interior and exterior eDesign


Need help with colour and decorating? We’ve made it easy to get the advice you need.

We know that many of you have learned enough from the blog to know that there is a lot to know about colour. You have a new awareness of undertones and why they are so important to get right. You are learning so much, but when it comes to that expensive decision you need to make for your home right now, you’re paralyzed with uncertainty. You desperately want to get it right and you don’t want to waste time and money.

We hear you, and we want to help, so we’ve created a process in our eDesign consultations to get you the help you need via email.

Whether you need help deciding on one element, decorating a whole room, or finding the perfect exterior colours, we have a series of online consultation packages to make the process quick and painless.

Get Maria’s advice for your colour dilemma now


How does it work?
  • First, we will gather information about you, your style and your home with a detailed questionnaire. We will ask you to tell us about your home, your lifestyle, budget, and preferences. We will ask if you have any ideas you would like us to consider.
  • And you will share photos with us. You’ll receive instructions on exactly what we need however, in order to see colour on-line, we’ll need you to take photos without flash (flash is very bad for interior colour) during the day, in good natural daylight so that we can get a good sense of your home’s existing elements, feel and layout so we can tailor our suggestions perfectly for you.
  • Then we will asses all of your information, determine the existing undertones and come up with the best colour selections and suggestions to make your home beautiful.
  • We will send them to you with photos and reasons why we made the choices we made for your home. This way you can feel confident moving forward with your project and that it will all come together beautifully rather than crossing your fingers and hoping for the best or holding back in indecision.
how can we do this


Because getting the colour right is about being able to correctly distinguish undertones, and that is what we do best!

Maria and her team have consulted with hundreds of clients this way helping them create beautiful and classic homes without the expense of full service design.

Once we’ve seen 6 photos of any given room from all angles (for example), we can see which undertones you are working with. If we can’t see the colour correctly for some reason, we will notify you immediately and process a refund.

Consulting this way takes a bit of leg work but you will have the satisfaction of doing it yourself, creating your own personalized home, with reassuring guidance from an expert whose aesthetic you trust.

here’s an example of an


Deanna had begun updating her new house and was looking for some guidance for tackling the kitchen.

The challenges included angled vaulted ceilings and a rustic brick wall. She wanted to add a sliding barn door at the end of the kitchen where there was currently a plain, awkwardly placed door. She had just painted the living room and dining room area and while she thought the colour was pretty, it was just not quite right for the space, so we tweaked that too.

Here are some of the recommendations we sent her.

There are so many Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams colours that can be found on Pinterest, we always include photos of what the colour will look like painted.

BM Muslin OC 12

I know you like the colour Fennel Seed, but it is far too yellow to relate well to the brick which would work much better with pink undertones. There are creamy tones in your brick, but they are not yellow enough for yellows. Even if you whitewash the brick, it will still look pink and so you would have to change the yellows.

A neutral that would work much better for your living/dining room is Muslin.

BM White Down OC 131

Your house has a lot of character, good job lightening it up so far.
This is a cream that does not read yellow, with enough depth not to look too stark with your brick. It will work very well with your backsplash tile. Navajo white will be a bit too yellow, but white down is similar with less yellow. I would recommend painting everything in this cream to down play the akward angles and transitions. Use satin on all trim and cabinets and eggshell on the walls and ceilings (unless the ceilings are rough, then use flat for those).

I would recommend painting the red vent cover to match the cabinets (white down in satin). You will have a hard time finding a close enough match in a veneer, and you don’t need to add more brick, but the space could use some more cream to brighten things up.

How to choose paint colours that work with your lighting. Recently, we received an email asking how we can take into consideration ‘The San Francisco light that filters into my living room’ from across the country in an eDesign consultation.

Maria wrote a post that best answers this question here.

It’s usually the husband who expresses huge doubt on whether this can be done on-line. And for the record, you’re busted. This CAN be done, we’ve done it hundreds of times, lighting has 5% to do with getting the colour right, while choosing the correct undertone is 95% of the work.

Every time, without fail ,that someone has said “The colour went pink after it was painted in my living room, when I ask what the paint colour was? It’s a pink beige. Or green beige or whatever the offending neutral was.This is not to say that there are times when the light does change the colour into something that makes you want to cry, but it is MOST often a wrong undertone problem.

It happens again and again that I get asked to choose paint colours for an empty space. I get it. Often you have no choice but to paint before you move in. And the painter is breathing down your neck for your colour choices. This is even harder if you are buying everything new and have not made any purchases yet. However, there are serious limitations to choosing colours this way that we would like you to be aware of before we make our recommendations.

When the colour doesn’t relate to anything, it’s hard for you to be confident that it’s the right colour without the rest of the decorating plan to get you excited.

The best paint colours often look pretty uninspiring on a paint chip. It is when they are in CONTEXT of an overall design that they feel right. Read this blog to clarify.

So before we get started, please keep this in mind and trust us. In a scenario like this, we are picking the neutral that best relates to your fixed elements and will give you good flexibility to create a look and feel that will make you happy.

Often when clients are in this empty house scenario, their anxiety and indecision is heightened because their expectations of the paint colour are too great. It is difficult in this situation to keep in mind that DECORATING the space is going to create the look and feel you are going for, not the paint colour alone. Check out this blog by Maria for more.

So before we get started, please keep this in mind and trust us. In a scenario like this, we are picking the neutral that best relates to your fixed elements and will give you good flexibility to create a look and feel that will make you happy.

Here is what Deanna had to say:



My husband finally left town on a three-day business trip and I couldn’t wait for him to leave so I could hook up with Eddie.

Eddie the painter, that is!!!!!!  Hahaha!!!!!!


Day one: first coat of Muslin in my Main Living/Dining/+ stairwell.  Already it is transformative. No longer does it look like someone  has peed on my walls (fennel seed). The old Chicago brick wall that looked like an eyesore before now looks like a highlight of the room.  And the carpet in the stairwell actually looks good now. Omg!


It’s costing me $2K to correct my initial mistakes in both my main area and my kitchen. So, if I had consulted you at the start I would be $1,800 richer.  I’ll never paint another thing without consulting you ladies first! Well worth the consult fee.


Now here’s hoping hubby doesn’t notice how drastic the “final coat” has has transformed things. (Wink wink).”



Kelly has an 18 year old pretty cream kitchen that needed an update.

She was about to go through the expense of painting the kitchen white but Maria told her that she didn’t have to repaint her cream cabinets, they are pretty as they are, which saved her a big and costly job. Instead, Maria’s suggestion was that she install a white countertop and backsplash.

She chose a Danby marble countertop and sent us these pictures when she was finalizing the backsplash.

We asked her to line up her samples in daylight with white paper behind in the orientation they would be installed and snap a photo without flash. This can be done quickly with your phone since phone cameras are so amazing now.

We helped her choose her backsplash to coordinate with the countertops. Here is the beautiful after! Such a pretty cream and white kitchen! Kelly was very happy with the result!



This lovely client was building their forever home. She found my blog after the house was painted and they were VERY unhappy with the final result. She had a combination of yellow beige stone and pink beige brick and the hardy board was painted yet another unrelated colour, sage green.

I even liked the yellow primer better than the awful sage green that we have now!’ my client wrote in her email after she found me on-line. ’We are shocked at how much the after photo ages the house, it went from a bright looking house, to a dark and gloomy house, please help!’


What’s the solution? Well Maria could see that the roof was gray brown, not a green or red brown. We couldn’t introduce a red/pink brown to replace the green because then it would clash with the yellow stone. Any shade of yellow was not an option because then it would continue to clash with the pink beige stone.

Maria gave her a taupe for the shakes that related much better to the roof and brick and freshened up the look of the house with creamy trim and shutters. See all the pictures here on how we came up with the final colour scheme.


After this transformation one of Maria’s readers called her The Colour Whisperer.

She can be the Colour Whisperer for your house too!

We look forward to collaborating with you!


“I love decorating–LOVE it–but…after buying my first home, and spending three years making decisions about paint and upholstery colors and rugs and where to put things, and doing EVERYTHING myself (I even learned how to upholster, just so I could reupholster all my own antique furniture), I got to a point where my brain just refused to make even one more decision.  And naturally that was at the point where the only things left were the HARD decisions that I hadn’t wanted to make ANYWAY.


Fortunately…as a loyal reader of Maria’s blog since its first year or so, I knew whose help I wanted, for color decisions…and when Maria wrote a post about her Save Me From Myself package, I knew that was the package for me!


The process was easy:  I read the description of the package several times, to make sure I understood what I was getting; I paid for the package via PayPal; I received an incredibly detailed questionnaire to fill out (this made me very happy, as my biggest concern was that, well, Maria’s decorating style is not even remotely like mine, and the colors she likes aren’t the colors that I like, so I wanted to make sure it was VERY clear what I was looking for; I filled it out in probably greater detail than was needed.  I ordered the package just before the holidays–and although I filled out the questionnaire immediately, it took me a few weeks to get around to taking the required photos of my space, and culling the required Pinterest inspiration photos…and during that time, I got a friendly check-in, from Tricia, to make sure that I had received my questionnaire and that everything was ok.  🙂


When I finally had the time to take pictures of my space, I emailed everything back…and waited.


In less time than I expected, I got back a gorgeous PDF with all my recommendations and answered questions!  In fact…the PDF was so lovely, that not only did I send it to everyone I knew, but I kept it open, on my iPad, for several months, just so I could look at it, from time to time.  🙂 


Maria’s advice was easy to understand, well laid out with photos to illustrate each recommendation, and paint swatches, to show exact fabric colors.  She recommended a ceiling color for me (I had no idea what I wanted); suggested an area rug; picked the perfect curtain fabric and color from my list of final choices; suggested a fun way to make a random thing I liked fit in with my existing space; gave me two color and fabric suggestions from my final list of options for two chairs and confirmed what I was already thinking about my floor color.  In each case, she wrote out not only what her choice was, and why it worked, but why the other selections I was toying with wouldn’t work, which was very helpful!


When I emailed a couple of comments on her selections back to her–not expecting an answer back, mind you–she responded to my comments as if I was asking for more info, and GAVE ME MORE INFO!!!  (I felt that was above and beyond!!!)


As an added bonus, even though Maria and I are polar opposites in terms of style–her suggestions managed to take my theatrical, “more is more”, old-lady chic look and nudge it just a smidge towards more contemporary and polished.  Not enough for it not to be  “me” anymore–but just enough to add a layer of sophistication that my own style lacks.  🙂


Best of all…the pain of paying someone else to do something that “I can do perfectly well myself” was totally offset by the incredible relief of not having to spend another minute making decisions I was tired of making; by the feeling of confidence that yes, it was safe to go ahead and buy 60 yards of non-returnable dupioni silk for curtains–because I now knew why they would fit my room; by knowing the expense of having my floors refinished and stained would not be money I’d regret spending and that buying a large area rug online would not result in an awkward return, and…well, you get the idea.


If you’re looking at this package and thinking, “Should I do it?” the answer is a resounding YES.  Your only regret will be that you waited so long to do it.  🙂  Now excuse me, while I go look at that PDF again.  Did I mention how pretty it was??!!”




the shop


Whether you need help deciding on one element, decorating a whole room, or finding the perfect exterior colours, we have a series of online consultation packages to make the process quick and painless.

Exterior Colour Consultation
New Build or Full Renovation
Exterior Colour Consultation