Sunday Stewardship: “Pick Pieces That Transition Well” our Feature on ivillage

Sunday Stewardship: “Pick Pieces That Transition Well” our Feature on ivillage

Yesterday we shared our Headboard featured on ivillage.

Today in honor of Stewardship, we show a project where EVERY item was purchased with an eye towards other uses

This fun high contrast Dining Area for a 20 Something was designed using our VIP Day Service

This Feature is DIY High Style, Low Cost

For the project below our goal was 3 fold:

1) Fab

2) Practical

3) Less than $3,500 including Design Fee of $1,500

We came in well under budget!

Here’s How:

I chose a three color classic combo that packed punch

Black + White + Turquoise

Here is the post from ivillage:

Pick Pieces that Transition Well

Ann McDonald designed this dining room for a 20-something who loves to entertain. She wanted a strong visual punch and had a good-sized space to work with, but not a lot of money. Ann decided to design the space with items that could do double duty later if her client moved out of the apartment and into a house. They started with an outdoor rug from Cost Plus and ended up running with an outdoor theme thinking that all these pieces would work well on a porch some day. To create a room divider and block off the apartment’s laundry area, Ann’s client created a large curtain panel using outdoor fabric she found at a discount chain for $15 per yard, plus a curtain rod and rings from Ikea.

Dining Room

The first design choice we made was the rug. It’s an outdoor room size rug from Cost Plus that was in store only.

This classic Damask Outdoor Rug is from I love using bold pattern outdoor rugs, especially when the budget is tight. Why? Because you can pack a punch while using well priced nice quality basics (the CB2 Table, a Stripe Drapery…) that will transition life with you.

Since the Client is in her 20’s & enjoying apartment life I wanted to spec something that could easily transition, handle wear + tear & make a statement


Entertaining traffic? Not a problem! Spilled drink, pets or spots wash out with soap & water.

The second choice was the white classic table. No, it’s not an original Saarinen 🙂 but the style is classic and at $199 from CB2, absolutely unbeatable.

Odyssey Table by CB2. $199. This is a classic style that packs a punch. Saarinen’s replica version is available at Design Within Reach for $1,800 + depending on size. We simply didn’t have the budget to spec DWR’s version.

Truth? I have one just like this in the Design Studio. It gets used constantly!

I had originally specified Kartell’s Victoria Ghost Chair in Blue at $330 each, but found these Turquoise Chairs at Home Goods for $ 65 each. Savings too good to pass up. Designer + Client Happy!

Kartell’s Victoria Ghost Chair is a classic.

They are simple, classic and strong for an inexpensive chair. The color is what really takes them over the top.

For the drapery (room divider) I spec’d out reversible panels of outdoor black & white striped fabric with a leading edge band in beige dots.

So the Client may re-use the drapery fabric at some point for an outdoor awning, I specified flat panel. This also made it possible for savings on custom labor costs – she is a terrific seamstress and sewed the panels herself.

By making them reversible, she gets the same pretty view from the Laundry Area that she does in the Dining Room.

Suntex Sun Duck Fabric in Black & White Stripe, about $18/yard on line. Client was able to secure for about $15/yard locally. I did specify a custom leading edge band out of a beige outdoor dot which coordinates with the wall color (out of frame).

Drapery Hardware & Clips are from Ikea

Ikea Syrlig Curtain Rings hold the flat panels in place. We spec’d a simple tie back so Client wasn’t drawing drapes constantly to get in and out of Laundry area.

Client handled installation themselves

Matte Black Dishes from Target

Dishes from Target. The matte finish looks incredibly high end and for a custom signature, we paint the underside of mugs in matching Turquoise! Hand wash the mugs please…& if you do DIY this custom trick, use proper paint from craft store.

Custom Napkins by Couture Chateau out of hand dyed black Belgian Linen

Custom Hand Made Napkin Rings by Couture Chateau

I found this DIY from Wood Turning Online. Absolutely stunning, I love using hand fabricated napkin rings. Image linked. You can also source custom napkin rings from my FAV site: Tell them Ann McDonald sent you ;)!

Sunday Stewardship: Are you planning a DIY Project this weekend?

What about one where down the road you can TRANSITION an item into another space?

Let us know!

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


Not EVERYTHING we do is large scale 🙂

This DIY Project was achieved from a simple VIP Day, $1,500.

Here is the link to our website where you can read a detailed description

As you know from my Frugal Friday posts, VALUE is important to me

We DO design single rooms and remote projects. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Who knows, your project may end up featured on the Blog!


Saturday Stuff: “Think Outside The Headboard Box” our ivillage Feature!

Saturday Stuff: “Think Outside The Headboard Box” our ivillage Feature

I love ivillage

I read it long before being asked to contribute so am always grateful when I can share projects. Please pin, like, share! We’d love to do more.

This Feature is DIY High Style, Low Cost

Not EVERYTHING we do at Couture Chateau is large scale 🙂

This DIY Project and the one we will share tomorrow were Designed with Client’s using VIP Days which accommodate all budgets

As you know from my Frugal Friday posts, VALUE is important to me

If you have a smaller or remote project, contact us. We’d be thrilled to chat via email. Who knows, your project may just end up featured on the Blog!

For the project below, 12 Foot Sloped Ceilings were presenting issues and the Client did not have a large budget. The room doubles as office & guest room.

Here is the Description from ivillage

Think Outside the Headboard Box

Many bloggers have shared step-by-step tutorials on how to make upholstered headboards, which are an affordable, albeit labor-intensive, way to spruce up your bedroom, but Ann McDonald of design firm Couture Chateau came up with an even better idea. When she found a 3-section divider made out of coconut shells at Home Goods for $39.99, she knew it’d make the perfect headboard for her client’s guest bedroom. The ceilings are over 12 feet high at one end of the room and Ann’s client wanted something that would make a strong visual statement. Ann loved the divider’s textural quality and lucky for her, it was a perfect fit for a queen bed and worked well with the casual vibe of the room.

Guest Bedroom Suite, Doubles as Low Use Home Office

The Client handled the installation themselves. The 3 screen panel is attached with a cleat system from Home Depot and can easily be moved

The Coverlet is Barbara Barry from Tuesday Morning

Barbara Barry Quiet Curve Coverlet & Toss Pillow in Sea Glass. I love how the color of the coverlet plays against the strong browns. You can find this same coverlet on ebay & other re-sellers. Client found it new at Tuesday Morning. Image linked to ebay

Barbara Barry Coverlet from House of Linens. Notice this one has a different stitch pattern. I love her pre-fab coverlets because they are well priced + classic. About $150 depending.

The Shams are Ralph Lauren Home Collection, Wool with Velvet Trim

The shams pictured here are European Square, Ralph Lauren. The ones we used are no longer available, but the price point is similar about $130. We splurged on the shams because we saved elsewhere. Ralph can be found on line or at major home stores like Macy’s.

The Prints are antique architectural renderings framed by Aaron Brothers

This is from All Posters. Image linked. We used antique renderings the Client already owned. I specified Aaron Brothers  custom framing using a stock frame. By paying only for the labor & upgraded preservation glass the framing costs per print were less than $150 each. Turn around is about 3 weeks.

The desk ( barely in frame) is from a consignment store and we changed handles for a more contemporary look. Couture Chateau custom lining on inside of drawers with patterned fabric over board so guests would feel special!

I don’t often use animal prints, but custom lining the inside of drawers in “wow” fabric in Guest Suites is one of my trademarks. So fun! This fabric is a chenille and runs about $23 per yard. Image linked to Fabric Domain website. Easy to DIY with heavy cardboard & good glue.

Because this space functions as both an office and guest room, the Client needed a place to keep office items. Since I specified to custom line the drawers, wasn’t keen on a bunch of pens possibly leaking. Solution? A shadow box frame that opens from the front! The Client can clearly see pens, paperclips, sim cards and simply pick up the box when guests arrive.

No cleaning out messy drawers. Happy Everyone 🙂

These are from Exposures. Image linked. The real trick here is to use a shadow box that isn’t too heavy and opens from the front. It one of those tight space design tricks. No cleaning out drawers last minute before a guest arrives. Just pick up your box and leave!

Saturday Stuff: Are you headed out for a DIY Project this weekend?

Let us know!

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


Tomorrow: Stewardship Sunday, “Designing with Transition in Mind”