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Inspiration for the Day

Happiness is. . . a Little Magic

By 06/14/2012January 28th, 20179 Comments

Sometimes clients are looking for a little magic when I arrive with my box of colours.

Barbara Barry


But sometimes, magic will not erase a mint green carpet installed all throughout your house, for example.

Barbara Barry


Sometimes colour can absolutely make something old and dated look a hundred times better. Sometimes, it just takes money.


When I was in Toronto last week, Irene and I had dinner with Janice Lindsay at a wonderful restaurant a short walk from her house. Janice said she chose the colours for the restaurant across the street and mentioned that she selected a dark, dramatic colour for their boring, nasty hallway to make it disappear.

I loved that.

The right colour is magic. And sometimes you need money to pull it off and sometimes just a can of paint (in the correct undertone I might add) will do the trick.

Where do you need magic in your house?

Related posts:

Is your Flooring Bossing you Around?

The Enchanting World of Atmosphere

A Light Colour will Never come to Life in a Dark Room

Download my eBook, to learn how to magically get the undertones in your house right! How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.



  • Nothing like a can of paint to transform a room into something magical. That’s why it’s my favorite design tool!! In the right undertones, OF COURSE!!

  • Soma says:

    I embraced the lack of light in my condo and painted much lighter than I would have liked, but I can barely describe the amount of magic and romance it has brought into the house! 🙂

  • Nicole says:

    Said so beautifully, Maria… as always! 🙂
    I am always pleased to see an articulate post update from you in my inbox… thank you

  • Cherie says:

    Nicely written, Maria, and so true. Sometimes we plan that magic methodically, and other times we are surprised and delighted by it. Either way, the magic happens! I love the photos in today’s post.

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Maria, the little illustration of the cicles with the comfort zone is so telling!! That is the root of all fear, right? (I noticed the “money” is need for magic idea 😉
    Where have I heard that before???
    Neil says my personal temperature comfort zone is 3 degrees one way or the other. Yours too?
    Breaking out of our comfort zone design-wise is exactly what’s needed to breathe freshness into a home decor. This post is a saver for me. Well written!

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    PS: sorry about the spelling errors! I’m in a hurry to go paint something!!

  • Kim Wills-Luxton says:

    I do like your post that breaking out of the comfort zone is a breathe of freshness to your home decor…I am a color tech..and just finished a home with open concept and so my client said let the adventure begin , it is awesome color husband is the painter and he agreed…

  • rebecca says:

    Love your blog but feel the need to correct credit for some of today’s photos attributed to Barbara Barry (whose work I adore!). The photos are by an amazing photographer, Rodney Smith. He is just so cool and I first saw his work in a Barbara Barry designed restaurant, The Boxwood, in London years ago. I became an instant fan. Just thought I’d let your readers know so they can check him out at

  • I love Janice Lindsay!!! Her book is great, and I would appreciate it if you would interview her again sometime. She’s brilliant. And so are you of course 🙂

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