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Colour Me Happy Celebrates 15 Years with 15 Giveaways!

By 10/30/2023October 31st, 2023830 Comments

I can’t believe it’s been 15 years! That’s 15 whirlwind years with YOU! My amazing community. You have made it all possible!

And because I’m so grateful that you’ve been along this amazing journey with me, I’m doing 15 giveaways, one for every year! 🎁 Keep reading to find out how to enter.

Colour Me Happy's 5 Year Anniversary

It all began on my least favourite holiday

It was October 31, 2008, 15 years ago. And since Halloween is far from my favourite holiday (I can’t handle horror movies of any kind), it happened to be the day I started this blog. While everyone else was out at a party, I wrote my first post here.

I was 41 years old.

Tough times offer positive pressure to change

The events leading up to starting the blog was the 2008 real estate crash. I watched my designer friends closing up their retail locations and moving their offices back home.

And not surprisingly, my design business had been dead for months. Luckily, I had a client that placed an order for silk drapery for several large windows in her home and that took us through Christmas!

There was a two day online conference that I wanted to attend but it was expensive and I couldn’t afford it. So I borrowed money from a friend. I’m happy I did! It was during that conference where I got the idea to start this blog.

I had no idea back then how it would completely change my life. 

In the beginning 

In the beginning I posted four times a week and spent most Sundays writing Monday’s post. It was a lot of hard work but I loved it. I had no idea when I started writing that I had so much to say about colour and design.

However, up until this point, I had spent my 20s decorating for my friends and family and my 30s in the design industry, selling furniture, working in a paint store doing colour consultations and running a decorating business.

This was where I lived in October 2008. Terreeia and I had found a super cute rancher to rent, high above the hill in North Vancouver with sweeping views of downtown Vancouver. 

The View on Lonsdale | Seeing is believing.

The owners were renting it out with plans to tear it down and build their retirement home because the location was so fabulous.

I decided we were going to make enough money to buy it from them with visions of adding an extension to it. The house was a small 50s bungalow with three bedrooms, laundry in the kitchen with this living room and small dining room.

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes

See more pics here

So I was wildly disappointed when we were given notice to move out. I truly felt that my manifesting abilities had failed me.

My first eBook

We found a townhouse that was much bigger but it faced completely North and was super dark with an overhang and large shrubs that blocked out even the tiniest ray of sunshine.

Our North facing condo

 

We lived there for two years. It was during this time when I launched my first ebook on the blog, How to Choose Paint Colours; It’s all in the Undertones.

The price back then of my first ebook was $49.00, so I did some basic math and decided to manage my expectations of how much we would make by drumming up some ultra conservative numbers.

Because I had 400,000 monthly readers, if 1% of them bought my ebook, we would make $30,000 a month.

Seems reasonable right?

Haha, wrong.

It was not that easy unfortunately. Our ebook did add approximately $4000 per month to our bottom line and we now had an assistant’s salary to pay for along with all the expenses that go along with running a website with a shop.

And then after two years of living in the dark town house and saving our money, Terreeia suggested we move out to Chilliwack where my family lived. She reasoned we could afford to buy there and also create more content with a renovation. After all, real estate prices in Vancouver are out of reach for the average homeowner 

So that’s what we did.

What I asked for but better

When I walked into this rancher which just needed a renovation instead of a renovation plus an addition–plus the fact that that it was two minutes away from my Mom, nephews and sisters–I realized I did manifest that house, the original one was just in the wrong location.

Read more: Window of Happiness

It looked a lot different when we moved out last October:

Read more: See the interior of this house here

timeless home exterior and garden

We lived in this house approximately four years longer than we should have. It was definitely over renovated and over decorated by the time we moved out. That was another reason we wanted to move, I was finished with this house.

Making our next move

Over the years we looked for a different house but given what I do, everything required major renovations or was just plain unredeemable.

We looked at some property to build but the prospect of building also overwhelmed me because of what I do. Building a house would become a full-time job and I already had one with the business we were in.

Then last summer I unblocked myself. I had been working with a coach for about a year and one day he called me and said “Maria, you can’t build, it would cause too much stress so you need to buy a house, start looking again, NOW”.

When the sign is unmistakeable

So we did and we toured only one house right before the one we bought. And if you’ve been following me for long time you’ll know my goal in this world is to be the Martha Stewart of Colour.

And this house is on Stewart Road. Do you look for signs like this when something major is about to happen?

This house had so much potential but it had been neglected inside and out for four years since the second homeowners had purchased the home. That was lucky for us because I had vision while other people just saw a mess along with overgrown trees in the back and front yard.

Exterior with over mortar stone

What makes this house the most dreamy for me is the oversize Southern living room. I have poured over rooms like this for years in magazines. And this French country house, which is completely my style, only needed paint (on the exterior). Which was another miracle since so many homes not only need paint but structural work as well.

Beyond my dreams

I would not have been able to dream up a space this perfect had I been able to build my own house. I am obsessed with the french doors on both sides and the way the morning light floods the house.

To be clear, other than the custom corner sectional  (below) that arrived right before summer, the rest of the furniture in here is from our last house (other than a few tables I’ve picked up on Marketplace). 

A dream in progress

I still plan to add coral to this room which means the cream chair will be replaced with a coral one, an oversized ottoman will be custom made in front of the fireplace and coral in the pillows (Using my Colour Balancing Method® I teach in my two day workshops) in addition to drapery on all the windows. 

Living room with blue ceiling

Timeless kitchen with island chandelier

However, right now the landscaping project (below) is priority so that’s where our budget is going! 

Here’s Terreeia and I in a photoshoot with the family this past summer.

The sweetest addition

And last but not least our biggest source of constant joy is our mini goldendoodle Lucy. She became ours 2 1/2 years ago and we are completely obsessed with her.

Everyone loves this baby girl she’s so full of love. She’s the biggest proof that just constantly telling someone that they are the best in the world 100% works. I have never once been mean to her (except to yell, ‘enough barking already’, when she sees another dog, haha) and she’s just perfect all around.

This is her “Mom it’s time for our walk” look (left). And she’s never far away from a ball she loves to chase (right)!

Your last chance to take my colour course in 2023!

I hope you enjoyed the whistle stop tour of the last 15 years. This all started with a course I couldn’t afford but I did it anyway.

Which brings me to the course I’ve meticulously adjusted and refined to be the best colour course you’ll ever attend. And if you don’t feel that way by the end of the first day, I will give you your money back no questions asked and you can keep the materials.

We just had 90 people in the virtual class last week and the only regret people have when they finish my course is that they didn’t do it sooner (or, bring a friend!)

It’s a complete game changer for the homeowner/colour enthusiast who wants to make more confident colour choices for everything for their home and the design professional who needs to gain the confidence of their clients by giving them certainty.

Learning the ‘why’ behind colour choices is what make this course a step beyond everything else you’ve ever done. 

There’s one more event this fall and it’s in one of my favourite cities, Dallas! It’s going to be amazing and so fun to see each other in person! I can’t wait to see you there!

Thank you for being a part of this journey! 

So here it is! I’m giving away 15 prizes for 15 years.

HOW TO ENTER: please post a comment below and let me know the most useful thing you have learned from me in my 15 years of blogging! 

ONE seat in my Expert Colour & Design Training  course in Dallas on November 15th and 16th – 0r a seat in an upcoming spring session Virtual class if you prefer (Value up to $1,997)

You already know you can’t get this colour training anywhere else! Enter below to win a chance to attend!

FIVE Colour Wheel + ebook bundles (Value $69 each)

The bundle includes both my essential eBooks, How to Choose Colour: It’s all in the Undertones and White is Complicated, a Decorator’s Guide to Choosing Whites. AND the most powerful tool for identifying the neutral undertone of anything.

FOUR Exterior Colour Selection Masterclass online course (Value $349 each)

In depth self guided learning to tackle any exterior project! Learn how to choose colour for a wide variety of exterior styles ACCURATELY to create perfect colour harmony to make your house, or your client’s, the envy of the neighborhood!

FIVE Learn How to Create Mood Boards online course (Value $149 each)

Do you, like most homeowners, spin and delay decorating your room because you don’t know where to start? Here is the essential guide to teach you not only where to begin, but how to pull a room together using mood boards!Plus you’ll learn how to get colour right when shopping online. 

Prizes may not be redeemed for cash or exchanged for previous purchases.

Winners will be drawn THIS FRIDAY!

Good Luck!

XO, Maria

830 Comments

  • Claire Sandbothe says:

    White has so many undertones! And i just love the paint colors you suggested for my interior remodel!

    • Amber MacKay says:

      Same! I see all the pink and grey undertones now 🙈 Slowly learning how to shift away from the trendy black and white we put in our house 5 years ago. We are having to redo our floor in our house because of a slab leak and I found your information about wood floor colors just in time!!!

    • Dawn Giza says:

      I

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      • Dawn Giza says:

        I love the way the color wheel is so accessible and able to see undertones to help pick better colors. I also learned from you how lighting in a room changes how colors look. So important to bring color samples to the space. Thanks for sharing your experience and expertise.

  • Karyn says:

    I would love a chance to win one of these! I look forward to your Color Lessons on youtube. I love seeing how to tweak existing spaces without breaking the bank and saving money for other things. So many of us dont have the money for expensive top to bottom renovations so its fun to see how styling and decorating can transform existing spaces. That is what I have learned from you.

  • Janelle says:

    What a wonderful look back!
    Maria, I don’t think I could pick just one thing. The undertones have been sooo helpful, picking boring means picking classic and lasting decor choices, allowing myself to love colour, the best hardwood colours for flooring…I could go on and on but these have been the ones that I always think about and always tell other people!

  • Chloe says:

    You have given me confidence to add the colour I crave to my home. I grew up in a home decorated in white-on-white…on-white and it’s been hard to break the pattern. I’m now super excited that I’ll to be introducing our hot pink sofas to our new home thanks to you posts on how timeless colored sofas are and how colour is joy!

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  • Peggy L says:

    Lighting! Just because I bought a house with trendy ceiling fixtures doesn’t mean I don’t need lamps, and more lamps! Lots of things have stuck with me, but right now I’m on the prowl for some big, beautiful lamps!

  • Melissa Schofield says:

    My favorite is that when you fail to make the best choice… It’s time to decorate! I love that practical advice that acknowledges we aren’t always working with an unlimited budget or unlimited time to redo. Where others might say “tear it all out.” Maria says decorate, and then your room will be so beautiful, you won’t even notice.

    1
  • Jacie says:

    I love it when you say to refresh instead of renovate – spread the money around and spend it on a trip!

    1
  • Bri says:

    Fifteen years . . .so long a span, but one that seems so short. Cannot begin to tell you all that I’ve learned from you, but what a fun journey it has been. The evolution of your site(s) and skills has been astounding and I remain an addicted follower.
    Now, I will admit I make mistakes to this day in applying the knowledge, but joy of joys, I recognize them now. Having your website with many back posts to refer to is so helpful as well. Thank you.
    And thank you as well for the updates on Terreeia, Lucy, and your family. That love and support from them helps you prosper, and it is a delight to see. Here’s to fifteen more years!

    1
    • Trinitee says:

      Congrats on 15 years! Gosh, I feel like I have learned so much reading your blog. Don’t be afraid of color. Ugly costs as much as pretty. Timeless hard surfaces. Be yourself and decorate with what you love; trends come and go. Gosh, most importantly, matching (or clashing, as the case was with me) undertones as the biggest reason I was struggling with decorating. As a design enthusiast/hobbyist reading your blog has helped me see my home differently. I’ve learned so much from you. Thank you for sharing so much!

    • Martha says:

      Timeless choices in fixed elements are the key to a longtime satisfaction in your home. That is wisdom. Plus who knew colors have undertones?

  • Karen says:

    The most useful thing from your blog was that I purchased the white undertone color wheel and it changed my life!

    I obsessed over what white color to paint the entirety of the interior of my home and made my husband and friends think I was a crazy woman for being so concerned! But seeing the wheel and knowing I knew there was more to white than white–I chose the perfect white for my home.

    1
  • Donna says:

    Avoiding pinky beige.

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  • Vivien says:

    I took an excellent renovating your home course from you way back-an audio offering. I made hubby listen to it while we were in a road trip. He still reminds me about “identify what is the boss” in your room and work with it if you aren’t replacing ut. Great advice we took to heart.

    2
  • Gill says:

    The colour wheel has saved me a fortune and reduced stress – I am colour illiterate and couldn’t for the life of me work out tones that everyone else could easily see….. but armed with my wheel a whole new world opened up for me. Im in NZ and we don’t have many of the brands of paint that you use but I found a women here whose done lots of your courses and she has matched to NZ paints which is a life saver too. I love how you look for savings and working what you have got and not ripping things out ($$$). And avoiding the trends so your house is yours….. I could go on but I think you are great and practical. And that you love a dog just about makes you perfect in my eyes!! Go well and thanks

    1
  • Vivien says:

    Best advice relates to lighting. Get enough lamps! Seven different light sources. I am terrible about going to people’s houses and turning in their lamps.

  • Jane Cage says:

    Your color wheel helped me make the right choices to complement the items that I already had in my home. I learned that paint should be the last choice, not the first choice. Your blog and videos have reinforced that it is so much more cost effective to be classic than trendy. Thanks for all of your advice, Maria. Happy fifteenth anniversary!

  • Victoria says:

    Selecting the right undertones for whites and creams has been sooo helpful!
    As a designer I’ve always been good with colors, but the color wheel and sample boards make it so much easier to be on pointe and not wondering if I’ve made a mistake. Especially with my own house… its twice the work of a regular client!!

  • Suzanne says:

    There’s been many a lightbulb moment over the years but I think my most important takeaway is how versatile a timeless foundation can be and the decorating freedom that gives you. So much easier (and budget friendly!) to incorporate trending colors and aesthetics with strategic styling or a bit of paint. And even if your vision is longer term, you can still work magic with what you have.

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  • Courtney C says:

    I’ve learned that understanding color matters. I haven’t mastered things but I take inspiration from your decor, furniture placement, color choices, rugs, all of it. I’m so stunted by my own indecisiveness, I could really use help.

    1
  • Brooklyn Ellingson says:

    I have to say LAMPS! It definitely creates a cozy atmosphere! Also, nothing else compares to your advice about TIMELESS finishes. Boring = timeless.

  • Jami Hurt says:

    Learning to embrace what I love, like when it feels like the whole world is going black and white, color can be just the thing I need! I don’t have to choose what everyone else thinks I should. Having confidence in choosing colors because I now understand undertones has also been so valuable!

  • Laura Delaney says:

    I have followed your blog since 2012 (and went back and read all the earlier posts). I have learned so much just from reading it. The biggest impact it has had on me is that I can’t look at neutrals without categorizing them by undertone. But I will say that what drew me to your blog in the first place was that there was someone else out in the world who loved color. At the time I started reading, it was already a gray world. But there was so much more: how to pick a timeless backsplash, what is the most timeless flooring, a timeless sofa, how many lamps do I need (all the lamps), how to create a vignette…the list goes on and on. And always I have appreciated your candor in giving advice and opinions, the design photos that accompany each post, and all that you’ve shared of your own homes and both your professional and personal life. While I also follow and love your Reels and YouTube videos, the blog has always had a special place in my heart. I look forward to the next 15 years.

    1
  • Heather E. says:

    I’ve been following your blog, and now videos, since you lived in your apartment. This look back is really hitting home for me. I am newly 40, a commercial designer with a corporate job, but I’ve been working from home for a few years and things have slowed down considerably. I’ve been trying to think of some ideas for a side job to keep my creative mind busy (and money wouldn’t hurt) and exploring what I would LOVE doing. You’re such an inspiration!! One of my favorite sayings is “light colors will never come to life in a dark room”. 😊 Congrats on 15 years!

  • Amber F. says:

    Your guidance and suggestions are too amazing to simply call out 1 thing! I have learned sooooo much from you, undertones being king! Thank you for leading your followers to make smarter decisions when looking at permanent fixtures and surfaces! I am grateful to hear it’s okay to not want to be trendy(redid my home this year, not a lick of black outside1mirror and colorful furniture)! Contemporary timeless for the win! Thanks Maria!

  • Debbie says:

    Your color wheel and your talks about finding undertones have been so helpful! Even with a bachelor of fine arts degree from a major university, I still had a hard time finding the correct undertones in things until I got your color wheel. I love watching your journey through your home renovation and love how close you are with your family. And…I’m jealous my spouse can’t cook like Terreeia does, you are a lucky girl!

  • Always look forward to your design blog Maria, your advice truly inspires me and has saved my reno projects time and again! The Colour wheel is brilliant!

  • Amber says:

    I always look for the “bossy” permanent finish in the room first…..then find the coordinating colors.

  • Linda says:

    Congratulations on fifteen years of blogging. Thank you for all the helpful information on how to decorate timeless.

  • Terri says:

    What timeless design is and how to achieve it. But mostly Confidence!! I found you through my daughter when we were talking about paint colors. I love taking about color!
    I bought the color wheel and your two ebooks. I sent you message on Instagram and you responded!!! I follow your blog and love how you break it all down with examples. Fast forward we decide to move closer to our kids and grandson and we buy a 110 year old house. I start rereading your ebooks and practicing the color wheel, I learned all about complex creams from you and it’s time to paint before moving in. An old acquaintance happens to be a designer also moved here a year ago, she recommends a painter and I fear my paint choice may be off as it’s my first time actually implementing your system. Painting trim, doors the whole house is expensive! I hire the designer for an hour consult to confirm my choices. She doesn’t know what my decor is since the house is empty and suggest the colors she used in her last house. White Dove and Pale Oak, I’m sure it would be lovely. I thank her and I go back to the complex cream you taught me about for my more earthy decor and art colors, and the trim and ceiling rules of contrast. Then in the bathroom with white tile that I have to live with, using the undertones that work best with the tile counter. I hire the painter and love the results. It’s perfect!! You have given me confidence! My husband says Im really good at this and have a great eye for color but I need consensus. Your system is teaching me to trust my choice by applying the system. It’s not just a guess, you give the why. I would love to take your 2 day course. The ebooks have been a great m next best learning tool while making a home purchase. Another thing, I’ve learned about from you is lighting. I’m going to be sure to get the amount of lighting you recommend in each room to set the atmosphere. The painters are almost done. Move in this week! Thank you for sharing your gift of blog explaining color and the color system you’ve created.
    Warmly, Terri

  • Bri says:

    Congratulations on 15 years! Your blog and services helped me determine the undertones of paint colors… and using a piece of white paper next to it all really helps!

  • Beth Carroll says:

    Love that I use Color Green and that it is good for my soul!

  • Rebecca says:

    I’ve learned not to be afraid of colour. I’m slowly transforming my boring grey house into something that brings me joy! I’ve also added lamps in spaces I didn’t realize needed them.

    Happy 15 years!

  • Sedona N. says:

    Hi Maria, I absolutely love the method you talk about when choosing color for a room. Looking to bedding, drapery, art or something in the room. I’ve been imploding this method for years without truly realizing it but now it’s a conscious choice! I also love the way you describe the black trend for interiors and exteriors (and black hardware) it’s truly sucking the life out of lovely designs and homes where it is trendy and not the right fit to be timeless design! Thank you for all that you do and share with us. Cheers to 15 years!

  • Alecia rideau says:

    I’ve learned to keep the hard finishes timeless and classic although it may seem boring. Also learned that the wall color comes in reference to the rug, favorite fabric, or a piece of furniture and not first so that the paint undertone coordinates with those things. Not the other way around.

    • I have been following your blog since before you bought the rancher and have learned many, many things from you. Met you in Boston at your course later on which was so very helpful. When you first started writing, you used to say “you spend so much money on your granite (quartz hadnt been the thing yet) do not ignore it. That stuck with me till today. That is still something i immediately look at in peoples homes. It was also awesome watching you progress and evolve over the years.

  • Marie says:

    There are so many things it’s hard to pick just one. But the idea of undertones has been life changing. I absolutely would have just gone to the paint store and just chosen a color I liked without reference to anything else, or would have been overwhelmed by all the choices. I’m also learning not to be afraid of decorating in color rather than mostly neutrals.

  • Heidi Geldean says:

    I learned all about bossy pinky beige and the undertones. I learned about decorating with black. I love all of your work. I loved your Moms living room painted in BM “Old World’

  • Where do I start, from that white is a color and it has to relate to the design in the room to a colored sofa is timeless, a neutral sofa is not.
    You are my North Star in the design industry. It is just not your color and design insights that I value, but also your example of just telling it like it is with grace and humor has given me the encouragement to share my recommendations with conviction with my clients.
    Thank you and congratulations on 15 years!

  • I’m Ashley, owner of Blue Mist Paint and Flooring in SC! I’ve recently learned that just because my tiny machine calls for a colorant doesn’t mean the color is said to have that undertone. I am hoping to win a prize so I can learn more to be the best in my community!!

  • Pattie says:

    Congratulations on 15 years! As a non-professional homeowner who has worked with several designers over the years, I have learned so many lessons from you that I didn’t from these designers. Often I let them lead me into what they thought was perfect for my home. Many of these choices were costly and not timeless or classic. But now, as I start to make changes again in my home, you have given me the confidence to make my own choices and stick to the classics on the things that you cannot easily change like flooring and tile. I quote you constantly and you have told me that you can reuse and repurpose things, to recognize and look at the undertones in fabrics and finishes, and that lamps will warm up a room. I adore you and love your stories about family and Lucy. And I especially like that you tell it like it is. Cheers to many more years of success!

  • Patricia Bentz says:

    Avoiding Trendy. Embracing Timeless.

    Lamps!

    Artwork abounds!

  • Shay says:

    I have especially benefited from your videos on decorating around things you can’t afford to change, such as in kitchens and bathrooms. Also, learning about undertones has been a game-changer, helping me to choose the right complex cream paint. It makes such a difference to get that undertone right! And using art as “wallpaper” is so effective. Thanks for making decorating accessible, Maria!

  • Sabra says:

    Hi Maria, You’re first color wheel became my constant companion when we did our renovation three years ago and I have shared it with others doing there’s. Color is THE MOST confounding of all decisions when building or renovating and you have take much of the mystery out of it. Thank you.

  • The lesson I learned was to use a piece of white paper beside a colour to see the undertone. Your course changed the direction of my business for success, thank you Maria!!

  • Hi Maria!

    I was one of the 90 that just finished your virtual class this last week. I was truly blown away by how fantastic your color confidence class was and how much it completely changed my thinking around design and color specifically.

    I learned a lot in two days but you really showed me that color is timeless.

    Thank you for giving me confidence in my design business and my own home again.

    Can’t wait to keep learning!

    Rachel B.

  • Ann says:

    Undertones!!!! While maybe not an original response, it is in alignment with the core of your work. I now see undertones everywhere I go. I am an amateur artist and your undertone education is now a part of my paintings, as well.
    When I couldn’t identify our existing tile undertone, you did an e-design consult to determine my bathroom paint color, and we continue to love it.
    You pioneered this work, and I am so glad to have been an early follower. Congratulations, Maria, and thank you.
    Ann

  • Marlene says:

    Congratulations on your 15 years! I loved hearing the story of your evolution. I’ve learned that color can make a room sing and not to be afraid of bright colors and mixing colors. Love your outfits too!

  • Jodi Potgeter says:

    Congratulations! You have persevered with excellence. I was in the virtual class last week. And while it was exasperating at times, you did not let up on teaching us how to find the undertones of neutrals. One of my walk aways from these 2 days was; compare compare and compare some more. Maria didn’t master this in 2 days, give myself some grace”
    Thank you for offering this class on line, it made it doable for me.

  • Tiffani Michalenko says:

    Maria makes me laugh with her no nonsense approach to color! When someone says “Lighting is blame”… nope! The wrong color was chosen to begin with!!
    Common sense blended with a real world approach to specifying color has boosted my confidence when helping clients choose their color scheme. I am so grateful I stumbled upon her blog. Thank you Maria!!

  • Jennifer Brodie says:

    Choose classic finishes over trendy and you will love your house forever!!!!🩷😀 and some stuff about undertones…

  • Bonita O'Neill says:

    I can’t drive by a badly painted, house without thinking that “Maria could fix this and it would be amazing.” I have followed you practically from the start. Besides always looking at undertones now,
    I guess your “use more lamps” advice has had the most impact. Five in my living room. Huge mood adapters. Happy Anniversary! Looking forward to fifteen more years of beautiful interiors.

  • Kylie says:

    Hard to choose just one thing… but learning about the undertones has been so valuable. I’ve been applying it as I plan our renovation and in helping my friends and family decorate their homes. Using the method for everything from carpet to cushions. It’s a game changer!

  • Beverly Bell says:

    Congrats on 15 years.
    What an accomplishment!
    I have learned many things from your posts and blogs! I love the way your teach.
    I am so glad you have taught us undertones.
    I love neutrals. I like your opinions on things. I l really admire how you teach us classic design. I am a true fan. Thank you for all you do.

  • Jackie Saur says:

    Congratulations on 15 years Maria! I look forward to your advice on a daily basis. I’m most grateful for the undertone color wheel and so happy I followed your advice in our recent ski lodge condo reno to keep with the style of the house, including the flooring and fireplace! There are so many design choices I wouldn’t have considered if I hadn’t listened to your advice. Priceless info and I also enjoy your personal stories, coffee w/mom and sisters and of course the adorable Lucy. ❤️

  • Lauren says:

    Hi Maria! I love that you not only share the big ideas on how to update rooms, but you also give practical, inexpensive ways as well. I have been reading your kitchen update posts to help figure out what to do with my dated granite and early 2000s cabinets. I saw how replacing the “bossy” backsplash made a huge difference!

  • Kim says:

    Keeping the hard finished and large pieces of furniture neutral, so the accents can shine brighter.

  • Sally says:

    As many others have said, you have taught me to think about undertones. I still can’t fully distinguish all the different undertones, but at least I know to look for the undertone and that alone can help eliminate colors that will not work. Thank you!

  • Cindy Gann says:

    There are so many valuable design tips you have written about over the few years I have followed you and, of course, undertones are a difficult yet essential concept to grasp for the unification of our spaces. I do believe that’s a process of time to comprehend. However, I appreciate your back story of where you began your journey at 41 in 2008. Your story of your experience being primarily designing friends and families’ homes then starting out in the furniture and paint stores to build upon your previous experience to turn into what you have accomplished now is inspiring. It reflects that nothing is really lost, and that the baby steps can produce a learning experience to culminate into success within your field of passion, along with hard work and determination, of course.

    I sometimes feel like I am on a bicycle without the chain, turning my wheels but going nowhere. I am happy for your success; you have a lot to offer from your baby steps which are now helping countless others and has become giant leaps. I hope to one day be able to say I could do the same for even the fraction of that. One day I hope to take your color course, but, for now, your blog and amazing photographs will have to suffice.

  • Erin says:

    A sofa in your favorite color is more timeless than the current trendy neutral. That advice felt like permission to buy my blue couch, which I love!

  • Katie R says:

    I’ve been following you for almost all of your 15 years. The most valuable lesson you’ve taught me is; just like white’s undertone, always be your most authentic self, even in the sun even in the shade and you will get along with other folks that share the same basic value. Life=Color with a little lamplight thrown in there for good measure!

    Best of luck in the next 15!

  • Susan L says:

    I have learned the ability to understand color is a skill that can be learned and improved upon like any new education.

  • Martj says:

    Your advice on kitchens was very helpful to me when renovating our kitchen. Picking flooring and counter material and color was key to the rest of my decisions, particularly wall and cabinet color. I also appreciate your use of color in your home. And clothing! Yay yellow!

  • Kim says:

    Your colour wheel has made picking paint colours and furniture so much easier!! And also using a blank piece of white paper. Congratulations on 15 years!!

  • Stephanie says:

    Congratulations Maria! I’ve been following this blog for so long now i can’t remember not reading it ~ and always looking forward to it. I have assimilated so many lessons along the way, but as a lover of color I appreciate that timeless design does not mean colorless. I get bored easily with neutral interiors so I love the reinforcement that color is what makes a home personal, interesting and joyful! Thanks for all your hard work!!

  • Lindsey Pilato says:

    By far the greatest advice you’ve ever given that resonates with me daily is to stick with the classics. Avoid trends! As I’ve renovated my 1930’s house I’ve put back the character that previous owners took out. Marble, polished nickel, stately cabinetry, less big box, more curated. I seriously hear your voice in my head when I day dream about the next project I want to tackle. Love your blog!

  • Brenda says:

    I have learned SO much from you it’s hard to narrow it down to one. Aside from the wonderful advice on our kitchen reno, I think the favourite thing I’ve learned is to pick boring classic hard finishes…which aren’t actually boring at all.
    Thanks Maria and Happy Blogversary!!
    Brenda

  • Brenda says:

    I have learned SO much from you it’s hard to narrow it down to one. Aside from the wonderful advice on our kitchen reno, I think the favourite thing I’ve learned is to pick boring classic hard finishes…which aren’t actually boring at all.
    Thanks Maria and Happy Blogversary!!
    Brenda

  • Emilee Munafo says:

    I have loved learning not to be afraid of color! 🤩

  • Heather Benton says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been a follower for most of those 15 years…I found you in 2010 as I was in the middle of renovating a 1930’s red brick.
    The game changer for me is your undertones wheel… I take it with me whenever we are shopping for any finishes -Recently took it to the tile shop and when I asked them for a white tile with blue/gray undertones, they looked at me like I was crazy. Once I showed them the wheel and explained your system, they were blown away and immediately bought a few for their staff.

  • Angela says:

    So hard to choose just one piece of advice! As we plan our remodel, you are in my head saying, “choose boring finishes, they are timeless.” This has helped me tremendously, it is so easy to get caught up in the trends.

  • Ida Young says:

    I am a new reader of your blog and I really enjoyed reading how you started blogging. The most valuable decorating information I have learned from you is about choosing a rug to help choose colors in my room.
    Most recently I loved the post about putting pictures in the corner of a room because I have an empty corner that is visible when I first come into my house. I am collecting pictures to hang there and can’t wait to see what a difference they will make! Thank you for your blog. My house is becoming more beautiful and that makes me and my family happy!

  • Penny says:

    You opened my eyes in 2013 when reading your blog for the first time. You teach the foundation of a beautiful home is timeless finishes in coordinating undertones and whites which contradicts television and magazines that push using the most trendy materials because you need to have your Reno/new build “look current”. From choosing tile to bath towels your system is learnable and invaluable. After all, even if you can afford to use a professional designer for all your purchases you still need to understand colour for a towel or tablecloth (unless you have a colour designer in your pocket at all times!). Bottom line, you make it possible for all income levels to have all the feels of a beautiful home and save the landfills in the process.

  • Sharon says:

    I just found your website and wish I would have done so sooner. I struggled with picking colors for my recent interior and exterior painting projects and hope to find a better way to get to the desired look. (What do you do with 30+ sample containers of paint!) Congratulations on 15 years!

  • Barb G says:

    Congratulations!
    I love your blogs. You have always given me at least one, if not more ideas to keep after following you.
    I love PATTERN, COLOR, and COLLECTING. Restraining myself now that I’ve been following your advice.
    TIMELESS has now been my mantra. Thank you.

  • Kayla owen says:

    I still feel like a suburban mom who doesn’t quite get color, although I do get under stones now, but can I just tell you thank you for bringing beautiful and classic back to home style and ditching the “farmhouse” black and white trend. As someone who actually lives on a farm, you helped us with our exterior color and garage build and chicken coop colors and you raised boring craftsman to elegant and classic. I simply cannot wait until we can afford to do an interior consult with you. Oh! And I LOVE how you continue to offer options on how to elevate a home without doing a full renovation and say “take that money and go on vacation, don’t waste it in your bathroom”! Not only are you classic and practical, but your priorities in life are correct and that makes me love you even more!

  • Wendy says:

    If you have a white kitchen, use the same white on trim throughout the rest of the house (if using white trim) – crucial but seems so instinctive once you know!

  • Sharon says:

    Maria, thank you for this fabulous chance to have one of your excellent color tools. I have so enjoyed reading everyone’s comments above about what they have learned from you – you are truly the color maven! The most important tool (among the many) for me is your system of analyzing undertones – it allows one to avoid “design paralysis” and to quickly arrive at the right colors for paint and furnishings, which is 80% of good design. This system is priceless. Many thanks for sharing your knowledge with others.

  • Joanne says:

    One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to identify undertones, particularly how pink beige can throw off a color scheme. I recently took your virtual course, and bought the color boards, which will be a huge help as I continue redecorating our new home one room at a time.

  • Judy Pease says:

    Undertones! I’ve learned how that’s the basis for picking everything, from pillows to paint! Your color wheel has been my best friend as before I knew a room was off, but not sure why. The color wheel solved that for me, and takes the mystery out of picking colors. Thanks for all your great content.

  • Christian P. says:

    What an inspirational story! The most useful thing I’ve learned from you is that you only get one pattern with hard finishes. That wisdom saved my kitchen renovation from disaster. Thank you.

  • Mollie says:

    I’ve barely begun, but you’ve taught me to slow down and do some planning. That picking up paint for projects isn’t about my gut feeling staring at paint chips, but requires thoughtfulness and deeper knowledge of under tones to achieve the look I want!

  • Boring = Beautiful, Lamps, lamps and more lamps, How to identify the undertones of neutrals, paint doesn’t do the heavy lifting, and so much more!!! Thank you so much Maria – Would love to take the course again as a refresh for my confidence level!

  • Mimi says:

    Congrats on 15 years Maria-bravo! Thank-you for sharing your story, expertise and family over the years. You are very generous.
    Having been with your blog from the beginning and using your ebooks, I feel far more confident now than back then with All things decorating. And I share a love of yellow! I think that’s what first drew me in, no one else mentioned yellow at the time.
    So many tips are etched in my mind, learned from you. Many have already been mentioned, but here are a few more-
    1. Ugly costs the same as pretty and is what’s on sale.
    2. Colour introduced into a room needs to be repeated at least once for cohesiveness, and this includes the mixing of metals.
    3. Colour choices for exteriors (and interiors) need to be chosen in all types of light-especially view them in full sun before choosing.

  • Sheila Rowan says:

    I used you color wheel to choose a new backsplash and paint color for my very dated Tuscan kitchen with a busy granite countertop. Then when I was ready to renovate I used it again to choose all the finishes, with a modern and fresh looking cream, green, and white scheme. You also helped me choose a front door color, a bluish green, for my mid-brown stucco house. I will be likely be getting a color consult from you when I am ready to repaint the exterior in a lighter color. I wouldn’t have the confidence to undertake these expensive changes without relying on your expertise. Even though I live in a different climate (Florida) and have a different decorating style (mid-century modern) I find your advice to be so pertinent, detailed, and easy to put into action that I use it for almost every decorating decision that I make!

  • Teri says:

    Undertones, undertones, undertones!!!! This is the MoST important thing I have learned. I had no clue why some things felt right and some things didn’t. Reading your blog and buying the color wheel has been eye opening. 😀

  • Jonelle says:

    Maria, I am so glad I took your course in 2017. It has helped me so much in my business. My color confidence and the way I present my ideas has changed since learning your techniques. I refer to the boards and materials I have purchased all the time. The biggest takeaway is to show confidence when working with clients. I love your social media and blog and look for your posts regularly. Happy 15 anniversary!

  • Sarah Bonnette says:

    The importance of undertones when picking a color! I stayed away from the popular white everyone else was suggesting because the undertones weren’t right in my house. And you’ve given validation to my lamp obsession.

  • Diana Stirratt says:

    I found you in the middle of my new build. Best advice… boring = timeless. I’m so thankful for your advice not to go with trendy tile!

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  • Shannon Adam says:

    Congrats on 15 years, Maria! It’s hard to identify which piece of advice you’ve shared as the best one … so I will list a few! The power of lamps! Since following you on social media and reading your blog posts, I’ve added at least 15 lamps to our home and I’m always on the lookout for more! Picking a paint color based on the undertones found in the key elements in a room, such as a rug or hard finishes. (The color wheel and large color boards have given me so much more confidence when choosing new paint colors!) And the importance of steering clear of trendy backsplash tile options! When we we’re shopping for our kitchen backsplash, the trendy tiles were front and center. I had to really search to find an off-white, not-too-modern subway tile that would compliment our cherry cabinets and the Santa Cecilia granite countertops that were not being replaced. After stacking various samples up along the wall and using the color wheel whites as my guide, we found the perfect tile that completely updated our dated kitchen! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us! You’ve helped me transform our house into a home we love! ❤️

  • Kirsten Ancona says:

    Since finding your blog I’ve so enjoyed your “straight shooting”advice! You often make me laugh…and I’ve really appreciated your insights on color undertones.
    About 15 years ago I wrestled with beiges in my master bath…I knew why they weren’t working, but that didn’t mean I could remedy the problem easily. Your method would have been a life saver!
    I’d love to go to your Dallas seminar because I just moved here to the DFW area & have been renovating our home. 🙏😊

  • Kathy Mostoway says:

    I bought your undertone color wheel and it’s been very helpful! Love reading all your posts, I always learn something new!

  • Deb Reed says:

    The whole concept of “undertones” was so helpful. I bought both of your e-books when I was trying to figure out what to do with all of the saltillo tile in my home. They helped me see and think of color in a completely different way. I have loved following your blogs and many times have referred back to older postings for your thoughts on a color problem. Thank you so much and congratulations on 15 years!

  • Hi Maria, I have followed you a long time and the most useful information you have given me is that there is in fact something called “an undertone “. I didn’t understand this before but you opened my eyes to this and I never see colors now without seeing the undertone. It’s been eyeopening! And transformative! I’d love to be considered for your 15 year celebration giveaway! Thank you so much!! Madeleine

  • Brandi says:

    Timeless hard finishes! More lamps! Undertones!

    Thank you, Maria, for sharing all of your wisdom with us. Thank you also for sharing your journey with us. It is never too late to start something new and your story is an inspiration to lots of us. Happy anniversary!

  • Linda says:

    Thanks Maria for all the Timeless vs. Trendy advice. It has saved me much regret.

  • Rose says:

    I’m a new follower and fan. I’m looking at my home with new eyes and discovering ways to make use of color and paint to create a home I truly love. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and for your inspiration.

  • Kirsten Ancona says:

    Since finding your blog I’ve so enjoyed your “straight shooting”advice! You often make me laugh…and I’ve really appreciated your insights on color undertones.
    About 15 years ago I wrestled with beiges in my master bath…I knew why they weren’t working, but that didn’t mean I could remedy the problem easily. Your method would have been a life saver!
    I’d love to go to your Dallas seminar because I just moved here to the DFW area & have been renovating our home. 🙏😊

  • Beck H says:

    Oh my goodness, I just realized when I started reading your blog it was in 2009, right after my daughter was born! I can’t believe that was the start of your blog. You had so much valuable information I always tried to just soak it up! The undertones of beiges and all of their complexities is one of the most valuable things I’ve gotten over the years. I’m a “neutral nelly” so making undertones work together has helped me in my own home so much! I’ve purchased two of your ebooks and they were so helpful! Happy Blogiversary!!

  • Karen says:

    My husband and I downsized to a much smaller home last year. At the same time I happened to find your blog, and so glad I did. We have been renovating with an eye towards timeless not trendy. Thank you Maria!

  • Ashala says:

    You need to have a plan and a vision before you start! And only buy decor in colours and design that fits with the plan and the era of your home. You can’t just go out and get a mishmash of “things I really like” and think that it will al work together. It has to be deliberate. Love you Maria! Your straight-talking advice on your social media and blog makes me laugh everyday!

  • Karen E says:

    More lamps! — it’s just the most recent thing I’ve learned from you. Sowhen we first toured our new-to-us historic house, I was worried when I didn’t see many lamps. Did the house not have enough electrical outlets? We went back to check. And after we moved in, the first thing I did was buy several small lamps—one for kitchen, one for main bathroom counter and one to sit on tall antique secretary in entry foyer—and provide such a warm inviting glow! Thank you for all that share.

  • Danielle says:

    Congratulations on 15 years!! I’ve learned so many things – lighting, undertones, different shades of white and probably most of all – classic is never boring! Thanks for all you’ve shared!

  • Paula C says:

    I was pretty much a “paint slapper”. Slap on some white (any white) and hope for the best. My biggest paint faux paux? My living room statement wall in SWANS BEAK ORANGE. Oh dear.

    You make me pause to think about my next coat of paint. Who knew there were so many legitimate factors to consider?

  • Linda says:

    Congratulations on 15 years. Over these years you’ve given so much guidance; it is truly appreciated. You’ve also linked me up with other bloggers such as Claire Jefford and Laurel Bern whom I also read/consult regularly. I think that my biggest take aways from your course (2017 Toronto) and reading your blog are: Timeless and Classic ; identifying the bossy elements; how elements relate. There are more for sure but these three pop up quite often. Thank you.

  • Laura L says:

    I am so thankful to have come across your blog more than three years ago. I have learned so much from you, including that Color is a way more timeless choice over the trendy neutral of the moment. And the second best thing I learned from you is that White is a snob. We are planning a kitchen renovation and I look forward to having you and your team guide me through your kitchen package!

  • I learn & keep learning. Been evolving as you have & moved and remodeled a house almost every two years of my adult life. Living in dust… 😄😄 Love every bit of this industry. You are visionary and have taught me to layer. Lamps, light, color. In every aspect a form of layering exists. Am I practicing it all? Not yet. A work in progress! 😁 I live in Houston and attending in Dallas will be fantastic. I’d love to move on to working with clients. I need that change in mindset.
    Thanks for all the info, sharing & for coloring our lives. Cheers to the next 15 years!

  • Julianne says:

    Always go for classic finishes over trendy!

    Congrats on 15 years!

  • Liz says:

    Most useful – using something for inspiration, whether it’s the bossy granite or a beautiful rug BEFORE you choose a paint color. That, and telling your builder NO recessed lighting! Thanks Maria.

  • Diane Asmuth says:

    Congratulations on 15 years of graciously sharing your experience and perspectives! I can “see” color in an entirely new way, with the confidence to choose paint and furnishings that look wonderfully cohesive thanks to you. Here is to 15 ( or many, many) more years!

  • Sheri wible says:

    I’ve gained so much CONFIDENCE from taking Maria’s courses. I’ve taken several online classes and my confidence has soared. Her system for choosing color works and she has a wealth of design knowledge. I found her when redecorating a very dated house my husband and I bought. I have a timeless classic on my hands now, thanks to Maria. My house is full of beautiful colors in all the right places. Thank you Maria.

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  • Phyllis E. says:

    Congratulations on your 15th anniversary of blog writing! I think you HAVEW succeeded in becoming the “Martha Stewart of Color” –though I think that now people will be striving to be the “Maria Killam of Colour” ! Please enter me into the contest! I would love any of those prizes!

    I have learned so much from you, but I think my favorite is “Boring now equals timeless later.” (As a very busy real estate agent whose walked into thousands of homes over the past five years, I can attest to the timeless truth of that!!)

    I only wish I had found your blog BEFORE I had renovated my kitchen back in 2010, spent over a year trying to decide on backsplash tile and granite, only to end up hating what I eventually picked out. Shortly after that, out of frustration one day I just googled, “what backsplash tile goes with granite?”, not really expecting to find a real answer out there in cyber space, when, lo and behold– google led me to one of your blog posts, and have been a fan and avid reader ever since! Your willingness to share your knowledge and expertise freely in your blog and (now, in your delightful videos), is so refreshing and appreciated. You have the rare ability to put your design expertise so succinctly into words! Thanks again!!

  • Sandy says:

    Hi Maria and Terreeia,

    Thank you for sharing your journey into color with us for so many years! I learned so much and I continue to be wowed by how your system works each time I get to apply it to either new builds or renos. I feel really confident with a system that I am able to confirm the undertones for neutrals and whites. It has been such a game changer to be able to explain why a space is beautiful due to the colors that have been thoughtfully selected.

    Thank you for sharing with us your learnings,
    Sandy

  • Michelle Holland says:

    Maria,
    The entire concept of the undertones of the “not changing” hard surfaces when first looking to refresh, renew and change up a space has been a game changer! Now I understand and can explain to my clients why and why not! Thank you!
    Here’s to another15!
    Michelle

  • Laura says:

    Congratulations on 15 years!! The most helpful thing I’ve learned from you is outdoor color selections and not being afraid to use color!

  • Lisa Richardson says:

    I have enjoyed reading your two ebooks and I’m trying hard to study them and your color wheel. I need to refresh my paint colors in my whole house, do a kitchen remodel, and also our primary bathroom needs a remodel. I would love to attend a two day course with you. Since my son passed away 4 yrs ago, my creativity and decision making skills seem to be lost. I used to love to be creative, plan, design, and make decisions quickly. Maybe with your course, I could find my creative self again. I have loved reading your blog and following you on Instagram and I feel a part of my creative side is trying to comeback. Thanks for sharing all you do.

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  • Tracey says:

    So glad I saw your renovation series on Instagram! And purchased your ebooks and color wheel! All the information was so helpful in picking countertops, backsplash and tile!

  • Christy says:

    Wait! We can only pick one thing? There are so many useful things, but if I had to only pick one thing it would definitely be learning how to distinguish all the undertones in colors by utilizing your color wheel. Prior to this, if I was told a neutral color had a green undertone I would not have been able to see it, but now I can! Reminds of when I was a cheerleader when I was little, and trying to learn a pom pom routine to a song – I remember them talking about the # of beats in the music, and I was clueless – had no idea what they were talking about – LOL! Us left brained people find so much of what you share useful! But learning about the undertones I find most useful. Thank you for sharing.

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  • Gay Wells says:

    Wow-15 years!! I think I found your blog shortly after you started it. Best thing I’ve learned from you – white subway tile is timeless and the best choice. Thank you!!

  • Brookie says:

    Maria, Thank you for sharing your gift with us. I have learned far more than color selection from you. I’ve learned about color, decorating, fashion, landscaping, blogging, writing, travel, family, forgiveness and so much more. You have given me confidence to try color in every aspect applicable and trust your tools and the process.
    I would be pleased to accept any one of these gifts and put them to practice.
    There are many blogs available to read and yours is the one I find most enjoyable and eagerly anticipated. Please go continue your awesomeness. Thank you.

  • Amber says:

    Congratulations!! I have learned so much from scouring your blog while planning my new build, and now I never miss an Instagram story. By far the best thing I learned from you, simple though it is, is how to place samples when making choices. I brought my own white posterboard to my design consults for the new build before making selections and it helped so much. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom over the years and especially for compiling here in this blog which has been a constant resource for me.

  • Melony Sutherland says:

    Hi, I have been following you for about 6 years, have all your e books and taken all your courses. I love how you have been able to break down colour in a way that is easy understand and see. Breaking down white into the 4 graduations has been a game changer!! My only regret is that I was not able to take your course in person. By the time I had the funds to take it covid had hit and you were only offering the online course. My dream is to someday take the course again in person! Your story gives me hope that I can make a small living doing something that I love and get to use my creative side to help people turn their houses into homes!!!

  • Mary says:

    So many things, but number one is to keep hard finishes timeless! Thanks

  • Shelly Shaw says:

    Congratulations on 15 years Maria! It was great to hear how you got started. I’ve been loving your posts where you work with the existing finished, like bathroom makeovers. As others have said, not everyone can afford to renovate every room. These rooms always look amazing when you are done and you see that the room is totally livable afterward. No need for a full reno! Keep up the great work.

  • Minna Fonda says:

    I have followed you for years and love learning from you. One tip from your blog that I implemented in my own home is a lamp in my kitchen. It is on 24/7 and makes the kitchen so cozy.

  • Susan Bucci says:

    I’ve always liked decorating for myself but my finished product never seemed right. I’ve learned so much about undertones and the rule of accent color throughout the room 3; one large, medium and small Thank you!

  • Maria says:

    There’s so many pearls of wisdom where do I start! The biggest for me is understanding whites, color and understanding their undertones. A huge one that I help all my friends with is to choose “boring” classic fixed elements and add flare elsewhere. I’m not a designer but I have friends ask me for decorating help often and I stick to your principles! Also, choose what goes in the room first and then pick a paint color. And you don’t have to demo everything to make it look beautiful 😍 thanks for all you do Maria! Congratulations!

  • Amy Kennedy says:

    That all neutrals have undertones. I thought the fact that they were “neutral” meant they went with anything, lol. TY for this giveaway and all the knowledge you so kindly share!

  • Rose Pye says:

    I’ve learned that if you are renovating to work with the colors that can’t be changed (like flooring or tile) instead of working against them. Some of the before and afters that you show are just unbelievable – work with what you have when you don’t have the budge to start from zero. Thank you for all that you do!

  • Tomie Schmidt says:

    I don’t remember how I found your blog, but I do remember that something “clicked” when I read your posts. It’s like all the things I knew in my soul that I couldn’t put my finger on were there in clear, articulate print. Most importantly… more is not always better. And eye catching details are fine, as long as not *every* thing in the room was chosen to be eye catching. The eye needs a place to rest.

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  • Alisa M says:

    I know it’s a basic principle, but the undertones have helped me see color so differently! Being able to see undertones has helped me so much with my own paint, decor, etc, but also ordering online, clothing, helping friends, and watercolor painting! Thanks, Maria!

  • Cheryl Eastwood says:

    Choose the green sofa(or whatever is your favorite color) then decorate around that favorite, paying attention to undertones. Seems so easy once you’ve been given the go ahead to choose what you love!

  • Debra Miller says:

    Wish I knew exactly when I began following you, maybe not too long after you started your blog! We have been in our (mostly honey oak) home 17 years. I’ve had an obsession with black & have (sadly) considered it a neutral & need to thank you for ending this horrible personal flaw! Although, I did cheer when you said “the only instance when black knobs & pulls are appropriate is when the countertops are black.” That gave me such joy, felt like my 1st win. I continue to consult my Whites Are Complicated & How To Choose Paint Colors, as well as my “original” Color Wheel! Congratulations on your recent milestone, and again thank you Maria, for sharing your wealth of color and timeless decor knowledge with the world!

  • Patty says:

    Maria, you have shared so much practical information on your blog & videos through the years. Lighting, refreshing a room & using a mood board are awesome advice! thank you!

  • Campbell22206 says:

    Hi Maria, et al.

    This is a great post. It is impressive how open you are with your journey’s story. Thank you for sharing.

    After taking your courses I not only have the confidence to recommend colors but I find I am much more equipped to explain why something won’t work in a particular circumstance. Recommending is important but being able to “pull someone back from the ledge” of color mistakes is super important too.

    Continued success!

    Susan Campbell

  • Suzanne Van Wagner says:

    I have followed Maria since around 2010. She’s rescued color for me a couple times. Now I have the confidence, with her color boards, to choose updated finishes for my current home. Learning how to create mood boards and shop online helped me ‘sell’ my husband on our master bath update.

  • Cheryl Eastwood says:

    Choose the green sofa(or whatever is your favorite color) then decorate around that favorite, paying attention to undertones. Seems so easy once you’ve been given the go ahead to choose what you love!

  • Carol Foster says:

    Bonding with your color wheel for a many of the choices I’ve made while remodeling our Greek revival home. Understanding the undertones of neutrals and whites has been immensely helpful! There’s so much more that I have learned from reading your blogs, and even some of the simplest affirmations, i.e. Subway is timeless, not boring!

  • Nicole Schultz says:

    The most useful thing I’ve learned from you, so far, is that neutrals have many undertones! With the help of your blog posts I was able to take my kitchen cabinets from a dark espresso to the right complex cream. The new color draws the best out of my orange beige countertops. It fixes all the expensive problems that my kitchen had; the dated countertop, the dark closed-in feeling, the need for bright fluorescent lighting. Now I just have the fun of adding some copper, straw, and/or terracotta elements. Thanks for all you do!

  • Jess says:

    I loved readying about your story. The most beneficial for me has been to grasp a full u estranging of undertones. I have always known things “didn’t look right” but I didn’t know what to do about it. I use to find color scary, but wow does it make me happy now that I feel empowered to use it. You have transformed how I decorate.

  • Kristen says:

    Congratulations on15 years! I have learned many things, mainly to look for undertones and to decorate with small, medium, and large color repeats. Also how to avoid looking dated for flooring and tile!

  • Kristin says:

    The most important thing I’ve learned is keeping your hard surface boring and simple, which makes them timeless. It’s great not having to worry about a reno going out of style.

  • ZiZi says:

    Congratulations, Maria, to you and your entire team! Each post either informs me of a new perspective to consider or reinforces my thoughts. You won my heart when you championed colorful sofas. I lived with a beautiful green sofa for years and never tired of the color statement. Thank you for sharing your gifts.

  • Karol Hollis says:

    I’ve learned so much, but the bigger picture of the more you know and practice, the further you can go with what you can confidently recommend. I can explain why something is the right answer. I have confidence in that, thanks to you! Congratulations!

  • Elaine P. says:

    As a newbie in the world of decorating, I have found your blogs and IG posts informative, inspiring, and entertaining all in one. I have learned so much from your articles, especially regarding undertones in neutrals that I didn’t even realize existed. Now I am beginning to understand why a room seems off when the undertones do not coordinate. Your little nuggets on styling have been extremely helpful in designing a “look and feel” for a room, especially when I’ve already made so many design mistakes in my own house! Lol Decorating feels like a lifelong project but a fun one. I could probably be my own client forever!! So truly happy to have found you over the web! ☺️

  • Robin M says:

    Here’s to the Queen of Colour🥂. I believe you will achieve your ultimate goal and we are witness to what you have taught us, are teaching us, and will continue to teach us. Thank you for sharing your life, personal and professional. You are an inspiration 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
    You taught me that my vision of color and timeless are spot on. But the undertones are what I still struggle with. And the fact that I can never make up my mind. Your products have been very helpful. But I still need help.
    BTW, in your 15 year look back blog today, I noticed that most of your original furniture is still with you today. Proves, buy the color you ❤️. Your new home is gorgeous. I am into landscape design, so your current outdoor project speaks to me.

  • Amy Gibney says:

    I absolutely love and admire everything you do! I’m so glad you came across my for you page. You’ve added so much joy and colour to my life.

    My husband is a contractor and we’ve flipped multiple homes. Some have looked perfect and some have been a little off but I couldn’t understand why. Now I know! Too many undertones, specifically white undertones. I really struggled with communicating what bothered me but now I can.

  • Kimberly Smith says:

    Undertones have always been my weakness, now I can’t “unsee” them! I definitely have more confidence in my color choices and my choices for finishes.

  • Mary says:

    Timeless = boring. White is VERY complicated (until you read Maria’s book and use her tool!)

  • Carol Z says:

    The most helpful information I have read is about the colour wheel and looking at undertones. I think this should be considered a life skill! It does take some practiae however and I am working at it. Thank you and congratulations!!!

  • Brittany B says:

    You have taught me about undertones, which means you have helped me understand how the underlying colors can affect the overall look of a space. How to identify undertones in paint and decor, and how to use this knowledge to create harmonious color schemes.

  • Mary says:

    Thanks for sharing your history. And congrats on 15 years! Your love of all things beautiful is inspiring and contagious. Your explanations of undertones is invaluable!

  • Boring now = timeless later! You saved me from choosing a wood floor with gray in it three years ago–medium brown, it is! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us, Maria!

  • Cristy Moffitt says:

    Maria, I’m moving out of a 4500 SF home and into my parent’s 1900 SF, 3 BR ranch, built in the 70’s. The 70’s home has never been updated, and I am bursting at seams with excitement because I will be using some of your practices with the renovation. I’ll use your color wheel to ensure that I keep the undertones consistent throughout the renovation, as well as keep all hard surfaces timeless! Thank you for you blog! You’ve taught me alot about decorating! I enjoy you and your content!

  • Sarah Morgan says:

    My favorite advice you have is that when nothing seems to be working or you can’t fix the color yet….decorate! It has been a game changer to help me love my house now while I wait to make the changes that will help me love it forever.

  • Joanna Iwanicki says:

    Happy 15th Anniversary, Maria! The take aways from your blog are too many to list. The one that stands out the most is that when it comes to hard finishes: “Boring now, means timeless later”. Twelve years ago, I was in the process of renovating my kitchen, when I discovered your blog. Unfortunately it was already too late for choosing the right countertop, but just in time to pick the right backsplash. You can only guess what they tried to push on me at the tile store as the “perfect” match for my Sienna Bordeaux countertop. Accent tile, of course! But I always loved subway tile, and when that confirmation showed up in one of your posts, I was so relieved. Then I learned about the whole world of undertones, pink and yellow beiges; how to read, distinguish, and avoid clashing. Or how to “hide” mistakes by implementing patterns to cheat the eye. I read every single post you wrote, Maria. You sparked my curiosity in the world of color and undertones, that never faded to this day. For this I am forever grateul.

  • Ellen Daehnick says:

    Congratulations on 15 years! The biggest thing I have learned from you is that decorating – particularly styling – can solve almost any problem that might seem like it can only be fixed via renovation. Thanks for all the great lessons!

  • Cheri Keckeis says:

    It has been a privilege to be part of your journey. I have enjoyed your blog for years and hope you continue for many more!

  • Anne Merrill says:

    A whole new world was opened up when your blog became my favorite regular read. Who knew there were so many neutral undertones and that certain ones work with certain others? Clean and dirty colors? No wonder things didn’t look right! While I had defaulted to decorating with neutrals out of desperation to get it right, I’m now excitedly coming back to color with new eyes. My husband and I are starting a business which includes color discernment and I’m so pleased to encourage my clients to use both neutrals and colors in a timeless way. I’d love the thorough education from your course, Maria!

  • Deb Hyden says:

    Undertones! Who knew! I am the one that takes 3 years to pick out a paint color! Understanding the undertones certainly helps! Also lamps! We just moved and I’m in search of some new lamps for the living room to warm up the space.

  • Melody says:

    I’ve learned so many things! The one that stands out the most is how to mix metals by alternating them. I’ve also stopped using my overhead lights and switched to lamps and, suddenly, my home feels so much cozier. Thank you for that!

  • Theresa says:

    Congratulations on 15 years. I have learned so much from you about undertones and colour. For me that means getting rid of my pink beige sofa. Now I am looking for a blue sofa, which is my favourite colour.

  • Laura Scholz says:

    Just discovered you this summer- and you have changed everything! We are building a home and I am devouring your blog, lists, everything I can. Would love the chance to take your course. I’ve already nixed the black windows my husband wanted on the exterior 😉. So much new and fabulous information

  • Vanessa H says:

    I’ve learned so much since I first started reading your blog. “White is Complicated” and “boring” now equals classic/timeless later have changed how I see things. I’ve watched many friends update their kitchens with trendy tiles/colors and within a few years they already look dated. When we updated our own kitchen I felt confident in my choices, knowing they would stand the test of time

  • Karen says:

    Congratulations on reaching the 15-year mark of blogging. You have taught me so many useful and important things. It’s difficult to just choose one. The boring=timeless really resonates with me. The other, and maybe THE most useful to me, is learning about undertones. I’d always wondered why it was so hard to explain what was bothering me when it came to putting colours together and how to achieve harmony. Thank you!

  • Melissa Blose says:

    Your mood board class gave me the information and confidence I needed to furnish and entire house with furniture, rugs, pillows, lamps, etc.

    I’m just an average girl who had always been afraid to pick anything, but decided to jump into real estate and buy a short term rental. This put the pressure I needed on me to learn, so I dove head first into your blog reading everything I could. When I took the mood board class using your color wheel things clicked and my house came together. Thanks to your blog and classes I am determined to expand my knowledge to decorate my own home and other rentals I will purchase. Who knows… maybe I’ll become the short term rental go to girl for furnishings and color. A girl can dream, right?

  • Camille Glover says:

    I’ve learned so much in my 10 years following you that it’s hard to capture just one thing. While undertones are key, perhaps the most surprising thing is the value of a good half dozen lamps.

  • Erica Sonnenberg says:

    Hi! Congrats on 15 years! I found your blog when you did the “how to screw up your renovation” series on instagram and I’ve been hooked ever since!! I would love to lean more!

  • Sarah Norman says:

    If I have to choose just one it would be “Buy a sofa in your favorite color.”
    I still have the green velvet sofa I bought in 2011 and I love it! ❤️

  • Tasha says:

    I think my biggest takeaway is to have fun with color. While there are many guidelines to consider to create balance and beauty in a space, color doesn’t have to be intimidating. Thank you for continuing to share your expertise Maria!

  • Gigi Lombrano says:

    Congratulations on 15 years! The top thing I’ve learned from you is the best verbiage to communicate to clients why this color works and not the other. The language of undertones makes sense to them and when they can see it, via your fabulous color wheel, they have confidence in the specification as well. Even better, the skeptical husband understands the science and appreciates getting it right the first time! Continued success to you!

  • Jessica S says:

    We are building a new home and have a designer that we are working with for the interior and exterior. A friend referred me because I was frustrated that I couldn’t express what I didn’t like about the exterior elevation in the design plan. I took your exterior master class and the advice about stone, tall slender windows, and all the suggested undertones with SW paint colors have been so helpful. I am wanting to take your mood board class. Best advice is that boring now, will be timeless later! That one phrase has encouraged me to tell our designer that I don’t want trendy and I have been able to choose timeless classics. Thank you!

  • Elaine says:

    What a great recap of the last 15 years. I love all your designs, your designs and of course, meeting Terreeia! Following you has given me insight on undertones and how that affects color choices. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your life story. You truly are the Martha Stewart of color!

  • Cindy W says:

    One of the best thing I have learned from you is your most basic lesson: understanding undertones. Early on I knew different colors didn’t look good together, and I just didn’t understand why – now I do! Another good lesson that I learned from you is freedom to express joy of color in the home (and even in my choice of clothing).
    Really appreciate your blog site, love the more recent color rescues.

  • Barbara says:

    I started following Maria after a visit to a Benjamin Moore paint store . The employee told me she follows you on Instagram and that I’d enjoy her . So I did . Maria is knowledgeable AND funny ! I was trying to make my Tuscan trend kitchen better without changing the expensive existing backsplash and countertops …. A challenge. It’s so much easier to start with a clean slate than trying to make existing elements work . I bought the e books and wheel , read and read and read Maria’s posts and then chose paint colors for kitchen cabinets, walls and carpet. Maria’s system helped me with my confidence to make good choices . I’d love to take the 2 day course to continue learning.

  • Karen Dyck says:

    I have learned so much from you over the past years. I wish I had started sooner, when I was designing our house. Probably the most important lesson is to consult a professional when the stakes are high (renovation, landscaping, major painting projects).

  • Lorri says:

    What an amazing story, Maria. The “before and after” of your new house looks like a dead house brought back to life and living color!

  • Selina says:

    Happy 15th Anniversary!! Thank you for sharing such generous gifts with your readers. I have only been reading for less than a year here but I have learned so much already: undertones, decorating instead of full on renovating (wish I would’ve heard about you before we purchased our current renovation project), lighting and lamps!! I love your approach that is not wasteful and focused on quickly evolving trends but making the best timeless decisions to help you “love your house forever.” Cheers to many more years of success for you!!

  • Angela says:

    I’ll never forget going into pottery barn and feeling overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. The salesperson started helping me and we soon learned that we both follow you. We talked through some of your concepts and came up with a plan.
    I just bought my first home so I still have a lot to learn from you as I tackle each room.
    There’s too much to write here. Thank you for the design advice. Congratulations on 15 years!

  • Monica Malone says:

    Congratulations, Maria! Have enjoyed being part of your journey for more than a decade. Way to manifest!

    I think the most important thing I learned from you is in the realm of light, specifically how different directions of sunlight change color. Truly, there gave been so many things.The “language’ to explain why things work/don’t work … Ooo … That’s a biggie, too!

  • Louise M says:

    I have been following your blogs, Instagram and You Tube channel for years now and not only do I keep returning to your words and videos time and again but I tell EVERYONE I know who’s thinking of redecorating to listen to and follow you! Best advice? Choosing timeless hard finishes and using the color wheel to do so to avoid mistakes. It’s easier to repaint a wall than pull up a floor or backsplash if you do make a mistake. I look forward to continuing to learn from you for many years to come.

  • Stacey says:

    I’ve learned so much from you and so enjoy reading every post and watching each video! I found you when I was searching “timeless flooring.” Your advice resonated. We shouldn’t have to constantly change out hard finishes and chase trends. So my favorite thing I’ve learned is boring now equals timeless later!

  • What a journey! What grit it must take to make this happen. I have learned that I can keep my cream molding and only touch it up (as opposed to what my designer neighbor suggested which was to paint it all white which would have cost us a few thousand dollars!) I have so enjoyed your advice for real people in real houses! Thank you!

  • Leslie Scott says:

    UNDER TONES!!!!! and as a landscape designer I often referred to your advice to designers about how to deal with clients.

  • Robin says:

    A few years ago we bought a small home close to where our son and his family live so we have a place to stay when we visit and can stay longer. We hired a contractor to do some remodeling and updating. I had never had to make all of the decisions about a house at once and it was at first overwhelming. I don’t remember how, but I stumbled upon your blog and became obsessed with learning about color. A few years ago everything was gray, black and white and that is not appealing to me. Your blog gave me the confidence to go with the color that I really wanted (SW Silvermist and Indigo Batik). I love how it turned out and have had no regrets about any of the choices. Also learning about colors that relate to something else in the room. (I have had to convince my husband that certain things he wants to do won’t relate to anything else and would not work.). So thank you and congratulations on 15 years.

  • Diane says:

    Widowed unexpectedly in 2020, I moved to a fabulous open concept condo two years ago. Since then, I purchased a gorgeous light navy blue sofa. I also learned how to style my mantle; it looks great! Finally, I chose the right paint colour throughout my 1500 sq ft space that relates to ALL the existing hard finishes including a very bossy Tuscan countertop in the kitchen. Thanks Maria! You’re the best!!

  • Darby says:

    Maria,

    I love reading your story of success and hard work. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us! Understanding classic vs trendy interior finishes has been my biggest takeaway. I found you at just the right time during our bathroom renovation in 2021. Because of your insight, we have a bathroom that we will love forever.

  • Beth Boyd says:

    Maria, I sure am glad you are not a fan of Halloween and decided to write a blog instead! You have helped me SO much over the last few years. I used your new build package for a house we built in 2017. We just sold the house for way over asking in large part because of the excellent advice you provided on choosing finishes for kitchen, baths and paint colors. Our house stood out from the crowd because it is so beautiful and fresh. I will be using your kitchen and bath refresh packages for our new home (I am so glad you added those!) and I know the advice I receive will be perfect again.

  • ALISA KLEIN says:

    A lightbulb went off for me learning about undertones. I can’t not see them in all the neutrals I work with. Yours is a great system for understanding this. Thank you!!!

  • Janet says:

    Timeless or Trendy advice is always very helpful! Also, don’t panic decorate helped when I thought I’d made a color mistake. You reminded me that you can’t look at a color on the wall and decide it’s wrong until you add your furnishings. Thanks for all the great posts!

  • Joan Rosen says:

    Hi Maria,
    When I decided to paint my tired orange oak kitchen cabinets many years ago, google brought me to you. Ever since, I have faithfully read your blog, bought your color wheels and e-books, and savored your words of wisdom. I never knew the world of whites were so complex, but thanks to you, I now have an understanding of undertones.

    Thank you for all of your help and congratulations on 15 years! Sending hopes for many more.

  • Charlotte says:

    I’ve been following you since 2012 & you have taught me the language of color. While I am not fluent (yet), I have loved everyone of your e-courses and each has contributed to my depth of knowledge. You continue to inspire me and I’m ever grateful for how beautiful you make the world. The color course is what I want to do most!

  • Deb says:

    Congratulations! I have enjoyed reading your posts for a little while and I really appreciate your wisdom and advice on how to love a home forever! The enlightenment about undertones is an eye opener and the advice to be careful with trends is invaluable.

  • Marcia H says:

    I had no idea there were cool colors amd warm colors. In addition, the difference lamps make in a room. Plus, expensive fixed features of a home should be neutral. I’ve learned so much amd yet will learn more.

  • Ahuva Hazan-Fuchs says:

    The most important thing I’ve learned is that boring is timeless. And also – if you choose a color you love, that is also timeless.

  • Carey says:

    I’ve learned so, so many things from you, Maria. The one that’s relevant right now, as we renovate an inherited house, is to work with the brick and roof color when choosing paint and a new trim color.

  • Sharon Abel says:

    “BORING EQUALS TIMELESS ! ! ! “. Your advise has become my mantra since I started following you in 2011 when i was designing our home from scratch. And even though I mistakenly installed a few “bossy finishes” during our build your advise about decorating and using colour, when renovating a newly built house wasn’t an option, has helped me get past those bossy elements and love my home.
    Your blog has been a source of joy. Thank you for years of fun!

  • Brenda says:

    I have been following since 2010, I think! It feels like a long time and even though I don’t follow a lot of blogs anymore, this one is my true constant. I also refer back to it fairly frequently. I have bought all your books, your colour boards, the virtual Colour course, the mood board course… and next up it will probably be the exterior course. I can’t pick just one thing I have learned; over the past few years I have renovated my house using your principles. We decided to list it because we found a different house and guess what? My house sold in 3 days and had multiple offers. I received so many compliments on how pretty it is. So much of that is because of what I have learned through you, Maria. So now I am going to move into my new place and apply the principles I have learned from you, there. I feel very equipped to handle this new house, there really won’t be too much trial and error. And I plan to buy a bunch of new lamps. Lots and lots of lamps. Thank you, Maria!!!!

  • Christina says:

    Undertones! how to see them and relate things in a room. Lots more too….lighting, timeless decorating, bossy hardscapes 🙂

  • Valentina says:

    The most useful things I learnt are 1) to place the painted cardboard sample on top of white cardboard instead of directly on the wall, and 2) the hard surfaces that are difficult to change should be neutral.

  • Colette says:

    Lamps, lamps, lamps. And that I really do need to get the colour wheel and ebooks because I definitely chose the wrong undertone for the last two rooms painted and I want to get it right for the next one. Also, thanks for the tip to decorate when it’s not perfect and that will distract. Need that so much because once you see it, you don’t ever not see it.

  • Sharon Wilson says:

    Love your blog. It has helped me in so many ways already. I redid my floors in 2020 and used your advice and put down reclaimed elm hardwood throughout. Repainted during the lockdown in a complex cream – BM’s Collingwood, and just remodelled the kitchen last November and went with one of the whites. I plan to add a deep navy as my accent and I still working little by little to make our home what we want. It is coming along beautifully and have learned so much from you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I would love to take your virtual course as I have purchased your ebooks and colour wheel already.

  • Courtney Petteplace says:

    So many great things from you blog, but most importantly to add lamps and keep the most expensive finishes and furnishings timeless and boring and add personality throught art and accessories! I Love everything about your style and tips!

  • Rose P says:

    You taught me not to be afraid of color. I never used to be but I got caught up in all the neutral trend but it’s not me! Which brings me to the other thing I learned…you don’t have to follow the trends…do what you love..trends will come and go! Thank you Maria

  • Jennifer says:

    BORING IS TIMELES$… Have reminded myself to KISS many times over the years, and when working withy my real estate clients…some listen, some have still bought into grey streaked trendy floors!! ugh… BTW, I am still in love with your leopard staircase! I have learned so much over the years, kicking myself for not signing up for your NJ class a couple years before the pandemic but God has a reason for everything : )

  • Nancy says:

    I have learned so much; undertones, lighting hacks, and making bold color choices, bringing my home to life, makes my creative heart so happy! Thank you!

  • Melissa D. says:

    I am so happy I found you! I’ve always been afraid of color because I had no idea how to use it! Now I’ve started filling my life with colorful decorating and know how to work with the hard finishes I’ve got before we move again. There’s too many good things to mention, but those are the best ones. Happy 15th blogaversary!

  • Janice Gion says:

    Congratulations on 15 years! Unfortunately, I found your blog after I had installed some very bossy, earthy granite in my kitchen! Thanks to your blog I am learning how to live with it. I really like that you aren’t like many designers who rip everything out, but instead help us save money by giving options to work with expensive mistakes!

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  • Carmen Carter says:

    I am a new reader of your blog but I learned not to paint my interior white as it will look like its primer. I was considering White Dove but I’m going a different direction after reading your advice.

  • Becky Greenwald says:

    I’ve learned SO many things from you, Maria. Undertone analysis was a total game changer (I have the round wheel and seemingly use it all the time). So many ah-ha! moments regarding color. Lamps! One bossy element. Boring = timeless. Being somewhat color phobic (I call it conservative, but po-tay-to po-tah-to), your advice has allowed me to branch out not only in my own home and streamline the decision-making process, but also to help those I care about in their homes. Can’t thank you enough.

  • Kristin says:

    Reading your blog has given me the language to use to explain to my husband why he can’t pick that paint color/pillow/sofa. Before, if undertones weren’t right, it would bug me but I didn’t know/couldn’t explain why. “Because I said so” only works so many times with another adult (probably with kids too)

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  • Bridget says:

    Save money for decorating!

  • Karen Manougian says:

    I am so thankful to have taken your 2 day virtual color course last week! It confirmed what I’d been thinking all my life – that my eyes aren’t deceiving me about undertones. I now have the understanding and language to articulate what I see. I might need some practice (waiting for my color boards to arrive), but I can see the future with more clarity (pun intended!) Thank you Maria for writing this blog 🙂

  • Jenny says:

    Congrats! Undertones and timeless design. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  • Ann says:

    Trendy doesn’t equal timeless. Happy 15th year anniversary!

  • DENISE P says:

    Congrats Maria on 15 years! I’m a designer and the most useful thing I have learned from you is how to communicate effectively with the client. Specifically, how to introduce color, explain bossiness, and avoidance of trends. Your approach is so professional without being critical. It is warm and believable.
    Well done my friend!

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  • Annie says:

    Lamps! Love the ones I have added and need to find some more. Would love some tips/tricks to coordinate different lamp sizes and styles.

  • Sacha Beltran says:

    I found you when I was searching for timeless wood flooring and I was hooked! I love your writing style and look forward to every blog post. Trendy verus timeless has been incredibly helpful as well as the power of lamps! Lamp tramp forever!

  • Katie Stewart says:

    How do I pick just one thing I’ve learned, there have been so many! It’s all about the undertones, now that I know that I see design so differently.

  • Anne Jackson says:

    Congratulations on 15 years of colour!
    I discovered your blog early in the pandemic when I had to stop a kitchen reno plan. I read and reread the ebooks and took one the first 2 day virtual courses. As the pandemic eased, I was able to pick up the thread of my kitchen reno again, this time armed with such valuable insights and information. I love my new kitchen and wouldn’t change a thing! I wouldn’t have been able to make all the decisions as successfully without all that I’ve learned from you. As someone else wrote, I cannot see neutrals without instantly analyzing them for undertones!

  • Luanne says:

    I have taken Maria’s colour design classes twice. One comment that i use all the time with people is the line that wood flooring is like a pair of jeans –
    And timeless is classic Subway tile the end.
    Decorate with colour and pieces easy to switch out
    So many valuable lessons i have learned through this blog Thank you Maria

  • Stacey says:

    Congratulations, Maria! What I love about your story is that in helping so many others find happiness in their houses, you have found such happiness in yours.

    I only recently found your work, but it was just in the nick of time as we were actively choosing bathroom flooring and hardware for a renovation to our primary bathroom. The salesperson was steering me towards the current trends (encaustic tile floors, dark faucets, etc.), but I stood my ground and confidently chose a marble-look for the floor and chrome faucets. I have not regretted it for one second. So, thank you.

    Here’s hoping I am one of the lucky chosen!

  • Nancy says:

    Maria – wow how can it already be 15 years .’as I look back to when I first connected to your blog … seems like yesterday .
    I remember thinking wow who is this lady ?
    Would soak up every blog you wrote..

    I’ve learned so much from your blogs and your e- books .
    I remember when I first starting learning from you .
    Thinking undertone ? What is an undertone ?
    I’ve learned a lot so to narrow it down to one thing is hard.
    But I’d have to say the one thing that has helped me a lot is ..
    Compare, compare and compare some more .once I do that it is easier for me to see what works and what doesn’t .
    It’s been a great 15 year journey with you !
    And can’t wait to spend the next 15 years learning from you …
    Thanks for a blessed 15 years of your time and knowledge…

  • Shelley says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences the past 15 years . Perseverance and dedication to your passion has certainly paid off..
    I appreciate you!
    I think of your words of wisdom when I begin any new design-whether it be a brand new home design or a renovation.
    Is it timeless or trendy? What advice I can give to my clients I learned from following you..
    The importance of living in your home for many years without getting tired of the expensive finishes you have chosen (or your designers selections) is something of great importance and value.
    What would Maria do? And how as a designer I use what I have learned from you from simply watching your stories and reading your blog..

    I am a designer and I still learn something new everyday..Thank you Maria for your helpful advice..
    Shelley

  • Sara Diressova says:

    One of the most useful tips: pick “boring” hard finishes and add character with the soft finishes! So smart yet everyone wants crazy tiles (used to be me :))

  • Oh, wow! What a wonderful opportunity! I am not a designer, but I’ve been following your blog with devotion since 2017 when you helped me with a home renovation. What I’ve learned most from you is to take my time to plan with mood boards so that I can check color undertones and color shade coordination with decorating. This has made a huge difference in how I approach decorating my home. And I am thrilled that you have encouraged me to choose colors I love, rather than what is trendy. Thank you!

  • Louise says:

    Lamps, repeating colours in a room to bring it together, to have a couch with colour and not a neutral. My couch is navy because of you and I absolutely love it!

  • Lesley Kuhn says:

    So many choices to pick from, create timeless, look for undertones, and and and lol. Love your blog and quote you to whoever will lister

  • Susan says:

    Lamps, lamps and more lamps! Light truly wakes up a space, and makes all the difference in pulling together a finished look in any room. Been reading your wonderful blog since ~ 2010; thank you for a great journey 🙂

  • Janice says:

    Congratulations on 15 years Maria. I was in the process of a total kitchen renovation and was agonizing over the color to choose for my new kitchen cabinets. The kitchen designer was of no use. She just kept saying to paint them BM White Dove. I had painted at least 20 large boards with different colours of white. Finally, after stumbling upon your blog, I decided to buy a color consult from you. Best thing I ever did. Your common sense recommendation: paint the cabinets the color of your trim. This was the best advise I could ever have. You also helped me with the cream subway tile. Today, I love my kitchen. In fact, I see recently you used it in one of your before and after posts! Purchasing this consult from you was the best money I ever spent. I shudder to think how my kitchen would have turned out if I hadn’t done this. Thanks for everything!

  • Shelley says:

    Found your blog when looking for timeless hard wood floor colors – shortly after you started writing your blog. Biggest take aways – timeless hard finishes and a re-ignited passion for color!!

  • Kathleen Thunberg says:

    Hi Maria,
    Wow! Congratulations on your success and joy in your work!
    I am not a professional at all, but people have always complimented me on my home. Yet I was never quite satisfied.
    When I discovered your site and blog, I began to understand why. I didn’t know about undertones. I now see mistakes I have made.
    So understanding undertones has been crucial to knowing why I have not been satisfied completely. And to also create a plan and design boards.
    I am now working on my kitchen design one step at a time before beginning the project.
    Thanks so much for all your words of wisdom and design ideas!
    Best wishes,
    Kathleen

  • Lori says:

    How can I pick just “one” thing I have learned from your blog?! I have been a follower for years and attended one of your in person courses 6 1/2 years ago. I have learned so much about color, undertones, and timeless design. Thank you so much for all of the valuable information. I use it daily for almost all decisions I make in regards to my home and my clothes!!! Congrats on 15!

  • Cyntia Chamberland says:

    You’ve help me understand what I felt looked wrong in my interiors in so many ways (I’ve lived in 3 houses since I discovered you) that it’s not possible to choose only one. Finding the undertone, one pattern/bossy element, white is a snob… and lately your new videos on YouTube that show how to decorate a space without renovating. Oh and lights! More lights haha

  • Jane Mac Innis says:

    Maria, I have been reading your blog for several years, and I sing your praises all the time to friends and family about your wealth of information, and your gift to get your audience to see colour differently. Your ability to share your colour expertise to your audience in such a detailed and simple manner that it gives us that “aha” moment! That moment when you begin to understand undertones, how to compare colours, and how quickly a colour project can go south if you do not understand the undertones. That moment when you think OMGosh I got it! I am just one of many that have learned so much from you over the years. I am reading your e-books, using your colour wheel and thoroughly enjoying the experience. Thank you for teaching me so much in a very short period of time. I see colour now in a whole different light! 🌈

  • Julie Norval says:

    The most important thing I’ve learned from you is undertones That undertone matters more than exposure when it cones to choosing paint color. I am happy to say that I am perfectly pleased with my whole house paint color thanks to keeping the undertone of my fixed elements, ie countertop, in mind. Congratulations on fifteen years.

  • Jennifer Lynn says:

    Stone is bossy!

    There are so many things I’ve learned, but that is the first that came to mind, so I’ll submit as my contest entry. I also used this truth to confidently select stone for a screened porch fireplace that would work with the bluestone flooring.

    Thank you for your blog, the color wheel and tools like e-books. Most of all I appreciate your ability to explain design and color concepts so clearly with a generous willingness to share your knowledge with the world.

    Congratulations on 15 years and wishing you continued success!

  • Laurie Schroeder says:

    The most useful thing was learning about undertones. I now knew why things looked a bit “off” to me. Also, more lamps and buying a colorful sofa were contenders for the top spot.

  • tt says:

    I love your educational posts. I have learned about how to avoid bossy elements and think classic. For example, we own a rental property with someone else and they wanted to install gray laminate flooring thru out the house. I managed to change this decision and get something installed that is not trendy. Additional I have learned the principal that one can add color thru accessories and artwork to enhance a room. Thanks for all your work.

  • I’ve learned so much from you, Maria! Congrats on 15 years! I love how you help me distinguish between what’s classic and what’s trendy. I’m doing some home renovations, and I’d like them to not look dated 10 years from now. Your videos and advice have been incredibly helpful in making design and color choices for my home that I’ll love for the long term! And your color wheel is the best thing ever!

  • Janet Bergeson says:

    I’ve been following for close to 10 years now and I have learned so much from reading your blogs and your Instagram posts. What I have picked up and used the most in my own home and the homes of my daughters is not only about the undertones in the room (e-books, color wheel), but in the decorating of the room, and how that the decorating can take the room from drab to over the top. Many times it is by using what you already own and moving it around and then by adding a few new touches of additional color. Thank you for teaching me to see color in such a different way! And congratulations and to many more!!

  • Tammy Hayes says:

    I love Lucy!
    I look forward to seeing her in your posts!

    Congratulations on 15 years!

    I am beyond grateful for your guidance in my new build! Purchasing the complete exterior
    E-design package was the BEST money spent EVER!

    Timeless, classic beauty is what you give with common sense approach and REAL people examples that even someone like me can understand and follow!

    Thank you for being YOU Maria and sharing your amazing talent with us ALL!

  • Anne Smoot says:

    Maria;
    You have helped me sooo much! I love reading your posts and seeing the associated pictures! Your undertone e-books, your color choice for BM paints, how to design a mood board, all are tips and tricks I’ve used. I remodeled my kitchen, including counter tops, and the choices really make me happy, and I probably would have made lots of different choices without your insights. I would love to come to Dallas to meet you in person, and to gain a lot more insights! You RAWK, and are certainly a joy to know! Blessings!

  • Lisa Glass says:

    I’ve learned all about undertones from you! I am a decorator and furniture seller and this knowledge has enabled me to better serve my clients with confidence! I read all of your posts and apply your advice and tips when working with clients and in my own home. I like to think I have prevented disasters! I hope to one day take your exterior class as this is the one area I lack in training.

  • Tiffany D says:

    CHOOSE BORING!
    This CONTINUES to save me headaches! It has also carried over into wardrobe choices!! THEN, you can DECORATE. 🤯
    Congrats on your hard won success!

  • Fran W. says:

    Keep the fixed surfaces clean, simple, and classic. The other (i.e., less expensive) components of the room can be trendy. Congrats on 15 years!

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  • Mary Anne says:

    This was the most useful thing I learned, not because it was the ONLY thing, but because it made me a Maria fan forever!

    I somehow stumbled onto Maria’s blog over ten years ago when we’d just purchased a new-to-us house and had to make too many design choices.

    My first decision was the paint color for a bathroom with very “bossy” (Maria’s word) granite. I learned from her that with so many colors in the granite, I needed to choose a wall color that was in the granite. That complex cream truly toned down the bossiness and transformed that room into the loveliest space. Everything flowed from that first decision and made decorating the house so much more of a joy.

    Thank you, Maria!

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  • Aimie Reistad says:

    One thing I’ve learned…how to choose?! I must go with lamps and lighting. I was timid in adding too many lights to one room, as I worried I’d end up with the local lighting/fan store look. Now I feel I’ve been given permission to get all the warmth and glow. I tell my husband (loves himself those recessed lights) that MK says they look like Swiss cheese 🙂

  • Aldona Baron says:

    That I don’t have to love everything that I pick for the house because then the design won’t be cohesive. Also I have been paying attention to design in the movies from the 80s and 90s and Maria is right – subway tiles are timeless.

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  • Jane H says:

    “Boring is timeless!” Congratulations on 15 years blogging and on all of your accomplishments, Maria! And a cheer for many more!

  • Erin says:

    How to make timeless and classic colour choices. I love your trendy vs timeless series. It helps to see visual examples of what works and what doesn’t. It’s completely changed how I view colour and has helped me identify trends. Congrats on 15 years!

  • Jeannie Johnson says:

    The simple truth that I can stop being overwhelmed by choices and narrow it down to what works with my fixed elements and what’s staying. I can take a breath and not pick something that looks okay in isolation and cringe when it’s installed. That a boring choice can look awesome in my room surrounded by a unified whole. That I’m never alone in a carpet or tile store if I have my color wheel.

  • Jane Cassidy says:

    Dear Maria, after using your e-services in a few rooms in my home with lovely results, my biggest lesson that I have learned is to keep trying to get it right through all your wonderful posts. I keep trying to self teach myself concerning the undertones and have made progress! I appreciate all that you have done to make all our intimate worlds more beautiful, and thank you also for all your patience, as we have proof that you do endure after answering the same questions time and time again with expert results! Congratulations on your longevity!

  • Jill C says:

    I am a Realtor who advises clients on what needs to be done before selling their home. Often times this means painting, new counters, flooring, etc., but I was usually fighting some old finish that needed to stay to save my clients money. I finally took your course a couple years ago and it has given me a lot more confidence picking the colors and finishes. With the high interest rates and slow real estate market, I have moved into helping more people remodel who want to stay in their home and not necessarily sell anytime soon. I’m as so glad I took your course. Thank you!

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  • Lori Szepesi says:

    Oh my goodness, it’s definitely timeless over trendy. I wish I had used subway tile backsplash when I renovated our home years ago. I’m ready for another refresh and will use many of Maria’s recommendations on this go-around.

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  • Melissa Stevenson says:

    I am so thankful for ALL of the lessons learned. I believe between your exterior module, your blogs, color wheel….it saved me years of grief! Building a “forever” home utilizing the tools and advice from you – was priceless. If I “had” to choose the most useful advice learned from you, it would have to be to choose the hard finishes FIRST, rather than choosing paint colors right away. I was obsessed with choosing colors for the walls! Not realizing how much easier it would be to repaint versus install new flooring, or countertops! Thank you for everything, Maria

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  • Abigail Williams says:

    Boring now is timeless later. Any friend that is considering building a home, I recommend you to her!

  • Maria,

    I have taken your in-person course in Charlotte, NC, and also volunteered the year after to make sure I soaked up all your great color and decorating nuggets! I used to think I was a decent decorator, but now I have the confidence to KNOW I’m more than just “decent”. I have been empowered by all the reasons why something works and doesn’t work, and how to remedy the situation with the right color (and undertone). I had for years given my wall color suggestions, and couldn’t figure out why sometimes a color just wasn’t working with the tile in the room. Thus, your training on specifying a Neutral wall color when the tile in the room is Bossy is what gave me the “ah-ha!” moment. When there are more than two colors in the tile, it’s best to stay Neutral on the walls! Love how you’ve shared all the details of your fabulous journey with us! Thank you for everything you do, Maria!

  • Mira says:

    Oh, dear Maria! Where to begin? I’ve been with you on this side of the screen since 2009 and have learned so much! Perhaps the biggest takeaway from your blog has been to keep the fixed finishes “boring”. Your white undertones e-book has helped me refinish my kitchen beautifully while being confident that things will look just as timeless in 15 years. Oh, dang! There’s one thing that stands out. Around 2011/ 2012, you recommended SW Agreeable Gray as a true neutral gray that won’t look like purple. I had never found a grey that didn’t look purple. I moved around that time in early 2012 and immediately painted my entire house that color. It was the perfect grey indeed! That color has stayed with me every time I moved, and it currently works beautifully with all the greens and whites I have in the house. Thank you and congrats!

  • Elle says:

    Congratulations Maria! Love celebrating this milestone with you and all your readers.
    My biggest tip was if you want a fixed element to “disappear”, such as an awkward placed door, just paint it same color as surrounding elements.

  • Keely Gladiuk says:

    Congratulations Maria on 15 years. I’ve been following along for many of them. Love your decorating style and use of colour. Mostly I love your trendy vs timeless reminders. Your new house is shaping up to be perfection.

  • Brinda Hammel says:

    Maria, I found your website when I googled what white-ish paint color brightens a dark room And then I read about lamps, lamps, and lamps. It made so much sense! Now the house is aglow with beautiful lamplight and my husband and I are loving it! I recently found your website and I’m learning so many things. Thanks, Maria!

  • I have been enjoying your blog for many years, not quite 15! Once I saw that pink beige undertone for the first time, I was hooked! I love your flamboyant style and I keep imagining myself taking your course, I can see it happening! <3 Thanks for all the great ideas, I don't always agree but always see the point! Cheers!

  • Dear Maria,
    Congratulations on 15 years of extraordinarily insightful blogging! So much of your advice has been extremely helpful to me. If I had to choose just one piece of advice that has been the most helpful, I would say it is your mantra of boring equals timeless. These are my watch words as I renovate my bathrooms. This piece of advice is helpful not only from anesthetic sense, but also it is extremely cost-effective. And your color wheel, especially with the white undertones, has also been incredibly helpful, as is your system for categorizing the various colors and tones. This has been helpful to me, not only in decorating my home, but also in my small fledgling, photography business. Another piece of extremely valuable advice has been your system for mixing metals in bathrooms and kitchens. This is also an extremely cost effective method of introducing the warmth of brass, but without having to use it in all fixtures. Wishing you all the best! —Carol

  • Paul Austin says:

    I have learned that color is vitally important. That lamps are your friend and I needed a lot more of them. I learned that you can help me make the house one that I will love for years to come. Most of all I feel like I have found a partner to help me through the challenges in the future.

  • Cheryl says:

    Congratulations on changing people’s lives and minds about color for 15 years! My journey with you started 8 years ago when we bought some land to build our dream home. I read your blogs numerous times to avoid mistakes regarding black (windows, hardware, paint), use of stone on the fireplace and exterior, and undertones. A year before we started building, I purchased your New Build eDesign (along with your eBooks) which became the foundation for our home design. We moved in two years ago and we are so grateful for our home. My sister visited our home for the first time for a family gathering and texted me, “You guys did such a great job designing and building your home. It’s very timeless!” Thank you, Maria!

  • Barb says:

    Congrats on your 15th anniversary! I am new to your blog and it has given me so many ideas for my home. I now know why I don’t feel great about the color choices I’ve made in a few rooms — UNDERTONES! I am excited to keep learning new design ideas — I have always leaned toward timeless design choices so when I found you on Instagram I knew you were one to follow. Again, CONGRATS!

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  • One of my favorite things I’ve learned from you (and there are SO many things I’ve learned from you!) is to explain the “why” to clients. If you can tell a client why a color works, or doesn’t, you have them fully engaged in good design and in you. It’s wonderful. Thanks, Maria

  • Darlene says:

    I was renovating a kitchen back in 2014 and found your book White is Complicated….it’s still my fave. Though your class I took in 2019 was pretty dang awesome too!

  • Jill Buckingham says:

    Congratulations, Maria and Terria, I am a retired designer myself and have enjoyed and loved your blog, I like the way you see the world of design in a down-to-earth grounded sense, even though you are up there with the best. Let’s not forget to thank ‘ Tim Berners-Lee for giving us the World Wide Web for Free

  • Amy says:

    I’ve learned so much but the biggest recent thing is learning how to match the undertones in white. Just helped my friend pick tile, kitchen countertops & house trim for their new build and they go together perfectly! We were on a huge time crunch and your book on whites saved my life.

  • Nicole says:

    LOVE your blog! I have learned so much. I love learning about undertones and how to choose neutrals. Love your advice about not being scared to use color and have learned to make a mood board from your course 🙂

  • Cindy Fisher says:

    Such a nice success story! Just finished your virtual last week. Most important, starting with the paint colour is backwards. So many other great lessons too. Congratulations on 15 years!

  • Lynda McCance says:

    I have been following you for a long time and don’t really remember when I found your blog but I have pdf’s from 2012 so I know it was at least before that timeframe. A few things I have found most helpful: the colour wheel with the basic undertones, choosing a colour in hard finishes to repeat if they must stay in the home, and your large colour boards. All of these have been invaluable when decorating for myself and my family. Your large boards and colourwheel are currently out on loan with my daughter who is repainting her interior :). These tools have been used a lot over the years. Thank you for your contributions to colour and design over the years and I look forward to your blog posts each week.

  • Linda Hartford says:

    I found your blog just as we were starting construction on our home. I think the most useful advice was boring now/timeless later. I absolutely love my home with its medium brown wood floors installed even in most of the bathrooms. I have an amazing shower with white subway tile. Had I not found your blog, my home would have been Tuscan brown, as I didn’t know that was a trend and that it was over.

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  • Pam says:

    I found you several years before our new build was to begin. As a homeowner who loves color (I’m also a quilter) I was thrilled to find another color enthusiast!l in this world of black, white and grey! After reading your blog to prepare for the build, I realized I should hire an interior designer to manage the project. When I mentioned this to my husband, he was not on board. So I said, you pick – hire an interior designer to help with project or I’ll need to take all of Maria’s classes. He said he had confidence in me and my eye for design so he gave me the green light to enroll in Maria’s two day class and take as many of the online classes as I needed to guide me through the build. Needless to say, I took everything that was offered. Long story short, due to the training I felt confident and in control throughout the many decisions that needed to be made from the time we turned over our own house design to our builder to the day we took possession of the home 8 months later.

    Yes learning to understand undertones was invaluable. Yes learning how to create a timeless home “we would love forever” was so helpful. But when the day is done, it was the CONFIDENCE in knowing why I was making a certain decision and being able to speak to the trades with that confidence and stand firm with my decisions that made our build run smoothly. We got the home of our dreams with no nightmare stories to share because I was prepared and confident.
    So, CONFIDENCE in the “why” was my greatest take away.

    Cheers to the next 15 years!

  • Liz says:

    Wow – to see it all laid out like that, what a journey! I’ve no doubt it’s been a lot of hard work in addition to your talent!! Do you still have the raspberry-clad woman painting in your current home? I loved that pic 🙂
    My learning of undertones has gotten much deeper thanks to you, and also that colour is more timeless than a neutral (who knew?!) 😉
    We’re very blessed you share with us what you do – and you ARE the Martha Stewart of colour!! 💕

  • Rhonda Walls says:

    I have learned so many things along the way, but I think the most valuable thing is how to create a timeless kitchen including to only have one “busy” fixed surface. I love your socials and your blog and would love to see you here in Dallas; I have my fingers crossed for that special prize. Keep up the great work, Maria!!

  • Elynn Taylor says:

    “GENEROSITY & GRATITUDE” … Your blog, from day #1, has shown me how important it is to be generous of spirit, generous of knowledge and generous of one’s time … YOU are so generous with your knowledge of color and your understanding of the importance of undertones. From your very first blog to the one that you write a week ago … you give generously. I’ve learned so much from how you approach colour, how you approach design and HOW YOU APPROACH LIFE! Many designers and colorists are talented … what separates you from the others is your generosity towards your followers as well as your gratitude towards them. Your gift to us then extends out in the world because I, in turn, treat my clients and contractors with generosity and gratitude. My colour skill, understanding of undertones, and my focus on creating timeless and classic spaces for my clients, directly correlates to how you, Maria Killam, have so generously shared your talents and design beliefs with ALL OF US! I gladly say “THANK YOU!”

  • dlf.frederick says:

    Congratulations on your 15-years milestone! That’s huge! I had no idea that what an undertone was – just that some colors don’t feel right while others do. The others thing is that lamps are key to creating a warm and comfortable home. Best of luck for your next 15 years.

  • Chris says:

    I confidently custom made couches for my living room from a small swatch in the store, and I nailed the undertone. It matches the rug perfectly and is exactly right for the room. This is all because of what you taught me about undertones and picking color. I’d really love to win the exterior paint prize since I have already purchased everything else 😆.

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  • Sheree Jones says:

    White us complicated! Plus, if you can’t renovate – decorate! Remember to repeat colors 3 times in large, medium and small elements.

    P.S. congratulations on 15 years!

  • Susan says:

    There have been so many things I’ve learned but understanding undertones helped me avoid an expensive mistake in my master bath remodel when looking at some samples from the designer/contractor I hired. I’m currently on a lamp kick and have you to thank for that, too. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping me love my home!

  • Maggie S says:

    Maria,
    I have been following you for 14 years!! And thanks to your blog I found Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist. I took her Home Staging class and became a home stager. I also took you online class and loved it!! Thanks for all the information you have shared on your blog!! It changed my life…and I am sure that is true for many people!!

  • Barbara Everett says:

    Years ago I hired a decorator for the first time to redo my home’s primary bedroom. My husband was ill and having to spend time in the space. After thousands of dollars, the space was not what I expected. I trusted the decorator who said she would make my bedroom magazine worthy. During the process when I asked a question, she replied that “this is the way we do this in million dollar homes.” The room was not one that my husband or I liked or expected. The whole experience left me bitter and angry. I vowed never to to let this happen to me again. I began searching information to educate myself a bout decorating and I discovered the Color Goddess, Maria! OMG! The words of color sparked joy in my heart! Advice on color, decorating, lighting, and a timeless vision filled my head. My bitter tears dried while I binge read your blog from the beginning. At this same time, I met a sweet decorator who suggested that I read your blog! She didn’t realize that I was already a devoted fan. Your wisdom has influenced my new decorator and me to turn my house into a home filled with color and joy.

    Your greatest gift to me is your WHY behind your decisions regardless of the topic. Understanding the WHY has enabled me to not be mislead by well-intentioned painters, contractors, design stores, etc. Understanding the WHY narrows down the options which stops the number of decisions to be made and the second thoughts of whether the right decision has been made. I can sleep at night after investing in large purchases for my home because I believe in your timeless decorating vision. Thank you for your no nonsense advice. Thank you for your generous sharing of your knowledge and for helping to make my home a source of joy. I am truly blessed and grateful to have learned from you.

  • Cathy H says:

    Finding your color system has been a breakthrough event in my life. Embarking on a new build requires confidence and decision making ability I lacked until consuming your blog and videos. Everything is coming into focus. The best tidbits have been how to effectively use wood tones without it overtaking a design. Blending whites and woods so there is balance and room for bold color accents. I have multiple products earmarked to purchase and maybe could win something first. Thanks for the new skills and confidence boost.

  • Nance says:

    Happy anniversary, Maria and team. Thanks for showing us what you started at 41 and the power of vision and setting intentions
    some interesting things I learned from your blog was about using off-white window casings to match the wood frame holding them in. I didn’t really know that companies had off-white as well as black and white!
    From your class, I learned to pick out one of the main over riding colours in a pattern as an accent colour
    whereas I would’ve normally chosen a less obvious one.
    Lastly, that art from HomeSense need not to be impersonal but quick and perfect for the space
    Whoops one more unique view or wording which influences choices is the difference between for now home and forever home.
    Thanks
    Keep the blogs and before and after and rescues coming !
    Nance

  • Wendy Leonardo says:

    The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to look for the undertones in whites and creams, of course, but also that some color errors can be fixed with good styling. I look forward to learning lots more!

  • Natalie says:

    I would love a chance to win one of these amazing gifts- you are always so generous. But I feel I have already won big time by following you for many years. You are simply the most charming color expert out there. Obviously you have influenced me to decorate my house with many more lamps than I had, but you also prevented me from making many costly mistakes like decorating based on my floor color, hanging my curtains incorrectly, and buying into the black and white trend! I love your blog, your advice and your sense of humour. Even my grumpy husband likes your advice and always gives in to my suggestions when I say you recommend it. I look forward to many more years of Maria!

  • Angela says:

    I have been following you for almost 10 years now and have been an interior designer for the same amount of time and have soooooooo appreciated learning how to explain color in terms that my clients understand and than can see for themselves that its the right color. Its like magic!

  • Joan Martin says:

    I would say the most important thing I have learned from you is using the undertones of fixed elements in a room when choosing neutral wall color or carpet. I’ve applied this method in my own home and it greatly simplifies making decisions. Thank you for all you do to inspire us!

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  • Anne Day says:

    Congrats on15 years! I truly learn from every blog: color use, styling, furniture arrangement, mixing old and newer pieces. I bought the color wheel pkg and must say that really getting the differences between all the cremes/beiges out there has been profound and money saving, as well. Because I am a visual artist, perhaps, I also truly loved the tutorial on how to create vignettes. Like designing a set-up for a still life painting, only I don’t feel I need to paint it, and can keep changing it up to suit my mood. Very satisfying!

  • Carole says:

    Apart from the fact that a color has to be repeated several times in the room for it to belong, the most useful thing for me (on my journey into decorating land) was when you explained how paintings help to structure the space and create an atmosphere (from a soulless “empty” room to a balanced room where the eye is guided and can rest). Before learning this from you, I was dubious about superfluous decoration such as frames and paintings. Your advice that paintings should be considered as wallpaper and not necessarily a cry from the heart convinced me with your examples. Thank you for this one! Congratulations on 15 years of existence – quite an achievement.

  • SB says:

    The light bulb moment for me was learning that every decision is a COLOUR decision. Timeless decorating is choosing colours you love, not decorating with the trendy color. For a room to work, the color palette needs to work with hard finishes and the undertones. Repeating the colour in small, medium and large elements will give the room a polished style. Avoid using the same color on everything. Be bold use COLOUR!

  • Wow, pick only one useful thing I’ve learned reading your blog? Not possible. I’ve learned so much about color – so many tips and tricks on undertones, what works with what, how to fix-or at least decorate until can fix color mistakes, COMPARE-COMPARE-COMPARE, the list continues; decorating – how to work with clients, how to explain the whys, so many useful tips and helpful information on trends (current and what’s to come). I’ve also learned a lot from your e-books, which I’ve read multiple times and seem to still pick up useful nuggets on the second readings. Thank you Maria, I look forward to learning from you for another 15 years!

  • Helen says:

    It’s all about the undertones (which I already knew… but I didn’t KNOW I knew) and “boring is timeless.” I’m looking at renovating my kitchen and bathroom and the boring is timeless mantra has been going through my head as I look at all the trendy finishes.

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  • Marg Fundarek says:

    I enjoyed reading about all of your steps to fame and prosperity. You deserve everything positive that has come your way.

    My Scottish Nana and Mom used to say, “What’s for ye will no’ go by ye” which means if you were meant to have it, you will. Like that rented house that you wanted to buy but things turned out even better when you didn’t get it.

    The thing that I’ve learned the most from your blog and products I’ve purchased is the ability to see undertones. I can’t go anywhere without seeing those undertones and learning to work with them.

    Thank you Maria, and continued success and happiness to you!

    Marg

  • Shelley says:

    Hi Maria! It’s hard to choose just one—I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog for many reasons! The idea I’m using most lately is that sometimes you just need to work with the finishes you have—decorate them up to make a place you love—rather than rip everything out and start over. You helped me get past just being stuck in our current house to working on turning it into a home. Thank you for your guidance!

  • Sharon Lancaster says:

    For expensive surfaces, boring equals timeless. For all other things, color and pattern are beautiful.

  • Rebecca Burlingham says:

    The most important thing I have learned from you is how to see the undertones in different materials. I use this skill in my home as well as my career as a kitchen designer in a flooring store. The second most useful skill I have learned is how to balance color. That has been useful in my own home as well as my gardens.

    I share your blog posts about flooring with my co-workers all the time. I hear them repeating your lessons on undertones as they work with clients.

    Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  • Wow! Congratulations Maria on 15 years!! Loved learning about undertones and how you make your design magic happen in any space!

  • Karen O’Connell says:

    Probably the most practical thing that sticks in my mind as I look at my sad bedroom in need of help is to not start with paint color, but to create a mood board of furniture, rug, accessories, lamps and color all at the same time.

    And of course, watch out for expensive trendy investments that I would regret later!

  • Carol says:

    Congratulations Maria! I didn’t realize that I’ve been following you since the beginning! I found you through google when I was researching a paint colour for our great room with a very bossy stone fireplace… We went from hating that stone to adoring it! The big aha moment was your explanation of undertones… using a sheet of white paper to more clearly see colour is absolutely brilliant. Your advice on lamps and how to integrate colour in to a room and throughout the house has also been put to great use. I look forward to your emails and blogs and learn much from you. Wishing you all the best!

  • Tonia says:

    Congratulations on 15 years of blogging, and here’s to many more! You have been such a blessing to so many in helping us navigate the world of renovations and decorations. You have helped me in so many ways, but the one thing that sticks with me the most is lighting. MORE lamps in every room please!

  • So many things! Probably the biggest thing that you made simple for me is the undertones. I love the color wheel and taking it to 8 foundational colors to build on.

  • Carissa says:

    I am so grateful to have found Maria before we started our new build. Her advice has been tremendously helpful for paint colors (I used “white is complicated”), hardwood looking LVP floor colors(mid brown) , floor tile (marble looking porcelain and classic basketweave), the white subway, countertops, all of it. Even faucets! Doing “just” chrome. And the fireplace!! I picked something that matched the kitchen thanks to her!!
    I’ve told so many people about her color wheels.
    If it wasn’t for her advice I would be picking my favorite of every item and we would have such a busy looking end product.
    And I can reason my way through each pick thanks to her. The counters have a purple undertone, so we are using Zurich white on the cabinets.
    I got the “permission” I needed to pick a COLOR in two rooms, and for the bathroom cabinetry.
    Maria’s website has been my go-to for every single decision. So so grateful for this blog, and for e books and color wheels within financial reach.

  • Laura Wilkin says:

    Congratulations on 15 years! This blog may have changed your life, but it also changed the lives of so many of us who are following and learning from you. Thank you!

    I’ve learned so many things from you, but if I have to pick the most important one, it’s “boring now = timeless later.”

    Sadly, I’m afraid I will always be hopeless at identifying undertones, but at least I know what I don’t know, thanks to you.

    2
  • Eva says:

    When you can’t renovate- decorate! And lamps 😀 Thank you Maria!

  • Nicole says:

    Congratulations on 15 years of an amazing & helpful blog! I refer to you as my ‘colour guru’ whenever I speak about the things I’ve learned from you. Clean vs dirty was the first big take away for me, but there have been many others – too many to list! Thank you.

  • Tam Aldrup says:

    I only found you a couple of years ago but I’ve enjoyed going back and catching up on all the posts! I’ve learned the correct order to design plan, and that boring is timeless and also versatile. And of course I am a lover of lamps now! Would love to join you in Dallas! Tam in Houston

  • Ann DeBolt says:

    Hi Maria,
    I’m new to your blog and just like everyone else has said, I have learned a lot about the world of color from you. You have a gift. I must admit that I keep returning for the stories about your journey and how you express your love for family and friends. Your transparency and honesty is so refreshing and funny! I love how you own your “bossy but kind” personality. “Spread the money around” and “decorate if necessary” is a great way of saying “choose your priorities”. Love and family. Priceless.

  • Aurora says:

    Maria, I’ve learned so much from you! One of my favorite pieces of advice is to use color on furnishings, and go timeless on your hard fixtures. Why go bold and crazy on hard finishes when you probably won’t love it in ten years and it’s expensive to do.

    I also love how you say we should lean into styling. I was saved from renovating my 14 year old daughters bathroom (it was an AWFUL miss piggy pink with orange-beige tile and a violet-grey countertop) though paint and styling. The bathroom is so fresh now I can’t imagine having torn it out for 30k when I saved it for around $500. Thank YOU!!!!

  • Elizabeth Littlejohn says:

    Like you Maria I started my new journey 15 years ago. I was hired because I have a good eye for color but I did not have the confidence that I needed and was in search for knowledge. And that is how I found you, through a google search and I have followed you since the beginning and use your knowledge, advise and what I have learned in your course everyday.
    I recommend colors for PET products for the largest manufacturer in our industry. There’s a good chance LUCY has some of our products that your advise brought the color to product development! Even though your course/blog is intended for interiors(Pet products are in the home) it helps me recommend colors for products that are sold at Petsmart, Petco, Walmart, Target, Costco, HomeGoods…. & so many more! Creating products through consumer insights combined with interior color knowledge sets up us as the experts in the industry. “Color sells and the right color sell better” ~CMG …and knowing the undertones of color sells even better~MK!!!
    I would LOVE to see you again in Dallas! I am trying to get approval to attend for a refresh, heck I may pay my own way if I have too! Hope to see you in Dallas 🙂

  • Brady Vickers says:

    I’ve learned a lot from you over the past 10 years or so. I’ve always found neutrals the hardest thing to get right and when I found your ebook with a real SYSTEM for understanding them it was a total game changer for me.

  • courtney says:

    Congrats congrats congrats on 15 years! I haven’t been here since the very beginning but I’ve been reading, learning, and following for a big slice of your time online. I have learned so many things – UNDERTONES (my goodness has that been a game changer), TIMELESS over TRENDY (my new kitchen is especially thankful for that one), COLOR = JOY so just go for it (your yellow sofa says it all), also a personal thank you for standing firm for a few years now that the GREY trend has been OVER for years (i sent links to your blogs to a few folks to suggest they consider not installing the grey wood lvp flooring or grey out the whole house and i’m convinced living in sad little grey boxes has not helped our collective mental health), and as an entrepreneur i’ve learned to TAKE RISKS, STAY IN THE GAME, and CLAIM MY EXPERTISE bc I see you do that so well, with class, joy, intelligence, and a sense of humor. Seriously, just thank you for giving a fellow color nerd some language and tools and inspiration and a community to geek out with along this ride with you.

  • Cindy says:

    It started with undertones, where I learned why some of my early neutral choices weren’t working. I prefer color anyway, so I was thrilled to learn about choosing fixed elements that won’t limit my future color options. Boring now = timeless later? Yes please! The more expensive something is to change, the more versatile it should be. It’s been such a relief to not feel pushed around by the latest bossy trends, and to have the confidence to chose hard finishes that might not look like much on their own, but will let my special things shine. Save money for decor! Thanks for that, and for the countless other things I’ve learned from you over the years.

  • Tricia says:

    I can’t just pick one thing! I am constantly learning from you about color and design. I love reading your blogs. Thank you for being honest and bold in your opinions!

  • Amy says:

    Undertones, Undertones, Undertones!!!!!!!!!

  • Kelly Wiens says:

    Mood boards. They are brilliant and allow for so much experimentation!
    Undertones. I’m a painter (art), and I didn’t understand those before.
    Lamps. I’m working on it!

  • Tina L says:

    I think the most useful thing I have learned is the balance between aspirational and reality. The reality is that like most people, I live in a house that someone else designed/built. I love how you teach the principles of stunning timeless design and how I can achieve something so much better with the hard finishes I have and my budget. For example, everyone loved my master ensuite bathroom, except me. You helped me recognize the subtle but hugely annoying problem (floor and vanity top had different undertones and both were slightly patterned). With what I have learned from you, I had the confidence to give myself permission to rip out the cheaper problem (the vanity top) and replace it with one that works perfectly. I absolutely love it now. My husband thought I was crazy to do it but agrees it looks so much better. I can’t imagine what I could learn in one of your courses 😀

  • S.Herbert says:

    More Lamps has been the advice with the biggest immediat impact. But so many helpfull little advices each time I read /reread an article of you.
    So much fun to follow you .Thankyou

  • Deborah Fields Holbrook says:

    Maria
    I feel like I’ve followed you on most if not all of your journey since I saw a post of yours in the Washington Post so long ago.
    I’ve worked for a flooring company in Honolulu for going on 26 years and sales people in my store know exactly what an undertone is and I laugh when I hear them explain it to customers. Our company has grown so much, we have 3 stores and are the distributor for Cali flooring and sell to Lowe’s and Home Depot in Hawai’i we outsold any store on the mainland.
    I am known in my company as the color consultant and have given classes to my fellow employees. I am also the buyer for the area rugs we sell. I am also the source the sales people come to for window coverings.
    I came to your class in Dallas years ago as that is where I am originally from and I brought omiyagi (Japanese for souvenir) Big Island cookies. You definitely changed my world. Aloha Deborah

  • Sarah F. says:

    Congratulations on 15 years of spreading the color knowledge! How could one pick only one thing they learned from you? I have learned so many things:
    boring now equals timeless later
    only one bossy pattern per room in your fixed elements
    the fix elements, inside or outside, will be your starting point to choosing the correct neutral

    Thank you for making it easier for us non-designers to create beautiful homes!

  • Eileen says:

    Wonderful 15 year Review! What I have learned from you in the past 5 years…………….one can never have too many lamps in a room (well, almost never), look for the undertones in neutrals (the “clash” is everywhere!), pick “boring” and you’ll love your home forever!!

  • Lynn Paterson says:

    Adding lamps was a huge life change and brings me so much joy! I also have enjoyed creating elevated tablescapes that showcase my favorite items. The “classic, not trendy” advice is always in my ear as I gradually make changes to my home. Thank you so much.

  • Ginny says:

    I never knew I didn’t know anything about color! As a left brain person, I thought choosing a color was simple until I got to the paint store. Nothing I tried was working or went well together. Your color wheel is a game changer and would love the opportunity to learn more!

  • Jean says:

    Have enjoyed your posts on undertones and timeless finishes. But I really loved your post on how to create a “tablescape”. I have used this information and lots of items I already had to create vignettes in my home. Thank you so much for your blog.

  • Jenny says:

    I have loved following along and have learned so much! Biggest piece of advice is hard to narrow down, but I would have to say keeping things classic and not falling for every trend is something I use every day. Of course paying attention to undertones as well! Would love to take your class as I’m transitioning into a next phase of life with my kids in school.

  • Katherine Kruis says:

    The most important thing I learned was how to work with existing fixed elements in a space by discovering their undertones and then bringing harmony to the room with the appropriate neutrals and colour. Thank-you!

  • Diane Morris says:

    Recognizing that differing undertones was the reason why certain things weren’t going together has been a real eye opener for me. Also, learning the importance of how a color needs to relate to something else in the room. Thanks for all your helpful tips on what is timeless. And I love your color rescue videos! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Congratulations on 15 years!

  • Candice Montevideo says:

    Buy the wheel and use it because it works and you will love your home forever! Also do not follow trends/fads because you or your clients will regret it. Keep it classic and colorful. Thank you Maria for all you do for your peeps.

  • Gale Abello says:

    I love your blog. It’s impossible to choose just one thing I’ve learned from your blog. I purchased your e-book bundles in 2012 and have never looked back! I used the knowledge gleamed to decorate my old house. I now live in a small community with limited shopping choices. Looking forward to using mood boards when I shop online to decorate my new home.

  • Vera Linnansalo says:

    The significant impact of color, both on the inside and the outside (including plants) of a house.

  • Jadzia says:

    Happy 15 years! I’ve learned so much from your blog! White having so many different undertones, which finishes are timeless, how to tell what’s trendy, the color wheel is a life saver, and I love your ebooks too.

  • I love, love, learning from you! You are very generous with your information in emails and now the Color Rescue videos, and I was thrilled and grateful to be able to take the 2 day color class (I’d love to take it again)! The most important thing I’ve learned from you is undertones. I read a top designer state that she uses White Dove everywhere and I thought, yikes, I wish you could take Maria’s class! I describe undertones to customers in the store where I work, which sells textiles for the home (upholstery and window fabric). I enjoy teaching them! I have also found Janice Lindsay’s book to be extremely interesting and really appreciate this reference. You’ve made a big difference in my life and if I am successful advising people on their homes, please know that you have been a big part of my education.

  • Char says:

    Maria,
    You taught me so much about undertones in colour…especially whites. I love the neutral colour wheel! It’s so helpful. I’m always excited to see your posts in my in box and am particularly enjoying the new part of the blog where you pull together a room in an average home. You can be sure I’ll be following along for the next 15 years. Congratulations!

  • Maisy says:

    Although I’m a very new subscriber, I’ve read all the posts from 2015 to now in just a few weeks! Every chance I get, I read a few more! I’ve learned that (1) timeless = boring
    (2) undertones are everything, and
    (3) Maria is a very generous person to share her knowledge with us.

    Thanks, Maria!

  • Kay says:

    All your advice about hard surfaces has been immensely helpful, but the one piece of advice that made the biggest difference in my kitchen renovation was to integrate the kitchen floor with the rest of the house: i.e., to use the same hardwood, which is everywhere except in the bathroom. The kitchen has pocket doors (open almost all the time) separating it from the dining room, and the beauty of that uninterrupted hardwood is a pleasure to look at every day. It looks like it was always that way. I don’t believe I would ever have thought of doing that on my own. Thank you, Maria!

  • Julie S says:

    The most useful thing has been learning how to compare and see undertones to get that harmonious look in my home, instead of a jumble of so-called “neutrals”! Thanks for all you do to spread beauty- really 🙂

  • Ela Pobojewski says:

    The most valuable for me is learning about the undertones in neutral colors and also the principles of timeless design especially when it comes to hard finishes that will have to stay for a long time. I recently renovated the bathroom and followed your advice on timeless finishes. It is so easy now and in the future to decorate around it. Thank you Maria.

  • Wendy says:

    Maria,
    My biggest take away is avoid the trends and stick with timeless elements. It has saved me from myself several times!

    Thank for sharing all of your wisdom-

  • Bonnie Joyce says:

    Love your story! I have learned so much from you over the years that it is hard to pick just one thing. I love color and still have red, turquoise, and spring green on the walls of our living area (living, dining, kitchen). But they’re from 2006, when I painted the walls to distract from less than perfect furniture. It worked. But now we have better furniture and I’m ready to redo the walls. Your education on undertones and color balancing have given me the confidence I need to make those choices. Thank you for all you do!

  • Alissa says:

    I’ve not only learned how important it is to identify the correct undertone of a neutral element, but how to do so. Thank you for teaching us!

  • Lori Strickland says:

    I just started following you this year! I have lots to catch up on! I’ve learned you can be trendy ~ but TIMELESS is best. Especially when you’re getting ready to sell. I’ve taken your self guided Exterior Course and it was so helpful picking out our roof (color) which needed to be replaced badly. Also, not knowing all the other items that go along with getting a roof replaced…gutters, soffits , fascia…Wow. Choosing COLOR for all of those items. I was overwhelmed, but felt confident after taking the course we chose the perfect color for our home. We’ll be getting our home painted in the Spring and I feel confident it will turn out sensational because I had taken a great course with tools and knowledge in my pockets from you! Thank You!!

  • Pamela says:

    I’ve learned SO much from you, Maria! The top two things have to be 1) recognizing the undertones and 2) realizing you have to know how to compare the colors before you can truly analyze them. It’s been a game changer!

  • Leah says:

    We traded our city home for a little place out in the country, which we renovated this summer. My city home in the southwest had so much fun color, but I decided I was ready for a more neutral look. I was planning to paint all my walls white. Ack! I kept putting off actually buying all the paint, because I felt like something wasn’t right about it, but I didnt know what… Thankfully my friend told me about you, and the rest is history! We are finally moving in this week, and my elementry aged son said, “This place looks like a dream house, doesnt it?” Well, it’s our dream, anyway, and I am loving the way I feel in it, partly thanks to your undertones advice! We are also benefitting from your advice on lighting! I awoke to snow early this morning, and I enjoyed drinking my coffee in the library with the warm light making the atmosphere so cozy (from uplights, a small table lamp, and a cream shaded floor lamp thanks to your suggestions!). I’m still looking for the perfect chandeliers for our dining room and library, but thanks to you, we’re not going to be installing the clear glass one with naked Edison bulbs! Happy Anniversary! And thank you for helping me to make our home a more enjoyable place!

  • Julie Yorkovich says:

    Congratulations on 15 years of blogging! I’m a fairly new reader, and I’ve been learning so much from you as I renovate my kitchen. I was considering trendier approaches, but you taught me the value of timeless finishes. You also opened my eyes to the existence of undertones. Now I need to learn more about them and how to work with them.

  • Karen McMahon says:

    Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge with us, each nugget is incredibly helpful and useful. The most valuable advice that I’ve gained from you is to identify the “bossy” elements in the room – and if budget will not allow to change it- then determining the undertone and working with it is the only option.
    Thank you!

  • Krista says:

    Everything! But I’ll narrow it down to the two biggest: White is Complicated and lamps.

    I began following you when we started building our home in 2016. It was a very traditional style with medium brown hardwood floors, and a white kitchen with grey/white granite counters. I had purchased samples of paint from Benjamin Moore, painted up large 2×3′ sample boards and selected Cloud White for the cabinets. What I realized after submitting the colour selection, but before painting had begun (thank goodness), was that the sample of Cloud White I had was wrong. I thought perhaps the bright light was tricking the eye, but I went back to Ben Moore and it was discovered that the paint colours hadn’t dropped into the can properly. Because I had read about whites in your book I was able to correct what would have been an extremely expensive error. That is the number one reason I recommend your website to so many people.

    We have since moved out of that house and into a north facing home which is naturally darker. Enter lamps. I haunt the thrift stores and have come home with many beautiful and timeless ones for every room. It has transformed this cottage style house into something so dreamy and comfortable that I cannot imagine living elsewhere. They are so special. Even in the kitchen, even in the laundry room!

  • Ruby says:

    I ordered an eBook from you in 2012 which really opened my eyes to the world of undertones. You are very gifted and passionate about what you do and I thank you for sharing your design expertise during the past 15 years.

  • Lauren McKenzie says:

    I have found all of your content so incredibly helpful. We have been looking toward doing a renovation (hopefully next year, finally!) for the last couple of years and all of your content about traditional finishes that don’t assign a “trend era” to your home have been so helpful as I think toward what I want our home to look like. I think too the idea of having a vision board in mind has been so helpful instead of just piecemealing design choices which I could have seen myself falling into.

  • I love your love for COLOR! And your desire to help anyone who’s interested in understanding it better. I’ve very much enjoyed your color tutorials ❤️I’m an interior designer in the Seattle area, so I well understand how color comes to the PNW to die (😂iykyk)—your color tips come in handy as I try and bring my clients into the full spectrum of joy 🌈 !!

  • Linda Joseph says:

    Choosing one piece of valuable, most-effective thing I’ve learned is nigh impossible. It’s all important! However, the advice that everything must relate to another color is key.

  • Carla Phelps says:

    Happy 15th blog anniversary! I wish you many more years of happiness and sharing what you love!

    I feel very lucky to have found your blog when we purchased our first house in late 2008. My budget was minimal but your blog helped me make the most out every dollar spent in exterior paint and new kitchen surfaces.

    The most valuable learning for me from Colour Me Happy is the undertones in neutrals (I can’t unsee them now). Thanks Maria and your team!

  • marianne says:

    Undertones! Timeless kitchens! I already agreed with you about the glory of lamps, but I love when you talk about Swiss cheese ceilings. Also, I loved that room you did with all the Ikea bookcases.

  • Dianne Luke says:

    When you can’t renovate, ignore the paint, floor, couch color, etc, and head to Home Goods to decorate around it! That and every room needs, at least, 6 lamps!

  • Patti McCarthy says:

    I enjoy reading all your posts and can’t wait for the next one! The color rescue videos are so helpful and awesome! I’ve learned so many things, boring equals timeless, you only get one pattern in hard surfaces has stuck with me and helped me choose a countertop for my half bathroom. Undertones are super important and I now see things differently. Thank you for all the great decorating ideas!

  • Amy says:

    I found your blog a few months ago and have learned to keep my hard finishes classic and instead use color for paint and decorative accessories and other things that are less expensive to replace. We are in the slow process of building out forever home ourselves and appreciate all the design and color advice.

  • Angela Taylor says:

    I took your course when you taught it many moons ago. You lived in the apartment at the time and had invited the class back to your home at the end of the course. I had dreams of becoming a colour consultant but ended up helping friends with their projects. I have learnt so much from your blogs since and most recently was inspired by your consultation with your niece. The high walls were something I was dealing with but after viewing your video the light bulb went on and I knew immediately what I needed to do. The end result is a lovely gallery wall:) Thank you Maria and best wishes going forward.
    Angela

  • Susan B. says:

    Learning to recognize the undertones in grays and beiges has changed my life!

  • Heather says:

    I’ve been following you since 2014. I was having a horrible time finding the right paint color for a bathroom remodel. I began searching the internet for help on how to pick a paint color and found your blog. We were also replacing flooring in the kitchen I was really starting to pull my hair out. The kitchen had dirty yellow/gold granite counter tops when we moved in and I absolutely hated them. The backsplash was a natural stone with a pink undertone. The walls were painted a taupe/greige and the floor was white tile. After reading your blog I was able to determine the granite actually had an orange undertone and worked well with the butterscotch cabinets. It was quite the A-ha moment for me. I was then able to found a floor tile that related to the cabinets. A subway tile with an orange undertone for the back splash and painted the walls BM Sundial. Which also worked for the living room once I determined that both the rug and fireplace also had an orange undertone. Life changing!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!!!

  • Rick P. says:

    Hi Maria:
    Greetings from your former neighbours in North Van! I’ve been following your blog for 15 years, and I learned that colours and interior design is wayyyy complicated! I’ve been paying attention and someday hope to be in a new space where we can follow your advice and expertise! All the best and lots of luck for future courses and blogging!

  • Allison says:

    Maria, I love your blog and Instagram posts. I see colour in a different way and undertones usually jump out at me now. One of the biggest takeaways has been to use classic finishes for my hard surfaces.

  • Karen says:

    I’ve learned 3 things from Maria’s blog, and they are undertone, undertone and undertone. The most important of the 3 being undertone! And the undertone guides you to finding the right colours to decorate with, it doesn’t mean you live in a sea of neutrals! You CAN safely choose colours you’ll love to live with.

  • Samantha says:

    I have learn so much from following you and your blog! The most useful thing I have learned is when decorating to start with a piece of art, fabric, rug, etc. and allow your decorating to flow from there! I also have learned a ton about color and neutral undertones!!

  • Kimengle says:

    Layer that lighting!!

    Happy Anniversary.

  • Carly Porter says:

    I have found learning the undertones super useful! You have made me feel confident in my love for color and the decision making when choosing paint, hard finishes, and decor. Thank you!

  • Karen Ernest says:

    You’ve taught me that boring now equals timeless down the road. Not everything needs to say “look at me”. Keep the hard to change things timeless.

  • Sarah Patey says:

    How important it is to install timeless hard finishes! Oh and turn off the overhead lighting!

  • Vicki Barr says:

    Opening my eyes to the undertones !!!
    However 2 things I have done for years since taking the course.,,,,

    #1COMPARE COMPARE COMPARE
    Hold Colors next to each other to tell if they go together

    #2 Color samples make a huge difference for wall’s versus floor.
    Walls. Hold samples upright
    Floors. Hold samples flat like the floor

    Thanks for all the training
    Vicki Barr