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

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

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

Sell Your Classic House in 24 Hours Flat

When Terreeia and I were in Toronto for my Specify Colour with Confidence™ Event in May, we had dinner with a good friend. We were talking about the extremely hot real estate market in Toronto (and Vancouver). In the last two weeks for example, homes in Toronto are selling for up to a million dollars OVER the asking price with bidding wars everywhere. Terreeia’s friend had her condo up for sale in ... Continue Reading

Master Bedroom in Serenity; Pantone’s Colour of the Year | Before & After

I emailed my client Barbara and asked if she had painted her bedroom yet (the room was finished but just needed the new wall colour). She replied “Yes, I have the bedroom painted  … AND …. it looks fabulous!   Love Love Love it!” Here it was before the transformation (above). We needed an area rug, a new duvet and custom bedskirt and different end tables. There was too much ... Continue Reading

Tour My House: Learn the 6 Best Ways to Transition Colour

Take a walk with me through my house for a real-time example of how to create perfect colour flow in your home. ... Continue Reading

Refresh your Dining Room with Upholstered Chairs: Before & After

When I decorated my client Barbara's dining room, she had too many chairs already and didn't need anything more than new chair covers, an area rug and custom drapery. But when I found this upholstered chair from Pier 1 (below) that would make her dining room feel much more collected and less 'matchy-matchy', she bought them right away. ... Continue Reading

4 Shades of Blue You Can’t Live Without

Traci Zeller is one of my very first true colour experts, and she's from Charlotte, North Carolina. If you love blue as much as she does (and don't we all?), you don't want to miss her advice about the four shades you absolutely cannot live without. ... Continue Reading

How to Make Timeless Choices in a Trendy World

Today's guest post is from Ellen Rhett, a certified colour designer and True Colour Expert from Mountainbrook, Alabama. Ellen has such a timeless eye for colour that her own living room, decorated over 18 years ago, still looks fresh and current. See for yourself! ... Continue Reading

The Best Paint Colours for Your Oak and Maple Cabinetry

Do you have oak or maple cabinetry? DO NOT pick a paint colour to coordinate without reading this guest post from Kelly Bernier, a True Colour Expert from beautiful Rhode Island. She's sharing a lesson directly from my Specify Colour with Confidence course (which is $200 off right now, with the special offer code at the end of this post). ... Continue Reading

This is the Home Dreams Are Made Of: A Private Tour

Today's guest post is from Ruth Chancellor, a Decorator, Stager and True Colour Expert™ from Portland, Oregon. Ruth decorated a gorgeous home in blues for the Street of Dreams in Portland this year. ... Continue Reading

How to Work with Simply White Walls

Today's guest post is from Jil Sonia McDonald! Jil recently decorated a home that's perfectly modern organic, full of whites, grays, and lots of natural texture. Want to see? (Fair warning: You might want to move right in!) ... Continue Reading

How to Successfully Design Around Awkward Structural Elements

Today's guest post is from Claire Jefford, a True Colour Expert and certified interior decorator from Burlington, Ontario. Claire's got an interesting designer solution for those of you dealing with awkward structural elements in your home, like bulkheads in the basement. Want to know what it is? ... Continue Reading

How to Choose Granite For Your Kitchen Island

Granite is an expensive element of your kitchen renovation budget. It also has the potential to be a really expensive mistake. What should you know before choosing granite for your kitchen island? How can you make sure to do it right? ... Continue Reading

Transformation from Brown to Blue | Before & After

My client Barbara and her husband had built seven homes together. Every time they would start a new build, she would say, "Can we please save enough money to decorate at the end?" That day never seemed to arrive. Last year, her husband passed away, and Barbara decided it was now or never. She'd been following my blog for years, so she felt she could trust me to give her the look and feel she wanted. In January, we started the decorating project: the living, dining, kitchen, and master bedroom. ... Continue Reading

How to Take Charge of Your Bossy Tile

When we walked into our room at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport last May, 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. This hotel was built in 1999, so that means this colour scheme ... Continue Reading