One Carrara Marble Bathroom: Four Colours

I was in Montreal a few weeks ago and snapped a picture of this classic Carrara marble bathroom in the hotel we stayed in. You’ll notice that this bathroom is painted a green beige. Since Carrara marble has a blue undertone, I wouldn’t call this the best choice even though it doesn’t clash. So I did a poll and I thought it would be fun to photoshop them so you ... Continue Reading

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

Introducing the Understanding Undertones® Colour Wheel

Well, it’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here! My new website is feverishly being designed as we speak and I’m crossing my fingers that we launch by the middle of September. The feedback I received from the first agency I hired to design my new site was “You don’t have a colour wheel that shows your colour system, that’s the first thing you need”. It’s taken a ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Help! Should my Carpet be Dark or Light Outside?

Cream stone and cream cushions, lovely | source If you are not a colour expert or not even close, chances are, when you’re considering which colour is right for your interior, whether it’s flooring, carpets, furniture or paint, you might find yourself asking the question, do I go dark or light? Instead of the question you should be asking which is: Does this ______ relate to this room? Does this ______ pull ... Continue Reading

Master Bedroom in Serenity; Pantone’s Colour of the Year | Before & After

I emailed my client Barbara and asked if she had painted her bedroom yet (the room was finished but just needed the new wall colour). She replied “Yes, I have the bedroom painted  … AND …. it looks fabulous!   Love Love Love it!” Here it was before the transformation (above). We needed an area rug, a new duvet and custom bedskirt and different end tables. There was too much ... Continue Reading

There are 9 Neutral Undertones in the World (see them here)

I’ve been thinking about my bathrooms lately and how un-renovated and dated they are. It’s a project I was going to tackle this year but honestly, they just don’t bother me enough so I let it slide. Except for this: I have always loved taking baths but the tub in our master is too big and takes more than one hot water tank to fill and the one in my ... Continue Reading

Tour My House: Learn the 6 Best Ways to Transition Colour

Take a walk with me through my house for a real-time example of how to create perfect colour flow in your home. ... 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

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

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

How Becoming a Certified True Colour Expert™ Changed My Business and My Life

I’m in Atlanta at the Withit conference this week. My first guest post in the True Colour Expert™ series is from Sheri Bruneau! October 2014 was a total game-changer for me. That was when I was fortunate enough to attend Maria’s Specify Colour with Confidence™ course in Vancouver. Before attending the course, I worked with real estate agents, organizing and staging properties to get them ready to sell. Seeing the ... Continue Reading

An Expert Rarely Specifies Anything like Vanna White

When I was a new designer and I had to choose a sofa for a client, I would show up with my binder full of every sofa style available. Then as I gained more experience, I realized that doing that made me look like I had no idea which sofa was the right one. And looking back, I mostly didn't. I was hoping my client would choose to take me off the hook. It works the same with paint colours. If you hire a designer or colour consultant and you are left with 10 (or more than 2) different shades of neutrals or colours to test for one room or one exterior? Well, she (or he) doesn't know which one is right either. ... Continue Reading

Contrast and Comparison: There’s Only One Place to Really Get It

Learning to compare and contrast the RIGHT way is one of the most valuable skills you can have as a interior decorator, or even as a homeowner about to build or renovate. It's not a hard skill to learn, but it's also not taught anywhere but here. Take it from my True Colour Experts. ... Continue Reading

The Easy Way to Decorate Around a Tan (Pink Beige) Sofa

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know there's nothing neutral about a pink beige sofa. You also know that pink beige is so EVERYWHERE that it's probably not your fault if you have it in your home. There's just too much of it out there. Here's how to decorate around it so it looks intentional. ... Continue Reading