Advice for Homeowners

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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4 Ways to Decorate Around Your Charcoal Sofa

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Today's post is about decorating with charcoal, really important to know since it's such a popular neutral right now!

If you have a charcoal sofa (just like during the brown trend, when most neutral-loving shoppers purchased a brown one) it's time for me to help you bring this colour to life.

Why?
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Test Your Colour Confidence: 25 Days of Whites & Undertones

blue grey dining

It's exterior and renovation season! I have been analyzing countertops, cabinets, tile, and exterior colours with so many of you for weeks! Two years ago in the summer, I launched 37 Days of Undertones, and it was a big hit. Every day, I would post an image on my Facebook page and tell you the undertones in the colours. You all participated and did so… Continue reading

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The Very Best Way to Choose Your Main Neutral

sherwinwilliamsundertones

Lynda was moving into this pretty little house in a new subdivision: She needed some help with a new colour scheme and was stuck on wall colours. One on-line consultation with me and she had a plan. Lynda had some existing furniture and artwork she wanted to work with, and she sent me a glimpse of her last house (below). She was… Continue reading

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Grey is OUT! (Maybe) The Colour Trend is IN!

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I've talked a lot about trends lately, and I know many people out there are confused. When it comes to grey, specifically, we are all eager to know: Is it in? is it out?  I've figured out an easier way to explain it: {via Pinterest} I'm going to stop calling it The Grey Trend and start calling it The Colour Trend instead. Why? I… Continue reading

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The Problem with Your Orange/Yellow Floors

grey walls kitchen

I get this question so much, it's time to focus on it for a moment. A lot of people have this problem. Or should I say "problem"? {Yellow/orange floors. Anything wrong here?} So here's the question from a reader: "Have you ever had to decorate around a maple floor? Yes, I have just moved into what was an elegant maple floors +… Continue reading

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The Best Way to Choose the Colour of Your Curtain Rods

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{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

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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

46 Comments

Ask Maria: Should my Fireplace Surround be Subway?

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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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