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!

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!

Tuesday Tidbit: Never Decorate When You Are…..

Tuesday Tidbit: Never Decorate When You Are…..




Super Happy???

Humm….did I just say that? Super Happy???

Let me just throw this out there:

Has there ever been a time when you were super excited and you bought something that didn’t look so great two weeks later?

I call those Vacation Clothes Moments “VCM’s”

You know…when you are in Nantucket and buy the cutest pants, not the reds which are appropriate anywhere imo 🙂 but the ones you can ONLY wear in Nantucket during a few months. They usually involve maps & whales…


When you are in Mustique and the white linen something calls you……and then you realize that $$$$ for a simple something that you can only wear in Mustique…..might not have been the best idea

Sometimes we do the same thing when it comes to our homes

Now, this might be fantastic as an art installation, but no amount of champagne & caviar should convince you that you need this in your main living area.

ESPECIALLY when it comes to our homes

We get super excited & are SO SURE that the “Insert Any Item Here” will look perfect on our entry hall table. Besides, at $$$$$$ it’s “such a deal” ;)!

Tuesday Tidbit: Do you have any “Don’t ever decorate when you are ———?” stories to share?

Can you laugh about them now?

I would so love to hear!!

I can not be the only one….

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

xo Ann


PS: Make sure and sign up for our Beta Test Website! We have an awesome group & YOU need to be a part of it!! Don’t worry, I think we’ve sent out 4 emails over the past months while in test format. Link HERE.

Monday Matters: Making A House A Home

Monday Matters: Making A House A Home

I have been trying to practice what I preach and let me tell you, I stink at it!

“Turn your phone off”

“Turn the game off”

“Read a book”

“Walk the dogs”

All the while I am glued to my phone, rooting for my basketball teams, checking out HGTV instead of a good book & throwing a ball in the hall way for the pugs instead off walking them up the hill 🙂

The mirror isn’t kind this Monday Morning…

BUT, there is hope

Why? Because sometimes it’s those things that are slightly out of whack – those vulnerabilities – those “real life transparency” issues that our Children, Pets & Spouses live through with us that shows us if our House….is just a house or if it is really a HOME…

Let me explain a bit:

Monday Morning I always try to re-set for the week

Get those calendars tightened, make the calls, check the orders…plan the schedules…

But coming off a weekend of slight chaos from Junior Prom, to Junior Day at Cal, to tech issues DAY & NIGHT on the computers in the office, I was really struck by how we were all rather off kilter by Sunday afternoon…throw in church (are we always late?!), some spilled coffee & it was not my finest moment – let’s just say moments…

But what kept us all in check?

What kept ME in check?

Our imperfect house held us safe – it was our HOME where we (I) kept returning & getting our (my) balance on…

Not my house but I like this space. It looks safe, easy to engage & cozy. I could curl up here in heels or slippers! Image linked.

Our home was safe for me this weekend. It was beautifully imperfectly ordered to catch our (my) disorder…

This is our family room coffee table. This weekend? No wine or cheese, but there were cleats & magazines piled...real life living...

This is our family room coffee table. This weekend? No wine or cheese, but there were cleats & tech magazines piled…real life living…

I don’t mean it is perfect, it is not

I mean it CAUGHT us after a chaotic weekend as a place we could retreat & recharge

Nap & Nuggle & watch some basketball for the pure joy of it

( Nuggle: What a pug does when you nap…a pug nuggles you )

There is nothing like a dog for an afternoon snuggle when you need a boost…

It humbled me

I am passionate about making Houses into HOMES because it is a blessing and a gift & because HOMES can change lives

I know it is not that way for everyone & I so want it to be…

I am grateful & moved

So this Monday, I am just embracing the joy of the everyday chaos moment

I believe it is what makes our houses HOMES. They catch us when we fall. They hold the JOY in those everyday moments.

Like this, especially for a Monday Morning.

May your week be filled with everyday moments of JOY

May at least some small corner of your house…be HOME to you

May it hold you & keep you safe

May it equip you to go forth and change the world

Monday matters & so do you.

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

xo Ann


PS: If you like what we are doing here, please share! Your friends are our friends.

Saturday Stuff: Oh, I’d Forgotten About That Side Of My Proverbial “House”!

Saturday Stuff: Oh! I’d Forgotten About That Side Of My Proverbial “House”!

We all have them

Those areas we forget about until…

We schedule a party

A visitor is due to arrive

We get the “Donations Accepted” postcard & start hunting for forgotten treasure to pass along

Or…as in my case…one of the pugs goes sniffing around a corner around a corner…and I follow!

Oh my!

I’d forgotten about that area 🙂

Today I’m sharing a few videos that we use to help get at some of those areas in our Life & Home

As part of Saturday Stuff…this gets at the STUFF that holds us back from the inside!!

I need to thank Karen Davis for reminding me of these videos

I love them. We watch & share with clients because one of the MOST important things about decorating a BEAUTIFUL SPACE is being REAL about who we are, where we are, why we are & being COMFORTABLE in that space

May these be a blessing to you.

Saturday Stuff. YOU are worth the time it will take to be blessed by these videos.

Take it for YOU!!!

It’s Saturday. The stuff life is made of.

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

xo Ann


PS: Don’t forget to share what we are doing here with friends who have the same heart. I’d be grateful to build a community of people who desire to LIVE as beautifully as our spaces  look…

PPS: Sign up NOW to be part of our BETA TEST for Decorate Like A Pro System (Linked). We are still in the starting gates. BE in from the ground floor!!! You are SO worth it!

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