Marilee Congo is an interior designer, fashion stylist and educator. She attended my Specify Colour with Confidence workshop last year, then volunteered at the September course this year.
She works with her husband Jon who is a General Contractor and Project Manager in Surrey, BC.
Marilee confided that doing my course gave her language for articulating the beauty that she brings to her clients.
Being able to explain WHY your designer intuition is right, gives your clients instant confidence in your abilities!
Marilee’s first love is fashion. She trained as a Colour Analyst and Image Consultant 20 years ago.
She helped choose and style my outfits for three of my courses this Fall.
When she reviewed my closet, she immediately pointed out that I was missing a bunch of basics. An ivory skirt and pants, navy blue pants, a navy blazer, etc. I get so focused on just buying colourful clothes for my courses, I didn’t realize I was missing so many neutrals.
Here is Marilee’s home, along with her guest post:
“When we moved into our current home at the end of December 2004, we knew we wanted to renovate the space. The entire home was painted a very pale pink, with deep blue carpets, grey tile, etc. It was cold and uninviting.
Cohesion throughout our home was something I knew would be important, so we committed to a plan, and even though it took three separate renovation stages, we ultimately finished the entire renovation of our home.”
“Jon is a true craftsman, and he is responsible for all the wonderful millwork that runs throughout the home. He cased all the windows, installed crown moldings, architrave moldings, and panel moldings, as well as adjusting and redesigning the fireplace tiles and mantles.”
“I think what pleases me the most with what we accomplished is that no one visiting our home would ever know that the renovation happened over a span of several years and 3 separate phases. We remained true to our initial selections, in spite of the fact that the trends were moving toward brown.”
“I travelled extensively as a young adult with two singing groups. One in particular did a lot of performing in the Southern United States, and along the Eastern Sea Coast.
I fell in love with the traditional homes that I had opportunity to stay in while on the road. I loved two storey Georgian Homes and was so drawn to the elegant finishes and flourishes. I loved all the crown molding and panel molding I saw and dreamed of the day I would be able to make that a reality in my own home.”
“The violin that rests on the Duncan Fyfe table in the bay window of my Living Room (above) is a reminder of a time in past years when we had more time than money.”
“I sometimes feel like I am “out of place” here in the West. Vancouver leans more toward Modern décor. I have a “Southern heart” and have remained true to what I love. I am a hopeless traditionalist, and at Christmas time more than any other time of the year, you see that in the choices I make.”
I love to incorporate fresh greens with faux, it makes everything look lush!
“Our tree tells the beautiful story of love that weaves throughout the years. Some of the ornaments, many in fact, are homemade and have appeared on our trees throughout the 43 years of our marriage.”
“I love the carpet on our stairs! I had used the product in a client’s project and knew it was what I wanted on my stairs. It is a commercial grade carpet and so it has been extremely well wearing. We chose to inlay the carpet on the stairs, and continue that application in the upstairs hall to bring flow and continuity (below).”
Here’s the master bedroom:
Photography by Maria Killam
Thanks Marilee for sharing your home and your story with us!
Marilee Congo, Upscale Downsizing
I love the inlaid carpet in the upstairs hallway. Such a great solution (and not often seen) if you want to change the colour of your carpet in the upstairs bedrooms.
And it’s also a nice way to incorporate a pattern going up the stairs and into the hallways which can be specified to create flow with the colours in your house (just like Marilee did) and it’ll wear much better than the more neutral, lighter coloured carpet that you might install in the bedrooms.
What is your favourite space?
Choosing clean vs. dirty (muted) colours and coordinating them is tricky. Learn how to get it right!
PS. We have moved our California event from Palm Springs to San Francisco Monday April 15 – Wednesday April 17, 2019. I realized that we would need a lot more time to fill a destination location like Palm Springs!
The rest of the dates for Spring are also up:
Toronto will sell out first because we have not been to this location in two years, we already have 8 registrations in this event, April 1 – 3 (Mississauga)
Atlanta – April 10 – 13, 2019
San Francisco – April 15 – April 17, 2019
Houston – May 8 – 10, 2019
New Jersey – May 14 – 16, 2019
Your Christmas Tree is YOU (maybe)