Stewardship Sunday: Oh, Which Holiday Stuff to Use & Which to Toss

Stewardship Sunday: Oh, Which Holiday Stuff to Use & Which to Lose

It’s that time

Thanksgiving fades & Christmas Decor slowly makes its way from the Sheds

I like this sweet flurry of activity

Unpacking Christmas at our Side Door Studio Door

A grumble from two teenage sons as they gather lights & extension cords

My heart chooses to believe they secretly like it. Smiles & laughter eventually make their way back with the boxes & the boys.

Yes, I still ask them to do it

No, I do not hire it out

(Though I can see the day coming)

Stewardship. It’s a necessary part of building a custom life. We need to equip the next gen in stewardship. Not always easy.

My Journey:

Years ago after a decade of accumulation & passing parents I had amassed the equivalent of a Village of Decor

At the time, my assistant and I thought – oh, it can’t be THAT bad

Ha! When we spread out every single item, it was awful. I felt like I needed to fast & repent.

We purged & purged, donated & trashed


Custom Paint for a Custom Tree for a Client. It fits who they are TODAY.

Each season since I have instituted a similar routine

Not everything comes up for review each year now but I am struck by how MUCH we carry in our Custom Baggage. It weighs us down.

It is ok to LET GO of an ugly family ornament & KEEP the vintage wrapping paper I like

It is ok to LET GO of a tattered heirloom & KEEP one I buy today

Here it is: Designer Permission to Purge those Decorations that don’t ADD to who YOU are TODAY

YOU are building your Custom Life. Your custom memories. Take charge and only Decorate with what you love.

It’s ok to wander between austere years & traditional abundance

I went over the top this year with a tree in our entry hall because I was craving the traditional

Last year it was twigs & minimal

I love the austere. It doesn’t work for me this year, but for one Client, it does. These custom painted tree parts belong to one of our Custom Christmas Trees featured on ivillage. The client is young, hip and delighted in the time it took to create. Many hands for many weeks. Yet simple.

& that’s ok

It took me years to realize this simple truth:

Stewardship is a PROCESS not a THING

Stewardship is bringing the Decor from the shed NOT the Decor

Stewardship is hanging the lights NOT the lights

This simple realization equipped me to let go. It was a lightbulb moment for a Designer who ekes out a living in this stuff.

I used to think it WAS the ornament. It’s not. Because if the ornament breaks….

Stewardship Sunday: Make it yours. Be fearless. Let go. Be present. Today.

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: Can I Wear a Ball Gown to the Studio Because I am an Interior Designer?

Wednesday Style Points: Can I Wear a Ball Gown to the Studio Because I am an Interior Designer?!

Anne Barge Collection 2011

Why Not?! (ok, I DO know why not…but stillllll:)

designed by Danish firm Holgaard Arkitekter, picture linked

Here’s the rub: the details on some of these couture gowns & even custom RTW are SO inspiring!

Randolph Duke 2008. I mean hello Navy & Copper!

I mean…how practical…set the scene: Couture Chateau Team Custom Designing a 30 something’s home in Florida in our Bay Area Studio…wearing Elie Saab…BOOM (!) inspiration strikes by donning Gown & voila, Design Done :)!

Elie Saab Haute Couture Spring 2012

All right…maybe custom gowns don’t give us super powers, but I KNOW capes do ;)….

Style Points: I see a RTW or Couture Collection  and swoon over how that can translate into Custom Interior Design

In 2010, Lee Jofa auctioned custom skirts designed by Oscar de la Renta made out of the designer’s line of home fabrics.

I love the inspiration highway between the two. It literally is the way to “wear it”…by “living with it”

The Couture Collection becomes LIVABLE. We get to enjoy and embrace that custom in the everyday

With our coffee. With all that life throws at us. With the ups. With the downs.

Life really is better in “pretty” or “fabulous”. It just is.

 And the cool thing about Custom? What is “pretty” to me is different than what is “pretty” to you!

THAT is the point! It’s CUSTOM 🙂

As people, we are couture. We are layered with different experiences and headed towards different places. If we weren’t…nothing would get done! I’d be sitting with an idea of a gown with no computer…no coffee…no shoes…and certainly no house!

What’s the Custom inside of you…?

So here’s to Style Points. Ball Gowns and Tuxedos, Vans & Hoodies, Custom Intentional Design in all it’s glory.

So someday I will confess to a Vans Addiction…but you didn’t hear it from me today…;)

Pinterest link HERE. Check it out!

Live a custom life. There is only one you.

And let me know what you are wearing today! At least we aren’t in our bathrobes with fuzzy slippers….well…ok…the Peninsula Hotel ones from B Hills r pretty fab & could be considered nice enough for office wear 😉

The Robes from The Peninsula Hotel in B Hills – soooo soft!

xo Ann