My favourite part of the decorating process the styling. I love how a vase of flowers, along with some well distributed accent colours, can transform so many interiors into ‘Wow it looks like a magazine’. My sweet freelance writer and editor of both my eBooks Irene Hill, had a main floor that needed some styling magic. Irene and her husband have lived through a very long renovation. As long as I’ve known her (almost 6 ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Display your Keurig or Nespresso Coffee Pods (A Styling Tip)

via Pinterest Since it seems like EVERYONE has a pod coffee machine because it’s the latest and greatest convenience, I thought I’d show you how I styled them last week AFTER a photo shoot. Not to be confused with the image I created for Pinterest and Instagram 😉 😉 First, here is what my clients butlers pantry looked like before it was styled for the shoot: This pantry was designed by my friend Jan Romanuk and built ... Continue Reading

Refresh your Dining Room with Upholstered Chairs: Before & After

When I decorated my client Barbara's dining room, she had too many chairs already and didn't need anything more than new chair covers, an area rug and custom drapery. But when I found this upholstered chair from Pier 1 (below) that would make her dining room feel much more collected and less 'matchy-matchy', she bought them right away. ... Continue Reading

Mixing Metals: How to Update a Brown Kitchen by adding Brass

Barbara built this house with her husband 5 years ago ago. He wanted a wood stained kitchen and although she'd love to have a white kitchen now, she wasn't prepared to paint it in this phase of the decorating project. Her biggest complaint was with the pendant lights, they created a lot of visual glare and she wanted them replaced. Also, she needed drapery to block out the sun in the wintertime when it slanted through the windows. ... 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

Before & After: The Pinterest School of Styling

Interior design & styling by Maria Killam As I lay by the pool on my recent vacation in Kauai, I had already read both of the beach novels that I brought, so I went through my client’s library  and pulled out The Alchemist. My sister Elizabeth posing for my photo Three years ago, when my client was building this house in Kauai, I helped her choose hard finishes and select furniture (Something ... Continue Reading

How to Photograph Your Projects to Get More Business

Advice for new decorators and designers sounds like this: “Pay a professional photographer to take photos of one great project, or even one room decorated well, and show that on your website.” And before you tell me that you barely made any money on the job so you can’t afford to pay to have it photographed, that’s not how you should calculate whether or not to spend the money to hire a ... Continue Reading

Indigo & Turquoise Summer House in the Fraser Valley: Before & After

As promised, here are the photos from the guest house with a pool that my clients built beside their home on Promontory Hill. They don’t have to drive when they go away for the weekend! Here she is looking so pretty in her navy dress on photo shoot day! The main house is on the left side (not shown).  Loungers ready for guests! Here is a glimpse of their spectacular and uninterrupted ... Continue Reading

Photo Shoot Preparations

My photographer came today to shoot my house, now that I finally made a decision on my drapes and they have been installed–I’ll give you a hint, they’re HOT PINK–so Tuesday I drove into the city to buy flowers and Elizabeth came with me. Here’s where we went: 12:20 pm We arrive in Vancouver and it’s time for lunch. We go to Granville Island because Elizabeth was craving Falafels and ... Continue Reading

On the third day of my True Colour Expert Workshops we talk about the business of colour. The best way to sell a colour consultation, etc. My advice to any designer setting up a website is NEVER use photos that are not professionally taken. Jeffrey Bilhuber I talked about this here, with some great visuals. If you don’t have a clients home to photograph, spend the money to decorate your ... Continue Reading

How Important is Pretty?

When I had my first website designed, I consciously chose to show only after photos in my portfolio. I did this because when I looked at interior design portfolios that I admired, I saw just one pretty picture after another. Pinterest My advice is to show just the after, keep your website as pretty as possible. The reason why Pinterest is the hottest social networking site on the planet right ... Continue Reading

What I Love about Lauren Liess Textiles

Lauren from Pure Style Home has been selling her new fabrics on her website for over a month now and I keep meaning to write about how beautiful they all are, so here it is finally! I have known Lauren since I began this blog three years ago! She is so talented, a very sweet person and a wonderful designer of interiors, fabrics and furniture! Her two angels (with another on ... Continue Reading

eBook Cover Photo Shoot – Sneak Peek!

My first eBook will be ready soon (update – it’s ready now – see ad to the right). We just need to find someone to do the design and lay-out. I would prefer to hire a designer who has actually put an eBook together but that person is proving to be difficult to find. The idea for the covers came from a coffee table vignette I saw in a magazine. ... Continue Reading

Photo shoot in Morgan Creek

I have just finished decorating a stunning home in White Rock and I thought I’d share my day with you starting with a picture of the view outside my house at 7:30 am yesterday! Spring has arrived in Vancouver and my turtlenecks are suddenly too hot to wear 🙂 7:45 am – Here I am clipping some leaves from one of the bushes in my front yard! 7:55 am – ... Continue Reading

Vancouver Interior Stylist; What every Designer should know about Photography

  Yaletown loft patio by Maria Killam Colour & Design for BC Home, photographed by Anna Beaudry From the beginning stages of designing my website I decided not to show ‘before’ photographs because I noticed that established designers on the internet rarely show images of their interiors before they were decorated. Photo with the angle I chose This is also why, if you (as a designer) are going to have ... Continue Reading

Vancouver stylist – How to style a Kitchen for a Photo Shoot – 3 Rules to Follow

When the cabinet manufacturer saw the photos from this kitchen I styled, they hired me to style all the kitchens (and some built-ins) for their new website. They were interested in the high end look of this kitchen website which they emailed me to review. Above images My first stop for most of the accessories I needed was Fluff. They have a warehouse full of everything you need (furniture, lighting, ... Continue Reading