Colour in Tiles

Bad Design Advice: Fall in Love with All Your Finishes


  Statement tile, Herringbone Carrara {House Beautiful} Pattern quota done. Keep your countertop solid or almost solid. {Source} I had an interesting conversation with one of my readers while I was consulting on her kitchen renovation. She had already installed tile floors in her kitchen and couldn't decide on a countertop. She had some options selected, but she told me, "I'm not in love with… Continue reading


Warning: Rant Alert on The Tackiest Advice Ever


I'm not usually this cranky, but I recently came across some of the fluffiest, dumbest interior design advice I've ever read. 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… Continue reading


When White Walls are the ONLY Solution


{via pinterest} In the very beginning of my design career I was fortunate enough to have some great mentors. One was a very talented designer who probably couldn't tell you about undertones but she had amazing spidey senses when it came to choosing colour. As designers working in a paint store, our job was to book in-home appointments with customers who came into the store… Continue reading


Before & After: The Pinterest School of Styling


Interior design & styling by Maria Killam Last week as I lay by the pool on vacation in Kauai, I had already read both of the beach novels that I brought, so I went through my client's library  and pulled out The Alchemist. My sister Elizabeth posing for my photo Three years ago, when my client was building this house in… Continue reading


The Right Way (and the Wrong Way) to Install Porcelain Wood Floors


I'm here at the same house in Kauai we were in last year! This time, Terreeia and I are with my sister Elizabeth and her family. This is the view from the tub in the master bathroom ensuite. Elizabeth is enjoying a  quiet moment with her book. We passed by a charming diner and coffee joint that I want to share with you. Here it is… Continue reading


Ask Maria: Help! The Previous Homeowner Installed Granite to Sell


This homeowner reached out to me with photos of two bathrooms in her own house. Who can see what's wrong here? It's the old "granite to sell" trick and some would say it worked but the new granite makes the floor and cabinets look especially dated. How can you tell that the granite is the new addition? That 4" kick along the… Continue reading


Do's & Don'ts for Decorating with Black Tile

black grout

The dangerous part about any new trend is when you start incorporating the old with the new and the black tile trend is no different. Here are some guidelines to think about if you are considering black tile in a bathroom or kitchen: DO Paint your walls black instead of tiling. You'll get a similar look and feel and then it's… Continue reading


Ask Maria: Which Cream Subway Tile is Right?


One of my lovely readers emailed this great question about cream subway tile that I thought would be so useful for many of us. Also, note that her kitchen countertop is pristine and she even left a decorative jar in the photo when she snapped it for me. If you have an Ask Maria question, please clean up the room, it'll have a higher… Continue reading


Ask Maria: Which Countertop Should I Choose (What Were They Thinking??)


"Here is my kitchen that was built in 2006. I wish I stumbled across your blog years ago because the thing I dislike about the kitchen the most is the busy tile! And is this tile the dreaded pinky-beige? And my knotty alder cabinets have yellowed considerably over the years. So I'm pretty sure we have a major undertone problem… Continue reading


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