Help! My New Kitchen Makes the Rest of My House Look Old

Source This post is written by Tricia Firmaniuk, my design assistant who handles my eDesign: So often people find Maria’s blog AFTER they have already made some costly mistakes in their renovations; when they realize it’s not coming together the way they had hoped, and they go looking for answers on Google. DIY design has some common pitfalls. One of the biggest ones is making decisions without the context of ... Continue Reading

When to Break the Rules Around Choosing White (or Cream)

Pinterest Trends are always moving. You can’t pin them down. When you’ve been in the colour business for as long as I have, it’s fascinating to watch. And it’s also the reason I’m so jaded about each new tile trend fad that comes along. I’m talking about hard finishes because they are the most permanent. I really would like to save the world and especially YOU from so many unnecessary renovations.  It’s ... 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

The Best Way to Work with Saltillo Flagstone (Because it’s Pink)

source When I asked y’all last week to send me an email on when and under what circumstances you found my blog, I received this note from Deb in Arizona: I came to find you on the internet just a month or so ago so this is fresh in my mind.  I just bought a 25 year old home in Scottsdale AZ.  Originally I thought we would redo the cabinets ... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Add a Peninsula to your Kitchen

My new assistant Kelly and her husband just bought a house when she started with us this summer and the renovation began as soon as they took possession August 1. Kelly’s Dad is a contractor and her two brothers work for him so she’s lucky enough to have all the expertise she needs in the family. This is the front of her house which you saw when I posted about ... Continue Reading

Sell Your Classic House in 24 Hours Flat

When Terreeia and I were in Toronto for my Specify Colour with Confidence™ Event in May, we had dinner with a good friend. We were talking about the extremely hot real estate market in Toronto (and Vancouver). In the last two weeks for example, homes in Toronto are selling for up to a million dollars OVER the asking price with bidding wars everywhere. Terreeia’s friend had her condo up for sale in ... Continue Reading

A Fresh and Classic Dream Home in Texas

Exterior colours: Sherwin Williams Colonnade Grey, Shutters: SW Breezy I recently received this email from Lori in Texas who bought my White eBook during the design phase of her dream home, and here is the beautiful and classic result! I purchased your e-book,  White Is Complicated: A Decorator’s Guide to Choosing the Right White, while we were in the design phase of our dream home. See, we recently retired from the military after serving ... Continue Reading

Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy

We are finalizing the finishes and colours for Crystal’s white kitchen (see the before pics here). These are the two options we discussed. Option 1 Marble looking quartz with off-white cabinets and a walnut island with light floors (rift white oak), here are some inspiration pics. Via DecorPad This floor is darker than what we are installing but this is the idea (above). via Pinterest We are installing hardwood floors (NOT REMOTELY ... Continue Reading

80’s Peach Bathroom to White for Just the Cost of Paint

My lovely client Sharon consulted with me this past May and here is the beautiful result: Her sitting area off the kitchen painted BM Wickham Gray The pickled 80’s oak cabinets. After Her gorgeous kitchen after with the stunning chandelier. Sharon used White Delicatus granite for her countertops and Annie Sloan mix of Old White 25% & Pure White 75% for her cabinets. This was her typical 80’s bathroom not a stitch of ... 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

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 Choose Granite For Your Kitchen Island

Granite is an expensive element of your kitchen renovation budget. It also has the potential to be a really expensive mistake. What should you know before choosing granite for your kitchen island? How can you make sure to do it right? ... Continue Reading

Ask Maria: Must my Kitchen Coordinate With the Dining Room?

I’m am a big fan and follower of your “Ask Maria” series. I’ve never done anything like this before so I thought I’d give it a go.  We’re looking to update our kitchen and our dilemma is what color to paint our cabinets and island. Our cabinets are in good condition so we can’t justify replacing them. The sink, faucet and appliances will be swapped out for stainless. We’re also ... Continue Reading

How to Make a Man Love Pink (Carriage House Tour)

My mom, Hellen If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might know that my love of colour comes from my mother. One of the big reasons I moved out to the country (from Vancouver) is to live closer to her. She is one of my best friends, and I will do pretty much anything for her. Once in a while, I get an email asking to see some more ... Continue Reading

Gold Hardware & Lighting Should Replace Silver: Yay or Nay?

{via Domino} Gold finishes in hardware, lighting and furniture has taken its sweet time in becoming mainstream. Back in October 2011, when I wrote this post about choosing hardware for your kitchen, I declared that gold was too warm for a white kitchen. I see now that I was reacting to the lighting in that kitchen which I didn’t particularly like. Is it trendy? Sure it is, but just like any trend, if you ... Continue Reading

Fresh Solution to an Expensive Problem: Kitchen Valance

My sister Elizabeth called me and said “Now that the Christmas garland draped above the window above my kitchen sink is gone (below) it looks sooooo empty.” Photo by Tracey Ayton And, she really hated looking at the bad transition between the end of the backsplash tile (below) which could not continue above the window. The builder had installed rounded corners all throughout the house (now THAT was NEVER a ... Continue Reading