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

Ask Maria: How Much Colour is Too Much for a Kids Room?

Enise emailed me this photo the other day with a great ‘Ask Maria’ question: ”I have a very colourful antique kilim that I would like to use in my daughters bedroom. Since the kilim is so colourful, I am confused on choosing the bedding. I know that I can use some colours from the kilim pattern but those are very vibrant colours so I am afraid the kids may feel too energetic to ... Continue Reading

Can Gray be Dirty? Yellow Exterior (Before & After)

Pinterest As many of you know, over 4 years ago, Terreeia and I bought a house one hour East of the city of Vancouver so we could live close to my Sisters, my Nephews and my Mom. Now that I’m talking about my Mom, a few months ago I mentioned that she was looking for a mobile home but it was as a second home, she wasn’t moving up North, some ... Continue Reading

How NOT to Use the Understanding Undertones® Colour Wheel

Understanding Undertones® – The Colour System Since launching my brand-new-to-the-world, Understanding Undertones colour wheel (above), I have received some good questions. Here is the first question: Maria, I’m sure I’m simply misinterpreting the wheel. I was looking at the fact that greige on the outer ring overlapped green-gray on the inner ring next to it. So I concluded that these colors would mesh well because they “live” in the same zone ... Continue Reading

Trendy or Classic? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

Photo by Maria Killam at Maison & Objet When I wrote my trend report from Maison & Objet last week, truthfully, I was kind of depressed that all evidence points towards black as the next trendy neutral after grey. In this case, I hope I’m wrong. It seems that in my 20 year colour career I’ve now seen trend colours go full circle around the wheel.   Understanding Undertones – The Colour ... Continue Reading

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet

It was an interesting first day at Maison & Objet. Everyone had different opinions about the trends because I think everyone looks for whatever interests them. For example, I’ll be at High Point market and someone will say “I saw RED everywhere” and I’ll think “Really? I didn’t see much red” but that’s because red is not my colour. I think you’d have to read a few trend reports to ... Continue Reading

How to Fix your White Room (If it Turned Green) Before & After

All summer (okay maybe more than just the summer) Tricia (my Virtual Design Assistant) has been obsessing about her living room and how the green from outside turns her lovely shade of cream, green. She’s sampled a bunch of colours but really she just wants the room to be cream and not green. So I said “Paint it and we’ll post it on the blog, this is a common problem right now ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Work with Saltillo Flagstone (Because it’s Pink)

source When I asked y’all last week to send me an email on when and under what circumstances you found my blog, I received this note from Deb in Arizona: I came to find you on the internet just a month or so ago so this is fresh in my mind.  I just bought a 25 year old home in Scottsdale AZ.  Originally I thought we would redo the cabinets ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Can a Novice Benefit from my Course? Before & After

I often receive emails like this: Hello Maria, I retired a couple of years ago and I have been taking interior design classes at the local community college. I would love to take your color workshop. Do you think this would be beneficial for a novice, Interior Design student? This post covers two questions. What does it look like to get a Room Refresh (after my last post where so ... Continue Reading

Introducing the Understanding Undertones® Colour Wheel

Well, it’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here! My new website is feverishly being designed as we speak and I’m crossing my fingers that we launch by the middle of September. The feedback I received from the first agency I hired to design my new site was “You don’t have a colour wheel that shows your colour system, that’s the first thing you need”. It’s taken a ... Continue Reading