How to get an Inspired Room Refresh

Todays post is all about my interior e-design services. For approximately one year now, I have been offering e-design colour consulting for paint colours and hard finishes. But so many of my readers need more, they need a room refresh and if that’s you, you might be in one of these dilemmas: You need to buy a sofa but would like to avoid the obvious ‘trendy neutral of the moment’ ... Continue Reading

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior

source: Best Friends for Frosting My virtual design assistant Tricia who lives in Edmonton is an artist as well as a True Colour Expert™. She sees undertones from miles away and is truly gifted! And what’s even more amazing is she has my aesthetic. She is the ‘team’ in my exterior and interior econsulting services. Recently, we had a client who asked for a shade of pink to sample for her exterior and ... Continue Reading

Do you have an Odd Chair in your Habitat? (Well you should)

  I am seriously delayed in posting about Lauren’s book, Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating, she said her publisher sent me one last year but I never received it. So I stopped waiting and bought it myself last weekend. I’ve known Lauren as long as I’ve been writing this blog because we started our blogs around the same time, almost 8 years ago. Lauren and her husband Dave made the ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Do the Undertones in Dark Colours Need to Match?

This latest Ask Maria question is a really good one and here it is: “Hi Maria, After purchasing your How to Choose Paint Colours It’s all in the Undertones book I sort of live in this undertones world now and have a question: Yellow beige sofa paired with yellow beige/cream walls Image via How to Decorate Why do undertones have to match when combining neutrals (ie. example in the book: yellow ... Continue Reading

A Contemporary Yaletown Project: Before & After

Ever notice when you move, the furniture you bring from your last home often doesn’t work  in your new one? You had a sectional and now there’s no space for one. Or your end tables are suddenly all too small because your new house is bigger. Or they are all too big because you’ve downsized. And if you are committed to having a well decorated home, sometimes you might even have ... Continue Reading

3 Lessons I Learned When Installing My Garden 3 Years Ago

This Spring I partnered with Lowes Canada when I planted annuals for my white-on-white garden that I installed 3 years ago. See the post I wrote for them here.   Here are 3 lessons I learned along the way: Before the garden was installed. Go here to learn how to choose the right flagstone colour. When the stone steps were first installed in front of my studio, my nephews liked to play ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Display your Keurig or Nespresso Coffee Pods (A Styling Tip)

via Pinterest Since it seems like EVERYONE has a pod coffee machine because it’s the latest and greatest convenience, I thought I’d show you how I styled them last week AFTER a photo shoot. Not to be confused with the image I created for Pinterest and Instagram 😉 😉 First, here is what my clients butlers pantry looked like before it was styled for the shoot: This pantry was designed by my friend Jan Romanuk and built ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Is my Fireplace too Earthy for a White Kitchen?

Rue Magazine Okay so a while ago when I changed the ‘Ask Maria’ questions to ‘Send me your what’s bothering me’, questions, ya’ll pretty much stopped sending them, so obviously that wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever come up with. So please keep sending them to me here. And by the way, when you do, remember to include an image (and clean up the room puleese), it has very little chance ... Continue Reading

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After

Okay I know I’m late to the party on reading this book because I’d heard lots about it for months. It wasn’t until I saw my lovely client Lisa in New York this past Spring that my life started getting magical. The book came up in one of our conversations and Lisa said, “I’ve read it so you are welcome to have it”. Amazon The premise of this book is ... Continue Reading

Sell Your Classic House in 24 Hours Flat

When Terreeia and I were in Toronto for my Specify Colour with Confidence™ Event in May, we had dinner with a good friend. We were talking about the extremely hot real estate market in Toronto (and Vancouver). In the last two weeks for example, homes in Toronto are selling for up to a million dollars OVER the asking price with bidding wars everywhere. Terreeia’s friend had her condo up for sale in ... Continue Reading

Exterior Accents Change Everything: Before & After

The owners of this lovely home (below) purchased the trim/accent on-line colour consultation . Despite it’s classic bones, this house was just not living up to it’s potential. It was feeling a bit tired. We wanted to address a few issues including unifying the trim with the right colour, which will be painted next season. In the mean time, they put our suggestions for accent colours for the front door and shutters ... Continue Reading

A Fresh and Classic Dream Home in Texas

Exterior colours: Sherwin Williams Colonnade Grey, Shutters: SW Breezy I recently received this email from Lori in Texas who bought my White eBook during the design phase of her dream home, and here is the beautiful and classic result! I purchased your e-book,  White Is Complicated: A Decorator’s Guide to Choosing the Right White, while we were in the design phase of our dream home. See, we recently retired from the military after serving ... Continue Reading

How to be Smart in a World Filled With Dumb Colour Advice

There’s a conversation out in the colour trend world that colour is moving back to browns and warmer grey tones in the realm of mushroom or driftwood, and cocoas and caramels. First, it’s important for you to understand that colour trends move slowly for people who are not in the industry. So that means brown is not coming back anytime soon. I haven’t specified anything remotely close to brown for any of my clients for years. ... Continue Reading

3 Ways to Add More Colour Without Pattern

When I was in New Jersey leading my Specify Colour with Confidence™ event and the second evening at dinner, I was sitting next to a designer who asked me a question about kitchen valances she was designing for a client. She was having trouble finding a fabric that her client liked. I suggested a solid fabric (below) with contrasting tape or a band of fabric, this way you’ll get two colours without a pattern ... Continue Reading

Spidey Senses Only Work Until they Don’t

My last two Specify Colour With Confidence™ events held back to back in Toronto and then New Jersey were off the charts! I have been so inspired meeting designers and colour enthusiasts from all over the country who have followed my work for so many years. One designer in Toronto (who wanted to remain nameless) told me that after she did my course 4 years ago, her annual income went up ... Continue Reading

Styling, Waxing and Country Living in New York State: Before & After

The following photos are taken with my iPhone 6 (not as awesome as usual 😉   My long distance client Lisa Partelow lives in Clinton Corners, New York with her sweet husband Harold, and her two boys, age 2 and 4. She says her dream in life was pretty simple. To live on acreage and be able to look out the window and see her two horses. And that’s exactly what ... Continue Reading