Frugal Friday: Decorating Principle Systems, Dealing With Order

Frugal Friday: Decorating Principle Systems, Dealing With Order

What does Order have to do with Decorating Principles?

Let me walk you through the next step we use in our Full Service Client systems

Remember: Decorating Principle # 1:

Decorate with no more than seven years in mind

Yesterday we tackled 1) safety

If you are not safe….we cannot decorate the issues away

We address your Physical + Emotional + Spiritual Safety™

Now that we’ve identified measures to protect that safety, we move on to


Tomorrow, we will tackle 3) Beauty

Why ORDER though?

Because if we skip to beauty and just make the space look great for the camera (this is the way it’s been done over & over for years) but don’t address simple things like:

How many shoes do you REALLY have and where will they go?

Whatever you think of Christina, the girl knew how to have a shoe closet! This image from her last house. Image linked.

How many purses do you REALLY have and where will they go?

Prada…another weakness of mine…

Are you messy?

If so, can we come up with simple order systems to help you keep a tighter reign on your tendencies going forward?

Are you a hopeless messy? Then how do we decorate with order to keep a girl from messing up a beautiful new space?!

I love The Container Store…my annual Client budget for this vendor alone warrants a hand written card from some higher up….that said, decorating is more than just picking out systems…it’s using systems that actually WORK for a CUSTOM YOU!….

There ARE ways, but we need to find them just for you….that whole “Live a custom life” thing I teach over & over 🙂

Are you a Professional Athlete & every time you come home you need space to drop shoes….as in 7 pairs of shoes in size 15 that won’t mess your garage or back entry off the garage? Do they need to be in a place your wife doesn’t trip over them?!

Cleats for the 49ers from 2012. Try to create a system to store shoes that does NOT look like a locker room…order…it matters!


For the next 7 years what does ORDER look like in YOUR HOME?

Kids? Order looks a lot different than it does for Singles

This image from Traci Zeller Designs. I love how she makes practical use of space and interprets the locker room concept without making it too literal…It’s lovely! Image Linked.

Guest hosting an exchange student? Order looks a lot different than decorating for a new baby

The point is, simple things like this make HUGE differences in Practical Decorating for you

I may want to use a nightstand with no drawer in my Master Suite because I like how it looks, but since I read 15 books at a time and stack them bedside, that is not an option

I have always wanted to use a table like this as a nightstand. How fabulous. Problem for me? Stuff. No room for my stuff…Image linked. Snow Table by AA Studio.

At least it’s not an option if I want to walk into a beautiful space at the end of the day that doesn’t have piles of books I trip over because they fall OFF my pretty but no storage nightstand…

This is a far more practical option. I can hide books! Image linked.

I know many people think I may be nuts with all my Decorating Systems, all these questions, all these processes…but here’s the rub…

Have you ever finished decorating a space & it looked beautiful but it didn’t LIVE beautiful for YOU?

Many people think they love this look…until they live with it. I personally don’t mind shabby slip covers, they remind me of a fabulous English home. Some clients don’t LIVE the daily tuck it in, straighten it out…Image from House Beautiful

Have you ever finished decorating a room & everyone said “wow” but inside you thought “yeech”…& then you had to live with it because you were $10,000 – even $200,000 into it?

Inside of Versailles. Do you ever think someone along the process here thought…uh oh…not sure this is working ;)?! Maybe we should scale back on the gold just a bit?…I mean I LOVE Gold, even did a post on how I love gold, but this = too much

Have you ever decorated a space & thought “if I did it over, I’d do this differently…”

There is nothing frugal about that

No systems = poor planning + waste + poor purchases = yeech & sad face

Ever done that?

I have created these Systems for short term, long term, near term & far term

I literally have binders of systems in the Studio

Many of my seminars teach other decorators how to use my systems

I created them to make my life EASIER

I love this quote. We can layer pieces of life to make it “thicker” but at it’s core…there is beautiful simplicity underneath. I create systems to get to that CORE…it delights me & hopefully blesses you

So my employees + Team could (can) walk alongside Clients with success

So we could (can) wade in shallow waters & dive in deep if needed

It’s my inner nerd, hiding behind a fabulous pair of designer boots!

Robert Clergerie Hut Patent Ankle Boot. Image linked.

Point is if we honestly address these things, what are our REAL needs for ORDER over the next 7 years, then we can make practical (frugal) decisions & purchases

Think about these things…let me know what comes to mind!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”

xo Ann

9 thoughts on “Frugal Friday: Decorating Principle Systems, Dealing With Order

  1. Looking at the relfection in my mirrored closet…it ain’t pretty. I’ve worked “so hard” to get these “things (shoes, purses, belts, etc.) and with retiring…not easy, for me, to let them go..EVEN to a worthy cause…I know, I know… franki

  2. So timely for me Ann as I am working on the design plan for my new office space. Between you and Rachel I am back to “functional reality” and it can still be beautiful. I’m always looking for systems – I need to take you designer class!!

  3. Wonderful post! I always try to incorporate functionality into my designs. This year it will smack my clients in the face. This will be a big part of my niche I am developing. Love, love, love it! Thanks you for sharing.

    Jane Gianarelli

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