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

The Best Way to Choose a Front Door Colour from Palm Springs

How do you choose the colour of your front door? Well if you have a white or cream house (or another pretty neutral shade) without any fixed elements, technically, your options are endless. But are they? The way to create flow from the outside to the inside is to look inside your front door. What are the colours in your entry or your adjoining rooms? That’s where you’ll find your ... 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

A Contemporary Yaletown Project: Before & After

Ever notice when you move, the furniture you bring from your last home often doesn’t work  in your new one? You had a sectional and now there’s no space for one. Or your end tables are suddenly all too small because your new house is bigger. Or they are all too big because you’ve downsized. And if you are committed to having a well decorated home, sometimes you might even have ... Continue Reading

Look, You Need To Know How to Have this Conversation

Vanessa Francis Here it is. Your husband, your wife, or your client will often react in a negative way when something isn’t complete. My clients spare bathroom had looked like this for three years (above). She wanted it to look nice, but she didn’t want to spend a fortune and had tried to convince her Fiancé to let her decorate it. Last week, I arrived with a shower curtain, towels, art, and accessories (photo ... Continue Reading

Best Colours for a Basement Kitchen (1 Kitchen, 3 Ways)

I recently received this question from a reader who sent me a photo of her kitchen: Hi Maria, I SO want to make my little basement apartment a haven that I love to call home. I want it to be as light and bright as possible since there is so little natural light… and I LOVE lots of light. Everything is being painted… the cabinets, all the walls, etc. So I ... Continue Reading

The 3W’s of Colour: What Works? What Doesn’t? What to do About it. . .

Today's guest post is from Susan Hargraves, residential stylist and owner of Rooms that Work™ on Vancouver Island, B.C. Susan loves drama and she's going to share with us, how she creates it in her interiors. ... Continue Reading

My Sister’s Robin Egg Blue Front Door: Before & After

My sister Lea lives in the Eco Village just down the street from my house. She noticed her neighbours started painting their front doors so she called me and said “I want to paint my front door robin’s egg blue, can you help me pick the right one?”. I said “Great idea! But what about your dull red cushions (below), they’ll have to go. Why don’t you find some new ... Continue Reading

The Very Best Way to Choose Your Main Neutral

Lynda was moving into this pretty little house in a new subdivision: She needed some help with a new colour scheme and was stuck on wall colours. One on-line consultation with me and she had a plan. Lynda had some existing furniture and artwork she wanted to work with, and she sent me a glimpse of her last house (below). She was not afraid of colour! Lynda’s previous home  This was the ... Continue Reading

The Happy Colours of Lunenburg

So this is the level of my colour obsession. I brought a fan deck in my suitcase and as we walked around in and out of the shops in Lunenburg yesterday, I matched the colours as we went along. This turquoise house is BM 644 St. Paddys Day First blue house is 798 Blue Suede Shoes with SW Snowbound Trim. There’s a golf course across the harbour which is what makes ... 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

Happy Turquoise & Purple Exterior in Christina Lake

  We’re here in Christina Lake for a few days camping! I really prefer room service, but when you have kids, you either go to the cottage in the summer or you have a trailer and camp by the lake which is where my sister Elizabeth and her family are this week! So where my nephews are, that’s where you’ll find me eventually. Markus (my youngest Nephew) and Terreeia We arrived on ... Continue Reading

Best Ideas for Creative Kids Rooms: Before & After

This post is written by my Director of All Things Wonderful, Irene Hill: Last week at this time Maria and I were just finishing up the last touches of our magical home makeover for my sister, Aimee and five of her kids. They were all glowing with happiness and pride in their "new" home. Four months ago, when Maria and I started this project of love, I carefully interviewed each of my nieces and nephews to find out what would make them love their rooms the most. I found out what they were interested in and spent hours scouring the internet to get all the little pieces exactly right. At the end of the day I wanted to see wonder and awe in each set of eyes and was over the moon that we managed to do just that! ... Continue Reading

13 Ways to Create Flow with a White Kitchen

View from the Master Bedroom In early 2014 I went down to Portland to work with a design coach.  I called my friend Barbara Miller who lives there to find out if we could have a visit. Barbara said “Yes that sounds great, and why don’t you stay in my Mom’s 6 million dollar house while you’re here. She’s in Palm Springs and won’t mind”. Hmmmm. . . . well if ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: My Walls Bother Me, Can You Help?

Mary, one of my long-time readers (since 2009) booked a consultation with me. When we got on the phone, the first thing I said to her was “What are we doing here? I love your space!” She said, “This is BM Quiet Moments and it’s everywhere in my house but it bothers me in the living room and I don’t know why.” Here is her entry, she made the valance ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Is my Roof the Right Colour?

‘Just read your post about roofs. Because our house is in FL, we were advised to go with a lighter roof.  Matter of fact, we may even get more credit on homeowner’s insurance now!   There were not a lot of choices.  This was NOT even the lightest grey/slate color; there was only one darker than this one.  Now, though, the black shutters and door look really dark, in comparison. ... Continue Reading