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About meBefore and AfterColour Rescue

Colour Rescue Passion Project: Before & After

Two weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook from my friend Gail (we did a colour rescue for her living room that you can see here) it was a list of furniture she needed for Wilma’s Transition Society for women and children, a charity that Terreeia and I have contributed to for years.

If I had known I could have helped decorate the suites these woman and children live in, I would have been there eons ago, but I guess there’s a right time for everything.

Anyway, the list included art and I sent her a note “Gail, I’m the styling girl, I will contribute that part, hooray!”

Here’s my friend Gail (below) who has worked tirelessly for weeks spearheading this entire project! I feel lucky to call her my friend.

So last Friday afternoon, I loaded up my car with all kinds of accessories and art from my styling hideaway (garage) and arrived to take a look. 

This was the living room of the first two bedroom suite. Notice the rods are incorrectly installed. The difference between curtains (drapes) that scream cheap, big box store and CUSTOM, a designer was here, is HOW THE RODS ARE INSTALLED.

This is a true story.

This was the living/dining room of the second three bedroom suite:

They had a new facility that was almost ready at Christmas time and there was a fire, so they had to rally and fix up the old place which was in bad shape. The members of the Chilliwack Rotary club (Fraser chapter) had taken on this project and every weekend had been cleaning and painting. Two suites were ready for occupancy and they had to be ready for March 15.

Since I am going to Maui for a week Friday, this meant I only had the weekend to shop and decorate. One thing that made it easier is they don’t do area rugs because then they have to constantly be cleaned and the only windows that needed curtains were in the living room (above). The bedrooms all had roller shades.

I was very grateful for the warm toned floors and that the building is old enough that grey flooring wasn’t around back in the day. That’s when we really would have needed colourful sofas which are hard to find second hand.

I shopped all day Saturday, then Sunday was install day, my Mom ironed and hemmed the curtains, my sister’s husband moved the curtain rods (because they were in the wrong place) and my nephews assembled furniture and other items from IKEA.

Here’s a sneak peak of the finished dining room (from the above pic). I love the mama and baby zebras! 

Also, look at the drapes now. Correctly installed they look like Ralph Lauren dropped in to donate some curtains 🙂 

And everyone should know about these fabulous dogwood stems at IKEA right now (above)! You only need three (unless you have a much bigger vessel) and they look so real! 

One hot tip I would offer is always try and stick fake flowers in a solid vessel like this (above and below), then they look real because you can’t see the stems! I posted about this on Instagram here and someone already sent me this photo, so good! Beautifully done! 

These white blooms definitely look amazing in front of colour (or even a black wall since there’s a lot of them out there).

Another tip about fake florals is don’t keep them out if they are not in season, that’s when they get dusty and bad looking. I rotate mine constantly. 


I can’t wait for you to see the afters! Part one is this week and Part two will be next week and there are three more suites in this building to finish! 

If you are in the area and these are some items we still need:

2 round kitchen tables with chairs (and leafs if possible)
3 couches
2 coffee tables
6 end tables
2 twin mattresses

Kitchen stuff needed
Good frying pans
(They have brand new dish sets from a donor and there are lots of pots)


Please email me here with photos so I can let you know if what you have will work.

My beautiful and talented video editor and community manager Vienna

And you can watch part one of the reveal of the first suite here:

Related posts:

Adding Colour to your Black, White and Grey Room

Decorating with an Accent Colour: No Paint Required, Before & After

Colour Rescue: Simple Fixes for your Dated Bathroom



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  • Candice Hill says:

    Oh, Maria…You make me cry, you are so generous with your time and talent. Loved all you did! You’re energy is amazing!!! Love you, Candy❤️

  • Janelle says:

    This was awesome, totally enjoyed watching the process and knowing that it will all go to help women and children in need.

  • Cheryl says:

    The bedrooms were my favorite! It’s hard enough to move, but to walk in and find such beautiful, well-lit, uplifting rooms is incredible. Many thanks to you Maria, your family, and the team behind the scene for making a difference in these people’s lives.

  • Elynn Taylor says:

    In Judaism there are 3 words that explain what you did with this project … actually, what you’ve done so many times before … and how/why people come together. “Mitzvah’ is to do good … “L’chaim” is to celebrate life … and “Bashert” is similar to destiny … YOU were destined to find your joy … both in color and Terreeia … Through your courses, your blog, and your generosity. I think I can safely say this on behalf of MANY OF US … you are a very special person and our world is just a little prettier and a little happier because of YOU! Every one of my clients will call me, months after their color and design project has been completed … to tell me what a difference I’ve made in their life. I need you to know that after attending your True Colour Academy in 2016 and purchasing the color boards you were the inspiration for starting my business, Kumquats & Olives LLC. I’ve continued to follow your journey and evolution as a color expert and designer and it’s so rewarding to see how you’re so generously enriching the life for so many deserving women and children.

  • Bette says:

    Wow. I love this so much. I can just imagine two children and a mother arriving to this safe haven and relaxing into the calm, quiet, beauty, and SAFETY of this place. Well done!

    • Bette says:

      PS about florals and boys’ bedrooms: I’m one of seven children, and growing up, the girls had floral sheets and the boys had solid color sheets. One day, my little brother asked why only the girls had the pretty sheets. My mom wisely said wow, you’re right, we should ALL have pretty sheets. So, we rotated for the rest of our years at home. 😉

  • Sheree Jones says:

    What a wonderful thing to do. Kudos to Maria and team, plus all those that donated.

  • Kim says:

    This touched my heart in a big, tearful way. My sweet daughter spent last night in transitional housing in a city far from my home. What you did here is such a gift to people going through change. I already liked you and your content but this made me a forever fan. xoxo

  • JaneO says:

    What a wonderful job for you and your family/team!! And it successfully showed what a few well chosen accessories can do for not so great furniture!! Amazing job creating a welcoming home for some lucky family!

  • Cynthia says:

    What a kind and beautiful heart you have, our favourite Lamp Evangelist! My heart is touched by the beauty and homey feel you brought to the transition spaces. What a blessing to woman and kids who are in such a challenging time. God Bless you Marie🥰

  • Julie S says:

    Wonderful work!! Earlier today I was reading an article where a designer said something like, there can be no perfect decorating unless the architecture is perfect first… it felt so pretentious and out of touch with reality. I immediately thought of you saying “if all else fails, decorate to distract,” and here you worked wonders doing just that. Loved watching you pull together items for each space with very basic starting points. I’m glad the rooms aren’t painted gray too!

  • Debra says:

    Please don’t talk about Ikea like it’s a bad thing, ( looks like Ikea.)

  • Penny says:

    As I watched the video all I could think was “peace and healing” for the families. What you have done here is paving the way for that peace and healing to begin. I could just picture a Mother and her children opening the door and feeling a flood of relief wash over them. Beautiful work, Maria. Your generosity is going to live on here for years.

  • Sheree L says:

    This is fantastic! Thank you for using your superpowers for good 🙂 You are helping others in a beautiful way.

  • Ellen says:

    Oh Maria! What a beautiful and healing space you and your family and friends created. You truly made their house a home. May God bless you for sharing your time, talents and resources so generously.

  • Mimi Goldberg Shulman says:

    This is so beautiful, it brought me to tears. How beautiful that you brought your family together to be able to bring relief, joy and peace I can only imagine when a mother and her children will walk into their transition home.
    Thank you for sharing the process. You did a brilliant job.
    You continue to inspire me every time I read or watch you.


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