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 for their kitchen. They had a cabinet sample that was probably ... 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

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

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

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

Are you a Victim of your Clients Design Ideas? (For Designers Only)

via House Beautiful (love the perfect boxwood and painted brick) When you’re a new designer, it’s hard to have the answer for every single question. You simply have not seen or experienced every problem yet and EVERY house is different. As a brand new decorator, schlepping my large paint samples from house to house doing colour consultations for Benjamin Moore, my clients asked me ALL KINDS of questions about renovating and decorating ... Continue Reading

Contrasting Kitchen Island: Get YOUR Colour Right

Recently I was consulting with a couple on their new build. They told me they were definitely installing a white kitchen but they wanted a different colour on the island. This is the inspiration picture they showed me: Robert Elliot Homes When I asked what colours they were decorating with in their adjoining great room, they showed me a photo of their existing sofa which was a gold beige colour. Now if they plan on introducing this ... Continue Reading

Are you a Force of Personality?

  TALENT gets you noticed, MAYBE and looks, sure, for a moment. But the only thing that gets you a seat at the table in this town, is FORCE OF PERSONALITY I’m talking about complete and utter confidence in WHO YOU ARE. When you have that, people are drawn to you–they don’t know why–but suddenly they NEED you. And they will turn their lives inside out, to BE with you. But you have to ... Continue Reading

How to Beautifully Update your Persian (Oriental) Rug

Often when I see a Persian or oriental area rug, I think DATED. In fact, I have an Ask Maria post about this very subject where I simply told my reader “This rug will NEVER be amazing”. Well, as I have said many times in this blog (often in the comments) I’m willing to be wrong. Last fall when I held one of my Specify Colour with Confidence workshops in DC, Erika Ward from ... Continue Reading

How to Disappear a White Mistake on Cabinets: Before & After

Styling and photos by Maria Killam Recently my good friend Jan Romanuk told me she’d finished a renovation in downtown Vancouver and asked if I’d like to photograph it for the blog. Since I can never get enough white kitchens on the blog, I happily said yes. Jan’s client had ordered new white cabinets for her kitchen and was dismayed when they were installed and she saw that the white she had selected actually had ... Continue Reading

5 Insider Secrets No One Tells you About Social Media Marketing

Photo by Angie Wolfe Photography Many of you know the story of how I began this blog but I’ll do a recap for this post. I had been reading blogs for about 6 months before I started writing Colour Me Happy over 8 years ago. Business was slow for me at the time and I was tired of the ups and downs of being a self-employed designer. You know what it’s ... Continue Reading

3 Best Ways to Choose a Fresh Paint Colour for your Tuscan House

For a few years now, Terreeia has been talking about renting a place in Palm Springs for the month of January. We live out in the country to be close to my family.  Approximately one hour East of downtown Vancouver. We’re also here because we could buy a house. That’s very hard to do with the housing market in the city. Because we live so close to my Sisters and my Mom, ... Continue Reading

Never Pick a Neutral Without Large Colour Boards: Pssst! They Do it For You!

Every time I hold one of my 3 day colour workshops we take some time in the afternoon on Day 1 and analyze the paint colours in the meeting room we are in and discuss whether the existing colours work or not (they rarely do). We do this so that my new True Colour Experts can see how to work with my large paint samples. The other very important reason ... Continue Reading

  My favourite part of the decorating process is the kitchen styling part. I love how a vase of flowers, along with some well distributed accent colours, can transform so many interiors into ‘Wow it looks like a magazine’. My sweet freelance writer and editor of both my eBooks Irene Hill, had a main floor that needed some styling magic. Irene and her husband have lived through a very long renovation. As long as I’ve ... 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