My TOPP Tip for Designers

Considering I’ve been designing interiors for twenty-five years, you would think my TOPP tip for designers would be design related.  It’s not. 

Whether speaking to a group of students or industry professionals, my answer to the TOPP tip I’d share is as simple as listening to your inner voice. I don’t mean the one that whispers in your ear that you ate too many cookies at lunch, or causes you to worry that your design work isn’t good enough!


We all get those intuitive hits when something doesn’t feel right.  For some, the hair stands up on their arms. For others, they feel dread in the pit of their stomach. Far too often, we are caught up in the chaos of our daily lives that it isn’t until we find ourselves in a quiet place at the end of the day when the something’s-wrong feeling grips our gut. Unfortunately, at that point, it may be too late to pinpoint exactly what event in the past twelve hours caused the intense reaction that your body overlooked and your ego tuned out. 

I know the potential of a new client is thrilling.  I also understand how easy it is to get caught up in creativity that you loose track of time.  However, if you learn to stay in the present moment, instead of focusing on past mistakes or future dollars, and listen to the signs being shared with you through your intuition, your projects will turn out better than you could have ever imagined.  In some cases you will learn to turn away projects when you know deep inside, no matter the financial gain, that you will be happier without the headache. Ultimately, by releasing what isn’t going to suit your highest and best good, you’re allowing an open space to be filled with something better. And, trust me, the next project that comes along WILL be better.

The more you listen to your inner knowing and learn to trust it, the stronger it will become. And, as Steve Jobs so poignantly said, “Don’t let the noise of others’  opinions drown out your own inner voice.”  You know better than to go against your better judgement or allow others to talk you into something you know doesn’t feel right. 

It may have taken me many…MANY…years to learn, but bottom line – TRUST your gut!!


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