I've been practicing my moody, haphazard floral design/photography. It is HARD, y'all. (Inspired by Ariel Dearie, a New Orleans native, natch.)

Thank you all for the Camp excitement! That makes me so happy. A few of you have written in with questions, which I will answer below. And if you have more questions, email or ask in the comments.

Q: When is [city] Camp going to be?

A: Well, here's the thing. Nothing has been scheduled in any city besides New Orleans. That is for a couple of reasons: a) I've been secretly offering the New Orleans class to locals for a while, so it was very easy to fill (there are a few spots left!), but b) I had no idea if anyone elsewhere would be interested. So if you think you might be even the tiniest bit into going, email me (and it would be super-helpful if you put the city name in the subject line) or tell me in the comments so I can get a feel for the most popular cities and can schedule accordingly. Also, if you would like Design Camp to come to your city, tell me that in the comments too!

Q: Can inexperienced designers attend?

A: YES. This is for people of all skill levels, but most especially for those of you who have no idea what to do or where to begin. Because that is what I am going to show you. And it will be super fun. Also there will be cupcakes.

Q: What all will we learn at Design Camp?

A: Girl, so much. Here is the list I've got in my current syllabus (Syllabus! HAHAHAHAAAAAA.):

Basic principles and elements of design
Starting from scratch
Using and repurposing existing items
Common mistakes (DEWITs)
Putting it all together (DEWINNIT)
Styling it all up
Basic flower arranging*
Shooting interiors

Paint and wall coverings
Window treatments
Furniture and rugs
Q & A

Q: Do I need to reserve all day on both days for this?

A: No, each day should run from morning until about mid-afternoon, with breaks for lunch and snacks. So you still have time to go home afterward, catch a disco nap, and get dressed to go out on Saturday night. I assume that's why you asked.

Q: Is there any way to schedule a one-on-one session or in-home consultation?

A: Yes, I am offering both to Camp attendees, at a discounted rate (Attendees will also receive a discount on all decorating services). These will be scheduled before and/or after Camp hours.

Q: Is everything going to be awesome?

A: Yes.


*Not like craziness in above photo, unless you're into that sort of thing.

AuthorAB Chao
25 CommentsPost a comment

It's Super Bowl weekend, and since a) I love the Saints, and b) Eli Manning hails from the great city of New Orleans, we are making a quintessentially NOLA cocktail: the Sazerac. Now, there are many ways to make a Sazzy -- the always reliable Gumbo Pages details several -- but I prefer the confusing and overly-complicated traditional method you see above. (This recipe heavily based on the recipe from GP.)

Come on, when is the next time you get to use two glasses to make one drink? Your six-pack of Miller Lite can't provide that kind of entertainment, people. So, go ahead: get your Rotel dip and chicken wings ready, then class that noise up with a deliciously complex New Orleans cocktail. DEWIT.

Happy Super Bowl! May your favorite team win, and may your Rotel be extra spicy.

PS. Thanks to the brilliant Mrs. Lilien for the Mr./Mrs. glasses, and for the design inspiration!

AuthorAB Chao
5 CommentsPost a comment

So, Internet, I took stock of your comments from my last entry about what my next Dewit should be. And I thought to myself, hey, self, why don't you stick it in a pie chart? That will be fun and visually educational! And y'all, let me just tell you: free pie charts on the internet are ugly.

Here's the first pie chart I made.


Uh, can you read that? No? Me neither. Plus, please note the hideous colors. I kept searching. Finally, I found another one that was a tiny bit better.

Aw, Number 2 pie chart! You have pretty colors, but you are still pretty weird. What's with the numbers instead of percentages? Why are you so sad, pie chart? WHY.

Y'all, what you will see below is the best free pie chart on the internet. I hope you appreciate the work I do to make this site beautiful every day.


It's not perfect. It's not even that pretty. But it sure as shit is better than those other ones. Good work, Pie Chart #3. We salute you. And coming soon to a Dewit near you: Shelf/Table Accessorizing.

AuthorAB Chao
7 CommentsPost a comment

Friends, it's been quite a week and I am feeling kind of lazeballs. I can't tell you specifically how many trade applications I found, printed, filled out, scanned, and emailed, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of EIGHT FRILLION. Also I did some design work. Also I made cookies and got mad at my hair. Also I tried begging friends and acquaintances to buy ads on my site, like some sort of sad old begging beggar. I only need TWO MORE, DAMN Y'ALL.

Anyway. Right now I am drinking a nice rose and ordering fabric samples from all of the various places I applied to get into. That's right, kids. Decorating is like college, except you have to have a big old bank account, three references, and a resale certificate. But, you know, then they send you pretty stuff. Shout-out to my lovers at Designers Guild.

What else? OH. I am so excited about my boyfriend Ryan Adams's new album (dropping October 11) that I can't stand it. There are a few preview songs in various places online, but this one gives me the chills real bad. Right now Chris Huff is rolling his eyes and varminting simultaneously, but Big Boozie's (this is my nickname for Chris; I am Li'l Boozie, of course.) lifelong hatred of my man Ryan moves me not. After all, I don't really care that REM broke up, and I'm sure he finds that equally truly outrageous.

Here is a picture of me right now, on my porch in front of the cat food table.

Please note hideous pigtails, old-timey sweatshirt, and Target scarf coupled with for-realz Waterford crystal + pricy wine. High and low, y'all. It's the only way to live.

This entry is super-weird and disjointed and feels like I'm writing from 2001, or something. Hey, do y'all want to hear about my emotions and whatnot? No? FINE.

I haven't even gotten to the point of the whole post, which is that I wanted y'all to tell me what kind of Dewit to do next. So far I've done art-hanging and bed-making. What do you want to see now? I'm game for anything. So, you know, tell me. Dewit.

Farewell, nice people. I hope your weekend is filled with naps and hamburgers.

AuthorAB Chao
27 CommentsPost a comment



PAMELA RIBON has an idea for a blog post. She texts her friend, AB CHAO, to tell her ALL about it.

What about an entry on how to make a stranger a best friend? You have a gift for making someone feel they need you in their lives, even when they are Greg Berlanti.


AB CHAO hears her phone ding, checks it. She responds. A furious back-and-forth ensues.

Um, I don't know how that happens.

Hahahahahahahaaaaa! HA HA HA. HAHA.

For serious, I don't! I never contacted Greg before he wrote me.

I thought he asked you for the TWoP interview.

I did, after he emailed me a bunch of times.


Besides, what am I gonna say? "Use straws as chopsticks." "Introduce yourself." "Hate rocking chair stores." "Be mad at Wayne Brady."

Actually, yes on the first two.

Send me a list of five things that made you want to be friends with me, and I'll try to figure out some kind of theory. The first two are already done.

...and that would be an example what I am talking about. I'm busy, lady! I can't do homework.



(Waits 30 seconds)

FINE. "Dewit and dewit right." When you write it up, don't forget that "I hate you" is step 4.

Obviously. I'll expect step 5 by the morning.


AuthorAB Chao
3 CommentsPost a comment

Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to talk about pillows. No, not the ones on your bed (which you should be ironing), but the ones you put on everything else: your sofa, your chairs, your benches, etc. There is a right way and wrong way to do this. Oh, you didn't know that? Witness:

via House Beautiful

Aw. Cute sofa, right? Cute pillows, too! However: can you sit on it? I guess you could, if you were the size of 90s Kate Moss. Or Skeletor. Or Heather Armstrong. HAHAHAAA, just kidding. The point is, there is too much pepper in this paprikash. Sofas are not for showing off 35 pillows; they are for being in your living room, where you LIVE. You sit there, you hang out, you drink too much wine, and you don't have to throw a bunch of things on the floor before that happens.

Fellow Southerner Miles Redd gets it right, as always. And he doesn't find it necessary to do that thing that many decorators do, which is to karate chop each pillow so it looks like an old-school McDonald's hat (I am guilty of this, too.).



For you Downton Abbey fans, that's Elizabeth McGovern

Let's talk scale: If you have a smaller sofa (let's say 6-ish feet or less), try a pair of 16" x 16" pillows on each end. If you must have another accent, do a 12" x 24" in a contrasting fabric in the center. If you have a larger sofa, go bigger with your end pillows: 20" or 22" square should do. If you want 4 pillows on your gigantor sofa, add a couple of 18" x 18"s to the mix. Oh, you saw the CUTEST 8" x 12" pillow at Urban Outfitters that would look so cute in your house? Pass. Go big or go Montgomery Ward.

via Lori Andrews

via Kelly Wearstler

Lori Andrews and Kelly Wearstler: they only need 2 pillows on their sofas. Because they are both FABULOUS.

via Rue

Aw, shit. Here is my perfect combo: a big fluffy pillow, then a smaller one, and a throw blanket at the other end. Are you excited about accessories, or what?

via Pottery Barn

OK, so now you have some tips on pillow outsides. Now I am going to give you the real tip: down inserts. Always. No, always. You're allergic to down? I'm sorry, there will be no accent pillows in your house. Pottery Barn has great prices on their inserts, they have a ton of sizes, and they usually have free shipping. I can't tell you how many pillows I've bought from cheaper venues, replaced their insides with down, and made them look a hundred times better. Learn it, live it, love it.


So. Do you want your living room to look sad, or do you want it to look awesome? It's up to you. Scale + pattern + down = PERFECTION. Dewit.

AuthorAB Chao
23 CommentsPost a comment