Saturday Stuff: Decorating Systems That Actually Work

Saturday Stuff: Decorating Systems That Actually Work

So I love watching HGTV, DIY…all of that

I really do!

Am kind of a dork for some of my FAVorite Design Stars

One problem – it is not real

No, really! It is not real!

You’d be shocked at how many Client’s say…well, “I was watching HGTV and they did….this…..for this…..with this many people…”

Ummm…..hummmm……how shall I answer this?

Some day I am going to organize a group for a Tour of a Set or Location Shoot for a Home Show. Who is with me?! I’d LOVE to do a Fabulous + Fun Behind the Scenes on a Home Decorating Show – we could be honoring & have a educational seminar to boot!

Back lot shot of Universal Studios

How about we hit where the Writers hang out…you know, the peeps who make the magic appear so effortlessly

Then onto the:

Trailers like this are all over location shoots. Some much smaller! Some much bigger.

Make up trailers, Food Trucks, Interns on bicycles with super cool baskets, Lighting Crew, Sound Crew…WGA, SAG…all of it!


Why do I share this?

Because even though I love television decorating shows, they aren’t always the best mechanism for equipping you to do something in a systematic manner that you can REPEAT in your own life

One of the reasons I created Decorate Like A Pro System is to TEACH SYSTEMS THAT you CAN repeat in your own life

Saturday Stuff. Life is filled with a lot of baggage. Sometimes we just have to call it what it is so we can get on with the unpacking & find the outfit that fits!!

Let’s do that together!

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

xo Ann

Frugal Friday: Do You Ever Wish You Could Just Ask A Decorator A Question Without Being Charged?

Frugal Friday: Do You Ever Wish You Could Just Ask A Decorator A Question Without Being Charged?

So, I get this all the time…

Can I just ask a question Ann?

It won’t take much time – it’s not like I need to hire you or anything 😉

I just need some feedback


(Me =Radio Silence)

(Me = Deep Breath)

(Me = adding up the cost of years of education, continuing education, clients…& thinking about what that “free information” has actually cost me in terms of my life, my family….& wishing I could communicate that)

Now….ready at the gracious answer – WHY? Because I really DO desire to EQUIP in my heart and if the only engagement you and I ever have this side of heaven, then I DO wish to help you navigate some of the decorating dilemmas you may have.

Timothy Corrigan is seriously one of my all timers. His work has inspired me for decades. Linked to Timothy Corrigan.

THAT is WHY I felt called to put together this Webinar.

It’s why I do the Blog, Facebook, Twitter etc…

To EQUIP you, Freely….and if you want to wade deeper, then you can decide…

I know it’s one of those areas we all think we should just “get”…I mean everyone has a home or a space, right? But we can’t do it alone. Ever. We need each other. I will never cure cancer, but I can decorate. And design. And teach you, free or otherwise.

The nugget for today:

“I believe everyone is capable of designing their own life + home beautifully, sometimes we just need some encouragement”

I hope that this Webinar will be encouraging to you!

You can listen at your leisure, in the privacy of your own home

You will not be put on the spot. You can stop, take notes…engage in the way it works for you!

You know I believe you are custom. You know I believe one size does NOT fit all!

We tackle that head on HERE.

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

xo Ann

Thursday Spotlight: What To Do About Decorating When You Don’t Know Where To Start?

Thursday Spotlight: What To Do About Decorating When You Don’t Know Where To Start?

So this is a biggie!

What to do? Where to start?

Do you get that dreaded “just find an inspiration”?!

A what?

An “inspiration”…you know…”let it speak to you”

Mental Reality Check HERE: Ummm…last time I checked, my inspiration (whatever that means) wasn’t talking to me (and if it was, I’d be contacting the guys who make those paranormal movies)

I think this is one of the funniest “Decorator Speak” things out there

YES, I have been guilty

Have you seen “S&*t Designers Say?” It makes me laugh HARD because I am so completely GUILTY!! Trad Home = Brills.

HOWEVER, we do tackle this one HEAD ON in the Webinar so you can actually FIND a starting place

One preferably with out needing fabric to talk to you!!

Nuggets: Start with WHO you are, WHERE you are, WHY you are

We break down what that actually means & talk about your Life & Space Envelope

THAT is where you start. Not with a talking fabric 🙂 Or a nebulous inspiration…

WHY? Can you imagine picking out the uniform before you knew the sport?

Chew on that for a minute…

And make sure to join us!! The sign up link is HERE.

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: The Shopaholic Decorator is Not Really A Decorator, Decorating Involves Control

Wednesday Style Points: The Shopaholic Decorator is Not Really A Decorator, Decorating Involves Control

You’ve seen them…

Maybe you are “them”….

The perpetual home decorating shoppers

West Elm to Bergdorfs, Home Goods to Design Centers…they never stop shopping

BUT there is a better way

We tackle this one head on as well – albeit in a bit more humorous way

(I DO happen to have a blue & white Ginger Jar Addiction so…..THOSE don’t count)

not sure why, but they speak to me!

We get at what I teach as “The Power Stance”

The graphic is even a lady holding a gold megaphone!!

I love these clip arts! Gold + Megaphone? All we need now are great shoes! Perfection! Let’s make sure that this is YOU when it comes to designing your life + home.


This is another NUGGET from our Decorate Like A Pro System Webinar coming out at the end of March.

You DO need to enter your name & email to access the link HERE

women shopping - fashion logo version 2 (non-editable web-ready file)

WHY do you think I used a woman shopping as our Logo? First, I’ve been there. Remember those ginger jars. Second…once we learn HOW, we get to! It’s quite fun!

The actual TEACHING part, which is FREE on the Webinar is material I charge $800 for when you come into the Studio.

I am sharing it with you because I feel called..& finally equipped…(life’s a process, isn’t it!)

So may it be a blessing to you – think about those things & make sure to join us!

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: How Much Have You Wasted On Bad Decorating?

Tuesday Tidbit: How Much Have You Wasted On Bad Decorating?

It’s another NUGGET from our Decorate Like A Pro System Free Webinar

My hope is that by sharing some of these things you will just HAVE to join us!!

Here’s today’s question:

“How much TIME, MONEY & EMOTION have you wasted on bad decorating decisions? Or MEDIOCRE ones? Have you ever been angry over your house?”


We tackle this stuff head on.

Why? Because I believe – after so many years in this industry – that if we don’t, we never really get past all that baggage stuff & move on to EXQUISITE spaces!!

Think about it!

What would you give to not make another bad decorating choice?

What would you do if you could avoid the “mediocre” & actually live with beauty that inspired you?

How about this: what would it be worth to you and your family if you were never angry over your space again?

We tackle these issues head on! We talk and teach about WHAT to do about these

How to move forward in PEACE!

Make sure you are signed up for our Free Webinar when it comes out live. The drop date is March 30.

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: A Week of Small Decorating Business Steps

Monday Matters: A Week of Small Decorating Steps!

It’s Monday! Time to refocus & re-PACK!

Am off, again…this time to meet and work on our new website.

This time, it’s the East Coast!

It will be all focus, so for this week’s blog posts am sharing NUGGETS from our Decorate Like A Pro System

TODAY? One of the sections in our Free Webinar deals with those emotional decorating decisions we make…

Think of this as a thought for the day…

 “Emotionally charged Decorating Decisions lead to Emotionally Charged Spaces

We don’t want those….we want spaces that can HOLD our emotions & keep us safe”

I love this image. The truth is we have emotions & they come out when we are trying to make a space a home…the trick is to figure out how to best use them to our advantage! We tackle this HEAD on in the Webinar!! xo

If you have not signed up yet, make sure to do so! Click the link on the right.

Remember, Monday Matters & so do YOU!

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

xo Ann

Saturday Stuff: How To Decorate So You Actually Achieve Excellence

Saturday Stuff: How To Decorate So You Actually Achieve Excellence

Yup – we missed yesterday

Wiped from The Design Bloggers Conference (does that count?)

We beta tested Decorate Like A Pro System all day yesterday (does that count?). Our Goal with this System is to Equip towards Excellence in How To Decorate. We tackle all sorts of issues. Not the paint color kind…the emotional, personal kind!

Don't forget to put your email in to receive updates! Visit link HERE!

Don’t forget to put your email in to receive updates! Visit link HERE! It’s still in BETA TEST Format.

PLEASE MAKE SURE & CLICK The Link in our Sidebar or above. Enter your email & you will be on the lists BEFORE it goes to market! Remember I have asked a strong group to hold me accountable. I want this to be EXCELLENT in every way.

That said…

What is it that you are up to?

What is it that you are struggling with?

One of the things we tackle in Decorate Like A Pro System is what I jokingly refer to as “your burning issue”

It’s that THING you have to face or get burned by in your life or your home

Remembering that these chairs will find JUST the right home...

I invite you into my Home Studio. My deepest desire is to EQUIP to the EXQUISITE in YOU.

We all have them – sometimes they burn big – sometimes they burn small – sometimes they burn personally – sometimes professionally…

The menswear upholstery weight stripe is a wool blend. It is an absolutely stunning piece of fabric - here it is with a Versace Fabric we also have. Yum!

We address things like how to TRAIN so you can actually achieve excellence…I love this Versace Fabric. Still have a few yards I am hoarding for something special.

So…Saturday Stuff…what is your burning issue??

Mine? It’s to get our Decorate Like A Pro System Free Webinar Recorded and SHARED!

I love the tonal qualities of gorgeous brown with gorgeous gray.

A custom Dining Room we designed…details matter & I love the tonal qualities of gorgeous brown with gorgeous gray.

Can I confess I did the test run & forgot to change out of my slippers?!

Seriously…so focused – forgot to slip my proper shoes on!!!

And trust me – this was not some Fabulous pair of Designer Slippers! No, I won’t be sharing a pic!!!

unlike me – esp when it comes to SHOES!

So…do tell…what is yours?!

What is that one fire that you need to tend…

Saturday. The take care of stuff at home day!

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

xo Ann

Thursday Style Points: Beta Testing Decorate Like A Pro System To Achieve Excellence

Thursday Style Points: Beta Testing Decorate Like A Pro System To Achieve Excellence

On the heels of the Design Bloggers Conference I can tell you there is nothing like a group of Luxury Interior Designer Friends to hold you accountable!!

There is nothing like a good solid kick with a Prada heel to keep you sharp ;)!


The kick is always preceded & followed by some soft words of GENUINE encouragement. We know we are made better because of each other. Her strength is mine and mine is hers.

We are beta testing even our Free Webinar with a group of women who hold me to the highest standards in both Luxury Design AND Business Ethics. They are an amazing group & tomorrow they will beta test so YOU get REAL VALUE even in this Free 1 hour Webinar & Free 1 hour Q & A

Decorate Like A Pro Package Image

I PROMISE we will have a live Video link soon. For now, if you want to get your email added go here:  This is a BETA TEST SITE so you will be in on the ground floor. Seriously! Only my Mastermind Group has had access to this so far!!! The next live Webinar will not be for two weeks, but if the last test was any radar, the spots will fill quickly. As in really quickly.

Do you have anything you need to “beta test” before it goes out to the world?

Who holds you accountable in your home? In your decorating? In your design? In your life?

Do they hold you to the highest standard with love so you can achieve excellence?

My mother repeated a saying that she wrote down before she died a decade ago…I have it framed:

“Sandwich any constructive criticism with two THICK slices of praise”

she followed it up with “praise to achieve greater heights”

I look forward to the constructive criticism of women I RESPECT with all my heart and look forward to making this excellent for YOU.

Thursday Spotlight: My Accountability Team

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

xo Ann


I am running on travel fumes & want to check in so you know we are jammin’ behind the scenes.

If you know of a fabulous Social Media Intern who wants a job, I am all ears! Just message me at Really not kidding. We have gone entirely remote with our work force so time zone is not necessarily an issue & this is one area we are now light in

Send cover note & resume link. It’s a great opportunity as we are rolling out some big stuff in 2013 & 2014 :).

Tuesday Tidbit: Nuggets of Blessing From the Design Bloggers Conference

Tuesday Tidbit: Nugget of Blessing From The Design Bloggers Conference

You never know where nuggets will come from in life. Sometimes they are easy to spot, sometimes they are like fabulous truffles & we need just the right hog to find them…but when they do, it’s extravagant blessing at it’s best :)!

My Tuesday Tidbit (blessing) takeaway today is this…

You really DO belong where you ARE right now

One of our bespoke custom  lined antique fragment was made to be "in the moment" for a dear client

One of our bespoke custom lined antique fragment pillows…it was made in an excellent manner to be an extravagant blessing. I believe the same is true for you – you were made in an excellent manner to be an  extravagant blessing.

Doesn’t mean you have to STAY there…but where you are is just right, for today

Whatever house, space or place you inhabit today is the right place to start the rest of your life

By dwelling HERE, we are in the moment. We show up with our whole self.

It’s actually THAT which makes us authentic.

Are you authentic today?

Are your surroundings – your spaces & places authentically you today?

Blessings. Even when we think we can’t find them easily there are others close by who see & smell them out for us & steward them into beauty.

I love this! Such a fun metaphor for all our lives. We wade in the everyday & curate the exquisite in each other. It is why I love all things about design. The process is as beautiful as the outcome.

May your Tuesday be a day of blessing

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Design Bloggers Conference!

Monday Matters: Design Bloggers Conference!

It’s Monday Morning – thank God for a Starbucks in the Hotel

We are safely ensconsed at The Hilton Universal City, Los Angeles – a stones throw from where my LA office was for two years, so am happy in context. Southern California clients are so fun! A fabulous treat.

For the next few days I will be attached to my computer learning from some  old friends & new mentors. I am always grateful for what I call business fellowship ;)…a wonderful group of like minded people who challenge me to be more than I am…breaking my preconceptions, challenging my comfort…


My deepest hope is that this time will produce lasting fruit, the kind that brings blessing to you & yours & our fabulous team at Couture Chateau & soon to be official Ann McDonald, Inc.

growth quote

Life is full of risk…here’s to stepping out…what will YOU step out on? If I can do this, you can! Here’s to the journey togehter in this thing called life…

And yes, the pink luggage made it ;). It just happens to match my scarf today!


So, yes, a bit of whimsy. A girl has got to have her pink!

What does your week look like?

A bit of work?…what are you working on…the house..yourself…all those Monday questions…it’s a fresh start for the week…

Is there a bit of risk you are taking this week? What is it that might challenge you? Are you willing to try?

 And I HOPE there is a bit of whimsy!! What is your proverbial ‘pink luggage’ this Monday morning?

Monday Matters & so do YOU!

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

xo Ann