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

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 get an Inspired Room Refresh

Todays post is all about my interior e-design services. For approximately one year now, I have been offering e-design colour consulting for paint colours and hard finishes. But so many of my readers need more, they need a room refresh and if that’s you, you might be in one of these dilemmas: You need to buy a sofa but would like to avoid the obvious ‘trendy neutral of the moment’ ... Continue Reading

Styling, Waxing and Country Living in New York State: Before & After

The following photos are taken with my iPhone 6 (not as awesome as usual 😉   My long distance client Lisa Partelow lives in Clinton Corners, New York with her sweet husband Harold, and her two boys, age 2 and 4. She says her dream in life was pretty simple. To live on acreage and be able to look out the window and see her two horses. And that’s exactly what ... 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

7 Ways to Make the Most of What You Already Have | Before & After

Crystal called me to help her pull together her new house. This was her request: "I used to have a colourful condo. Oranges and yellows have always been a favourite of mine, and in the last 5 years, I’ve loved pinks. I hired a designer about 6 years ago, and I guess she was successful at convincing me that colour was kids' stuff and neutrals were sophisticated. So out with all my stuff and in with the new. Cream, chocolate browns, and greens. I found it bland and lifeless, although yes, very nice and sophisticated. So I started adding pink with Designers Guild bedding, decorative pillows, etc. I also bought some whimsical paintings with colour punches (I’ve attached photos of them)." I was very impressed by your colourful portfolio and would love your help." See the before and afters here. . . ... 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

The Very Best Way to Choose Your Main Neutral

Lynda was moving into this pretty little house in a new subdivision: She needed some help with a new colour scheme and was stuck on wall colours. One on-line consultation with me and she had a plan. Lynda had some existing furniture and artwork she wanted to work with, and she sent me a glimpse of her last house (below). She was not afraid of colour! Lynda’s previous home  This was the ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Help! I Just Had My First REAL Colour Consultation

I recently received this question from a new colour consultant: “Maria, I need some advice, this encounter was a doozy: I had previewed the house with my realtor friend before the buyer closed, so I already was familiar with the ‘boss’ of the living room — a rock fireplace with a mostly gold undertone. And, because of some other factors in the connecting dining room, I was prepared to offer a solution of Seashell (BM-OC 120) to ... Continue Reading

How to Choose Paint Colours that Work with Your Lighting

I recently received this question from Shelley, asking how useful it would be to custom mix a paint colour to get it right with the light in her home. “I’ve recently used BM Manchester Tan in a pantry that has a large fluorescent light fixture, and it looks lovely — right at the happy intersection of warm and cool. But in our front entry and hallway (which are criminally devoid of any shred of ... Continue Reading

“Interesting” to Classic Kitchen Counter and Backsplash Makeover

via {pinterest} Glenda in Langley, called me to help her choose new perimeter countertops and backsplash to coordinate with the existing granite on her kitchen island. The current countertop was a laminate and she was upgrading to stone and the busy, multi-coloured backsplash had to go. I wish I had the photos to show you how we chose the colour but here’s what we did. We took a stack of quartz ... Continue Reading

How NOT to Choose Paint Colours (But Everybody Does It)

  This post is also an “Ask Maria” question. So here it is: “I have painted my family room with BM Clay Beige except the focal fireplace wall which I selected SW Exclusive Plum (6263).  I am happy with those colors.  I personally like colors that make you feel lifted, happy, and free, especially with punch of a nice color(s) here and there.  So, this new trend that is coming ... Continue Reading

Best Ideas for Creative Kids Rooms: Before & After

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

When Colour Theory is Literally Dangerous

Image via Barbara Barry (A pretty combination of green-grays and yellow-beige) When Irene and I were working on my White is Complicated eBook. We got to a section and she said “You need to explain that more thoroughly, people are literalists”. And she’s right. When we’re learning anything, we’re literal. That’s why in every profession and especially design and colour you need to know the rules first before you can break them. ... Continue Reading

People email me all the time asking me how in the world it’s possible to specify colour on-line. They say things like “My husband is skeptical so sorry”.  Which is totally fine of course, I’m busy, don’t worry about me. In fact I’m trying to get out of here for the lake this week, I’m still here packing up! The point of this comment is that if you’re a designer ... Continue Reading

8 Features Every Log Home Should Have (Incredible Kitchen too)

1. An abandoned swallows nest on the kitchen window sill. 2. Incredible limestone tile throughout and including the countertops (chosen by Brooke & Steve Gianetti from Velvet & Linen during a trip to LA) Such a great way of working with all the ORANGE wood, providing a break from it as well as creating a balance of warm and cool. 3. Pendant Lighting They have a sexier pendant light fixture ... Continue Reading