How to Get One More Season from Your Patio Furniture (Before & After)

Four years ago my sister Elizabeth and her husband bought this outdoor sectional (below). It was too modern for their house, but it was reasonable, so they snapped it up for the patio. Elizabeth and Bill love to entertain, and they also host their staff parties throughout the year. When it came time to pull out the outdoor furniture this season, I suggested that we select new stuff because the list of complaints about ... Continue Reading

Tablescapes for Dummies; The Beginners Guide

BHG Hasn’t everyone bought one of those “fill-in-the-blank for Dummies” books when you really don’t know something and you’re thinking “Talk to me like I’m 5 years old?”. I certainly have. Years ago I dated a guy who was into philosophy and I just felt stupid every time he started talking about it, so I bought Philosophy for Dummies.  I’m not convinced I’m any smarter about that topic, but I did buy the book. ... 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

Ask Maria: Is My Living Room Too Beachy?

Jeffrey Bilhuber  When I saw this Ask Maria question, I immediately thought of Jeffrey Bilhuber’s recent spread in House Beautiful Magazine. The answer to your question today lovely reader, is inspired by my favourite decorator. Here’s the question: I recently moved with my husband into our first house!  I have been so excited to make it our own, but I have gotten our living room stuck in a rut!  I ... 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

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

Aimee’s Happy Home Makeover: Before & After

This weekend Irene's sister, Aimee experienced a makeover so big that by the end of the day Saturday, she said to Irene "I never understood the term 'eye candy' until this happened to my house. Now, everywhere I look, there's something pretty to look at." ... Continue Reading

Where I’m Styling & Decorating this Weekend

Thanks to all of my generous readers, we raised over $12,000 for Irene's sister Aimee and her 5 children, read the full story in this post. All the furniture arrived a few weeks ago and I'm hopping a ferry to Port Alberni (above) today where I'll be hanging pictures and styling the house for the rest of the day and Saturday! I picked all the colours on-line and they turned out amazing (So this means I can keep my day job, haha) I'll post photos next week so stay tuned! Aimee has no idea how she's about to feel in her house by end of day Saturday, I can't wait!! In the meantime, here are some of my favourite tablescapes and vignettes for inspiration: ... Continue Reading

Decorating your Mantle and Fireplace Surround

Is it time to freshen up your mantle?  A well styled mantle is so pretty and at the same time, we might as well talk about your surround and what it should look like. I love that I have two mantles in my new house to decorate! It’s so festive at Christmas to be able to drape garland around them. Okay, so I’m just going to post images and talk ... Continue Reading

Happy New Years Vignette

I took all the holiday decor down yesterday. It was a rare, beautiful, sunny day and it took most of the day. This side of my family room has looked the same for months so I took everything off the table and started again. My best friend Tami gave me these fabulous orange bowls for Christmas so I puttered around and created this tablescape. I had saved 3 potted plants ... Continue Reading

Tablescape Tray Giveaway

    When Tara Wilson contacted me about doing a giveaway on her designs I thought this would be a great way to revisit tablescapes again! I had no idea that there was a design term for a tablescape until I started reading blogs six months before I started mine back in November 2008. source So here’s what you need: A box. Or Two. You can stack them (above). Medium ... Continue Reading

A Friday Tablescape for a Special Friend

My mom’s friend Pirkko has been a family friend since I was born. I had the good fortune of being her neighbour years ago when I was married to my first husband. She patiently listened to many of my stories back then of all the trials and tribulations of young married life as we went for walks around a nearby golf course. She has the most adorable maltipoo, Nekku (her ... Continue Reading

How to Create a Child-Proof Tablescape

This was the view from the kitchen and into the living room at my sister Elizabeth’s house. The ottoman covered a pile of wires that stuck out out of the wall from the last owners’ stereo system. The flat screen is mounted above the fireplace on the right (not shown). When I found this small entertainment cabinet (all of this–except the books– is from HomeSense) I also arrived with the ... Continue Reading

Sneak Peek: Decorating Progress in West Vancouver

Don’t you just love this fabulous textured, African-inspired lamp? It is truly a piece of art! It arrived this Monday along with the sofa and two chairs in pale green linen I had custom made for this client. Ignore the pillow, it was just floating around and I stuck it on the chair. The real toss cushions which pick up the colours in the area rug are still forthcoming! I incorporated ... Continue Reading

How to Decorate underneath a Console

credit There comes a time when one gets tired of the constant rain in Vancouver. Tired of waiting for Spring. When looking at my undecorated console just gets old. So I took matters into my own hands today and this is what I came up with: Photos by Maria Killam Don’t forget the tablescape for the top A few white tulips to brighten up the space, Stack of Magazines and ... Continue Reading

Stunning Front Entry

Tablescapes are on my mind now that I’m decorating my new place. I want to buy a fabulous table for my entry and make it just as inviting as this one! All you need is a lamp (for instant atmosphere), some coffee table books, beautiful art and some flowers. I saved this image and can’t remember where I got it from, please let me know if you have the credit. ... Continue Reading