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10 New Build Decisions You Need to Make

It’s new build season. Can you feel it too?

We are very busy helping clients plan timeless and beautiful new homes (all across North America and beyond) in my eDesign department! 🎉

Since we can only help a limited number of clients at a time, and it’s my sincerest wish to help you create a beautiful home, I’ve adapted my expert colour training into a course specifically for homeowners

This is where you’ll learn:

  • My system for choosing colour that works for all your paint colours, finishes and decor!
  • The how and why of my timeless point of view – insights that’ll simplify your decision-making process!
  • PLUS, how to turn your dreams into a cohesive vision, so you can navigate the new build process with ease!

Because having a clear vision of what you want to create (and why) is important, but ALSO being able to communicate your vision to contractors, spouses, etc. is an even more powerful tool to help you achieve a successful result.

new build planning

Which neutral undertone do I start with?

A frequent question I often get is, how do I know what neutral undertone to use if I’m starting from scratch?

In today’s Colour Rescue episode, I’m sharing where to begin and which decisions will be the most impactful to your overall new build. We’ll also go over them in the RIGHT ORDER, because there are a lot of decisions to be made.

And once you make a few key colour and design choices in the beginning, the conversation you’ll be having is less about ‘What you love’ and more along the lines of ‘What will look good with what you’ve already chosen’.

10 Must-Know New Build Decisions for a Timeless Home

Don’t miss this one if you’re planning any kind of build or renovation project!

Don’t forget, I have a free Zoom event at the end of this month for those of you tackling new build and renovation projects in 2024. 

Build + Renovate with Confidence – Free Zoom Event

Navigate your new build or renovation projects in 2024 without regret!

Both events are limited to the first 1000 guests, so add it to you calendar and ARRIVE EARLY!

🗓 Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 3 pm PST / 6 pm EST

🗓 Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 9 am PST / 12 pm EST

Create Your Dream Home with Maria Killam

Maybe you already know that you don’t want to tackle your new build project alone.  Save your seat here in my new homeowner edition of my colour training! It’s virtual AND your spouse can attend with you!

Remember, prices will continue to increase the closer we get to the event date, so they will never be as cheap as they are today. 

Related Posts

Does your Floor Tile Have to Match your Countertop or Surround?

Are Hardwood Floors Considered a Pattern?

Two Best Ways to Incorporate Black into Your Bathroom


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  • Elizabeth says:

    I’ve been watching Maria’s content since COVID when she started her “Love Your Home Forever” instagram posts. She is relatable, direct and clear and I love her! I watched and watched and watched as I was preparing for my new build that started in September. I bought the color wheel, bought the “Whites” ebook and did the best I could. Regret: this content about new builds hadn’t been created so I chose cabinets in a blue white before the Whites Are Complicated book. I love Kraftmaid cabinets and that’s what I was working with. Their Dove White is a blue white but a standard color contractors will go with when you say you want white cabinets. Thankfully, I was able to get the content Maria offered before choosing my countertops! However, whites are complicated, so choosing something I can afford and what I love has proven slightly difficult. I highly recommend someone planning a new build to use ALL of Maria’s resources to help plan BEFORE YOU BREAK GROUND! I was able to get my floors right, knobs on my cabinets, and I think my lighting is going to be fine. A touch of black here and there, but I had to cave to my hubs “do or die” brick around the fireplace which totally doesn’t go with our open concept white kitchen!🤦🏻‍♀️ Thanks, Maria, for this great content you’ve created for the masses and not just those who can afford a designer! I love the statement boring=timeless. In the end, timeless is always more affordable. You’re a great teacher, Maria!

  • Laura says:

    I totally agree with Elizabeth’s comment above: Maria’s e-books are a lifesaver for even a modest renovation by a homeowner. Her e-books on paint color resulted in a beautiful interior that flows from room to room. No mistakes or wasting time and money on purchasing the wrong paint colors. Thank you, Maria, for helping us non-designers create beautiful homes!

  • Maisy says:

    I agree that Maria is an incredible resource and generously shares her knowledge. I repainted my 2nd floor following the guidance on this blog, and it came out great! Excellent results!

    Am I seeing an orange beige and warm wood photo in today’s post?? Yay! I love it!

  • MDavis says:

    Does the ‘fireplace’ rule only apply in open floor plans where you can see the kitchen from the room with the fireplace?

  • Maria, I’m a longtime watcher and want to say that I love your outfit and lipstick! You look gorgeous in purples, and your lips look fabulous. I like it much better than when you’re in yellows/oranges.

    • Bette says:

      I’ve noticed this, also. Since Maria is a color expert, she should put that expertise to work in her own wardrobe! She is a beautiful woman and like all of us, has undertones to her skin that should direct her color choices. She is actually a living, breathing advertisement for her own system of choosing color based on undertones!

  • JJ says:

    Maria, you saved my reno (and possibly my marriage)!

    I’ve interviewed, and started to (and ended) work with two different home renovation and design teams. I initially trusted that if someone had earned their design degree and worked for a reputable business, they must have excellent training as well as a professional, artistic interest in working with your needs to create a well-coordinated interior suited to your home’s needs. I was very mistaken! What I’ve found is that most want to push whatever their short list of preferred vendors want to unload, or one of a few very limited pre-conceived color and finish packages that are trending rather than to do the harder work of custom-creating something the homeowner will love.

    Fortunately, I had already discovered your blog.

    If I had not been confident in my improved ability to see undertones (armed with both your advice and a color scheme chosen with the help of your Neutrals Color Wheel! ), and to recognize unsound professional advice, I might have been persuaded into making some truly regrettable and disastrously expensive to correct choices.
    Fortunately, I am now working with a rare, conscientious and truly customer-oriented team which allows me to choose from MY preferred vendors, and direct the choices to suit the specific needs of our lifestyle and our home’s existing features. I have referred frequently to the material I have from you and your blog, so my tile and paint choices have not been “close enough”, but spot on! Instead of being overwhelmed and near tears with the pressure of getting this expensive undertaking right the first time, I am finally excited for work to begin and to watch it all come together as timeless, versatile look we will love. I advise anyone about to have a new build or extensive renovation to invest in one of your workshops or packages. They cost little more than most teams charge for their deposit and could save you loads of frustration and money in the long run!

  • Anne W says:

    EXCELLENT VIDEO! Thanks Maria. I’ve been following you nearly a decade, have all your books, have taken your class, and I continue to learn!

  • Cindy S. says:

    Maria, your video was so helpful. I am in the design phase of a guest bathroom remodel. We finished a primary bathroom remodel with the same builder last year and it turned out beautifully. I used the “one pattern only” concept and chose a light neutral floor tile (virtually no pattern) along with white cabinets, shower tile and a pretty white and gray quartzite counter. Our builder works off of base tile and slab allowances, so anything other than granite for counters and a 12″ x 24″ floor tile is an upgrade. I am being told it is hard to find a white hex tile (4″ or 6″), which is what I want for the floor of my next remodel. I am also told it costs more to buy and install due to all the grouting. So my already high job price, will go even higher. Why are there so few choices for smaller tiles at the showrooms? Even 12″ x 12″. We used the 12 x 24 tile (reluctantly) in our master because it was such a huge room – it looked good with the other elements. But now the builder is pushing me to use this large format tile in the smaller bathroom (5′ x 9′) because, well, it is current, it is easy to install and less grout to clean, etc. I cannot seem to get what I want. Any thoughts here? I’m close to walking away and I really like this builder, they do quality work and stand behind it.

    • Julie S says:

      Cindi, are you in the states? Both Home Depot and Lowes have many very good Maria approved small scale floor tiles from $3-15 pricing. Various hexes in several neutrals, whites, and sizes. Basketweave. Diamond dot. Just like at a specialty store you will want to buy everything you need marked from the same manufacturing lot for best results. I feel you on the contractor wanting the easiest quickest tiling. They want something quick n easy to slap down. My handy hubby is the same 🙁

      • Cindy S. says:

        Hi Julie, yes I am in the states. Thanks for your thoughtful response. I have to purchase from the showroom they work with because the builder uses materials they can stand behind. So I cannot buy my own tile elsewhere and expect my builder to install it (he won’t). However, I can research other places for what I want and come up with a list of styles and manufacturers that have what I want. Then present him with it. So you are on to something here.

    • Maria Killam says:

      It’s not that small scale tile is hard to find, it’s that it’s a lot more expensive to install than basic 12 x 24 tile, the end. That’s why you are being pushed to stay with regular tile. Maria

  • jess says:

    Brilliant and very helpful video! Thanks

  • Wendy Learman says:

    I have gotten so much help listening to many of your posts.

    Last month my home was flooded and I’m starting from scratch. I’m having difficulty getting started in making decisions on changes, so I’m researching as much as I can. I’m looking forward to your event next week.

  • Diane says:

    Such a helpful video!!! One question – #7, the very first bathroom vanity shown is a cool wood. Will a wood like this stay looking this cool tone over the years or will it change to a warmer, more yellow, orange or red tone? My personal experience is that wood typically changes to be much warmer looking. If there’s a way to keep wood’s cool tones I’d sure love to know.


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