Another TREND from our website…ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE

Why I love this addition to designed spaces…


Patinas on metal

Faded paint, chipped stone, signs of love and use thru the ages

Scale: Often over sized, the addition of a large unique piece, especially when mounted gives visual weight to a space

Old Wood Columns, Fantastic!

Affordable: Often found at salvage yards and other recycle locations, these are some of the most affordable and often have incredible detail that would be impossible to duplicate new for the cost. Check out one of our locals:  Omega Too

Affordable Elegance...not the least expensive but accessible compared to many Designer Fixtures in Trade Showrooms

Unique: Sometimes there are spectacular pieces, panels from The Plaza Hotel in NYC or Columns from historical buildings in San Francisco that are being re-worked. A phone call to local historical societies can often yield information that leads to contractors who have to carefully recycle these storied pieces…we re-purpose them as art. Worthy of a museum like approach in the home. Picture these as the only antique element in a stark contemporary – set against gloss white and marble – exceptional!

Chinese Panels...Fabulous!

These add instant style and have so much more life in them than the copied and mass-produced by product you will find in today’s mass furniture retailers.

I always hunt for the original.

Wayyyy more fun.

Happy Decorating!


Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!


We are grateful for those who love us

We are grateful for those we have the privilege to love

We are grateful for hearts that beat, eyes that perceive

Holding Hands Heart

And arms that hold

Cherish those close to you today

Let someone unexpected know you care

And say thank you to the one who gave his all that we might love as he loved us


Happy Designs for a Decorated Life

Couture Chateau: Live a Custom Life. There is only ONE you!



Trends: FINDS

Today we tackle another item from our old website…FINDS.

Finds….those things that are discarded by others but make our heart sing with possibility…

My first find? An old bentwood chair I found as a child discarded in the garage.

I painted mine white and added a smiling snowman on the seat!

I thought it was beautiful and was convinced I could make a fortune painting chairs like them and selling them. I think I was 6!

My first find as a grown up decorator in my 20’s?

A fabulous mid-century chair, discarded in Beverly Hills…wow…talk about priming the pump…

It was very similar to an alley in Beverly Hills :)!

Why I like finds. They are jewels in the rough. I like them because they remind me that nothing is beyond possibility.

Jewels in the rough...

No matter where you’ve been…no matter what has taken it’s toll on your life…there is always the possibility that someone will find you and see the precious in you…underneath whatever covers the beautiful…I love that sentiment…for people first of course, but those found pieces in my home keep me grounded – they are nuggets of grace in a space spotted with showroom pieces that warm my heart and keep my feet planted squarely on the ground.

Words to live by!

Trends: FABRIC, Day 2

Today we try to tackle those tricky on trend questions…why do they matter at all ;)?!

Remember, yesterday we asked….and answered….

1. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Client

2. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Industry

3. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Economy

Elaborations on those answers…

1. Clients come in all shapes & sizes, ages & stages. Are they risk takers? Do they love  the austere? Tradtional?  Transitional? Once we narrow the major parameters we can begin to focus in on what will be THEIR particular ‘On Trend”. Why does it matter? Because we are hired to make a fit for the client and THEIR lifestyle. Anyone can order from a pre-ordained catalog – a “Garanimals approach to Decorating”…being ‘On Trend’ means we tap into what the individual Client needs – and doesn’t even know they need. It’s an important discovery. It makes the Design ‘sing’ at the end rather than fall flat.

2. The Industry. What is out there? What does “To the Trade” have to offer? What historical collections are inspiring new innovations in pattern and scale? What is overstock at the Mills? In Europe? What is trading in India right now? How do the rains affect the crops which affects the way natural colors are created for wools? All these things are important considerations when picking on trend fabrics for a client. As we mentioned above, anyone can walk into a Decorating Store and thumb thru swatches. They can find something that will work, I’m sure. But will it excite? Will it add soul to a room? Will it even matter? Think of it this way: are you an original art person or a pre-fab decorator art person….as Designers, we opt for the original art. Anyone can buy a print or a copy. I’d rather fill a room with the emerging artist whose hand has touched the canvas for the same amount off money. No ‘matching required’.   We work hard to scour what is out there to inspire our clients.

3. Economy. Always. As things boil around the world we are actually finding clients caring more about quality and what I like to call “Galanos Luxury”. Have you ever worn a Galanos Dress? The construction is impeccable. Nothing is overlooked. We have come out, thankfully, of the consumptive throw away culture over the past few decades with a renewed sense of obligation to be less voracious in our appetites and more refined in our tastes. It translates down the line to the products we find in our Trade Showrooms and Trade Shows around the globe. Less, but made with more. More care. More concern. More attention. More hands on.

Grateful for Sundays,


Trends: FABRIC

As we move away from our old website…today we tackle the TREND page

Item #1: Fabric

I love fabric

Antique Boucle

All kinds. Old, new, contemporary, traditional, ridiculously expensive, common….love it all.

In my aesthetic, fabrics are like people….the differences in them make them work together

"Plaid and Fancy" Custom Crewel in two colorways by Couture Chateau

Each Season, each Market, each Project…Manufacturers & Designers alike ponder which fabrics will hit as on trend and how they can be marketed & sold


How do I determine what is ‘On Trend’ and why does it matter?

Impossible question really. I boil it down to three broad observations to make it somewhat manageable:

1. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Client

2. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Industry

3. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Economy

Amazing Antique Swedish Fabric...the real deal, not a 1950's copy...

Tomorrow we answer these questions….think about it, why do these things matter? What is your response?


Today we begin necessary transition.

Away from the obsolete, toward the relevant.

As many of you know, our web page:, well, is less than.

As I constantly seek the excellent in life and work, this page has been a thorn in my side for three years.

Our resourceful Designer Brian created the site for us on a shoestring and a prayer. He did a fabulous job given what we gave him, so kudos to Brian who worked a miracle with what little we gave him.

A little Couture Chateau History:

Conceived: 1989 (under several non trademarked, non copyrighted names……lesson learned…)

Founded: 1991 (the name and business plan on paper, our first clients actually paying…)

And finally, Incorporated: 2008

When I finally incorporated, this rudimentary site was put up as a place holder. I freely admit my skill set is in Interior Design and Bespoke Product….not….as you will most certainly agree….web design ;)!

As such, over the next two weeks, the elements from our old site will be worked into “On Trend” posts about Design on this Blog.

AND, thankfully, the new website (same address) will post.

Our old site is organized into pages and categories: Home, Trends & Design, Interior Decorating, Furnishings & Fabrics, Contact.

Our new site is simpler, less information, more….well…professional.

As we move to generate the fluid where it belongs: on the Blog, not the Website, we will tackle one of those pages &/or categories.

At the end of these next few weeks, we hope our simpler site married with Twitter, Blog and Facebook Links will keep our enthusiasts engaged. And our Clients proud to be part of the Couture Chateau Family.

Grateful always,


As our motto says: Live a Custom Life. There is only one you.


We are grateful!

Over the next few weeks we are bringing on new Interns and are grateful for the designers-in-training. Perhaps the Blog will go live after all ;)! Can our Design Bloggers Conference come soon enough? We think not!

We have had a fantastic response to our Private Bespoke Collection: Roaring Fork Retreat. This collection of Pillows is made to the highest standards. We have had some pieces photographed and are excited to continue the tradition of custom excellence in this line that was begun with our custom crewels. Check out just this one photograph as a sneak peek. No two pillows are alike in this collection.

They were designed with exposed edges intentionally. We embrace the life lived with antique and vintage remnants. We marry them with exquisite on trend Designer Velvet and Eco-Suede. More to come.

Roaring Fork Retreat Pillow Collection Winter 2012