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


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

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…


(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


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


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.”™

xo Ann


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!

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.


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


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.

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

Wednesday Style Points: My Current Obsession With Tufting In Home Decor

Wednesday Style Points: My Current Obsession With Tufting in Home Decor

Tufting is one of those things I absolutely love

This image is from 2009 but I absolutely love it still.

Especially in unusual places

I honestly love the austerity of this room. I do tend towards the traditional but sometimes a simple space infused with drama sings to me!

Upholstered walls, banquettes, headboards of course…even tile

Tufted tile. Love this! Image linked.

Style Points. What is your current obsession?

I am kind of wishing we had a project to place these doors via Turbo Squid (image linked). Are they completely over the top? Yes! Could they be perfect somewhere? Of course!!

Is it Pantone’s Color of the Year?

Some gorgeous fabric?

Let me know! We are having fun comparing our current obsess in the Studio.

I vote tufting this week….what say you?!

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

xo Ann


PS: Thank you for your continued support!! That’s it – just THANK YOU!! We love our readers!!!!

Wednesday Style Points: Beautiful Rooms + Beautiful Living, A Window Into Barbara Barry From Design Bloggers Conference, 2013

Wednesday Style Points: Beautiful Rooms + Beautiful Living, A Window Into Barbara Barry From Design Bloggers Conference, 2013

So yes, it’s been a solid week – maybe even 10 days since the Design Bloggers Conference this year, but sometimes it takes us that long to process

Do you ever come off a time of travel or teaching & just need some “down space”?

A time where you can get your head + heart around all you learned, were reminded of & were challenged by?

I know I do!

Next week we will tackle my NY & CT trip, but for now we venture into the Design Bloggers Conference

I have been reading with delight the posts of my friends who have fantastic recaps & delight ME with their pictures & observations

A voracious consumer of all things Design I am

Be sure to check out Lisa Mende (A fabulous post on Leontine Linens), Elle Cole (A lovely post on Barbara Barry), Scott Meecham Wood (A post on his upcoming 2013 Peninsula Volunteers Decorator Show House). I will try to suggest a few every day or so – people who have wonderful UNIQUE perspectives on Design that you should know & follow & that I deeply respect.

Today? My take on Barbara Barry. It is really quite simple. Yet profound to me. It spoke to my soul.

It confirmed the genteel quietness with which I was raised by a mother who is long gone.

It was Barbara’s lipstick on a beautifully pressed linen napkin photo

Barbara recaptured my love of process & for that I am grateful

Barbara rearticulated my love of  GRACIOUS process & for that I am grateful

She shared so much – you can find it in her book, her life

What she rekindled in me was-is the passion for Graciousness

So often lost in our Eco-No Waste-Get it done Now-Efficient-Effective Society of Work + Play

You simply cannot rush or execute without EFFORT & FOCUS & SKILL a gorgeous intentional pressed linen napkin that your guest may soil with lipstick & a drop of tea with no worry or fuss about consequence other than that THEY ARE WORTH IT

I grew up with linen napkins, used, loved, worn, pressed & re-pressed, monograms that didn’t match from generations of “M, E, W, L, G…” and a few that weren’t even part of the official family tree because some Grandmother or Great-something had a passion for a gorgeous linen or monogram

Is there anything more lovely than a layered table setting? One that graciously welcomes & slows us down to take part in life?

Is there anything more lovely than a layered table setting? One that graciously welcomes & slows us down to take part in life?

They become family members & even now, with holes & yet perfectly pressed, they are invited guests to our dinner parties & daily living with a bagel at breakfast & warm soup at lunch


Because YOU, THEY…the Guest in my home, the family member…is WORTH IT

WORTH the effort. Is Holy in their own right – simply as a created being, in all OUR (their) glorious mess


The effort, the acknowledgement of effort.

What is your Beautiful Living?

Take the Four (4) Minutes & watch Barbara’s Video. Let me know if it speaks to you as it spoke to me.

What is your Beautiful Life?

A lesson learned, a heart reminded…there is no substitute for delighting in the BEST today

It’s all we have

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

xo Ann


PS: If you like what we are doing here, please share it with a friend on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin…you know – all those Social Media sites! We are still small & exclusive 🙂 but we’d love to be known by your friends with the same heart for intentional living & design. It’s a passion that life itself could not take out of me…and I assume could not take out of you! Thank God for that. May today be a blessed + protected day for you and yours. 

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

Wednesday Style Points: What’s On Your Bedside Table?

Wednesday Style Points: What’s On Your Bedside Table?

I never thought I’d be able to itemize every little item that sat beside me as I slept…

But given my appointment with…let’s just call it…’forced rest’…I am now able to list every bloomin’ object on my night stand!

I have a poor man’s version of this chest on my side of the bed. It holds more than I can possibly hide! Mine does not have the gilding or original handles…but I love it still…

What have you got next to you?

Style Points!

I happen to love this feature in the publishing world

But nothing reminds me to update like comparing my list to theirs!

What have you?

Dare I say I take my tea in a pretty cup?


Mine are stacked high…

This book was given to me by Leslie Hassler, a dear friend from Mastermind. It is officially noted, tagged & highlighted!

Well, at least I can say I am learning…

Another book on my nightstand…

And always to keep me grounded…in the right place…this and the Good Book 🙂

What are your Style Points on your nightstand?

Would your nightstand make the magazines?:)

From House Beautiful.

I’m thinking about updating mine…!

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: Can’t Rock Them When You’re Sick…or Can You?!

Wednesday Style Points: Can’t Rock Them When You’re Sick…or Can You?!

Holy Toledo Batman, this flu season stinks!

Pardon my French but we had a busy week planned & most of it’s shot…re-schedule a video shoot, re-tape a Webinar, Mastermind Telecall, A 3-Day Conference…and the best laid plans…

So I learn daily that someone else is in control which I know in my heart is a good thing

Ha! says the Lord. Take a chill pill Ann. OK, I’m listening God – I’m just really excited about what we have coming out & want to carry on.

There IS delight in knowing all we have to do is plant the seed. It’s up to someone else to make it grow….

Style points – still on my brain even as I am surrounded by Nyquil, Vapo Rub & Vitamin C. How silly is that. A designer still cares about those things even when down for the count.

That said, these pale pink rooms are delighting me right now. May they be a delight to you as well.

The soothing pale pinks are helping me right now…hope they are a blessing to you – and equip you to take a deep breath & enjoy health!

Check out some pretty pale pink spaces  = a style point.

Image linked via House Beautiful.

And with this, I am back to resting. I know when I’m beat! Hope you are spared…

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

xo Ann


All said, I am grateful for solid assistants. We are still testing our Webinar with a select group at the end of February. If you sent in your email, you should receive instructions by Friday of this week. There are no more tester spots available but at least one 1 Hour Webinar will be made available for free to any and all who like. We are delighted to share this growing process together and walk along side in this thing called life. Our first Formal Product Launch will be available for purchase in March!

women shopping - fashion logo version 2 (non-editable web-ready file)

Wednesday Style Points: A Video From One Of My Favorite Sources, Custom Made!

Wednesday Style Points: A Video From One Of My Favorite Sources, Custom Made!

You know I’m all about custom

Our tag line is “Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™ after all

As we are working like dogs getting our First Ever Webinar product completed, throwing in some travel & clients, this week has been a bit hectic & it’s only Wed 🙂

Enter style points.

Custom Made has style points.

Be sure to check out their video & let them know you love them as much as I do & that you heard it from this little blog called Couture Chateau by Ann McDonald. If I weren’t working here, I’d find a way to work there!

Do yourself a favor – inspire your day & WATCH the Second & Third Videos as well as the first…you will be blessed….

Also, if you need a refresher on Why To Buy Custom, read the article below. It is from the heart… this Designer I know…;) written for a company she thinks is pretty awesome…


My Top Three Myths About Purchasing Custom

If you go to the original article in October, you can see photos of some of our Client’s custom details.

As the Founder of Couture Chateau, I tackle myths about custom daily. The truth is I love this discussion because it opens a door to share my passion for the intentionally made. Here are the three things I hear most from my clients and what I tell them in return.

1. Too Expensive. Beautifully crafted items can be costly. However, ‘custom’ is one of the few true value exchanges left in the world of manufacturing. It’s the place where consumer and creator are most closely linked. This value exchange translates into magical aha moments; we realize a part of us and our vision for living is being made manifest by the hands of skilled designers, craftsmen and women. It is pure delight when we see our dollar glean that value. Everyone wins.

2. Takes Too Long. Not all custom products take a long time. A custom cupcake, for instance, takes one afternoon. A custom piece of furniture with custom fabric may indeed take up to 6 months, but the beautiful part about that process is the thought in every detail. We live in a “now” society, but the things we truly value, we wait for. With custom, the process is interactive and wait time becomes part of the product. Once we realize this, it’s the start date that delineates ownership, not the delivery date.

3. What if I hate it?! It’s not returnable. For over 20 years I have observed that the process of engaging skilled fabricators who make items to size and scale vets most of these issues. It’s the intentional interaction between thoughtful use and production that causes us to self-select function, form, purpose, detail, color, scale and price. The quick impulse purchase is often the regrettable return, rarely the custom.

When I started out, my passion was to honor the individual craftsmen and women I encountered in the luxury design trades and find a place where their skills would be curated by enthusiastic patrons in everyday life. What I have delighted to discover is that the story of how a custom item is created is often its most treasured attribute. The relatable process transcends social boundaries and is cherished by creator and curator alike.

As we say at Couture Chateau: “Live a custom life. There is only one you.™”


Have a Style Point Day !

xo Ann