Monday Matters: A Week of Small Decorating Business Steps

Monday Matters: A Week of Small Decorating Steps!

It’s Monday! Time to refocus & re-PACK!

Am off, again…this time to meet and work on our new website.

This time, it’s the East Coast!

It will be all focus, so for this week’s blog posts am sharing NUGGETS from our Decorate Like A Pro System

TODAY? One of the sections in our Free Webinar deals with those emotional decorating decisions we make…

Think of this as a thought for the day…

 “Emotionally charged Decorating Decisions lead to Emotionally Charged Spaces

We don’t want those….we want spaces that can HOLD our emotions & keep us safe”

I love this image. The truth is we have emotions & they come out when we are trying to make a space a home…the trick is to figure out how to best use them to our advantage! We tackle this HEAD on in the Webinar!! xo

If you have not signed up yet, make sure to do so! Click the link on the right.

Remember, Monday Matters & so do YOU!

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: Nuggets of Blessing From the Design Bloggers Conference

Tuesday Tidbit: Nugget of Blessing From The Design Bloggers Conference

You never know where nuggets will come from in life. Sometimes they are easy to spot, sometimes they are like fabulous truffles & we need just the right hog to find them…but when they do, it’s extravagant blessing at it’s best :)!

My Tuesday Tidbit (blessing) takeaway today is this…

You really DO belong where you ARE right now

One of our bespoke custom  lined antique fragment was made to be "in the moment" for a dear client

One of our bespoke custom lined antique fragment pillows…it was made in an excellent manner to be an extravagant blessing. I believe the same is true for you – you were made in an excellent manner to be an  extravagant blessing.

Doesn’t mean you have to STAY there…but where you are is just right, for today

Whatever house, space or place you inhabit today is the right place to start the rest of your life

By dwelling HERE, we are in the moment. We show up with our whole self.

It’s actually THAT which makes us authentic.

Are you authentic today?

Are your surroundings – your spaces & places authentically you today?

Blessings. Even when we think we can’t find them easily there are others close by who see & smell them out for us & steward them into beauty.

I love this! Such a fun metaphor for all our lives. We wade in the everyday & curate the exquisite in each other. It is why I love all things about design. The process is as beautiful as the outcome.

May your Tuesday be a day of blessing

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Design Bloggers Conference!

Monday Matters: Design Bloggers Conference!

It’s Monday Morning – thank God for a Starbucks in the Hotel

We are safely ensconsed at The Hilton Universal City, Los Angeles – a stones throw from where my LA office was for two years, so am happy in context. Southern California clients are so fun! A fabulous treat.

For the next few days I will be attached to my computer learning from some  old friends & new mentors. I am always grateful for what I call business fellowship ;)…a wonderful group of like minded people who challenge me to be more than I am…breaking my preconceptions, challenging my comfort…


My deepest hope is that this time will produce lasting fruit, the kind that brings blessing to you & yours & our fabulous team at Couture Chateau & soon to be official Ann McDonald, Inc.

growth quote

Life is full of risk…here’s to stepping out…what will YOU step out on? If I can do this, you can! Here’s to the journey togehter in this thing called life…

And yes, the pink luggage made it ;). It just happens to match my scarf today!


So, yes, a bit of whimsy. A girl has got to have her pink!

What does your week look like?

A bit of work?…what are you working on…the house..yourself…all those Monday questions…it’s a fresh start for the week…

Is there a bit of risk you are taking this week? What is it that might challenge you? Are you willing to try?

 And I HOPE there is a bit of whimsy!! What is your proverbial ‘pink luggage’ this Monday morning?

Monday Matters & so do YOU!

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

xo Ann

Sunday Stewardship: Time Alone To Think…

Sunday Stewardship: Time Alone To Think…

Today I am taking the time alone to think and refresh

I am disconnecting for the day & making the drive, instead of the flight, to Los Angeles

I love to drive

It’s my recharge time

A bunch of my friends are asking why wouldn’t you just hop on the flight from Oakland?

For some reason, this week, I just want to drive

Maybe it’s the flu wearing off finally…

Maybe it’s that I just can’t handle one more airport

Maybe I do know the airline schedule from Oakland to Burbank better than some of the pilots, but I just can’t today…

So I leave my trusted Suburban in the driveway, confiscate my son’s Jeep, put on Sirius to an Inspirational Music Station & drive….

Visions of code & autoresponders fading in the distance for at least 6 hours…

What is feeding your soul today?

I love this quote. As we work and roll out these Systems & Products, the CORE MISSION in my heart & soul is to EQUIP YOU to design your life and home intentionally so you can be a blessing to those around you & live the LIFE YOUR heart & soul is telling you to live…

Did you take time to unplug?

I hope so. If not, do it now. You are SO worth it.

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

xo Ann

Saturday Stuff: Do You Struggle With Packing? I Have A System For That!

Saturday Stuff: Do You Struggle With Packing? I Have A System For That!

And no….it doesn’t take all the joy out! Or the fun! Or the color out!

It actually ADDS to the joy, color & fun!

I am getting ready to head to LA for a few days for the Design Bloggers Conference & am dealing with last minute packing

I actually love to pack

Don’t gag…but I actually love to coordinate my wardrobe with my suitcases & handbags for a specific trip. It brings a complete look to the travel experience. I learned this from an early age…my first travel bag was blue floral & of course all of my clothing & accessories coordinated for my overnight stay…including my pajamas!

Always comes back to the same system I use in my Design Business:

Envelope – Edit – Implement

The process I teach in Lifestyle Design & Decorating is the same I use for packing. It makes it EASY to get a handle on things & complete the task so you can get on with the fun of living!!

My closest friend HATES packing. In fact, this person will often have me pack for them! It  literally paralyzes them….

What about you?

Do you struggle?

Let me know!

Maybe I can share this system as well! My friend laughs when I bring out the checklist, but the truth? I am still packing for them…so something must be working!

Saturday Stuff. It’s what life is made of.

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

xo Ann

Thursday Spotlight: Designing A Custom Life That Works For Us

 Thursday Spotlight: Designing A Custom Life That Works For Us 

I have always had a passion for creating custom spaces + places that move people forward in their journey

It’s this weird thing when you “see” someone and immediately think…

“They need a Blue Bedroom”

A Blue Room from House Beautiful, September 2012, Ashley Whittaker

“They need a private library space”

I love this Library. Some people are fed by the private, some are fed by the public…finding out who we are so we can live as we should is a life long process…but we have to start somewhere…this photo is from a home in Charleston. Image Linked.

“An open concept kitchen isn’t really where they need to start…they should start by getting their formal entertaining spaces done…”

“I know they want a new kitchen, but they need to get their private spaces in order first”

I guess in the end, it’s why I do what I do

Why I am so passionate about this whole thing

When we make our Custom Pillows, we take care to address every detail. Just like you, every detail counts.

When we make our Custom Pillows, we take care to address every detail. Just like you, every detail counts. This Couture Chateau Custom is made from Antique Textiles, Interlined, Lined, Has Custom Down Fill, Covered Button Closure…and more…

Truth is we all need something slightly different in our designed spaces + custom lives

And that’s Beautiful

It’s a beautiful place to really see someone and help them create a space that makes them come alive

But lots of things can get in the way

Have you ever felt like something was holding you back from really getting the LIFE you were living in right?

Money?  Tradition?

Time?  Fear?

Effort?  Access?

All of those things CAN matter, but they aren’t really barriers in the end

Not if you are really conscious of living YOUR life

Truth is, I think the thing that keeps us from living in our Custom Lives

is the hard work of unapologetic self honesty

Self Honesty

We really have to know WHO we are and WHAT we are about in order to create an intentional life

Yes, a process to be sure

But the process has to start somewhere

Of COURSE it changes over time….

One of my favorite books…It’s not easy being a bunny…or a bear or a pig or a skunk…the point is we all have custom ways of living!


It’s that moment when you go to the doctor & step on the scale



It’s that moment when your spouse or best friend looks at you and sees something in you that you’ve been trying to hide

maybe a hurt, maybe a fear

but they SEE

and we are vulnerable


What if I am rejected if I am self honest in my living?

Such a marvelous tale…resonates with all.

What if?

What if I design my life as I think my soul is telling me and someone goes “ewwww”?

What if?

What if I choose the red sofa I really love – I mean absolutely love – and someone says “gag”?

What if?

What if I put up that inexpensive wall paper that I think in my heart is really cool – but it doesn’t have a label and my neighbor who has “great taste” comes over and says “icck”

What if?

You are still YOU

And YOU have something intrinsically beautiful + unique to bring to this thing called life

And that neighbor, friend…person…isn’t called to live YOUR life! YOU are

So forget that thing that holds you back

If you don’t bring YOU, remember, someone somewhere is missing something…

And so as 2013 unfolds for each of us – take a minute or several and really ponder IF there is anything holding you back from really living. Maybe nothing, maybe you are LIVING. Sweet. THAT warms my soul.

Let’s make 2013 a year we REALLY live as our custom selves

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

xo Ann