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Advice for HomeownersAsk MariaColour in TilesEvery man should read this one

Ask Maria: My Husband Got One Choice and It’s Wrong, HELP!

By 02/23/2018March 16th, 201824 Comments

Maria, I love your blog, it’s the first thing I open when I get my email.

My question is I have white and grey tile on the bathroom floor and the cabinets are white but look like a cream white against the floor and the tops are new build cultured marble.

Husband wanted the floor even though it doesn’t go with anything!! (He got to make a decision too bad it was the wrong one! lol)

I’m thinking of having the cabinets painted a light grey, one of the tones from the tile in the floor (I know it’s trendy) but I’m stuck with that flooring.  And the walls painted a white with a touch of grey.

Am I on the right track?  I did have a designer come over but she has a business of painting cabinets so of course that’s what she suggested but I agree with her and would love your opinion.

So first, I would love to have some more questions for Ask Maria posts. But ya’ll need to send me photos.

I would never have specified the colours my reader ended up with in this bathroom without photos.

I cannot give you accurate advice without photos.

Without photos, I can’t help you.

Okay did you get that? Good, haha.

Also, it needs to be a dilemma I have not posted about on the blog before. So in general, what colour should I paint this or that has been covered. Unless it’s a real interesting and useful dilemma regarding wall colour, we will likely send you a link to our eDesign page instead.

But it never hurts to try right? So clean up your room, take photos WITHOUT flash and in good natural light and send them here.

Okay back to my readers question:

You have no idea how many times I have heard this complaint.

I have walked into countless bathrooms and kitchens where I’m looking at the unfortunate looking faucet (for example) and wondered how it got there.

The wife reads my mind and confides that she let her husband have one choice and that was it.

And well, it’s just wrong.

So here’s the thing. Choosing tile, or a faucet, or a countertop is not like choosing a pillow. There’s no returns if it ends up being the wrong choice.

And if it’s not selected taking everything else into consideration, well you’ll just be cranky every time you look at it.


Until you move, or take it out.

And who wants that?

Selecting finishes for a renovation is not about one turn for me and one for you.

Just like you don’t need to be in love with every finish you choose because most of them will be the supporting cast for the one featured “star”, you can’t just toss in something your partner loves to appease them and make them feel included.

Every selection you make effects all the others. If your husband wants to be in on the decisions, he needs to be in on the logic of the whole design, and each decision will need to be made as a team, working towards the ultimate goal, a harmonious finished room. Just like a good marriage is ultimately about team work and not about taking turns getting your way. It’s about working towards goals together. (Who knew design was like couples therapy?).

But anyone who’s been through a big renovation knows it kind of is.  And for a happy outcome, different wish lists need to be subsumed under the overriding goal of a design that inherently works.

Okay so, let’s check out this tile that is causing so many problems shall we?

Let’s see if we can create some magic.

Okay so here’s a close up of the vanity, you can see that the countertop reads pink beige here and the vanity is too cream.

However, my reader said the countertop is white, so perhaps the existing builder pink beige paint colour is causing it to look pinker.


Since the countertop is much whiter than the ‘greige’ tiles, the best solution here would be to choose a colour so she’s definitely on the right track.

However, a faux marble tile in green grey tones is neutral. It goes with lots of colours. The only colours that would not look good with this tile are earthy neutrals like pink beige, green beige, or muddier sage greens, gold beige, etc.

So I asked her to send me a picture of the master bedroom.

Here’s the view from the other side (below).

Her walls are painted Crate and Barrel 6. So painting the vanity the same colour would be a great way to create flow from the master bedroom.


Here’s the room the way it looks now (above).

In my opinion, there’s actually nothing wrong with the tile. In this case, her husbands choice was not a bad one.

However, you simply cannot have a white or cream vanity. If the vanity was white to relate to the white countertop, it would look wrong because there is no white in the floor. If the countertop was a concrete grey colour, then the vanity could have been a true white.

The vanity could also have been a darker shade of green grey or charcoal as well. I chose blue because it makes more sense to create flow from the master bedroom.

Styling by Maria Killam

We photoshopped the vanity so you could see it in blue (below). Then you could introduce some ginger jars or taller vases in blues with some faux flowers for a hit of colour.

Here’s a grouping I arranged for a client in another project (above).

Grouping of ginger jars (source)

One Kings Lane has a lovely selection of Ginger Jars:

Jolie Ginger Jar | Floral Jar | Castle Jar


Or you could just get this grouping from Wisteria

And the new paint colour could be  a green grey like SW Agreeable Grey:

SW Agreeable Grey | Styled by Maria Killam 

Thanks Ronnie, for sending me this great question! If you have a question for my Ask Maria posts, email me here.

Update on this post: Ronnie sent me this photos with this lovely note:

This is the picture of my master bathroom with Maria’s recommendation from the post last month. I had the walls painted Agreeable Grey and cabinets painted same color as bedroom wall.
It is “smashing” as my friend put it. We love it. It looks absolutely fabulous. Maria you are a genius and you do work magic. I followed everything you said to a T because I love everything you do and it is absolutely fabulous. I can’t thank you enough for all your advice. And I have recommended your blog to many friends and told them that it is absolutely worth to have a consult with you. And if it is $300 it would be worth every penny to be this happy with the end result. Thank you thank you thank you.

Thanks Ronnie, it’s so rare to get after photos, I was thrilled to receive them!

Related posts:

Ask Maria: About Carpets, Oak Cabinets and Dining Chairs

 Ask Maria: How do I Know What my Style Is?

Ask Maria: My New Cherry Desk makes my Room Look Dark, HELP!









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  • Claire says:

    That is a great fix Maria! Putting a contrast color between floor and vanity top with the blue from the bedroom made it beautiful. I like the floor….like the husband?

  • Brilliant to ask to see the master bedroom and a brilliant solution to paint the cabinets to match the master bedroom! A++!

  • Tammy Cianciulli says:

    Even my color blind husband suggested a darker vanity color! We are in the midst of a gutted master bath renovation and this is one of my biggest fears in choosing products, because you have to pick everything and it HAS to coordinate. (OCD here too!) your color choice was spot on, Maria!

  • Lisa Henerson says:

    What a great solution!! That looks perfect and it also looks like they originally chose those colors when they renovated their bathroom initially. You are GOOD, my friend! Très Bien!

  • Jo says:

    Love the cabs painted blue. Maria, what do you mean by “If the vanity was white to relate to the white counter top, it would look wrong because there is no white in the floor”. Is the floor not white with gray marbling? That’s how I’m seeing it. Thanks.

  • Adelaide says:

    You are a magician! Fabulous solution….again.

  • Terri Daley says:

    Really like the idea of connecting the two rooms with the blue color…and the blue and white makes it complete.

  • Carol says:

    Ooooh Wow!!! That blue was spectacular and made such a difference!!! I couldnt imagine how good
    it would look without seeing a picture. If she does paint the vanity blue will that limit her painting
    the wall color to only white colors?

    • Maria Killam says:

      I didn’t specify white, I specified agreeable grey which is a green grey colour. And yes the wall colour should relate to the tile floor in this case if the colour is in the vanity. However, she can change the vanity colour down the road when she wants a change and it can be many other different colours as well. Maria

  • Diane says:

    Thanks for the photo shopped picture. It certainly helps better than visualizing it in the head. And I like the cabinet color better than just white.

  • Lucy says:

    Great simple solution! On my monitor the counter looks a little pinky as does the floor but even so the blue does work for the cabinets. Accessories make such a difference to pull everything together. Will the white background in the ginger jars cause any conflict with the wall paint or would she just add white towels to repeat it?

  • Jan says:

    Maria, you made magic happen. Very nice. Good lesson, too.

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    I love your “fix” for the problem. I hope your reader sends you a picture of the new room. I’m having a hard time imagining the new wall color & how it will work with everything else.

  • Fran W. says:

    Perfect solution! The blue cabinets really pop and create a lovely contrast with the tile and countertop. You are amazing!

  • In my opinion, you nailed it with the blue vanity idea! Can’t wait to learn more at the workshop and add this skill set to my bag of tricks. 🙂

  • June Salehi says:

    Are the two blue paint colors the same? (Bedroom walls & bathroom cabinets)

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes in this case they could be the same shade of blue because it’s so dark already it doesn’t need to be darker. Maria

  • Kristen says:

    Much better! What color blue did/would you specify for the cabinets? Thanks!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Same as the bedroom which is Crate and Barrel 6 (I didn’t know Crate and Barrel sold paint), however, if you are introducing navy in your master, I would choose the paint that matches your bedding not a random blue from a blog post Hope that helps, Maria

  • Mid America Mom says:

    Hello! Yeah feels like too much white going on in there! I really like the tile. Green gray feels very neutral and is my go to when I feel a need to paint a piece of furniture “gray” (though I like blue based gray – the green seems to be able to fit in the existing homes I have been in much better). I would personally paint the vanity gray, paint over that beige, and put a door to the bathroom. Maria – if she was to swap out the vanity could a wood one work- maybe a walnut stain?

  • Red Ellie says:

    Taking the bedroom paint color into the very visible master bath and repeating it on the vanity was a wonderful idea. I’m going to use that for my bath renovation because it makes so much sense. Our last home in California was a new build and the designer helped a lot with coordinating color choices so there was good flow. Alas, the backsplash tile was bright white which worked fine with the granite we close but not really well with anything else. It always bothered me a little and now I realize why.

  • Carole Kinkopf says:

    Beautiful transformation. The countertop even works now. I’m looking for a light neutral floor tile and notice her bedroom tile. Did she happen to mention the brand/color? 😊🙏🏻

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