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Before and After

Living Room Sneak Peek: Before & After

By 07/25/2012May 3rd, 202129 Comments

Photos by Maria Killam

Kara called me before Christmas to talk about freshening her kitchen, getting new countertops and backsplash. This was also the year they would redecorate the living room instead of going on an expensive vacation!


The before picture is so dark because of the window but see the doorway on the left? That is from the entry and the walkway towards the rest of the house is in the living room making it very narrow. Her husband wanted a more comfortable sofa and instead of one chair they needed a minimum of two for entertaining.


Here’s a sneak peek of the living room after the installation! I love the way it turned out! I arrived yesterday with my car full of accessories and together Kara and I made it magical.

The old fireplace was tumbled marble, but the earthy, pinkiness of this tile was surely not going to coordinate with the fresh, new look we were after!

Here is a glimpse of the slab of Calcutta Gold we had installed. The mantle still needs to be painted the new trim colour.

We moved some of Kara’s art around and I arrived with the vase and connected beaker vases. Then we found some green leaves from her garden. In the summer, Hostas or anything leafy looks good and in the winter you can use cedar or holly.

I always like to figure out a way my client can incorporate fresh flowers into the decor without spending a fortune on cut flowers every week!

Her kitchen backsplash is being installed as we speak! Can’t wait to show you!

Related posts:

Colour Cues in BC Home Magazine

Family Room Bookshelves in Progress

A Sherwin Williams Turquoise Guest Room

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones, to get colour to do what you want.

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.

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  • Nan Parker says:

    Absolutely fabulous! Please, tell me about the marble fireplace surround. I have the exact same fireplace with the exact same need. I love the marble. How do you spec that? How is it attached? Could you share?

    I have so loved seeing your ‘home’ transformed with your style and color sense. XO Nan

    • Maria Killam says:

      I wasn’t there when it was installed but I’m assuming it as glued. It was 2 slabs, one for the hearth and one for the surround.
      Thanks for your comment!

  • StagerLinda says:

    Love the marble surround and the funky new vases. Gorgeous!

  • Beth says:

    Maria, you can dress a room! How about driving down to Virginia today for a few hours? ; )

    Am I the only one who feels off-kilter when tile is installed diagonally like on Kara’s fireplace, and on backsplashes? My head wants to tilt…

  • carol jane says:

    Wow! The room was so dark and dreary before. What a transformation. Beautiful Maria! I wish you could redo my family room and kitchen. It is so ugly and outdated.Let me just say, I have ivy wallpaper, and seafoam green countertops in my kitchen. Yuck!

  • Ennistbp says:

    Looks great! Can you please share source for the coffee table?

  • Nancy O'Brien says:

    Nice work, Maria. I love the sofa colour and the chairs. Makes my day when I see lovely decor. Inspires me to clean and and stage my own home. 🙂
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Anne Lubner says:

    You do such a beautiful job on accessories, Maria! Not to mention colour and the furnishings!

  • Beautiful Maria, love the draperies ! I’m curious about the marble too. How did they do the piece on the floor ?

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Maria, I’m with Beth! You CAN “Dress A Room”!!! Just that touch of leaves in those glass vases is like the bling of the right jewelry. Woohoo! Bet they had to dig out the floor tiles to lay the new piece of marble, but how clean it all looks. Is the husband happy with it all??
    Are the drapes new too? Nice coordination with the marble.
    Looking forward to bringing new life into my own space soon!! YAY.

    • Maria Killam says:

      HI Paula,
      Everything was new except the area rug and the corner end table you can see with the lamp on it.
      Thanks for your comment!

  • Jerilyne says:

    Looks gorgeous! Beautiful details that pull the room together in such a creative way. Where did you find the white vase for the mantle? Love it!

  • vgjohnson says:

    What is the paint color for the trim and the mantle that is waiting to be painted? I love the difference that the marble makes.

  • lovely! You really hit the mark with the accessories, too.

  • brenda says:

    Love it! Perfect example of how replacing the tumbled marble (guessing it’s relatively new) was key to getting the clean/happy”feel” right! Great to hear the mantle will be repainted in the trim color–thought it might be the lighting seeing the clash of the cooler marble with the warmer white trim. Do you use BM’s decorator’s white, simply white or another color with Calcutta Gold? Is the wall color manchester tan?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes it’s Manchester Tan and the trim colour is Cloud White but I think you could even do Ivory white with Calcutta Gold, it’s much more of an off-white/creamy marble than Carrara.
      Thanks for your comment,

  • Hope says:

    Beautiful room, Maria! I have the same tumbled stone in my fireplace in a running bond pattern, but I can’t afford to replace it. What paint color, or colors, work with this stone? I have greens and reds in my living room.

  • I love the mantel arrangement. Simple and elegant. Very lovely.

  • Jon Anne Winstead says:

    Where did you find those cute vases on the mantel that hold the flowers from her garden? Love, love the simplicity of the mantel!!

  • Gretchen says:

    I love your changes to that room, Maria. No one has taught me so much just from your blog & ebook!

  • Karen Bryant says:

    Love the floor lamp behind the chair – where did you find it? Coming to Atlanta anytime soon…??

  • Wendy says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, Maria! As soon as I saw it I said “Manchester Tan?” Glad to see I was right. I am about to paint my kitchen/family room combo and Manchester Tan is currently my top pick. I have a bunch of light neutral samples painted up on the wall. All of the samples I got have green undertones, which (thanks to you) I’ve learned I need to work with my green beige sofa and my new accent chairs which are a similar blue-green color to the sofa in your room. I also will have blue-green in various forms in the kitchen, like the back of an open pantry wall, rugs and accessories.

    The effect of light is so interesting. My big room gets direct sun from about 8am through noon and is bright for most of the day. Edgecomb Gray (my first choice before sampling) is, for some reason, totally lifeless and cold in my room no matter what the time of day. Even in the bright sun it shows absolutely no warmth or beige tones at all in my room. Manchester Tan, on the other hand, is full of life – changing throughout the day with the light, but always interesting. It also looks fabulous with my fabric choices. Thanks for helping me confirm that Manchester Tan will look great!

  • Mary says:

    This turned out so nice. But I’m not surprised…you always do such a great job. Can’t wait to see the kitchen.

  • Julie S says:

    Sigh! I’m in love with the blue and red oriental rug and how the sofa color is tied in to it. My husband just doesn’t care for oriental rugs, though I would love to have one in our living room.

  • Erin Fialkowski says:

    What an awesome choice for a sofa instead of a neutral. Could I please ask if this is a custom sofa or where it is available? Love your work, Maria!

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