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

Here’s the Skinny on Whether you Should Shiplap Your House

I read this advice the other day on a blog talking about shiplap. When you read this, tell me if this statement helps you decide if you should install shiplap in your home: “We love how easily it brings a historic vibe to any space that is refined and thoughtful yet casual.” Huh? Are you any further ahead now in making a decision on whether you should install it in your home? ... Continue Reading

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

Trend Alert: Paint Your Walls and Trim White (or Cream)

Tricia and I have been noticing a trend with trim colours lately in our e-Design consultations. And that is if you have an earthier palette in your house either because you prefer cream over white or you have a Tuscan palette from that trend, AND you are craving a fresher look and feel, it’s hard to do without painting all your trim out white. Because the traditional way of creating contrast between ... Continue Reading

Can Gray be Dirty? Yellow Exterior (Before & After)

Pinterest As many of you know, over 4 years ago, Terreeia and I bought a house one hour East of the city of Vancouver so we could live close to my Sisters, my Nephews and my Mom. Now that I’m talking about my Mom, a few months ago I mentioned that she was looking for a mobile home but it was as a second home, she wasn’t moving up North, some ... 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

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

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

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

How to be Smart in a World Filled With Dumb Colour Advice

There’s a conversation out in the colour trend world that colour is moving back to browns and warmer grey tones in the realm of mushroom or driftwood, and cocoas and caramels. First, it’s important for you to understand that colour trends move slowly for people who are not in the industry. So that means brown is not coming back anytime soon. I haven’t specified anything remotely close to brown for any of my clients for years. ... Continue Reading

The Four Best Whites for your Open Plan House

I was recently quoted in Cottage White magazine along with other fabulous colour experts and it’s available in the newsstands now. Here’s my quote: “People seem to agonize over whites more than any other color because once you start comparing whites, that’s where the trouble starts,” says decorator Maria Killam, author of the e-books How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones and White Is Complicated: A Decorator’s ... Continue Reading

Tread Softly When Choosing a Plain (True) White

  Notice the background of the roman shade is cream along with the carpet but the trim, walls and chair is WHITE. Image via pinterest So the renovation that I mentioned here is starting next week, hooray! Habitat for Humanity is coming to remove all the espresso cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms and install them somewhere else. So everything is moving along and that’s great right? For the kitchen cabinets I chose a true white to ... 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