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My Mom’s Fresh Carriage House

By 09/08/2011July 11th, 202131 Comments
This is my mom’s carriage house being built on the two acres in Yarrow that she owns with my sister Elizabeth and her husband. Everything was on a strict budget. The roof is black just as it should be and the siding is white because my sister’s house is also white. I want the front door to be this colour turquoise (above). My mom loves that colour.

The flooring is light because my mom wanted a Scandinavian feel. We are Finns after all. Her kitchen is white (of course) it’s currently being installed.

We installed this Ikea light fixture in the stairwell because it’s so playful and fun!
This is the master bathroom. When I showed my mom the beveled white subway tile I wanted her to use she immediately said, “Oh, but Maria, all the grout lines, it’ll be hard to keep clean!” I said, “Mom, you’ll be living alone.” “Okay,” she said.
Everyone that comes over just has to stand there and look at the beveled subway tile for a while (according to my sister). After it was installed she called me and said, “Can I replace the murky porcelain kitchen backsplash I have with this same tile in cream?” So simple, pretty and Restoration Hardware feeling. You don’t have to spend a lot on tile to get a great look. And notice I specified the wood flooring to go right into the bathroom. It looks so much cleaner this way.

I like the “picture framed” tile with the mitered corners.

Here’s the doorway leading into the master bedroom. The pink is 2011-40 Old World.

Above Photos by Maria Killam
My mom has always loved fresh, clean colours, way before they ever became trendy!

This is the Windsor Smith living room that inspired the pink one she has. The furniture we picked out arrived yesterday so I’m going there today to help her unpack and get organized!
I saw this half eaten watermelon in the kitchen when I was there last week and I asked my sister what that was about. She said, “This is the way they like to eat it, they get upset when I cut it up.”
Kids always figure out how to do everything the fun way!

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Related posts:
How to Pick Paint Colours with Confidence (my mom’s fabrics for the living room)
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  • Katy says:

    lol, kids looove to be puppies and eat with no hands. cute 🙂

    Can't wait to see everything in the rooms, the subway tile is gorgeous of course!

  • Heather says:

    That is so cute! Maybe my son will eat watermelon if I let him dig in like this! Your mom's house looks very cheery!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Maria – Curious about the comment on the black roof. You noted "roof is black, just as it shoulld be."

    Can you explain why it should be? Is there a design rule that says white house should have a black roof? What if her white house had a weather wood looking shingle? Or some other color?

    I've started looking at house colors and roofs and it's hard to figure out if there are any rules.

    Would make a good blog post!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Maria,

    I'm a huge fan of yours but I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed here.

    The white and black house is nice and clean but kind of boring.

    And I love the green! …but mixed with pink? …not so much.

    Sorry 🙁


  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Anonymous #1,
    My opinion on black roofs I wrote about in my June newsletter last year, you'll need to subscribe to my monthly newsletter to read it if your interested.

    Dear Anonymous #2.
    You mean the house is boring because it's not high end looking and glamorous? No it's not, it was built on a very strict budget. The accent colours in the living room are pink, green and yellow which is where the green comes from.

  • Ellen says:

    Maria, when I saw the cute colors, I thought about the colors (in softer version) of a watermelon. Then, as I scrolled down, you showed a real watermelon. Was that done on purpose or by chance? Nice post either way!

  • Marlo says:

    How fun to build a new home and have a designer select the right finishes for you. Your Mom must be thrilled. 🙂

    I want a turquoise front door too! I envy people with white homes because they can paint the door any colour they like. It's going to look awesome. I can just picture it all done up with the turquoise door, a potted tree on either side of the door, green grass and shrubs – very nice!

    The bevelled tiles look really good and I can see why your mother wants them in the kitchen too. I have tumbled marble in my kitchen and they don't look as nice as these subway tiles. Good selection Maria.

    Looking forward to seeing all the furniture in place.

  • Susan Seale says:

    I love your mom's home! How happy it feels already and we haven't even seen furniture yet. Way to go:)

  • Anonymous says:

    interesting that you had hardwood flooring in the bathroom. is this something you always recommend? love the seamless look from room to room… just didn't know if it was safe b/c of potential water damage.

  • Allison G. says:

    I am anonoymous #1 – the first time I post, it wouldn't let me post a comment with my name.

    Thanks for responding. I do receive your newsletters and am a subscriber (and customer — I hired your phone consulting services for my beach house colors). Anyhow I don't remember this newsletter. Is there a way to log in with my email to see past newsletter articles?

    Thanks Maria!

    Allison from PA

  • Best Design Coach Blog says:

    Can't wait to see the transformation!
    Will the outside have shutters on the windows too?
    I think using products such as the IKEA chandelier with more expensive items is not only fine, but fun!

  • Audrey says:

    Love all the fresh clean colors and the subway tile. It looks like it's going to be a great place for your mom to live! Interesting idea to put the hardwood all the way into the bathroom. I had not thought about doing that before but I like it. Can you let us know the brand/source for the tile?

  • anita says:

    Love the colours. Just wondering what is the colour in the master bedroom? Looking forward to seeing the furniture, etc.

  • Sally@DivineDistractions says:

    What a fun experience for you to have with your mom! I'm working with a 78 yr old widow who has never had a feminine space. She's loving all the girly colors and designs that we're using to create a cottage style space. Being a "little" older myself, I think it's great for women to create spaces that really speak to the youth that they feel on the inside! Congrats to your mom on her new place. it's going to be wonderful!

  • The house That Can says:

    Oh this is just the cutesy post ever. And… Loving how your mums house is coming! Can't wait to see the rest.

  • Donna says:

    Maria, I LOVE these colors!! Oh how pretty. :o) I'm starting to believe we are actually going to experience this too. Yippee!!

    I'm about to put up a post on our taping and bedding adventures. It may take us a week or two but we are aiming for two rooms per month. Even if it's just one..we'll get there. You'll have to read the post to understand why we can't just 'paint'.

    Darling photo of the little guy eating watermelon! How precious. :o) Kids are so practical. Lol!

    How sweet to do this for your mom and sister. I love that she wanted a 'Finnish' feel to her home. Don't even get me started on cleaning grout! I scrubbed a friend's grout for four hours yesterday in their home because the renters had ruined the home with their pets. I did three hours the week before. Now they have a machine to steam it clean. I can see why your mom was worried. But with no kids or pets, she should be fine.

    Lovely home and colors Maria! Sorry I haven't been by lately. I've missed you. 🙂 We're running like crazy over at our house due to wildfire assistance, friend moving back, trip prep, and plastering.

    I'm going to indulge in a morning 'read' here and catch up.


  • Nancy says:

    I don't remember feeling so jazzed about a color combination as when you showed us the fabric and paint colors for your mother's cottage. I LOVE pink and green but the DH not so much. So I am living vicariously through your mom's cottage. Thank you so much for showing the progress on it and please continue to do so until the the decor is complete.


    How lovely it must be to help your mom create such a beautiful space. And that watermellon picture . . . so adorable.


  • Windlost says:

    gorgeous – i love that it is so fresh and clean and lovely. you must be so pleased your mom has a lovely new place. my mom has an almost hundred year old home and last year she expanded her tiny kitchen and i was so happy i almost cried – she now has such a nice sunroom and working space. it is so nice to see one's parents comfortable in a nice home!
    i hope she is very very happy here.
    love it!

    xo terri

  • Super, super pretty, fresh and feminine. I'm looking forward to seeing the furniture! I hope you are well, my friend, have a great weekend 🙂

  • The SilverLyne says:

    Great post, the colors are so clean and happy. I'd like to see the finished look with furniture.

    I'll have to show my daughter-in-law the watermelon pic, so cute!!!!

  • Kellie Collis says:

    Loving the gorgeous colors! Watermelons are so fun to eat! Enjoy the beautiful weekend, Kellie xx

  • Jennifer says:

    I LOVE the picture of the pink and green walls with the flower IKEA chandelier. It makes me happy just to look at it, which is kinda the point, right? Like I'm in a garden 🙂

  • mrsben says:

    Congrats to your Mom on her new digs! 🙂 I can see where you get your 'happy colour-sense' from.

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautiful! Can't wait to see the rest of it! Where are the dining room chairs from? And, will you post a floor plan?

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Anonymous,
    My sister has had those dining chairs for years, I picked them out for her at a place called Mayhews here in Vancouver.
    I'll have to see if I can find a floor plan to post at some point.
    Thanks for your comment,

  • Roberta says:

    Lucky Mom and congrats to her! I had to smile at the last pic Maria. So darned sweet. I can picture my two little grand guys doing the same.

  • Kathy says:

    I love the way your mother’s home is coming along! The cheery colors remind me of the cottages on the island right off of GA. I forget the designers name…sorry….she has restored many and uses such happy colors. Your day would have to seem brighter living in a space like this. I also really like white homes with white roofs. The front door will be a great accent. I can see all kinds of fun things taking place out front.

  • Nancy says:

    Maria, you are so blessed to still have your mom with you .
    What a perfect place for your mom:)
    Love all of it .
    What a adorable picture of the little boy eating watermelon.
    May your mom enjoy many Happy Years in her home.

  • Barbara says:

    I am putting in the allegro Jeffrey Court tiles in my kitchen and wondering what color grout you used for your bathroom. I want a true white and I like the look of your bathroom tiles.

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