Are you a Victim of your Clients Design Ideas? (For Designers Only)

via House Beautiful (love the perfect boxwood and painted brick) When you’re a new designer, it’s hard to have the answer for every single question. You simply have not seen or experienced every problem yet and EVERY house is different. As a brand new decorator, schlepping my large paint samples from house to house doing colour consultations for Benjamin Moore, my clients asked me ALL KINDS of questions about renovating and decorating ... Continue Reading

How to Transform a Charcoal Sofa with Colour: Before & After

Shari and her husband couldn’t agree on a ‘colour’ when they went shopping for a new sofa, so they chose charcoal. The reason why they couldn’t agree on a colour, is because choosing a sofa BEFORE the carpet, artwork or throw pillows is like picking all the paint colours for your house BEFORE you buy a stick of furniture. If you don’t have an inspiration starting point, then it’s much harder ... Continue Reading

Contrasting Kitchen Island: Get YOUR Colour Right

Recently I was consulting with a couple on their new build. They told me they were definitely installing a white kitchen but they wanted a different colour on the island. This is the inspiration picture they showed me: Robert Elliot Homes When I asked what colours they were decorating with in their adjoining great room, they showed me a photo of their existing sofa which was a gold beige colour. Now if they plan on introducing this ... Continue Reading

Are you a Force of Personality?

  TALENT gets you noticed, MAYBE and looks, sure, for a moment. But the only thing that gets you a seat at the table in this town, is FORCE OF PERSONALITY I’m talking about complete and utter confidence in WHO YOU ARE. When you have that, people are drawn to you–they don’t know why–but suddenly they NEED you. And they will turn their lives inside out, to BE with you. But you have to ... Continue Reading

How to Beautifully Update your Persian (Oriental) Rug

Often when I see a Persian or oriental area rug, I think DATED. In fact, I have an Ask Maria post about this very subject where I simply told my reader “This rug will NEVER be amazing”. Well, as I have said many times in this blog (often in the comments) I’m willing to be wrong. Last fall when I held one of my Specify Colour with Confidence workshops in DC, Erika Ward from ... Continue Reading

Why Stone and Accent Tile are Not as Important as You Think

I have worked with many couples over the years as they plan their renovation or new build. And here’s what I’ve noticed. They get overly worried about the exterior being boring so they go with a combination of stucco, siding AND shingles. Oh, but we’re not done yet, don’t forget the stone AND brick. When I’m consulting on new build colours, I often ask if they have their landscape design ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Can I Combine Faux Hardwood Tile with my Oak Floors?

via pinterest “Maria, I have oak tongue-in-groove hardwood floors which connect to white tile in my white kitchen. With my upcoming kitchen renovation (in which the kitchen will stay white), I want to replace the white tiles, but I am not comfortable extending hardwood into the kitchen. I really do prefer tiles in a kitchen! What do you think about those porcelain tiles that look like hardwood? What if I could find one in a similar colour ... Continue Reading

How to Disappear a White Mistake on Cabinets: Before & After

Styling and photos by Maria Killam Recently my good friend Jan Romanuk told me she’d finished a renovation in downtown Vancouver and asked if I’d like to photograph it for the blog. Since I can never get enough white kitchens on the blog, I happily said yes. Jan’s client had ordered new white cabinets for her kitchen and was dismayed when they were installed and she saw that the white she had selected actually had ... Continue Reading

The Best Colour for your Childs Bedroom Furniture (Before & After)

Last year my sister Elizabeth decided it was high time the kids had a decorated bedroom. My Mom had painted it green a few years ago (it was black when they moved in). Elizabeth and her husband Bill found the bunkbeds on-line and–without consulting me about placement or colour, but I’m okay with it–had someone assemble it and stick it in the corner of the bedroom. This left us with a ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Do’s and Dont’s for Installing Encaustic Tile

Subway tile backsplash – via Pinterest Every time I see a badly installed Encaustic tile or just too much pattern, even if it’s not badly designed, I get further validation (in my mind) that my job on this blog, is to direct you towards the most classic, simple, solid tile which is often subway tile. Period. And just in case you’re rolling your eyes (Hey, I can see you :), I’m ... Continue Reading

5 Insider Secrets No One Tells you About Social Media Marketing

Photo by Angie Wolfe Photography Many of you know the story of how I began this blog but I’ll do a recap for this post. I had been reading blogs for about 6 months before I started writing Colour Me Happy over 8 years ago. Business was slow for me at the time and I was tired of the ups and downs of being a self-employed designer. You know what it’s ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Choose Exterior Stone (Ugly is On Sale; Don’t Buy It)

Image via Sotheby’s Suddenly in the last week, we have sold quite a few ‘New build packages” because it’s that time of year where the planning is starting. It got me to thinking about exterior and this post that I started writing a couple months ago and forgot about: One of my True Colour Experts posted this dilemma on our private Facebook page: What to do? I have my first opportunity ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Choose a Front Door Colour from Palm Springs

How do you choose the colour of your front door? Well if you have a white or cream house (or another pretty neutral shade) without any fixed elements, technically, your options are endless. But are they? The way to create flow from the outside to the inside is to look inside your front door. What are the colours in your entry or your adjoining rooms? That’s where you’ll find your ... Continue Reading

3 Best Ways to Choose a Fresh Paint Colour for your Tuscan House

For a few years now, Terreeia has been talking about renting a place in Palm Springs for the month of January. We live out in the country to be close to my family.  Approximately one hour East of downtown Vancouver. We’re also here because we could buy a house. That’s very hard to do with the housing market in the city. Because we live so close to my Sisters and my Mom, ... Continue Reading

Here’s the Skinny on Whether you Should Shiplap Your House

I read this advice the other day on a blog talking about shiplap. When you read this, tell me if this statement helps you decide if you should install shiplap in your home: “We love how easily it brings a historic vibe to any space that is refined and thoughtful yet casual.” Huh? Are you any further ahead now in making a decision on whether you should install it in your home? ... Continue Reading

It Took a Village to Create my New Website (Here are the details)

I’ve been blogging for a little over 8 years. My blog was on blogspot for the first 3 years. Just a free site and I did EVERYTHING myself. If you have the patience to read and follow basic instructions, it was pretty easy to insert all the widgets to get your sidebar looking good, etc. This was the first logo on my first website which cost $6000 (including the photography of my ... Continue Reading