Mixing Metals: How to Update a Brown Kitchen by adding Brass


Barbara built this house with her husband 5 years ago ago. He wanted a wood stained kitchen and although she'd love to have a white kitchen now, she wasn't prepared to paint it in this phase of the decorating project.

Her biggest complaint was with the pendant lights, they created a lot of visual glare and she wanted them replaced.

Also, she needed drapery to block out the sun in the wintertime when it slanted through the windows. Continue reading


Sneak Peek: 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


Ask Maria: Must my Kitchen Coordinate With the Dining Room?


I’m am a big fan and follower of your “Ask Maria” series. I’ve never done anything like this before so I thought I’d give it a go.  We're looking to update our kitchen and our dilemma is what color to paint our cabinets and island. Our cabinets are in good condition so we can’t justify replacing them. The sink, faucet… Continue reading


Best Ideas for Creative Kids Rooms: Before & After

Dinosours Gathering

This post is written by my Director of All Things Wonderful, Irene Hill:

Last week at this time Maria and I were just finishing up the last touches of our magical home makeover for my sister, Aimee and five of her kids. They were all glowing with happiness and pride in their "new" home.

Four months ago, when Maria and I started this project of love, I carefully interviewed each of my nieces and nephews to find out what would make them love their rooms the most. I found out what they were interested in and spent hours scouring the internet to get all the little pieces exactly right. At the end of the day I wanted to see wonder and awe in each set of eyes and was over the moon that we managed to do just that! Continue reading


Ask Maria: How do I Find a New Area Rug to work with my Old Furniture?


  Since many of us are now incorporating fresh and happy colours into our homes, I have started seeing a lot of living rooms with bright new geometric area rugs that mostly don't relate to the upholstery in the room. You don't want a look in your living room that screams "Old, tired sofa, happy new area rug!". One of my readers was… Continue reading


Can you have White Cabinets with Espresso Hardwood Floors?

espresso floors

I was on google recently, and three times in a row, with different searches, this post kept showing up right at the top: How to completely mess up your kitchen remodel: a step-by-step tutorial. This is the kitchen she coveted This DIY blogger named Kelly is a great writer and so entertaining. She generously shared her mistakes so that others could avoid… Continue reading


Earth Tones that Feel like 2014 NOT 2002

Coffee Table

{Oak Bay Beach Hotel} Recently I received a comment from a reader saying it would be great if I would write an occasional post about earth tones because she preferred them over the current white/black/grey colours that are popular and trendy right now. Well, dear reader, the opportunity presented itself this weekend. It's my Terreeia's birthday and we arrived yesterday,… Continue reading


Is Cognac Leather Furniture as Neutral as Denim? Yay or Nay

Cognac + Purple

I'm so happy that camel coats and cognac leather furniture are on trend. Although last week I bought a camel coat from Nordstrom and when it arrived it looked like a sack on me so back it went. Sigh. I guess it was a little too late in the season to have any kind of selection.   {Click on images… Continue reading


Wood Stained Kitchen I Like

Wood Stained Kitchen I Like

I know you thought you'd never see the day when I'd stick a wood stained kitchen in this blog, but there's a first time for everything! Continue reading


Builders Don't Care About Trends: Yay or Nay?

Classic White Kitchen

I know this is not a complete absolute truth because it won't apply to the high end market but I do a lot of design and colour consulting in brand new homes and the homeowner is usually saying things like, "The builder only gave us two options, so we chose the lesser of the two evils". Barbara Barry's Classic White… Continue reading


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