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Design With Chon (DWC) – a boutique design studio with defined niches in (1) visual communication, (2) event design and (3) interiors. Each of these industries are huge in themselves, but DWC’s goal is to achieve good design in all its various forms, whether it’s from the branding of your business to saying “I do” to transforming interiors. Let me, “Chon," be your personal design consultant + stylist for your business, wedding or home. A balanced environment makes you feel good, and I am here to inspire your surroundings.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Office and My Home

These days my office is my breakfast table. I am no longer employed with my previous ad agency since the doors are officially shutting down. I have been working like this for the past week since I don't have a formal work desk. I have my 24" monitor along with my 17" MacBook Pro and yellow sticky post-its everywhere reminding me of things to do and deadlines to meet. :)

This set up isn't going to last that long–thank god. A new fancier desk is on its way. It's from West Elm and it's called the Sawhorse Table due to the style of the legs. This desk is going into our living room area as a casual work desk for me to put my monitor and laptop on. I wanted a clear top desk so it doesn't visually crowd our living area. It will help keep the room visually open and airy. Stay tuned for pics of my new office when I get it all settled in.

{Images from}

Retouching Photos – My Thai Grandparents

For some reason, I like to retouch old photos. It's one of my many random skills that I have under my belt. It seems like a pretty mundane task and probably not that interesting, but I like the challenge of bringing old photos back to life after years of wear and tear.

These portrait shots below are images of my Thai grandparents on my mom's side. Based on when my mom was born, I believe these images were taken back in the late 1940's, or early 50's. As you can see, both pics have a lot of damage from water stains, tears, yellowing of the paper, and loss of image in some areas.

After several hours in one of my favorite programs, Adobe Photoshop, the images are back to their original state. My sister and I are going to get these images professionally re-framed for my mom as a present to her for Christmas this year.

If anyone out there needs a hand in bringing old photos back to life for a loved one, I am a very good resource to get it done. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Business Cards are on the way!

Slowly, I am trying to get all my stuff together to get my business in full gear. And one huge step in helping making that happen are my very own business cards! I just finished designing them, and they will be going to print sometime in the next week. I can't wait to see the final product.

(Business card designed by Chon}

I worked with Bryn, a calligrapher, from Paperfinger to create a custom logo signature for my name. I worked with her once before for a custom addressed stamp. Before I was using a free handwritten-l00king font for my name to give it that personal touch. However, this new look is a huge step up from where I was before. It adds a level of more sophistication, and it's an original design that will branded across all my business materials. That reminds me, I need to update this graphic header in my blog. :) Bryn was great to work with once again, and I just love my new signature.

For my print vendor, I am working with Gary over at AccuColor Plus. I worked with him once before for the printing of my wedding invites. His printing skills are impeccable and his knowledge of paper, inks, offset and the artistry of letterpress printing is what sets him apart from other printers.

Flowers always brighten my day.

One of my favorite flowers are tulips. They always remind me of my husband, because back in the day, he always sent me these flowers as a surprise. I didn't want the standard looking rose. Tulips look great together when they are jam packed in a huge cluster as you see here on my breakfast table. I love simple arrangements like this one.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Coffee Table Wedding Book - It has arrived!

Our wedding book has arrived, and it looks pretty darn cool! It's a nice 12"x12" oversized, hardbound cover book with the image wrapped all the way around. For the price point, I can't complain.

If anyone needs help designing a sophisticated wedding book or any kind of book for that matter, you can always use me as a resource. I already know a decent vendor to print it! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Design w/Chon: Baby Shower III

This last shower theme is a little bit nontraditional for a baby shower since it was meant more for the mother-to-be, Mira. She wanted it to be very spa and zen-like, because we were starting our morning at the spa with massages, and then the baby shower was being held in the afternoon. Plus, this was her second baby shower with a more intimate group of friends.

For this zen-like invite design, I went with a more simplistic and clean color palette with shades of green representing life and a stone grey symbolic of earth. On the cover is an illustration of Buddha in a relaxed, meditative pose sitting in a Japanese rock garden surrounded by succulent plants. The typography treatment is very clean and graphic pulling in strong key words that sound calming, "relax. nourish. and celebrate."

(Invitation designed by Chon}

To continue the harmony of the invite into the shower, I thought it would be nice to combine the table decor and favors into one. The location of the shower party really didn't need much decoration so we invested a little more money into the favors which I think had more visual impact, and the guests were more likely to keep and enjoy them in the long run. :)

For the table decor/party favors, I created little succulent terrariums. I was able to find these 5" glass bubble vases in bulk and worked with a local nursery to get individual succulents planted in each vase. And for the finishing touch, I printed the words "nourish me" along with the plant's species name on the back with care instructions for the new and soon-to-be owner.

Also, I was able to make a welcome sign to greet the guests as they entered the room. Overall, the shower was visually balanced and a success. Everyone seemed relaxed as they enjoyed the green theme with the refreshing "Cucumber-Lime Water", fruits and cheeses.

Congrats Mira and Kapil, and we are certainly looking forward to the "new life" that you guys are bringing into this world! And thank you to all the hosts who participated to pull this event off with ease.

Design w/Chon: Baby Shower II

For this next baby shower, my other pregnant girlfriend, Mira, had several ideas on what she wanted for her invite. Something naturesque, possibly include her favorite color – celery green, and she wanted to do something with sunflowers. In addition, she was having a baby boy, but didn't want it to scream "baby blue" everywhere. And this is where I ended up for the invite and colors. There are three dominant colors: baby blue, sunny yellow and celery green.

As always, I had to add my own personal twist to the invite by adding some fun, cute verbiage to tie all the elements together. And this is how it goes, "Once upon a time, we were told a story about the Birds and the Bees, but this October eighteenth, we get to celebrate one of nature's acts come to life for Mira and Kapil."

(Invitation designed by Chon}

One thing that I love to do in my designs is create custom patterns that are unique and fitting for each event. And with this particular design, the birds and the bees are great graphic elements that allow me to carry the shower theme into the table centerpieces. As you can see, I took the birds and the bees and made a whimsical pattern that wraps around each glass cylinder vase. I also added celery green ribbon to help break up the mass of blue.

For the cardholder vs. using a wrapped box, it only seemed fitting to use my birdcage holder since we had a nature theme going. I hand wrapped the top of the birdcage with two different kinds of celery green ribbons.

And the final, but grand touch to the table centerpieces were the sunny and bright sunflowers. I just love the contrast of the bold, yellow sunflower against the pattern on the vase. We specially ordered the glass cylinder vases in bulk and the sunflowers from wholesale vendors online to make the most of the budget.