Make Something Ugly almost Disappear with Disney's "Go Away Green"


I know it seems like I'm on vacation AGAIN! Because I am. . . with my adorable nephews in Disneyland this week. However, this vacation (which included a three day cruise from Vancouver to LA) was booked months ago. It's Markus (6) and William (8) first time in Disneyland and Terreeia and I didn't want to miss it! Maria & Markus A… 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 Minimalist Guide to Decorating with Charcoal


Photos by Maria Killam Recently, I had a consultation with a client who needed help creating a colour palette for her new home. She didn't want to make the same mistakes she had made in the past and was looking for a plan. She sent me this inspiration photo for her house:  {via pinterest} I spent a few minutes asking more questions to make… Continue reading


Where to Start When You Have a Blank Slate


Jacqueline called me and said:

"Help! My laundry room is finished, it's white, I followed all the advice on your blog right down to copying the shelves in your laundry room, but now that I have a white Maria Killam laundry room and I can do anything I want, I have no idea where to start!

What colour should I paint it? I painted it BM Grey Owl because I had some leftover paint but it's doing nothing for me!"

I said, "First, Grey Owl is almost like a neutral, muted blue/green grey that would look great in a bathroom with lots of blue grey marble that coordinated with it, but for your laundry room to look fabulous, it needs a colour! Continue reading


4 Ways to Decorate Around Your Charcoal Sofa


Today's post is about decorating with charcoal, really important to know since it's such a popular neutral right now!

If you have a charcoal sofa (just like during the brown trend, when most neutral-loving shoppers purchased a brown one) it's time for me to help you bring this colour to life.

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Ask Maria: How Do You Keep Up with Current Trends? And, is Gray Out?

grey trend

I recently received this question about trends:

"I have decided to look for a new position and each job posting requests being 'up-to-date with current trends and products.' I understand wanting this skill but I am curious how you keep up-to-date with current products, materials, trends, etc. I try to read a lot, visit show homes (which in reality, by the time they are built, new trends and materials are already available) and I join as many webinars as possible.

I’m curious if you have a favourite website, author, magazine, seminar, stores to keep yourself current. I know you enjoy Pinterest but is there more? Would love for you to include this in one of your blogs.

[Here's something] interesting. I am reading your White is Complicated book and received a design email yesterday stating that gray is no longer 'in.' However, in Calgary, Alberta, gray is still very popular! Continue reading


How Much Heavy Lifting can a Paint Colour Handle?


{via pinterest} I get the best questions about paint colour and how much it can or cannot do to "rescue" a mistake someone has made in their house or a mistake they inherited from a previous owner. Sometimes, colour can swoop in and magically save the day, so there's nothing wrong with wondering if your situation can also be saved by… 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


3 Ways to Use Fresh to Sell Design

cold gray

  Hi everyone, I want to share a little tip about what your clients are really looking for (even though they might not even know it yet). Occasionally I receive comments or emails like this: "We aren't ALL interested in introducing fresh into our homes, Maria!" "Please don't exclude those of us who still prefer warm, earthy colours."  "Puh-leese, write some posts… Continue reading


How to Coordinate Unusual Colour Combinations

dirty and clean

{More funny texts from moms} It's 5:00 AM and my phone pings with a text from my Mom: "Come for coffee now! I'm up but I'll nap later". (Except she writes it in Finnish, I can read it but do not ask me to have a conversation in Finnish, that's where my dual language ability ends). "Ok" I text back, and… Continue reading


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