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 is the kitchen styling part. 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 ... 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

Do you have an Odd Chair in your Habitat? (Well you should)

  I am seriously delayed in posting about Lauren’s book, Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating, she said her publisher sent me one last year but I never received it. So I stopped waiting and bought it myself last weekend. I’ve known Lauren as long as I’ve been writing this blog because we started our blogs around the same time, almost 8 years ago. Lauren and her husband Dave made the ... Continue Reading

A Contemporary Yaletown Project: Before & After

Ever notice when you move, the furniture you bring from your last home often doesn’t work  in your new one? You had a sectional and now there’s no space for one. Or your end tables are suddenly all too small because your new house is bigger. Or they are all too big because you’ve downsized. And if you are committed to having a well decorated home, sometimes you might even have ... Continue Reading

3 Lessons I Learned When Installing My Garden 3 Years Ago

This Spring I partnered with Lowes Canada when I planted annuals for my white-on-white garden that I installed 3 years ago. See the post I wrote for them here.   Here are 3 lessons I learned along the way: Before the garden was installed. Go here to learn how to choose the right flagstone colour. When the stone steps were first installed in front of my studio, my nephews liked to play ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Display your Keurig or Nespresso Coffee Pods (A Styling Tip)

via Pinterest Since it seems like EVERYONE has a pod coffee machine because it’s the latest and greatest convenience, I thought I’d show you how I styled them last week AFTER a photo shoot. Not to be confused with the image I created for Pinterest and Instagram 😉 😉 First, here is what my clients butlers pantry looked like before it was styled for the shoot: This pantry was designed by my friend Jan Romanuk and built ... Continue Reading