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Chao Nation! Welcome to your first installment of Dewit, where I tell you how to do things, and the right way to do them. We're going to start with one of my worst peeves, which is bed-making. Many people do not know how to make a bed, and although they do not know it, it affects their quality of life. By "they," I mean "you." So listen here.

All pics from Ugly House Photos

Here are some examples of how not to make one's bed. The pictures above illustrate one of the most common mistakes people make -- pulling the comforter all the way up over the pillows, which a) is silly, and b) appears as if you may be trying to hide a dead body. No! Do not do this. First of all, your bed should be just as decorated as anything else in your house. And secondly, there are much better methods out there. Let's look at some examples of beds done right.

Nick Olsen via House Beautiful

My beloved Nick knows what's up. Do you see how crisp and clean his linens look? That is because someone IRONED them. Oh, you don't have time to iron your sheets? Well, that's weird, you sure have time to watch Bravo. Make it happen, y'all.

via Miles Redd

Here's another version of awesome bed-making. The sheets are tucked under, the duvet is folded in half (or thirds) at the end of the bed, and a couple of fabulous pillows + a throw blanket have been added. Again, everything is clean, crisp, and pressed. Except for that bed skirt. Get on it, Miles.

via Ryan Ford

Here is a great bed example. The matelasse blanket is pulled all the way up, yes, but the Euro shams and accent pillows are stacked vertically on the OUTSIDE of the coverlet. Where are the standard pillows you sleep on? I don't know. And I don't care.

via Leontine Linens

Nobody does it like Leontine. Here, they've folded the top sheet over the bed cover, and the Euros/accent pillows are once again on top of everything else. Learn it, live it, love it.

via Lonny

And here is my Platonic ideal of beds. Everything is perfectly ironed; the sheets are tucked in with hospital corners; the standard-sized pillows and shams are stacked (open pillow edges to the outside, please); the duvet is folded at the end of the bed; and there are two subtle accent pilllows to complete the scene. Yes. YES!

In sum, making your bed up right: DEWIT. The end.

AuthorAB Chao
CategoriesAdvice, dewit
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A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine asked me if I'd ever done any local decorating before. I had not -- we live in a small town, and there is no shortage of interior professionals -- so I told her I'd love to help her, but that I hoped she was a patient person. I had no local contacts at the beginning, so it took a while longer than your normal project trying to make things happen, but we figured it out together and now that same lady is a dear friend of mine. Isn't it awesome how that works? Anyway, she tasked me with turning her young daughter's room from a little girl's room to a big girl's room. You may recall that I have done this before, with my own child. I regret to inform you that this little girl did not -- as my dramatic child did -- react in a reality show fashion. However, she is very happy with her new room. And now, please enjoy these terrible before pictures (Aren't they always the worst?). My client wanted to switch her daughter's twin bed out for a queen-size, so we had a headboard made along with a complementary roman shade for the window. The little girl picked out the black polka dot bed set, which is from a company called Little Miss Matched -- this piece was sort of the inspiration for the whole room, in fact. We also ordered a dresser from the company and re-covered the original bulletin board with some new fabric. The walls were re-painted in a pale cool gray (Benjamin Moore Gray Owl). Side tables and bedding are from Pottery Barn; lamps are from Target; jute rug from Overstock; desk chair is a reproduction Eames. Oh! Also, my client's daughter is really into chemistry (!) so we ordered some glass beakers for extra science-y cuteness. So there it is: my first local project. I am so happy it's finished, and I can't wait to get started on the next one. But first I am going to take a nap for eight days.

All photos by AB Chao

AuthorAB Chao
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