Thursday Spotlight: Style Spotting Fav’s From High Point

Thursday Spotlight: Style Spotting Fav’s From High Point

Something lite today! These are all from the High Point Market Style Spotting Pinterest Boards, uploaded & linked via Pinterest & Spotter. You will find the links at bottom of each picture!

Enjoy over a cup of coffee (or tea says my husband) & pin away!

 

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

xo Ann

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If you haven’t checked out our upcoming Decorate Like A Pro System, do so! Registration for this online course only closes on Sunday. We are down to fewer than 13 spots for the coaching upgrade & once registration closes, the $495 System price is gone forever. Our beta testers howled at me for pricing it too low….just remember yesterdays post. My heart. Have a great day!!!

Wednesday Style Points: Is It Really Happening? Fearless In Action, Join Us & Decorate Like A Pro.

Wednesday Style Points: Is It Really Happening? Fearless In Action, Join Us & Decorate Like A Pro!

I feel like I am giving birth – well, proverbially 🙂

Have you ever felt that way with a project you are working on, or a family or life thing?

That’s this. Easy in concept, a “hey, I have an idea” moment

Then…..idea turning into concrete action….omg…

I teach this material (Decorate Like A Pro) in several formats to small groups, safe, ordered…beautiful

Have for a long time. To any who would listen.

This is the kind of thing that Clients, Friends, Professionals say after a Seminar which pricks my heart:

Objectively speaking, it hits remarkably well on human behavior that sends us into a downward tail spin. Stuff I never even considered. It’s a pretty cool thing she’s got here.
Elizabeth R., RN, BSN, (Counseling Psychology), Working Mother, Kansas City, Kansas
Grateful for hearers who put words to insights so testimony is not a hollow exercise of calling in favors, there is a gauntlet thrown down. Do I step outside of the safe + ordered + beautiful walls of a Home Based Design Studio & share?

Those of you who have been with me a while know 2012 was the year. I felt a very strong call that it was time to “put it out there”. No more hiding the material behind catered lunch for 8 & Prada sweater sets with Escada skirts.

growth quote

Click here for the whole story. And to sign up before we fill up. I’d like to hold a spot for you!

So in the spirit of being fearless (hard for me – is it hard for you?) I put this “baby” in the hands skilled professionals who walked along side me and my team. We created Abundant Boundaries for this premium product, designed in all ways for client ease via the internet.

Membership page, all of it. Links. Modules. Forum. WORK. FRUIT.

Thus, Decorate Like A Pro System for the Internet was born

We beta tested the format (Weekly Recorded Webinars + up sell + down sell private coaching levels)

Put feedback into Matrix (comments, challenges, questions, tech, ease of use, ease of access)

Re-recorded, re-edited, re-recorded

Set up the Membership Page (my favorite part)

Got all the Modules in place to be released each week

Set up the Private Coaching Forum (another favorite part)

Set up Pay Pal (my least favorite part…add to cart where ?:)

and now we bring it to Market to sell for less than one week only

A dear friend asked why we’d only offer this version for less than a week:

Because this is for people who really want to be extraordinary & are ready to leap

This photo is with a group of fantastic women. Risks in life...they are most definitely WORTH it!

Without Tobi Fairley, I would not be here. I would be in my skirt & sweater set far away from what I should be working at. Far away from my call. Discouraged at best….

Because this is for people who really care about learning things that go on under the surface that make Decorating Projects soar or fall & they happen to be ready to soar

Because this is for people who run the gamut from DIY to Seasoned Designers who perceive there must be some insight out there that can bring those aha moments we crave. Those aha’s that we “knew” but couldn’t quite articulate or put into action.

Because this is for people who are learners & are willing to give an hour to a Free Webinar to see if it’s a fit

Because I only want to engage those for whom it is a fit

Because we know, don’t we, if something is a fit.

I know when I engage teaching if it is not for me. I pass that along to a friend for whom it might be.

Because I know it’s not for everyone – even some of my closest friends

Because I know it is for some – even some of my closest friends

That’s why. A few days. A small group. An engaged group. A group that is ready to leap.

IF it’s a fit for you – who, where & why you are, I hope you join us

I know life is short. I know our spaces & places matter. I know they really do shape us, inside & out.

Stewardship Sunday: My Top 3 Principles For Decorating Your Home

I knew the original well. Spaces & places matter. They shape us, for better, for worse…they just do……

Live, this material goes for over $10,000. Yup, you read that right. We priced the System without coaching at $495.

Again, the “why” from my friend, why not a higher price Ann…

Because I have been in a place where price was a barrier to my entry. And that was when I need it most. When I couldn’t afford it.

At $495 it’s less than $62 per Module. Include the Free Webinar and it’s $55 per Module. That felt right in my heart for today, for this first group willing to leap.

For those who can afford more & want more, the coaching program where we walk along side daily for the 8 weeks is available. There is the more expensive version at $1,290 & the less at $890. I know I am violating every rule of “marketing” by sharing from the heart, but this is who I am. It’s what I believe.

I am also making the window short because we only have 15 coaching spots left

Guess it’s good when clients buy before it’s live.

FEARLESS

Are you ready to leap?

Wednesday Style Points. Perfect? Not even close. Real? Yup.

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

xo Ann

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Thank you for being there as this was grown. It would not have happened if my clients & readers had not urged,  commented, liked, sent private messages, tweeted, facebooked, followed & fueled the heart call. I look forward to many more. It’s as much your fruit as it is mine. Grateful.

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 🙂

http://pinterest.com/StyleSpotSpr13/

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From the Style Spotting Page…

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE
STYLE SPOTTER

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: 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?

LET ME KNOW!!

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

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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

Friday: Heather Scott Home (Heather Harkovich) Designs the Southern Living Show Case Home

Friday: Heather Harkovich Designs the Southern Living Show Case Home I have the privilege of knowing Heather from Tobi Fairley‘s Mastermind Program. Heather was gracious from the get go. I love Show Case Homes because they make so many Design … Continue reading

Monday Matters: Planning For A Week of Master Mind

Monday Matters: Planning For A Week Of Master Mind

As many of you know, I get together every quarter with a fabulous group of Designers in Little Rock, Arkansas

I am part of Tobi Fairley’s Master Mind program and it has changed HOW I run the business of my Design Business

I believe this PASSIONATELY about our spaces…also true with PEOPLE…

The simplicity of Tobi’s program spoke to me: It’s about the business of Interior Design. I grew up with an archaic drilling that inherited wealth was ok, but to earn it? omg…how gauche…PROBLEM: If I don’t earn from a well run business, then my business closes. No jobs for those I delight to work with & the gifts & talents I have been given to steward in this area simply die. Hard lesson for me. Money was simply never discussed in “polite company”….

Ummm….times have changed….

LOVE this. Pick wisely. You matter enough to do so.

That has been a hard lesson to get into my soul. I think it’s why I laugh SO HARD when watching Downton Abbey. “What’s next…the London stage?”…..you will never know how much I relate…

I see this so much with my Clients & is WHY I am so passionate about these upcoming Webinars. I want so much to INVOLVE for Understanding so your life is EASIER. Design Systems Simplified!

In my heart I knew it was right to join this group of fabulous women. But it was a risk…I mean, there were (are) those I know who eye roll as a daily habit…oh well…

Says it all.

So this Monday matters.

I look forward to a week of:

Refreshing

Challenges

Renewing

Encouraging

Designer Stuff!

It will also be a great hiatus from our Webinar production that has been on the front burner these past two weeks.

DO let us know if you’d like to be one of our limited live Webinar Testers. Send an email to Ann@Couturechateau.com. This is a product which will contain an Introduction Module + 6 Additional modules and will have a price tag well into the thousands…if you’d like to be on our short list of test participants, you will receive some of the material for free! We are scheduled to start testing the last week in February. Limited number of spots available so be fearless and email me!

Monday Matters & so do YOU!

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Making the Most of Gifts Given, My Mastermind Journey with Tobi Fairley

Monday Matters: Making the Most of Gifts Given, My Mastermind Journey with Tobi Fairley

As many of you know our Monday Matters Posts are all about getting ready for the week

Every Monday = Reset. This Monday? Reset for 2013!

Today is the start of a new day, a new week & tomorrow a New Year.

We have HOPE

Hope to build our Custom Lives & Homes a little better than yesterday for ourselves and those we love

Take a minute or 13 😉 and watch this Video to learn a little bit more about my journey in the business end of Interior Design.

I have been at this a long time. I am a Designer, not a business whiz. I can see an entire Estate in 3-d down to the detail of the custom trim & lining in one specific room in my head before it’s built – when it is a pile of dirt.

I cannot create a spreadsheet. I cannot find the receipt.

Providential Grace has always provided people to create the spreadsheets + find my receipts, but…….

After 20+ years “behind the gate” with Couture Chateau (read here for my vision), I shared my soul’s vision with someone I could trust so that we could grow, so that we could make enough money to share our soul’s vision with the world outside those gates.

I am grateful for this group & the risks “I”, as Ann McDonald (read here for my history) & “We”, as Couture Chateau have taken as a part of it.

Tobi, understands the world I live + work in. She articulates in her interview that world.

You will find me at about 9:18

If you want to join us next year, tell Tobi you heard it from Ann McDonald, Founder of Couture Chateau. That “custom life” lady….

I would be grateful to know this little blog with a big heart made a difference…that someone out there was reading & ready to take the same risks…

I HOPE that 2013 is a year you really live. A custom life. That you engage your soul’s calling and dwell with passion and intent to bless yourself + those around you.

I value you

I value what you do and who you are

Monday Matters: a new day + a new week + new year = hope.

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

xo Ann

http://youtu.be/iHKOxpauXTo

Stewardship Sunday: Last Minute Simple New Years Eve Party from Upcycled Christmas Cards

Stewardship Sunday: Last Minute Simple New Years Eve Party from Up-Cycled Christmas Cards

As I shared yesterday, even a non-crafter can get on board with up-cycling Christmas Cards. If you missed it, check out the post here. You can also see our complete feature on ivillage here. Like, share, pin – we’d like to MORE for them!

For today, some still simple, slightly more labor intensive ways to throw a last minute New Year’s Eve party using your pile of beautiful cards

Why do I love this so much? It is customized from your life + friends in your home = divine

WHERE to start? Hand written? Cranes Embossed? Printed? Casual...Formal...

Take them all out & start sorting by color & thickness. If you want to “save” take a picture of the pile & then start cutting, sorting, shredding

Thank you to Dianna Condon Cuisine for providing the incredible Hors d’oeuvres used on our Couture Chateau Photo Shoot!

3 New Year’s Eve Party Uses for Up Cycled Christmas Cards:

1) Hors d’oeuvres Plates

Pouring Champagne (which had to be tasted)! We had some fun with this.

Look CLOSELY at what is under Dianna Condon Cuisine’s Brownies…they are ALL Up-Cycled Christmas Cards! And the shredding is cards as well. Simple uses can create striking vignettes. You just have to think out of the box.

2) Name Cards or Place Cards

Name Cards: Cut, Laminated & Sharpied! From our feature on ivillage. Notice the name card holders? These are the same ones we mentioned in our 11-16-12 Frugal Friday Post – they are picture holders!

3) Coasters

Coasters from our ivillage post. How simple can these be?! Purchase the “slip in” kind at Aaron Brothers or other Craft store, cut & insert!

Recycled Cards as Coasters for a Casual Christmas "In My Kitchen" Party

Recycled Cards as Coasters. No laminating, just cutting! From our Couture Chateau feature on “Casual Kitchen Entertaining”

Easy to Create with these supplies:

Scissors (Pinking Shears + Creative Shapes)

Laminating Machine (We use Kinko’s at $2.00 per sheet)

Sharpies or Dry Erase Markers

5 Easy Custom Tips for Taking it Over the top:

1. Color Coordinate

Make individual Gift Bags. Use color coordinated duct tape & “press them” to make an opening. Add some of the card shredding. Use duct tape as a handle as well! For more ideas check out our entire feature on ivillage.

2. Make Gift Bags with Cards + Color Duct Tape + Card Shredding

People LOVE to see their cards go to good use! Here cards are under glass on one of our table settings. Use a riser (the snowflake) to make inserting & removing or adjusting easier.

3. Use cards from people attending the party

4. Match food types to colors (brownies on red, white + black)

Make name or place cards by  cutting + pasting elements from several cards. Just cut and apply to make customized personal statements. From our feature on ivillage.

5. Make over the top place cards + menus by cutting + pasting cards

Please like, pin & share these images!

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Tomorrow, we share a video from Ann’s Master Mind Group with Tobi Fairley

It’s the consultant group that retro fitted our 20+ year Design Business with an Amazing Client Roster into the new economy. Ann shares some of her reasons for participating & you will see why we still have faith as it feels like the world crumbles around us…

Looking forward to an amazing New Year

At least it’s never dull!

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

xo Ann

Saturday Sunshine: My Designer Friends Inspire Me at High Point Furniture Market, Fall 2012

Saturday Sunshine: My Designer Friends Inspire at High Point Furniture Market, Fall 2012

Yup – Market. 10 Miles a Day Walking, No sleep & enough visual stimulation to last a lifetime.

And ahhh…that commercial flo light. Gag.

Love it. Hate it. Love it. Need it. Truth?….LOVE IT.

Here’s what makes it work.

Collaboration even in the lighthearted “Style Spotter” Competition

The Design Community is COLLABORATIVE.

Here are the Fall 2012 Spotters. This pic was copied from The Editor At Large, one of the Design Community’s GO TO Resources. Link here. Hummm…another one of those “Collaborative Types” eh?!

Really.

As a friend of mine said: “It’s not my Land”

Stacy Naquin’s Blog

She, Stacy Naquin, that is.

What CONTEXT would someone possibly utter the words: “It’s not my Land”

Set Scene:  Airport. Heart to heart discussion after a Master Mind Collaboration.

This Lovely Lady Tobi Fairley has developed a Master Mind Program for Designers which is collaborative and impressive. I would not be where I am without her.

Discussion Item: Competing with other Designers for Clients, Commissions, Jobs…Raw bones of it?…MONEY…

And Stacy said…it’s ok…because “If it’s not ‘my Land’…it’s not ‘my Land'”

She nailed it.

Aha Moment: The right Clients, Commissions, Jobs come at the right time to the Designers they are supposed to come to. It’s this weird process. A mixture of business (of course) but…it’s more than that…provenance?…not quite…destiny?…sometimes….

In my heart I had known it all along. There have been many times I have CALLED other Designers to “pass along” a Client who would not be a fit for us at Couture Chateau. I have also been on the receiving end of those calls when a Friend – a Collaborator in this Business called Design – said “please…this is NOT a fit for me…”

Design work is like a marriage – or a “significant other” type thing. Clients & Designers: We are in each others spaces – in each others “stuff”…

And is HAS to be right. At least if you want the best. For yourself AND for your Clients.

We look at the same fabric and “SEE” different product – different rooms – different things.

We see OUR custom.

If you don’t believe…just look at Pinterest. We take pictures of the same pieces – but capture different nuances…

Here are Traci Zeller & Stacy Naquin at last Market. I count both as collaborative friends.

Hang out with us over the next few days. See what’s new. Follow our Pinterest Board for Market where we will collaboratively collect, re-pin, share & delight in design.

See what’s back IN that was OUT that is still IN our homes because we never changed it when it went OUT…(!)…ahem…BRASS…and laugh at the thought that all those (us) CREATIVES are linked together in one place…changing the world one “Devil Wears Prada Cerulean Blue Belt at a Time”…

Cerulean (also caerulean) = a color. How could I ever forget the scene that stole my heart…

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

xo Ann

Frugal Friday: How to Nurture a Luxury Mindset with a Chai Latte Budget

Frugal Friday: How to Nurture a Luxury Mindset with a Chai Latte Budget

Define Luxury…

Yesterday, I had the honor of being quoted by one of my favorite blogs, Quintessence (linked here)

” as designer Ann McDonald of Couture Chateau in Orinda, CA said, “Luxury is more a state of mind than a state of pocketbook.” 

Twirled like a 15 year old girl. I told my Master Mind Friends I had been quoted by Royalty. They agreed.

Context: Months ago I responded with full heart to an Elle Decor Survey on “Luxury Now – What Really Counts”

It is one of those Life Forces for me: Luxury, that is.

A sneak peek of my kitchen sink…I hope someday to share my home with you in publication

I grew up in a home where Luxury was taught as a  custom PROCESS. We ate intentionally. We were taught the value of family & to live with care.

Process WAS substance because how things were executed indicated if we cared or valued what we were doing. The highest order was to custom build that PROCESS according to the gifts & talents we brought to the table. I think it’s why we’re all so different.

If you were going to do something, do it beautifully and do it well.

It was never based on dollar amount – we didn’t have that much.

And we all know that money does not buy taste, or intent…or care…

My opinion? I think it was because there wasn’t a lot that I learned to NURTURE the mindset that  (Value + Care + Intent) = Luxury

Life takes turns…sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down…

The beauty: The answer is simple – well, in theory 😉 at least…

It may be hard to bring our head in line with our heart’s Luxury goal – I do severely desire an Hermes bag

Simple and classic…it would look fabulous sprawled on my mismatched slate kitchen counter…

but my Custom Luxurious Life Mindset does not depend upon it.

It depends on my nurture of  (value + care + intent)

There  really is no club to join, no fee to pay, no license exam to pass. We just start. Today.

We bring our custom selves – all those quirky talents & random gifts our DNA handed us – to the table and start.

For me – it always begins with space. Space affects me profoundly. Not sure why, it just does. And so I start there. And when they ask…I start there with my clients & with my friends.

Funny how when we intentionally bring in (value + care + intent) to space….”luxurious” as a descriptive phrase is never far behind.

What is your Luxury? What is your mindset?

As a new friend said to me the other evening…”I collect stories”…I think I see her Luxury Mindset now…she (values) them + she (cares) about them + she is (intentional) in the stewardship of them by collecting…do you see?…..

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

xo Ann