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Best of Colour Me Happy 2017

By 12/30/2017January 5th, 201814 Comments

Here’s to a great 2018! {source}

Another year has passed and I realized a few weeks ago that I missed writing about the 9th anniversary of the blog which happened in October. Clearly, I’m having so much fun, I forgot that the date came and went. I started writing my blog October 31, 2008, here’s my first post.

The last two and a half years since we acquired a Visa to lead my colour workshops in the US,  we’ve travelled and explored so many wonderful cities, Boston, Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco to name a few.

The last Fall event in Lost Angeles 2018 (Photography by Erin Miller)

Most of them were sold out and I expect the same thing to happen to this Springs five events.  Leading 5 workshops each season is a lot of work but I’m committed to getting my system out into the world. When that happens, comments like this one from my Vancouver workshop this Fall will be a thing of the past:

I’m attending your workshop because I’ve just completed my four-year Bachelor of Interior Design (B. ID), where I learned colour theory and psychology, but NOT how to effectively select colour for residential or commercial interior spaces“.

A system for Understanding Undertones® is definitely needed in the world of design and colour.

We also renovated all three of my bathrooms this summer! You’ve seen the reveal of the powder room (it’s also in the links below) and the other two will be coming soon but since installing a free-standing tub into the master bedroom I have become a regular bather.

Now I only shower if I’m in a hurry. Our old tub was an 80s pink beige all-in-one tub and surround. It did not inspire me to bathe and certainly NEVER to replace a shower in the morning. It’s a real luxury to have such a gorgeous bathroom now and I am grateful!

We are getting ready to fly down to Palm Springs for the month of January again this year! First we will be spending three nights at The Viceroy in Santa Monica and then we’ll rent a car and drive to Palm Springs.

Yarrow is currently in a major ice storm so even though it’s beautiful, we are happy to leave for warmer weather.

Here’s my top 10 posts of 2017:

3 Best Ways to Choose a Fresh Paint Colour for your Tuscan House

I wrote a post featuring the house (in Palm Springs) we stayed in last year and if you want to freshen up your Tuscan inspired house with a new paint colour this year, don’t miss this post:


Ask Maria: Do’s and Dont’s for Installing Encaustic Tile

I received an Ask Maria question about Encaustic Tile which prompted this post. Read it first before you choose this trendy tile for your home:


How to Transform a Charcoal Sofa with Colour: Before & After

This was a popular one because charcoal is the current trendy neutral at the moment.

If you are looking at your very grey living room thinking it needs a jolt of colour now that all the Christmas decorations are put away, don’t miss this one:


Colour Trends You Need to Know Right Now For 2018

If you missed my trends report from High Point market this past Spring, you’ll want to read the part about my take on statements like ‘Brown is back’. 


What Everyone Should Know About Taupe

Since the grey trend has been on the scene and taupe is right in the middle of beige and grey, it has become the new ‘If-all-else-fails-and-you-don’t-know-what-to-do’ default neutral. Here’s what you should know about taupe, written by my fabulous Virtual Design Assistant, Tricia Firmaniuk:


Maria’s Bathroom Renovation Plans: Lighting and Vanity Design

I renovated all three of my bathrooms this summer, the full reveal of two of them is coming soon (the sconce lighting was backordered) but here are the drawings and the before pics:


Exterior Consultation with Orange Stone and Brick: Before and After

This exterior transformation made my system of Understanding Undertones easy to see. Don’t miss the colour lesson and the dramatic befores and afters. 


Ask Maria: What’s Next After the Grey Trend?

I constantly get this question. And the answer is in this post.

If you are a designer or a design enthusiast, you have seen trends come and go and reading this blog where I’m constantly talking about where we are in the trends cycle has you become super-aware which is a good thing.

In this post, I started with the trendy neutral of the 90s and brought us up to where we are now in the cycle of trends:


Maria Killam’s Garden Powder Room; Before & After

My first bathroom reveal! Our powder room is located close to our back door and through the laundry room so that’s why I installed a farmhouse sink so it could function as a garden/laundry sink as well. It’s a dream to have such a beautiful and gorgeous room to cut flowers and fill up a pail in a pinch, see the before and afters here:


How to Get the Perfect Piece of Art for Your Home; Before & After

I’ve been dreaming about placing an overscale floral piece of original art in my living room for a very long time.

This year, when I met James Wiens, a very talented artist here in Chilliwack that dream came true! See how this art came to life here:


Refresh of my Mom’s Kitchen and Sitting Room; Before & After

I helped my Mom with a refresh of the room she spends the most time in this year! She had been craving the perfect shade of pink to replace the too-cool blue that was in there for a long time so one Saturday morning I said “Mom, I’m coming over to choose the paint colour with you and then I’ll go get the paint and paint it TODAY!”.

I inherited my “Not-now-but-right-now” personality from my sweet mama who is exactly the same! See all the befores and afters here:


3 Ways to Refresh Your House for YOU, before you SELL; Before and After

Many of you know that my business model is training and development. Travelling all around North American leading 10 colour workshops a year does not leave me with a lot of time for many decorating projects.

I treasure the projects I do have because I really love styling and decorating. My favourite part is when the husband walks in after everything is installed and he usually says something like “Can I sit down yet?”

My client Deborah was a joy to work with on this transformation, and I even got to incorporate my favourite colour.  See the full reveal here:

Family Room | Living Room | Decorating with Blue & Yellow | Wall Art | Throw Pillows | Blue Sofa


Holiday Tour of my House 2017 (See my Colour Chip Ornaments)

And last but not least if you missed my citrus-infused Christmas tree this year, you can check it out here:



If you’re following me on Instagram you’ve already seen this picture of the ice storm we’re having!

See this view in the summer here. (this was yesterday)

And this view from my back patio door is this morning! It’s pretty but it’s treacherous out there!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday surrounded by people whom you love this season!

Happy New Year to all my lovely readers!

Related posts:

Read the last 7 years of best post round-ups here: 200920102011201220132014, 2015, 2016













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  • Nancy says:

    I understand wanting to go to warmth .
    Here in Montana today’s high is -5 and tonight will be a balmy – 15 degrees .
    Been snowing for three days and nights .
    I do hear Arizona calling my name .
    Thanks for all your blogs and words of wisdom through out the year !
    Have a Happy New Year!
    Enjoy Palm Springs !!!!

    • Susan Hubele says:

      I’ll take Montana (where I was born)! Here in Calgary Alberta it is -30, which is about the same in both Fahrenheit and Celcius. Lots of fluffy white snow and glorious blue sunny skies! I’m sitting in my sunny kitchen reading Maria’s blogs from 2017 and getting lots of inspiration and motivation! Happy New Year everyone!!

  • Lorri says:

    Maria, I thought of you today. I was looking at houses for sale in an area where houses are nice, but dated. They have tremendous potential, but need work.

    You wouldn’t believe how many of the sellers slapped a coat of grey paint on their rooms as an “update” whether it was appropriate to the existing hard surfaces or not! It worked for some, but not for others.

    It’s an epidemic out there!!! 😉

  • Joanna says:

    Congratulations on your 9 year anniversary. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and talent with us. I always look forward to your posts in my inbox.
    Happy New Year and all the best in 2018!

  • Lindy Lawrence says:

    Maria: Congratulations on your anniversary! I thoroughly enjoy every post and it’s always a delight to find your wonderful ideas and advice in my inbox….you are the best of the best!!!! Enjoy your warm weather getaway and some R&R between workshops. You are so deserving! Happy New Year to you and your amazing Mom and your family.

  • Kari says:

    It’s so fun to see the growth of your blog, Maria. I’ve been reading your posts since the beginning. Here’s to another year!

  • Sharon Shearer says:

    Maria, we went to Palm Springs in November, if you haven’t been already, visit this consignment shop ,, it’s like going to a mid century modern museum. Enjoy your visit.

  • Joanne Michael says:

    Hey Maria,

    Can’t believe Erin Miller took a picture of us at the LA 2017 event. I treasure that entire experience and learned so much.
    I encourage anyone who is sitting on the fence about attending a Colour Workshop to bite the bullet and do it. You have no ideas what a life changer it will be.
    I love this post. There is so much good information….especially for all of us who have clients who want to update their Tuscan trend homes.

  • Lucy says:

    Happy New Year to both of you and a very prosperous 2018! Welcome back to sunny (not every day though) California. Wish I could join you for a day.

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post! You are such an inspiration to all of us. I love every one of your posts and am sharing them with most all of my friends and clients. When I sit down to my computer and find your post it just makes my day! You are so full of wisdom!

    Have fun in Palm Desert and enjoy the weather.

  • Karen Aamodt says:

    Hi Maria,

    Happy New Year! I hope you enjoy January in the Springs. We used to live in Pasadena, CA and 19 years ago transplanted ourselves to the frosty Mid-West of the US. We are currently loving the nice Arctic Blast you Canadians sent our way!!!!

    I received an email fro Talbots Outlet stores and was thrilled to see a beautiful navy, cream and deep rose large buffalo check scarf. f course I ran up to the store and bought it and the sweater they featured with it. How nice to have my personal and home decorating color palettes tied up in one beautiful scarf, lol. Thank you for helping me to develop my color sense in 2017 and I hope to be able to attend to attend one of your workshops sometime this year.


  • Maria, thank you for a wonderful year, and for everything I have learned from you and your blog. I am so happy that I found it. It has truly made a difference in the way I see my world, not just the colors, but your perspective, and I am inspired by your success, which happened with a lot of hard work, diligence, and listening to your heart and focusing on what you do best. Keep up your efforts, and I am really looking forward to your success in 2018. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Mid America Mom says:

    Happy Anniversary! We have hit the beach a few times here in Southern Florida- maybe you should try Naples or Key West next winter? Since you like homegoods/tjmaxx/marshalls/ so much I thought you would like an alternative. These are HUGE stores full of home goods … . They are not near your Florida class but there are a few when you are in Nashville 😉 . We are back to Chicago soon and NOT looking forward to it!

  • Judy says:

    Hi Maria,

    Lazy Boy just had a commercial on NBC that featured Yellow sofa!!!

    You said that it would happen.

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