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10 Questions for Maria Killam

By 07/30/2015February 20th, 201719 Comments

Well it’s been a very long time since I’ve been tagged in this kind of post so I couldn’t resist! Centsational Girl listed her own 10 and here’s mine:

1. Winter or Summer

Definitely summer and this year we are having the best summer we’ve had in a while here in the North West. I love watching the new garden we installed two years ago change and grow.





Can’t resist posting the before picture with every opportunity I get ; ) ; )


Photography by Angie Wolfe 

Here’s a new picture with the daisies looking their best. My clematis died this winter so I had to start again, I’m willing it to grow along the soffits where I’ve had plastic lattice installed!

I love my new photoshopped grey roof!




See my new umbrella (above)? Well our old one snapped and broke recently. It had flown off a few times so that must have weakened it. We had brought it from our old house because we needed an umbrella there.

In this house, we have a huge covered deck so I just installed the market umbrella in front of my studio and I loved the resort feel it gave the backyard even though we RARELY use this area.  And if we used a fire pit, it would be at night anyway.

For a few weeks, we didn’t have an umbrella after it snapped in half and when even Terreeia said “When are you going to get a new one?” I laughed and told her she was perfect for me because even she got the aesthetic of just looking at it in the backyard.

Hey, we don’t have a view so the backyard has to be as pretty as possible.

Here’s how are vegetable garden looks these days.





If you are interested in reading posts on the entire renovation including the interior, start here.

2. What’s your Favourite Wallpaper Pattern

OMG I must have a thing for leaves because the first pattern I thought of when I read this question are this banana leaf pattern from the Beverly Hills Hotel.



And I have a wall of leaves in my studio too (below).

Inside my Studio Office

Green is my thing obviously.

3. What’s the best vacation you’ve taken?

I would have to say a week long trip to Isla Mujeres in Mexico with my sister Elizabeth. It’s a little island close to Cancun. Elizabeth was a flight attendant for Canada 3000 in those days and I could fly stand by with her for only $30. So we picked this spot, took a ferry from Cancun once we arrived and stayed in a great little room above this little mexican restaurant. 

I think I was around 30 years old here. Elizabeth was 24.


Maria & Elizabeth


Unknown guy, Elizabeth and Maria

We even partied with some sailors we met on the beach at night and had a fabulous time! Elizabeth and I were roommates back then. I was recently divorced, we were young and carefree and I always remember this vacation and wish I could re-create it.

4. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Julia Roberts


The inspiration for starting this blog came from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. She’s always been my favourite actress, she’s the same age as me. I even love her name. I’ve always said if I had a daughter, her name would be Julia. Jules for short.

5. Name one thing on your bucket list.



And I’ll be there in 3 weeks, hooray!!  You’ll hear all about it of course!

6. What’s your favourite room in your house?

It’s hard to decide I really love my house and feel so fortunate that after all the years I rented and suffered with pink beige carpet, bad tile and terrible kitchens, I finally got to buy a house and renovate it to my taste.


I would have to say my living room. I look at it all day long walking back and forth from the bedroom wing of the house. It makes me happy.

7. If you could pick any designer, living or dead to decorate your house, who would it be?

Jeffrey Bilhuber. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know he’s my favourite, I’ve written posts about his style and how I copy his ability to effortlessly style a room, here and here.

orange sofa jeffrey

Jeffrey Bilhuber

8. What’s on your night stand?

Books, a glass of water, my glasses, iPhone, body lotion and lip stuff.


The Master Bedroom

9. Backyard BBQ or Formal Dinner?

I like both. Having friends over is certainly more intimate though! Here’s a photo of the daughter of a close family friend from Finland who came to visit my Mom for 6 weeks.

Obviously this photo was NOT taken with the intention of showing it on this blog since the table is NOT styled ; ) ; ) Just keeping it real!



10. If you could rewind twenty years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Get your personality tested in both DISC and Meyers Briggs. If I had known I had the personality of an Entrepreneur all those times that I’ve been fired in my career (8 times at last count) I wouldn’t have walked around wearing the L (loser) on my forehead as long as I did. For about 20 years in fact, before I started this blog at 40 years old.

I would also have participated in courses with Landmark Education 20 years ago too. Doing Landmark changed my life and completely changed the way I communicate.

If I had done all of these things at 20, maybe I would have arrived, where I am now, faster!

11. Share something you’ve pinned (or bookmarked) and why you love it.


Windsor Smith

I love this living room. And especially the art that totally makes it sing. The flowers on the ottoman. It’s just perfect. And the light fixture! So pretty!

12. What’s one decorating piece of advice you swear by?

Boring = Timeless.

And don’t stop buying lamps until you have at least 30 in your house.

small lamp

There are so many places for this lamp, on your kitchen countertops, bookshelf, etc.

No one EVER has enough lighting.

Okay so I got to the end of the questions and realized Kate asked a bunch of her own. So I’m posting them here too for the bloggers named below:

1. Share something you’ve pinned (or bookmarked) and why you love it. 

2. What’s your favorite color and where have you used it or seen it used in a beautiful way? 

3. If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now. 

4. Share something that scares you, something that comforts you, or both. 

5. The perfect meal? Name it. 

6. What’s one decorating piece of advice you swear by. 

7. What’s your guilty pleasure? 

8. Tell a joke, the cornier the better, or share a meme or show that makes you laugh. 

9. Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to           !  Fill in the blank. 

10. What advice would you give your twenty something self?

Julia from Hooked on Houses, Joni at Cote de Texas, Lauren at Pure Style Home, Kristie from the Decorologist, Lisa at Lise Mende Design, Traci at Traci Zeller Designs, Linda at Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings, Scarlett Ballantyne, and Penelope Trunk.  

What about you? What’s on your bucket list?

PS. I’m over on Lisa Mende’s blog today, she’s doing a ‘What’s in your Bag’ series, check it out!

Related posts:

Six Things About Me

3 Things You Don’t Know About me (But I wish you Did)

10 Things I Hate/Love/Share about Me

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

31 pins


  • Beth L says:

    Your yard is looking fabulous!!

  • I loved reading this! I’ll have to tackle this once I’m home from vacay! oxox

  • KA says:

    You and your sister looked really tan in Cancun! Love the random guy photo, too.

    Your garden looks great and hope you will send some rain and snow south to California this winter. One year, my neighbor had her umbrella windswept off her deck, over the second story and into a palm tree on the other side of the house, like a tropical drink, during a storm one night. So need gentle, sustained rain down here.

    Enjoy Tuscany, you made such a sacrifice to not go and instead get your drapes, but all those magazine spreads paid off for you, I’m sure.

    From a high I and ENTJ entrepreneur to another, have a lovely time!

  • May I ask the name of that gorgeous bedroom color?

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    This was fun. I love learning more about you.

  • Love this post and seeing more about you and your surrounding gorgeous home!! A guess at your bedroom color, as I would love the answer as well… Is it Grey Cashmere?

  • I loved learning more about you too! Your outdoor spaces are looking wonderful!

  • Scarlett B says:

    I loved this Maria – these are some of my favourite types of posts! Even though you didn’t tag me, I may have to follow suit!
    Funny enough; my husband flew with C3 from 95-2000. I’m sure he would know your sister. Small world.
    Cheers! Xo

  • Anne says:


    Thanks for making me LOL this morning with your comment on being fired and branded “L”. With every good (or bad) experience, we learn, just takes some of us a bit longer! Absolutely love your blog, thanks for sharing your talents and wisdom over the years : )

  • This is so fun! I remember when we used to do posts like this all the time in the blog world but haven’t been tagged in ages. It’s a great way to get to know bloggers a little better.

    I’m with you on the MBTI and personality tests in general. SO helpful. I’m an INFJ, which is a pretty small percentage of the population and explains why I sometimes feel like an alien on this planet. Ha.

    P.S. Everyone called me “Jules” growing up! 🙂

  • Fun blog Maria!

    I recently took a ‘Tilt 365’ test. I’ve taken the Disc and Meyers Briggs as well, but I felt the Tilt 365 was by far, the most powerful for me. My girlfriend, who is a Life Coach, has recently been trained in this and I was very fortunate to be able to have her go over my results. Super, super powerful! While there were no surprises, there were many ‘Ah ha’ moments!

  • Great learning more about you Maria! And thanks for tagging me – I appreciate the shoutout! xxooL

  • Victoria says:

    I love your bedroom Maria fabulous job! This was a fun fun fun post and also the one over at Lisa’s site. Have to agree your yard is wonderful and I found myself wanting to plop down on your deck and pick Jude’s book – my favorite of her too!
    Time traveling with a knight on Maria’s deck what more could I ask for?

  • Jeri says:

    Such a fun and interesting post! Your yard looks beautiful! What a transformation.
    My daughter is named Julia. She was born in 1990 right after “Pretty Woman” came out, so although she was named for an ancestor, everyone thought she was named for Julia Roberts! 🙂

  • Katie says:


    What plant is forming the taller hedge?

  • I love the Palladian Blue in your bedroom. I have it in my boys’ bedroom and just love it. Also, your garden looks great. I wish I had a green thumb, but I can’t seem to make a garden last. 🙁

  • Love seeing how you transformed your house and property. The landscaping is looking lovely!

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