Faucets: High or Low Profile? Yay or Nay

Waterworks faucets I’m actually afraid to write this post because I know y’all will post all kinds of links to faucets that I love that might be even better and I just placed my order this week, I just haven’t had time to write this post sooner. As many of you know, I am renovating all three of my bathrooms this summer. The master (which I’m calling ‘my’ bathroom, the main ... Continue Reading

It’s my 50th Birthday and I’m Giving away 50 Gifts!

The gate to my backyard party! This has been an incredible year for Maria Killam Inc. so far! We had five sold-out Specify Colour with Confidence events in Austin, Toronto, 2 in Chicago, finishing off our Spring lineup in San Francisco! I’m so thrilled and grateful at the response from participants all over the country! I just received an email from someone who said he’s working with 2 designers trained by me and he ... Continue Reading

How to Get One More Season from Your Patio Furniture (Before & After)

Four years ago my sister Elizabeth and her husband bought this outdoor sectional (below). It was too modern for their house, but it was reasonable, so they snapped it up for the patio. Elizabeth and Bill love to entertain, and they also host their staff parties throughout the year. When it came time to pull out the outdoor furniture this season, I suggested that we select new stuff because the list of complaints about ... Continue Reading

What is the Best Kitchen Faucet? (Not Mine)

Oh wow, this morning, I went to make some coffee and the spout of my bridge kitchen faucet came right off. I am OVER IT. Over putting PRETTY over FUNCTION. Okay, well I’m not really over having a pretty faucet, but I wish I’d done more research (well even any research) into which faucet was really the best one BEFORE I installed the one I have in my kitchen. I was never ... Continue Reading

Does your Floor Tile Have to Match your Countertop or Surround?

Does your floor tile have to match your countertop or surround? One of my long-time readers posted a comment recently still haunts me. Brace yourself today my lovelies, because my post today is a RANT. Here’s what happened to my reader:  “I recently stopped at a big box store to pick up some info about kitchen countertops. There was an older couple standing at the design table with a “kitchen designer” looking at samples ... Continue Reading

What Everyone Should Know About Taupe

You asked for it and here it is! Drumroll….. a discussion of one of the most challenging neutral colour categories, taupe. Tricia Firmaniuk, my virtual design assistant is writing about this one! When Sherwin Williams named Poised Taupe as their colour of the year I was not convinced. As this year has progressed however, I’m seeing it everywhere (I wish I’d snapped a picture when I arrived at one of the ... Continue Reading

What Trait Do you Love about Yourself that Came from Your Mother

Maria Killam and Mom (Hellen Junttila) I’ve been working with my Mom on a refresh for her kitchen/sitting room. She has never really loved the blue I chose for her six years ago when she moved in. Recently we painted it a coral shade and she loves it! You can see a sneak peek on her Instagram account here. When I drive up in the early morning hours to have coffee with her, I can ... Continue Reading

How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Kitchen Mistakes

I’m travelling and leading my first, SOLD OUT Specify Colour with Confidence workshop in Chicago this week. The second one in Chicago is next weekend, we are ALMOST sold out but have 2 spaces left if you have time to jump in. Register here. Tricia Firmaniuk, my fabulous Virtual Design Assistant, wrote this great post about kitchens. Let me know what you think! ______________________________________________________________ Here’s a kitchen I found listed ... Continue Reading

What Everyone Should Know About Paint

I learned something new about white last year when I was working on a project that I finally photographed this past week. Since the project wasn’t finished until last winter and my client’s home overlooks a stunning mountain view, (Crystal and Rob Hasell, Crystal is the Owner and Director of Studio B Yoga here in Chilliwack) I wanted to wait until the leaves were back on the trees for the photo shoot. I shopped ... Continue Reading

Colour Trends You Need to Know Right Now For 2018

When I tour the showrooms at High Point Market, one of my first questions is always: “What’s your hottest selling colour?” Besides grey, the answer is still blue and then green, but this time coral was a close third. When I stopped into Global Views, one of the reps told me that this combination of pale blue and gold (below) was their 2018 colour prediction. Global Views Bliss Home Black ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: How Can I Update my Green 90s Sofa?

I recently received a collection of photos from a reader who said “I am not certain if I will retire here or move so I don’t want to do too many drastic investments, yet I would like to update my living room” First, before we proceed, notice that her room is pristine and the photo has been taken without flash and in good natural light. If you want me to consider ... Continue Reading

The Best Exterior Colours for Apartment Buildings

Years ago when colour still mystified me and I was constantly talking to other colour experts at colour conferences and at other colour courses looking for mastery, I’ll never forget one conversation I had with a colour designer who specialized in exterior colour. He said, “The problem with using neutrals on exterior (especially the CURRENT trendy neutral) is if you introduce that colour–and right now that’s charcoal–at the end of ... Continue Reading

Tablescapes for Dummies; The Beginners Guide

BHG Hasn’t everyone bought one of those “fill-in-the-blank for Dummies” books when you really don’t know something and you’re thinking “Talk to me like I’m 5 years old?”. I certainly have. Years ago I dated a guy who was into philosophy and I just felt stupid every time he started talking about it, so I bought Philosophy for Dummies.  I’m not convinced I’m any smarter about that topic, but I did buy the book. ... Continue Reading

4 Images that Break the Undertone Rules I Work so Hard to Teach

In every Specify Colour with Confidence workshop,  I talk about how a beautifully decorated and styled room takes all my undertone rules and makes them look almost not important at all. So, I thought it was high time I featured some photos that just plain broke all the rules, because that is what designers do every day. A professional must know the rules, so she/he can break them like an artist. ... Continue Reading

Trend Alert: All White and All Black Exteriors

As you know, I’m travelling for a couple weeks, just finished my Austin Specify Colour with Confidence workshop last week and I’m off to Toronto next where my next course starts on Tuesday. It’s really wonderful to meet people who have been following my blog for as long as I’ve been writing it (8 1/2 years). I am honoured and grateful that you read my blog and then attend my ... Continue Reading

5 Ways to Decorate with Beige to make it Fresh

I’m in Austin, preparing for my Specify Colour with Confidence workshop that starts tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Norris Center. I’m finally getting the hang of doing insta-stories so you’ll be seeing a lot more of them on my Instagram, especially in my workshops so you’ll get a sense of what it looks like to be in one. It’s sundress weather here and I’m loving it (not that I brought one)! ... Continue Reading