Never Pick a Neutral Without Large Colour Boards: Pssst! They Do it For You!

Every time I hold one of my 3 day colour workshops we take some time in the afternoon on Day 1 and analyze the paint colours in the meeting room we are in and discuss whether the existing colours work or not (they rarely do). We do this so that my new True Colour Experts can see how to work with my large paint samples. The other very important reason ... Continue Reading

When to Break the Rules Around Choosing White (or Cream)

Pinterest Trends are always moving. You can’t pin them down. When you’ve been in the colour business for as long as I have, it’s fascinating to watch. And it’s also the reason I’m so jaded about each new tile trend fad that comes along. I’m talking about hard finishes because they are the most permanent. I really would like to save the world and especially YOU from so many unnecessary renovations.  It’s ... Continue Reading

Trend Alert: Paint Your Walls and Trim White (or Cream)

Tricia and I have been noticing a trend with trim colours lately in our e-Design consultations. And that is if you have an earthier palette in your house either because you prefer cream over white or you have a Tuscan palette from that trend, AND you are craving a fresher look and feel, it’s hard to do without painting all your trim out white. Because the traditional way of creating contrast between ... Continue Reading

How to Fix your White Room (If it Turned Green) Before & After

All summer (okay maybe more than just the summer) Tricia (my Virtual Design Assistant) has been obsessing about her living room and how the green from outside turns her lovely shade of cream, green. She’s sampled a bunch of colours but really she just wants the room to be cream and not green. So I said “Paint it and we’ll post it on the blog, this is a common problem right now ... Continue Reading

How to be Smart in a World Filled With Dumb Colour Advice

There’s a conversation out in the colour trend world that colour is moving back to browns and warmer grey tones in the realm of mushroom or driftwood, and cocoas and caramels. First, it’s important for you to understand that colour trends move slowly for people who are not in the industry. So that means brown is not coming back anytime soon. I haven’t specified anything remotely close to brown for any of my clients for years. ... Continue Reading

Tread Softly When Choosing a Plain (True) White

  Notice the background of the roman shade is cream along with the carpet but the trim, walls and chair is WHITE. Image via pinterest So the renovation that I mentioned here is starting next week, hooray! Habitat for Humanity is coming to remove all the espresso cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms and install them somewhere else. So everything is moving along and that’s great right? For the kitchen cabinets I chose a true white to ... Continue Reading

Best Countertop for Stained Wood Cabinets

{via Carriage Lane Designs} When I received this Ask Maria question asked slightly different two times recently, I thought it deserved a stand-alone post even though my regular readers will have read my opinion here: We are doing a complete gut job on our kitchen and starting over with high end shaker cherry cabinets.  I want to balance the dark with a lighter counter, and surprised myself with falling in ... Continue Reading

Contrast and Comparison: There’s Only One Place to Really Get It

Learning to compare and contrast the RIGHT way is one of the most valuable skills you can have as a interior decorator, or even as a homeowner about to build or renovate. It's not a hard skill to learn, but it's also not taught anywhere but here. Take it from my True Colour Experts. ... 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

Ask Maria: Which Cream Subway Tile is Right?

One of my lovely readers emailed this great question about cream subway tile that I thought would be so useful for many of us. Also, note that her kitchen countertop is pristine and she even left a decorative jar in the photo when she snapped it for me. If you have an Ask Maria question, please clean up the room, it’ll have a higher chance of appearing on my blog. I am very protective of ... Continue Reading

Learn how to use Large Painted Sample Boards

{via pinterest}   [youtube_sc url=” http://youtu.be/JvZ7dzDNXMI” rel=”0″]   If you already have one of these collections, you’ll know how valuable they are. Here’s what one of my recent True Colour Experts said about her boards: “Without being too dramatic, the large colour boards have really and truly changed my color consultations. I purchased both of Maria’s collections after the Summer School webinar and having them immediately put me at a pro level. I then ... Continue Reading

2015 Trend Alert: Olive Green from High Point

Today was my first day at High Point Market! Jam packed with all kinds of educational opportunities as well as events, so many products to see, it was fun and very busy! I’m starting off with this image because it was the first thing that greeted us at the Kravet party in the afternoon, I loved the hits of colour in front of the blackboard. Colour is everywhere this market, that ... Continue Reading

Deconstructing Whites for Interiors

{via pinterest} Deconstructing Whites for Interiors is what I’ll be speaking about at this upcoming market at the Lunch and Learn on Sunday, October 19th at the Zaar Design Center in High Point. I will be giving the audience a sneak peek of my upcoming eBook, White is Complicated: A Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White. Discover the five essential categories of whites and which one is right for walls, ceilings, cabinets, trim and woodwork. {via pinterest} Never ... Continue Reading

How to Coordinate White & Cream (If You Made a Mistake)

Just in case you thought that you can’t mix white and cream, you certainly can. But sometimes it can look like you made a mistake. Or maybe you finished the room and it doesn’t seem quite right. For example, what if you chose all your kitchen finishes, countertops, flooring and backsplash in white or cream, with only one exception? You might be staring at your kitchen and wonder if there’s something ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: When is White Dirty?

Now that white is the hottest thing smoking, I’m receiving lots of questions from readers who are worried about choosing the wrong white. So here are four ways to know in advance when your white will look dirty: 1. You have a dark room. Walk into any dark room and look up at the white ceiling. See how dingy and dirty it looks?  The same thing will happen if you ... Continue Reading

Smart Light Control for my Living Room from Urban Aesthetics

Well am I ever glad I asked whether I should puddle my drapes or not. And Terreeia is even happier because she was right, haha! When I read all your overwhelming “Absolutely not Maria, your living room is way too clean and contemporary” comments, I thought “Duh, of course”.  It’s not like I would ever have specified puddling drapes for a client with a living room like mine, but I ... Continue Reading