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Clients and the Law of Attraction

By 10/23/2010January 26th, 201732 Comments
Last week when I posted this article, one of my readers emailed me and said “Sounds like you’ve had a recent very bad experience or maybe a series of sorta bad. . .” and I responded that I can count on one hand how many ‘bad’ experiences I have had with clients in my business and that was mostly in the beginning when I was green. I wrote that post because I think the more [we] design professionals communicate with our clients to manage their expectations, the happier they are in the end. We are selling the intangible with design, in addition to custom made items and our clients are trusting that it will look great when they are finally installed! There’s a lot of blind faith involved!
Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions. Albert Einstein

One of the conversations I have often during consultations, especially when we are starting from scratch creating a new palette of colours, is “Just so you know, because we are simply picking colours and are not pulling it from a piece of art or your existing upholstery, it’s way harder to really get excited about an itsy bitsy colour chip”. That’s when you’ll second guess your designer/colourist the most, prior to you or she/he pulling together fabrics, finishes or artwork.

Whether you Think you Can or you Can’t—you’re Right. Henry Ford

I truly believe that I attract every single person that comes into my life, including my clients. The most rewarding part of blogging is that the people that read my blog resonate with something about me and most of my clients feel like friends whether I talk to them on the phone during our on-line consultations or see them in person.

I have defined the clients that hire me into 3 types. And each personality is me as well (I’m a Gemini after all and have many of them 🙂

1. Clients that have read my blog from top to bottom (All 450 posts—whew) already feel like they are my friend (If you have actually read my entire blog, you KNOW me 😉 occasionally I even get a hug as soon as I walk into their house (or when I leave). It’s so fun I can hardly stand it! They trust my advice and know that I am not there to judge.

You are a living magnet. What you attract into your life is in harmony with your dominant thoughts. Brian Tracy

2. Some clients are worried. They know they might be trying too hard to work with an heirloom, purchases made in their travels or gifts from family or friends and they really need an honest opinion on whether they can really make it work and still get the look they want.

I am a big worrier, tortured even. Before I did many years of personal growth and development, I would tell anyone that would listen my problems because I had to know THE answer. I didn’t care how it made me look (not good that’s for sure) I just needed some relief from my analyzing brain. I am a big communicator, I like to talk about everything, all the time, the bad, the good, the pretty and the ugly. I will probably never get a disease from holding anything inside. Anyone that knows me, pretty much knows where they stand from moment to moment.

It took many years of Landmark courses for me to pause before I react and I’m so much better than I used to be (really). I still occasionally have trouble not instantly reacting with my family—hence the reason my sister is not speaking to me at the moment—but I do apologize right away (which I didn’t do in the past because I was so right). Sis (hopefully she still reads my blog) I’m thinking you should consider an IKEA kitchen. Not as expensive and they have come a long way with their kitchens—is that enough of a bribe to get you to call me back? I love you!

You create your own universe as you go along. Winston Churchill

3. Then there are the maximizers. Clients that need to weigh every possibility before they can decide. The ones that have a tastefully decorated home already, are usually well-travelled and/or have worked with designers in the past. They know what is trendy and have a pretty good idea of what works and doesn’t about their house. They are usually not happy with only having 2-3 choices (it’s our job as designers to narrow down 3 from 40,000 fabrics, after all). They need to come with me to the showrooms so they can see every other possible fabric themselves before they can be satisfied that they have made the right choice.

If I did not decorate for a living, I would certainly fall into this category. This is why decorating my current house from scratch is killing me because there are too many options and I like so many of them. At the same time that I cannot live with an empty dining room, I worry a lot that the fabric for my chairs (that has just arrived) is still going to make me happy 5 years from now.

Follow your bliss, and doors will open for you that you never knew existed. Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls. Wayne Dyer

Whenever something goes wrong with any of my clients (I am human after all and mistakes will happen), I immediately look to see where I am responsible, where was communication missing in the beginning, where can I be generous. And I’m good at visualizing the end result. If I was someone that had to buy my third sofa in a row from a client because they didn’t like it (one story I heard a while ago) I think I would go do something else before I looked to blame someone else for the mistake.

I feel truly blessed for the bloggers who consistently post comments (thanks so much) even though I don’t have the same time I had in the past, to reciprocate. And for you, my readers and clients who read my blog and send me emails that truly move me and make me feel so lucky that I get to do what I love every day! Thank you to you all!

Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me for on-line or in-person decorating and colour.

Related posts:
Managing Client Expectations
Do you make this mistake in your Business/Blog?
Happiness is. . . Having the Career that you Love
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  • Lol, Maria. I can SO RELATE to so many things you post about today! I do believe in the law of attraction and when I push out the negative and focus on the positive, great things do happen. Too, I cannot help but feel validated every time a decorator laments about their own home — I am ridiculously unable to make choices for myself, and get bored before I finish anything. The OCD doesn't help either! 🙂 And yet, like you, I can visualize someone else's space to the detail, thank goodness. Finally, thank YOU for always teaching us something.

  • Cherri @ SmartyPantalons says:

    I so enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing your smarts.

    My husband is a "maximizer," but to the point of indecision. He must be informed to the point that we don't ever decorate. We live in the house as it was when we moved in two years ago. We dislike it, but disagree. I have ideas and will take chances. He must preplan, research, and be sure. Thus, no decor or cohesion of any sort. Just a random collection of whatever I found, whatever was here when we moved in and whatever we are too lazy to do anything about.

    I secretly think…one of these days.

  • Oh, and your quotes are GREAT. I'm going to put them all on my desk!

  • Stephanie says:

    If this helps, we are putting in an Ikea kitchen in my daughter's home and we are so happy with it! The organization options you have and the nice cabinet finishes and the price, really give you a bang for your buck. Maybe saying this will validate your comment to your sister to go for the Ikea kitchen.

  • Tara Dillard says:

    When asked about the 'business' of blogging part of my answer is, "read Color Me Happy."

    They thank ME for you! Should have told you this sooner.

    What you post about the macro/micro of blogging is potent. Mentoring.

    Thank You.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • Green with Envy says:

    Pale blue, light pink and soft Irish green–what a great color combo and what gorgeous rooms.

    To Maria's Sister: CALL HER IMMEDIATELY! You're such a lucky girl to have a dazzling light like Maria as your sister. Either call to tell her you love her or agree to switch places with me!

  • Bruce Barone says:

    I do believe in The Law of Attraction.

  • Amy @MaisonDecor says:

    I think you are incredibly open and honest which means you are a genuine person. Being authentic, like I consider myself to be, sometimes does offend people, but it is a risk that we take being real with issues. Not rude, just real. I have found most are attracted to real answers instead of my hedging the way to say what needs to be said. After all, you are hiring a designer for their expertise and their opinions, correct?
    Yes I believe in the law of attraction and believe that is why I am happier than I have ever been! So glad you posted this about your work and relationships with clients and family…I can relate!

  • Cherri @ SmartyPantalons says:

    On a different topic, I love those green curtains in the photos. But, I hate curtains dragging on the ground. This is one of those design trends I don't get. Drapes are hard to clean, dustbunnies gather on the floor near walls, and people trip over piles of fabric clumped up on the floor–these and other reason are simply the practical one why I don't want my curtains on the floor. But, I just don't get it. I've been meaning to write you a question and ask you to explain this from a design perspective. I understand the length thing–but you can make things a 1/2 in ch from the floor and create height.

  • AB HOME Interiors says:

    Great title Maria!! Love it. And as usual great post. So glad I got to see you in Highpoint. I spoke with Brooke on the phone the other day. She was a delight! I am loving this whole blogging thing!

  • millie @ passiondecor says:

    Hey Maria, I love this post very much. I live by law of attraction – because whether you believe in it or not – it's working. And it's always great to meet other people who knows about the law of attraction..
    As always, I read your blog and learn a lot about relations between designer and a client. Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge.

    have a nice day
    Millie from Montenegro

  • Ideezine says:


    As a designer how could you not believe in the law of attraction? So much of how we learn about design was about attracting for unification of all rooms in design.

    Thank goodness for variety both in clients and projects. If things didn't change we wouldn't grow or get to know some great people who become our lifelong friends.

    Fabulous post Maria!


  • Sherri Cassara says:

    Ah, great post. Communication is everything and listening is 1/2 of that. I have learned much from you about communicating to a client 'why' I make the choices I do. Everyone makes mistakes and I think that most people understand that. I think that the biggest problems in business and in personal relationships are our differences in expectations – good communication up front can prevent that most of the time. It is affirming for me to hear how others struggle doing what we do so easily for someone else, when it comes to our own homes.

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Cherri,
    If you look at that website it looks to me like this is very 'staged' and not a real place where people live. I agree, especially on hardwood floors that is a recipe for seriously dusty hems!
    Thanks everyone for your comments!

  • Annie@A View On Design says:

    hi Maz! You know it seems only a few weeks ago when you blogged about how you wanted to create a wonderful blog, with lots of subscriptions and followers, and now you've got like umpteen followers, and god knows how many subscribers (including me! which is probably why I don't always post a comment for every post cause its in my hotmail inbox!) not that that should be an excuse, but it just IS ok! LOL

    Still lovin your blog, amazing how you write so much more than just colour stuff, me, I just don't have the energy at the end of the day to write so much, I post a few cute pics, and I'm done – but then again, it's not a career thing for me atm, so I'm just keepin in real!
    BTW, love that lavender chair on it's own there in that room! (sorry, off-topic I know!)

  • allysonkirk says:

    What a great soul-baring post! You help me better understand and relate to clients. And your color posts — especially re beige have been a godsend!! Thank you.

  • camdesign says:

    Love your blog, love you…I too have not got the time to comment on every blog, the law of attraction is so true but with my design the sales people get the clients first so it is hit and miss if they like or trust me… most do thank goodness…did you see the condo before and after I did a few posted back? It took me a few minutes in the room to believe I did it so right, I do not see the afters most of the time…
    I would love to have a sister or brother sad for you that you are having a problem together…without one my life has been rather lonely, hope you hug and make up real soon.
    a hug from me to you… x

  • A Gift Wrapped Life says:

    Hi Maria,
    Yes, the room and photo shoot was staged as a set and is not in fact a real room so I would guess that the volume of draping was for effect. I am sure no one has maids in uniforms either. There is an interesting detail in that main photos which shows the foot of a modern woman leaving the room. To me this shows he designs with the history in mind but is firmly planted in the present Mr. Ludwig is a most talented designer who bases his work on historical details. He is most gracious has allowed me to use a few for my blog and website. As a staged setting, I am sure you would agree that his work is to be admired.
    All the best
    Sande Chase

  • pve design says:

    Yes, I do believe in the law of attraction –
    From the book of Tao~
    "When the true light appears,
    The entire planet turns to face it.
    Celebrate the light you shed and to those that face it as well as embrace it.

  • Peggy and Fritz says:

    Simply Fabulous!

  • Design Elements says:

    Hi Maria, I do believe in The Law of Attraction! I've read on your blog that you like (excactly like me 🙂 The Happiness Project but I didn't expect to see another favorite book of mine on your blog. Very good post! Lovely greetings

  • Kelly Berg says:

    Hi, Maria. So true about the "Law of Attraction." I like how Wayne Dyer explains it (I'm paraphrasing): You don't attract what you want in life, but rather who you are.
    I've definitely noticed this in business. I used to be much more worried about whether or not I would get a job. I felt like I desperately needed to get work from every potential client that contacted me. Over the last couple of years I started to realize that this attitude did not attract the clients I was looking for. Now, I'm much more laid back and I figure if a job is meant to be, I'll be hired. If not, no big deal. Through this shift, I've found that my clients are also more laid back – my favorite kind of clients to work with. Go figure.

  • Dovecote Decor says:

    Maria: Have you ever read a post, and felt like it was written for you in the moment you were in. The laws of attraction are very timely for me. I tend to get overly intellectual and stray. I always look for the miracle, and they do come quite regularly, yet I can be quite distracted by static and non-universe messages. I was very impressed by my research on Bobby and then my conversation gave me the impression that he's way more in tune, than anyone I've ever met. I keep trying to tune that "U" string, but I still hear too many of the wrong notes. Thanks for the post. I'll leave you with my favorite Grateful Dead/Robert Hunter quote (I used to cook for the Dead in college, and knew them). "Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places, if you look at it right." Good stuff. I'm glad you have integrated these ideas into your work, and apparently we are all there. Some are better at keeping that "U"string tuned and I work on it every day. I am committed to blocking that Madison Ave nonsense buzzing in my ears from my precious "you know who." Maybe this is why the blogs are thriving, and many magazines are not. I needed that.

  • Tricia says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Maria. All principles I know and live by most of the time. But, I am a little impatient and do tend to second quess myself when the "results" are not fast as I think they should be. Your post was a gentle nudge to get back on track. I pretty much live and breath interior design so I guess the universe used your blog as an avenue to get my attention. Not where I would have expected to read about the law of attraction which really emphasized the point. Thanks for being the conduit.

  • Paula Doelling-Lynn says:

    Devised color palettes for a client are guided by the color professional. A client's color style is your color skill set applied to his 'imagined or unrealized' vision.

    One of your best posts, Maria!!

  • Paula Doelling-Lynn says:

    Devised color palettes for a client are guided by the color professional. A client's color style is your color skill set applied to his 'imagined or unrealized' vision.

    One of your best posts, Maria!!

  • Donna says:

    What a sweet and honest post Maria. I think I relate to you on all three levels. I've read every post I can squeeze in and trust you 100%. Your name is as familiar to my whole family as it is to me. Only Rayanne, Trudy, and Shona are that well known in our household. Two of them go to church weekly with me and one is the mother of a former church member. You are the only one I love 'sight unseen'. Somehow, "Maria', just jumps off the page as a genuine person..and I relate. You make us all feel like real people.
    But I'm also extremely frugal..and analytical. I want to know that I've made the right decision and won't waste money making the wrong one. Although limited, I have a strong artistic sense and know when something works.. or doesn't.. and I like the confirmation or correction you give.

    But bottom line..the only reason you wouldn't hear from me is dire circumstances of life..which do intervene from time to time with my ability to reciprocate.

    With three teens to nurture, church responsibilities..and a blog to water and tend to, plus an estate to manage (not my decision)…I don't get to comment nearly as often as I would wish. But I consider you my friend..from the heart.. truly. :O) I will never forget the day we had our consultation. Your voice sounded just like you..wonderful..and friendly.

    You have been such an inspiration to me in my blogging journey and in helping 'expert how-to queen' me to learn about something for which I seem to have no aptitude at all…color..and paint.

    Thanks for being such a great friend.

    Donna @ Comin' Home

  • Selected Treasures says:

    Please post more beautiful pictures like these! The Victorian, vintage decor style is absolutely gorgeous!

  • Anonymous says:

    I believe in the Law of attraction, but I have been trying to attract clients since January and have yet to see one. Since I am not a quitter, I am still trying, but hello! I know that anyone who hires me will get someone they can rely on to work with what they like and we will have fun while we're at it! Just wondering why I'm not attracting anyone yet! 🙂

  • Laura@Developing Designs says:

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. You, once again, have touched a lot of people with this fantastic post, including myself. I can not begin to tell you how connected I feel to the words you share, there is such an understanding, a relation to it all, it's well, sort of freaky (in a good way) 🙂

    I hope all works out with your sister. So many, including myself appreciate all your hard work, your honesty and sharing the wealth of information you always provide. Life w/out Maria would NEVER be the same. You are a ray of sunshine, full of bright colour that fills our hearts with gratitude, appreciation and love for you. Grateful, very grateful for you my friend. xo

  • Maria Killam says:

    Thank you for such kind words, your comment made my day. I also forgot to post an update on my sister. She was in a Communication course at Landmark last weekend (I had just posted this) and she called me. In this course you write 5 lists where the question is asked in many different ways. . . Where and with whom is love missing?

    Anyway, she called me and all is well. . .
    Thanks again!

  • Ryan Hall says:

    I believe in the law of attraction. If you study the most sucessful men and womwn in history you will find that they all used it in some form or another. Henry ford definately knew of its power.

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