Here’s the Skinny on Whether you Should Shiplap Your House

I read this advice the other day on a blog talking about shiplap. When you read this, tell me if this statement helps you decide if you should install shiplap in your home: “We love how easily it brings a historic vibe to any space that is refined and thoughtful yet casual.” Huh? Are you any further ahead now in making a decision on whether you should install it in your home? ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: About Kitchen Cabinet Uppers and Lowers in Different Colours

I’ve been receiving questions on two-toned cabinets lately and I can’t believe I’ve never addressed them on the blog. Here is my lovely readers question: I’m about to refinish my 90’s oak cathedral raised panel kitchen cabinets, and am considering a two toned paint scheme. I’m thinking Fieldstone lowers and Gray Cashmere uppers. Do you think this is a trend or is this a classic look? I hesitate to do this until I get ... Continue Reading

Maria Killam’s Trend Forecast for 2017

The colour for 2017 is kelly green (hooray, I’ve been waiting for this green for a long time) and the look is refined and generally warming up. Green reigns supreme in 2017 as the most versatile colour with broad appeal. Greens are getting both richer and warmer, moving away from the beachy, minty hues towards more grounded shades of yellow green spring shoots and deep leafy greens. (In other words, I think Pantone nailed ... Continue Reading

My Take on Pantone’s 2017 Colour of the Year: Greenery

Perfect. I’m on board. This green evokes the first green of Spring. It’s about regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew. That’s the news from Pantone. My house in the December Issue of Canadian Living Magazine 2014 It’s the shade of green in my living room and dining room (above) and very close to the shade of the bannisters I recently had painted in a clients home (below). My shoes in the summertime! ... Continue Reading

The Stunning and Classic Home of the Giannetti’s at Patina Farm

Roses from Brooke’s garden to greet us in the guest house Many of us in blogland followed Brooke and Steve Giannetti when they built their dream home in Ojai, California and moved from their previous house in Santa Monica. They have lived there now for three years since it was finished, but in the Spring of 2014, Brooke posted photos of her gardens here, only one year after it was installed. ... Continue Reading

When to Break the Rules Around Choosing White (or Cream)

Pinterest Trends are always moving. You can’t pin them down. When you’ve been in the colour business for as long as I have, it’s fascinating to watch. And it’s also the reason I’m so jaded about each new tile trend fad that comes along. I’m talking about hard finishes because they are the most permanent. I really would like to save the world and especially YOU from so many unnecessary renovations.  It’s ... Continue Reading

What’s Missing if Your House is Not Trendy (Who Cares?)

Recently I received an email that haunted me for days. This happens often by the way, when you send me a good one. It puts me deeply in my head and sometimes I forget to respond. I really get upset when that happens. This email from one of my subscribers, was one of those: “I have been reading your blog for about a year now, and I have learned quite a bit about color and undertones ... Continue Reading

Add Some Fall to Your Living Room Using Brown (I did)

For some time now, there’s been talk about browns and warmer neutrals coming back to replace gray. Last week, when someone asked if I would write a post about taupe because Sherwin Williams recently claimed one as their colour of the year I responded: “When my readers or clients start asking me for Taupe, that’s when I’ll know it’s real. And not just someone in the marketing department declaring ‘Well we can’t keep talking about gray ... Continue Reading

Trend Alert: Paint Your Walls and Trim White (or Cream)

Tricia and I have been noticing a trend with trim colours lately in our e-Design consultations. And that is if you have an earthier palette in your house either because you prefer cream over white or you have a Tuscan palette from that trend, AND you are craving a fresher look and feel, it’s hard to do without painting all your trim out white. Because the traditional way of creating contrast between ... Continue Reading

Trendy or Classic? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

Photo by Maria Killam at Maison & Objet When I wrote my trend report from Maison & Objet last week, truthfully, I was kind of depressed that all evidence points towards black as the next trendy neutral after grey. In this case, I hope I’m wrong. It seems that in my 20 year colour career I’ve now seen trend colours go full circle around the wheel. Understanding Undertones – The Colour System ... Continue Reading

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet

It was an interesting first day at Maison & Objet. Everyone had different opinions about the trends because I think everyone looks for whatever interests them. For example, I’ll be at High Point market and someone will say “I saw RED everywhere” and I’ll think “Really? I didn’t see much red” but that’s because red is not my colour. I think you’d have to read a few trend reports to ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Add a Peninsula to your Kitchen

My new assistant Kelly and her husband just bought a house when she started with us this summer and the renovation began as soon as they took possession August 1. Kelly’s Dad is a contractor and her two brothers work for him so she’s lucky enough to have all the expertise she needs in the family. This is the front of her house which you saw when I posted about ... 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

It’s a Charcoal Tile Intervention (Don’t Miss This One)

Pinterest I’m depressed. My Mom is looking for a cottage trailer up in Vernon (as a second home). It’s 5 hours from here, warmer and dryer in the summer and she already spends a lot of time there. This means less time with my Mom here in the country (where I already moved to be close to her) because she’ll be up there more often. Yesterday morning over our 5:30 AM coffee, ... Continue Reading

The Trends you Need to Know Right Now for 2017

Blue + White Lillian August I’m back home from High Point Market and I’m excited to share what’s new for 2017 and beyond: Here are the top trends that I saw starting with florals: Flowers When flowers hit light fixtures? That’s how you know they are a huge trend. I talked about overscale flowers and flowers on fabrics with black backgrounds last Spring when I was here. Kate Spade had an entire ... Continue Reading

Why a Colourful Sofa is as Timeless as Subway Tile

Madcap Cottage Collection My favourite source for designer fabrics in Vancouver is the Robert Allen showroom. When I arrive to select a palette for a client, there’s always someone available who is dedicated to helping me pull it all together and the best part is they usually have ALL the memo samples–in stock–so I can have them immediately. This way I can easily see what’s working, what’s not and if ... Continue Reading