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Advice for DesignersInspiration for the Day

Vancouver Interior Designer: How to be Legendary with Your Clients

By 01/24/2012February 20th, 20177 Comments

So I’m in a workshop for facilitators here in Vegas. The difference between training, which is what I mostly do in my True Colour Expert Workshops and facilitating is this:

1. Training. I need to get my participants from A – B and I have the answers (it is MY system after all).

2. Facilitating. The facilitator stands inside the gap between A – B and you bring activities and resources to lead your participants to B. You don’t even pretend to have the answers.

There’re parts of my course when I’m facilitating and other parts where it’s full-on training.


When we are designing a client’s home or giving advice, most of the time we are actually facilitating. There are times when we have “the answer,” 2 + 2 = 4. For example, “Is gray the best colour for an undecorated room?” No. And other times when it’s a process, an exploration to get to what works for you in your house, for your style of home and it’s different for everyone.

A facilitator [designer] creates a safe and comfortable space for that discovery.

And one thing I’ve noticed in my years of leading workshops is that as designers we really need to learn early on to trust our intuition when giving advice to our clients. If we give our clients exactly what they are asking for then we should be fired. Just like I mentioned in this post. So I’m looking at more ways to create “aha” moments in my workshop around our intuition.

Audrey Hepburn

This afternoon we were talking about Appreciative Inquiry. People use fixing to problem solve — they look at what’s wrong and then put in a fix. Appreciate Inquiry looks at what’s great, what’s working, and then from there you create newly.

One of the participants in the workshop gave the best analogy to explain it further. Would you ever go into a grocery store with a list of everything you don’t want? Of course not.


This just gave me a whole new way of looking at the good and the bad in my life too. Why focus on the bad? It’s the same thing.

Be legendary. I think I’ll hang onto that mantra for a while, it’s so happy!

Related posts:

Do you have Good Taste?

Who Says you’re not Creative?

Clients and the Law of Attraction

Download my eBook, It’s All in the Undertones. If you have a computer, you can download my book!

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

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  • carol ann says:

    like look for whats good and repeat it, the feeling that is? mondays clients new kitchen, fav artwork, love of green/blue AF-330 were all good…(after doing the floor plan & space planning) I start working on the area rug/leather & fabrics… I have pictures of it all and this is what I am pulling from to come up with the look of the room… is this what your talking about?
    ps printed out your book today, just love it to bits, thanks x

  • Rhinda says:

    Hi Maria!
    Because of your “facilitating” me through your website, you are looking at the address of my new site that my sister and I started.
    Thank you Maria. It really was with your advice and enthusiasm that this happened. Really! Truly!
    Thank you so.

  • Great post, Maria! Love all of it. 🙂 One of my clients once told me I was a teacher, guide, and catalyst. I never forgot that, and now I’ll also add facilitator- that is truly what we do so much of the time as designers. And trusting your intuition is important…I love the quote “If we give our clients exactly what they are asking for then we should be fired.” I need to make this my motto so I don’t just try to be a people pleaser!!

  • Cathy says:

    Maria, thanks for a great way to start my day! I’m working on a client project (think deep purple bedroom walls with “Williamsburgy” furnishings from the 80s…I’ll keep “Appreciative Inquiry” in mind!) Also, loved your photo of the Audrey Hepburn quote–tracked it down, thanks to the source trail… . Ordered it as well as her “Keep Calm and Quit Yer Whinging”!!

  • I feel confident that you are legendary with your clients! Just peek at all of the comments singing your praises on the book giveaway!!!

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