Ask Maria: About Kitchen Cabinet Uppers and Lowers in Different Colours

I’ve been receiving questions on two-toned cabinets lately and I can’t believe I’ve never addressed them on the blog. Here is my lovely readers question: I’m about to refinish my 90’s oak cathedral raised panel kitchen cabinets, and am considering a two toned paint scheme. I’m thinking Fieldstone lowers and Gray Cashmere uppers. Do you think this is a trend or is this a classic look? I hesitate to do this until I get ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Update Oak Furniture: Before & After

I love it when my clients send me before and after photos from my eDesign consultations because it’s so rare! And we all love a good before and after right? Jann from Newton Custom Interiors is a window coverings expert who lives in Illinois. It was time to give her home a fresh new look and she needed advice on what colours to paint her oak kitchen cabinets. Plus she had ... Continue Reading

Maria Killam’s Trend Forecast for 2017

The colour for 2017 is kelly green (hooray, I’ve been waiting for this green for a long time) and the look is refined and generally warming up. Green reigns supreme in 2017 as the most versatile colour with broad appeal. Greens are getting both richer and warmer, moving away from the beachy, minty hues towards more grounded shades of yellow green spring shoots and deep leafy greens. (In other words, I think Pantone nailed ... Continue Reading

Best of Colour Me Happy 2016

It’s time to recap another year in review. 2016 where did you go? It was a busy year with more Specify Colour with Confidence events than ever, my new website under construction and some interesting trends to unpack. At the beginning of the year, I got out my crystal ball and made my trend forecast predictions for 2016 (watch for my predictions for 2017 coming soon!). What do you think? Did ... Continue Reading

Sneak Peek of Christmas with the Owner of Studio B Yoga

Crystal Hasell and I have worked together on three projects now. First her summer/pool house when Crystal and her husband Rob decided to buy the lot next door to their house instead of a cottage 5 hours away. When you see their view, you totally get it. Their summer house was published in the 2015 Canadian Home Trends summer issue. Crystal & Maria. Lululemon had a pop-up shop at Crystal’s ... Continue Reading

The Holiday Home of my Neighbour, the Rose Whisperer

My neighbour Lois has lived in her house on the corner for 30 years with her husband Heinz. Before they bought this house, they lived in a 700 square foot house in the same town, different street. Every time she walked past this house to the library she would think to herself, “I would like to wake up in one of those attic bedrooms and have breakfast in that room ... Continue Reading

Holiday Tour of My Home 2016

Welcome to my house! This is the pared down version since this year we leave for Palm Desert on Christmas Day and won’t return until the end of January. Because we aren’t going to be here for the entire season, I put up a flocked tree again in the family room and installed a more simple mantle. For those of you that aren’t familiar with flocked trees, they are preserved ... Continue Reading

My Take on Pantone’s 2017 Colour of the Year: Greenery

Perfect. I’m on board. This green evokes the first green of Spring. It’s about regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew. That’s the news from Pantone. My house in the December Issue of Canadian Living Magazine 2014 It’s the shade of green in my living room and dining room (above) and very close to the shade of the bannisters I recently had painted in a clients home (below). My shoes in the summertime! ... Continue Reading

Never Pick a Neutral Without Large Colour Boards: Pssst! They Do it For You!

Every time I hold one of my 3 day colour workshops we take some time in the afternoon on Day 1 and analyze the paint colours in the meeting room we are in and discuss whether the existing colours work or not (they rarely do). We do this so that my new True Colour Experts can see how to work with my large paint samples. The other very important reason ... Continue Reading

The Stunning and Classic Home of the Giannetti’s at Patina Farm

Roses from Brooke’s garden to greet us in the guest house Many of us in blogland followed Brooke and Steve Giannetti when they built their dream home in Ojai, California and moved from their previous house in Santa Monica. They have lived there now for three years since it was finished, but in the Spring of 2014, Brooke posted photos of her gardens here, only one year after it was installed. ... Continue Reading

Help! My New Kitchen Makes the Rest of My House Look Old

Source This post is written by Tricia Firmaniuk, my design assistant who handles my eDesign: So often people find Maria’s blog AFTER they have already made some costly mistakes in their renovations; when they realize it’s not coming together the way they had hoped, and they go looking for answers on Google. DIY design has some common pitfalls. One of the biggest ones is making decisions without the context of ... Continue Reading

When to Break the Rules Around Choosing White (or Cream)

Pinterest Trends are always moving. You can’t pin them down. When you’ve been in the colour business for as long as I have, it’s fascinating to watch. And it’s also the reason I’m so jaded about each new tile trend fad that comes along. I’m talking about hard finishes because they are the most permanent. I really would like to save the world and especially YOU from so many unnecessary renovations.  It’s ... Continue Reading

What’s Missing if Your House is Not Trendy (Who Cares?)

Recently I received an email that haunted me for days. This happens often by the way, when you send me a good one. It puts me deeply in my head and sometimes I forget to respond. I really get upset when that happens. This email from one of my subscribers, was one of those: “I have been reading your blog for about a year now, and I have learned quite a bit about color and undertones ... Continue Reading

One Carrara Marble Bathroom: Four Colours

I was in Montreal a few weeks ago and snapped a picture of this classic Carrara marble bathroom in the hotel we stayed in. You’ll notice that this bathroom is painted a green beige. Since Carrara marble has a blue undertone, I wouldn’t call this the best choice even though it doesn’t clash. So I did a poll and I thought it would be fun to photoshop them so you ... Continue Reading

Add Some Fall to Your Living Room Using Brown (I did)

For some time now, there’s been talk about browns and warmer neutrals coming back to replace gray. Last week, when someone asked if I would write a post about taupe because Sherwin Williams recently claimed one as their colour of the year I responded: “When my readers or clients start asking me for Taupe, that’s when I’ll know it’s real. And not just someone in the marketing department declaring ‘Well we can’t keep talking about gray ... Continue Reading

Trend Alert: Paint Your Walls and Trim White (or Cream)

Tricia and I have been noticing a trend with trim colours lately in our e-Design consultations. And that is if you have an earthier palette in your house either because you prefer cream over white or you have a Tuscan palette from that trend, AND you are craving a fresher look and feel, it’s hard to do without painting all your trim out white. Because the traditional way of creating contrast between ... Continue Reading