How to Transform a Charcoal Sofa with Colour: Before & After

Shari and her husband couldn’t agree on a ‘colour’ when they went shopping for a new sofa, so they chose charcoal. The reason why they couldn’t agree on a colour, is because choosing a sofa BEFORE the carpet, artwork or throw pillows is like picking all the paint colours for your house BEFORE you buy a stick of furniture. If you don’t have an inspiration starting point, then it’s much harder ... 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

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

Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy

We are finalizing the finishes and colours for Crystal’s white kitchen (see the before pics here). These are the two options we discussed. Option 1 Marble looking quartz with off-white cabinets and a walnut island with light floors (rift white oak), here are some inspiration pics. Via DecorPad This floor is darker than what we are installing but this is the idea (above). via Pinterest We are installing hardwood floors (NOT REMOTELY ... 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

My Sister’s New Kitchen: Surprise! It’s NOT White or Subway Tile!

When my sister Lea and her partner were getting ready to move into the Eco Village in our town, I helped Lea choose finishes, colours, and lighting. Greg wanted wood-stained cabinets (not white) and Lea really didn't mind either way, so I specified a light maple, along with medium brown engineered wood flooring. She did NOT want subway tile because she thinks it's boring (clearly not brainwashed enough by reading my blog, sigh), but agreed that we would stay away from accent tile and keep it off-white to coordinate with the quartz. We settled on this moroccan pattern. ... Continue Reading

Warning: Rant Alert on The Tackiest Advice Ever

I'm not usually this cranky, but I recently came across some of the fluffiest, dumbest interior design advice I've ever read. ... 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

Ask Maria: Must my Kitchen Coordinate With the Dining Room?

I’m am a big fan and follower of your “Ask Maria” series. I’ve never done anything like this before so I thought I’d give it a go.  We’re looking to update our kitchen and our dilemma is what color to paint our cabinets and island. Our cabinets are in good condition so we can’t justify replacing them. The sink, faucet and appliances will be swapped out for stainless. We’re also ... Continue Reading

The Problem with Your Orange/Yellow Floors

I get this question so much, it’s time to focus on it for a moment. A lot of people have this problem. Or should I say “problem”? {Yellow/orange floors. Anything wrong here?} So here’s the question from a reader: “Have you ever had to decorate around a maple floor? Yes, I have just moved into what was an elegant maple floors + maple wall-to-wall counters + dark granite countertop 1990s extravaganza. Since ... Continue Reading

Soft Blues, Ethereal Whites & Grays: Before & After

Remember the exterior transformation of this navy blue house I showed you awhile ago? Well, here’s the interior. Clearly my sweet reader and client Nicole has a wonderful creative eye and just needed some colour direction from me.  Lovely medium brown floors. Before  Walls – BM Stonington Gray After Before  After The blue ceiling is BM Healing Aloe. Walls are BM Tapestry Beige.  Before After – BM Quiet Moments Dining room ... Continue Reading

How to Make Standard vs. Custom Colour Choices

Have you noticed that you can listen to a salesperson list all the features and benefits of a product all day and all night, but if you don’t know what colour to buy. . . ? You hesitate. You fret. You lose sleep at night. And unless you are in a position where you’re forced to make decisions, like choosing finishes for a new build, you’ll quite often, just walk away ... Continue Reading

Should You Install Gray Wood Floors?

The first day of my Specify Colour with Confidence™ Training is my favourite. It’s when all the participants of my courses have their biggest transformation about understanding colour and undertones. But before they experience this transformation, I set up the entire three days of training with a conversation about magic, about selling the right colour, about selling classic and timeless and about creating a look and a feel. About what they need ... Continue Reading

How to Quiet a Small Herd of Elephants

This is another post from my genius Director of All Things Wonderful, Irene Hill. It’s been just over three years since she came into Terreeia’s and my life and we cannot imagine being without her. “For those of you who have been following Maria’s fabulous blog for awhile, you probably read the Two Magic Words post I wrote in October of last year about the huge renovation rebuild my husband and I are suffering ... Continue Reading

Can you have White Cabinets with Espresso Hardwood Floors?

I was on google recently, and three times in a row, with different searches, this post kept showing up right at the top: How to completely mess up your kitchen remodel: a step-by-step tutorial. This is the kitchen she coveted This DIY blogger named Kelly is a great writer and so entertaining. She generously shared her mistakes so that others could avoid making the same ones. Under ‘Huge Mistake #1″ here is ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Help! I Don’t Want the Same Kitchen as Everyone Else!!

Recently, I received this question from one of my lovely readers:  “I’m trying to come up with a color of floor tile that matches a kitchen with Volga blue granite counter tops, white cabinets, very light grey walls, and stainless steel appliances.  I don’t want wood floors in the kitchen or anything that looks like wood.  I think too many people have that look and it’s worn out.  I know that a white ... Continue Reading