Sunday Stewardship: Father’s Day Decorating, How To Get Out of the Way

Sunday Stewardship: Father’s Day Decorating, How To Get Out of the Way

Happy Father’s Day

In an effort to decorate for a Father’s Day Celebration, I have to laugh at something so silly my husband offered up…

“Just get it out of the way”

I love an abundance of fresh flowers on the table. Here they sit in one of my kitchen sinks.

I love an abundance of fresh flowers on the table. Here they sit in one of my kitchen sinks getting washed & prep’d

As in, just get the decoration out of the way so I can:

1. See you across the table

2. Set my drink down

3. Get at the salad

I had to laugh. Isn’t that the way? We set a gorgeous table with all the things we love and what does he want most? For me to get it out of the way :)!

I am actually flattered

So, next time – in good cheer – I will save the fancy for Mother’s Day or a Girlfriend Brunch

I will save the over load for the women in my life who love to over do it a bit as much as I do :)

I will save the over load for the women in my life who love to over do it a bit as much as I do šŸ™‚

Decorator Overload = Me Fun

Decorator Overload = Him Not so Fun

I hope your Father’s Day brings blessing to you and yours

And may you know that our Father in heaven is perfect – even as we are not. Even as we over decorate, under perform or just wake up not so perfect in our day to day.

Happy Father’s Day.

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

xo Ann

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ps: If you liked that quote, please pin it. Let’s let the men in our life know they don’t have to be perfect. Let’s take some of the pressure off and just love them as they are today. Even & especially if they don’t like our over done decor :)!

pps: we are transitioning over to www.annmcdonald.net bit by bit. If you’d like to receive email updates, you can subscribe here. We’d love to have you!

Tuesday Tidbit: Three Tips I Use to Keep Perfectionism at Bay in Decorating

Tuesday Tidbit: Three Tips I Use to Keep Perfectionism at Bay in Decorating

Tip 1: Imagine people living in the space.

Drinking coffee, eating at the table, emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry. I literally think about how they will navigate the space and get used to the movement as I am planning the decor. It helps remind me that books are not static items to look at, dishes will get stacked in cupboards and laundry will get thrown into a chute or hamper.

Tip 2: Go all out on Decorations they will use.

I spec out the best french press, the most beautiful laundry hamper, the gorgeous tea pot. I try to spec out lovely UTILITARIAN items that my clients touch each day. I believe it elevates the process & engages stewardship of space. These things are meant to be used, loved, washed, drunk out of. It’s like style points daily.

Tip 3: Practice using something fancy TODAY.

Yup. I’ve said it before, I will say it again. What are you waiting for? Use the china, eat breakfast in the dining room, drink your wine out of your crystal tonight. I absolutely love making the everyday the holy part. The truth is, the every day IS the holy part. And the person sitting next to us is deserving of our best.

Why are these my perfectionist breaking tips?

Because it isn’t until we realize that NOTHING is ever perfect that we start to break the cycle. That ordinary morning cup of coffee will never be perfect. Buy the French Press & make it in the French Press anyway. That perfect party you are planning in your “Martha” head will not materialize peacefully unless you practice using the gorgeous today & get comfortable with it. And it still won’t be perfect when you throw the party.

Tuesday Tidbit: Some takeaways from my own perfectionist in recovery heart…

What are your tips?

How do you get thru these tendencies?

Share!! We need the blessing of each other!!

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

xo Ann

Sunday Stewardship: And We’re Off Again…

Sunday Stewardship: And We’re Off Again

Dare I say the only people that could get me on a plane back to NYC inside of 10 days are Jonathan Adler & Aerin Lauder?

Well, truth be told I’ve never met them. But it sounded cool!

We are actually headed back to the smallest town in America for BlogFest & ICFF

Stewarding some friendships that are indeed precious

Decorators & Designers…we are sometimes a wacky bunch.

Stewarding some (business) relationships that are blessings

Kravet. The very first piece of “Designer Furniture” I bought on my own way back in…well, let’s just say it had a “199_” handle was from Kravet. I STILL have the sofa. It is a solid piece of wonderful furniture. The linen velvet is still holding up. Amazing.

And grateful for a family who supports this girl (woman, wife, mother) who feels called to steward a business at this time in life

We only get one go around & sometimes we just have to “do”

What is your call? Are you equipped for it?

What is your call at this time in your life? Are you equipped for it? Are you excited about it?

What is your stewardship today?

What relationship, friend, business, thing…..do you need to care for today?

It’s Sunday. Time for faithful worship & rest….& stewardship of what YOU are called to do

What is that today?

A garden, a fellowship, a relationship?

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

xo Ann

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PS: We will try to keep you updated on the things that we “take away” that will make our lives easier, more of a blessing. The itinerary has a stop at Kips Bay (photos this time), quick reception at Jonathan Adlers, visit with HGTV Magazine, Aerin Lauder, Kravet and more. Am actually very excited. Rather school girl of me.

Saturday Stuff: How To Embrace Spring Around The House Without Going All Perfectionist!

Saturday Stuff: How to Embrace Spring Around The House Without Going All Perfectionist!

Perfectionist. Ouch.

High Achievement. Goal.

I like high achievement. I struggle with perfectionism. What about you?

Next week in Decorate Like A Pro is the module attacking this head on. It’s a doozy.

But right now, I am in humor mode

Organic kitchen garden

Slipcovers

Storage

Moth balls

Harvest seeds & plant food & make your own mulch

No gluten

No this…no that…

Yes this…yes that…

Argghhhhh

Perfectionism means I have to try and duplicate this in my own kitchen garden…holy cow batman…not for me…but why oh why do I get looped in?! A nice raised bed with some wonderful herbs & veggies will do just fine…..but maybe….no…yes…argh! You??

Can I just go to Starbucks with a cool pair of designer sunglasses & get whip on my latte?!

Ok….I know, but how did Spring turn into a test?

Over the next few days we will go thru some of the Spring things we really walk with clients thru & what some of the newer things they are asking for

My tip for the day? Don’t get all competitive at your local flower market today

Just be you

Saturday Stuff: It’s Spring!

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: Making Time For Design

Tuesday Tidbit: Making Time For Design

As I cleared the decks in the office yesterday afternoon

Ran some long overdue errands

Broke some tile, had to ask for forgiveness from a gracious client

I realized I hadn’t been making space for Design lately

At least not the kind of space I need

Do you need to clear the decks to get into your Design Groove?

Where do you do your best work?

Starbucks?

Living Room Sofa?

From A Gracious Home Blog. Image Linked. I could tea it up here & design some fun stuff…

Back Porch?

It was nice to get some clear flat surfaces to just rest my eyes & think about some projects upcoming. Let me know what you have on the books. Are you thinking about a new remodel? A spring refresh?

Tuesday Tidbit: Take the time today!

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: Let Them Help You Through the Day

Wednesday Style Points: Let Them Help You Through the Day

Style Points – it’s that fun & sometimes funny place where our inner nerd with fears & goof ball antics meets our inner desire to be on trend & beautiful

I really do love style. Personal. Individual. Group. All of it.

There is something so radically beautiful about true style

It isn’t about being on some list or getting into some group, it’s all about being who you are, where you are & why you are right now

Seriously freeing

What is your style today?

What is it that you embrace?

Are you loving how you are looking on the inside AND on the outside today?

That is a major struggle for me. I have never struggled with my weight before like this – whoa baby – and it’s hard!

But getting to a place where I am embracing my “Style” is helping

Wednesday Style Points: Can I Wear a Ball Gown to the Studio Because I am an Interior Designer?

I love getting dressed. It simply makes me feel better. I have tried to wear a t shirt and I have a visceral reaction to it! As in ewwwwwww. But I have seriously stylin’ friends who can rock a t. They laugh with me & I with them. Not at eachother. With. What is your style go to?

It’s also helping me make time to take time to take care of me & get back into the shape I like – one that is healthy – running, swimming – all of it

Where are you?

What are those style points you go back to?

Do they help you get comfortable so you can achieve your best today?

Does your inner nerd meet your inner desire for beauty?

I hope so!

Style points: you have them, I KNOW you do!

Rock them today!

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

xo Ann

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ps: today? you rock. tomorrow has enough trouble of its’ own.

Tuesday Tidbit: Do You Have A Little Luxury in Your Home?

Tuesday Tidbit: Do You Have A Little Luxury in Your Home?

Luxury

It makes a big statement

It can also intimidate

“I’m not worthy of Luxury”

“Oh, I don’t need luxury….

“Ewwww, Luxury is waste”

Not so, not so at all

At least not the kind of Luxury I am talking about

I’m talking about those little luxuries that make a huge difference in my day – in your day – in your home

One of mine:

My husband brings me coffee in the morning

Coffee, fresh ground, smell fills the house = luxury

What do I miss most when he travels besides him (mostly:)?

That he sets the coffee at night & brings it to me in the morning

I feel as if I live upstairs at Downton Abbey

trust me I don’t…but it makes me feel that way!

It’s just a porcelain cup with black coffee yet = luxury

What little luxury do you have

I know there must be at least one

What is it that you really miss when it doesn’t happen

Maybe it’s a taste & smell like my morning coffee

Maybe it’s a pillow or a special chair

Covered Buttons & a peek at our custom Couture Chateau lining on those private label pillows...

Why do I line + interline, cover buttons & custom make bespoke pillows for clients? LUXURY…

Maybe it’s a type of weather – the coolness of a spring morning

Maybe it’s a bloom on a rose or fresh cut grass

this color – I love the luxury of pale purple

Tuesday Tidbit: Delight in the everyday Luxury today

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

xo Ann

Sunday Stewardship: Oh My, Time To Tidy Up!

Sunday Stewardship: Oh My, Time To Tidy Up!

We have been underwater this week with life + work

A bit of travel here – a bit of travel there

No time to manage the home front

A bit too much time on the computer

A bit too much time with our Decorate Like A Pro Teaching Group

Then the sun calls us outside

(No, I don’t work that well on the balcony, sun streaming…I tried:)

What about you?

Do yo ever turn around and find the space around you has suddenly & without notice gone from orderly to….well….a manageable mess…to…well….time to tidy up?!

No excuses here, but truth

Even designers with cases of ocd can create great & fabulous mess!

Sunday Stewardship.

Time to get back on the wagon

I know it’s silly but I still use this for heavy clean up. The floors in our home are all stone & this rides like a champ carrying things from one place to another!

Drag that puppy through the house & be brutal!

Let me know which room you struggle with the most

Me? It’s my home studio office

Part recording studio, part office, part computer station, part teaching studio, part client conference room, part design library…all of it requiring daily attention

It got so disordered that I am typing my blog post from the family room!

We have 5 work stations in my little studio & a shredder is under each desk. Problem is, you have to empty them!

So there, none of us are perfect

(bummer:)

But we are in it together!

Sunday Stewardship = what’s yours?

Mine? I will be tidying the studio today after we are late for church (again:)

Faith. Keeps me hopeful. Even when & especially if everything around me is a mess! I can walk away from the clutter & come back with a clear head & a grande latte.

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

xo Ann

Friday: Finding That Space That Calms Us

Friday: Finding That Space That Calms Us

Well, it’s official

I had my first yoga class

In the spirit of getting into shape for real this time, I have made a commitment

Still had a glass of wine after, but at least I started

Finding the time was hard enough

Then we had to find the space!

Yes, it was at my home

My inspiration came from yellow flowers in my blue kitchen sink (behind) & red cake plates...it was one of those mornings when the aha moment came!

Yellow flowers in my blue pottery tiled sink

Am completely slammed right now & have a ton of travel lined up, so it was in the evening at the house, or not at all

not quite as bad as this, but we do have kind of a lot going on right now šŸ™‚

It wasn’t that easy to find a spot in the house to do yoga. The pug was happy to join in.

I kind of – well – have decorated most of the spaces!

Custom Paint for a Custom Tree for a Client. It fits who they are TODAY.

Custom Paint

What about you?

Do you have a space that calms you?

A clearing for exercise – not just reading?

What about a home gym.

I may sense a need to create a new room – am truly asking, have you created a space for home workouts?

What does it look like? How big is it?

Does it have a spa like vibe or just a brute workout vibe?

My mind is thinking…..

Friday. Find that space that works for you & embrace it.

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: Getting A Handle on my Spring Settings!

Wednesday Style Points: Getting A Handle on my Spring Settings!

Anyone else feeling overwhelmed?

Spring is hitting California and it’s gorgeous out

All I want to do is get a handle on my “spring settings”

I think with all the work we did to get product released

Custom boxes – I love these! This product was delivered entirely on line, but am thinking we should order some custom printed product boxes for a few special editions of Decorate Like A Pro – especially as we have some speaking engagements lined up in the Summer! We could raffle them off….ideas…ideas….smile…

Ā 

(was it wise to throw a party the same weekend for our Eagle Scout?)

there is a bit of let down AND a fabulous ramp up

We are having so much fun scheduling the challenge questions & getting the new parent website “annmcdonald” hosted so that our members will have access to some super stuff when the program is complete in 7 weeks

but

am a bit overwhelmed at the same time

I have 8 action sheets on my mirror board over my desk

I LOVE lucite. For each project or action, I keep a board with some fun design we attach & the goal is to get it “clear”. The 8 we have right now are not clear, let me tell you!!

Usually it’s only 3

šŸ™‚

What do you have going on right now?

I even came into the Studio today (UNlike me) in flip flops

Trust me, the ones I have on are not these!

I had my workout clothes on & didn’t get even my running shoes tied

Oh my!

Style Points….hummm…..

What about you?

What lists do you have in front of you? What spring cleaning are you avoiding because you’d rather be spring “outsiding”?

What are your action lists?

Wednesday Style Points: They are yours alone

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

xo Ann

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ps: Be sure to buy Ronda Rice Carman’s new book “Designers at Home” with Rizzoli Press. We will review it later on the blog, but it is a must buy. A group of friends were in NYC these past few days as she was officially launching. Pretty darn cool. Martha (yes, that Martha) wrote the forward!