How to Make Yours Functional & Beautiful with “Courage Confidential”! - Sound Shore Moms of Westchester


Courage Confidential is a new home design blog for local Moms, brought to you from the faux-marble knock-off tulip table in an airy studio high above Binney Park in Greenwich. Yes, I’m your neighbor, I’m a designer and I’m a mom.

Let’s face it.

We wake up each day, drink our high protein/low fat/no carb smoothie, make the beds, make calls, make plans, make money, make dinner, raise our children, kiss our dogs (and occaisionally our husbands), entertain our friends, laugh, cry and live our lives in our homes. Our homes are important.

So What.

So I’m going to try to help you enjoy your home. To learn. To create. To express yourselves. And to laugh. Oh are we gonna laugh! Cause If we forget to see the lighter side of life we’re doomed. We have to relax. It’s only a sofa.

Repeat after me.

We’re in this together. We care about each other. We support our neighbors. We want to understand why our wastebaskets are always full and our fridges always empty.

What’s next?

Each month I’ll discuss architecture and interiors, common nagging design dilemmas, new home technology, what to do with your old armoire. I’ll introduce you to your local artisans, bring you Befores & Afters, spotlight a residential chef’s kitchen and present a step-by-step “How to Design the Gallery Wall You’ve Always Drooled Over”.

My baby, just-a wrote me a letter.

I would absolutely love to hear from you. Ask me questions. Tell me no lies; as long as you’re funny. So here goes…



Many clients ago I came to realize that moms are virtually running small, but complex corporations out of their homes. The tasks are varied (Tantrum Negotiator & Dental Hygienist to name a couple), the workload great and the hours horrendous. You need a base of operations, a centrally-located perch, a well-equipped work zone. I have come to refer to this essential space as the FCC– Family Control Center. I never design a home without it. Every COO mom needs an FCC.

The FCC is usually near or in the kitchen – the heartbeat of the house – and should have a work surface & a chair on casters as well as drawers, pin-up space and tunes.

Photo: Courage & Co. Charlottesville, VA

This FCC spans one entire wall of the breakfast area as the natural, Modern Shaker-style oak cabinets continue into the kitchen and unify the two spaces. It’s workspace serves double duty as overflow storage space and display. And as you can see the proximity to the breakfast table allows the kids to do homework while you’re hitting up Rosie’s for a donation to the Riverside Run.

Photo: Unknown

Abracadabra Poof! This pantry cabinet hides a full-service FCC even with a pull out for the printer. Your goal is to equip your FCC with as many office essentials as possible for ultimate functionality. Remember your time is precious and you don’t want to waste it running up to your husband’s study to print out the bus schedule.

Photo: Gana Studio. Taipei, Taiwan

This European classic interior combines the functional kitchen, eating and library/workspace into a welcoming and elegant FCC. The layout is extremely practical in its simplicity and offers more than is needed for an office space while encouraging family & guests to hang with you while you wear your Chief Chef and Bottle Washer hat.

Photo: Courage & Co. Winnetka, IL


An FCC can also be housed in the living room where business & life become one.

This living room/library/office combo, surrounded by luxurious pale gray cabinetry on all 4 sides exudes sophistication while fully functioning as a home office.  Copiers and filing cabinets are hidden and fine art is hung throughout to minimize the “office look” and maximize the Cultured Library ambiance.

So fellow Family COOs!

Carve out your own FCC and you’ll be amazed, not only at how much you increase your productivity, but you’ll enjoy a sense of order and calm that comes from having everything in one place.

Please write us at Courage Confidential at with all of your design questions and dilemmas. We can help. That’s what we’re here for. 

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