Influenced and Inspired: AB Chao

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A few weekends ago, I went to Dewit Design Camp and it. was. amazing.  Let me back up a bit.  I'm still pretty new to the whole blog world, and let me tell you, it's kind of crazy, and wild, and neat, and small worldish sometimes yet still so vast, and fun.  I first discovered Design Mom through a pin on pinterest.  Design Mom does a series called Living with Kids each week, and I'm kinda obsessed with it.  It feels like Christmas every Tuesday morning.  I'm not trying to compare a blog post to the birth of Jesus, but you know just the excitement and anticipation and such.  Well a few months into discovering this series, AB Chao was featured.  Not only was her house fabulous, she was really funny and interesting and she talked about this Design Camp she was starting.  Sooo, I started following her blog and read up on her Camp.  And I started plotting.  I wanted to go to there (shout out to ol' Liz Lemon).  Because it sounded awesome.  I thought maybe it could be a 30th birthday gift, so I started planting that seed in my sweet husband's head.  Turns out, he really likes me, because I got to go!

I felt like such a big girl getting to put on real clothes to spend 2 days with other ladies, hearing about something I enjoy so much.  I wish I took pictures of the set up, because it was so darn cute.  When we arrived Saturday, there were pastries and coffee (!) and other snacks and beverages, all organized beautifully.  The tables we sat at had design books, magazines, sunflowers, and brightly colored jacks (yeah the toy) laid out on them, along with a Dewit Design Camp "tool kit" for each participant.  While participants were arriving, we introduced ourselves and made small talk, discussing how we each discovered Camp.

Now I don't consider myself a particularly awkward person.  I try to avoid awkward.  But, I am pretty shy and a little timid in new situations, which can sometimes lead to awkward.  A few days before Camp, I was getting both excited and nervous, and I mentioned to a friend that I hoped I didn't cause an awkward situation because meeting new people can sometimes lead to that, blah, blah, blah.  So AB started her presentation and told us a little about herself.  Then she said something pretty much to this effect: "I know that when people get together and meet each other it can sometimes be awkward, but let's just pretend we're past that initial stage and we're already all besties!"  I loved her for that.  Anxiety curbed and I could fully enjoy Camp.

So what did I learn already?!?  Dewit Design Camp was set up for people interested in interior design/decorating who either can't afford or don't want to hire an interior designer.  AB went over the basic principles of design, she provided lots of resources for where to find this and that, and she showed great examples of pictures to go along with whatever she was discussing.  Other topics included: making inspiration boards, drawing layouts, decorating on a budget, repurposing stuff you already have, wall hangings, bookshelves, lighting, making a bed, styling, and taking pictures of interiors.  On Sunday, we each brought pics of an area of our home that was either a problem or that we wanted some help with ideas for what to do to it.  This part was so fun!  We basically got to put everything we learned on Saturday to good use and help each other out.  I got some awesome ideas and will update you as I start these projects.  Jaron may not have realized that this was the gift that keeps on giving the whole year 'round, because part of my plan involves more painting (and as I've mentioned before, he's our painter.  Don't worry, I'll help.).

I actually took an intro to interior design class my junior year of college, but it was the same semester I started dating Jaron and a pretty important semester for social work majors as we were preparing and applying for our senior internships.  Needless to say, I was a little distracted and didn't take much from that class.  My bad.  But AB's Camp was way better anyway.  I've read through lots of design magazines and books over the years, but I loved the way AB presented the information, because now it's all way more clear, concise and organized in my head.  And I learned some great, new stuff that I hadn't heard or seen before.  Also, AB and her husband cheered for the Thunder during the NBA Finals, so I basically think she can do no wrong.

I will probably write more on specific aspects of Camp in the future, but I just wanted to share this wonderful experience I got to have.  30 is shaping up to be pretty cool.  Even though I don't really turn 30 for another 2 and 1/2 months, guys.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves!

Much thanks to Nana, Papi, Christa, and Jaron for watching E while I was out being fancy and drinking champagne.  Yeah, that happened too.


  1. This is fantastic, Grace! I'm so glad you were able to be part of that (and that Jaron was so sweet to send you there).

  2. That sounds so fun and perfect for you! You look beautiful, as always! Love you friend!

  3. I am going to the SFO camp this month. I am both excited and nervous. Now having read this I just can't wait. Thanks for the review.

  4. Oh! and am a new like really new blogger just like you.

  5. Thanks friends! Shalni, that's so exciting that you're going to camp! I bet you'll love it :). Thanks for the comments, and I can't wait to check out your blog!

  6. I loved hearing all about this camp! I can't wait to go one day. Maybe together? I have a blank room or two that are awaiting your decorating expertise so hurry it up! ;)



Old House Hill All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger