{inspires} Design Camp with AB Chao

It seems like forever ago now, but before I left for Europe I spent the day with AB Chao! AB's been traveling around the country this year for her Design Camp's and Portland was added last minute as a mini camp. Yes!

Friends if she comes to your city, GO. This woman has an amazing design sense, is a wealth of great tips and tricks for decorating your home, and is just adorable and fun. I learned so. much. good. stuff.

Some of what I loved most about camp follows.

When decorating:
1. Be BRAVE. (By far the hardest thing to me, but also my far the most important)
2. Take your time.
3. Less is more.
4. Don't take it too seriously.
5. Follow your heart. If you love it, it's the right thing.

Don't you think these are so applicable for life in general? YES.

Restrict your palette.  
Go either super light or super dark. 

This was a light bulb moment for me.  I tend to go middle of the road because it's safe (see, be brave above :). But light or dark are where you make a statement, and more than likely where you'll be the happiest. As I thought through this I realized the design decisions I was happiest with were the ones where I was brave and either went super light, or super dark. Hmmm. She's on to something here!

AB also had some interesting professional design tips. Such as -- combine curtains and shades in the same fabric for a layered look. And, paint a room's ceiling and trim the same color as the wall. Both of which you see in magazines, but I never actually thought about applying in reality. But, why not, right? Be brave. :) See the theme here?

Oh, and I'm also completely inspired to spend a lot of money on a painting I love. Seriously, this woman makes a strong case for investing in art. Now, to find my dream painting :).

You can find AB's Design Camp recap here. Dewit, ya'll! :)


  1. Ohhh great tips! I love the one about dark/light. I'm always so nervous about painting a room dark, but I'm planning on doing it for my bedroom anyway.

  2. I'm totally on an art trip right now. I bought a piece in Madrid, and have other ideas for making my home MINE (three years later).

  3. I braved my kitchen a couple of years ago and went bright and creamy yellow. Against by husbands wishes and fears I painted the ceiling the same color and I LOVED IT.

    The room felt so bright and open and it quickly became my favorite room in the house.

    I like the idea of being brave, I need to do that more often.

  4. These are great tips and it sounds like a really great workshop. We just started purchasing a few original art pieces earlier this year and I'm so glad we did. Our walls have been pretty bare forever but I'm okay with that. I'd rather hang things that I love and have meaning rather than just stuff. Thanks for sharing this info Jenn.

  5. When I was looking for a rental in Colorado a few weeks ago, there were several houses that had painted their walls and ceilings the same color. I think it totally works!!


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