5 Steps to Designing a Classic Stone Exterior

If you had seen as many DIY designed houses as I have over the years, you’d understand why this post turned into a bit of a rant.  WARNING: If YOU have built a new house with stone or brick, or both and are unhappy with the result, I recommend that you just skip this one. I don’t want to leave anyone feeling bad.  This post will only be useful to those ... Continue Reading

Exterior Consultation with Orange Stone and Brick: Before and After

My client Laura and I go way back. I decorated the interior of this house over 7 years ago. Their house is in Morgan Creek and their backyard overlooks the golf course (above). She has twin boys who will be heading to University next year and Laura and her husband will be downsizing. They have bought a fabulous, brand new condo in downtown Vancouver to experience city life and they will be ... Continue Reading

The Best Window Colour For Stone and Brick

This post is coming to you today from Tricia Firmaniuk, my, so talented Virtual Design Assistant: ___________________________________________________________________ We’re right in the middle of our busy exterior season, so if you haven’t tackled your exterior, and it needs updating, don’t worry! There is still time. Lovely brick and greige exterior from Atlanta Homes via the Home Bunch Recently, I updated the questionnaire for the exterior eDesign consultations to resolve an issue ... Continue Reading

The Best Exterior Colours for Apartment Buildings

Years ago when colour still mystified me and I was constantly talking to other colour experts at colour conferences and at other colour courses looking for mastery, I’ll never forget one conversation I had with a colour designer who specialized in exterior colour. He said, “The problem with using neutrals on exterior (especially the CURRENT trendy neutral) is if you introduce that colour–and right now that’s charcoal–at the end of ... Continue Reading

Trend Alert: All White and All Black Exteriors

As you know, I’m travelling for a couple weeks, just finished my Austin Specify Colour with Confidence workshop last week and I’m off to Toronto next where my next course starts on Tuesday. It’s really wonderful to meet people who have been following my blog for as long as I’ve been writing it (8 1/2 years). I am honoured and grateful that you read my blog and then attend my ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Choose Exterior Stone (Ugly is On Sale; Don’t Buy It)

Image via Sotheby’s Suddenly in the last week, we have sold quite a few ‘New build packages” because it’s that time of year where the planning is starting. It got me to thinking about exterior and this post that I started writing a couple months ago and forgot about: One of my True Colour Experts posted this dilemma on our private Facebook page: What to do? I have my first opportunity ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Choose a Front Door Colour from Palm Springs

How do you choose the colour of your front door? Well if you have a white or cream house (or another pretty neutral shade) without any fixed elements, technically, your options are endless. But are they? The way to create flow from the outside to the inside is to look inside your front door. What are the colours in your entry or your adjoining rooms? That’s where you’ll find your ... 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

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior

source: Best Friends for Frosting My virtual design assistant Tricia who lives in Edmonton is an artist as well as a True Colour Expert™. She sees undertones from miles away and is truly gifted! And what’s even more amazing is she has my aesthetic. She is the ‘team’ in my exterior and interior econsulting services. Recently, we had a client who asked for a shade of pink to sample for her exterior and ... 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

Exterior Accents Change Everything: Before & After

The owners of this lovely home (below) purchased the trim/accent on-line colour consultation . Despite it’s classic bones, this house was just not living up to it’s potential. It was feeling a bit tired. We wanted to address a few issues including unifying the trim with the right colour, which will be painted next season. In the mean time, they put our suggestions for accent colours for the front door and shutters ... Continue Reading

A Fresh and Classic Dream Home in Texas

Exterior colours: Sherwin Williams Colonnade Grey, Shutters: SW Breezy I recently received this email from Lori in Texas who bought my White eBook during the design phase of her dream home, and here is the beautiful and classic result! I purchased your e-book,  White Is Complicated: A Decorator’s Guide to Choosing the Right White, while we were in the design phase of our dream home. See, we recently retired from the military after serving ... 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

10 Tips To Transform Your Exterior

I specify lots of exterior colours during the spring and summer each year, but because most of it is done online, I rarely get an after picture. When I do get one, the sun is slanting on the house, which kind of wrecks the shot, or there’s no grass in the yard. . . and I really should just be there to take the picture. Here I will share tips to ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Help! Should my Carpet be Dark or Light Outside?

Cream stone and cream cushions, lovely | source If you are not a colour expert or not even close, chances are, when you’re considering which colour is right for your interior, whether it’s flooring, carpets, furniture or paint, you might find yourself asking the question, do I go dark or light? Instead of the question you should be asking which is: Does this ______ relate to this room? Does this ______ pull ... Continue Reading

Don’t Make These 5 Common Mistakes with your Exterior Colour

House Beautiful Choosing fixed elements in the current, dark trendy neutral. Recently I consulted with a couple on their new build. They spent 3 1/2 hours with me in my studio and we chose colours for all their major fixed elements for their interior like hardwood floors, countertops, tile, and then outside. When we got to the conversation about exterior colour and started looking at stone and brick colours, I informed them that ... Continue Reading