Advice for Homeowners

7 Ways to Use What You Have While Decorating: Before & After

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Crystal called me to help her pull together her new house. This was her request:

"I used to have a colourful condo. Oranges and yellows have always been a favourite of mine, and in the last 5 years, I’ve loved pinks. I hired a designer about 6 years ago, and I guess she was successful at convincing me that colour was kids' stuff and neutrals were sophisticated.

So out with all my stuff and in with the new. Cream, chocolate browns, and greens. I found it bland and lifeless, although yes, very nice and sophisticated. So I started adding pink with Designers Guild bedding, decorative pillows, etc. I also bought some whimsical paintings with colour punches (I’ve attached photos of them)."

I was very impressed by your colourful portfolio and would love your help."

See the before and afters here. . . Continue reading

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How (and When) to Buy Appliances for your New Kitchen

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source Did you know that until you have chosen and purchased your appliances, you can't begin designing your kitchen? Jan Romanuk (my long-time dear friend and past business partner) says many of her clients are surprised to learn that this is the first step inside any kitchen renovation. Three years ago when we bought this house and renovated the kitchen,… Continue reading

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My Sister's New Kitchen: Surprise! It's NOT White or Subway Tile!

kohlerfaucet

When my sister Lea and her partner were getting ready to move into the Eco Village in our town, I helped Lea choose finishes, colours, and lighting.

Greg wanted wood-stained cabinets (not white) and Lea really didn't mind either way, so I specified a light maple, along with medium brown engineered wood flooring.

She did NOT want subway tile because she thinks it's boring (clearly not brainwashed enough by reading my blog, sigh), but agreed that we would stay away from accent tile and keep it off-white to coordinate with the quartz. We settled on this moroccan pattern. Continue reading

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7 Best Ways to Decorate Around the TV

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I'm not the first person to write this post but there might be a few tips here you haven't read somewhere else. Is it time to get your TV off the console or get some artwork around it? Read on for my advice. . . Continue reading

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The Easy Way to Decorate Around a Tan (Pink Beige) Sofa

navyandpinkbeige

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know there's nothing neutral about a pink beige sofa. You also know that pink beige is so EVERYWHERE that it's probably not your fault if you have it in your home. There's just too much of it out there. Here's how to decorate around it so it looks intentional. Continue reading

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The Real Cost of DIY Advice

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I've been thinking about this a lot lately: why is it that so many of us don't seek out professional advice until there's an emergency on our doorsteps? Why do we so unquestioningly pay for certain services, like dentistry or health care, but then think we can do it ourselves when it comes to others, like home renovations?

When is the best time to hire a professional to save ourselves the most money? Continue reading

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Style your Home like the Pros by using the Triangle Principle

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This is a guest post by Heddy Bing from Urban Spaces Design. Heddy is an interior designer who specializes in retail design. Hi, everyone! I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger here today. Maria is brilliant. She has great taste and style, and I’m delighted to be featured! I sent Maria an email after seeing this post, Before & After: The Pinterest School… Continue reading

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The Minimalist Guide to Decorating with Charcoal

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Photos by Maria Killam Recently, I had a consultation with a client who needed help creating a colour palette for her new home. She didn't want to make the same mistakes she had made in the past and was looking for a plan. She sent me this inspiration photo for her house:  {via pinterest} I spent a few minutes asking more questions to make… Continue reading

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How to Take Charge of Your Bossy Tile

bossytile

The minute we walked into our room at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport last night, I declared, "This room was decorated BEFORE the brown trend!" It's a game I like to play with anyone who will listen everywhere I go. What's the dead giveaway? The colour of the wood-stained furniture: it was all orange and yellow with no espresso brown in sight.… Continue reading

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Where to Start When You Have a Blank Slate

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Jacqueline called me and said:

"Help! My laundry room is finished, it's white, I followed all the advice on your blog right down to copying the shelves in your laundry room, but now that I have a white Maria Killam laundry room and I can do anything I want, I have no idea where to start!

What colour should I paint it? I painted it BM Grey Owl because I had some leftover paint but it's doing nothing for me!"

I said, "First, Grey Owl is almost like a neutral, muted blue/green grey that would look great in a bathroom with lots of blue grey marble that coordinated with it, but for your laundry room to look fabulous, it needs a colour! Continue reading

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