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I found Alison McGivern through my sister Elizabeth Jacobs.

Over the years, I have become accustomed to the facials I receive in her home spa.

It’s at the point where I rarely book facials anywhere else because I just end up laying there getting more annoyed by the second, because they are not as good as Allison.

So I just go to Allison because it’s always a divine experience. I love the products that she uses, and basically I feel like I’ve had a good facial if I drift away somewhere in my head because I’m so relaxed.

I also get frequent pedicures while we solve the worlds problems. I feel #blessed.

One day Allison bought a new pillow and mentioned she wanted to paint the room. She was tired of the beige-on-beige look.


I said perfect, it’s easy for me to help you choose a colour because you’ve already chosen the inspiration for the room (pillow below)!

I recently received an email asking if I would come over to help choose colours. My reader proceeded to say “I know you don’t like to work without a starting point”. . . okay so that’s exactly why you want to hire a designer (or me, locally or our eDesign department internationally) BECAUSE we can help you find a starting point. Not EVERYONE knows how to do that, and that’s perfectly fine. I am not a bookeeper, that’s why I hire someone to do my books.

I whipped out my fan deck and that part was done in a few seconds. No debating, no going back and forth and analyzing one coral pink over another.

It’s just done when you have a starting point.

Related post: How NOT to Choose Paint Colours (But Everybody Does it)

BM Autumn Red 2087-40

And here’s the after of Allison’s new coral room.

It didn’t get this way in one day. She worried that the colour would be too strong. so she painted only the focal point wall.

I arrived one day for my usual fascial and said “No, no no, keep painting the room, accent walls should be chosen because that’s the best design/colour plan for the room, NOT because you’re scared of the dramatic colour”.

She loved the final result, and her clients love it too!

Related post: Do you Need an Accent Wall? Take this Test

I helped style the room with a quick trip to HomeSense.

Here’s her manicure station before (above)

After (Best Colour for a Spa)

The pedicure station (before)

Sometimes friends will come together, and one will hang out on the chair and ottoman with a glass of wine while the other is having a treatment.

After (Photography, styling and colours by Maria Killam)

Lots of colours to choose from! (above)

I love the flamingo art we found!

Shhhhhh, facial in progress!

Here’s the before and after again:



Alison McGivern, Spa Boutique

Alison is located in Abbotsford, BC, so if you live in the lower mainland, pop in and see her for a treatment!

She says we need to get started decorating the rest of her house now because she just loves being in this room!

That’s what happens when you create a look and a feel with a dose of colour! Colour is Happy!!

I’m so excited, Terreeia and I leave for Fiji on Thursday! I can hardly wait!

PS. And make sure you don’t miss this blog post and video interview of my workshop from True Colour Expert and designer, Claire Jefford!

Related posts:

Got Inspiration: 10 Steps to Create the Rest of the Room

Where to Start When you Have a Blank Slate

Are you Waiting for Your Paint Colour to Propose?






6 pins


  • Penny says:

    penguin art? I see a flamingo … but no penguins.

  • Nancy says:

    Love the change !!!!

  • vml says:

    Flamingo art, not penguin art?

  • Barbara says:

    Love the spa transformation! The wall color is so flattering to the clientele. Another inspired job, Maria.

  • Lorri says:

    It looks like someone built a whole new room, Maria.

    There’s a furniture and decor store in my area where the owner uses vibrant paint colors on the walls – different colors in different parts of the store. It’s the happiest looking store. To add to the happiness, a lot of the furniture is available in different wood stains or colorful painted finishes.

    The owner has done so well with the one store, that she expanded to four stores in two states.

    They get people coming in asking, “What is that paint color on the wall?” all the time. I bet that half those people would never have seriously entertained the thought of those colors until seeing how beautiful they looked in person.

    One color that is especially popular is Sherwin Williams Tame Teal, and that’s one of her “quiet” colors! 😉

  • Elizabeth Matthews says:

    Fantastic! LOVE the change!
    I notice that Allison has very sparse eyebrows–she would look fantastic with microblading!

    • Maria Killam says:

      She did mention that when she sent me the pic, I think the lighting has something to do with it! Thanks for your comment, microblading made a huge difference for me! Maria

  • Jennifer Johnson says:

    Very happy, indeed! Love it! Have a wonderful time in Fiji!

  • Lucy says:

    Nice transformation Maria! Love the coral color and I am sure all of her clients feel totally rejuvenated when they leave the salon! Color does wonders for the psyche.

    You two have become world travelers! Have a wonderful trip to Fiji! Watch your luggage!

  • CarolAnne Makely says:

    lovely happy room… well done

  • Shari says:

    You are amazing!!! LOVE it!!!

  • Diane says:

    Maria, I love the new color and pink flamingos are my absolute favorites – I live in Florida. I’m sorry I don’t live closer because Alison’s services sound fabulous!
    Thank you for your wonderful Blog. You are a true inspiration. Happy in Color, Diane

  • Marci says:

    Maria, I just have to say that I am never less than amazed at your inspirational before and after projects. I go back and forth to look and look again and what you have done to create such a beautiful pulled together room. Nothing short of amazing. Wow!
    By the way, have fun in Fiji! My 18-year-old son is headed there to live and teach for 2 years and is trying to learn all he can before heading over. I would love to hear your experiences there!


  • LeeAnn Cheeley says:

    Why did you go with the darker Flamingo pink rather than the lighter shade? In other words, is it similar personal preference (I would have gone dark also BTW!), or is there a reason?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hmmm. . . I think I did go with the lighter shade originally but she had the paint colour matched and I think it landed in the middle, either way looks great! Maria

  • Carol says:

    Thats just incredible!! Its absolutely spectacular what your color choices and styling did for that
    room. You truely are an “artist of the interior”!!!

  • Sandra Berube says:

    Dear Maria
    you hit it out of the park! Creating a beautiful space for Allison & her clients to sparkle in.
    The color is relaxing and rich and joyful. Good things happen in a room this color.
    The accessories – especially the flamingo – perfect. Each vignette has its own allure.
    Thank you for leading the way … once again…

  • Adelaide says:

    I would feel wrapped in warmth in a coral room. Beautiful. I do have a question, hope you can help me understand. The cushion has all the colours I love, coral, yellow green. Then you pulled the blue colour for painting furniture and curtains, throw and cushions from where? It looks fabulous, but I wonder how you made that magical decision. I would have looked at deeper greens. How did you come to your decision?

    • Wendy says:

      I agree- I had the same question when I was looking at the room.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Haha, well in actual fact I think Alison chose the navy, I can’t remember now how that conversation happened. Navy and coral do look great together and feels more current than green and coral perhaps? Maria

  • Ange says:

    I love how the blue goes with the autumn red. Another Great transformation!

  • Fran W. says:

    What a beautiful transformation! Hope you and Terreeia have a wonderful time in Fiji!

  • Patti says:

    This is just beautiful, I love the coral! Perfect choice as always.

  • Linda says:

    We are in the process of working with a designer who will develop the blueprint for the house we want to build. Although we are in the earliest stage of the building process, I inexplicably have been finding myself drawn to the pillow section of home decor stores, trying to find pillows that I think will look good in our new home. After reading your post, I think I understand why. As we move forward, I will need to pick out hinge colors (I have four choices!), bathroom faucet, etc., colors, light fixture colors, countertops, flooring colors, cabinet colors, wall colors and exterior colors, to name a few. Now I understand that I am not being premature in looking at pillows – I am actually seeking my starting point!

    Thank you, Maria, for sharing this post.

  • mrsben says:

    Beautiful transformation, Maria and wishing you and Tereeria and wonderful holiday while sipping Pina Coladas on the beach … 🙂 . -Brenda-
    P.S.: Re your lost luggage, did it ever turn up? Also, since you do your fare share of travelling, have you seen the protective covers for luggage? I think you should ask Santa for a customized Colour Me Happy one …. 😉

  • Beth Lester says:

    Stunning. I love the navy blue change-up as well!

  • Miranda says:

    Love that coral color! It turned out great,

  • Annette says:


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