Advice for Homeowners

The Best Way to Choose the Colour of Your Curtain Rods

best

{via pinterest} One of my lovely readers recently asked if I would write about curtain rods. What size, what colour, which finials? Trendy or timeless? Wood, metal, or something else? Rods can frame a room, or they can be made to visually disappear. Generally speaking, they should be chosen with contrast in mind. Think of them like eyeliner: they're there to… Continue reading

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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

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Ask Maria: Should my Fireplace Surround be Subway?

carrara

This is a great question that I have never talked about on my blog, so here it is: "The current tile I have around my fireplace is pinky-beige left over from the tucson brown era. I plan on removing the existing tile and would like to replace it with something a little more timeless. I know from reading your other… Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Fresh Solution to an Expensive Problem: Kitchen Valance

cornergarland

My sister Elizabeth called me and said "Now that the Christmas garland draped above the window above my kitchen sink is gone (below) it looks sooooo empty." Photo by Tracey Ayton And, she really hated looking at the bad transition between the end of the backsplash tile (below) which could not continue above the window. The builder had installed rounded… Continue reading

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