Thursday Spotlight: What’s A Girl to do When Tech Fails? (Could It Be My Skill Set….naw….)

Thursday Spotlight: What’s a Girl To Do When Tech Fails?

Could it really be my skill set?!

Ummmm, yes Ann

Do you ever have those tech days?

You know, the ones that seem to go along fine and then *bam*

When you need it most, somehow your language setting goes from English to…Chinese? And you don’t speak or read Chinese?!

Then, in a moment of brillance you decide to “de bug” yourself, because after all, it is *so easy*

Ha! Say the computer gods……

Is it ok to call in a prayer team for tech issues?!

How about you?

Do you ever suffer from these things?

As a general rule, I embrace tech, even if it is on my Asus Gaming Computer which holds CAD like a baby

But today, after my day of conferencing when I needed the portable (albeit old) mac to work for me and my team, it didn’t

My skill set is not the greatest on the mac, I confess

But still – how in the name of the good and loving God did I change the language on Firefox?!


Spotlight: Sometimes it shines on our weakness!


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

xo Ann


ps: some great happenings this week in the Decorating World! Be sure to check out Kips Bay if you are in NYC.

Saturday Stuff: Oh, I’d Forgotten About That Side Of My Proverbial “House”!

Saturday Stuff: Oh! I’d Forgotten About That Side Of My Proverbial “House”!

We all have them

Those areas we forget about until…

We schedule a party

A visitor is due to arrive

We get the “Donations Accepted” postcard & start hunting for forgotten treasure to pass along

Or…as in my case…one of the pugs goes sniffing around a corner around a corner…and I follow!

Oh my!

I’d forgotten about that area 🙂

Today I’m sharing a few videos that we use to help get at some of those areas in our Life & Home

As part of Saturday Stuff…this gets at the STUFF that holds us back from the inside!!

I need to thank Karen Davis for reminding me of these videos

I love them. We watch & share with clients because one of the MOST important things about decorating a BEAUTIFUL SPACE is being REAL about who we are, where we are, why we are & being COMFORTABLE in that space

May these be a blessing to you.

Saturday Stuff. YOU are worth the time it will take to be blessed by these videos.

Take it for YOU!!!

It’s Saturday. The stuff life is made of.

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

xo Ann


PS: Don’t forget to share what we are doing here with friends who have the same heart. I’d be grateful to build a community of people who desire to LIVE as beautifully as our spaces  look…

PPS: Sign up NOW to be part of our BETA TEST for Decorate Like A Pro System (Linked). We are still in the starting gates. BE in from the ground floor!!! You are SO worth it!

Frugal Friday: Do You Ever Wish You Could Just Ask A Decorator A Question Without Being Charged?

Frugal Friday: Do You Ever Wish You Could Just Ask A Decorator A Question Without Being Charged?

So, I get this all the time…

Can I just ask a question Ann?

It won’t take much time – it’s not like I need to hire you or anything 😉

I just need some feedback


(Me =Radio Silence)

(Me = Deep Breath)

(Me = adding up the cost of years of education, continuing education, clients…& thinking about what that “free information” has actually cost me in terms of my life, my family….& wishing I could communicate that)

Now….ready at the gracious answer – WHY? Because I really DO desire to EQUIP in my heart and if the only engagement you and I ever have this side of heaven, then I DO wish to help you navigate some of the decorating dilemmas you may have.

Timothy Corrigan is seriously one of my all timers. His work has inspired me for decades. Linked to Timothy Corrigan.

THAT is WHY I felt called to put together this Webinar.

It’s why I do the Blog, Facebook, Twitter etc…

To EQUIP you, Freely….and if you want to wade deeper, then you can decide…

I know it’s one of those areas we all think we should just “get”…I mean everyone has a home or a space, right? But we can’t do it alone. Ever. We need each other. I will never cure cancer, but I can decorate. And design. And teach you, free or otherwise.

The nugget for today:

“I believe everyone is capable of designing their own life + home beautifully, sometimes we just need some encouragement”

I hope that this Webinar will be encouraging to you!

You can listen at your leisure, in the privacy of your own home

You will not be put on the spot. You can stop, take notes…engage in the way it works for you!

You know I believe you are custom. You know I believe one size does NOT fit all!

We tackle that head on HERE.

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

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.”â„¢

xo Ann

Sunday Stewardship: Rest, Recuperate & Redecorate :)

Sunday Stewardship: Rest, Recuperate & Redecorate

There is nothing like a nasty case of the flu to force REST

I/We are still down for the count, popping up every so often when our meds kick in!

I must say, the best meds are the home made Hot Toddy’s…image linked. Thank you to Franki for suggesting some brandy! It has most definitely helped! Image linked to ehow’s…”How to cure a cold with Brandy”!

My Doctor assures me I will have a voice again, though my children are loving the silence 🙂

My Webinar recording…not so much loving the silence……..

Hard to talk with no voice….my teenage son has volunteered to “use” the gaming headset we bought to record our webinars but I have hidden it in my office! I don’t want more of my business supplies to end up in the vortex of “play room hell”!

As far as RECUPERATE goes, the best part is what I call visual feasting

Have you SEEN this month’s House Beautiful?

I have been LOVING reading every part of this month’s issue!! The features, articles….all of it…speaking to me right now…image linked

OMG, delight to the heart & eyes

And the REDECORATE part?

Well…nothing like spending a week in bed to make you want to redecorate your room, is there….!….

How fun would this be? Image linked.

Honey, what do you think of green? It’s the color of the year you know….

Image linked.

This would never work in my house, but I do LOVE the sleek style. Maybe if I ever have a desert home….

Sunday Stewardship. I like the redecorate part the best.

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

xo Ann

Thursday Spotlight: Module 1, Round 2

Thursday Spotlight: Our First Module, Round 2

Yesterday, I recorded part of our First Module in Webinar Form

This morning, more recording & some edits

This First Webinar will end up between 6 – 8 Modules, each lasting an hour + Q/A

This is a ton of work, but am feeling good about getting the information out of my head + heart

We are recording several Modules & making them available in:

PDF + MP3 + MP4 + Live Video

Whew. Ton of work. So worth it. So excited to make this information accessible outside these walls.

This is where my heart is: Design + Training + Equipping Others to…well, you know…live their custom lives 😉

A breakthrough approach to decorating like a pro using retail product. I reserved the domain “decoratewithretail” today for just this downloadable product. Very fun. We will of course offer how to customize just for you as part of this Webinar!

Spotlight. Module 1.

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

xo Ann

Frugal Friday: My (not so secret) Party Table Top Placemats

Frugal Friday: My (not so secret) Party Table Top Placemats

Big family, love to entertain, love to host, love to decorate = $$$$

Today? My secret table top placemat tip

When we design a Dining Room, we include custom lined and interlined Couture Chateau Placemats, Table Runners and Napkins

When I host a party & need a frugal fix for placemats…..shhh……:

1. Source bulk inexpensive fabric. I try to plan for 2-3 yards per place setting. 2 of my FAV online sources: Design Diva & Glamourous Fabrics. Both of these retailers carry overstock or out of season designer brands including Clarence House, Donghia & Brunschwig. They also run sales & specials. I have purchased fabric as low as $8/yard.

From Design Diva Fabrics, Clarence House $17.50/yard Special for 1 Day only. I think a gorgeous white china would look divine on this classic pattern.

2. Grab your: Cork Boards or Cardboard Boxes Cut to Size

If you have some table space, cork boards are super fun! Keeps the settings “tight”. People love the innovation. It’s a party afterall.

3. Start wrapping, duct taping, glue gunning, double sided taping that designer fabric on

Yes, this Couture Chateau girl wraps & glues in the name of a fabulous sit down dinner party

I have used: Toile, Chenille, Plaid, Burlap, Quilting, Suede, Linen…heck, I even used SHAMS. Yes, I used shams, twice actually: Ralph & Peacock Alley. Just cut heavy duty cardboard and slipped it inside, taped those puppies shut and voila.

Peacock Alley makes nice product 😉

Peeps thought we had suuuupppper xpensiv custom placemats

Royal Crown Derby China from grandmother helps…but…

I love this pattern…we used Blue Mikado on the White Shams…

yes, of COURSE I gave it up….notice the title (not so secret)….!!

My point: Frugal Friday = making your custom home “you”

Don’t be afraid to TRY an idea

Point of order: DO NOT RUSH, especially with these “crafty” type things

If you do…it will look cheap. Trust me, it will.

Remember that old saying? Good – Fast – Cheap?…you only get two at a time

So pull out the thinking caps & remember

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

xo Ann

Off to Arizona this weekend…will see you Monday!