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

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

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

Arggghhhhhh

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

Thursday Spotlight: What’s A Girl to do When Tech Fails? (Could It Be My Skill Set….naw….)

Thursday Spotlight: What’s a Girl To Do When Tech Fails?

Could it really be my skill set?!

Ummmm, yes Ann

Do you ever have those tech days?

You know, the ones that seem to go along fine and then *bam*

When you need it most, somehow your language setting goes from English to…Chinese? And you don’t speak or read Chinese?!

Then, in a moment of brillance you decide to “de bug” yourself, because after all, it is *so easy*

Ha! Say the computer gods……

Is it ok to call in a prayer team for tech issues?!

How about you?

Do you ever suffer from these things?

As a general rule, I embrace tech, even if it is on my Asus Gaming Computer which holds CAD like a baby

But today, after my day of conferencing when I needed the portable (albeit old) mac to work for me and my team, it didn’t

My skill set is not the greatest on the mac, I confess

But still – how in the name of the good and loving God did I change the language on Firefox?!

Oy.

Spotlight: Sometimes it shines on our weakness!

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

xo Ann

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ps: some great happenings this week in the Decorating World! Be sure to check out Kips Bay if you are in NYC.

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.

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

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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

Friday: Finding That Space That Calms Us

Friday: Finding That Space That Calms Us

Well, it’s official

I had my first yoga class

In the spirit of getting into shape for real this time, I have made a commitment

Still had a glass of wine after, but at least I started

Finding the time was hard enough

Then we had to find the space!

Yes, it was at my home

My inspiration came from yellow flowers in my blue kitchen sink (behind) & red cake plates...it was one of those mornings when the aha moment came!

Yellow flowers in my blue pottery tiled sink

Am completely slammed right now & have a ton of travel lined up, so it was in the evening at the house, or not at all

not quite as bad as this, but we do have kind of a lot going on right now šŸ™‚

It wasn’t that easy to find a spot in the house to do yoga. The pug was happy to join in.

I kind of – well – have decorated most of the spaces!

Custom Paint for a Custom Tree for a Client. It fits who they are TODAY.

Custom Paint

What about you?

Do you have a space that calms you?

A clearing for exercise – not just reading?

What about a home gym.

I may sense a need to create a new room – am truly asking, have you created a space for home workouts?

What does it look like? How big is it?

Does it have a spa like vibe or just a brute workout vibe?

My mind is thinking…..

Friday. Find that space that works for you & embrace it.

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

xo Ann

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…

Ā 

(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

but

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

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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.”ā„¢

xo Ann

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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!