Friday Wrap Up: Life Lessons At Design Camp

Friday Wrap Up: Life Lessons At Design Camp

This week, just like last, was/is filled with travel

I had the honor of visiting Tobi Fairley & her esteemed Team in Little Rock, Arkansas for a fabulous few days of what is lovingly referred to as Camp

I like grown up camp. We stay in nice hotels instead of tents, have nice wine instead of cold hot chocolate and we can camp in heels!

My kind of camp. Yup.

The Capital Hotel in Little Rock. One of my all time favorites! We shot some videos here so be on the look out for those over the next few weeks...

The Capital Hotel in Little Rock. One of my all time favorites! I shot some videos here so be on the look out for those over the next few weeks…

Besides which, I get to see my peeps.

Want to make sure and share a few quick aha moments with you today. I will do a longer write up next week while High Point Market is in full swing, but want to make sure I share some of those things that really spoke to me:

1) Don’t take career advice from people in the stands

Do I know this? yes. Do I always follow this? no. I sometimes let those people shouting in the stands & not achieving who say they are “only giving me helpful advice” hurt me. Do any of you ever let that stuff in? Then let’s do this together!! No more of that :)!

2) Go after what you want if it’s true to who you are

Yes, I preach this constantly. It is nice to know others feel the same way. I believe this so very much. For those of you who have listened to the free webinar beta test we have out (click here to listen, we NEVER spam emails) you KNOW that about me, but I must say it is really encouraging to hear someone else say it.

3) Persist. And then persist some more. And then?…..persist…some….more…!

Great achievement takes time. I know that. But hearing it helps. Sometimes I feel as if I was more successful at 29 than I am now, and in some metrics that may be the case (ahhh youth) HOWEVER, it’s the total life envelope we are after. Whether we are designing our own homes as our own decorator or designer, working with clients, are artists…whatever our calling it’s a life thing, not a one time thing. I like being reminded of that. I think it’s hopeful.

Off to catch a plane before the dawn today – let me know if any of these reasonate with you!

The speakers were genuine, accessible and in this inimate small group setting, I was astounded at the access. With as many years under my belt & as many things as I have seen…this was graciousness at its best. It was simply a one time type event. Thank you Tobi and her Team (Brooke, Ashley) for bringing the A Game.

All that said? I am ready for home. Time for some capuccino from Berkeley, California & a little SF Fog before heading out again….

Friday Wrap Up: I’m ready for the weekend, how about you?!

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

xo Ann


PS: Do make sure and sign up for our Beta Test Webinar. The reviews have been fantastic. From “WOW!!!!!” to “changed my life” to “it felt fundamentally honest, open and real”…you are simply too valuable to not at least listen. This is the culmination of teaching I have done for over a decade. Even if you are not a decorator, designer…this can be a blessing to you. There is no pressure – we are in beta test. Just take some time & be fed. I know you “feed” those around you…this? is just for YOU!

Tuesday Tidbit: What I Am Loving Now In Spring Cleaning!

Tuesday Tidbit: What I Am Loving Now In Spring Cleaning!

In the morning, everything…

Along about 11 am ABSOLUTELY nothing!!


Just being honest!

I am fine at doing the regular clean outs – the stuff you can see…it’s part of my job & I love it


This cleaning out my files? HARD for me.

I am that (confession) person who stores EVERYTHING on my desktop



It’s like a wildly out of control pinterest board…and I wonder…WHY can’t I find the files?!

Since we have streamlined & everyone is now offsite or remote, I no longer have the accountability of someone walking into the Studio & looking over my shoulder & seeing the “Desktop” aka my personal pinterest board!

When we started recording the Webinars, I realized something had to change…so I casually dropped everything into a folder called “Hide My Desktop Crap”

Not so pretty…even with a hot pink background & a pug picture overlay…

Yes = true Luxury Design, right?


Now I have spent too many hours untangling this mess & I have MUCH compassion for those real life messes that creep up on us.

Compassion = it’s an amazingly powerful thing. We ALL need it.

Do you struggle with keeping any area clean?

Is there any area that is your hidden confession or pile of “they won’t see that”?

A closet where old chargers go?

A drawer full of things you will go through “next week”?

I know we shouldn’t do these things

I KNOW how powerful it is to be clean through and through

It really is

But sometimes it gets out of control

Real life living. I want my Louboutins to be shiny & perfect, my car shined within an inch of its life…& my outfit perfectly pressed

YES, I have shoe addiction….:)

& then you get a peek at my desktop.


Time to file, edit & DELETE!!

Tuesday Tidbit.

What’s yours?!

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

xo Ann


PS: Practice compassion! Start with yourself….it’s hard. We overcoming perfectionists struggle daily with this. I just finished a GREAT book by Brene Brown entitled “Daring Greatly”. I downloaded it to my Kindle & read it in one sitting. Blessed through & through.

PPS: If you want to stop for an hour & just be filled, check out the Webinar we finally put out there. The link is here. FEARLESS. It’s our word for 2013. If you’ve already signed up your email you will not be double “listed” you are just taken straight to the Webinar! My heart is that it would bless you so you can pay it forward. Remember, it’s really not about “the couch”…xoxo

Tuesday Tidbit: Never Decorate When You Are…..

Tuesday Tidbit: Never Decorate When You Are…..




Super Happy???

Humm….did I just say that? Super Happy???

Let me just throw this out there:

Has there ever been a time when you were super excited and you bought something that didn’t look so great two weeks later?

I call those Vacation Clothes Moments “VCM’s”

You know…when you are in Nantucket and buy the cutest pants, not the reds which are appropriate anywhere imo 🙂 but the ones you can ONLY wear in Nantucket during a few months. They usually involve maps & whales…


When you are in Mustique and the white linen something calls you……and then you realize that $$$$ for a simple something that you can only wear in Mustique…..might not have been the best idea

Sometimes we do the same thing when it comes to our homes

Now, this might be fantastic as an art installation, but no amount of champagne & caviar should convince you that you need this in your main living area.

ESPECIALLY when it comes to our homes

We get super excited & are SO SURE that the “Insert Any Item Here” will look perfect on our entry hall table. Besides, at $$$$$$ it’s “such a deal” ;)!

Tuesday Tidbit: Do you have any “Don’t ever decorate when you are ———?” stories to share?

Can you laugh about them now?

I would so love to hear!!

I can not be the only one….

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

xo Ann


PS: Make sure and sign up for our Beta Test Website! We have an awesome group & YOU need to be a part of it!! Don’t worry, I think we’ve sent out 4 emails over the past months while in test format. Link HERE.

Monday Matters: Design Your Home, Design Your Life. I Believe You Can!

Monday Matters: Design Your Home, Design Your Life. I Believe You Can!

Am just off three weeks of intensive training, from Mastermind Calls, Design Bloggers Conference & then time in NY and CT with my Business Consultant going over in minute detail what I need to focus on to achieve my goals: Equipping YOU & remaining viable as a business so I have the opportunity to do that in an era of financial uncertainty.

I literally spent all day yesterday, Sunday, quiet & almost shell shocked. Funny how we forget how taxing that stuff is! GREAT but taxing!

Can anyone say sweats & slippers? Got my church on via the internet & even took a nap!  What have I learned these past three weeks?

My mission & goal is still the same it’s always been – can’t kill it or root it out of me:

I desire deeply to EQUIP YOU to design your home & life so you can get on with the business of living YOUR call!

From the Free: Blog, Webinars, FB & Social Media

I love this image. It helps ME keep track of what everything is and why we work hard to engage!!

To the Mid Priced: Information Products, Teaching Systems, Coaching

One of the first workshops I ever did was called "HELP! I'm a Home Goods Addict". It was seriously fun & funny.

One of the first workshops I ever did was called “HELP! I’m a Home Goods Addict”. It was seriously fun & funny.

To the Expensive: Mastermind & Full Service Interior Bespoke Design

Detail of Chair. Our amazing restorer applied five coats of lacquer to a fabulous vintage chair and had new cane put on so the finish would absorb properly.

Detail of Chair. Our amazing restorer applied five coats of lacquer to a fabulous vintage chair and had new cane put on so the finish would absorb properly. Our use of this menswear fabric made the new & trend section that year!

It all comes back to equipping you. You the Designer, You the Decorator, You the DIY or You the PERSON! It matters not who, what, where you are. If you are HERE, I want it to be a blessing.

I think I feel so strongly about this because I know how hard it is when there is no one to equip you. I have been there. It’s lonely & hard. We need each other. We are made stronger together. We share burdens, victories, struggles & strength.

What is YOUR Monday Matters? What have you been focused on? What do you want to learn? Have you ever thought of building a business from your desk at home to change the world? Let me know!! Maybe I can help!!

Stay tuned for some fun stuff.

For now, may this get you thinking. I’ll call it “Today’s Equipping” & I have it written on my Back Hall Blackboard in BIG LETTERS: “Fail Harder”.

Monday Matters & So Do YOU!

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

xo Ann


PS: If you haven’t signed up yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Here is the link to our BETA TEST for Decorate Like A Pro System. Even if you NEVER want to Decorate for Clients, yourself or others, THIS has nuggets for everyday living. Don’t miss out because you are afraid. Life is short. We only get one go around.

Don't forget to put your email in to receive updates! Visit link HERE!

Don’t forget to put your email in to receive updates! Visit link HERE!

PPS: If you like what we are doing here, share it with a friend! We are still pretty hidden except to a select group & want to make sure our message gets out to the world. We need you to do that!

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 :).