Five Mistakes Young Families Make When Designing a Home Space

Five Mistakes Young Families Make When Designing a Home Space by Ann McDonald

One of the biggest threads in my heart + soul right now is speaking legacy into young families. So many of us have no idea what a family really is or what it looks like lived out day to day.

What is my definition of a young family? Anyone who doesn’t have a defined vision for their ‘family’ two to three generations out. That probably means you.

Single + planning to stay that way? Still means you. Legacy is about way more than just children ! Think bigger. Live with more love and on purpose. What do you want your legacy to be?

Part of the problem is what I call the “frantic design rush” out there on and in every type of media. I’m in the Industry – I get it. We are on and in the minute details every day. But for you? For our clients and friends? Smell the roses and plan. It takes longer than 24 hours and more than $1500 to re-vamp a room…or a life…or build a legacy. Give yourself some grace.

Young Family Quote

Why five reasons Ann? Because it’s the number of grace. The world needs more grace these days. Besides,

I’m the fifth kid, live at “5” – it shows up over and over and over in my life…..

What is a home?

It matters not if your home space is a 1 bedroom rental or an 11,000 square foot palace, world changers come from both. Ponder that 3 generations out. You will slow down and be kinder to your current spaces. That said, here is my list. It’s on my studio wall. If you come to us for Design work or I speak to your Family Office, Board or Advisers = it is the gate you must pass through. You’re welcome.

1) Peer Design. This is the ‘what is current, hip, hot, all-the-rage, omg you have to have this thing’ thing is. It crosses all boundaries, social groups, lifestyles and mindsets. It’s the ‘you are bad’ if you use this, have that, don’t buy this, do buy that. It’s the ‘you are good’ if… well.

Ponder: You are worthy because you are. Nothing you consume or don’t consume makes you any more or less valuable.

2) Fear Design. I’m afraid if we/us/my child doesn’t have this in/around/near their “whatever” they will be behind in development/access/friends/life. Any decision made from fear is wrong. Fear is a life thief, joy killer, bad buzz.

Consider: The only kind of fear that is good is the kind that leads to wisdom. Every other fear is rotten to the core.

Berkeley, CA

Photo by Eric Nelder for Couture Chateau LLC. Historic Chandler Building, Berkeley, California


3) The Revolt. This is the “I will abstain from everything that is material.” Look, I understand this – if you can’t beat the system, don’t even play the game – but there are good reasons some things are heralded.

Food for Thought: It’s ok to have clean sheets. Global warming will survive you washing sheets in a machine instead of on a rock in a river. You will actually get more done if you clean up a bit. Take a lesson from one of my favorite cities: Berkeley. Look at the Historic Chandler Building on Telegraph Avenue (we had the honor of reminding her of good bones and bringing them out again) in Berkeley, California = she’s beautiful in all her glory.

You? Stand tall, find your corner, clean up, show up.

Photo by Eric Nelder for Couture Chateau LLC. Historic Chandler Building, Berkeley, California

Photo by Eric Nelder for Couture Chateau LLC. Historic Chandler Building, Berkeley, California

4) The WIN. Have you ever been to “that house”? They won. Everything. Need I say more? Trust me – trouble takes time to brew. We can’t play God for long without God looking down and saying ‘hey – let’s go mess with that Tower of Babel thing….’ Let it go. If they happen to be grace filled kind and loving people, for heaven’s sake learn from them.

BUT PLEASE REMEMBER: Honor is different from worship. Honor ALL. There is gold in every single created being. Worship = not for people/places/things. We get these confused. Find your grace, clear your head. Walk away when you need to. We’ve all been there = no shame. Shake it off. Next?

5) The rejection of current home. This is the probably the biggest mistake I have seen in all my years of design. The number one thing you must do before you move on from where you are to a new space/place/level/legacy is ACCEPT + FIND THE LOVE where you are.

If you don’t, you will take everything with you into the next. I’ve seen it countless times over.

Find your honesty, be transparent with yourself and make peace with the current state of YOUR life. Then, you can move on to the next phase.

Having worked through this with those the world considers B I G and small it my honor to remind you (and me). Don’t let these 5 mistakes steal you. You are too incredibly valuable + gorgeous. Royalty. Gold.

In love,



Insider Interior Design Tips for Your Estate, Trust or Multi-Property Portfolio.
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Ann McDonald

Author Ann McDonald

Ann McDonald designs interiors for discreet individuals + multiple property families organized by Family Office, Board or Trust. Her passion is to equip people to live, love and thrive in the holiness of the everyday.

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