The Four Agreements (of Interior Design)

Published: March 23, 2020

By Julie Schuster, Julie Schuster Design Studio

Now is the time to retreat, restore and hibernate. I recently used this period to read The Four Agreements, a powerful and critically-acclaimed self-help book and spiritual guide by Don Miguel Ruiz. His fundamental principles, or “four agreements,” really resonated with me (especially in this time when communication is so important). I couldn’t help but apply his thinking and approach to my professional life as an interior designer.


Summary: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid speaking against yourself or gossiping about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and say it nicely.
Interpretation: Words between interior designers and clients matter. Communication is key to aligning on a vision and executing it to the client’s satisfaction. Delivering what you say you’re going to deliver impacts your personal and professional credibility.


Summary: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Interpretation: Sometimes things don’t work out the way you expect them to. Have you ever made a great introduction, sent a proposal and heard nothing back? Chances are it’s nothing personal. Perhaps the timing wasn’t right? Or it wasn’t meant to be? It’s never personal. It’s a hard – but essential – lesson we quickly learn as entrepreneurs.

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Summary: Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Interpretation: Never assume what a client wants. Ask, be specific and clarify whenever there is some ambiguity. Assuming what a client wants can lead to mistakes that are often expensive to fix.


Summary: Your personal best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Interpretation: To be the best, you have to always do your best! As a holistic interior designer specializing in Feng Shui, this is an especially important principle, as we are constantly infusing our work with energy, integrity and positivity.

How do Don Miguel Ruiz’s “Four Agreements” apply to your personal and professional lives – especially during this pandemic? Let us know on our Facebook page and on Twitter @KBB_online.

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