Sunday Stewardship: And We’re Off Again…

Sunday Stewardship: And We’re Off Again

Dare I say the only people that could get me on a plane back to NYC inside of 10 days are Jonathan Adler & Aerin Lauder?

Well, truth be told I’ve never met them. But it sounded cool!

We are actually headed back to the smallest town in America for BlogFest & ICFF

Stewarding some friendships that are indeed precious

Decorators & Designers…we are sometimes a wacky bunch.

Stewarding some (business) relationships that are blessings

Kravet. The very first piece of “Designer Furniture” I bought on my own way back in…well, let’s just say it had a “199_” handle was from Kravet. I STILL have the sofa. It is a solid piece of wonderful furniture. The linen velvet is still holding up. Amazing.

And grateful for a family who supports this girl (woman, wife, mother) who feels called to steward a business at this time in life

We only get one go around & sometimes we just have to “do”

What is your call? Are you equipped for it?

What is your call at this time in your life? Are you equipped for it? Are you excited about it?

What is your stewardship today?

What relationship, friend, business, thing… you need to care for today?

It’s Sunday. Time for faithful worship & rest….& stewardship of what YOU are called to do

What is that today?

A garden, a fellowship, a relationship?

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

xo Ann


PS: We will try to keep you updated on the things that we “take away” that will make our lives easier, more of a blessing. The itinerary has a stop at Kips Bay (photos this time), quick reception at Jonathan Adlers, visit with HGTV Magazine, Aerin Lauder, Kravet and more. Am actually very excited. Rather school girl of me.

Thursday Spotlight: Shine It On Your Decorating Successes

Thursday Spotlight: Shine It On Your Decorating Successes

Hard to do, right?

We are always second guessing, always wondering what if…

Here’s my challenge to you today

Give yourself a Decorating Diamond Award

Is there some space that you absolutely love?

A corner you created just for yourself or a loved one?

What is that space, perfect or not, that speaks to you?

As I was/am working on this Webinar Recording…it really struck home how often we judge, second guess & hem & haw at our potential pitfalls

So the spotlight today is about saying something nice to yourself!

Me? Tough one!

I’ll lead the way. This is not easy for me.

My Decorating Diamond today goes to the corner I created in the back of our Lake Tahoe Cabin living room. We jokingly call it The Library.

It is no Library. But I love it still.

Two comfy chairs, one comfy ottoman. No fancy designer fabrics. No fancy designer labels.

Plywood walls with an aged green wash stain.

Low brass lights. Aged. Some fabulous bookends. A few fabulous books.

A gift from some very special friends, I have two of these guarding my books on a shelf made from a recycled plank we found. Very safe. Very low key. Very wonderful. Linked to Levenger.

A Navajo Rug traded for by my Paternal Grandfather.

This is not ours, but the one I have hanging is similar. Circa 1915. Not hugely valuable from a dollar standpoint, but is a blessing to me personally.

I love it. It’s safe. I write there, design there, nap there.

Diamond Award.

Now, you?

The spotlight is on! Do share!

There must be some corner. Somewhere…

Thursday Spotlight. You are better at Decorating & Design than your head & heart give you credit for. I know it!

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

xo Ann


PS: I just finished a fabulous book by Dr. Valerie Young called “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women”. It is a remarkable book dealing with The Impostor Syndrome. A must read for anyone. I had the honor of spending a few days at a conference with Valerie. She is humble, gracious & oh so wise.

Dr. Valerie Young

Tuesday Tidbit: What I Am Loving Now In Spring Cleaning!

Tuesday Tidbit: What I Am Loving Now In Spring Cleaning!

In the morning, everything…

Along about 11 am ABSOLUTELY nothing!!


Just being honest!

I am fine at doing the regular clean outs – the stuff you can see…it’s part of my job & I love it


This cleaning out my files? HARD for me.

I am that (confession) person who stores EVERYTHING on my desktop



It’s like a wildly out of control pinterest board…and I wonder…WHY can’t I find the files?!

Since we have streamlined & everyone is now offsite or remote, I no longer have the accountability of someone walking into the Studio & looking over my shoulder & seeing the “Desktop” aka my personal pinterest board!

When we started recording the Webinars, I realized something had to change…so I casually dropped everything into a folder called “Hide My Desktop Crap”

Not so pretty…even with a hot pink background & a pug picture overlay…

Yes = true Luxury Design, right?


Now I have spent too many hours untangling this mess & I have MUCH compassion for those real life messes that creep up on us.

Compassion = it’s an amazingly powerful thing. We ALL need it.

Do you struggle with keeping any area clean?

Is there any area that is your hidden confession or pile of “they won’t see that”?

A closet where old chargers go?

A drawer full of things you will go through “next week”?

I know we shouldn’t do these things

I KNOW how powerful it is to be clean through and through

It really is

But sometimes it gets out of control

Real life living. I want my Louboutins to be shiny & perfect, my car shined within an inch of its life…& my outfit perfectly pressed

YES, I have shoe addiction….:)

& then you get a peek at my desktop.


Time to file, edit & DELETE!!

Tuesday Tidbit.

What’s yours?!

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

xo Ann


PS: Practice compassion! Start with yourself….it’s hard. We overcoming perfectionists struggle daily with this. I just finished a GREAT book by Brene Brown entitled “Daring Greatly”. I downloaded it to my Kindle & read it in one sitting. Blessed through & through.

PPS: If you want to stop for an hour & just be filled, check out the Webinar we finally put out there. The link is here. FEARLESS. It’s our word for 2013. If you’ve already signed up your email you will not be double “listed” you are just taken straight to the Webinar! My heart is that it would bless you so you can pay it forward. Remember, it’s really not about “the couch”…xoxo

Tuesday Tidbit: Nuggets of Blessing From the Design Bloggers Conference

Tuesday Tidbit: Nugget of Blessing From The Design Bloggers Conference

You never know where nuggets will come from in life. Sometimes they are easy to spot, sometimes they are like fabulous truffles & we need just the right hog to find them…but when they do, it’s extravagant blessing at it’s best :)!

My Tuesday Tidbit (blessing) takeaway today is this…

You really DO belong where you ARE right now

One of our bespoke custom  lined antique fragment was made to be "in the moment" for a dear client

One of our bespoke custom lined antique fragment pillows…it was made in an excellent manner to be an extravagant blessing. I believe the same is true for you – you were made in an excellent manner to be an  extravagant blessing.

Doesn’t mean you have to STAY there…but where you are is just right, for today

Whatever house, space or place you inhabit today is the right place to start the rest of your life

By dwelling HERE, we are in the moment. We show up with our whole self.

It’s actually THAT which makes us authentic.

Are you authentic today?

Are your surroundings – your spaces & places authentically you today?

Blessings. Even when we think we can’t find them easily there are others close by who see & smell them out for us & steward them into beauty.

I love this! Such a fun metaphor for all our lives. We wade in the everyday & curate the exquisite in each other. It is why I love all things about design. The process is as beautiful as the outcome.

May your Tuesday be a day of blessing

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

xo Ann

Wednesday Style Points: What’s On Your Bedside Table?

Wednesday Style Points: What’s On Your Bedside Table?

I never thought I’d be able to itemize every little item that sat beside me as I slept…

But given my appointment with…let’s just call it…’forced rest’…I am now able to list every bloomin’ object on my night stand!

I have a poor man’s version of this chest on my side of the bed. It holds more than I can possibly hide! Mine does not have the gilding or original handles…but I love it still…

What have you got next to you?

Style Points!

I happen to love this feature in the publishing world

But nothing reminds me to update like comparing my list to theirs!

What have you?

Dare I say I take my tea in a pretty cup?


Mine are stacked high…

This book was given to me by Leslie Hassler, a dear friend from Mastermind. It is officially noted, tagged & highlighted!

Well, at least I can say I am learning…

Another book on my nightstand…

And always to keep me grounded…in the right place…this and the Good Book 🙂

What are your Style Points on your nightstand?

Would your nightstand make the magazines?:)

From House Beautiful.

I’m thinking about updating mine…!

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

xo Ann

Tuesday Tidbit: Small Blessings Make The Day

Tuesday Tidbit: Small Blessings Make The Day

First, thank you to all who have extended kindness & grace as we deal with this nasty nasty bug

Jokingly referred to in our house as the “50 year Flu”


That said, some of the smallest blessings make the day delightful

Laughter thru the ick

May these be encouraging to you TODAY

Where you are, who you are, why you are

Tuesday Tidbit: From my mug of hot tea with lemon (& brandy) to yours!

Remember…comparison is the thief to joy. You are delightful. May today be a day filled with laughter even if that laughter has some phlegm ;)! xoxo

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

xo Ann

Friday: Heather Scott Home (Heather Harkovich) Designs the Southern Living Show Case Home

Friday: Heather Harkovich Designs the Southern Living Show Case Home I have the privilege of knowing Heather from Tobi Fairley‘s Mastermind Program. Heather was gracious from the get go. I love Show Case Homes because they make so many Design … Continue reading

Sunday Stewardship: A Day of Rest from All Things Design + Decorating

Sunday Stewardship: A Day of Rest From All Things Design + Decorating

At the counsel of my wise husband, I am resting today

This is one of the sweetest quotes. Thank you hun for reminding me to sleep!! And so it’s MY turn to remind you – for I KNOW you were MADE to move mountains with your gifts & talents….

This does not come easily to me

Does it come easily to you?

Maybe these quotes will help!

I’m trying ;). I’m just really excited about what we are rolling out – what I feel called to share to equip YOU to live a custom life where you are, who you are, why you are…

I LOVE this quote. This is the FOUNDATION for my Decorating Principle # 1.

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: A New Week, Fresh Starts At Home & In Design Office

Monday Matters: A New Week, Fresh Starts At Home & In Design Office

I love Monday mornings. I get a new start at home and in the office.

This week we are re-recording Part 1 of our Seminar (professionally) so I am supposed to practice, practice, practice

I love this quote, but I need to LEARN it. One of my “fresh starts” for 2013 is to get back in the pool. 4 years ago I broke my foot badly, surgery…the whole 9 yards. I couldn’t swim, but now I can and I am not…but I NEED to…This reminds me the broken foot was a COMMA not a PERIOD. Just like our Seminar, when the recording of the Live Day didn’t translate I wondered…was that a comma or a period? Without practice I MAKE it a period. By stepping out of fear (remember 2013 = Fearlessness) and trying…I MAKE it a comma…..

Am supposed to have the right equipment at the ready, my seminar notes, my make up on & the white board clean

I love my white boards, pin boards & mirrors, but they are NEVER tidy. Today, I wipe & tidy so we can move forward with recording this week.


Anyone who knows me, knows my white boards are NEVER clean. Ideas, drawings, clients…all over ALL the boards.

I love to talk & teach, but practice? Not my strongest gift…;)…so I am learning

What is it that you need to practice this week?

I know this….but I still fight against the rush of the “new”…so I learn this every day. This week, I practice the Seminar so I can teach it via video & webinar. I LOVE teaching a live small group in person. The interaction, the insight, the live “aha moments” = pure delight. But I know in my heart we need to get this outside the ordered safe walls of my Studio. And so I practice for you & set aside my fear of “what if” and failure. What do you need to set aside this week?

Monday Matters

& so do you!

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

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Back To Work For 2013 Fearless (well, one day at a time at least ;)!

Monday Matters: Back To Work For 2013

My Word of the Year: FEARLESS

(well, one day at a time at least ;)!

I can tell you my list of regrets is a mile long. I have never regretted TRYING however.

Back to work, back to the Studio

I am excited about 2013

Really trying to focus on the great

As such, I was challenged by Tobi Fairley to come up with a Word of the Year

I thought, ok, I will try it

The list of words was long in my head:


I like the term fruitful. This quote resonated with me because it drives home the principle that even our errors can manifest into blessings. It’s as if no part of life is wasted.








even Urgent came across my brain as I sense an urgency to make sure we get the Couture Chateau Vision out there – beyond these four walls & our few faithful readers, clients + friends

My inspiration came from yellow flowers in my blue kitchen sink (behind) & red cake was one of those mornings when the aha moment came!

One of my kitchen sinks is mosaic tile made from crushed china. I love the imagery because it reminds me daily of why I founded Couture Chateau. It is a passion to share + encourage + equip custom lives. I have tried to not do this and my soul dies a bit if I stop…it is who I am. We must journey who we really are.

but there was only one word that met my head + heart together


I love this. It allows for the process of growth. I have been afraid…I will try to be fearless this year…I will try to LEAD fearless this year

Monday Matters: Back to Work Fearless

I will tackle this with you all year here & there. We will figure it out together, what it really means.

What is your word of the year?

Monday Matters. It set’s the tone for the week. Maybe even the year!

I’d love to know. We walk this custom journey together…

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

xo Ann