Saturday Stuff: On The Home Front, Daily Messes = Designed Daily!

Saturday Stuff: On The Home Front, Daily Messes = Designed Daily!

Back at home after a long week of travel & lots of time in Dallas Fort Worth airport on delays

Grateful for the dishes in the sink, the cleats in the hall & a messy teen’s bedroom

image linked

May your Saturday be filled with the stuff of life. Always in process, never perfect.

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: Taking Time to Tinker With Design to Get It Just Right

Tuesday Tidbit: Taking Time to Tinker With Design to Get It Just Right!

It’s always interesting when design doesn’t just “come to you”

I absolutely love this! Decorating & Design is fun…it’s also a bit of work 😉

As a Designer by trade, we sometimes think it should just happen…without work or effort

There are times when we just walk into a space and “see it”

Yes, that’s the mania part

Then there are spaces & places that trick us

I mean really Esher! Image linked. Sometimes this is how a design job starts!

They toy with our heads, they mess with our 3-d modeling

We really have to pour heart & head into it

Do you ever struggle with that?

When you are planning a room at your home or designing one for another?

Is there ever that moment when you think “I’ve got nothing”

Time for a walk

Time for a head clear…a run, anything

I have found that if I try to jam in a bunch of design inspiration in, all I get is

1) over loaded

2) over stuck

But a clear head, some fresh air & time away from the Designing World always does a brain good.

What do you get stuck on?

Do you feel like this is the start or the end?!

Is there a space that you just can’t seem to finish?

Is there a room you’ve just given up on?

Let me know!

Yes, even Designer’s have them…

Tuesday Tidbit: What’s yours?

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

xo Ann


PS: We are Tobi Fairley’s this week in Little Rock, Arkansas. Enjoying her Get Published Camp with some good friends. We will keep you posted. So fun!

Thursday Spotlight: Shine It On Your Decorating Successes

Thursday Spotlight: Shine It On Your Decorating Successes

Hard to do, right?

We are always second guessing, always wondering what if…

Here’s my challenge to you today

Give yourself a Decorating Diamond Award

Is there some space that you absolutely love?

A corner you created just for yourself or a loved one?

What is that space, perfect or not, that speaks to you?

As I was/am working on this Webinar Recording…it really struck home how often we judge, second guess & hem & haw at our potential pitfalls

So the spotlight today is about saying something nice to yourself!

Me? Tough one!

I’ll lead the way. This is not easy for me.

My Decorating Diamond today goes to the corner I created in the back of our Lake Tahoe Cabin living room. We jokingly call it The Library.

It is no Library. But I love it still.

Two comfy chairs, one comfy ottoman. No fancy designer fabrics. No fancy designer labels.

Plywood walls with an aged green wash stain.

Low brass lights. Aged. Some fabulous bookends. A few fabulous books.

A gift from some very special friends, I have two of these guarding my books on a shelf made from a recycled plank we found. Very safe. Very low key. Very wonderful. Linked to Levenger.

A Navajo Rug traded for by my Paternal Grandfather.

This is not ours, but the one I have hanging is similar. Circa 1915. Not hugely valuable from a dollar standpoint, but is a blessing to me personally.

I love it. It’s safe. I write there, design there, nap there.

Diamond Award.

Now, you?

The spotlight is on! Do share!

There must be some corner. Somewhere…

Thursday Spotlight. You are better at Decorating & Design than your head & heart give you credit for. I know it!

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

xo Ann


PS: I just finished a fabulous book by Dr. Valerie Young called “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women”. It is a remarkable book dealing with The Impostor Syndrome. A must read for anyone. I had the honor of spending a few days at a conference with Valerie. She is humble, gracious & oh so wise.

Dr. Valerie Young

Saturday Stuff: Springtime At Your Home

Saturday Stuff: Springtime At Your Home

I hope yesterday, Good Friday, was a blessed day for you + yours

May this be a blessing to you. May it cover you as we head into the Spring.

I hope the rest of this weekend is a time of celebration for you + yours

If this is a time of struggle for you, may you know comfort + care from my heart to yours


If this is a time of joy for you, lets dance together

Happy Easter + Passover Week

Blessings + Protection

What is your Spring time hope for your home space?

What are you thinking about as the weather (hopefully) near you starts to lighten?

Are you pulling out some slipcovers?

Freshening up some flower beds?

Gorgeous. Image Linked.

Pondering a new side table or chair?

Do tell!

We’d like to share in the celebration of Springtime at Home!!

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

xo Ann


PS: Pay it Forward. That’s my motto for this upcoming April! If you have one, do share!! 

Thursday Style Points: Beta Testing Decorate Like A Pro System To Achieve Excellence

Thursday Style Points: Beta Testing Decorate Like A Pro System To Achieve Excellence

On the heels of the Design Bloggers Conference I can tell you there is nothing like a group of Luxury Interior Designer Friends to hold you accountable!!

There is nothing like a good solid kick with a Prada heel to keep you sharp ;)!


The kick is always preceded & followed by some soft words of GENUINE encouragement. We know we are made better because of each other. Her strength is mine and mine is hers.

We are beta testing even our Free Webinar with a group of women who hold me to the highest standards in both Luxury Design AND Business Ethics. They are an amazing group & tomorrow they will beta test so YOU get REAL VALUE even in this Free 1 hour Webinar & Free 1 hour Q & A

Decorate Like A Pro Package Image

I PROMISE we will have a live Video link soon. For now, if you want to get your email added go here:  This is a BETA TEST SITE so you will be in on the ground floor. Seriously! Only my Mastermind Group has had access to this so far!!! The next live Webinar will not be for two weeks, but if the last test was any radar, the spots will fill quickly. As in really quickly.

Do you have anything you need to “beta test” before it goes out to the world?

Who holds you accountable in your home? In your decorating? In your design? In your life?

Do they hold you to the highest standard with love so you can achieve excellence?

My mother repeated a saying that she wrote down before she died a decade ago…I have it framed:

“Sandwich any constructive criticism with two THICK slices of praise”

she followed it up with “praise to achieve greater heights”

I look forward to the constructive criticism of women I RESPECT with all my heart and look forward to making this excellent for YOU.

Thursday Spotlight: My Accountability Team

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

xo Ann


I am running on travel fumes & want to check in so you know we are jammin’ behind the scenes.

If you know of a fabulous Social Media Intern who wants a job, I am all ears! Just message me at Really not kidding. We have gone entirely remote with our work force so time zone is not necessarily an issue & this is one area we are now light in

Send cover note & resume link. It’s a great opportunity as we are rolling out some big stuff in 2013 & 2014 :).

Sunday Stewardship: Rest, Recuperate & Redecorate :)

Sunday Stewardship: Rest, Recuperate & Redecorate

There is nothing like a nasty case of the flu to force REST

I/We are still down for the count, popping up every so often when our meds kick in!

I must say, the best meds are the home made Hot Toddy’s…image linked. Thank you to Franki for suggesting some brandy! It has most definitely helped! Image linked to ehow’s…”How to cure a cold with Brandy”!

My Doctor assures me I will have a voice again, though my children are loving the silence 🙂

My Webinar recording…not so much loving the silence……..

Hard to talk with no voice….my teenage son has volunteered to “use” the gaming headset we bought to record our webinars but I have hidden it in my office! I don’t want more of my business supplies to end up in the vortex of “play room hell”!

As far as RECUPERATE goes, the best part is what I call visual feasting

Have you SEEN this month’s House Beautiful?

I have been LOVING reading every part of this month’s issue!! The features, articles….all of it…speaking to me right now…image linked

OMG, delight to the heart & eyes

And the REDECORATE part?

Well…nothing like spending a week in bed to make you want to redecorate your room, is there….!….

How fun would this be? Image linked.

Honey, what do you think of green? It’s the color of the year you know….

Image linked.

This would never work in my house, but I do LOVE the sleek style. Maybe if I ever have a desert home….

Sunday Stewardship. I like the redecorate part the best.

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: Living Who You Are, Where You Are, Why You Are & Choosing The Right Sofa To Match

Wednesday Style Points: Living WHO You Are, WHERE You Are, WHY You Are & Choosing The Right Sofa To Match 😉

I loved the sofa that “Fraiser Crane” had in his home…it was his character to a t.

As we trek through this week of Mastermind, peeks & valleys combined, I am reminded of this core truth about why I Decorate & Design:

I Design & Decorate to equip my clients to live

1) WHO they really are

2) WHERE they really are

3) WHY they really are

Because in the marrow in my bones I believe they bring something unique to this world that must be free to thrive. By creating a Custom Space that is Safe + Ordered + Beautiful just for them, they can do just that. Thrive. Bless. LIVE.

And Martin’s chair…not exactly Coco Chanel, but worked for who he was, where he was & why he was….would I work to find an alternative? of course, but even Frasier in the end knew this was the right piece at the right time for the right person……discovery….a life long process of choices….in 7 years we can find a new one ;)…

So can you

It is so critical to understand that you exist for good things

That HOW you live can either enhance those good things or destroy those good things

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

Do you see one of my kitchen sinks in the background? It’s unusual & it speaks to who I am, where I am & why I am. We must be willing to risk in order to thrive. What is a risk you know you need to take? Is it a good risk? Will it bless you and those around you?

You have permission to embrace who you really are today so that you can be who you really want to be tomorrow….and leave all the encumbrances behind…

It’s the WAY we get at who you are, where you are, why you are that is Style Point fun…those 20+ years in the trenches of design that give me insight into how we get to a place to make that clear so we can choose the sofa…

It shouldn’t be misery to find out

It should be a safe process of discovery, with action along the way…move forward so you can get on with the living…

So you can get your style points ON!

What is it today that you wish you could just “be”

What gift or talent do you have today that you need to embrace so it isn’t lost or wasted?

So in 5 or 10 or 20 years you DON’T say “what if I had”, because you didn’t……

What choice would you make in your home + life if you had no fear?

How would that help you to live?

Image linked

Have you ever tried to thrive from a place that “wasn’t you”?

Have you ever felt that “aha moment” in a space that said “I’m HOME” to you?

My kitchen sink...

One of my other kitchen sinks…I always have that sigh of “I’m Home” when here…it fits me, who I am TODAY

Style points. Embrace them. They are yours alone.

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

xo Ann


Don’t forget to email me & let me know you are FEARLESS enough to participate in our test Webinar at the end of February. This will be our first roll out of our “Design Systems Simplified” Business & the end product will sell for well into the thousands of dollars. These are systems we use with Full Service Clients with great success. Limited number of spots available. This first Module will be on How To Custom Decorate With Retail Product And Make It Look Like The Pro’s. Our other test modules will include “How To Re-Decorate & Not Get Divorced” & “How To Decorate A Home Managed By A Family Trust & Used By Several Generations”….there WILL be modifications to the titles, but these are just some of the fun things we are rolling out the next few months. Email me now. The space may be gone if you don’t. I want you there if YOU want to be there! xo

Sunday Stewardship: Wrap Up Our Mini Version “The Beautiful Issue”

Sunday Stewardship: Wrap Up On Our Mini Version “The Beautiful Issue”

When a project is over and it’s time for us to leave, my deepest desire is for Clients to live more beautifully than the cameras record

It’s a funny thing to create a decorated space

We find a place for everything, set it just so…the stylists are brought in for the camera, the flowers are fresh the photographs are snapped

and then we leave

Does the client sit on the sofa?

Does the teen plop on their new comforter?

Vicuna Wool. Seriously Expensive Fabric…image linked.

Does the red wine & champagne flow?

I hope so

Decorated spaces, in my world, are meant to be lived in

Yesterday, I shared a quote I wrote for someone earlier this year:

“If I decorate or design a beautiful space and the Client is not FREE to enjoy it, it’s like going to the symphony and not being able to HEAR.”

Can you imagine going to the Symphony and saying “Oh, no thank you, it’s too beautiful for me to hear…I will put in my ear plugs and just look…”


The systems we create, the principles we decorate by are designed to make it easier when we leave. I literally designed these systems SO THAT when we leave the client really lives.

Systems & Principles, by nature, are designed to “catch” us when we falter

We build our homes as a place to live our life. I believe you are beautiful and should live that way. It isn’t a perfect process, we get messy, we forget to make the bed…stewardship is a gracious process.

I think it’s why I like designing these systems, because they live practical….they are made for actual people!

They remind me within my own heart to live beautiful

Stewarding “The Beautiful Issue”

It’s this weird place in the process of VALUING yourself enough to take care of your proverbial custom nest, “making your bed” while at the same time not worshiping the “stuff” because it cost so much. It’s letting the teen plop on the comforter when they need to talk and not yelling “noooooo”…..

THAT is the stewardship training that we are after

Decorating for LIVING life. It’s about way more than just making it magazine worthy.

It also circles back to one of my Decorating Principles: A great decorator equips

My job is not to just make it look pretty

My job is to help you live pretty

But in a way that I am “in – and then out” so you CAN




“The Beautiful Issue”

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

xo Ann

Frugal Friday: Number 1 Roadblock to Understanding What A Frugal Decor Really Is

Frugal Friday: Number 1 Roadblock To Understanding What Frugal Decor Really is

You know I love value

You know I love finding a bargain

You KNOW I love beautiful things…yesterday I shared a Couture Gown for heaven’s sake…not exactly Frugal Friday material there…

James Galanos. A legendary Designer. The construction of his clothing was nothing short of incredible. From the outside they looked effortless. From the inside, the quality of stitch, seam, construction…impeccable.


In the genuine pursuit of living an intentional (sometimes literally frugal) decorated life, I want to share the single biggest roadblock I come up against when Clients try to get a handle on spending serious money for things their heart delights in.

From Forbes. One of the most expensive hotel suites. If you had paid to stay here, would you use the space or just look at it & not “muss” anything…

I call it “The Beautiful Issue”

It’s actually part of my Decorating Systems Program…and YES, “The Beautiful Issue” is in fact the title of the module…

What about this hotel room? Another in the “most expensive” column via Forbes…

It goes something like this:

One of the things we come up against is the “Beautiful Issue”

“Oh, that’s a beautiful room…I could never throw a casual party in it”

Ok, you might get a pass from me on this one but only because it’s considered an artifact. It sold for over 4M. Foundational Truth? YOU are still worth more than this could ever be. If it was in  your home I would counsel you to live with it, not worship it. Silk Isfahan Rug. Image linked via Christies.

“Oh, that’s a beautiful room…I could never drink red wine in it”

I was blown away the first time I went to a home and “no red wine” was served because of the decor. I nearly broke out into laughter, until I realized they were serious! Religious reasons? No problem! But “the decor”?! If you can drink red wine in Windsor Castle, you may drink wine in my home…….YOU are worth more than my sofa or flooring material. You just are.

“Oh, that’s a beautiful sofa, I could never take a nap on it”

“Oh, that’s beautiful fabric, I could never let my grandchildren sit on it”

Oh, that’s a beautiful (insert any item here), I could never (insert any item here) on it, in it, around it….

You get the picture

What is my Frugal Friday contribution to “The Beautiful Issue”?


I was trained, much as I suspect many of you were, to LIVE with beautiful things and to use them

It is FRUGAL to use things

It is WASTEFUL to worship things

Big difference

So if there is one take a way for this weekend, it’s this…

Use the beautiful you thought you couldn’t

Use the beautiful you forgot you had (I am guilty of this…)

If you perceive it is too valuable to use, then you have assigned a THING more value than a PERSON, not ok

And this coming from a gal who has fabrics in her arsenal that cost more per yard than her first car…

THIS is designed to make you smile…can you guess what the first car I drove was? A very old hand me down many miles on it Ford Pinto. I would just like to go on record as Thanking the Lord I am still alive ;). If you are too young to know about the Pinto, it was the cosmic joke of the 80’s via the 70’s. And I thought I was the bomb cause I had access to wheels….

I also have fabrics in my arsenal that are $7/yard.

Frugal depends on usage. Real life living. If I am not using the $7/yard fabric, no matter the cost it is still not frugal

What is your Frugal Luxe item you live with and love each day?

Is it a fabulous sherry glass?

A magnificent chair you sit in?

A Royal Crown Derby Place Setting you enjoy daily?

Frugal = Cost/Usage

Cost DIVIDED by usage…therefore, the more expensive the item…you get the picture….

What is that inexpensive thing, your proverbial “$7/Yard Fabric” that goes unused?

Not frugal

You are the most expensive thing in your home (in a good way;). You have the most value. Your beautiful things are there to work for you, not the other way around.

“The Beautiful Issue”

What’s yours?

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

xo Ann


Monday Matters: Thinking, Planning, Learning & Some Fresh Air On This Holiday Monday

Monday Matters: Thinking, Planning, Learning & Some Fresh Air On This Holiday Monday

Getting some much needed catch up work done

Thinking time

Planning time

We know from this month's House Beautiful that Hermes Orange and Tiffany Blue are all the rage, but how do we incorporate that when we can not or choose not to spend $$$$ on Custom Decorating? In this Seminar we FOCUS and EDIT from the get go. We start by establishing a Color Palate for YOU. A Custom Color Palate for a singular space that will be your jumping off point. We "eat the elephant" one bite at a time!!

I need time to sit and plan…

Learning time

I am always reading books about how to improve. I want so much to go back this next week and review my dog eared copy of this book. It’s simply a must read, even if you don’t have your own business.

And some fresh air

As January hit like a freight train around here, I am using the time to get some fresh air & clear my head so we can bring our best for the rest of the year. We are looking at the schedule and wanting so much to make Chats (our 2 hour Verbal Consults) and VIP Days (our 1 Day Package) available to as many as possible….

CC_MoragaPorchDetail2xF (1) (1)

I love doing Chats & VIP Days but we can only do so many a month. I like being hands on and present at these, not handing them off to one of my Assistants. I am clearing some decks so we can do a few more. 🙂

May today be a blessed day for you and yours

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

xo Ann