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How to get an Inspired Room Refresh

By 08/14/2016February 10th, 201723 Comments

Todays post is all about my interior e-design services. For approximately one year now, I have been offering e-design colour consulting for paint colours and hard finishes.

But so many of my readers need more, they need a room refresh and if that’s you, you might be in one of these dilemmas:

You need to buy a sofa but would like to avoid the obvious ‘trendy neutral of the moment’ and you are stuck on trying to determine what your colour scheme should be.

You want a fresh colour scheme but you’re not sure what absolutely has to go and/or what can stay.

You need a plan, you’ve had an empty living or dining room for way too long.

How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam

Maria Killam & Crystal Hasell on Instagram Use #hasellrenovation to see the updates

Last night, I was at my client Crystal’s annual dressed in white party, and I was chatting with one of her guests who confided she’s needed a custom made window seat for 3 years but she can’t decide on a colour.

And often, that is the hardest part, because if you make one decision it can boss around the next decision you have to make, and so on.

Not knowing what colour to buy can paralyze all your decorating plans.

Well I have the solution, just purchase any one of our e-design consultations and you’ll be back on track.

You could be this person who emailed me the other day:

“I’ve have been in my condo for a year now and did not want to start decorating until I got a feel for my place and inspiration.  When I found your site it totally verified how my space made me feel and I was not crazy! 

The current colors in my condo are–yes you guessed it–all Tucson.  I read everything about updating it and also hired a decorator.

I explained how I felt about the fixed finishes and colors and the look I was going for.

Long story short, I have installed new quartzite and chosen all new furniture and fabric and she tells me that I’m worried too much about how the wall color looks with my trim, counter, tile and wood cabinets – it only needs to match my furniture.  

Since I’m back to the exact problem I had when I started I am so frustrated and upset. 

What do you need from me to consult on my great room?”

What we need are photos of your room, taken without flash and in good natural light, using your iPhone.

How can I help you on-line with colour? Is a frequently asked question.

Because there are only 9 possible neutral undertones in any interior, once you’ve sent me pictures (all the details will be outlined in the form you’ll receive) and I’ve seen your living room from 8 different angles, trust me, I will know which undertone/s we need to work with in order to give you the cohesive, beautiful result you’re looking for.

It’s rare that I can’t see the colour but if I can’t, we’ll let you know and you’ll get your money back.

So if you need one main neutral for your house, or you need a new sofa colour, we can help you here.

My team and I have recently created an inspired room refresh package.

My design assistant Tricia has written the following and put together some rooms to show you what’s possible for your home:

Sometimes all you need is to fall in love in order to get inspired to refresh a room.

But true love can be hard to find. Where do you look? When you find something you like, how do you know it’s the one? Commitment is not easy. It’s often hard to see the big picture.

In order to successfully redecorate a room, you need to get inspired, fall in love and commit.

Then you need a plan to turn your crush into a workable relationship.

Maybe you already know which colours you love, but you have no idea how to approach them and make them yours.

Or you have no idea where to begin, but you know your current room is boring you to death and is just not meeting your needs and making you happy.

Whether you need inspiration or a plan to make your daydream a reality, we can help.

Here’s how it works.

One of my own current inspirations obsessions is the combination of pale blue and plum. Here is my favorite fashion icon clad in this super romantic yet modern combo.

How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam

Audrey Tatou via OKChicas

On it’s own, pale blue can feel cool and washed out while plum can feel too rich, formal and decadent, but together the balance each other our perfectly!

Just look at this room featuring this luscious pairing.


How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam

One Kings Lane

I Love this bold mix of patterns. This palette works especially well with hits of green, chartreuse and gold.

Here is a dramatic dining room with plum walls and cool blue accents.

How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam

via Pinterest

I’ve created a couple of inspiration boards based on this combo for you to steal from. Each of these rooms began with an inspiration piece and my colour combination idea. Colour is often the best place to start.

The first features a green beige sofa to show that you can get pretty creative with your paint and accessories and create a fresh and interesting room with this pervasive staple. He’s a fine fixer upper 😉


How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam

Inspiration Board 1

The whimsical creamy vine detail in the area rug ties in with the beige sofa and sets a casual and fun tone with a hint of world traveler.

This vibe is repeated in the bleached rattan coffee table/ottoman which also picks up on the curves in the vine motif.

The rich plum colour is then balanced out by a cool blue wall colour, Brittany Blue 1633 by Benjamin Moore, which coordinates with the pale blue velvet armchair.

The toss pillows bring in a deeper indigo and a soft feminine floral to mix it up. Finally, the plum colour is repeated in this glam gem shaped lamp.


How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam

Inspiration Board 2

The second arrangement features a gorgeous blue velvet sofa. Because choosing a sofa in your favorite colour is always a great choice.

Starting with that, I added a solid plum wool rug and voila! There’s Audrey 😉 A glam lamp with a modern square shape in lilac adds a hit of gold which is repeated in the airy gold and glass coffee table on castors.

A modern floral toss pillow reinforces the colour combo and plays nicely with the delicate plum and white trellis pattern.

A creamy faux fur pillow adds some inviting texture. The wall colour here is a neutral greige, Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC 23.

In case blue and plum is not your thing, let’s switch gears and build an inspiration board with blue and green.


How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam

Blue and Green Inspired Refresh 1


This cognac leather sofa has clean, classic lines and will work with several redecorating schemes only gaining a more and more gorgeous patina with time.

Because they are easy to switch out, the supporting elements here are youthful, fresh and trendy like the green leaf chair which would work as a light and mobile small space piece softened with a sheepskin.

The waterfall coffee table is colourful and compact and the wicker tray and brass hedgehog (so adorable) ground it and repeat the warm tones of the sofa.

The toss cushions are casual and bright. One has a rich painterly palette contrasted with a soft grid pattern on the other.

The dark cobalt wool rug anchors the space and provides some crisp contrast.

The floor lamp adds a hit of black which is picked up in the simple black and white photography.

The wall colour is a pale blue green gray, Benjamin Moore’s Wickham Gray HC 171.


How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam

Blue and Green Inspired Refresh 2

This room begins with a classic blue and white ginger jar and an equally classic cream sofa.

A collection of blue and green pillows bring in some fresh green accents which are repeated in the fern leaf botanical prints.

The sapphire blue of the jar is picked up in the velvet wing back chair and goes on the walls with Benjamin Moore’s Symphony Blue 2060-10.

The rich pen shell coffee table is both grounded and a bit glam. Since the wall colour is deep, we’ve balance it with a chunky textured cream jute rug.

If you’re looking for something a little hotter, here is a hot pink and yellow solution to a taupe sofa.


How to get an Inspired Room Refresh | Maria Killam


If you have an earthy, taupe sofa, this is how you can freshen it up! This vibrant tribal rug with pinks, yellows and purples really raises the game here.

Now the sofa is a grounding backdrop for a collection of happy coordinating pillows.

Then the rest of the elements are kept simple and neutral to avoid getting too loud and boho. The oil rubbed bronze swing arm lamps relate to the sofa and add some classic sophistication.

And the dark metal Moroccan tray table speaks both to them, and the coordinating mirror to be hung between them while giving a nod to the vibe of the rug. The console desk picks up the motif too.

The simple off white chair keeps the arrangement from looking heavy. The wall colour here is a warm pale taupe to relate to the sofa, BM OC 16 Cedar Key.


Here’s what people are saying:

“Love the choices thank u so much!

Will definitely send after pics and will be in touch again as soon as it’s in budget…..  would love to have a design consult for other rooms. You make it so easy 🙂 ” Rebecca from Houston


“Thank you so much!  Really love the linen and the suggestions for the countertop.  You make a great point.  The eggplant looks like a fun color addition.

As we close and move closer I will send pic if we need some additional feedback.” Diane from New Jersey


So if you’re looking for help with picking the right hardwood, tile, countertop, backsplash or you need a room refresh, go here to see which package works for you.

The room refresh will likely go up in price once we have figured out how much time they actually take so now is the time to take advantage of the current pricing!

Which room in your house needs some fresh colour?

And if you’re considering attending one of my workshops this Fall, here’s a recent testimonial I received from Annie Vincent, a True Colour Expert in Arizona:


Annie Vincent, TCE, Arizona

 Register here  for my Specify Colour with Confidence Workshops.

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.



  • Robin M says:

    What a great post! And the new service has me sold on finally moving forward with finishing my rooms. BTW, in the photo of Crystal and you, your eyes look fabulous!

  • Lisa Kissee says:

    Where can a person buy the mirror #9

  • Great Mood Boards – I love all of them.

  • Christina Nickerson says:

    OMGosh!! Yes! Love this new addition to your services, it is just what “we” need! This is huge!

  • Mairi says:

    Tricia, I really enjoyed your story boards. My bedroom is decorated in pale blue and plum, so it was great to see this combination featured. Also, Maria, I can so see that raspberry and yellow tribal rug in your own living room-fabulous!

  • What a fantastic post! Kudos on your new additions. Soon you will be the go to girl for all kinds of design inspiration. Just love it!!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    I ever would have thought to put pale blue & plum together. But it looks great! It makes me want to re-do a room.

  • Sheryl says:

    Love this post! So inspiring!

  • Love this post Maria!

  • Neucky says:

    I LOVE the pale blue and plum combo. It’s gorgeous. Where can I find the fabric or pillows for the floral throw pillows in inspiration board one and two? Love them!

  • Barbara Kessler says:

    This is the best service ever. Love all of your posts, Maria. Finally, there may be hope to coordinate colors and accessories to go with my patterned cottage style furniture.
    You are inspiring,
    Barb in Sacramento

  • Maria,
    If I am reading your question right, you are asking if giving design advice online is marketable, or rather profitable. My answer to you would be “well, depends upon how you want your designs to be interpreted?” Do you want to market Design in a Box, or would you prefer to be unique, memorable, quality driven.
    I ventured into the world of designing for the everyday, making it affordable, easily accessible, instant gratification for the GenX’ers and beyond. Even sold a few packages – IT DOESN’T WORK. The clients are never happy, they don’t have a “design eye” for details, and they don’t know when and if to tweak, or add, or subtract items, texture, proportion, harmony – all the things we as great designers have in natural ability, hone with education and perfect with actual working experience. Trying to box packages will only water down your brand, take oodles of your time and money to perfect the packages only to not be followed through with the people buying it. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I came up with this idea over 9 years ago, had it online for years, spent over $50k trying to perfect it, and have now left it to collect dust along with the many, many, many other designers out there that just want to mail out design in a box for the masses. As one of my clients once said, “don’t try to peg my style in a box, I like a bit of this, and a bit of that. Having me pick just one look over another just frustrates me, and it is never good enough.” I wish you luck, and if you do perfect the “design in a box” for your followers – all the more power to you, and I wish you all the success in the world.

  • Paula says:

    Prices seem high for online consultation as opposed to in home. Perhaps offering targeted online solutions would be better, such as: best color palettes for rooms with eastern or western exposures, good wall and cabinetry color combos for rooms with orange oak flooring, etc.

    Would offering a directory of your graduate students for in-home services be welcome by many?

    I live in the city that is a known test market because, on the whole, we are extremely value-conscious. It’s been said that if it flies here it would fly anywhere ! So maybe it’s just me.

  • Faith says:

    I know if I was to purchase an edesign package, I would want to see samples of other consultations you have done before that apply to the package. You could provide links to pictures of before and after in the product description or even an audio or video of how a sample consultation is done. For a newbie, asking for help can seem intimidating and having prior knowledge of what to expect can be disarming. 🙂

  • Terry says:

    I came to your site by way of Penelope Trunk’s blog. I love your color viewpoint and everything you do with it. I’ve learned so much about color and am grateful to you for sharing so much! I am a Senior, living in subsidized housing. I live in a small, dim, some-color-of-white apartment. Color in our building is reluctantly doled out in small accents of Approved Institutional Grimmed colors in the main lobby and a few hallways: institutional greyn (grey green?), inst. grite (greyed eggwhite), and groyster. If lights were brighter than 40 watts….. Oh well.
    I have no suggestions to offer, sadly, I am not your target market, but speaking as a friendly bird who flies in and picks up nice juicy crumbs that have been dropped along the way, I am very grateful for all you have shared. Thank You, from my color starved heart!

  • ellen says:

    HI Maria,
    I’ve purchased several consults from you for my interior and exterior the past few years and have been so pleased with the results! The first few were hourly charged phone conversations with you and the last one was an a la carte exterior package where I didn’t talk to anybody, it was all done via email with Tricia. That worked out great too.
    The only thing holding me back from doing more (this fixer upper house I just moved into has alot to do) is cost. Personally, I would be hesitant to increase your prices any more; they are almost too expensive for me to afford on my budget, but I bought them anyways and was very happy with the results.

  • cammy says:

    Just curious. Do Canadians have to pay in US dollars?

  • Billy says:

    You are a great consultant for interior design.
    I appreciate you.
    Thanks for sharing this post want to read your further post also.

  • Sarah G. says:

    I’ve recently come across your blog through pinterest. So far I’ve just been lurking. I don’t know what your overall demographics are of readers, but if you were to put me in one I’d definitely need budget consult advice if I were to seek it out. Not as a reflection of the value of your services – which I wouldn’t be knowlegable of all that, but simply that there are a LOT of homeowners out there who just try to figure it out on their own. Going from reading free blogs to spending $700 (I think you said somewhere around there) on a consult is just a huge leap (for some of us!). Nothing against you at all. I don’t know what your prior pricing was. I have considered color consulting. I first read about it on Kylie Interiors Blog. But so far I haven’t decided on whether or how much personalized help to get. I hope you have much more continued success – your blog and personality is very pleasant.

  • Mandy Madsen says:

    Maria, I love that you’re offering this service, and I think the boards you’ve shared give a great idea of what to expect. I think it’s totally worth the cost for an expertly designed room! I am loving how much you are bringing in even more color as classic design and can’t wait for the Boston workshop! See you soon. ~Mandy

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