Advice for Homeowners

Bad Design Advice: Fall in Love with All Your Finishes


  Statement tile, Herringbone Carrara {House Beautiful} Pattern quota done. Keep your countertop solid or almost solid. {Source} I had an interesting conversation with one of my readers while I was consulting on her kitchen renovation. She had already installed tile floors in her kitchen and couldn't decide on a countertop. She had some options selected, but she told me, "I'm not in love with… Continue reading


Make Something Ugly almost Disappear with Disney's "Go Away Green"


I know it seems like I'm on vacation AGAIN! Because I am. . . with my adorable nephews in Disneyland this week. However, this vacation (which included a three day cruise from Vancouver to LA) was booked months ago. It's Markus (6) and William (8) first time in Disneyland and Terreeia and I didn't want to miss it! Maria & Markus A… Continue reading


The Best Paint Colours for Your Oak and Maple Cabinetry


Do you have oak or maple cabinetry? DO NOT pick a paint colour to coordinate without reading this guest post from Kelly Bernier, a True Colour Expert from beautiful Rhode Island. She's sharing a lesson directly from my Specify Colour with Confidence course (which is $200 off right now, with the special offer code at the end of this post). Continue reading


How Becoming a Certified True Colour Expert™ Changed My Business and My Life


I'm in Atlanta at the Withit conference this week. My first guest post in the True Colour Expert™ series is from Sheri Bruneau! October 2014 was a total game-changer for me. That was when I was fortunate enough to attend Maria’s Specify Colour with Confidence™ course in Vancouver. Before attending the course, I worked with real estate agents, organizing and… Continue reading


7 Ways to Make the Most of What You Already Have | Before & After


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


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


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


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


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


7 Best Ways to Decorate Around the TV


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


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


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


The Real Cost of DIY Advice


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


Vancouver Web Design and Website Management by: Coronation Internet Marketing Ltd.