Saturday Stuff: More On “The Beautiful Issue” In Decor

Saturday Stuff: More On “The Beautiful Issue” In Decor

Yesterday I shared one of the modules we work through when I am teaching my Decorating Systems Program. This is a collection of Systems I share with:

1. DIY

2. Clients

3. Design Enthusiasts

4. Professional Decorators & Designers

I tailor the program (customize, is that a surprise ;)?!, to the person or group I am teaching by age & stage, but some (not all) of the BASICS are the same

“The Beautiful Issue” is one of my basics

Developed this System because I noticed there were things I learned around “the kitchen table” or “the dining room table” or at “my parents cocktail parties” that were Foundational Truths to “custom living” & “living well” in a decorated home – that seemed to be missing in the hearts & minds of my  dear Clients

I kept encountering a gap between where I wanted to start with clients and where they NEEDED to start

Hence my solution brain 🙂 my Matrix Brain….my Systems Brain!

My Comfort Area

This issue became LIGHTENING when I put together the first “My Catalog Life” Seminar which teaches How To Decorate Like The Pro’s From Ready Made Retail Product and Avoid The “Nice Pottery Barn” House Comment….

Major Labels sometimes show up at Home Goods. KNOW what to look for & you can find some deals.

I am not anti-catalog. I am anti-home-uniform…

This is the Seminar we are working to bring to market for you in downloadable form

This is the Seminar I hired a Professional to take care of those “labels, formatting…”

Oh sure…they make it look so easy ;). I hired a pro to handle all the formatting because I know where my gifts are, and they are NOT in this area!! In the interest of getting this to YOU before I am 80, I relinquished control of the download format process….

This Seminar resonated deeply, there were many “aha moments” but not for the reasons I had anticipated

People (we) are AFRAID to go outside of “The Pottery Barn House” (Designer Label)

People (we) are AFRAID to NOT get the comment “Nice Pottery Barn House” (Designer House)


Need I say more? Image linked.

I like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware…I am not “anti-catalog” but I am “anti-home-uniform”

A home uniform = death

I am not “anti-track home”

I am “anti-home-uniform”

When I went back to Berkeley to take a Graduate Course in Design, this was required reading. My professor was brilliant. He reminded me WHY I was doing what I was doing…….and that it wasn’t fluff. It mattered.

There is a DIFFERENCE. That difference is a “heart-set”. A custom “heart-set”. Begins in the heart and mind…travels through the soul, the bones…your life…

It’s the realization that you are custom. Therefore your life should be custom. Because it matters that you are custom. And beautiful is an outcrop of custom.

Home is where your story begins. You are NOT the same as everyone else. You have value. You are unique. You were made different for a reason.

Image linked.

I grew up with the aesthetic teaching that to be the same as someone else was to not be you. Was to not be what you were supposed to be.

House Beautiful. These things are beautiful. But once the cameras leave & the staging is removed, how does the owner live? My hearts deepest desire is for my Clients to live MORE beautifully even than the camera captures…..

Why in the Saturday Stuff Post? Because we all have this personal baggage “stuff”.

Sometimes this “stuff” keeps us from decorating the way we want…we go to The Catalog which looks safe + approved….but somewhere deep down, there is a silent scream because deep down you and I weren’t made to be safe + approved by The Catalog.

I am going to say that again: we silently scream because we know deep down we were not made to be safe + approved by The Catalog. The Grocery Store. The Cool This or The Cool That…it’s a visceral scream we spend years dampening & I see it most expressed in “The Beautiful Issue”…& my heart breaks…

You & I were made to be Safe + Approved just because we exist

We have a saying in our home: “Just Because”

It’s not what you think. It’s a gracious “Just Because”. It means “Just Because You Are”

It means you are SAFE + APPROVED Just Because You Are

I want you to decorate beautiful because you ARE

I want you to live beautiful because you ARE

Foundational Ann McDonald’s Decorating Systems Truth: This is NOT about buying beautiful stuff. This is about uncovering the beautiful in you, where you are, in the house you are in, with the furniture you have, with the budget you have FIRST so that you learn to live beautiful at any time, at any price, at any stage, in any location.

Trust me, just because you can buy a $1,200/yard fabric, doesn’t mean you live beautiful with it

Remember, I developed this System for real people, SMART people, SUCCESSFUL people, NICE people, GOOD people…people just like you are and just like I am, to move INTO the daily process of living beautiful. Just Because We Are.

It changes lives. It frees. It lightens the load.

I love the quote above. My take: “If I design + decorate the most beautiful space for someone but they are not FREE to enjoy it, it’s like going to the symphony and not being able to HEAR….” Ann McDonald, 2013

Living beautiful is also a stewardship issue…are you sensing tomorrow’s post?

I hope so

I am crazy passionate about teaching Why & How to Decorate for a Custom Life

It’s not fluff. It matters.

Birds build custom nests. They don’t copy exactly. And if someone moves in after they move out, they tweak just for them…

If you are interested in this, please let me know!

Private?; Public? Comment below. I would be grateful.

I want so much for these Systems to make a difference, to strike a chord, to bless, change, edify, equip…..

Remember, even people who “have it all” struggle against what I call the “Catalog Culture” or “You Can’t Culture” when it comes to their homes & living in their homes

Neither of which I like

I happen to believe “You Can” and you should live “OUT side of a Catalog”

“The Beautiful Issue” ran deep, runs deep

It can cripple us without even knowing it

I want you to live a custom life 😉

but you know that already….because I value you….

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

xo Ann