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

By 12/01/2017December 4th, 201765 Comments

Maria Killam | Black and white turtleneck, here. Beret from Kate Spade here.

Welcome to my holiday tour! Don’t let my neutral wreath fool you, the colour starts as soon as you walk in. I just dressed to coordinate with the plaid wreath for this photo.

The best thing about my neutral family room is that I can switch up the colours with pillows, throws, and accessories every season.

In my colour workshops, I talk about how you have to have small, medium and large gradations of the accent colour you’ve chosen. Generally, you kinda have to commit to colour in your artwork or a chair for the room to look like it’s been well decorated.

I can get away with not having an orange chair or even orange art in this case because this is such a small room. And you can see the small, medium and large orange with just the home decor items I’ve added to this room.

Anyway, I liked the feel of the orange in this room which I recently posted decorated for fall, so I decided to keep the same colour scheme for the Christmas tree.

Finding orange ornaments proved to be a challenge, so I bought out the local Michaels of all their orange ribbon and ended up making my own colour chip ornaments.

When my nephews come over and see my perfectly wrapped gifts, they know better than to wonder if their gifts are bought and wrapped yet, haha. They know they are strictly for decoration this early in the season.

The orange roses from my fall bouquet were reused on the garland on the mantel.

I pull these white boxes out every year and put them somewhere, I love the playful silver and white polka dots.

My orange striped urns fit in this holiday mantel perfectly!

You can get this Pottery Barn floor lamp here.


First I created a template for the colour chip ornaments with this post I found on Pinterest.

I also added some black and white houndstooth ribbon for contrast. And of course my tree is flocked again this year, I just love that it feels like snow since we rarely have a white Christmas here on the West Coast.

The Merry Christmas pillow and orange throw I found at HomeSense.

The owls I found from Superstore. I can’t resist a cute face.

Willam and Markus

I had my sweet nephews over last night to make Minions gingerbread houses. William’s roof would not stay on with the icing that came with the kit I bought.

Markus and I followed the instructions and assembled the entire house BEFORE we added the icing which made the icing droopy. Oops. Next time I’ll do better, haha. I should probably keep my day job. A pastry chef I am not.

Here is the gingerbread house in the end:

Photos by Maria Killam

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Also, I’m excited to share my podcast interview with the fabulous gals at Ballard Design! They came to Day 1 of my Specify Colour with Confidence event in Atlanta this Fall and at the end of the day we recorded the podcast which they recently posted on their blog!

Here is Caroline, Taryn and Karen matching up the wall colour for our ‘fixing the room’ exercise that happens on Day 1.

I am so honoured and grateful to be a part of the impressive lineup of designers on their ‘How to Decorate’ podcast.

Check out the podcast here.

Related posts:

Holiday Tour of my Home 2016

Christmas Tour of my House 2015; Flocked or Green

2014 Holiday Tour of my House Inside Canadian Living

14 pins


  • Candice Hill says:

    You look so cute, with your beret, and matching wreath. It made me smile!!!! And the family room looks so nice! ?

  • Nancy says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family !
    Love your beautiful well decorated home .
    Thank you for sharing your home with all of us .
    Thank you for all your tips and your blogs .
    They are the best and look forward to reading them .

  • Oh my goodness, you are a cute as a button with that Kate Spade beret!

    I never thought of using an orange colour for Christmas, but it works beautifully.
    Wishing you and your family a very blessed Christmas!

  • Anne W says:

    I love your Christmas styling and decor! Is there another post that can help me learn more about the “small, medium and large gradations of the accent colour”?

  • Cindy Redman says:

    Delightful! …and love the flocked tree!

  • Deb says:

    So different for Christmas. Reminds me of fruit cake or stolen. Pretty.

  • Daphne says:

    So unique and done exquisitely.

    But, psst, Maria, it’s mantel. Remember?

  • Deb says:

    Oops, Christmas Stollen.

  • Bill Wallace says:

    Dear Maria,

    What a visual feast!
    I started humming my favorite Christmas carol as I looked at your photos.
    Talent you’re not short of – a beautiful job.
    Merry Christmas to you, Terreeia and your family.
    An Admiring Fan, Bill

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hey Bill, nice to see your comment on here, we really enjoyed our visit with you in Atlanta! Thanks so much! Maria

  • Lindy Lawrence says:

    Maria: Orange being my favourite colour, I love,love,love this!!! So fresh and new and a delightful change from the traditional
    colour scheme we associate with Christmas. Beautifully done, and you can see your talent so clearly in everything you do!
    Hope you take some time out from your hectic life to enjoy the beauty you have created and share some special moments with
    your family this holiday season…….thank you for all your wonderful tips and advice I so look forward to. Simply amazing!

  • Angela Taylor says:

    I want that beret, so cute! You look adorable too. Always so lovely to see your beautiful home as it is always so inviting. Merry Christmas to you and yours Maria OX

  • Nicola says:

    I love seeing how other people do Christmas in their own homes. It’s gorgeous and very you…which is exactly what Christmas in your own home should be 🙂

  • Noni says:

    I love how you love colour. It’s helped me be braver in my home too. Your home looks so festive and welcoming, especially with your big smile right at the front door!

  • Karen says:

    Maria, you look adorable!
    Your home is filled with creative beauty and color–Inspiring!
    Thank you for your informative and helpful posts!
    Merry Christmas!

  • Diane says:

    Love, love, love everything! Your outfit is delightful and I adore the color orange.

    When my kids were small and decorating gingerbread houses, we used a hot glue gun to assemble the houses before adding the candy and icing. The girls couldn’t eat them but the houses held up for the season.

  • Laurel says:

    Love it ? your place looks truly gorgeous. Adore the orange. I want to sit in this room. ?? And make a gingerbread house too!

  • Looks great, Maria! Super cute kid faces, too. Sorry about Terreeia’s sister and to have missed you in LA…mom got good news today that her tumor shrank from 20 cm to 15 cm.

  • Kathy Richman says:

    Love all of this! Trying to figure out your technique for the ribbons in tree? Houndstooth tucked inside up and down and orange is knot at one end and attached?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes the Houndstooth ribbon is just tucked around, but the orange ribbon has a silver or gold ribbon underneath it with one loop and then I used twist ties to hold the loop together and also to tie the longer side of the ribbon onto another branch. Hope that makes sense! Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • Ange says:

    What an adorable photo of you. ❤️ Your outfit and that you coordinated with your wreath. Your house is beautiful. Enjoyed your Christmas home tour.

  • Sue Sinclair says:

    Your home has the warmth of a master decorator, I wish you, and your family and your Mother a holy and happy Christmas and abundance for you in the new year, best wishes S

  • Gery says:

    Your home exudes such joy. Love the color chip gift tags.
    Can you tell me if your pewter curtain rods are 3/4,” or 1.25″ diameter? Thanks.

  • Jenny says:

    Omg Maria I love reading your words because it’s as if you are standing there talking to me!! Love how you bring so much MARIA into it and the best part is that you don’t even know how special it is! I cracked up that the nephews are well aware that the gifts are empty…I guess that had to be discovered … hope it only took one year 🙂

    • Maria Killam says:

      Oh I beautifully wrapped empty boxes for my sisters house too and my nephews love them. This year they were telling me that the boxes were looking a little trashed from being stored so I might have to go over there and wrap up some fresh boxes, haha! THanks for your comment, Maria

  • krtimmerman says:

    If I could drink these photos, I would. All the decor is refreshing. I especially love the orange and white striped urns, black and white plaid ornaments on the front door wreath, your hat and sweater, which look darling on you, and I am just loving all the beautiful photos!

  • It’s exquisite!!! You are amazing, Maria!!!

  • Your home looks great, Maria, and so do you! The orange with black and white looks so fresh and happy and so perfect in your already lovely living room. And the gingerbread house is just the right personal touch. Your nephews are adorable 🙂

  • Melinda says:

    I am so excited that you are on the How to Decorate podcast! I’ve been listening to their past episodes recently and got excited when they just mentioned you on the episode with Lisa Mende! I can’t wait to listen to your very own episode!

    Your Christmas decorations are beautiful! Have a very Merry holiday and thank you for sharing your decorating advice with us! Your blog and the class have been so inspirational to me. Even though this is only my hobby and not my profession, it makes me happy to have a beautiful home and I was so thankful to be able to find you to help guide me.

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Wow! It’s obvious how much you love decorating for Christmas. And what a beautiful job you do.
    Using orange is such a fun, fresh approach. Very creative of you to make your own ornaments out of paint chips. It’ so YOU!!

  • Debra says:

    Your colors remind me of Christmas Stollen. So pretty.

  • Lynn says:

    Bravo, Maria! You’ve knocked it out of the park again this year. Your room looks cozy, cheerful, lively and festive…and completely original. Merry Christmas!

  • Carolyn says:

    Maria, I love everything about this! Using orange is so different and interesting and beautifully pulled together! When I first saw your photo at the front door I was guessing your tree and room would be decked out in fuschia and the green from your front door. What a nice fresh surprise! And proof once again that with the correct neutrals on your walls and fixed elements, the possibilities to change it up are endless! ??

  • Pam says:

    I thought it was nice the colors went well together but for me it didn’t have the wow factor that I expect from somebody that’s a designer.

    • Carol says:

      Maria is not a designer and I haven’t seen is her presenting herself as one. Maria is a “color expert” and if you watch her on her U-tube videos you will see her proclaim herself as “The True color expert” and as you said yourself the colors went well together well so mission accomplished!!

  • Deneice says:

    I love it. Orange is my favorite color. I never could figure out how to incorporate it in Christmas decorations and your post help solve that problem. Thanks so much.

    PS, I really enjoyed the Specify Color Workshop in Torrance. Learned a lot.

  • Amy KS says:

    Love this! It is so bright and cheery. The orange is a perfect addition. Those little owls are so cute, the crowns on their heads are definitely the “crowning” touch to a very beautiful room. I love when you do posts on your own home. It looks like such a happy place, hence the name of your blog, I guess. Merry, merry to you and your family!

  • Leslie says:

    Hot glue gun is the secret key to assembling gingerbread houses (shhh!)!

  • Lucy says:

    Oh Maria I love all of your posts but this one was so inspiring! The use of orange as an accent color was a surprise but who ever said that you have to use traditional red and green for Christmas. I love a flocked tree because yes it reminds me of the snow that I grew up with but it also makes the ornaments stand out better! The color chip ornaments was such a good idea and I can see where they could be used for different applications. From the front door with your cute outfit to the gingerbread house and everything in between with your adorable nephews I just loved reading this!

    Congratulations on your podcast! Now you are running with the “big dogs” as I expected you would all along!

  • Melanie says:

    Gorgeous and so colorful! I heard the podcast last week (I’ve been a fan of How to Decorate almost since the beginning!) and absolutely loved your episode: funny, interesting and SO informative. Great job!! Will definitely be listening to that one again.

  • Lisa Myra Berry, ID says:


  • Lucy says:

    Oh Maria I love all of your posts but this one is so inspiring! The use orange as your Christmas accent color was a surprise but whoever said you had to stick to the traditional red, green, gold theme! I have always loved a flocked tree not only because it reminds me of the snow that I grew up with but it makes your ornaments pop. Just thought the paint deck decorations was such a clever idea and could have many applications from tree ornaments to name tags to ?. From the front door with your darling outfit to the gingerbread house plus your adorable nephews and all the in between, I really enjoyed reading this! Hope you will have the best Christmas ever!

    By the way congrats on your Ballard podcast. I heard it a few days ago. You are now running with the “big dogs” as I knew you would. So happy for you!

  • Linda says:

    Wow Maria! You are amazing and your home is bright and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your gifts at Christmas and throughout the year.

  • Adrienne says:

    I love your holiday home Maria, thanks for the tour. Such a refreshing color scheme and you look fabulous as always!

  • Dana says:

    It’s beautiful, the tree is my favorite! Would you be willing to share your wall and mantel paint colors?
    Happy holidays!

  • Joanne Michael says:

    You are my hero, dear Maria. I’m still in recovery/work mode from the LA Workshop. Love the paint chip ornaments and your perfect holiday color coordination.
    Blessings to you, Teerria, Mom, Sisters and their families plus your WONDERFUL staff. You bring me joy.

  • Carol says:

    Those color chip ornaments are delightful!!! What a great idea, I have soooo many of them and now a great way to use them!!! Thanks for such a good idea!!

  • Adelaide says:

    Your tree looks fresh and citrus-y. I see you found some larger glass ball shaped ornaments too.
    Season’s greetings to you Maria, and may all your family have a fun-filled holiday season.
    One of your past trees is featuring as the cover photo for a Houzz story about fresh tress today.

  • Michelle says:

    Your room brings a huge smile to my face. It’s so bright and beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a most blessed holiday season.

  • Jean says:

    Thanks for another great inspiration. I figured out that what is missing is ribbon in my tree so I’m off to look for some. And I’ve been considering faux packages for several years because I ship all of mine to family and the tree looks so empty without any. I thought your podcast on How to Decorate was one of the best–great summary of your ideas. By the way, I heard about that podcast from you, not the other way around, and I’ve been listening since you mentioned it in in a post. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • M says:

    Oooooh I always enjoy being invited in your home, my favorite posts that never disappoint.
    Wow! Love everything, especially your pic at the front door. You look great, perfectly color coordinated of course, and that wreath is killer! Can you please give me a source for the wreath?

    Your holiday decorated room is beautiful. The color chip ornaments and tags are genius, I’m so stealing that idea. Home Depots and paint stores everywhere will be stumped by the disappearing paint cards. 🙂

    Did you decorate your other rooms? Hint, hint for a peak.

    I’ve always loved your fireplace. Did you remodel it? Can you please tell me what the material is that surrounds the firebox and is on the floor?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Mary, haha, well the living room looks the same as other years because the colours in there are the same, raspberry, green and yellow, so if you click on the posts at the end of this post, you’ll see the other rooms.

      The fireplaces in my house were existing, I was so happy that I did not need to change them. I don’t actually know what the surround is but it’s some kind of plastic, sorry I can’t be more helpful.

      The wreath was from HomeSense. Out here in the country, my decor would die without that store since we don’t have the other stylish stores that are in the city 🙂

      Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • Barbara says:

    Maria, your tree and decorations are so YOU! I love the idea that decorations don’t have to be red and green. If we stick with the colors we already have in our home, there will always be filler pieces available. I can picture sitting there with a cup of hot chocolate – so cozy and comfortable. And you are just adorable in that beret. Thank you for sharing.

  • Effie says:

    Possibly the happiest, most sunshiny holiday decor I’ve ever seen. I absolutely loved it all!

  • Fran W. says:

    So pretty and cheerful! Love your happy holiday décor!

  • Mary Anne Clark says:

    I love the colors. They are so bright and cheery. Very refreshing. I could live here!

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