Oh JoyOh Joy

a few things i'm loving right now for your closet and for your home...

Oh Joy / Fall Home Decor

Sources: Print by Paula Champagne*, Suku Home forest duvet set*, vase from The Styld Life*, Leanne Ford for Crate Kids lamp.

Oh Joy / Fall Style

Sources: We Dream in Colour studs*, OK face mask, Phenomenal Woman "I am an American" sweatshirt*, LemLem scarf/sarong*, Charlotte Stone clogs, Camp by JW jumpsuit*.

(*indicates BIPOC-owned brand/BIPOC-created work)

a mess-free art exercise with kids!

a mess-free art exercise with kids!

While I am all about making messes to get creative, sometimes I just don't want to have to deal with all the clean-up that's involved (or the clean-up I will have to remind my kids they need to do after ;P). Here's an easy and fun art exercise you can do with kids of all ages from toddler to big kid!

All you need is:
-paper (I cut sheets into quarters so they would be the same size and also to keep them smallish)
-colorful dot stickers (thanks Jordan for telling me about these stickers!)
-black permanent marker

Here are a few exercises you can prompt! They involve a mix of creation and story-telling, and it's fun for you to do the exercises alongside with them, too...

a mess-free art exercise with kids!

Exercise 1: Place 6 dots on your page in six different colors (they should not touch). Then use a Sharpie to draw different facial expressions on each dot. Next, add drawings around each one. They could become an object, a living thing, a person, etc. Finally, tell a story about the six things...it could be one continuous story where all six could all be involved in the same story or just describe each one!

a mess-free art exercise with kids!

Exercise 2: Using any colors you want to make a continuous path from one end of your paper to another. Then, add drawings to make your stickers create a scene. Add a title to your scene. Then, describe it to everyone!

a mess-free art exercise with kids!

Exercise 3: Make a pattern with the dots! You can use any number of colors you want. Then, add either drawings or a title. Now, describe your picture!

a mess-free art exercise with kids!

Exercise 4: Make whatever you want! BUT, create it in mind with the idea that you are making this for someone else and you would want to send it to them in the mail—like your best friend, your grandparents, etc! Finally, describe your scene to everyone.

My kids had a great time doing this art exercise, and it was fun for them to get different prompts throughout. They got excited about sharing their creation, too. Afterwards, my oldest said now she wanted to make something messy because this one was so neat and clean! Ha!

A tween room I designed for the Real Simple house!

Joy Cho Tween Room Design for Real Simple Home

After spending so much time sheltering in place this year, many of us have discovered just how important our spaces can be. For the third annual Real Simple Home in the October issue, they've partnered with designers and organizers to design a space in a real home and ideas for making every area inviting, calming, and ultra-functional. I'm excited to be one of the designers this year and share the room I created with you!

Joy Cho Tween Room Design for Real Simple Home

My inspiration for this room is a real-life 11-year-old living in NYC named Evan. She's artsy, a little edgy, and loves yellow. I wanted a space that felt fun and inspiring for a tween but also felt like she could grow into as she becomes a teen. Since the room is small, I added a large wallpaper mural to the focal wall behind the bed for impact.

Joy Cho Tween Room Design for Real Simple Home

New York City apartments and rooms are always on the smaller size, so I had to maximize the space with storage options that go vertically and allow her art supplies and sketchbooks to be stored off the desk. All of the major pieces of furniture are neutral (whites and light woods) with yellow in with a couple statement items like the peg board here and the wall mural by her bed. At this age, all furniture can be adult-sized so that she can use it for a while to come.

Typically this home could be toured in real life. But for the first time, Real Simple will be hosting a LIVE virtual event on October 1st to give you exclusive behind-the-scenes access to everything Real Simple Home. Be sure to register before October 1 so you can access the event page and get reminders via email.

This was such a fun project to work on since it's an age I haven't had a chance to design for yet, and I hope this gives you some fun inspiration for your own home. See the October issue of Real Simple for my room and more by all the other talented designers!

Bed Photo Sources: Wall Mural by Christina Flowers for Minted; Bedframe by The Novogratz; Yellow Round Pillow by Castle; Duvet Cover by Castle; Duvet Insert by Bed, Bath & Beyond; Sheet by Castle; Dotty Pillow Case by Castle; Scallop Pillow Case by Castle; Pillow Inserts by Bed, Bath & Beyond; Rug by Crate & Barrel; Nightstand by Urban Outfitters; Planter by The Jungalow; Faux Plant by Terrain; General Stationery by Poketo; Tout Est Magique Print by Hotel Magique; Floor Lamp by CB2; Curtains by West Elm;  Curtain Tie-Backs by Urban Outfitters; and Curtain Rod by West Elm.

Desk Photo Sources: Curtains by West Elm;  Curtain Tie-Backs by Urban Outfitters; Curtain Rod by West Elm; Desk Chair by Industry West; Desk by Oeuf; Desk Lamp by CB2; Pencil Cups by The Jungalow; Face Vases by The Jungalow; General Stationery by Poketo; Pegboard by Peg & Board; Arc Shelf by Peg & Board; Green Coat Print by Thee Bouffants for Society6; Peace Print by Sabrena Khadija for Society6; and Arc Shelf by Peg & Board.

(Photos by Christopher Testani, Room Design by Joy Cho, Styling by Sarah Smart, Location in The Marbury Condos)

making a guest room feel like home...


Do you have a guest room in your home? If you do...raise your hand if it's an extra bedroom that's well-intended as a guest bedroom but often gets used as a storage room for our extra junk or doubles as a home office/guest bedroom. (I'm raising my hand!) Since we can't have friends and family over these days, I've been taking the time to prepare our guest bedroom in a way that would be suitable for our future guests once they can finally come visit us!

making a guest room feel like home

We started with the California Closets x Martha Stewart The Everyday System which offers a beautiful way to customize closets at a lower price point than traditional built-ins. I love the idea of using the closet as a way to offer extra fun amenities, and things that would make their stay comfortable and provide them with things that might come in handy during their visit. Almost like the perks you would get at a fun hotel!

making a guest room feel like home

A mix of closed boxes allows you to keep some things hidden with open storage for making some things easily accessible.

making a guest room feel like home-4-blog

making a guest room feel like home

Some of the items to include that come in handy and will make your guests feel special include:
- Extra towels, blankets, pillows, robes
- Books about the local area
- Tote bags for shopping or beach trips
- Umbrella, sun hats, sweaters to allow for changes in weather
- Extra toothbrushes and First Aid items
- Snacks

making a guest room feel like home

While you may not be able to leave a guest closet filled with only items for guests, you can make use of boxes or bins to store things that you need as well and can easily be tucked away when guests are in town!

(Photos by Lily Glass)

transitional pieces i'm loving right now...

transitional pieces i'm loving right now / oh joy!

Fall is upon us! While some of us are still living in the hot summer temps, the transition to fall is on its way. Here are a few fun things that work now AND later that I'm loving right now all from independently-owned brands.

(left to right, top to bottom: Doen plaid top ($208), snake earrings from Chauncey & Coco ($36)*, CV x Melissa McCarthy Moyen Messenger bag ($495), CV x Melissa McCarthy 3/4 Sleeve Sweatshirt ($135), Roam Vintage dress ($72)*, orange leaf earrings from The Tiny Tassel*, AAKS woven bag ($153)*, Celia B woven jacket ($300). / *indicates BIPOC-owned)

Thai Pad Kee Mao with a Korean Twist!

Thai Pad Kee Mao with a Korean Twist!

The other day my friend Sara texted me and said they were making Pad Kee Mao and the rice noodles that typically go into the dish didn't work out, so they substituted with Korean rice cakes! It was such a great idea that I was inspired to recreate it for you!

Here's what you'll need...

- 1lb. of Korean rice cakes ("dduk")

- peanut oil

- 8-10 cloves of garlic, chopped

- 1/2 cup sliced onion

- 2 cups of green veggies (green beans, bok choy, broccoli, etc.)

- 2-3 Tbs. oyster sauce

- 2-3 tsp. black soy sauce (this is different than regular soy sauce and is thicker and sweeter)

- 2-3 Tbs. of fish sauce

- 1 tsp. of sugar and 1/4 tsp. of white pepper, to taste

- 1/2-1 cup of fresh holy or Thai basil

-Thai chillies finely chopped (I added after so that I could make this for my kids, too)
- Protein (like shrimp, chicken, beef, tofu)

Here's how:

  1. Heat a wok or large pan over high heat and add peanut oil to coat the bottom. Be aware of the food and add additional oil as needed to keep anything from sticking without getting the ingredients too greasy. Stir-frying is very fast, so have everything ready to go!
  2. Add garlic and then the sliced onions. Mix for 30-60 seconds. If you'd like to add protein, you can add after this step and keep mixing!
  3. Add the Korean rice cakes and green veggies and toss well.
  4. Add your sauces (oyster, soy, fish), then the white pepper and sugar to taste.
  5. Finally, add in basil, mix until basil is wilted, and turn off heat.

You can find a video of this recipe being made on my Instagram! Enjoy!

*recipe adapted from "It Rains Fishes" by Kasma Loha-Unchit

oh joy! builds a house: window coverings!

oh joy! builds a house: window coverings!-5-blog

Windows (and lots of them) were always a huge part of our home build design.  We love natural light, and sunny Los Angeles gives us some of the best and longest daily sunlight we could ask for! But we also knew, even as far back as our old apartment how important blinds were for sleeping through the night, keeping privacy, and controlling the amount of sunlight and heat in our house.

So we’re excited to partner again with Blinds.com to find the perfect window coverings for all the bedrooms in our home. While I can’t show you everything in our house just yet, I can show a couple of peeks at some options we choose.  And then I did some shopping for you, too!  Blinds.com has a large selection that can be daunting, so I picked some of my favorites for you to consider for your own home...

oh joy! builds a house: window coverings!

We chose Premier Roman Shades with the black-out option in mostly every bedroom in the home. I love that because you could have something like and bright (like the Gent Bisque linen shades at very top) or darker and more sultry (like the dark blue Luxe Velvet Lapis shades above).

oh joy! builds a house: window coverings!

I love these Flat Sheer Shades and Premier Flat Sheer Shades for rooms that get indirect light or rooms that don't require too much privacy, like a living rom or kitchen.

oh joy! builds a house: window coverings!

Also, ready-made curtains can be so hard to make work when you have extra high or wide windows, so I love that you can get them custom-made affordably here, too, like this Easy Rod Pocket Panel style.

Window coverings are one of those pieces that we don't often work into a design from the get-go, but it's important to make sure they work for you both functionally and aesthetically. One thing that is SO helpful to selecting window coverings is to chat with a professional that works with window coverings for a living. They have a great service and you can work directly with a designer to get just the right treatment for your home! 

I can't wait to show you how these shades work into our full room reveals!

(Top two photos by Lily Glass, Other photos by Blinds.com)