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

source One of my readers Melissa Huber asked: “My burning question has been what to do about the interior trim around replacement windows. The replacement windows are white but our window trims match all the wood throughout the house (molding, chair railing, beams, crown molding, all kitchen and bath cabinets). What is the best way to treat the the window trim (knowing that I would eventually like to paint our kitchen ... Continue Reading

I always have to include Cloud White in posts I write about trim because it’s too commonly used as a go-to, fix-all, no-questions-asked solution.  A client emailed me today with a great question: Is it okay to have a warmer, off white trim throughout the house but use a brighter white in the bathroom to go with tile and fixtures? Pinterest The answer is Yes. If the colours in your ... Continue Reading

The Best Exterior Trim Colours with Brick; NOT Cloud White

Photos by Maria Killam Obviously Cloud White (like in this post I wrote) cannot possibly be a go-to white for the exterior of any home and certainly not brick homes, like all the wonderful homes in Toronto (where I’m on a mini-vacation this week). Here is my take on the ones that do work well. In this gray brick home (above), an off-white trim like Cloud White would be perfectly ... Continue Reading

Should you add a Glaze to your Painted Cabinets? Yay or Nay?

This is Fran’s beautiful home (a continuation of yesterday’s post).  Fran asked if I would like a light lunch as we had scheduled the consultation for 1:00 pm.  I took her up on her generous offer because set-up day (for my workshop) is always crazy.  It was too hot to dine outside but I had to capture this picture perfect setting! Here is the lovely place setting (inside) that was ... Continue Reading

Can I paint my Walls White even if the Room is Dark?

source I can count on one hand (okay maybe two) how many times someone has hired me to actually choose a white for their walls. White cabinets? Every day. White cabinets are fabulous anytime. But walls?  I mean most people can pretty much pick white on their own. However, since gray became the new beige and white replaced cream, suddenly more and more of my readers and clients are asking ... Continue Reading

Dated Oak Cabinets to White and Fresh; Before & After

source Beth Sears recently sent me photos of her updated oak kitchen inspired by my extremely popular post about White Kitchens.  Beth and her husband built their house in 1993 so when it came time to update their kitchen it was a total DIY renovation! Here is their story: Photos by Beth Sears “With the exception of the granite, …it took about a year of convincing hubby that the oak ... Continue Reading

Gray Kitchen Cabinets: 4 Ways to Know if You Should Follow the Trends

I find the direction the gray trend is going is really interesting. When gray first came in, back in the 90s, there were many cold gray 12×12 inch tiles in kitchens and bathrooms, paired with a lot of shiny white (not gray) cabinets. But now that gray is coming back around again, it’s everywhere it was before and going on cabinets too. Via Verdigris Vie For the most part, now that we are using ... Continue Reading

Can you paint your Cabinets the same Colour as the Walls?

source Whenever anyone asks me this question I always say no. I think cabinetry is like furniture in your house, it should be distinguished from the wall colour.  The only exceptions to this are: Source If your walls are white already (above) it works because the rest of the walls in your house are white too. I would still install a white kitchen in a white house that’s for sure! ... Continue Reading

A Happy Sherwin Williams On-Line Consultation; Before & After

Calm and the right colours go together 🙂 source A few days ago, I received this email from a client I had consulted with in early October from Kent, Michigan. One of the comments she made during the consultation was that she had come to the conclusion that if you make one small mistake at the beginning of a decorating project, you end up building on the mistake and then ... Continue Reading

Bright Colour needs a Healthy Dose of White

My readers are the best!  I have been emailing back and forth with Stu Stiller for a long time now.  He was kind enough to send me a quote about men and their love of wood to include in this post on Open Letter to my Lover on Decorating.  Yesterday he sent me a link to this amazing townhouse in TriBeCa designed by Ghislaine Vinas. It’s definitely Colour me Happy! ... Continue Reading

Two Ways to Know if Your Kitchen Should be White, Gray or Brown

Early this week I arrived at a client’s home during a huge renovation. They showed me the espresso brown shaker-style cabinets they were leaning towards as well as the 24×24 inch chocolate and caramel tile.  The countertops were going to be quartz. This couple plan to retire in this house — they have an amazing view (below) and it’s going to be fabulous! flickr So, even though the gray trend is now ... Continue Reading

A Consultation on White Benjamin Moore Trim

Tammy called me in a panic. She was about to have 10 interior doors sprayed with a new colour and she couldn’t decide between the 140 whites in the fan deck. She found my blog on-line and immediately called me for an appointment. Photos by Maria Killam Her existing trim colour (OC-126) was way too creamy and she wanted to go lighter because her entire house was decorated in black ... Continue Reading

5 Steps to a Kitchen you will Love!

Wood stained cabinets or painted? Which one is right for you? Read on to find out. Image source I’ll start with the espresso brown kitchen cabinet trend as it’s still going strong: The following is an anonymous comment that I have heard many times since the brown trend started. By the way–a little insider advice—designers are always seeing and looking for what’s new and what’s next, we quickly get tired ... Continue Reading

Vancouver’s Colour Expert Advice; White is a Snob

The following is an excerpt from Janice Lindsay’s book; All About Colour; Good white rooms always meet three demanding criteria. They must have Good Light: Image Source Harmonized Proportions Image Source and a Few Attractive Objects artfully arranged: Image Source This is why white rooms are a challenge, not to be taken lightly by those not up to aesthetic discipline. Adding colour to a sunny room is like putting makeup ... Continue Reading

The Best Exterior Trim Colours—NOT Cloud White

The first post I wrote on best exterior trim colours, The Best Trim Colours – NOT Cloud White is the second most popular post on this blog next to White Kitchen Cabinets. The reason for the ‘NOT Cloud White’ headline is a lot of people rely too heavily on go-to colours without first considering the important aspects of why you would choose a white-or-any-other-colour trim. And they are as follows: ... Continue Reading