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Exterior ColourWhitewhite kitchens

A Fresh and Classic Dream Home in Texas

By 06/21/2016February 10th, 201740 Comments


Exterior colours: Sherwin Williams Colonnade Grey, Shutters: SW Breezy

I recently received this email from Lori in Texas who bought my White eBook during the design phase of her dream home, and here is the beautiful and classic result!

I purchased your e-book,  White Is Complicated: A Decorator’s Guide to Choosing the Right White, while we were in the design phase of our dream home. See, we recently retired from the military after serving 30 years. A dream home was something that just wasn’t possible until now. So I knew we had to get it right.
Your e-book was a such a blessing!!!  Well, the house is complete and because of you, I think we got it right!!  Thank you for all of your advice and tips.  We are forever grateful!!
P.S.  I used white subway tile in all of the bathrooms!!

Lori decorated the house herself and she did a beautiful job! Love the french doors in the living room with the transom windows and the pretty, medium brown hardwood floors!


Paint colour throughout; SW Alabaster


Woodwork and Trim; BM Chantilly Lace | All photos by Michael Hunter Photography


She bought the chandeliers from eBay in France!


White kitchen Cabinets; BM Chantilly Lace; Island Annie Sloan Graphite, Pendant Lights: Schoolhouse 

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Lori wanted concrete tiles in here but they were not in her budget so she used Annie Sloan chalk paint instead and painted the black and white squares with two coats of varnish on top. She says they are holding up even with the high heels she often wears!


Master Bathroom: Carrara Marble Countertops & BM Chantilly Lace cabinets.

Lori’s last note to me was “Thanks so much, your blog had a lot to do with what my house is today. . . down to the medium brown floors”.

If you are choosing white for your walls, trim, cabinets or ceilings, go here to download my White is Complicated eBook! 

I get these kinds of emails a lot and it’s lovely to receive photos to post! Thanks so much Lori, I really appreciate them!


Elizabeth Jacobs & Maria Killam

My sister Elizabeth and I have been in Montreal for the last 4 days and we’ve had a great time! Getting on a flight shortly and we’ll be home tonight! We bought white sneakers because she’s been on a mission to find them ever since she saw a picture of Victoria Beckham wearing them.

Elizabeth got the white and silver ones here (are the gold version), and I bought the white and gold ones here.

All the girls in Montreal were wearing Adidas white leather sneakers but they were sold out everywhere, I found them online here.

I’m still amazed that it’s trendy for women to wear comfortable shoes! I say hooray ; )

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.

Related posts:

Maria Killam’s Trend Forecast for 2016

Ask Maria: When is White Dirty?

Cream is Old, White is New

13 pins


  • Lucy HAINES says:

    What a nice post. It certainly proves that if everyone would follow your advice for paint colors, they too could have a fresh look and a nice flow from room to room. She did a great job!

    It is so nice to have a sister close by that you can get together with for a weekend. It sounds like you had a great time. Hope the weather was also good. Were the sneakers designer sneakers?

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Wow wow wow. It’s so lovely. Lori did a great job following your advice. So worth the 30 year wait.
    Btw… The paint color for her blue cabinets was missing from your text.
    Anytime you can wear sneakers instead of heels it’s a win.

  • Love the kitchen with the blue island…all the rooms have an inviting feel. Great job!

  • Chris says:

    Beautiful job! The timeless color and material choices will allow any change in decor without having to change the infrastructure. Painted kitchen cabs and islands are so great because you can change the color pretty much anytime you feel like it. I painted all my trim, doors, windows and kitchen and bath cabinets in Chanitlly Lace too. It is the cleanest white out there I think. Most of my walls are the old stand-by BM White Dove, and it seems that Alibastor is similar. Love it!

    • Lori says:

      Thank you Chris. Our builder’s painter uses SW or my walls would have been BM White Dove. I LOVE White Dove, but realized that SW paint was a better financial fit. I found that SW Alabaster was the closest match as far as I could tell. The only reason I was able to use BM on my cabinets is because I painted them myself. 🙂

  • Ali says:

    Lori’s house looks terrific. Flows so well and absolutely follows your guidance, Maria. Congratulations to you both! Maria – would you please ask Lori if she used engineered floors, and if yes, what company/pattern #? The medium brown is perfect. Thanks.

    • Lori says:

      Thank you for the kind words Ali! The floor is engineered. Manufacturer – Hill Country Innovations, Collection: Old World, Species: Oak, Color: MC 132 Donatello

  • Claudia says:

    So light and airy! Beautifully done! Love the blues!

  • M says:

    Beautiful! Did Lori nail the whites Maria? 🙂

    Any chance she’s would be willing to share the manufacturer, species and color of her fabulous wood floors?

    Maria I total agree with you about med brown floors being the go to, but wow, so hard for me to pick out when faced with a lot of samples in the store! Sometimes what I think I’ve found med brown with no red, orange or yellow, I’m totally wrong when I see it next to something else or in a different light. What’s the secret to finding a TRUE med brown wood floor?

    Also, seeing a lot of no sheen wood floors in upscale model homes in my area, S California. Called wire whisked or something like that? Not distressed, just no gloss which gives a nice casual or modern appearance. I like it and looks easy care, but think it’s just “trendy” and therefore should be avoided?


    • Lori Kendall says:

      Thank you M. The floor is engineered. Manufacturer – Hill Country Innovations, Collection: Old World, Species: Oak, Color: MC 132 Donatello

      • Maureen says:

        Hi, I also would like to commend you on a beautiful job. It looks dreamy. My question is about the floor specifically, I am just starting a new build in Canada and will be choosing solid hardwood throughout. I really love these floors but cannot get these exact ones. When I’m choosing, I wonder if you have any advice to choose species and stain colour that may be close. When I look at the Hill Country wesite pic of the colour, it doesn’t really look like the floor in your pics. Thank you for sharing your beautiful design choices. They are definitely an inspiration for me. 🙂

  • Margaret Graham says:

    I found hickory wood no stain just clear sealer, for flooring, It doesn’t seem to be as orange as the oaks.

  • Norma says:

    What a fabulous job Lori did! Maria, you are a guide like no other!!

  • KAP says:

    She did a great job on her home. Lori, if you see this, what color/type shingles do you have?

    • Lori Kendall says:

      Thank you RAP, the roof is concrete tiles: Crown Roof Tiles, Style – Windsor Shake, Color – Birchwood, Lay – Staggered

      • KAP says:

        Thanks, we are in Dallas and have brown concrete tiles too. Original to the house so 25+ years old and undamaged by so many hailstorms. Many of our neighbors have had 4-5 new roofs in the 10 years we have lived here; you made a wise longterm choice.

  • Kimberly in Texas says:

    Does Miss Lori have a blog/Instagram that documents the details of her renovation?

    • Lori says:

      Sadly no, but if you find me on FB (Lori Anderson Kendall) and scroll through my photos, you’ll see the construction process from start to finish. PM me…I know that Texas is big, but we may live near each other. 🙂

  • sandyc says:

    Leave it to a fellow Texan to get it so right. And what a tribute to your teaching ability in everything you do, Maria. I’m in Arizona now so probably will never meet you, Lori, but if I were to walk into your home today, I’d be totally inspired to pay you the wonderful compliment that was paid to me by two groups who didn’t even know me well when I had to host shortly after moving into my house. Both groups toured my work in progress, came back and said “Sandy, we love your house – it’s so YOU!” Well, I love your house, Lori, and I know it’s so YOU!
    Be filled happiness every time you walk in as Maria always says.

  • KA says:

    Brava to both of you. Such a nice home!

  • BH says:

    It is stunning. I’m curious how well Annie Sloan chalk paint is holding up on the kitchen cabinets and island.

    • Lori says:

      Thank you BH. The chalk paint is holding up nicely. I finished them with Annie Sloan’s dark wax to protect them from dirt and water. I seriously don’t think that her paint will ever chip off and if it did, I can easily touch it up and no one will ever be the wiser. I also lightly sanded the edges of the cabinet drawers so they are very forgiving. I tend to like things perfectly imperfect anyways.

  • Gina says:

    Beautiful home! You’ve done a beautiful job in every space. Following and LISTENING to Maria’s advice was the right thing to do! Congrats!

  • Diane says:

    I love the hardwood in the bathroom! Is it silly to put hardwood or hardwood tile in a master bath when the master bedroom has carpet?

  • Micki L Ownby says:

    I also purchased Miriam’s E-Books and I took her advice. I believe I achieved the look that I wanted regarding paint, white paint and wood floors. Also, it is so true that a small colour chip will not come close to the actual colour and undertones (I made that mistake). Large paint cards will “tell the truth”. Furthermore, I tried to keep in mind that when selecting different colours, they should compliment each other, or as Miriam indicated by using her example that the colours should look “married”. I am not a colour expert, but I am so glad I purchased her books because if I hadn’t, I would have made some serious mistakes, and the books will always be a good reference when choosing colour for the home, whether it is paint or anything else.

  • Micki L Ownby says:

    Stunning home, Lori!!!

  • Noris Monsalve says:

    Really nice

  • Ad says:

    Maria, I just have to know specifics about the sunglasses you are wearing. I want a pair just like them!

  • teresa says:

    Everything is so beautiful and professional looking. Maria, I wish you’d do a post on Montreal fashion. I lived there for years and remember so many trends. I’d love to know what’s happening in that regard. Love the sneakers.

  • Barbara Bragg says:

    Well ladies, I was a guest at Lori’s beautiful home last night. Believe me, it is a sight to behold and so exquisitely appointed that the pictures cannot capture the depth of its uniqueness. Lori gave us a tour and outlined the history of every piece that she acquired to perfect the overall setting. We all recommended that she write a book about her experiences and devote a chapter to each room. A best seller for all decorating enthusiasts!

  • Henriette says:

    A tired and true experience in having a dream
    come to fruition. Combination of Annie Sloan
    Duck Egg, adds a little pick me up for color and also for Graphite in the kitchen. The Alabaster wall color, woodwork and trim Chantilly lace. Well Done!! Tres Charmant. Recently I have been Studying
    “White is Complicated “and “Maria’s Bonus Book of whites”. These are very informative, + the Newsletters.
    Curious to know, What is the master bathroom ceiling paint color? Pure White?

    • Lori says:

      Henriette, all of the ceilings are painted the same color as the walls (SW Alabaster) …it’s what they do down here in Texas. 🙁
      I wanted to go with another color as recommended by Maria but our budget did not allow it.

  • Holly says:

    The doors by the piano are stunning. Are they antique doors?

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