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: Perfectionism to Panic in Decorating. Three More Tips…

Tuesday Tidbit: Perfectionism to Panic in Decorating. Three More Tips…

Last week we shared three tips to keep perfectionism at bay

What happens when perfectionism (we think) is “under control” and then it morphs into panic?

Yes, panic can come in a can šŸ™‚

Not that anyone can see our panic. We get so good at hiding it.

Decorating Panic usually hides in phrases like this:

“I would naaavaaa use that….”

“OMG, she used what?! I mean ruhueaaallly, how 2003….”

“Those are so passe….but he has no idea….”

Tip # 1: Don’t give into the EMOTION of panic

There are times listening to our emotion is ok. Inside a panic decorating moment is not one of them. Let me say I know what it’s like to flip flop over the perfect shade of “insert any color here”. But giving into my emotion on those colors or fabric details just puts me in a place where I lose a week or two at a time! I try to remind myself that at some point I must decide and move on. Easier said than done – which leads me straight into tip # 2. Created so I could actually complete a decorating job on time!

Tip # 2: Set Boundaries of Time + Space for Decisions

We live in time and space. Get ruthless about setting boundaries for your decisions. And walk away. Just like your favorite tv show may leave you hanging for a week, sometimes you just have to walk away from a decorating decision to avoid panic. We get too close to “the perfect couch” and somehow believe it will change our life. It won’t. It will make it prettier, better and softer šŸ™‚ but it won’t change the whole shebang. So walk away. Get some perpective. Call one of those friends that brings you back down to earth. For heaven’s sake don’t call the friend that flips out over Prada…ok, well, maybe that’s ok, but call in another friend as well to bring you BOTH down to earth

Tip # 3: Make decisions in 7 year increments

I say this all the time. If it’s good enough for ancient Israel, then it’s good enough for me. Let your land lay “fallow” every now and then. Realize that just like your life will change, your decorating will also (I hope). Do the best you can today – for the next 6 – 7 years and then put it to bed.

Panic: sudden fear sensation that dominates & prevents REASON & LOGICAL THOUGHT

Don’t let it take you down this summer when all the decorating demons & gorgeous slip covers & gorgeous summer parties come out! šŸ™‚

I will try with you. We can do it together. And if I panic – am putting on my Prada. What say you?!

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

xo Ann

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PS: We will be transitioning over to http://www.annmcdonald.net in the next few weeks for our blog & doing some super fun things with media. Stay tuned. We are really excited, completely over booked but looking forward to walking daily along side in this messy thing called life in our new format. Will let you know when it is up & ready.

Have a great day. Never perfect, just is. xoxo

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

Monday Matters: Perfectionism is the Death of a Great Room

Monday Matters: Perfectionism is the Death of a Great Room

I believe:

Yup. There, I said it. I believe it will all my heart. Doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with it, but it’s true.

I think it’s particularly troublesome in the aesthetic industries

We all look for it

To it

But the truth is, we can never achieve it. Ever.

How does it manifest for you?

Is it in your personal life but not professional?

Maybe it’s only in your professional life but NOT your personal life

Let me know!

I can’t be the only one šŸ™‚

Tomorrow, we tackle a few things that can help. At least they have helped me. Help me.

Monday matters & so do you.

Are you in? Can we beat this thing together?

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

xo Ann

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PS: Tweet it, pin it, share it…print it! You are worth so much more than getting stuck in a perfectionist mind set!!

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

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

Monday Matters: Well, My Week is Wacky, How About Yours?!

Monday Matters: Well, My Week is Wacky, How About Yours?!

Am traveling this week

Packing (ok, I really do like to pack), unpacking & off to learn & work

NYC – CT – Old Friends, New Friends, Clients & Coaches

Very fun

Problem is I never finished cleaning up yesterday!

Nope

The lure of a late lunch with friends got me

šŸ™‚

What about you?

How is your Monday shaping up?

Did you finish?

Some of the super fun things happening this week include Kips Bay in NYC with Kathryn Ireland’s Fabric Line

This video is from 2011

Be sure to check it out – always a favorite. The video below is from 2012.

If you are in town or close by I hope you get a chance to visit. As a young designer working in NYC years ago, Kips Bay was my Everest. I went with bated breath & tried to carefully step into the path of the greats.

I love seeing the work designers do in NYC. It’s a small town at heart & I love it.

Monday Matters & so do you!

“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