Sunday Stewardship: Make Your Bed & Live…

Sunday Stewardship: Make Your Bed & Live

Yes, you heard it 😉

Make your bed

Simple but it matters. Stewardship. Seriously.

One of the things I am most passionate about are systems.

Those of you who have been with us a while know that about me

I like systems because I believe in my heart systems FREE us up to LIVE CUSTOM

Not psychotic self imposed perfectionist systems


The most basic one?

Get up + Make Your Bed

It’s actually a system if you think about it. 2 Steps.

Step 1) Get Up

Step 2) Make Your Bed

Even if you hate the comforter & want to redecorate, practice with what you have & do the best you can with what you have so that when you get the new stuff you will have the Habits & Systems in place for Stewardship

Get up + Make Your Bed

Even if you have 25 housekeepers…..

Get up + Make Your Bed

It sets the tone for the day…& this simple system….sets the tone for your larger life


Hopefully this was your smile for the morning!

And have you made your bed?!

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: Decorating For Your Life Today

Wednesday Style Points: Decorating For Your Life Today

We have been diving deep lately with all our Decorating Principles & Systems

Lots of chatter with Safety + Order + Beauty…our Top 10…all that stuff

Today I wanted to share some of the things that are inspiring my decorating TODAY

I am loving the inspiration from Classic Damask patterns. As we work on some custom designs for Clients, these are fantastic jumping off points. I love taking these and breaking them apart to form unexpected repeats…sweet…STYLE POINTS!

These are beautiful vignettes to me

I am loving the stark contrasts here….just am.

I hope they bless you

If you are a faithful blog person, you may have seen this already but I absolutely love the combinations here. The power pack punch of Red & White…throw in some black and = love. Style points. From Belle Maison 2009. Yes, I know it’s “old” in Design Speak, but I am still in love. Image Linked.

From Apartment Therapy. I love the high gloss floors. When we remodeled our home, I thought long and hard about using this vignette. I knew however with 2 boys and several dogs it wouldn’t work. So I admire these from afar…

One of the reasons I shared the photos above is that they each have a style.

Just like you. Even if you think you don’t…you do…

May today be a day you embrace it.

With style…embrace them with style!! When we get to that place where we realize no interior will ever be perfect…we are free to take risk with design.

What will your Design Risk be today?

How many Style Points will it total?

Tally those personal design risks that are good + authentic…the ones that bless those around you…it’s your fingerprint. Your style.

I’m playing too….will keep you posted!

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: Couture Chateau Decorating Principle # 4

Wednesday Style Points: Couture Chateau Decorating Principle # 4

Couture Chateau Decorating Principle # 4: Decorating Needs To Be Authentically You To Inspire

I love kitsch

I also love couture

No problem here with the combo, it’s who I am

I think of them as Humor + Grace

Kitsch = Humor

Truth. Bill Cosby.

Couture = Grace

I love this in conjunction with the creation of couture. Couture gives the absolute best in detail, effort, layering, intention. All of our best effort still falls short of perfection, but the process = grace!

What could be more fun than the combination of the two?!

For me? Nothing!!

A Dining Room with an antique Dining Table & a Home Goods Soup Tureen?


A Kitchen with 3 Antique French Painted Farm Tables & a customized Ikea Cabinet?


The point is, in order for your decorated space to INSPIRE you – it has to be AUTHENTICALLY YOU

You have to be ok “being”

And you have to be ok being SEEN

Says it all…

Can you change the world & then stop dead in your tracks when it comes to risk in decorating?

Where does the AUTHENTIC you live?

A sneak peek of my kitchen sink

My main kitchen sink – you’ve seen it before. Look closely at how many materials are combined in a small space. This is new construction. What would you have said if I came to you with: Brick, Wood, Limestone, Copper, Aged Wood, English Tile & an old trestle table?…I can design fearlessly…I can walk along side as we find your fearless YOU…even if you are contemporary & clean lined…

It’s this strange place

Do you recognize this photo? This is in a Client's Entry hall and is made from Historically Significant Columns we had customized into a table. It greets guests as they enter the front door. I love the "energy" custom fragments bring to a space. They are not flat. They bring the past with them - in a good way.

Do you recognize this photo? This is in a Client’s Entry hall and is made from Historically Significant Columns we had customized into a table. The point is, let’s find out what INSPIRES you…

A lifetime spent crafting a shell for the outside world does not break down easily.

We walk through a manicured gated garden into a beautiful front door….and we are still afraid to be us??

We must be ok being SEEN

In my youth I didn’t understand why it was so difficult. I would decorate a home and people would flip out.

You can’t do that!

I can’t live like this!

Agghh! I love purple, but NO!

—-radio silence from me—-I have many faults—-RISK in design is not one of them—-

ANN:  “Ummm….Client J, this is who you ARE. You love this.”

CLIENT: “I know”

ANN: “Then why won’t you LIVE this?”

CLIENT: “I can’t – I just can’t….give me the Hermes – or Prada – or Whatever….”

ANN: “No”



CLIENT: “YES! Please yes…please!”

ANN: “No. Why did you hire ME? You KNEW…”

CLIENT: “I don’t know, because…..”

ANN: “Then let me help you SEE – Let me show you YOU are OK BEING SEEN

It’s YOUR home. LIVE in it. As YOU.

If you can’t be SEEN in your own home, well…….we have other things to address….”


Over 20 years & I can surely tell you, these conversations are why I developed this PROCESS. This Decorating Principle Process. 30 Principles, 7 Areas.

I am kitsch + couture (today). What are you?

MANY – I’d say 90% of the Potential Clients we vet are afraid & say “oh, no thank you”

“I don’t want to get that involved – that takes too much time”

(What is My Decorating Principle # 1? Decorate with no more than 7 years in mind….)

“I just want a new tv room for the kids, it doesn’t matter, I want it to look like the magazine picture”

(What is My Decorating Principle # 3? Fiercely protect the heart of your home)

“That’s too much work, you just don’t understand what I have to deal with”

(What is My Decorating Principle # 2? Remove any item that is emotionally unsafe)

What I KNOW?

They are afraid to be seen.

For now? That’s ok. Grace is part of who I am. I have been there. Afraid to be seen….

The systems of getting at the CORE of who we are, who my clients are – getting them comfortable with being SEEN before we undertake the projects, before we line the underside of a desk in bright purple…are integral to my mission, my vision for Couture Chateau.

It’s WORK to build a custom life. I happen to think it’s worth it.

And need I state the obvious? What is it that you suppose is the INSPIRING part of those completed jobs?

It’s always the proverbial “purple”

Style Points. YOU have them. I love bringing them out, bringing them to life.

What is your purple?

My mentors bring it out in me. Let me bring it out in you.

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: My Calendar Habit (& Trying To Be Fearless About Writing My Heart’s Goals)

Tuesday Tidbit: My Calendar Habit

(& trying to be FEARLESS about writing my heart’s goals)

For all the Serious Planners out there you know what I am talking about

I have calendars everywhere – in every style. From Pug Puppies Mini’s to Hermes Orange Leather for my purse. I think because I am not a natural planner I have developed this habit to force myself. For an ordered life, planning & calendars are critical.

You live this tidbit every single day

It’s a Calendar Habit

I’m talking about my year long, how many calendar’s do I have..?..”Calendar Habit”

Some are private calendars, many are public – meaning everyone in the house & office has access…

Do you share this habit?

Schedule the window washers, floor polishers, gutter cleaning…plan for the next maintenance item we need to tackle that exists within a budget this year…overlay the office, kids, friends…goals…

I still mostly work from an old desk planner

I found this on Boomer Tech Talks site. Yes, I have alarms & virtual calendars, but something about the written one calls me most. This is about as close to my real desk as I have found…

Everyone writes on the big one on my desk

It is not beautiful

But it DOES help us get a visual on the year

I thought this was pretty funny. I laughed, because when writing this post I thought “I’d love a cup of coffee…why doesn’t it just appear…”!

Are you a planner?

Do you change your mind last minute?

What are some of the things that make it onto your Home Calendar?

Small everyday items?

Only the biggies like vacations & events?

For me? The Habit of planning works in direct opposition to my nature which is why I nurture this habit :)!

This year, this habit will come under my FEARLESS journey


I am attempting to write things on the calendar that I am afraid to write

This REALLY struck me. Am I being safe with my habits? My tidbits? My life? My goals? My calendar?

Goals for our home that I’d like to accomplish but may not be possible

Goals for Couture Chateau that I’d like to accomplish that may not be possible

Habits. Tidbits. A custom life is just the combined total of these…

Calendars. A habit that windows into my real self.

Ouch ;)!

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

xo Ann


Merry Christmas from Ann McDonald & the Couture Chateau Team

Merry Christmas from Ann McDonald

& the Couture Chateau Team

We are not an island

We cannot do it alone

We are lifted by the hands and hearts of those who walk along side us with truth + love

Merry Christmas

I love the austere. It didn't work for me this year, but for a client, it does. These custom painted tree parts were a Custom Creation we worked on for weeks for them. Delightful.

May your SWAG be CUSTOM & your Holiday Merry + Bright

We celebrate today and want to wish you and yours an abundant and blessed Holiday

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

xo Ann