Monday Matters: What’s Got You Ticking Today? Is Your Space Helping or Hurting?

Monday Matters: What’s Got You Ticking Today? Is Your Space Helping or Hurting?

I hope you had a relaxing weekend

I certainly enjoyed some down time after a long week of travel to the East Coast

Shot a cross bow for Mother’s Day

Yup. That was new.

And then I went into my semi-neglected (due to travel of course, not laziness:) Studio


Today, I am trying not to be overwhelmed

I thought this was funny! Too much travel lately & another trip to NYC in a few days for ICFF & BlogFest.

Today I am trying to center (thank you Jesus!)

Today I am facing my Space & dealing with those things that have been right in front of me that need to be cleared

What about you?

What has you ticking today?

Have you shot a cross bow recently?

I highly recommend it. Had no idea how fun it could be. All safety rules apply please!

As my girlfriends were at the Club with their beautifully dressed daughters I was being led by my son in Crossbow Safety. I can honestly say I NEVER thought that would be my Mother’s Day adventure. It was delightful & quite funny. Tip # 1? Don’t wear heels!

Is there something you need to tackle this Monday morn?

My space was hurting my productivity & mood

Time to tackle. Time for better ticking.

Monday Matters & so do you.

Let me know – or better yet – share with a friend – we cannot walk it alone. Let your friend know you are not perfect & have no intention of being any time soon.

Amen. Remember failure & being wrong do not equal death. We’re human.We need to get comfy with both!

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

xo Ann

Saturday Stuff: Love Pinterest? Style Spotters at Market = Inspiration!

Saturday Stuff: Love Pinterest? Style Spotters at Market = Inspiration!

At market, there are a few people who are tagged as Style Spotters

Last go around, a friend of mine Lisa Mende won the top spot. Before that a friend Traci Zeller!

It is really a fun way to follow along what people are seeing & what they think is on the mark.

If you are a pinterest junkie, this is the place to be for the next few days 🙂


From the Style Spotting Page…


Vote for the best pinboards and products for each Style Spotter

by generating “likes” or by re-pinning photos to your own Pinterest board.

At the end of Market, the most popular pinboard

will win that Style Spotter a free trip to the Fall 2013 High Point Market!

View Pinboards HERE

This is a fun way to get your feet wet with all the stuff out there.

Saturday Stuff: Styling without leaving home!

Am back into recording mode…so have a fantastic weekend.

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: High Point Market, The Good, The Better…The Custom. Ann’s Top Three Take-a-Ways

Wednesday Style Points: High Point Market, The Good, The Better…The Custom

Oh….I looove Market.

So many fabulous and fun vendors and talks (hello Charolotte Moss! What a woman!)

My top three take – a – ways:


Manufacturers are becoming more Designer Friendly. Someone got the memo.

“We are Designer Friendly” was the VERY first thing I heard after a lovely Hello. Thank you! And Holly – the showroom is FABULOUS. I can hardly wait to find a project to use some of your pieces in.

I have been in this business a looooong time. Had the honor of starting in the manufacturing end for a very progressive thinker: Designers were of the highest order to that manufacturer and the business thrived. There was an understanding that the “Feet on the Ground” with the taste makers trickled down, not the other way around.

Fashion + Art has always understood that. Remember Cerulean Blue…

Perhaps the Fashion + Decor Theme had something to do with it.

Whatever the case, it was a lovely time to be at Market.


Thank you. It was refreshing.


I got to see my “peeps”. I learned from my “peeps”. I was happier in community with my “peeps”.

My “peeps” opened my eyes to some of the manufacturers I would never have gone to on my own. Accessory companies, upholstery companies and all sorts of lighting options. In the past, I have scheduled appointments and been very business like….well, this time…there was that (all business like) but there was “float”.

I like float. I needed float.

Charlotte Moss talked about time in her Kayak. That inspired me.

Float allowed me to enjoy a book signing (Charlotte, Rhonda, Scot, Suzanna)!

Float provided me an introduction to Quintessence. Hello Heaven. Thank you Traci Zeller.

Along for the fun with Traci Zeller as she style spotted at Stanford Furniture…how fun!

And yes, lovely and classic in person. Simply divine.

Float. Try it. New for me ;)…I think I like it…. (!)…..


I met several manufacturers who are offering completely customized options now.

Hickory has always done this….but others are following suit. A wonderful thing as we “Live our custom lives…”

That is NEW. Trust me. It is NEW.

So – exciting stuff for the Design Industry.

Will check in when we are back in SF….& I’ve had my latte from my favorite local “custom coffee shop” ;)…my own kitchen…

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

xo Ann

Pastel Passion – Trends for This Fall

Seems everyone is talking Pastels

Pastel Color Chart

Even for the Fall and Winter

Winter Pastel Clothing

Winter Pastel Accessories

Winter Pastel Upholstery: British Wool

Am loving these Winter Looks with Pastel Overtones

Not a new trend…just an easy to live with one…

Easy to Live With

Contemporary Also Embraces Pastels…

Easy to Decorate Around


xo Ann

Design & Fashion

Wanted to share a fun little video – very behind the scenes – about High Point Market & Fashion. I love how this video talks about personal style – what Couture Chateau is all about…finding the YOU!…and embracing it…check it out!

We are off to work on some out of area projects – will try to post you from the road!



What did I tell you?


LISTEN to Martyn……and remember you heard it from me a year ago when we were buying 80’s antique brass before anyone else in our group ;)!

LOVE…LOVE…LOVE Market….stay tuned for those “On Trend” Seminars in May.

Small Group, In Office. $495 for 2 Hours. Book Now – last year we sold out.

Wed May 2nd 12 – 2. The LATEST On Trend from Market. Great for Local Designers who don’t attend Market & the Casual Enthusiast who simply LOVES Design.

xoxo Ann!



Trends: FABRIC, Day 2

Today we try to tackle those tricky on trend questions…why do they matter at all ;)?!

Remember, yesterday we asked….and answered….

1. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Client

2. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Industry

3. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Economy

Elaborations on those answers…

1. Clients come in all shapes & sizes, ages & stages. Are they risk takers? Do they love  the austere? Tradtional?  Transitional? Once we narrow the major parameters we can begin to focus in on what will be THEIR particular ‘On Trend”. Why does it matter? Because we are hired to make a fit for the client and THEIR lifestyle. Anyone can order from a pre-ordained catalog – a “Garanimals approach to Decorating”…being ‘On Trend’ means we tap into what the individual Client needs – and doesn’t even know they need. It’s an important discovery. It makes the Design ‘sing’ at the end rather than fall flat.

2. The Industry. What is out there? What does “To the Trade” have to offer? What historical collections are inspiring new innovations in pattern and scale? What is overstock at the Mills? In Europe? What is trading in India right now? How do the rains affect the crops which affects the way natural colors are created for wools? All these things are important considerations when picking on trend fabrics for a client. As we mentioned above, anyone can walk into a Decorating Store and thumb thru swatches. They can find something that will work, I’m sure. But will it excite? Will it add soul to a room? Will it even matter? Think of it this way: are you an original art person or a pre-fab decorator art person….as Designers, we opt for the original art. Anyone can buy a print or a copy. I’d rather fill a room with the emerging artist whose hand has touched the canvas for the same amount off money. No ‘matching required’.   We work hard to scour what is out there to inspire our clients.

3. Economy. Always. As things boil around the world we are actually finding clients caring more about quality and what I like to call “Galanos Luxury”. Have you ever worn a Galanos Dress? The construction is impeccable. Nothing is overlooked. We have come out, thankfully, of the consumptive throw away culture over the past few decades with a renewed sense of obligation to be less voracious in our appetites and more refined in our tastes. It translates down the line to the products we find in our Trade Showrooms and Trade Shows around the globe. Less, but made with more. More care. More concern. More attention. More hands on.

Grateful for Sundays,


Trends: FABRIC

As we move away from our old website…today we tackle the TREND page

Item #1: Fabric

I love fabric

Antique Boucle

All kinds. Old, new, contemporary, traditional, ridiculously expensive, common….love it all.

In my aesthetic, fabrics are like people….the differences in them make them work together

"Plaid and Fancy" Custom Crewel in two colorways by Couture Chateau

Each Season, each Market, each Project…Manufacturers & Designers alike ponder which fabrics will hit as on trend and how they can be marketed & sold


How do I determine what is ‘On Trend’ and why does it matter?

Impossible question really. I boil it down to three broad observations to make it somewhat manageable:

1. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Client

2. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Industry

3. What is On Trend Fabric & Why does it matter depends on the Economy

Amazing Antique Swedish Fabric...the real deal, not a 1950's copy...

Tomorrow we answer these questions….think about it, why do these things matter? What is your response?

Trend Workshops & High Point Videos

As mentioned yesterday, our Trend Workshop/Seminars are coming up in February. LA & SF Bay Area.

Below are two videos from this Fall’s High Point Market dealing with some TRENDS.  Check them both out. Designer Tobi Fairly is featured in the second video. Great fun. Great design. And you KNOW I love yellow. Yes, our entire office floor is yellow over scaled flowers!

What I like is that these videos give a behind the scenes feel. They do a great job capturing Market & showcasing Industry Leading Designers in a real trade show setting. It is encouraging to all of us!

Hickory Chair Celebrates its 100th-Year Anniversary (High Point, NC, October 2011). Jason Oliver Nixon interviews Quy Nguyen, Mariette Himes Gomez, Susan Hable Smith, Suzanne Kasler, Thor Taber and Tobi Fairley. — with Tobi Fairleyand 4 others.

Fall Market 2011

This week in North Carolina is our Fall Furniture Market. More stuff than you can imagine. Good and bad. By the end of a bazillion square feet of inventory & a week with nothing but design trade people,  it kind of makes you want to fast from furniture. Is that even possible?

That said, there are some great finds. And inspiring people.

Have a look at pin boards from some designers: