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


7 Ways to Make the Most of What You Already Have | Before & After


Crystal called me to help her pull together her new house. This was her request:

"I used to have a colourful condo. Oranges and yellows have always been a favourite of mine, and in the last 5 years, I’ve loved pinks. I hired a designer about 6 years ago, and I guess she was successful at convincing me that colour was kids' stuff and neutrals were sophisticated.

So out with all my stuff and in with the new. Cream, chocolate browns, and greens. I found it bland and lifeless, although yes, very nice and sophisticated. So I started adding pink with Designers Guild bedding, decorative pillows, etc. I also bought some whimsical paintings with colour punches (I’ve attached photos of them)."

I was very impressed by your colourful portfolio and would love your help."

See the before and afters here. . . 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.

Continue reading


The Zen of a Perfect Green Backsplash on The Today Show

The Zen of the Perfect Green Backsplash on the Today Show

My friend Lisa Mende invited me to Monday night at The Proximity at High Point with her pal Libby Langdon, a designer and TV personality along with Chrissy Shields. From left to right {Lisa Mendes, Chrissi Shields, Libby Langdon and Maria Killam} When we walked into the restaurant, Libby was already there and when she came around the bar in our direction I thought… 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


My New Favourite Dark Grey


I saw this cottage makeover yesterday (the before pic is so covered with shrubs that it's not worth posting) and I've been swooning over the shutters ever since.  {via HGTV} Here's what I'd like you to notice about the colours. The main body colour is basically a gray/brown (BM Iron Mountain) but the shutters painted in BM Pale Avocado bring… Continue reading


How NOT to Choose Paint Colours (But Everybody Does It)

Blue, green & Yellow

  This post is also an "Ask Maria" question. So here it is: "I have painted my family room with BM Clay Beige except the focal fireplace wall which I selected SW Exclusive Plum (6263).  I am happy with those colors.  I personally like colors that make you feel lifted, happy, and free, especially with punch of a nice color(s)… 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… Continue reading


Decorating with Red: Before & After

Living Room After

Paula from Salad in a Jar hired me in April for an on-line consultation to help with colours and decorating updates on her house. Two hours later, she had a plan and three months later, here is the fabulous result! This is what she said: "Thank-you again for helping me a few months ago. You gave me a lot of confidence which made… Continue reading


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