It will be nearly impossible for you not to scale the growth of your  design firm with this powerful business coaching for interior designers. 

 (more money, more time, more team, more sanity)

A comprehensive and powerful business model for creative entrepreneurs

The Design Paradigm™ is our focused Interior Design business coaching program utilizing live workshops and coaching access 24/7 via email/app/office hours to support the  online training and tools we use every day.

This is BETTER than one on one coaching as it is layered, consistent and with a specific agenda. AND, we are here with you every step of the way. Slow and steady so that you can continue to run your business. 

It is nearly impossible for you to not accelerate your growth when done with this program. We will make sure of it. 

This is the real deal in running a successful business with a proven model. 

The business of design. The marketing you need. The systems to make it work. 

Business and marketing coaching for Interior Designers from a 22 year business owner and designer. 

Read more about Cheryl’s success  with other interior designers here. 

Business and marketing coaching for interior designers
Cheryl Kees Clendenon The Design Paradigm

The Design Paradigm™ program is for Interior Designers who are serious about running a profitable business and being the expert in the room. 

Click below for a complete catalog listing all of the 60+ classes and the descriptions of what each will convey. 

The Design Paradigm will deliver:

  • A core system of ideas and concepts including principles, design philosophies, business psychology and strategies you will use daily.

  • A business model based on projecting income, marketing to your people and planning for sustained growth.

  • A guide to achieving specific goals in a creative business while remaining adaptable to the needs of growth and a changing marketplace.

  • A structured approach to a successful business model that will unleash your creativity.

  • A veteran of the interior design business, coaching, retail, managing people and wearing all the hats to be your partner in this adventure.

The unique benefits of this coaching
program for Interior Designers:

  • A definitive business model with a method of calculating flat fees, when to charge hourly, how to implement the minimum expenditure and explain it to the client as a win/win for both of you. No more questioning others, you will know.

  • The plans for future growth- 1 year, 3 years, 5 years.

  • Client profiles that fit the needs of your specific business considering longevity in business, location and your own personal desires.

  • The secure knowledge of when to hire, whom to hire and how to train for optimal performance.

  • Extended knowledge in kitchens, baths, remodels and new construction and how to anticipate needs of clients and contractors.

  • A defined and compact process to implement for designing new construction, remodels, one room or 30 rooms.

  • Methods to overcome obstacles, with a creative mojo to rival the best of the best.

  • DGD Certification to add to your website and business cards! Woohoo! 

How is The Design Paradigm philosophy different?

It is no secret to those who know Cheryl well, to understand how her world view of business and marketing has evolved from a long time study of behavioral psychology and a deep passion and understanding of how quirky consumer behavior  can influence the decision making process. How to harness this understanding in the business of design, a high touch and emotional business, is a big part of her success. 

This outlook influences the way she coaches Interior Designers about business, marketing and the growth of their business. 

Along with this unique vantage point, there is the wealth of experience running a successful firm with 20 of the 22 years with a team. These insights will shape what you take away from The Design Paradigm. She and Liz are working actively in the trenches along side you dealing with the same daily learning opportunities. Liz brings a wealth of knowledge of small business operations, hands on project management experience and amazing insight into what makes a successful project tick. And she writes a mean email! 

The live workshops alone are vastly different than what others are offering as we are committed to each and every person enrolled in the annual program. This is BETTER than one on one coaching. It gives you the benefit of three ways to hear the messaging and understand the business model. And you are a single person to us–not part of a group. Please understand this is different than anything you have seen before as most do not address the individual business.

This is why we ask you to fill out a specific assessment for us–we want to know YOU. 

Our greatest strength is the unique approach we take to building a business-one layer at a time.

Business and marketing coaching for Interior Designers who embrace being held accountable and want to elevate to the next level–whatever that looks like for you. 


What is included for the "all in" annual programs?

  • Premium pricing. And, you can pay off the investment monthly for 12 months if you begin before the end of November. (November is the last date to be able to do 12 payments and after this time will be only a 9 month payment option) 

  • The live workshops (20, 24 or 26 depending on your selection)  to put into practice what we are talking about in the subject study. These workshops are the real deal. 

  • Access to one on one help via office hours, the ACT app, and email. We are here for you. 

  • Each subject within the section has fully self contained video teaching to support the live workshops.  

  • PDF Info Guides bound and sent to you along with some DGD swag.

  • Our signature nudge app we are calling ACT. This app will helps us communicate as well as assess progress and help you ACT upon the information with short bursts of teaching, encouragement, and accountability. You could do it all on this app if you so choose but you have both options. Includes checklists and such that will be beneficial. And this is the place to ask quick questions for Cheryl and LIz as well as a place for us to “check in” with you and review progress. We are here with you for the duration!

  • Damn Good Designer certification – minimum number of credits required: 100

  • Case Studies that will walk you through real jobs- with the costs, the profit, the problems, the solutions. 

  • Templates, forms, checklists, spreadsheets and more tools to help you run your business.

  • Most excellent guest Speakers periodically to enhance the value and specific to a particular industry.

All applicants are subject to review of their stage in business. What this means is simply that the workshops are dynamic and we want to ensure a baseline of knowledge of all participants.

Note the following:

  • The individual sections do not include the office hours or additional access to coaching. 

  • Office hours set up for those pesky dilemmas you want help solving. All 12 month program participants will have greater access to Cheryl. I will begin office hours however the fourth week of January for sign ups. These are 20 minute speed dating style of meetings!

What is it about our App that is so different from others?
We are calling it ACT- Accelerate Creative Thinking

The most basic definition of a nudge is the act of “encouraging or persuading someone to do something in a way that is gentle, rather than forceful or direct” We want to use our custom app from Nudge to get you to ACT on the information we present. Having the information in a format that makes it easy to digest just a portion of it while waiting in car pool line or between appointments and most importantly remember it later.

To this end much of the teaching of The Design Paradigm philosophy is in shorter information bursts and will be available on the ACT app as well as the main platform. The biggest problem for leaders and entrepreneurs is a lack of time resulting in not putting into practice what you have learned.

This results in 70% forgetting what the information entirely. We aim to change that with our multi pronged platform and accessibility to the information when you need it as well as encouraging you to ACT upon it.

This will encourage accountability in our business coaching for interior designers. 

How it works

What next?

  • Register in advance at launch pricing. Pricing will increase after initial launch. This is a lot of information! Click any of the buttons throughout this document.

  • Bear in mind, the annual group will be small by design. There is a cut off of people enrolling so do it now to save your place for January. Information will be sent before then to get you going! 
  • There will be an assessment form sent out to you within a few days of signing up. This is important in that it  tells us more about the type of business you are working in now and the areas you wish to work on. Our team will review all of these so that we have a good idea of the make up of the workshops. This will help tremendously if you need additional guidance from Cheryl on specific issues that come up along the way. 

When does this begin?

  • The classes will drop beginning in early December so you have time to review prior to the first live workshop in January. Not all classes are immediate. They will be dropped as they are ready to launch as this is our inaugural voyage! So if you are doing the “all in” program, they will be staggered which will keep you focused.

The finances?

  • You can purchase full course options or individual sections (see Investment page for details on pricing)

  • If you purchase the entire program a monthly payment plan is available.

What is the DGD Certification and why does it matter?

  • It is fun.

  • You can put DGD on your cards and laugh when no one ever asks about it but your close friends

  • It illustrates that you showed up and took the business of business seriously.

  • Did I mention it was just fun?

"Set your hat at a jaunty angle if you are going to wear them all.
Attitude is best served looking good." Damn Good Designer®

Sections 1 & 2
The Business Model and Creating Cheeky Cherubs

A business model for contrarians and non-conformists.

  • Defining your product 

  • Flat fees & Minimum expenditures

  • Projecting income and growth goal mapping

  • Pricing, using our signature calculator and the power of three

  • Data analysis and why it matters to your pricing

  • Fun with financials-deep dive into my secrets to the P and L 

  • Legal considerations

  • Creative Creating 

  • Elements of design- the crux of the matter

  • Selling the vision and not the parts

  • Owning the budget conversation

  • The visual scope of work

  • Many deliverables in the way of templates, calculators and client facing documents

The design paradigm Business coaching

1 Mind your own business. (They said)

Show me the money!

The Design Paradigm business and marketing coaching for interior designers

2 Creating cheeky cherubs, wondrous whizbangs and a fearless faith in the prodigious piquancy of the fire breasted flowerpeckers

All the momentous things no one ever told you was a thing and absolutely necessary to rule the world.

Opening your mind to being a creative mo fo and challenge the status quo

Sections 3 & 4
Marketing, Sales & Client Management

3 Endurance, wit and pantyhose.

Defining your product, selling it to Hollywood and retiring rich on a yacht in Greece with Juan and Stefan.

4 Taming Tammy Faye. And Karen. And Karl.

Managing the client experience from discovery to presentation to install with nothing but your wizardly wand and a glass of wine a night

 Sales and marketing for percipient designers who want to do it right.

  • Big beautiful branditude

  • Marketing with intention

  • Get serious sales savvy

  • Amplifying attention

  • Content marketing 

  • Writing to Sell 

  • Photography, styling and how to maximize your efforts

  • Finding your ideal client 

  • The client experience

  • Managing client expectations

  • Wrapping up installations, getting that review

  • The Psychology of clients 

 This section will be ready in January and the workshops will meet once a week for 2 hours on Tuesday at 12 noon central time beginning in March. (March/April time frame). The full schedule will be sent to you by mid-November. There are a total of 4 live workshops plus the guest speakers. 

Sections 5 & 6
Processes and Product Sales

A post-traumatic stress survivor’s guide to products, processes and systems management.

  • Discovery and lead management 

  • The initial consultation 

  • Onboarding and internal integration

  • Schematic design

  • Design development

  • Winning the presentation

  • Setting up systems

  • Pricing and procurement

  • Logistics and how to make it work for your 

  • Making money on soft goods sales

  • Furnishings and all the things you thought you knew

  • Market Daze= Navigating market and insider info 

  • Additional deliverables for processes and product sales 

5 Perfecting the process for termites, tornados and twisted ankles.

Managing the alligators closest to the boat. .

If it was not planned, it did not happen.

6 Fortune telling and cracking the dragon.

Selling winsome wares, mastering the margins and how to eat at market for free.

 This section will be ready in mid- February and the workshops will meet once a week for 2 hours on a Tuesday at 12 noon central time beginning in May (May/June time frame). The full schedule will be sent to you by mid-November. There are a total of 4 live workshops plus the guest speakers. 

Sections 7 & 8
Construction and Project Management

7 Navigating turbulent seas with bodacious boat building, buoys of brilliance, blueberry buckles and a bit of bravado.

Construction administration and the building process demystified.

(And the best ways to manage more monkeys in your circus tent. )

8 Wrestling water buffalo while flying a plane.

Upside Down.

Free falling with grace and dexterity while handling 697 tasks all in the normal course of a day.

Managing projects in the twilight zone. 

  • Construction Administration

  • The building process

  • Managing subs and contractors 

  • Drawing to communicate

  • The fiduciary relationship in construction

  • Estimating and bidding

  • Successful project planning

  • Time management- yes really

  • Creating mandatory milestones and getting paid for it 

  • Additional deliverables for construction and project management to make your life easier!

 This section will drop in March or earlier and the workshops will meet once a week for 2 hours on Tuesdays at 12 noon central time beginning in July. (July/Aug time frame). The full schedule will be sent to you by mid-November. There are a total of 4 live workshops plus the guest speakers. 

Section 9
Hiring and Training a Team

Managing projects in the twilight zone. 

  • Buying low, selling high

  • Instilling intentional intelligence

  • The art of managing people not tasks

  • Training warriors

  • Fostering creativity and encouraging dissent

  • Additional deliverables and templates for Hiring and Training 

9 Hunting for nimble mountain goats and shrewd snow leopards in a world of fancy flamingos.

Growing your own wild and wacky animal kingdom without being eaten alive.

 This section will drop in March or earlier and the workshops will meet once a week for 2 hours on Tuesdays at 12 noon central time beginning in September. The full schedule will be sent to mid-November. There are a total of 2 live workshops plus the guest speakers. 

Section 10 & 11
The Business of Kitchen and Bath Design

10 Bath Design & Management.

Down and Dirty.

Bathhouses, ballcocks, bidets and all the things that go bump in the middle of the night. Or rather leak.

11 Kitchen Design & Management.

Hot and Cold.

If you can't stand the heat. Get out of the kitchen.

Be the expert in the room. 

  • Establishing scope

  • Process and planning for kitchens and baths

  • Design from the ground up: Hard surfaces- Tile, flooring, shower enclosures

  • Material selections

  • Bathroom considerations

  • Subcontractor love 

  • Electrical HVAC, Appliances

  • Forms and specifications

  • Plumbing

  • Kitchen considerations

  • Add on revenue-maximizing the sale 

  • Additional deliverables for kitchen and bath design/management to make your life easier!

Section 12
Retail Boutique Management

12 Retail start up crazy town.

Only offered for certifiably crazy designers like me who dream big, don't sleep and think balance is a pair of tennis shoes.

Not for sissies. 

  • How to know when you are ready to open a retail boutique

  • The investment 

  • Inventory- Buying and Managing

  • Merchandising

  • Managing the shop and the people 

  • Additional deliverables for retail boutique management

A bit about Cheryl and Liz

Cheryl Kees Clendenon

Poobah, Shopkeep, Interior Designer, Rainmaker, Small Business Owner,
Business Coach

2021 KBB Person of the year
2021 Design Studio winner Dallas Arts Awards

2021 Changemaker Design Hounds

200 or so years ago a child came roaring into the world feet first ready to show up and argue a cause. Just because. Her mother still maintains the story is- she was screaming-“why”- from the minute she landed wrong side up and slapped the doctor for disturbing her afternoon nap.

And to this day does not give “it” a rest except when she is sleeping. Which is where you will find her only between the hours of 2am and 7:30am. A belligerent non-smoker (in case you were wondering) and a frequent challenger of anything that resembles “normal” or desired by the masses, Cheryl is a natural born contrarian who talks faster than 2x speed on a podcast.

She gravitates towards wanting to help clients and designers who are the square pegs in a world of round holes, lose earrings impossibly frequently, fall off of platform shoes and are unapologetically saucy. Relaxing is not in the skill set. Life begins and ends with family.

Her sacred words are: Why, Percipient, Whizbang and Profit.

But please do not say the words: Package, Blocks, Red Flag, Overwhelm or Picked. Hives break out and it gets ugly.

Known for her creative “what if” approach to all facets of design and an unrelenting search for the best solutions, creating homes from the inside out is her passion. But the flow, function and visualization of the future plan is her super power. Running a successful and dynamic business follows as a close second.

Her favorite hobby is research. Reference the “why” upon birth and it makes sense.

She has two daughters, one husband, one Earl, two dogs and lives on a tiny barrier island on the gulf coast of Florida-and yes- keeps a hoodoo voodoo doll buried in the sand protecting against hurricanes.

Liz Lapan

VP of Everything, Interior Designer, Work Wife, Team Cook, Unicorn

One day about 8 years ago Cheryl had to squeeze in some interviews for a gal friday/assistant on a Saturday. In the middle of a (paid!) styling gig for HGTV and off to London in two days, the ever efficient Cheryl asked the two ladies to accompany her on a high level shopping sojourn to Home Goods for HGTV props.

Liz was wrapped up in a heavy scarf like a New Hampshire El Taco burrito—-in the fall ya’ll—-fall in Florida is spelled H O T. Ignoring the side eye sent her way over the odd Yankee behavior, Liz quickly established herself as the heir apparent and Nosey Rosie was given the magic wand to rule the land.

People ask, when did you KNOW you had found your ideal work wife- Cheryl will reply ” When she drew me 8 different cacti on her 3rd day because I said -find me a damn cactus”.

The woman who has never been through an airport without being extended an invitation to stop and play show and tell with the contents of her backpack, can single handedly plow snow with a rake and rescue her boss in a snowstorm in Arizona.–yes, I said Arizona–after sleeping all night in a tuna can of a rental car.

They don’t make ’em like this anymore folks. (by the way she is completely tethered up with air tags so do not even think about it) The dedication is real and she extends this to her clients in too many ways to mention.

Her sacred words are: “Are you kidding me Cheryl”, “Mamma mia” and “I can’t believe it’s Friday”

An accomplished designer in her own right with an amazing sense of color and pattern, Liz can wear the designer hat in the morning, the project manager hat at noon and return to the office being the ultimate manager of all the things. Client’s love her, Subs respect her and the team adores the woman who gets “it” done-whatever “it” may be.


Get ready
Beginning January 5th with the live workshops!