Saturday Stuff: On The Home Front, Daily Messes = Designed Daily!

Saturday Stuff: On The Home Front, Daily Messes = Designed Daily!

Back at home after a long week of travel & lots of time in Dallas Fort Worth airport on delays

Grateful for the dishes in the sink, the cleats in the hall & a messy teen’s bedroom

image linked

May your Saturday be filled with the stuff of life. Always in process, never perfect.

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

xo Ann

Friday Wrap Up: Life Lessons At Design Camp

Friday Wrap Up: Life Lessons At Design Camp

This week, just like last, was/is filled with travel

I had the honor of visiting Tobi Fairley & her esteemed Team in Little Rock, Arkansas for a fabulous few days of what is lovingly referred to as Camp

I like grown up camp. We stay in nice hotels instead of tents, have nice wine instead of cold hot chocolate and we can camp in heels!

My kind of camp. Yup.

The Capital Hotel in Little Rock. One of my all time favorites! We shot some videos here so be on the look out for those over the next few weeks...

The Capital Hotel in Little Rock. One of my all time favorites! I shot some videos here so be on the look out for those over the next few weeks…

Besides which, I get to see my peeps.

Want to make sure and share a few quick aha moments with you today. I will do a longer write up next week while High Point Market is in full swing, but want to make sure I share some of those things that really spoke to me:

1) Don’t take career advice from people in the stands

Do I know this? yes. Do I always follow this? no. I sometimes let those people shouting in the stands & not achieving who say they are “only giving me helpful advice” hurt me. Do any of you ever let that stuff in? Then let’s do this together!! No more of that :)!

2) Go after what you want if it’s true to who you are

Yes, I preach this constantly. It is nice to know others feel the same way. I believe this so very much. For those of you who have listened to the free webinar beta test we have out (click here to listen, we NEVER spam emails) you KNOW that about me, but I must say it is really encouraging to hear someone else say it.

3) Persist. And then persist some more. And then?…..persist…some….more…!

Great achievement takes time. I know that. But hearing it helps. Sometimes I feel as if I was more successful at 29 than I am now, and in some metrics that may be the case (ahhh youth) HOWEVER, it’s the total life envelope we are after. Whether we are designing our own homes as our own decorator or designer, working with clients, are artists…whatever our calling it’s a life thing, not a one time thing. I like being reminded of that. I think it’s hopeful.

Off to catch a plane before the dawn today – let me know if any of these reasonate with you!

The speakers were genuine, accessible and in this inimate small group setting, I was astounded at the access. With as many years under my belt & as many things as I have seen…this was graciousness at its best. It was simply a one time type event. Thank you Tobi and her Team (Brooke, Ashley) for bringing the A Game.

All that said? I am ready for home. Time for some capuccino from Berkeley, California & a little SF Fog before heading out again….

Friday Wrap Up: I’m ready for the weekend, how about you?!

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

xo Ann


PS: Do make sure and sign up for our Beta Test Webinar. The reviews have been fantastic. From “WOW!!!!!” to “changed my life” to “it felt fundamentally honest, open and real”…you are simply too valuable to not at least listen. This is the culmination of teaching I have done for over a decade. Even if you are not a decorator, designer…this can be a blessing to you. There is no pressure – we are in beta test. Just take some time & be fed. I know you “feed” those around you…this? is just for YOU!

Thursday Spotlight: Guest Posting on Custom Made!

Thursday Spotlight: Guest Posting on Custom Made!

Please head over to Custom Made and check out our Guest Post today!!

Comment, share, like!!

We love these guys and are so happy to support their mission.

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: Taking Time to Tinker With Design to Get It Just Right

Tuesday Tidbit: Taking Time to Tinker With Design to Get It Just Right!

It’s always interesting when design doesn’t just “come to you”

I absolutely love this! Decorating & Design is fun…it’s also a bit of work 😉

As a Designer by trade, we sometimes think it should just happen…without work or effort

There are times when we just walk into a space and “see it”

Yes, that’s the mania part

Then there are spaces & places that trick us

I mean really Esher! Image linked. Sometimes this is how a design job starts!

They toy with our heads, they mess with our 3-d modeling

We really have to pour heart & head into it

Do you ever struggle with that?

When you are planning a room at your home or designing one for another?

Is there ever that moment when you think “I’ve got nothing”

Time for a walk

Time for a head clear…a run, anything

I have found that if I try to jam in a bunch of design inspiration in, all I get is

1) over loaded

2) over stuck

But a clear head, some fresh air & time away from the Designing World always does a brain good.

What do you get stuck on?

Do you feel like this is the start or the end?!

Is there a space that you just can’t seem to finish?

Is there a room you’ve just given up on?

Let me know!

Yes, even Designer’s have them…

Tuesday Tidbit: What’s yours?

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

xo Ann


PS: We are Tobi Fairley’s this week in Little Rock, Arkansas. Enjoying her Get Published Camp with some good friends. We will keep you posted. So fun!

Monday Matters: Spring Break Around The House

Monday Matters: Spring Break Around The House

Do you take a Spring Break when kids are gone?

Is it a vacation or an “around the house” type thing?

This past week many close to me were off building houses with Amor Ministries in Mexico. As I listened to their stories, I am reminded how important our spaces & places are. Grateful to be a part of this industry…

Do you do those house cleaning, design refreshing things when they leave?

I wonder…

I know my single friends are great at scheduling time both for themselves and for their breaks

I learn from them daily to steward the “me”

(Thank you, you know who you are:)

This does not come easily for a Kansas Born, California Bred girl

So this past week I forced myself to “Break” in the middle of it all

A few days in Lake Tahoe with enough design work to keep me engaged but not so much that my husband and I couldn’t catch a glass of wine & a beer on tap at a local tavern

It was just what the Dr ordered

So what about you?

This Monday, have you taken a Spring Break?

Did it refresh you?

Are you ready to face the Spring now?

Love this. A gentle start. Reminds me we must be careful with our “new growth”….stewarding those around us and ourselves in areas of new growth is important…it matters

Let me know!!

Time to dust off the rest of those cobwebs, fluff the pillows, open up the windows, change the slip covers…

It may be raining & windy here in SF, but it is Spring somewhere & we are after it!!

Monday Matters & so do YOU.

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

xo Ann


PS: Don’t forget our show house friends! If you have a favorite show house that we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments!

PPS: If you like what we are doing here, please share on Facebook, Twitter etc. We are grateful for those who journey along side. It’s the daily walk that counts, not the sprint! 

Thursday Spotlight: Shine It On Your Decorating Successes

Thursday Spotlight: Shine It On Your Decorating Successes

Hard to do, right?

We are always second guessing, always wondering what if…

Here’s my challenge to you today

Give yourself a Decorating Diamond Award

Is there some space that you absolutely love?

A corner you created just for yourself or a loved one?

What is that space, perfect or not, that speaks to you?

As I was/am working on this Webinar Recording…it really struck home how often we judge, second guess & hem & haw at our potential pitfalls

So the spotlight today is about saying something nice to yourself!

Me? Tough one!

I’ll lead the way. This is not easy for me.

My Decorating Diamond today goes to the corner I created in the back of our Lake Tahoe Cabin living room. We jokingly call it The Library.

It is no Library. But I love it still.

Two comfy chairs, one comfy ottoman. No fancy designer fabrics. No fancy designer labels.

Plywood walls with an aged green wash stain.

Low brass lights. Aged. Some fabulous bookends. A few fabulous books.

A gift from some very special friends, I have two of these guarding my books on a shelf made from a recycled plank we found. Very safe. Very low key. Very wonderful. Linked to Levenger.

A Navajo Rug traded for by my Paternal Grandfather.

This is not ours, but the one I have hanging is similar. Circa 1915. Not hugely valuable from a dollar standpoint, but is a blessing to me personally.

I love it. It’s safe. I write there, design there, nap there.

Diamond Award.

Now, you?

The spotlight is on! Do share!

There must be some corner. Somewhere…

Thursday Spotlight. You are better at Decorating & Design than your head & heart give you credit for. I know it!

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

xo Ann


PS: I just finished a fabulous book by Dr. Valerie Young called “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women”. It is a remarkable book dealing with The Impostor Syndrome. A must read for anyone. I had the honor of spending a few days at a conference with Valerie. She is humble, gracious & oh so wise.

Dr. Valerie Young

Wednesday Style Points: Sharing Some Show House Love From San Francisco to York, Maine!

Wednesday Style Points: Sharing Some Show House Love From San Francisco to York, Maine!

It’s Spring and those Show Houses are coming into bloom!

Check out the pages & sites of a few friends who are involved in various projects from the Bay Area to Maine!

Are any of them near you?

If so, you simply MUST check them out!!

Scott Meacham Wood: SF Bay Area Woodside Sneak Peek!

Kriste Michelini: San Francisco Showcase Sneak Peek!

Traci Zeller & Lisa Herring Mende: High Point North Carolina

Tam Stone: Kansas City

Meredith Bohn: York, Maine

Style Points: Love it!!

Are there any of YOUR favorites I haven’t included?

Do you have a friend we should support?


I’d love to include them – or you! – on this list!!

Remember, we cannot do it alone.


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

xo Ann


PS: If this site blesses you, do share. It’s that candle thing…we don’t lose anything by sharing…we actually bless by sharing! Have a great Wednesday & embrace your style points! They are unique to YOU! xo

Tuesday Tidbit: What I Am Loving Now In Spring Cleaning!

Tuesday Tidbit: What I Am Loving Now In Spring Cleaning!

In the morning, everything…

Along about 11 am ABSOLUTELY nothing!!


Just being honest!

I am fine at doing the regular clean outs – the stuff you can see…it’s part of my job & I love it


This cleaning out my files? HARD for me.

I am that (confession) person who stores EVERYTHING on my desktop



It’s like a wildly out of control pinterest board…and I wonder…WHY can’t I find the files?!

Since we have streamlined & everyone is now offsite or remote, I no longer have the accountability of someone walking into the Studio & looking over my shoulder & seeing the “Desktop” aka my personal pinterest board!

When we started recording the Webinars, I realized something had to change…so I casually dropped everything into a folder called “Hide My Desktop Crap”

Not so pretty…even with a hot pink background & a pug picture overlay…

Yes = true Luxury Design, right?


Now I have spent too many hours untangling this mess & I have MUCH compassion for those real life messes that creep up on us.

Compassion = it’s an amazingly powerful thing. We ALL need it.

Do you struggle with keeping any area clean?

Is there any area that is your hidden confession or pile of “they won’t see that”?

A closet where old chargers go?

A drawer full of things you will go through “next week”?

I know we shouldn’t do these things

I KNOW how powerful it is to be clean through and through

It really is

But sometimes it gets out of control

Real life living. I want my Louboutins to be shiny & perfect, my car shined within an inch of its life…& my outfit perfectly pressed

YES, I have shoe addiction….:)

& then you get a peek at my desktop.


Time to file, edit & DELETE!!

Tuesday Tidbit.

What’s yours?!

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

xo Ann


PS: Practice compassion! Start with yourself….it’s hard. We overcoming perfectionists struggle daily with this. I just finished a GREAT book by Brene Brown entitled “Daring Greatly”. I downloaded it to my Kindle & read it in one sitting. Blessed through & through.

PPS: If you want to stop for an hour & just be filled, check out the Webinar we finally put out there. The link is here. FEARLESS. It’s our word for 2013. If you’ve already signed up your email you will not be double “listed” you are just taken straight to the Webinar! My heart is that it would bless you so you can pay it forward. Remember, it’s really not about “the couch”…xoxo

Monday Matters: Dusting Out The Cob Webs

Monday Matters: Dusting Out The Cob Webs

So it’s Monday. Yesterday was really lovely.

Quiet. Peaceful.

And now it’s back to work!

We are doing some Spring Cleaning

As I have been putting this Webinar together

(it’s partially live)

One of the things that I really struggled with is the computer!

So this Spring Cleaning is all about getting files in order, emptying mail boxes & putting us back in line on line!

At least it’s better than this!

What about you?

Do you struggle with this like I do?

There is a part of me = out of sight, out of mind…

Since the screen saver is cute I assume the rest of the files are in order

I have pugs so can’t resist a screensaver that reminds me…problem is that cute face HIDES my folder mess on the other side!!

ummm…let me just say NOT!

So tech or no tech, am off to delete, re-sort, dump, clean & virus sweep!

Happy Monday!

Let me know if you are up to the same or if you have any tips!

I am all ears!!!

Monday matters & so do you!

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

xo Ann


PS: Our Webinar is up! If you watch it and want to join us for the 8 week seminar, just click the pay pal button. We are trying to put together a coaching package or two, but those links aren’t quite live. Check it out HERE. You need to insert your email to watch. I am quite picky about sending emails so no worries – I will not inundate you! Just ask our subscribers…I think we send one about every 10 days ;)…