Advice for Designers

Ask Maria: Help! The Previous Homeowner Installed Granite to Sell

bathroom

This homeowner reached out to me with photos of two bathrooms in her own house. Who can see what's wrong here? It's the old "granite to sell" trick and some would say it worked but the new granite makes the floor and cabinets look especially dated. How can you tell that the granite is the new addition? That 4" kick along the… Continue reading

44 Comments

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

71 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

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

23 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

Gold Hardware & Lighting Should Replace Silver: Yay or Nay?

gold faucets

{via Domino} Gold finishes in hardware, lighting and furniture has taken its sweet time in becoming mainstream. Back in October 2011, when I wrote this post about choosing hardware for your kitchen, I declared that gold was too warm for a white kitchen. I see now that I was reacting to the lighting in that kitchen which I didn't particularly like. Is it… Continue reading

81 Comments

My 5 Rules for Life

windows

{via pinterest} Have you ever thought about this statement with regards to an area in your life? "Every single day people stop when they don't know what to do." I talk to clients every day who tell me they have stopped shopping for their house because they've bought so many mistakes in the past and they don't want to buy any… Continue reading

31 Comments

Ask Maria: Help! I Just Had My First REAL Colour Consultation

living room richard

I recently received this question from a new colour consultant: "Maria, I need some advice, this encounter was a doozy: I had previewed the house with my realtor friend before the buyer closed, so I already was familiar with the 'boss' of the living room — a rock fireplace with a mostly gold undertone. And, because of some other factors in the connecting dining room,… Continue reading

54 Comments

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