The Best Way to Handle the Time Change This Weekend

via pinterest The other day I was on the phone with my friend Penelope. She is a very busy woman. In addition to running her business, she also home schools her two boys. Whenever I get her on the phone (which is not often), I always try to be as interesting as possible so that she’ll stay on the phone as long as possible. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I tell her she is ... Continue Reading

Are You Still Using an Instant Camera to Photograph Your Work?

I used to think I could get away with using my little instant camera when taking photos of my work. A year of lessons has shown me what's really possible when we take professional photography seriously, even in so-called uninspiring spaces like boardrooms and offices. Come on in for a peek at some photos I took of my own photography instructor's new space. ... Continue Reading

4 Ways to Decorate Around Your Charcoal Sofa

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? ... Continue Reading

10 Styling Necessities to Transform your Home ASAP

In a few weeks, there will be magic happening at Aimee’s house in Port Alberni thanks to all of you! Irene will arrive with a team of 10 volunteers to assemble IKEA furniture and then the following weekend I’ll be there with my car full of accessories and lamps to hang artwork and create some tablescapes. I’ve been compiling a list of basic necessities we’ll need for styling and here’s what I recommend for ... Continue Reading

What every Lighting Obsessed Gal (or Guy) Should Know

 Starry Lights I know, I’m completely obsessed with lighting. It’s hard to escape from a consult with me, without getting suggestions for at least 4 lamps. The other day, I had spent 1 hour and 45 minutes with a client in an on-line consultation. We had chosen colours, furniture, area rugs, lighting, coffee tables and accessories and she said “Okay, I don’t have any more questions, I love everything you ... Continue Reading

One of my favourite ways to help my clients create a space that fills them with happiness when they walk in their door is the one day shopping service I offer. If you just need an end table or two, lighting, pillows, possibly a carpet and accessories, you have comfortable shoes and a large vehicle, we can transform many a space together in just one day. It totally fulfills my ... Continue Reading

When to Choose Low over High while Decorating

  We are going with Turquoise + Red My sister Elizabeth is turning 40 in July and for her birthday she wants the family room painted and re-decorated. Her kids are almost four and six, they have not bought any new furniture since they got married and had kids. The living room furniture currently has her husband Bill’s 16 year old black leather sofa, a black leather recliner, a black ... Continue Reading

How to Create Instant Atmosphere in your New House

In my last townhouse, the living and dining room was wired so that lamps that were plugged into the bottom of each outlet could be turned on and off with one light switch. I had 15 lights (including the 5 puck lights in the corner bookshelves) in this room and every time I walked into the living room, with one flick of a switch, the lights on each side of ... Continue Reading

How to Paint around View Windows

I just love Pinterest. Every time I pop on for a few minutes I get happy. Yesterday I landed on this image and totally fell in love. source Of course it’s the windows that totally make this room but I also love the huge black and white leaf print on the chairs and the hits of green. The other thing that makes this room great is that the wall colour ... Continue Reading

A Case for Decoration

Lately I’ve noticed a trend with the questions my clients ask during consultations and I have developed my own personal little theory behind it.   Windsor Smith They’ll ask me questions like, “Should I install crown molding in here?” “Should I replace this countertop and introduce stone?”, “What about a tray ceiling?” Endless and many expensive ways to update your house.  My theory is, it’s much easier to spend money ... Continue Reading

Do you Follow the 10 Year Rule?

Dransfield & Ross You know the stuff you pull out when your friends or family come over that was a gift and you don’t want to hurt their feelings to suggest you don’t like it, so you display it when they arrive? How about the one-off candle holders you get as presents (everyone gets those). Or, just about anything you are simply not thrilled with anymore. When I sense that ... Continue Reading

Five Accessories Everyone should have in their Home

Source The most exciting thing about my new place is that I have space–which equals endless opportunities for vignettes and tablescapes–which play a huge part in creating atmosphere in your home. In the years that I have been decorating, there is a common theme on accessories that are usually missing in a client’s home and the top 5 accessories are just for my newsletter subscribers this August. Source My August ... Continue Reading

How to bring the Sun into a Dark Bedroom

flickr How great is this? In our room at the Vintage Park Hotel where we stayed early this week, the sheers were a soft shade of yellow. On a gray and rainy day though (which it was when we were there), the light coming through feels happy! Photo by Maria Killam I had to share this with you because it’s such a great idea. These are what the rooms look ... Continue Reading

How to Create an Ethereal Colour Scheme

Source One of my on-line clients posted the sweetest comment when I wrote this article asking about the hottest paint colours for 2010, here is what she said: “Huge thanks to you Maria!! Per our phone consultation, your recommendation is nothing short of genius. Wickham Grey [Living room walls] is beautiful beyond my imagination; ethereal. The other pick, Shale [Kitchen Cabinets], is also brilliant; it’s quite dissimilar to any of ... Continue Reading

Do you Dream about Decorating your House?

Sometimes when I get to the “Here’s what my fees are” conversation with a client, they say “But I just need colour/s”. And it seems really simple and straightforward—like anybody could come over and just choose a colour. However, rarely do the people that hire me have a simple colour problem. If colour was all that was required, you could take your sofa cushion or drapery fabric and head over ... Continue Reading

The Enchanting World of Atmosphere

It’s the reason you are reading this blog (or any other design blog) right now. Because you are looking for atmosphere. Atmosphere is the feeling that gets created when you finally get the right colour on the walls. It’s what you get when you install a lamp in a minimum of 3 but preferably 4 corners of your living room or Master Bedroom. It’s also why a designer should pay ... Continue Reading