Sunday Stewardship: 2 Hour Couture Chats Discounted for Christmas, Use Any Time in 2013

Sunday Stewardship: 2 Hour Couture Chats Discounted for Christmas for use within the 2013 Calendar Year

Do you ever wish you could have a fresh set of eyes as you manage your decorating or remodel?

Are you tired of asking friends & relatives which color of white is best for your kitchen?

Do you wish you could engage a Design Pro without the hassle of over the top budgets or over the top time?

Have you looked at those “Design in a Box” products on line but you’d prefer real interaction?

Do you wish YOU could take credit for designing your home but have some professional data points?

Does your daughter need a new room and she wants to decorate it, but she won’t listen to mom?

Do you ever think “I love my contractor but I’d like to know what else is out there for design finishes…”

Then our Couture Chats are for you

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

During the last two weeks in December, we discount this product for use anytime during the calendar year 2013*

Last year our friends enjoyed this offer

Here’s what Meg had to say about her 2 Hour Couture Chat

“I brought my plans & samples to Ann’s Home Studio. She listened, looked and made astute observations about finishes, suggested furniture placement and told me what things should cost. Her honesty and insight helped me decide what to use in my own home. Without her help I would never have achieved the look I love, but in the end, it was mine. I knew what I liked and wanted, she just helped me get there without wasting huge sums of money or time.”

Here’s what Betsy had to say about her Couture Chat with her Daughter

“I bought my daughter a Couture Chat as a Graduation present. She wanted to redesign her space but wouldn’t listen to me. We came to Ann’s Studio and reviewed everything. It was fun! We learned so much! My daughter got the space she wanted and I was able to help her execute it. It was neutral ground.”

Even at our Once Yearly Designer Clearance Sale, this product is not discounted.

What is a Couture Chat & What is included?

2 Hours in Couture Chateau’s Home Based Side Door Studio

Sit at “The Table” with Ann

Your Project, Your Questions, Professional Answers

Professional Working Suggestions, Quick Sketches or Lists as Needed

Who is a candidate for this service?

DIY Clients managing or thinking about a project

Full Service Future Clients who want HONEST answers before they undertake a large remodel or new build

Mothers & Daughters Re-Designing a Bedroom or First Apartment

Clients managing their own Projects

Clients thinking about a future Project

We engage Couture Chats with Clients who spend $525 to over $10 million

Why? Because they all recognize that verbal in person access to 25 years of experience will give them more than 25 hours of internet research

And no matter your budget, time = money

What just one of our Realtor Client’s in Lake Tahoe has to say:

“I give Ann’s Couture Chats as housewarming gifts. I know she actually cares about my clients. She keeps them from making poor choices when they are all excited about their new home. And as a favor to me, she schedules them in person at no extra cost when she is on an overnight project in the basin.”

QUESTION: I don’t live in the SF Bay Area or Lake Tahoe. How can I take advantage of this offer?

ANSWER: We offer Skype™ or FaceTime™, divided into 1 hour segments for more comprehensive counsel over distance. Simply indicate in the notes section when you purchase. If you are in the Lake Tahoe Basin area and are flexible on time, Ann will work you in on one of her many trips to Projects in the area at no additional charge.

Do not let distance keep you from getting the counsel you want

Couture Chateau Clients from 2012 alone have homes in Canada, Argentina, New York, Kansas, Florida, California, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and Nevada

QUESTION: Why are the Chats in the Studio and not at my Project?

ANSWER: We have found over the years that getting clients out of their space and into a neutral ground clears the air for design “aha moments”. The practical reality of preparing questions & thinking about a project to present and ask questions of a professional is a large part of the process. It’s the proverbial stretching before you exercise. It matters.


2 Hour Couture Chat, Regularly $700

25% Discount $525


Package of 3 Couture Chats, Regularly $2,100

40% Discount $1,260

How do I engage?

Email Rachel, our Office Manager at

She will then contact you with follow up instructions and payment information

It’s what we do

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


Ann McDonald & The Couture Chateau Team

*Terms & Conditions: 15 Available, Individual or 3 Package for Purchase between 12/15/12 – 12/31/12. Non-Refundable, Non-Transferable, Must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance for use within Calendar Year 2013. May only be re-scheduled twice due to unforeseen circumstance. Skype or Facetime Sessions will be divided into 1 hour increments to maximize content & should be scheduled no more than 2 weeks apart for content retention

Thursday Spotlight: Custom Boxes for Presents to Use All Year

Thursday Spotlight: Custom Boxes for Presents to Use All Year

I love beautiful custom wrapping & boxes, especially at Christmas

Yesterday, you saw some in our article in the Lamorinda Weekly

custom wrapping on one of the boxes

A fun local piece with quotes by an employee, a client & a friend.

Today, we will spotlight the custom boxes UNDER that tree

The nice part about this is you can find them in retail and discount settings all year long if you don’t want to have them made just for you.

These boxes are made from Waverly Fabric, similar to the ones we upholstered and then wrapped with geo mesh & faux florals

Time intensive to DIY; expensive to have made custom, but IMO, worth it either way.

DIY Boxes. Take the time to line in silk or linen. Match to gift or home of recipient. Wrap with fabulous bow.

Can you imagine how delighted one of your gift recipients would be to receive a custom box made just for them?

Line in silks & other fabulous fabrics.

There are so many uses after the holidays: Bookcases, Bedrooms, Guest Rooms…Play Rooms!

upholstered box

A simple upholstered box with silk or linen lining can be reused all year. Finish off with a simple bow of geo mesh, some wired ribbon and a faux flower. Truth? Great in a pinch…we can wrap these quick!

Be sure to check our Holiday Help Page and make the next few weeks work for you and your family.

YOU are worth it.

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: December Lists, Friend or Foe?!

Monday Matters: Your December Lists, Friend or Foe?!


Ok, I feel better

So it’s Monday, December 3rd & I already feel behind

Is that possible?

Precisely WHY we made our Holiday Help Page!!

Because WE need it 🙂

How’s your Calendar Shaping Up for the next 29 Days

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough minutes?

Truth? There aren’t…but if we take care of the big matters first (the walnuts in our life) then all the little things will fit (the popcorn, sand & water)

Monday Matters: What are the 5 Most Important “Matters” for You & Yours this month?

Fill in the blanks:






Make room for them. The rest will follow.

At Couture Chateau?

1. Holiday Help Page

From Gallery of Nostalgia, one of my all time favorite images. Not sure just speaks to me...

From Gallery of Nostalgia, one of my all time favorite images. Not sure why…it just speaks to me…

2. Current Clients

3. Features for Design Sites

4. Editorial Calendar for 2013

5. Budgets

What do I (& everyone else) want to do?

Play with all the Holiday Decor, chat custom, make Christmas Cookies to put on the conference table, troll pinterest for amazing ideas, talk custom wrapping…basically we want to “play design”

Gorgeous New Fabrics this season...I just want to play & design stuff around these beauties...

Gorgeous New Fabrics this season…I just want to play & design stuff around these beauties…

Problem is, if we don’t do what matters first, we will never get to the other stuff

(this does NOT come easily to me, I like the rush of a deadline & a bit of flurry)

so…on goes the Holiday Music, out comes the Inspiration Quote & we get to work

It’s Monday Morning!

Have a fantastic day! Pour a great cup of coffee or tea – put it in a fabulous cup & we will be back tomorrow with a Tuesday Tidbit & Holiday Help Page with Links.

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

xo Ann

Thursday Spotlight: Curating Your Luxury

Thursday Spotlight: Curating Your Luxury

I had the deep honor of being quoted on Elle Decor’s Luxury Now Feature on their Website

Am I on the other side of this life? In the shadow of the greats. Deeply humbled.

Being in the same company as Elle Decor and those I admire is beyond comprehension

Labored and Learned

The Reading Paintings of New York’s Seymour Joseph Guy (1824-1910)

Humbly acknowledge “the more you know the more you realize how little you know”

Curated Luxury = Your Custom Life

What is it that speaks to you

What is it you value

In the aftermath of life’s “foxes”, stripped down, simply: how do we choose to live

What we keep, what we cherish, what remains….those are my luxuries

A cashmere cape from a husband who knows who I am ‘right now’

As I struggle with “foxes” of weight and loss, the grace of people who know you = luxury


A virtual moment with a friend in the aftermath of Sandy with what little power they have left


A realization that life will never be without issue = stop the worry, embrace the pain

Embracing the pain & loss to move forward today. Image linked.


Filling my Couture Chateau with simple things that speak to me, not by $$$$, but by heart

My kitchen sink…custom…curated…combined


Thank you Elle Decor

(if you do not “know” them, you should)

Luxury Now

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Couture Chateau

Monday Matters: Couture Chateau 

We’ve had a busy few weeks & are gearing up for some November Features

An amazing piece we found. Restoration on the way. Original set markings from MGM Studios…will keep you posted on progress. If you are an expert…PLEASE share your thoughts on origin/age. Three well respected peeps have already tried & disagreed…(!)….where does that leave me?

All plans & customizing details for those pesky photo shoots…& then…

I want to sit with friends and just chat. I worry about those I love who might be in harms way.

My mind and heart wander to the East Coast with friends in the path of Sandy

Hurricane Sandy from Space….

The mid-westerner in me goes to the radio (!) for the weather report…

Canned goods & communication

So on this Monday, a reminder of the things that matter

You 🙂

Let’s change the world TOGETHER 1 design choice at a time…

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: We Love Tweed in Home Furnishings!

Tuesday Tidbit: We Love Tweed in Home Furnishings!

Ralph Lauren Tweed Fabric

We love using Tweed in Home Furnishings. Above is Ralphs Fabric…does anything look familiar below?

As Fabulous on Shams as it is as a Suit !

I like Tweed because it gives dimension without overpowering pattern…subtle but classic!

Subtle Texture, Subtle Pattern…LOVE it!

What is your Tuesday Tidbit on Tweed? Love it or leave it?

xo Ann