How NOT to Use the Understanding Undertones® Colour Wheel

Understanding Undertones® – The Colour System Since launching my brand-new-to-the-world, Understanding Undertones colour wheel (above), I have received some good questions. Here is the first question: Maria, I’m sure I’m simply misinterpreting the wheel. I was looking at the fact that greige on the outer ring overlapped green-gray on the inner ring next to it. So I concluded that these colors would mesh well because they “live” in the same zone ... 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

Ask Maria: Can a Novice Benefit from my Course? Before & After

I often receive emails like this: Hello Maria, I retired a couple of years ago and I have been taking interior design classes at the local community college. I would love to take your color workshop. Do you think this would be beneficial for a novice, Interior Design student? This post covers two questions. What does it look like to get a Room Refresh (after my last post where so ... Continue Reading

Spidey Senses Only Work Until they Don’t

My last two Specify Colour With Confidence™ events held back to back in Toronto and then New Jersey were off the charts! I have been so inspired meeting designers and colour enthusiasts from all over the country who have followed my work for so many years. One designer in Toronto (who wanted to remain nameless) told me that after she did my course 4 years ago, her annual income went up ... Continue Reading

I Heart New York: Where to Start When Defining Your Look

  My course in Vancouver last week was the best ever! I know it seems like I always say that but truly I never lead the same course twice. I’m always adding, tweaking, and working to make delivering my system better and better. Last week I added a new conversation–or more accurately inserted a much bigger emphasis–about adopting a classic aesthetic, in the course. Why? Because knowing how to create a classic look gives your ... Continue Reading

Don’t Hire a Designer The Same Way You Buy Oranges

Source The other day, my design assistant, Tricia, received an email from one of my readers: “We found a designer who charges $100 per hour. If Maria can match that rate, we will go with her.” My rates are a lot higher than that, with different price points for consulting work and decorating work. I don’t post them online because they’re subject to change, but if you want to know what they are, email ... Continue Reading

Anyone can Pick a Paint Colour; It Takes an Expert to Choose a Neutral

image source 15 years ago, when I was discovering and creating my Understanding Undertones™ system, by doing consultation after consultation (which added up to thousands), I would often encounter this scenario: I would arrive at a beautiful house in an expensive neighbourhood where after I was greeted by the wife upon entering the house, her husband would walk out of his home office, say hello and walk back in. I decided then ... Continue Reading

Cream is Old, White is New, and Other Thoughts About Italy

Turns out, Italy doesn't always follow the same rules we do when it comes to colour! There's something about that place that means they can do forest green and a bunch of different undertones with abandon, and somehow, it all still looks amazing. I can't wait to tell you about my trip, show you some photos of beautiful exteriors, and share a recipe for my favourite Italian cocktail! ... Continue Reading

4 Shades of Blue You Can’t Live Without

Traci Zeller is one of my very first true colour experts, and she's from Charlotte, North Carolina. If you love blue as much as she does (and don't we all?), you don't want to miss her advice about the four shades you absolutely cannot live without. ... Continue Reading

The Most Important Moment In Any Colour Consultation

Today we welcome guest poster Laura Brzegowy, a True Colour Expert and Ben Moore store colour consultant from Bloomington, Indiana. As the one who replaces the paint chips in store every week, Laura has a unique perspective on which colours are hot, which are not, and the beautiful colour that she NEVER should've chosen to use for an entire exterior. ... Continue Reading

How to Make Timeless Choices in a Trendy World

Today's guest post is from Ellen Rhett, a certified colour designer and True Colour Expert from Mountainbrook, Alabama. Ellen has such a timeless eye for colour that her own living room, decorated over 18 years ago, still looks fresh and current. See for yourself! ... Continue Reading

The Best Colours For Your Bedroom Are Not What You Think

My guest poster today is Laurel Colins, a True Colour Expert from Nelson, B.C. Laurel uses the time-honoured principles of Feng Shui in all her colour consultations, and she's got some tips to share about the colours you definitely should (and definitely should NOT) use for your bedroom. ... Continue Reading

The Best Paint Colours for Your Oak and Maple Cabinetry

Do you have oak or maple cabinetry? DO NOT pick a paint colour to coordinate without reading this guest post from Kelly Bernier, a True Colour Expert from beautiful Rhode Island. She's sharing a lesson directly from my Specify Colour with Confidence course (which is $200 off right now, with the special offer code at the end of this post). ... Continue Reading

Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Exterior Colours

Today's guest post is from Patsy Overton from Atlanta, Georgia. She's seen far too many homeowners choose the wrong exterior colours, so she has a three-step process that'll save you from making the same mistake. ... Continue Reading

This is the Home Dreams Are Made Of: A Private Tour

Today's guest post is from Ruth Chancellor, a Decorator, Stager and True Colour Expert™ from Portland, Oregon. Ruth decorated a gorgeous home in blues for the Street of Dreams in Portland this year. ... Continue Reading

How to Successfully Design Around Awkward Structural Elements

Today's guest post is from Claire Jefford, a True Colour Expert and certified interior decorator from Burlington, Ontario. Claire's got an interesting designer solution for those of you dealing with awkward structural elements in your home, like bulkheads in the basement. Want to know what it is? ... Continue Reading