House-Coaching Changed My Life – Vanessa’s Story Part1

House-Coaching Changed My Life - Vanessa's Story


Vanessa Matas

Connecting dots

My name is Vanessa Matas. I’m an interior designer who loves the concept of designing spaces as well as personal storytelling. I’ve been working as an interior designer for nearly 20 years. My projects are developed with empathy, creating distinctly personal space. I help creating homes, businesses, but above all making dreams come true.

I consider myself very fortunate in that the houses I’ve lived in were all beautiful and I have fond memories of all of them. Obviously, in these houses not everything was always to my liking, but in retrospect connecting the dots of my own personal history, I know that all these houses and all these things are part of the “map of my life”, of my own personal development and growth.

Since I was a little girl I loved being at home. While my brother was playing in the garden, I was listening to music in my room all the while decorating it to my personal taste hanging up posters and photos on my cork wall. I felt loved and safe in my own room. I feel very emotional when thinking about the home of my childhood; good and not so good memories, and the loss I felt when we had to leave the house.  All its rooms, the furniture made of pine wood in my room, the design of the kitchen… all of it has made an impact in my life, in my personal homes and in my aesthetic style as an interior designer.

I believe we all have a “space mark” in our soul. Meaning, the houses and the spaces where we have lived have left a distinctive mark in each and every-one and made an impact in our lives.

House-Coaching Changed My Life

In 2009, when the economic crisis occurred, and seeing that I wasn’t going to be able to work as an interior designer in my own country, I decided to move to Peru. I remember thinking “I’m going to work as an interior designer”, I wasn’t going to “look for a job just to make a living”. Why Lima? Well, first of all because I have family there and secondly, because the country at that time was developing programs for urban expansion.  My family was a great help in setting up my own business as an interior designer and I was able to make projects of all kinds, such as: family homes, duplex, restaurants, office space…. always reflecting my clients’ personality, taking into account their needs with a holistic approach, and going beyond the merely decorative aspects based on the latest fashion.

In April 2015, while living in Lima and in the middle of processing my sorrow in the wake of a spontaneous abortion, I decided to have a butterfly tattooed on my arm representing the constant changes in our lives.  

A month later a client asked me to accompany her to a conference given by an interior designer.  The name of the interior designer is Kirsten Steno and the creator of House-coaching.  She was on a tour of South America giving conferences in the shops of the internationally renowned furniture company BoConcept.

Meeting Kirsten

I personally believe things don’t happen by chance, but for a reason; when Kirsten explained  there are always things in our lives that are in a developing state, that – just like butterflies – we go through different stages of change and that we can use our homes like the chrysalis of the butterflies, my hair stood on end; I had finally found the piece that linked with what I like the most:  interior design and the histories of personal development. Right after the talk I approached Kirsten for her to sign my personal copy of her book, nervously, because I was meeting an important person for the first time, I gave her my business card and offered myself as her personal tourist guide in Lima. She was delighted by my offer and the following day we met up to walk through Barranco, one of the most beautiful and enchanting neighborhoods of the city. We talked a lot and she told me of her plans to train other professionals of interior design as House coaches, right away I told her to count me in.

At that time, I actually wanted to move back to Mallorca, but because there were a lot of things binding me to Lima (a lot of work, being in a relationship, great friends) I didn’t dare take the step to move back and start all over again in Mallorca. I was filled with fear and insecurities. It would represent a big change and I was scared.  On top of that I felt privileged living where I did; in a small flat with a beautiful terrace with the best view of Lima Bay. I could see and hear the sea from my window!! My home, it was another important thing that held me back in Lima, I loved that place.

But getting to know Kirsten and House-coaching, the changes in my life began to take flight. She started teaching me the tools of House-coaching, and thus the changes happened naturally, the relationship I was in ended, the person in charge of renting my place was replaced by a very shy person with bad vibes.  Things occurred so that a year after having met Kirsten, I was again living in Mallorca.

After getting back, I studied House-coaching for a year.