Authenticity & Passion Breed Excellence

Just off the Design Bloggers Conference, I have too many take-a-ways to count.

Bright Ideas

Anyone else feel the same way?

My Panic Button Mouse

Bunny….Martyn….Tobi….Jason….John…in excellence and access you are gracious, fun and bring “IT” to the table!

As I honestly alternated between DESPAIR:  too far to go and not enough time in the day to get there….and HOPE:  I KNOW we have an authentic brand in Couture Chateau because I know YOU: the client, the casual design enthusiast, the blog reader, the searcher… are authentic…as there is only one YOU!…..from one presentation to the next, I realized with 20 plus years under my belt, I may not know what SEO really is, but I DO know people are better off for living intentional well designed lives. AND that we help them get there, from one generation to the next.

I grew up with a mother who imparted that. I dine at a table from my Grandmother who had an amazing way of hosting her home and building collections. I have seen what happens when lives are not intentional and excellence isn’t embraced. They fall apart. Slowly. But consistently. And often create a vortex that takes others down with them.

And so as Designers, with short spans of time to influence, care and teach, we do what we can with what we have.

At Couture Chateau, our motto says it all: Live a Custom Life. There is only one YOU.

I believe that with all my soul. Everyone has intrinsic value. Everyone. With intrinsic value, the process of living and embracing the beautiful is LOGICAL.

I will never cure cancer or land on the moon, but if one space designed or one life curated by me and my team brings THAT KNOWLEDGE to someone, then I’ve done my part.

We set our sights HIGH because we believe in EXCELLENCE. Details matter to me. In Design, in life, in communication….they always have and always will. Excellence is revealed in the details.

Fabulous Custom Crewels Inspire Me for their level of DETAIL

Anyone who knows me knows that. In Design I would rather have COUTURE details and true craftsmanship than an abundance of “junk”.

Encouraged by excellence at every turn, stay tuned as we work HARD to build our relationships with you. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK. Follow us on TWITTER. HELP us Build the BRAND. We want to pursue excellence for YOU!

What I know in my heart:

Passion for Design was bred into my bones.

Passion for Creating Custom and Inspiring Product and Designing Unique Spaces for Fabulous Inspired People (you;) is who I have always been. No trials of life have been able to destroy those parts of my existence.

Come on the JOURNEY with me.


xoxo Ann McDonald

Off to Los Angeles

Oscar :)?!

For the Oscars ?

Nope – maybe another year…

Oh, THIS Oscar!

This year we are headed to Los Angeles for the Design Bloggers Conference.

Design Blogger Conference!

I am grateful for the opportunity to see old friends & new mentors.

I am grateful to learn from the best.

I am grateful that there is hope in new media & new ways of doing things. Never did like “static”.

New Media

We will update you as much as possible, but for the next few days, enjoy some of our favorite servings of Design!


xoxo Ann & the rest of our Couture Chateau team!!

What did I tell you?


LISTEN to Martyn……and remember you heard it from me a year ago when we were buying 80’s antique brass before anyone else in our group ;)!

LOVE…LOVE…LOVE Market….stay tuned for those “On Trend” Seminars in May.

Small Group, In Office. $495 for 2 Hours. Book Now – last year we sold out.

Wed May 2nd 12 – 2. The LATEST On Trend from Market. Great for Local Designers who don’t attend Market & the Casual Enthusiast who simply LOVES Design.

xoxo Ann!



Aesthetic Inspiration

What we love as Designers is to be immersed in everything aesthetic.  It feeds the soul!

Here are a few of the things that inspire us:


LOVE the color yellow, especially in TEXTURE


Green Fun!


Every Girl should own a pair of Pink Pumps! These Sergio Rossi are sooo fun!


Ummmm....This is FABULOUS! Amazing Blue would it be as a wall color ;0!

Happy Decorating for a Designed Life. Remember, there is only one YOU! Live your life custom!

COLOR Inspires us….what are your GO TO colors when you are in a dry spell?

xoxo Ann

Saturday Special

Ask Ann:  I ordered my furniture 3 months ago….what is taking so long?

Answer: Well made furniture takes time. Sometimes, it will only take 8 weeks. Most of the time custom furniture takes 12 to 16 weeks. That does not include a client changing their mind at week 8 ;)!….

I like to break Interior Design into four main categories:

1. Take Out:  Call in or order on line. Have it shipped (delivered) to you. Examples: Overstock, Amazon, Costco

Take Out Menus

2. Restaurant: Go in to store, take it home today. Examples: Home Goods, Costco

Butter, NYC

3. Cooking Class: Go to store or order on line, semi-custom sometimes available. Examples: Macy’s, Ballard Designs, Restoration Hardware. Occasionally we will use some pieces from this approach for Remote Design Packages or when a client is in a temporary living situation.

Cooking Class for Teens in NYC

4. COOKING SCHOOL. WHAT WE DO! Go to France (for our furniture it’s also California & North Carolina), use the best, buy local ingredients, custom make fabric, support fairly compensated and fairly traded practices, be on trend & Eco-Friendly.

Behind the Scenes...we cook (design & build) enjoy the wine!

Cooking with the best ingredients makes a difference


Trends: Individual Style

I call it “comfort thyself”


Why we embrace it…because we should not live out of a catalog

Custom Pillow: Couture Chateau Roaring Fork Collection

Yes, there are systems which are well developed and ease us through the practical day to day…I get it…I embrace those systems, they keep us tidy and neat

The Container Store

However, a person should never be afraid of “being themselves” with respect to STYLE…especially in their own homes!

Embrace the YOU

Happy Decorating!

xoxo Ann