Design Fundamentals

Excellence in Design Stands Time: Laufen Bathrooms #BlogTourNYC

By | #BlogTourNYC, Design Fundamentals, Multi-Generation, Succession Living | One Comment

Laufen Bathrooms: Wow.

Swiss manufacturer Laufen was one of our sponsors for #BlogTourNYC @Modenus. In today’s post I want to share some helpful links and my personal thoughts regarding the product and company. Spotlighting any brand on Couture Chateau is something I take very seriously as you, our faithful readers and clients know. Discretion does not shout from the rooftops. Trust is hard won.

Laufen Company

Click on this photo to be taken to Laufen’s page on their history. Well worth the time. I love how they steward excellence and human capital. It’s not just about product. It’s about people = true legacy.

That said, I am absolutely delighted to share today about Laufen. Their partnership with Kartell and Designer @palombaserafini is a win-win.

Laufen Product Designer

Click on this photo to be taken to an article on Kartell by Laufens’ website. It is a fabulous read into the partnership with Ludovica+Roberto Palomba.

Read More

3 Reasons @WilsonArt Inspires as a Brand #BlogTourNYC

By | #BlogTourNYC, Design Fundamentals, Succession Living | No Comments

Three Reasons @WilsonArt Inspires as a Brand #BlogTourNYC

This past month during @Modenus Blog Tour we had a behind the scenes treat while at ICFF, my colleagues and I were introduced to the Student Designers sponsored in this years @WilsonArt Design Competition. As a benefactor brand (if I can use that terminology, mine, not theirs) I was impressed with the level of curated instruction and access WilsonArt brought to the table.

Here is a quick video on one of the competitors which I highlight. My sons are avid backpackers and hikers…hence this particular chair.

For a complete post from WilsonArt’s headquarters on the “Design Challenges” and Student Winner, Blossom, click HERE. Read More

Five Ways to Incorporate Steam Therapy in Your Ranch Property or Multi Generation Mountain Estate

By | #BlogTourNYC, Design Fundamentals, Income Property, Multi-Generation, Succession Living | One Comment

Fresh off Blog Tour New York, I am delighted to ponder how you, our valued clients and friends, can incorporate some of the products we had the honor of learning about first hand. Today’s post centers on one of the #BlogTourNYC sponsors: Mr Steam. We were treated to an incredible private steam at Aire Ancient Baths.

With Wyoming, Idaho and California Mountain projects swirling on summer drafting boards, my team and I discussed several ways we could incorporate this technology seamlessly into your multi-generational, multi-use, family ranch or mountain estate. We narrowed it to five (5) overall design schematics.

Let me know which you prefer and what your thoughts are. I love this part of being a Designer. As you well know, creativity and Read More

What’s New in the World of Design #BlogTourNYC @Modenus

By | #BlogTourNYC, Design Fundamentals | No Comments

This month’s “Stylish Solutions” Column in Lamorinda Weekly.

Reaching 65,000+ in Bucolic Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda. Click HERE. Like, comment, and share.

My team and I absolutely love local and are passionate about supporting local businesses, communities and friends.Lamorinda Weekly reaches 65,000 people.

This month’s column is titled: “What’s New in the World of Design from New York Design Week”


My thoughts about design week tend towards making au courant design relevant to today’s homeowner in bucolic communities around the country. Our towns are relatively small and unhurried even though they are within commuting distance of San Francisco and tech-centric South Bay (Palo Alto, San Jose).

I believe it’s one of the reasons Orinda was voted the second most friendly town in America by Forbes in 2012. The geography helps, as you can see. Winding roads, oak dotted hills.

orinda forbesWe still have hometown parades, an original deco movie theater and small downtown businesses: ice cream & yogurt shops, coffee shops, tack shops, antique & consignment stores. I’ve often dreamed of having a quaint office across from the Country Club and keep my eye on those historic spaces. I have a heart for that old Phair’s Building and row of small buildings. Yes, I love the old, small and quaint nature of our downtown. Can you see our beautiful office someday in one of those? I can. Buzzed in, monthly salon talks, trunk shows for custom fabrics, music playing, original building in tact but re-done? Tea in the front room. Lovely. I digress…one can always dream.

Lamorinda is a special place and I am deeply grateful to live here and work from here.

copper in cabinet kips

Copper in Christopher Peacock Cabinetry. I love custom beauty.

We also do not compromise on design. The question is, how do you translate what is trending on the runway so-to-speak into daily life in the suburbs? I love modern, but it is not always appropriate to the setting.

My top three thoughts centered around:

1) making tradition current

2) keeping it real in scale & displays on tables, consoles and counters

3) using natural or artisan made products whenever possible

I shared on these three in my article.

Later this week, we chat Dacor.


Ann McD.


Get Inspired in 60 Seconds or Less from New York’s Design Week, 2015

By | #BlogTourNYC, Design Fundamentals, Multi-Generation | No Comments

Here are two short quick videos highlighting two beautifully different components of #BlogTourNYC.

THIS is why I love Design. From the elite workings behind the scenes of Kips Bay Decorator Show House which for 43 years has raised funds to support real children with hands on help:

to the curated support of brands like WilsonArt who make it possible for student designers from around the country (this year they partnered with Appalachia State) to attend trade shows and gain valuable experience and exposure:

Enjoy. Get inspired. Share. More of these bite sized nuggets to come.

Make sure to note the details:

Mark Sikes use of wicker in the Dining Room, red gingham, and playful trim with simple potted plants on consoles, layered blue and white dishes…

Alessandra Branca’s use of modern and traditional art, upholstered walls, casual linens mixed with incredible florals…

Have a blessed day. Enjoy your coffee or tea. Drink from a beautiful cup. Call a friend.

xo Ann McD

Blog Tour New York City

By | Design Fundamentals, Succession Living | No Comments

With great thanks, I am off to New York with Modenus for Blog Tour 2015. Make sure you are subscribed to Couture Chateau’s blog via email and follow #blogtour2015 #designeddaily & #legacylife for our succession minded design insights over this season.

Blog Logo

Couture Chateau LLC has the honor of being sponsored by several brands, all under Modenus’ Blog Tour NYC 2015 Banner

BlogTour-Badge-NewYork-eggplantincluding Laufen Bathrooms, Mr Steam, Wilsonart and Dacor Appliances, all linked. My team and I will showcase each of these in upcoming posts.

Veronika Miller, founder and hands on heart behind “the world designed” blog tours has toured the world covering brands, new product releases, interiors, trends, food, and of course design.

Dacor Range

Dacor is one of the Brand Sponsors for Kips Bay and Blog Tour NYC. I am beyond excited to see this piece in action, being a ‘range girl’ myself. The Kips Bay Showhouse installed this Dacor 48″ Gas Range, # RNRP48G. We will see it live on Thursday.

How excited am I? Incredibly. When the itinerary arrived two days ago, packing went into full swing. New York has a special place in my heart. Our first son was born at Lennox Hill Hospital and my husband and I lived and worked in New York two separate times in our 20’s for about 4 years.

We called both the upper east side and upper west side our homes. The dumbest thing we ever did? Not purchase the flat for $350K in the Musicians Building where we lived on West 67th just off the park….live and learn….#selah…. In my heart, it’s one of the reasons I am so passionate about legacy, succession and property as part of a beautifully designed life.

Our first official day will be with Dacor at the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse. Make sure you are following us on Pinterest, HERE and HERE.

Kips Bay

Also, Facebook’s Couture Chateau Page HERE.

facebook blog tour cover

We are on Twitter @couturechateau and Instagram @annlmcdonald as well.

Releasing safe travels, laughter until we can hardly breathe and joy overflowing…


Ann McD.