Upcoming Workshops, February 2012

When we started our TREND, Teach & ENCOURAGE workshops…they weren’t really workshops at all. They evolved out of our shopping days with Project Clients. As the same questions kept popping up, we worked to solidify the answers into a time of learning and hands on doing with respect to Interior Design, consulting with experts in Antiques or Holiday Staging for added fun. These one on one seminars were & are a real treat.

However, not everyone is a Project Client so last year, we tested the waters for Trend Workshops with friends and local decorators working on their own projects. This group setting was so fun! No extra experts were brought in which helped make the day accessible for those who weren’t sure what they were getting into! Our hope is to keep the cost around $450 for the day, including food and wine of course :)!

These TREND Seminars will focus on what is new at Market, either the Gift and Home show in Las Vegas or the fabulous and compelling twice yearly Markets at High Point. For the homeowner who wants a refresh, these are great ways to find one or two items that are the design equivalent of a great spa day. We will also address specific Design issues and have q & a with Ann.

Check out the following links to the wholesale markets.  Fabulous. Fun. Creative. Couture.  Be sure to let us know you might be interested in attending!  You can email Ann at Ann@Couturechateau.com or the office in general at ccstudio@couturechateau.com.



Design Camp with Tobi Fairley!

Wow, what a week we had!

Last week I traveled thru the midwest then headed South for Design Camp with Internationally recognized Designer Tobi Fairley.


I joined 33 others at Tobi’s 6,000 square foot facility for three days of intense Design Camp: A to Z. We covered everything and had a blast doing it.

We met Annie Selke, author of “Fresh American Spaces” & founder of three flourishing design companies.


We traveled in a pink Hummer limo – I thought I was back in LA – and discussed everything under the sun from Design Business Models to Branding and how to’s on the basics of project execution.

We had hands on time behind the scenes working on current projects we had all brought with us.

We sketched, we planned, we designed, we discussed.  A huge shout out to Tobi and her amazing staff.

Stay tuned for dates on our Trend Teach and Encourage Workshops in January and February here in Southern and Northern California. These will piggyback on Trends we see at Markets (North Carolina & Gift & Home in Las Vegas), continue to Teach you about Design & as always, Encourage you to live out a custom life!


Ann McDonald

Ask Ann

NYC Client:

How do I protect these fabulous new custom drapes from my radiator?


Several Ways…

  • Add an inexpensive shelf – lined with sheet metal – to protect the bottom portion of your drapes from Steam and Heat (try Ikea & Hardware stores)
  • Purchase a pre-fab kitchen cabinet (upper if possible) and use that as a box to surround the radiator. Make certain the doors have cutouts so steam and heat can escape.
  • Use tie backs to keep the lowest portion of the drapes off the heat source
  • Use heat resistant tiles & trivets atop the radiator for a decorative way to puddle the drapes. Have some fun with these from Designer Cooking stores! Check out Byung-seok You’s Natural Wave.

Week 3

We shared some of our inspiration (yes….Ikea Hacker), favorite sources (Temp Paper) & Designers (Charlotte Moss).

As we work into week 4, we will share inspiration from our trip to the Mid West and South.

Stay tuned also for upcoming Teach, Trend and Encourage Workshops for 2012. Small groups, hands on learning and fun with Design.

Have a great weekend!

Three more of our “go to” spots….shhhh…..

Dusty, sometimes dirty, but in the throws of a re-vamp, this has always been a go to spot for us. We have found SERIOUS pieces here, priced right, that have ended up in the highest of the high on 1st Dibs….so if you are in SF, and not wearing black (think dust), head here. We LOVE the owners. We LOVE the hunt.


Yup, everybody’s FAVORITE, but still worth the peruse time. Especially to see what is selling!


My go to spot for great building materials. We have made some FABULOUS things from their wine sticks!




I like excellent

Antique Hand Painted Porcelain Lamp

Ok, I said it.

Always have, always will.

Contemporary Pearl & Black Leather Ottomans

EXCELLENCE. Do and be the best that you can. Don’t settle. Life is short. We don’t get do overs.

Tom Filicia Designs for Kravet (Fabric)

EFFORT on behalf of someone else is a way of affirming their intrinsic VALUE.

Use the best you have, from possessions to gifts & talents do demonstrate that VALUE.

Couture Chateau Hand Made Down Custom Lined with CC Fabric, Designer Velvet, Antique Tapestry Pillow. Centered Covered Button Closure on Back

Week 2…Thank you again

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your support thru our second week.

Suggestions for this blog have included:

  • A Monthly Features Section/Side Bar
  • Design Tips for Do-it-yourself Projects

    Do it yourself restoration & repair on Antique Dresser

  • Designer’s Secret Section – behind the scenes in real time settings
  • Current Projects in Process

    Project in Process

  • What does it REALLY cost (we love this one)
  • Ask Ann (& don’t get charged for the phone call – funny one — ok….:)!

    Come on in and 'Ask Ann"

  • Upcoming Events (think the SF Antique Show this past week)
  • Skype or Live Chats about projects
  • Short video vignettes
  • and the list goes on…….
We are truly grateful for your feedback.
And for those of you we haven’t heard from, holler. You may send a confidential private email to Ann at mcdonald.ann@comcast.net
or reach her at the office at Ann@Couturechateau.com
Next week, Ann will be in the mid-west. Be sure to follow us for some fun stuff from the heartland!
Your Friends – the Team at Couture Chateau

Holiday Prep, the practical part

It’s November and the office phone has started to ring with clients and friends realizing Holiday time is counting down. Do you have time to stage? Stop by? One of your assistants?

With two weeks until relatives, friends and co-workers descend upon homes, cottages, cabins, guest rooms for Thanksgiving Dinners & December Celebrations, we look for help.

Realize however that your home is already beautiful because YOU are in it!

That said:

  • Make a goal list – put it where you can see it, every day
  • Divide tasks into MUST do’s (food, beverages) versus WANT to do’s (redecorate the guest room, purchase 36 matching Royal Crown Derby Antique Place Settings at auction in London and have them shipped by November 12th)

    Fall Colors Greet You

  • Hire out what you can (florist, window washing, heavy cleaning for floors-ceilings-chandeliers, dog groomers)
  • Get the linens to pressers – today
  • Order online for home delivery what you can (Beverages, Additional Flowers, Centerpieces, Costco.com)
  • Enlist the help of a good friend who is not hosting Thanksgiving and likes to help
  • Stage your table options this week – try out several different options
  • Have your local jeweler polish the silver. A good relationship with them often includes pick up and delivery. Why we love local businesses!

Remember, your home is first and foremost a reflection of the heart with which you fill it.  If your heart is right, your home will reflect that, and nothing else will really matter.

Set out different styles, see what you like this year