Need help with colour and decorating? I’ve made it easy to get the advice you need.

So many of you have learned enough from the blog to know that there is a lot to know about colour. You have a new awareness of undertones and why they are so important to get right. You are learning so much, but when it comes to that expensive decision you need to make for your home right now, you’re paralyzed with uncertainty. You desperately want to get it right and you don’t want to waste time and money.

I hear you, and want to help, so I’ve created a process in my eDesign consultations to get you the help you need via email.

Whether you need help deciding on one element, decorating a whole room, or finding the perfect exterior colours, I have a series of online consultation packages to make the process quick and painless.

Get Maria’s advice for your colour dilemma now


how does itWORK?

eDesign Steps Process

watch eDesignVIDEO

how can we do thisONLINE?

Because getting the colour right is about being able to correctly distinguish undertones, and that is what we do best!

Maria and her team have consulted with hundreds of clients this way helping them create beautiful and classic homes without the expense of full service design.

Once we’ve seen 6 photos of any given room from all angles (for example), we can see which undertones you are working with. If we can’t see the colour correctly for some reason, we will notify you immediately and process a refund.

Consulting this way takes a bit of leg work but you will have the satisfaction of doing it yourself, creating your own personalized home, with reassuring guidance from an expert whose aesthetic you trust.

here’s an example of anE-CONSULTATION

Deanna had begun updating her new house and was looking for some guidance for tackling the kitchen.

The challenges included angled vaulted ceilings and a rustic brick wall. She wanted to add a sliding barn door at the end of the kitchen where there was currently a plain, awkwardly placed door. She had just painted the living room and dining room area and while she thought the colour was pretty, it was just not quite right for the space, so we tweaked that too.

Here are some of the recommendations we sent her.

There are so many Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams colours that can be found on Pinterest, we always include photos of what the colour will look like painted.

BM Muslin OC 12

I know you like the colour Fennel Seed, but it is far too yellow to relate well to the brick which would work much better with pink undertones. There are creamy tones in your brick, but they are not yellow enough for yellows. Even if you whitewash the brick, it will still look pink and so you would have to change the yellows.

A neutral that would work much better for your living/dining room is Muslin.

BM White Down OC 131

Your house has a lot of character, good job lightening it up so far.

This is a cream that does not read yellow, with enough depth not to look too stark with your brick. It will work very well with your backsplash tile. Navajo white will be a bit too yellow, but white down is similar with less yellow. I would recommend painting everything in this cream to down play the akward angles and transitions. Use satin on all trim and cabinets and eggshell on the walls and ceilings (unless the ceilings are rough, then use flat for those).

I would recommend painting the red vent cover to match the cabinets (white down in satin). You will have a hard time finding a close enough match in a veneer, and you don’t need to add more brick, but the space could use some more cream to brighten things up.

How to choose paint colours that work with your lighting. Recently, we received an email asking how we can take into consideration ‘The San Francisco light that filters into my living room’ from across the country in an eDesign consultation.

Maria wrote a post that best answers this question here.

It’s common for people to express doubt on whether this can be done on-line. And for the record, it absolutely can. We’ve done it hundreds of times, lighting has 5% to do with getting the colour right, while choosing the correct undertone is 95% of the work.

Every time, without fail ,that someone has said “The colour went pink after it was painted in my living room, when I ask what the paint colour was? It’s a pink beige. Or green beige or whatever the offending neutral was.This is not to say that there are times when the light does change the colour into something that makes you want to cry, but it is MOST often a wrong undertone problem.

It happens again and again that I get asked to choose paint colours for an empty space. I get it. Often you have no choice but to paint before you move in. And the painter is breathing down your neck for your colour choices. This is even harder if you are buying everything new and have not made any purchases yet. However, there are serious limitations to choosing colours this way that we would like you to be aware of before we make our recommendations.

When the colour doesn’t relate to anything, it’s hard for you to be confident that it’s the right colour without the rest of the decorating plan to get you excited.

The best paint colours often look pretty uninspiring on a paint chip. It is when they are in CONTEXT of an overall design that they feel right. Read this blog to clarify.

So before we get started, please keep this in mind and trust us. In a scenario like this, we are picking the neutral that best relates to your fixed elements and will give you good flexibility to create a look and feel that will make you happy.

Often when clients are in this empty house scenario, their anxiety and indecision is heightened because their expectations of the paint colour are too great. It is difficult in this situation to keep in mind that DECORATING the space is going to create the look and feel you are going for, not the paint colour alone. Check out this blog by Maria for more.

So before we get started, please keep this in mind and trust us. In a scenario like this, we are picking the neutral that best relates to your fixed elements and will give you good flexibility to create a look and feel that will make you happy.

Here is what deanna had to say:


My husband finally left town on a three-day business trip and I couldn’t wait for him to leave so I could hook up with Eddie.

Eddie the painter, that is!!!!!! Hahaha!!!!!!

Day one: first coat of Muslin in my Main Living/Dining/+ stairwell. Already it is transformative. No longer does it look like someone has peed on my walls (fennel seed). The old Chicago brick wall that looked like an eyesore before now looks like a highlight of the room. And the carpet in the stairwell actually looks good now. Omg!

It’s costing me $2K to correct my initial mistakes in both my main area and my kitchen. So, if I had consulted you at the start I would be $1,800 richer. I’ll never paint another thing without consulting you ladies first! Well worth the consult fee.

Now here’s hoping hubby doesn’t notice how drastic the “final coat” has has transformed things. (Wink wink).”


Kelly has an 18 year old pretty cream kitchen that needed an update.

She was about to go through the expense of painting the kitchen white but Maria told her that she didn’t have to repaint her cream cabinets, they are pretty as they are, which saved her a big and costly job. Instead, Maria’s suggestion was that she install a white countertop and backsplash.

She chose a Danby marble countertop and sent us these pictures when she was finalizing the backsplash.

We asked her to line up her samples in daylight with white paper behind in the orientation they would be installed and snap a photo without flash. This can be done quickly with your phone since phone cameras are so amazing now.

We helped her choose her backsplash to coordinate with the countertops. Here is the beautiful after! Such a pretty cream and white kitchen! Kelly was very happy with the result!


This lovely client was building their forever home. She found my blog after the house was painted and they were VERY unhappy with the final result. She had a combination of yellow beige stone and pink beige brick and the hardy board was painted yet another unrelated colour, sage green.

I even liked the yellow primer better than the awful sage green that we have now!’ my client wrote in her email after she found me on-line. ’We are shocked at how much the after photo ages the house, it went from a bright looking house, to a dark and gloomy house, please help!’


What’s the solution? Well Maria could see that the roof was gray brown, not a green or red brown. We couldn’t introduce a red/pink brown to replace the green because then it would clash with the yellow stone. Any shade of yellow was not an option because then it would continue to clash with the pink beige stone.

Maria gave her a taupe for the shakes that related much better to the roof and brick and freshened up the look of the house with creamy trim and shutters. See all the pictures here on how we came up with the final colour scheme.


After this transformation one of Maria’s readers called her The Colour Whisperer.

She can be the Colour Whisperer for your house too!

We look forward to collaborating with you!

what maria’s clients are saying:

“Maria designed a white kitchen for me through an e-consult. Before she did it, I hated that room every time I looked at it or walked past it. After we implemented the changes the beauty of that kitchen saved my marriage (we had been fighting over the way we had remodeled it for years)!! ;)”

Laura from New Jersey

the shopeDESIGN

Whether you need help deciding on one element, decorating a whole room, or finding the perfect exterior colours, we have a series of online consultation packages to make the process quick and painless.