Monday Matters: Another Holiday, More Themed Design Stuff…oy…

Monday Matters: Another Holiday, More Themed Design Stuff…oy

Don’t get me wrong, I love Washington…George that is….

And I am grateful for a day hidden with family & close friends

& yes…a bit of work…

but the THEME thing can wear on me from a design standpoint

I love kitsch – as anyone who has visited our cabin can attest

the “boot room” is literally engulfed in kitsch

I also happen to have a couture design habit & may have reached my limit for this month’s themed design

What about you?

Do any of you decorate for Washington’s B Day?

Do any of you still have Valentine’s Day stuff out or has it switched to St Patrick’s Day?

Or are we already on to Easter & other Judeo-Christian Traditions?


I always make sure we have enough white linen, white canvas, white anything….on hand to slip cover anything & everything the client may want covered. It is just one of those “things” I grew up with. Summer slip covers – a lost tradition that is actually pretty practical from a design & decorating standpoint!

From a business end – it IS Monday Matters after all, we are focused on the Summer Slip Cover Switch Out for long term full service clients…

We often make the switch for clients on everything from main sofas to casual dining chairs. This image from Victoria Peterson’s Blog. Image linked. I just liked the vignette. Casual Nantucket to me…

From a personal business end – I am still stuck on those striped walls for the guest room in the cabin!

Wider stripes from Tobi Fairley!

Monday Matters

Too much on the brain šŸ™‚

Time for a Washington B Day Cupcake!!

Maybe I will get some striped wall inspiration from a themed cupcake…humm…

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Getting Through The Week With Patience Not Panic

Monday Matters: Getting Through The Week With Patience Not Panic

Designing a space or Decorating a room requires Patience

I like this image. Great Design requires patience as well.

So does getting through a busy week of work

I have these column fragments clustered together in the living room. At different times of the year they serve as candle holders, book ends, stocking hangers or tray holders on a buffet table! Talk about custom life...;)

These columns remind me daily of how patience pays off. Gorgeous Patina comes from years of use…

Sometimes we get so excited about a new project

or product

that we rush

or skip entirely required steps

not building a solid foundation

You know the analogy – building your house on the sand instead of the rock…

Building on a rock means so much more than this…it means we do the work we need to do even when we don’t want to do it. I have the privilege of reading The Four Hour Work Week right now. There are delightful nuggets in the book to be sure, HOWEVER, real life is more than just being “happy”. There is beauty that comes from walking through the process & being edified

As we look at the week ahead, what do YOU need to patiently address?

In your Home? In your Work? With your Family?

Will you panic?

This makes me laugh out loud! My nature? This. Why do you think I reset each week on Monday & insist that the entire Studio does with me? Because my nature must be molded into something far more productive & beautiful

Or calmly address the situation

Two proverbs I keep close at hand: “Calmness can lay great errors to rest” and “Do not leave your post in times of trouble”

An example from our Studio

We have been cleaning & organizing, reducing & reusing

Now? Monday Morning a pile of papers that MUST be shredded awaits

I could panic

The piles are huge

There is DESIGN WORK do be done besides shredding

I LOVE Design Work. Designing Lives, Houses, Product….all of it…but I am made better by deadlines, borders, parameters…they hone my skills & bring me back into the practical application of daily living. I am blessed by them. It is why I embrace the pain of this so called drudge work.

Or I could patiently set out the three shredders, make that great coffee, put on some music & hand everyone in the office a stack of stuff to get through

Is it glamourous?


Is it necessary?


So some of Luxury Design Work = drudge


What do I do to lift myself & those around me while we tackle this task?

Am GRATEFUL we have the Clients to generate things to shred

I am grateful.

Am GRATEFUL we have the Work that generates things to shred

Gratitude can be learned. Just like anything. Trust me. If I can learn to keep a tidy desk….ANYTHING can be learned ;)!!

What is your Monday Matters?

What is your drudge for the week?

Can you lift it out of the ordinary?

How so?

With an attitude of gratitude? A dash of music? Some great fresh coffee?

Sometimes life isn’t all that glamorous, but it still DESERVES to be lived


Life should be lived well

I like this. I had to learn this. My nature is to be invisible so I don’t do, ask or move forward. I used to think that was the right way to be. To essentially disappear….so as not to bother anyone with me…. I now know you can DO with KINDNESS, ASK with GRACIOUSNESS & MOVE FORWARD with JOY. Is this something anyone else has to learn? It is daily for me. It is one of the reasons I write the blog…….hopefully a kind, gracious & joyful blog…

So we are off to do the things we SHOULD because it’s the right thing to do

Louboutins? What do those shoes have to do with Monday Matters?!

Hello Monday cheerfulness!

Great for shredding. I mean, a girl can sit down & shred in style, can’t she?!

Monday Matters & so do YOU!

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: Happy New Year, Let’s Make It A Year We REALLY Live.

Tuesday Tidbit: Happy New Year, Let’s Make It A Year We REALLY Live.

Hopefully today is a day of Rest + Reflection

Goals + Perspective

Hopes + Dreams

At Couture Chateau, you know our Mantra:

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

I believe that with all my heart

From my heart to yours

I believe that with all my soul

I believe with all my soul that you are made for amazing things. That your custom life matters.

If no one else shares with you how VALUABLE you are – as you – let me say it now

YOU are valuable


I KNOW you were made intentionally & for something special

Our Couture Chats don't usually involve wine, but they could!

This photo taken in my Family Room. The wine from the Benziger Family…..

My HOPE for 2013:

1) May it be a year we REALLY live

This photo is with a group of fantastic women. Risks in life...they are most definitely WORTH it!

This photo is with a group of fantastic women. Risks in life…they are most definitely WORTH it! Can you find me in the back row? I’m to the left of the Exit Sign…

2) May it be a year we really DWELL

A Vignette from my Living Room...with food on recycled Christmas Cards as plates.....

A Vignette from my Living Room…yes, those are up cycled Christmas Cards with fabulous Hors d’oeuvres from Dianna Condon…the point is, we must drink the Champagne while we can, enjoy the tastes while we can…DWELL where we are while we can & BE a blessing to those around us…

3) May it be a year we LIVE with Passion + Intent

Custom Pillows: Lined and often Interlined with our Couture Chateau Fabric!

I am passionate that our Homes shape us. We must first live in SAFETY, then ORDER…and finally BEAUTY. At any point in our lives we may have to deal with one or more of those three….some of the hardest work we do as Designers of Custom Lives is to create spaces that are SAFE emotionally and ORDERED for the Custom Lives being lived by our precious clients. The Beauty most ofen comes from those LIVING in the homes. It is merely reflected in the things we design + place….

4) May We find that thing we were made to be or do….and BE it – DO it

5) May our kindness & graciousness increase


7) May we together Move FORWARD, not back

We look forward to a year of BLESSINGS & ABUNDANCE even in the face of all that has passed before and is still to come

Happy New Year, 2013

With Love + Gratitude,

Ann McDonald

I will be with these amazing women next week - but as we get updates will share on our Facebook page! xo Ann McDonald

A picture taken after a long day of Project Photography & Work (thank you Peter!)….it’s who I really am…just like you. xo & Happy New Year!!