Meet AB Chao of Hashai

Meet AB Chao of Hashai

Alejandra Valera
Aug 12, 2009

Since our inception, we have loved hearing from all of our readers as well as reaching out to several in the blog community. You are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands all writing about your families, style and what makes you tick. To continue fostering this great blogging community, we'll now begin featuring close-ups of our favorite family and design blogs as part of our "Big Blog Family". Enjoy!

Name: AB Chao
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Web site: Hashai

Interview and more photos, below the jump...

You've already seen some of AB Chao's handy work as her daughter Madeleine's room make-over was featured on Ohdeedoh. AB lives in Monroe, Louisiana with Madeleine and her husband, Vince. She tells us, "...My actual job is as a Web designer/developer, but my secret fantasy job is -- natch -- decorating. It occupies about 90% of my brain at any given time. Madeleine is currently embarrassed to be seen with us in public, so she functions as a very cute silent partner."

We recently chatted with AB and asked her a couple questions...

Why did you start blogging?
I actually started my blog way back in 2000, when it was called an "online journal." I am old. It didn't have any particular subject matter, just "Listen what happened to me today" kind of stuff, and occasional pictures. I ended up taking that iteration down entirely, and starting over this spring with a different content objective: more with the pretty pictures, less with the talky. Sometimes (and in my case, I mean "all the time") you just want to post a photo, accompanied by one sentence describing it.

Where do you go in the blogosphere for inspiration?
Oh, Lord. I'm one of those people with 20 design blogs in her feed reader, so this list could get out of hand. Basically, anything that has to do with beautiful things and pretty pictures, I'll look at. Aside from the big ones like Design*Sponge and decor8, lately I'm loving Design Crisis and I Suwannee (written by Texan/southern ladies, respectively!). Also, the Scandinavian triple threat: Emma's Designblogg, Ellmania, and Malo Blogg. Then there are the professional-designers-with-blogs, like Urban Grace, and Nick Olsen, and my sweet friend Lori Andrews.

What current design or family projects are you are working on?
I'm always working on ten different projects at once. Since Madeleine's room is finally finished, I've moved on to the next bedroom in line for a spruce-up: our third bedroom. Once the guest/TV room, now Vince's once and future Man Room. Not really, but it will be very masculine and cave-like. With taxidermy! (Maybe.) Right now I am making six -- that's right, six -- Roman shades for the room. It is hard. One day, God willing, I will be able to show them to you.

Finally, how do you approach the decorating process?
I approach my decorating process like a web designer: with Photoshop. It really is like building a Web site's look: you start with a wire frame and build layers from there. As a bonus, I have myself as a client, so I always pay on time. I am also a serious inspiration file junkie. If I'm planning a certain project, and see something I like, I save it or clip it immediately. In the end there is always, always a common thread or two running through the designs. That is my favorite part, like putting together a really pretty puzzle. From there I find the pieces or whatever online, and slap them all into Photoshop. Sometimes I try to make all the angles and perspective look right, but only if I am feeling really O.C.D. It actually took me a long time to learn: planning good, slapdash bad. I'm a natural slapdasher.

Thanks for sharing, AB! For more on AB and her slapdashery, visit Hashai.

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