Before & After: The Easy Way to Brighten a Dark Room

Today I’m sharing another one-day transformation with you. Y’all know how much I love the instant gratification that styling brings to a room! Laura and Craig on their wedding day My personal trainer Laura works at Innovative Fitness (owned by my sister Elizabeth and her husband Bill).  Laura’s husband Craig, is currently in California studying to be a Chiropractor. Laura and Craig were married for less than a year before ... Continue Reading

Do’s and Dont’s for Decorating with Black Outside; Before & After

House Beautiful Lately I am crushing on black outside. When I see it against all the green it reminds me of how good black, white and kelly green palettes look in interiors. Image via Style at Home But you have to be careful when introducing black, there’s a tipping point where suddenly the interior OR exterior is just TOO black. So here are my do’s and dont’s for decorating with ... Continue Reading

My New Boxwood Garden Beds; Before & After

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve posted pictures of my garden. To update those readers who are new, four years ago, I demolished my entire garden, the front and back yard, and installed brand new landscaping, with the help of my fabulous landscape designer MaryAnne White. I’ll get to my new boxwood beds in a moment, here are a few before’s and after’s of the garden as it looks now. ... Continue Reading

Exterior Consultation with Orange Stone and Brick: Before and After

My client Laura and I go way back. I decorated the interior of this house over 7 years ago. Their house is in Morgan Creek and their backyard overlooks the golf course (above). She has twin boys who will be heading to University next year and Laura and her husband will be downsizing. They have bought a fabulous, brand new condo in downtown Vancouver to experience city life and they will be ... Continue Reading

How to Get One More Season from Your Patio Furniture (Before & After)

Four years ago my sister Elizabeth and her husband bought this outdoor sectional (below). It was too modern for their house, but it was reasonable, so they snapped it up for the patio. Elizabeth and Bill love to entertain, and they also host their staff parties throughout the year. When it came time to pull out the outdoor furniture this season, I suggested that we select new stuff because the list of complaints about ... Continue Reading

How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Kitchen Mistakes

I’m travelling and leading my first, SOLD OUT Specify Colour with Confidence workshop in Chicago this week. The second one in Chicago is next weekend, we are ALMOST sold out but have 2 spaces left if you have time to jump in. Register here. Tricia Firmaniuk, my fabulous Virtual Design Assistant, wrote this great post about kitchens. Let me know what you think! ______________________________________________________________ Here’s a kitchen I found listed ... Continue Reading

Trend Alert: All White and All Black Exteriors

As you know, I’m travelling for a couple weeks, just finished my Austin Specify Colour with Confidence workshop last week and I’m off to Toronto next where my next course starts on Tuesday. It’s really wonderful to meet people who have been following my blog for as long as I’ve been writing it (8 1/2 years). I am honoured and grateful that you read my blog and then attend my ... Continue Reading

How to Transform a Charcoal Sofa with Colour: Before & After

Shari and her husband couldn’t agree on a ‘colour’ when they went shopping for a new sofa, so they chose charcoal. The reason why they couldn’t agree on a colour, is because choosing a sofa BEFORE the carpet, artwork or throw pillows is like picking all the paint colours for your house BEFORE you buy a stick of furniture. If you don’t have an inspiration starting point, then it’s much harder ... Continue Reading

Why Stone and Accent Tile are Not as Important as You Think

I have worked with many couples over the years as they plan their renovation or new build. And here’s what I’ve noticed. They get overly worried about the exterior being boring so they go with a combination of stucco, siding AND shingles. Oh, but we’re not done yet, don’t forget the stone AND brick. When I’m consulting on new build colours, I often ask if they have their landscape design ... Continue Reading

How to Disappear a White Mistake on Cabinets: Before & After

Styling and photos by Maria Killam Recently my good friend Jan Romanuk told me she’d finished a renovation in downtown Vancouver and asked if I’d like to photograph it for the blog. Since I can never get enough white kitchens on the blog, I happily said yes. Jan’s client had ordered new white cabinets for her kitchen and was dismayed when they were installed and she saw that the white she had selected actually had ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Update Oak Furniture: Before & After

I love it when my clients send me before and after photos from my eDesign consultations because it’s so rare! And we all love a good before and after right? Jann from Newton Custom Interiors is a window coverings expert who lives in Illinois. It was time to give her home a fresh new look and she needed advice on what colours to paint her oak kitchen cabinets. Plus she had ... Continue Reading

  My favourite part of the decorating process the styling. I love how a vase of flowers, along with some well distributed accent colours, can transform so many interiors into ‘Wow it looks like a magazine’. My sweet freelance writer and editor of both my eBooks Irene Hill, had a main floor that needed some styling magic. Irene and her husband have lived through a very long renovation. As long as I’ve known her (almost 6 ... Continue Reading

One Carrara Marble Bathroom: Four Colours

I was in Montreal a few weeks ago and snapped a picture of this classic Carrara marble bathroom in the hotel we stayed in. You’ll notice that this bathroom is painted a green beige. Since Carrara marble has a blue undertone, I wouldn’t call this the best choice even though it doesn’t clash. So I did a poll and I thought it would be fun to photoshop them so you ... Continue Reading

Can Gray be Dirty? Yellow Exterior (Before & After)

Pinterest As many of you know, over 4 years ago, Terreeia and I bought a house one hour East of the city of Vancouver so we could live close to my Sisters, my Nephews and my Mom. Now that I’m talking about my Mom, a few months ago I mentioned that she was looking for a mobile home but it was as a second home, she wasn’t moving up North, some ... Continue Reading

How to Fix your White Room (If it Turned Green) Before & After

All summer (okay maybe more than just the summer) Tricia (my Virtual Design Assistant) has been obsessing about her living room and how the green from outside turns her lovely shade of cream, green. She’s sampled a bunch of colours but really she just wants the room to be cream and not green. So I said “Paint it and we’ll post it on the blog, this is a common problem right now ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Can a Novice Benefit from my Course? Before & After

I often receive emails like this: Hello Maria, I retired a couple of years ago and I have been taking interior design classes at the local community college. I would love to take your color workshop. Do you think this would be beneficial for a novice, Interior Design student? This post covers two questions. What does it look like to get a Room Refresh (after my last post where so ... Continue Reading