Latest Blog posts

My Creative Business Model and How it's Evolved

curtains

{maybe not this cold}  Some of you may have noticed that my posts have shifted considerably over the past few months to less rather than more. In the last year with all the time I've spent sitting in freezing cold hotel ballrooms looking at my business and thinking about what to do to make it better, I've learned that less… Continue reading

75 Comments

Ask Maria: Should my Fireplace Surround be Subway?

carrara

This is a great question that I have never talked about on my blog, so here it is: "The current tile I have around my fireplace is pinky-beige left over from the tucson brown era. I plan on removing the existing tile and would like to replace it with something a little more timeless. I know from reading your other… Continue reading

24 Comments

Do's & Don'ts for Decorating with Black Tile

black grout

The dangerous part about any new trend is when you start incorporating the old with the new and the black tile trend is no different. Here are some guidelines to think about if you are considering black tile in a bathroom or kitchen: DO Paint your walls black instead of tiling. You'll get a similar look and feel and then it's… Continue reading

34 Comments

What Do You Love About Your Life? + a Giveaway

william and markus

 {via pinterest} Valentines Day doesn't have to be about having a significant other. It can also be a day when you express your love to the people in your life whom you love! So what or who do you love in your life? Post a comment below and I'm giving away a set of my Sherwin Williams 25 large painted… Continue reading

232 Comments

Ask Maria: Which Cream Subway Tile is Right?

backsplashtile

One of my lovely readers emailed this great question about cream subway tile that I thought would be so useful for many of us. Also, note that her kitchen countertop is pristine and she even left a decorative jar in the photo when she snapped it for me. If you have an Ask Maria question, please clean up the room, it'll have a higher… Continue reading

24 Comments

Ask Maria: How Do You Keep Up with Current Trends? And, is Gray Out?

grey trend

I recently received this question about trends:

"I have decided to look for a new position and each job posting requests being 'up-to-date with current trends and products.' I understand wanting this skill but I am curious how you keep up-to-date with current products, materials, trends, etc. I try to read a lot, visit show homes (which in reality, by the time they are built, new trends and materials are already available) and I join as many webinars as possible.

I’m curious if you have a favourite website, author, magazine, seminar, stores to keep yourself current. I know you enjoy Pinterest but is there more? Would love for you to include this in one of your blogs.

[Here's something] interesting. I am reading your White is Complicated book and received a design email yesterday stating that gray is no longer 'in.' However, in Calgary, Alberta, gray is still very popular! Continue reading

17 Comments

How to Photograph Your Projects to Get More Business

chair leg

Advice for new decorators and designers sounds like this: "Pay a professional photographer to take photos of one great project, or even one room decorated well, and show that on your website." And before you tell me that you barely made any money on the job so you can't afford to pay to have it photographed, that's not how you should calculate… Continue reading

14 Comments

How Much Heavy Lifting can a Paint Colour Handle?

heavypuppy

{via pinterest} I get the best questions about paint colour and how much it can or cannot do to "rescue" a mistake someone has made in their house or a mistake they inherited from a previous owner. Sometimes, colour can swoop in and magically save the day, so there's nothing wrong with wondering if your situation can also be saved by… Continue reading

24 Comments

Ask Maria: Which Countertop Should I Choose (What Were They Thinking??)

tileilike

"Here is my kitchen that was built in 2006. I wish I stumbled across your blog years ago because the thing I dislike about the kitchen the most is the busy tile! And is this tile the dreaded pinky-beige? And my knotty alder cabinets have yellowed considerably over the years. So I'm pretty sure we have a major undertone problem… Continue reading

36 Comments

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don't Like

red1

Recently, I had a consultation with Lori who wanted help with her great room, paint colours and her bathrooms. She walked me through her house and we created a furniture plan for her great room, chose colours throughout and discussed her bathrooms. In the first bathroom we were able to make the room look new (and save her brand new granite countertop) just by choosing the perfect… Continue reading

29 Comments

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