Do’s and Dont’s for Decorating with Black Outside; Before & After

House Beautiful Lately I am crushing on black outside. When I see it against all the green it reminds me of how good black, white and kelly green palettes look in interiors. Image via Style at Home But you have to be careful when introducing black, there’s a tipping point where suddenly the interior OR exterior is just TOO black. So here are my do’s and dont’s for decorating with ... 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

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After

Okay I know I’m late to the party on reading this book because I’d heard lots about it for months. It wasn’t until I saw my lovely client Lisa in New York this past Spring that my life started getting magical. The book came up in one of our conversations and Lisa said, “I’ve read it so you are welcome to have it”. Amazon The premise of this book is ... Continue Reading

The Barbara Barry Guide to Instagram (Through My Living Room)

Styling & Photo by Maria Killam I recently bought Barbara Barry’s book Around Beauty and became completely obsessed! Amazon In the introduction, the author writes that after you read Barbara Barry’s book, you become even more aware of simply finding the beauty in every day, and that is exactly what happens when you read her book. You suddenly find yourself dusting off your teacups (or buying some if you don’t have any). ... 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

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

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + my Last two Homes

I’m so delighted to have my entire house which was featured on the cover of Style at Home this Spring spotlighted again in the September issue of Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine! For those of you who haven’t seen the ‘before’ photos when we started the renovation project a little over two years ago, you can see them here.   Julia from Hooked on Houses posted a review of her house ... Continue Reading

Maria Killam’s White Garden Transformation: Before & After

It’s fascinating to have a Perennial garden designed like mine. There’s always something that takes turns blooming, so finally when my white Shasta daisies along with my white hydrangeas were looking their best, I had my photographer Tracey Ayton come out to take photos. She also photographed a summer house I’ve been working on for a client and when I received all the images, they were so beautiful, I got a ... Continue Reading

My Snowflowering Tree Blooms on my Birthday: Before & After

You know when you finish decorating or designing a room and the after photo is so pretty you think “Darn, I wish I had that exact same angle for the before photo?!!” Well, today, I have it for this angle on my back deck. This was part of the collection of photos I sent my Landscape Architect MaryAnne White 18 months ago when we started planning my landscape project that started ... Continue Reading

Outdoor Vignette on my Patio: Before & After

  As you know, I’m decorating my patio this Spring. Our deck most definitely needs to be replaced, but we can’t do that without replacing the vinyl siding first. As we’re not prepared to go there quite yet, I’m decorating instead. I’ll show you everything soon, today, I’m just showing you the vignette I created on my Pottery Barn console that arrived this week. Can you see the water spigot on the right ... Continue Reading

My Patio Plans this Spring (Include Snakes)

We have lived in our new house in the country for exactly two years now. We took possession in the middle of April in 2012. First, we renovated the interior and replaced the kitchen. Then last Spring at the end of April 2013, we totally ripped out the front and back yard.  So it’s taken two years but I’m finally having the experience of Spring like so many of you, ... Continue Reading

What I did on the Way to a Super Bowl Party

Since we live in the West Coast of British Columbia and are only 2 1/2 hours from Seattle, most of us cheer the Seahawks. And, as you know, they won last night, hooray! That's enough about that, haha. I hung out with the Mom's upstairs at the party because truthfully, I have no interest in football. I was in Portland last week (more about that another day) where I did a little no-tax shopping and ... Continue Reading

Eclectic Art in the Hallway

{Front Door Colour: Cloverdale 7669} The art wall in my hallway has looked like this almost since we moved in over a year ago. I couldn’t stand the wall sitting empty so I filled it with mostly empty frames in the hopes that it would inspire me to fill them faster. It didn’t. Every time I walked by, I was annoyed. Just for fun, here’s what my door looked like ... Continue Reading

The Counter Stools in my Kitchen

Have you noticed that you can’t stick any old bar stool at your kitchen island? They really do have to be customized to coordinate with your kitchen. I have received a few emails asking if your counter/bar stools or kitchen table and chairs should coordinate with your kitchen and the answer is, yes they absolutely should. Here’s the ones I bought for my kitchen. I have seen this bar stool ... Continue Reading

The Ivy Wall Inside my Design Studio: Before & After

I decided to order the wall of ivy instead of the very cool, huge leaf because I wanted it to look like a real garden wall right inside my studio. Here’s the lonely blank wall, waiting for some inspiration to hit me. I have so many other walls in the house that will have a collage of frames that I didn’t want to do that here, so this 21 ft ... Continue Reading

Take Risks with Your Decor Rather than your Clients

In 2011 when we were living in our townhouse in North Vancouver, I chose the wrong fabric for my new chair and ottoman. I was so embarrassed. That’s why it’s taken me this long to tell you about it. I had my yellow sofa (above) and that was an easy choice for me to make. I love yellow. But I was having trouble actually committing to a second colour. Designers hate making ... Continue Reading