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The Perils of Decorating with (too much) Black

By 10/31/2020April 9th, 2021508 Comments

I’ve been talking about how to decorate with black for years on this blog, but now this trend is full steam ahead. So, I thought it might be time to share a round up of my best tips for decorating with (too much) black (in case you missed them). 

And, since today happens to be Halloween – a post about black seems pretty fitting, don’t you think? And it’s also my 12th blogiversary. Can you believe it?

Who has been with me for 12 years? I’d love to hear in the comments!

To celebrate, I’m giving away a set of my large painted colour samples (you’ll get to choose which set)! UPDATE: Winner has been notified.

Simply comment on this post to enter.

colour me happy blog

How to Decorate with Black

Black is powerful, chic and glamorous when it’s done right. But the overuse of black quickly becomes boring, masculine, harsh, flat and predictable.

And while everyone is now embracing this trend as the NEW NEUTRAL, this is a reminder to tread lightly. 

Those of us stuck with grey everything (and all that grey flooring) haven’t forgotten the last trendy neutral that invaded our homes with vigor and left some of us with finishes we no longer love.

Introduce black with intention, and it will look timeless. Keep saying ‘black’ whenever you are asked for a colour decision, and your bathroom will definitely fit into the current trend. 

[click on the photo or the blue headline to visit the post]

What Everyone Should Know About Black

If you’re thinking of indulging in the black trend inside your home, this post is your START HERE

Modern Glam Black Walls

Via Domino

Black can be sophisticated and moody, or it can be altogether boring and bland. Similar to the way white can look unfinished and stark in a room that is not decorated and styled, black gets heavy and masculine really fast if it isn’t well thought out.

In this post, I’ll take you through what you need to know about decorating with black – when it works and when it doesn’t.

Black as an Accent Colour

There’s really only one way to decorate with black in your home – and that’s to use it as an accent colour. This post is from many moons ago, but the advice is solid and the post has been shared thousands of times! 😉

Ask Maria: Should I Buy a Black Sofa?

Here’s what’s I find interesting about this post, I wrote it in November 2019 BEFORE cognac became the trendy, neutral sofa-of-the-moment. And in this case, that is fine with me. A cognac sofa is truly one of the leather sofas I think is a timeless colour.

Your sofa is arguably the largest piece of furniture in the room. That’s why I’ve always said that buying a sofa in your favourite colour is the most timeless choice. 

Via AZOA.fr

But, if you’re shopping for a new sofa and tempted to choose black, there are a few things you need to consider first. Read this post to find out why a black sofa is a big commitment and an especially challenging design element to decorate around. 

And if your heart is already set on the black sofa, I’ve got some tips for introducing a little colour that’ll help guide you to the most classic and timeless look without being too stark and heavy.

Ask Maria: What Colours Work Best with Black Furniture?

In this post, we’ll explore a real living room from one of my readers who is trying to make her home look its best with her existing black furniture. 

colours that go with black sofa

Sofa | Blue Pillow | Camel Spotted Pillow | Lumbar Pillow | Area Rug | Cognac Chair

A well-decorated room needs a bit of contrast and warmth so I’ve got tips for introducing colour by choosing the right curtains, throw pillows and area rugs to go with dark furniture. This post is will give you a glimpse into how my eDesign consultations work with more ideas for decorating with black.

How to Decorate with Black in a Bathroom (Don’t Overdo It)

If you want to decorate with black, the key is not to overdo it. Black is the darkest colour in the spectrum and it’s much easier to pull off in small doses.

My Havenlist

This means that a little black goes a long way. So before you go out and purchase all black hardware and faucets or a black shower door, check out this post. It’s a great example of how to decorate with black in a timeless way.

What IKEA Knows About Black Kitchens (That You Don’t)

After attending a kitchen and bath show in 2018, I noticed that black was quickly becoming the new grey. Fast forward to 2020, and black and white kitchens are everywhere. In fact, this is one of my most popular posts on Pinterest.

Domaine Home

In order to achieve black and white kitchen that is also classic and timeless, I’m dissecting a few IKEA showroom kitchens. Because it’s these well-planned and executed details that are critical to getting the look and feel of a black and white kitchen right. Designer kitchens aren’t easily copied, but I can help you avoid some of the perils of black kitchens.

Do’s and Don’ts for Painting Your Doors Black

I get asked a lot about my opinion on painting doors black so I decided to share my thoughts on when it’s a good idea (or a bad idea) to introduce a black door in your house. Because, once again, the right contrast is important to getting the look right.

black interior door

Via Scout and Nimble

It’s not often that I say, “It’s only paint” – maybe never? But, in this post I’m suggesting that this might be the easiest way for you to entertain a little drama with colour – not just black. I mean, it’s only a door and that’s a smaller commitment than an entire room, right? 

Are Black Shower Doors the Best Choice for Your New Bathroom?

If you make every hardware choice black, your bathroom will say “We renovated in the black and white trend”. 

Railica Design

How to Decorate with Black Tile

You’ve found the most amazing bathroom on Pinterest with black tile but you’re not quite ready to commit? Obviously you don’t want to overdo it with black (because you’ve already read this post) but also you may not be completely renovation your space – so there’s a risk of mixing old and new. 

decorate black tile bathroom

Via @Carpendaughter

This post is filled to the brim with my best tips for how to make easier design decisions if you want to incorporate black tile as well as alternative design ideas for achieving a similar look.

Happy Halloween!

Post a comment below and let us know which set of boards you’d like to win! I’ll draw the winner and announce it in my next post which will go out Monday morning!

Related posts:

All Grey Home in 2011 and All Black in 2019

Why Your Teenager Wants a Black Room

Are Black Windows the Best Choice for your New Build?

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508 Comments

  • Avatar Maria says:

    Hi Maria,
    This is one of the best posts when it comes to decorating with black! And your words ring so true… when done right, black is powerful, chic and glamorous. Bravo!
    Best, Maria

    • Avatar Lisa Gaylor says:

      Thanks for all your help, Maria! I’d love the neutrals, colors and darks! Not really a black fan but I love navy.

      • Avatar Erin says:

        I painted my pantry door in my last house black and loved it! I really enjoy your blog and have learned so much from you! Thanks!

      • Avatar Jenny says:

        I love using black as an accent, but no black toilets. I think they have a bit of an ewww factor.

        • Avatar Adriana says:

          Congratulations on your 12th blogiversary, Maria! In my opinion, your longevity online is due to your inspiring professional posts like this one, your great sense of humor, and your honest open style. I wish you and your family much continued success in all you do!

          Black- I love using it in just about every room. I think it’s elegant and timeless especially when used in a bathroom or kitchen or as accents in other rooms.

          Thank you for offering this fun giveaway! It is hard to choose, but I would love to receive the BM VIP Neutrals, Colours and Darks collection

          Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Maria!

        • Avatar Anne says:

          I enjoy and look forward to your posts! If my name is drawn, I’d like neutrals and whites

        • Avatar Nicole says:

          Congratulations on 12 years of successful blogging! I’ve been reading your posts for about 8 years and have very much enjoyed them. I will look forward to many years of posts to come. I would love to win the BM VIP collection of boards.

      • Avatar Guerrina says:

        Happy Blogaversary! I learn so much from your posts and this one doesn’t disappoint. I love wearing black, but not living surrounded by black! Would love an entry for the Full Collection or SW Collection.

      • Avatar Paula Van Hoogen says:

        Good advice Maria!
        A little black goes a long way, for sure.
        One of my favorites is to paint the insides of a window frame( around the glass itself) black when the view is particularly good. It acts like a black matte around a photo and enhances the view.
        Another is a little black line or narrow stripe just above the base board when there’s a bit of black in the flooring.
        I remember coloring the outer lines of my coloring book pictures and then filling in with color. It just made everything pop. Like lipliner makes any color look good on you!😘

      • Avatar Christina Copenhaver says:

        Super helpful post! I’m trying to update, but for the long haul.

    • Avatar Connie Retheford says:

      Dear Maria:

      I have been following you for about seven years and had the pleasure of attending a color class 4 years ago right when the election here in the states was going on. Your class made the results somewhat tolerable ( something wonderful to think about).. Your class and blogs are always the best advice. I am grateful for you in a world of all kinds of design but not necessarily timeless.

      Thank you and congrats on 12 years!

      Connie

      • Avatar Karen Ernest says:

        Great post. I have been with you for a long time. Don’t know if it’s been all 12 years but near the beginning. Love your advice!

      • Avatar Sandi says:

        Happy 12th Blogiversary Maria! I’ve been with you for 7 informative years. My regret is that I didn’t find you sooner!

    • Avatar Jacqueline says:

      Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for all the inspiration!

    • Thank you for such a timely post! I’m working an entire main floor space around a black sectional that my clients insist on keeping. It’s been somewhat of a challenge so many of your ideas are very helpful. Moua!

      • Avatar Melanie Shoaf says:

        Maria, you have saved me from a number of mistakes in paint and furniture choices. For years I would look at paint and fabrics and knew something was wrong but couldn’t put my finger on it. Then came you! Your ebooks and blogs have opened my eyes and given me confidence to make choices. The color wheel is a necessary item for every shopping trip. Thank you!

        • Avatar Chantal says:

          I never miss your latest blog posts! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and timeless advice that you have so generously provided over the years of reading your blog and your books.
          Congratulations!

    • Avatar Julia Holt says:

      Hi. Maria. Congrats on 12 years! Your blog, IG posts and ebooks have helped me make choices with my home, and fixing up our childhood home to sell (under contract in 10 days!). Yep! Black is an accent…my parents built our home in 1976 with a black bathroom and a yellow one. What’s old is new again!

    • Avatar Erica says:

      Happy Blogiversary!

      Thanks for all of your recommendations!

      • Avatar Brenda Gluska says:

        Congratulations Maria!!! Your blog gives me so much joy!!! Enter me for the BM VIP please.

    • Avatar Angie says:

      Congratulations on 12 years! I’ve learned so much from your blog and ebooks! Thank you for sharing.

      • Avatar Mary says:

        Maria,
        You’re blog (and life) are so interesting and you are so funny! You’ve definitely taught me a lot just from being your avid reader. I have and use your Neutrals colorboards frequently.
        Thanks for being an inspiration to so many.
        I’d love to have my name drawn for the BM VIP collection.

      • Avatar Tina says:

        Hi Maria!

        I’m a new subscriber of your blog and everything is so fascinating and helpful! I’d love to win the neutrals, colours and dark colour board as I have a home in preconstruction and the colourboard would help greatly in the interior decorating of my first home!

      • Avatar Jan says:

        Maria, I’ve been a follower since the beginning! I love, love, love the way you punctuate your thoughts with a descriptive picture. Thanks for sharing so much over the years. I don’t have the Sherwin Williams boards yet. That paint brand is very popular here.

    • Avatar Angie says:

      Congratulations on 12 years! I’ve learned so much from your blog and ebooks! Thank you for sharing. I would love the BM VIP collection!

      • Avatar Bert says:

        I’ve been following your blog since 2011. My daughter put me on to you when I was agonizing about whether I should paint my Oak cabinets. As soon as I read your post I was convinced it was the right way to go. I hired you to help me choose finishes for my kitchen and it turned out great. I haven’t missed too many of your blogs since then.
        I would love to win the Neutal, Colours and Dark boards. Thank, Maria, for all your help. Happy Blogiversary.

    • Avatar Summer says:

      I use a lot of black—the Parade Home I did in 2018 had black cabs—I LOVED them and so did many others. They look great with natural wood. I also love the black fixtures youve shown, but it’s so important to have a water softener, otherwise they get gross so quickly!

      Love the post! Thanks.

  • Avatar Denise says:

    Congratulations Maria! Here’s to many more years to come!!

  • Avatar Kristen Siler says:

    LOVE your blog and wish I’d known about you twelve years ago! Going through your older posts is my favorite way to start my day.

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    Love the leopard sofa!

  • Avatar Mary says:

    Congrats on 12 years! I have learned so much through your books and blogs!

  • Avatar Sandra Beaty says:

    I blundered into your class without reading the blogs first. I did everything backwards, but still am enjoying the ride. Congrats.

    • Avatar Cathy says:

      Thank you. Love getting new posts from you. They have given me many insights over the years to problem areas in my house.

  • Avatar cornelia says:

    Hi Maria! I can’t believe you are having this giveaway, because just last week I ponied up for your Sherwin Williams boards!! I hope I win a set of boards anyway….

  • Avatar Gail says:

    I came across your blog while searching something about paint colors and have been a faithful reader ever since. I have learned so much about color from reading all your posts.I recently bought a bathroom cabinet in what I thought was white, ignoring your voice in my head, I purchased without comparing. Well as you say white is not white and the color was so wrong. Being unable to return it I ended up having to paint a brand new cabinet because I did not follow your advice. Lesson learned. Do not ignore Maria’s voice in your head.Keep the informative posts coming.

  • Avatar Jennifer Farlin says:

    Maria I love you and yes I need a color board!!

  • Avatar Gail Diehl says:

    Happy Halloween! Love your comments on black.
    I would like to win the Sherwin Williams Neutrals and Whites boards.
    Thank you!
    Gail

    • Avatar Janette says:

      I’ve been following you for several years now. I so appreciate you sharing your wisdom in navigating the often confusing world of trends, home decor and colour. Cheers on the anniversary of your blog.

  • Hi Maria,

    I LOVE color – all color but I especially love WHITES AND NEUTRALS. I am somewhat of an artist and see these palettes as being the canvases for a home. I, however, am totally intrigued by your presentation of the infamous BLACK. I seem to think it is the perfect color to wear – 🙂 I have been reading your various posts for a long time and your website is well done. I am 77 years old – still working – I hope that’s a forever thing. Thank you for your continuing knowledge.

  • Avatar Lillian says:

    Been reading your posts since 2012!

  • Avatar Susan says:

    Happy Blogaversary! Your email in my in box is a highlight of my day. Thanks!

  • Avatar Kristin says:

    Happy blogiversary!

  • Avatar Nancy says:

    Maria
    Thales you
    On Instagram I’m seeing black on black
    I’m also feeling black over load
    Thank you great information

  • Avatar Alisha says:

    This post is spot on. Congratulations on 12 years!

  • Avatar Laurel says:

    Every time I see a new build with black window casings (which is often) I think of you. Thanks for compiling all these tips and happy blog anniversary!

  • Avatar Emily Green says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! I’m relatively new to your site but it’s a goldmine! Your e-books are a wonderful resource. Thank you for sharing all your talents!

  • Avatar Erin says:

    I have been reading your blog since 2013 and I have a timeless white backsplash because of you! I love your e books too! Congratulations on your Anniversary Maria!!

  • Awesome post, Maria. I often think about using black like black pepper, just sprinkle in a little to have more of a grounding effect. When you use more than that, it starts to look trendy and too heavy. I would love to win the boards set of Neutrals and Whites by Sherwin Williams. That would be fantastic and super helpful for my business!

    • Avatar LeeAnn Cheeley says:

      I just pulled back from going with a black Stone floor in our new home when I read here that black floors are bossy! And I thought it was going to be a nice neutral choice! Ha!

  • Avatar Kim says:

    Thank you for clearly calling out the trends! Yesterday I was able steer a client away from grey flooring to white oak by pointing out how large the trend is/was. She will be so much happier with her choice in a few years! I use my SW Foundation Collection all the time. I would love the BM Core collection because Benjamin Moore is being used more and more here in Texas.

  • Avatar Tara says:

    I WISH I had found you 12 years ago! Congratulations! I have followed your advice the past few years by reading and re-reading post after post. Every project we’ve finished still looks great, timeless yet fresh. I probably should have said thanks years but in the spirit of better late than never… thank you. Keep rockin’.

  • Avatar Susan says:

    I never miss your latest blog posts. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  • Avatar Linda says:

    Hi Maria, so black is the new trend! I am just starting to redecorate a place down in Palm Springs, and will have your voice in the back of my head before I commit to ANYTHING!
    Thanks for your great advice.

  • Avatar Theresa Blohowiak says:

    Maria,
    I have been following you since spring of 2011. What I enjoy most about your expertise is that you make me think about my ideas on color and decorating across the board. Thank you for sharing your gifts.
    Happy Halloween🎃💀👻

  • Avatar Carol Hunter says:

    I enjoyed this post very much. I am an “all white” fan but see that decorating with both black or white (or both) requires a lot of skill to pull off. I’ve learned so much from all your posts over the years and love your flair with beautiful colours to bring spaces alive – many thanks!

  • Avatar Cheryl Sotebeer says:

    Happy 12th Blogversity! I am a newcomer, in December it will be my one year anniversary of reading your blog. I would like to wholeheartedly thank you for posts that are always relevant to the issues I didn’t even know had a name. Please put my name in the hat for the Full Collection. I wish you 12+ more years of blogging bliss!! Happy Halloween!

  • Avatar Hannah Petrovich says:

    Awesome post on the latest trendy color! And “Congrats!” on 12 years!! I haven’t been with you for 12 years, not even 12 months, but I’ve learned so much from your books and your blog already. Thanks to you, I have a beautiful off-white kitchen in our new-to-us 1970s ranch. Timeless! Thanks Maria!

  • Avatar Linda Hartford says:

    Congratulations on 12 years!! I’ve learned a lot from following along…thanks Maria!!

  • Avatar Yashira Frederick says:

    12 years!! Congrats! I can’t say I’ve been a reader the whole 12 years but definitely before any of my kids were born so maybe it’s closer to ten. Wow how time flies!

  • Avatar Karen says:

    Happy Halloween Maria,
    You are my “go to” person for everything color. I am shy about color, usually feeling very comfortable with neutrals. You inspire me to think about adding more color in my environment/home/clothes, etc. Your posts fill me with joy and promise!
    Always enjoy your Newsletter!
    Karen

  • Avatar Lynn Smith says:

    As designer it is always hard to steer clients away from what they see trending in magazines and online. Black is timeless but used in little doses. I agree with your thought, “it is only paint” because this is a great way to dip your feet and then be able to change that paint color out down the road……providing that everything else you picked is timeless.

  • Avatar Deborah Young says:

    Happy anniversary! I’ve enjoyed the ten years I have been following you. I take long walks around neighborhood and often think I should leave people notes to contact your for advice!

  • Avatar elle says:

    Congratulations on your blogiversary! Your teaching about undertones has been so very helpful to me. It would be wonderful to win a set of Sherwin Williams boards!

  • Avatar Nancy Powell says:

    Ive known and followed you since the early blogging days! We no longer blog, but Ive taken your exterior color course and am enjoying your IG and blog posts again, after years of not seeing you. Bravo, and I love your success and your spunky personality!

  • Avatar Darlene Mikolasko says:

    I discovered your blog in 2014 and have read it faithfully ever since. I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge from you…..thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Avatar Julie S says:

    As always a voice of reason on how to use trends without unbalancing into the deep end! SWneutrals and whites 😉

  • Avatar Vicky says:

    I have been renovating our whole home. I have used your whites guide for confidence in picking the correct colour. I have been conflicted about a black feature wall with a fireplace if I should keep it. This article helps me decide to keep the black!
    I’d be interested in the BM neutrals, colours and darks.
    Thank you

  • Avatar Beth says:

    Hi Maria,
    I’ve learned so much about color and decorating from your blog. If only I had found you before we painted our bedroom. At least now I know why that soft gray I choose looks a little lavender! I would love to win a set of the Sherwin Williams boards so I can get the color right when we repaint.

  • Avatar Noni says:

    You are the colour Queen! Can’t thank you enough for all I’ve learned from you and then been able to carry that skill into clients’ homes. Have you ever stopped to think of how many thousands of homes you’ve impacted through the ripple effect? Incredible.

  • Avatar Maralee says:

    Congratulations on 12 wonderful years! I too am drooling over that animal print sofa lol! Since I have your ebook on whites, if I won the color boards I think I’d go with the one for colors. I wish I could say I’d been with you all 12 years but I can definitely say I’ll be with you 12 more!

    • Avatar Susan J says:

      Love black…it is my favourite colour 🤣 Your blogs have been so helpful in guiding me in its use so I dont go crazy with it. Many thanks!

  • Avatar Amy T. says:

    Congratulations on your 12 year anniversary! We are in the midst of building a new home, and your clear color advice has been eye-opening and incredibly helpful. I’d be thrilled to win your Sherwin Williams Foundation Collection – what an amazing help that would be as we choose colors!

  • Avatar Lisa says:

    Everybody has been asking for black so this is timely indeed! If i were to win the boards, i would take a sherwin williams set to compliment my ben moore boards =)

  • Avatar Donna Taylor says:

    I remember in the 70’sand 80’s we all had slim black aluminum window frames, it seemed so out of date when wide white vinyl frames became so popular on new builds. Then we had a thousand variations of frames available and it became so confusing. I’m thinking that slim black frames with a contrasting trim (perhaps white) would be like “eyeliner,” This modest accent of black would look nice from the outside with the white lining of curtains or shades showing through the glass. The slim frames on the inside might be “just enough” to be a classic accent. I wouldn’t want the black to be thick or bold, so this is a problem for replacement windows as they have wide frames. Thanks for the offer to win a set of boards!

  • Avatar Crystal says:

    Congratulations on 12 years blogging! Your website is full of great information and straight forward, no nonsense advice! I love that you share so much here. Thank you!

  • Avatar Heather McQuiddy says:

    I enjoy your blog so much. Happy Anniversary!!! I would love a set of Neutral and Whites colour boards in Sherwin Williams.

  • Avatar PAM says:

    Awesome post. so informative. Been following your blog for several years. I was looking for a colorist when I was redoing my sitting room, was lucky enough to have one in my area that attended your classes. Can’t thank you enough for all the guidance you have proved . Thank you, thank you thank you………

  • Avatar Cindy Barnett says:

    Maria,
    I think I’ve been here since the beginning. I so appreciate all of the knowledge you have generously shared, and the phone consultations I’ve had with you were so helpful. I’ve always used touches of black in my home, usually in small quantities. I do have a lovely black cabinet in my foyer, and another in our office area. Other than that, it is mostly accessories, lamp shade, mirrors, picture frames, etc. Thanks for everything and keep up the great work!

  • Avatar sherry leblanc says:

    Happy Blogaversary! Thank you for the years of inspiration.

  • Avatar Jeanne Larson says:

    I’ve been a follower for nearly 10 years! I started following your blog, then Pinterest, then Facebook and Instagram, and I purchased your books! Love all the different formats for learning about color and undertones!
    We’ve been updating our home and the flooring, countertops, and tile decisions have been so much easier because of what I’ve learned. (Once you learn about undertones, you can’t unsee them! Which is good and bad at times! 😬)
    Congratulations on 12 years! I’d love the SW Foundations Collection if I win the giveaway! I’m so frustrated with my old fan deck, paint chips, and too many sample pots!

  • Avatar Jill Cazares says:

    I look forward to all of your posts and am looking forward to the in person color classes next year. Thank you for your timeless advice.

  • Avatar Kim North says:

    Thanks so much Maria for all the thoughtful and spot-on advice and suggestions and explanations you have provided over so many wonderful years of reading your blog and your books. I have referred your website to so many friends and family as making our homes so comfortable, inviting and loving for the people we care most about is a wonderful gift to provide. So thank you.

    Everyone in my family could use my paint boards of Sherwin Williams whites and neutrals.

    I read this quote a while ago and it fits perfectly with your advice and suggestions and words and examples you provide us. No small feat for sure.

    “ What you think you become,
    what you feel you attract, what you imagine, what you imagine, you create.
    Buddha.

  • Avatar Niamh Plaxton says:

    I’ve been living in my current home for over 10 years and I KNOW I was following your blog in my previous home so likely one of your early fans!!

  • Avatar Donna says:

    I loved black and white back in the 90s! Actually I still love it. Trying to figure out if it is appropriate to do a black-and-white floor in my laundry room, which is on a different level than the rest of the house. The rest of the house will have a greige wood tone tile.

  • Avatar Carol Foster says:

    Maria, applauding your 12 years and your incredible blogs! I had to read this post to my husband, who always goes for more masculine black, wherever he can get it. We did a black accent wall in powder room behind gold mirror and sconces, then Edgecomb Gray on the other 3 walls. Absolutely love it. Not overdone. 😊

  • Avatar Marilyn V says:

    My husband and I are embarking on building our first custom home build. I’m an artist and excitedly have been busy painting and storing up all my paintings for our new home. I’ve done the gray thing for the past 10 years and I’m ready for a change. I have been reading everything you have to give me some direction in my color choices. I’ve read through your white is complicated book twice! Our builder is using RTA cabinets with a factory finish so we won’t likely be painting them a color of our choice. But they do have a few whites to choose from. I would love your SW white and neutral color boards so I can get that wall color just right and match up those countertops as well!

  • Avatar Tracy Back says:

    Fantastic post! I will stick to using black only as an accent with accessories so they can be easily changed out. Thanks so much for keeping us on the right track!

  • Avatar Shari says:

    Maria, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog posts over the years and find them enlightening in ways that other designer posts are not. With that being said, I totally agree with you on using the color black liberally. I had the pleasure of designing/staging a house for sale a while back in which the kitchen cabinets were already in place and could not be changed, for obvious reasons. This kitchen had an elevated ceiling and both base and wall cabinets (that extended to the high ceiling) were painted black. It was my job to make this space feel more inviting and homey. While I believe that I was able to accomplish this feat as best as possible, it became a logistical nightmare to then photograph this kitchen “in the best possible light”, pun fully intended. Well, as you have already guessed, no matter what your lighting situation is, the color black absorbs all available light from the room thereby leaving the room feeling dark and heavy. Indeed, a little black goes a long way. Thanks.

  • Congrats on 12 years! I discovered your blog a few years ago. Pretty sure I’ve read every post by now. Thanks so much for all your advice 🙂

  • Avatar Melanie says:

    Hi Maria,
    Although I love reading your blogs and feel like I always learn something, my favorite part of opening your emails is loving the gorgeous, colorful outfits you are wearing!!

  • Avatar Martha says:

    Happy anniversary! I have only been following your blog for a couple years but have learned so much about color and undertones it has helped me immensely in my work as an interior designer. Thank you!

  • Avatar Jan says:

    Hi Maria
    This is a wonderful “black” summary blog. Great pertinent information and advise all together in one place. Congratulations on your anniversary. I have enjoyed reading and continually learning from your blogs and instagram. I regretted not purchasing your BM color boards while attending your Northbrook, IL seminar and have been eyeing them recently as I will be moving soon and could put them to good use.

  • Avatar Frances Tarrant says:

    I’ve been with you from the start! Where has the time gone?! I would pick the BM VIP Collection.

  • Avatar Dianne Thompson says:

    Thoughtful, good advice, as usual. I really appreciate your timeless tips.
    Thank you, Maria!

  • Avatar Yudit Orlndo says:

    Congrats on 12 years!

  • Avatar Bernadine says:

    I don’t how I Fell upon your blog but so glad I did! I must of been googling paint colors and their LRV. I had no idea about Undertones! Boy, everything made sense after that. Thank you!! No more wrong choices.
    I’ve passed on your blog to my niece, an interior decorator. Oh, and we purchased a sofa in my favorite color- blue! Best decision!!
    Bernadine

  • Avatar Alicia says:

    Great suggestions on how to be on trend without full/costly commitment. I feel like black trendy houses and kitchens look great because of the excellent and additional lighting, which isn’t every day.

  • Avatar Mary Ireland says:

    Hi, Maria,

    Congratulations on your blogiversary and thanks for the many interesting entries you have made over the years! I learn something from each one.

    Decorating with black, like using black paint or large pieces of black furniture, is something I can’t relate to. I like lots of light and color, so black might appear in a lamp or a drawer pull, but not in something major. The exception, in my house, is black granite in the kitchen, which I inherited. The other color in the granite is shades of copper, which is the accent I use there.

    I like that you use Ikea in some of your blogs because I have always thought of it as a forward-thinking company. Their kitchens are always creative and thought-provoking.

  • Avatar Marg Robitaille says:

    BLack is back and beautiful! Even with the guidelines of contrast, not over doing it, warming it up with some wood etc…I don’t think I’m brave enough to buy a black sofa!
    Now maybe if I had your color boards………!
    Love reading this blog.
    Cheers

  • Avatar Beth says:

    Happy anniversary, Maria! I love your blog so much and have purchased your ebooks, which were invaluable for getting the whites right in my kitchen and the best pale blue gray Neutral for the walls. Now we’re in a new house—whew!—and have the bossiest slate tiles on the main living area floors. Hoping your large color samples can help me decide what colors will look good with those tiles and hopefully soften the dark, masculine look of those tiles.

  • Avatar Sharlene says:

    Another timely post from Maria! You are my guide in all things color!

  • Avatar Martha A Henson says:

    Hi Maria
    Congratulations on 12 years! I’d love to win your Neutrals and Whites large painted color boards!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Avatar Tammara M says:

      Good article on the colour black. I love the colour black and even painted my small powder room ceiling black! Although, it’s a strong colour, best used in small doses, for me. Happy blogiversity!
      Boards: Fullcollection or SW collection.

  • Avatar Cindy allen says:

    Your training on undertones and whites has been so very helpful to me. Not sure how long I’ve been following but at least 19 years! Thank you so much. We don’t have BM in Southwest Florida near me, so would LOVE the SW Foundation boards!

  • Avatar Sue F says:

    Hi Maria! One of the most helpful pieces of advice around black for me was your post about black windows. In doing our exterior renovation (going from drab to white and fabulous), I REALLY wanted black windows, but it was not possible as we were not replacing our current white windows. Then I read your post about the window treatments and what does/doesn’t look good with black windows. I noticed the new build up the street, a gorgeous white house with black windows – and their window treatments were white half shutters. I did not like the look at all and I thought “Maria is so right”! After that I was able to relax about and appreciate my white windows (with my white plantation shutters), and I’ve never looked back! xoxo Sue F.

  • Avatar Alisa M says:

    Congratulations on twelve years!! I’ve only been reading a year or two, but have gained so much helpful instruction in that time. Thank you!

  • Avatar Karen Dyck says:

    I’ve been following your blog since 2008. Thank you for all of the thoughtful tips for all those years! I’d love to have the neutral and darks color boards.

    You suggested early on that having a black accent would make a room pop. You were right.

  • Happy Blogiversary! I just started reading your blogs this year but I wish I had found you sooner, as I would have made some different renovation decisions! It’s hard to not go overboard with black – it’s one of those colors that looks so good in inspiration photos but doesn’t always turn out the same way in our own homes. I would love to start with the Benjamin Moore VIP collection because it has a nice mix of neutrals and colors. Thank you Maria!

  • Your never ending energy is contagious! Thank you for all the wonderful years of blogging and reminding us that…..”boring today is timeless & classic tomorrow”! Great work Maria and many thanks.
    PS: I would LOVE to win the BM Core Collection! Keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

  • Avatar Katherine Kruis says:

    Hi Maria: Thanks so much for the tips on decorating with black. I have purchased a couple of your ebooks and your focus on undertones has helped me immensely! I love reading your blogs.

  • Avatar Leslie says:

    Found you years ago thru a friend.

    Whites and neutrals

  • Avatar Patty says:

    I never thought black would be one of my favorite colors, but it is! I love what it can add to a room and soooo appreciate the hints shared here for doing it correctly and in good taste. Thank you!

  • Avatar Angelika says:

    Love your blog – so many ideas and inspiration!
    I love a dash of black in every room; it adds depth and interest. Which is why I use it sparingly, but consciously.
    Only yesterday I finished transforming my daughter’s former room into a library – a soft, but vibrantly yellow library, which is definitely non-traditional.
    If I should win I’d be thrilled with a BM VIP collection.

  • Avatar Christine says:

    Happy Blogiversary! I just started reading your blogs this year but I wish I had found you sooner, as I would have made some different renovation decisions! It’s hard to not go overboard with black – it’s one of those colors that looks so good in inspiration photos but doesn’t always turn out the same way in our own homes. I would love to start with the Benjamin Moore VIP collection because it has a nice mix of neutrals and colors. Thank you Maria!

  • Avatar Anneli Tiainen says:

    Congratulations on the 12 years, only been here for a couple of years but enjoying every post in my in box.

  • Avatar Nina Rutz says:

    I don’t know how many years I’ve been following you, but enough that your name is known by my kids! I’d love to win the BM VIP collection since I’m considering repainting my master bedroom and bathroom!

  • Avatar Shara Lee says:

    Congrats on your Blog-iversary! I appreciate your posts and what they can teach me.

  • Avatar Ann says:

    Hope you are enjoying a boo-tiful day! I think you are the best blogger!

  • Avatar Betty Monson says:

    One of your best posts yet!

  • Avatar Benita says:

    Love your posts. I’ve learned so much from you over the years and once had a phone consultation for colors for my living room/dining room/kitchen that all flowed together but were not strictly open-concept. The colors were perfect and I loved how the rooms worked together. Here’s to another 12 years of great design.

  • Avatar Lauren says:

    I agree that a little black goes a long way. I love the photos you chose to reinforce your point.

  • Happy Blog-a-versary, Maria. I distinctly remember receiving your first post all those years ago because I was on your e-mail list as a participating designer in the former Benjamin Moore Painting and Decorating referral service where we first met. You have offered up years of timely and valuable information in an easily accessible format. I congratulate you on your success!

  • Hi Maria! Happy Anniversary! I am new to your blog and I have been devouring every tip and trick. Black is my favorite! Thank you so much for sharing all of this. I’m a fan!

  • Avatar Bindu Liang says:

    I have been following you for a looong time, I feel like you have the best advice on paint colors – namely how to think about paint colors. I would LOVE to get one of your sets.

  • Avatar Elizma says:

    CONGRATULATIONS on 12 years and Happy Halloween!

    I wasn’t here since the beginning, but I sure am glad I found you…

  • Avatar Katy says:

    A big thanks to you and your blog – when we had to do two unexpected bathroom remodels this summer (thanks to a burst pipe!) we chose classic and timeless tiles- white subway and white hexagon for one bathroom and white subway and white herringbone for the other bathroom as well as white vanities and sconce lighting. I’m pretty sure I would have fudged it up royally if left to my own devices! I couldn’t be more happy with the results. This blog has helped me so much! Cheers to your 12 years

  • Avatar Audrey Crozier says:

    I have the neutral/ white boards and love them! They helped me with a my kitchen makeover. Your advice had been invaluable in helping coordinate colors with the existing marble fireplace surround. It turned out beautifully.

    I’d like the Benjamin Moore VIP Collection.

  • Avatar priscilla says:

    Well, that was a fun black hole to fall into. Now, let’s paint all our Airbnb rooms black! (haha, reference to your post a few days ago when people were outraged that you critiqued the cold, sterile Airbnb interiors and dared to bring your own kitchen sink!).

    I just repainted my house’s front door black. It had been a lovely mid range warm turquoise for years. I especially loved it when the orange day lilies bloomed next to it. But the black door is so Elegant I feel like I should move out and let Elegant people live here. I love the black with the antique brass door knocker I bought back from a trip to Spain and with the original 1929 brass mail slot and door handle. I’ve mixed metals as well with a brushed stainless storm door. Miraculously, it looks so good that it looks like I knew what I was doing (I did not)!

    Recently I’ve been considering black paint for my bedroom, having sudden migraines on a regular basis and dark rooms as the antidote. But, how do you get dressed in a black room? How do you wake up in a black bedroom? How do you paint over black paint once you decide a black bedroom is depressing and practically inviting migraines?

    Love the blog, love the concept of demystifying color. Love your take on things.

  • Avatar Deb says:

    Congrats! Long time reader!

  • Avatar Deborah Shahabian says:

    Happy Halloween and your ‘blogversary’ too❣️ While living overseas, your emails were my go-to, for an always interesting and educational read on what to both do and not do too! It’s sooo hard for us to not listen to trends pushed on us by most decor magazines. You are the steadfast voice of reason and common sense – and your readers love you for it! I just bought a blue sofa and then read your post on not getting a neutral one, haha – made me smile for days knowing stepping out of my comfort zone was indeed a decorating win…thanks again! Any neutral board collection would be a true gift. ❤️

  • Avatar Mary Kay says:

    Thank you as always for your insights shared via your blog. I belong to a local Facebook group here where every day there is a post asking for a great white,grey,neutral,black color for interior or exterior. Or for members to weigh in on kitchen choices. I think of you every time now and how empowering your system is for people overwhelmed by how to make these choices! My goal is to own the Sherwin Wms boards for me and my family (and friends)!

  • Avatar Trudy says:

    Good day Maria,
    I have subscribed to your blog posts since the early days of your blog, and I follow you on Instagram as #onmyway54. You are so very generous with your knowledge and advice, and I look forward to every post that arrives in my inbox. Your Instagram stories are among the few that I listen to each day. I have recommended your site to many people, including my local Benjamin Moore retailer.
    Happy Anniversary, and may your success be as timeless as your advice!
    Trudy

  • Avatar paula says:

    Thank you for all your help! I have utilized your e-design and e-books. I was also fortunate enough that you selected a question with pictures to feature in one of your posts. That helped immensely and now my “tuscan brown” kitchen is bright and classic.

  • Avatar Lindsay says:

    Found your blog 6 years ago as I was scouring the internet for paint color ideas prior to moving into our home and I have been devouring your posts ever since. Using your advice from the blog I was able to land on Pale Oak for our neutral and it has hit the nail on the head for being the perfect canvas to bring our existing hard finish colors into a current look/feel and is so easy for me to decorate around. We also bought a couch right after move in and per your advice, I picked my favorite color (navy blue). In 2 months time I had two major (expensive for us) decisions I made directly influenced by your blog. There is no way my house would make me this happy without your blog!

  • Avatar Elizabeth M. says:

    12 years! Congratulations!I have been an avid reader of your posts for years. I first heard about you way back when the HGTV website still had the color forums and someone posted the information about you. You have made me very aware of the undertones in color and whites and why colors may just clash with each other when they are dirty vs. clean. Also, the concept of too many busy surfaces was an eye opener for me. Thanks!

  • Avatar Donna says:

    Congrats on your Blogaversary Maria! Loved following your timeless & classic posts that don’t waste your money. Special thanks for making color enthusiasts feel as welcome as color experts/decorators! I’m a follower for life-keep up the amazing work-you are so appreciated!!
    Smiles! Donna
    Neutrals, Colours & Darks

  • Avatar Amy says:

    Been following you for 10 years — not quite 12, but not far off. Fabulous advice every time. Would love your neutrals & whites collection!

  • Avatar Gail Rees says:

    Congratulations Maria! I am decorating challenged and was so happy to find your blog. I purchased your e books White is Complicated and How to Choose Paint Colours and highly recommend them. Your books and blog are chock full of well written useful information for understanding the whys and wherefore of selecting and combining colour. I also have your colour wheel, it is a great tool when shopping. Last week, as per your advice I added two lamps to our kitchen. I love how they have improved the ambiance. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and developing your proprietary colour system. I wish you continued success.

  • Avatar Kathryn says:

    Your posts are always so insightful, Maria. Can’t thank you enough for your never-ending advice about color! I would LOVE a set of Sherwin Williams Foundation boards to add to my color tools.

  • Avatar Miwa M says:

    Happy 12th Blogversity! Your blog is timeless!! I go back and read your old posts often. They are truly informative and helpful.

  • Avatar Dana says:

    Hi Maria,

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I have learned so much from your blogs and I use your colour wheel regularly! I am not a fan of black hardware on light cabinets or doors – I think that it is all you see – but I do like a touch of black in a room!

    Thanks!

  • Avatar Melinda says:

    I wasn’t here from the start but have been a loyal reader since 2012 when I started researching for my kitchen remodel. It’s the only blog I subscribe to! I attended your seminar in Dallas a few years ago.

    Three years ago we built an addition onto our home and I fell in love with dramatic black tiled bathrooms but when it came to my own home I followed your advice and have a bathroom which looks a lot like your example picture with white subway tile a bit more than halfway up the wall and black paint on the drywall portion. The cabinets are white IKEA with chrome hardware. I wanted the black toilet but didn’t want to spend the extra money so I have the throwback looking white toilet with a black seat.

    For our kitchenette I have white ikea cabinets with two floating black uppers around the sink with glass doors, walnut countertops with a black sink and faucet. I love the touch of black. The black faucet is easier to keep looking nice than chrome which gets spots if it isn’t wiped down. But the black silgranite sink takes a little extra care. Porcelain may have been a better choice for cleaning.

  • Avatar Karen says:

    I love the black doors! I have painted the trim inside my family room window black, just around the insides of the 4 windows in my window seat. It frames the windows and adds depth. Everyone thought I was crazy when I did this but it is not overwhelming or heavy. It looks beautiful. I wish I could post a picture.

  • Avatar Tina says:

    Love reading your posts as you provide so much information. I found you about 4 years ago and look forward to new posts in my e-mail. I would love to have The chance to win your SW Foundation collection.

    Thank you and keeping my fingers crossed. 🤞

  • Avatar Katie Menon says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! You provide such great resources and are a wealth of knowledge!

  • Avatar Susan says:

    Great post, Maria! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and congrats on 12 years. I found you about 4 years ago and have done a lot of remodeling since then. Your advice is always practical and beautiful when implemented!

  • Avatar Arien says:

    I think I’ve followed you for at least 10 years. Your insights have saved me so much time and money, and I have a more beautiful home because of you! Thank you for your guidance and I look forward to following you forever!!!

  • Avatar Trudy Kechner says:

    Happy 12 Blogaversary, and cheers to many more years to come!
    Your blog is always so helpful and current. I appreciate the way that you explain the “why” behind your advise. You inspire me to make much more timelss, and colorful choices for my home.

    Thank You!
    Trudy

  • Avatar Gabriele Hoegner says:

    Your blogs have saved my sanity. We are renovating our kitchen which dates from the 60’s; we had to make do with it as money was rather tight. Now the old kitchen is coming out and the new kitchen is going to be an off white. Light brown wood floor to go with the ash parquet flooring in the rest of the house. I have a black kitchen sink which I want to keep so the countertops will be a black formica perhaps with some veining Your blogs have convinced me to have subway tiles as a back splash. I had never liked subway tiles as the grout always seemed to turn a dingy colour and no amount of bleaching or scrubbing with a toothbrush seemed to change that; but your block on different grout colours was perfect. I have a black leather sofa in my living room. The walls are Powell’s Buff, which is the back ground colour of my curtains. Curtains have a wine coloured Jacobean pattern, couch has wined coloured cushions and 2 with the same print as the curtains. Plus 3 beige sheepskins which mutes the black and a wine coloured throw.

  • Avatar Patti E says:

    I absolutely LOVE your posts and have for years! You are wise beyond your years in this field! I think I have been following you for at least 7 years or more. Have learned so much and will add the “black tips” to my repertoire! Thanks Maria!!!

  • Avatar Jan says:

    Maria- I have been following you for about 2 years and enjoy every post! Thanks for sharing your gift!

  • Avatar Penelope Walker says:

    Happy Blogiversary, Maria.
    I’m so glad to see that grey is on the way out. After living in a rental apartment with battleship grey accent walls for the past two years, I am now starting to choose colours for my new condo. I have a vision of light and bright at the end of this tunnel. So looking forward to it.

    Penny

  • Avatar Judi Chevalier says:

    Great post. Lots of useful info. We purchased a black bench for our bedroom. I fell in love with the little sparkley buttons in the tufting. To balance it I put artwork with black mats and I really liked how it looked.
    Happy 12 blogversary. And I remember when you started the blog. Tetreeia had to explain to me what a blog was. Lol. How far you have come!!!
    If I am to choose color boards it would be neutrals

  • Avatar Denise P says:

    Hi Maria
    Happy Anniversary! Your blogs are TIMELESS!!!
    And my all time, can’t get enough, favorite class :Exterior Colour Masterclass!!
    Thank You! Thank You! ThankYou!

  • Avatar Susie says:

    I look forward to all your posts and learn so much. Thank you for helping us make our homes beautiful.

  • Avatar Diane says:

    Happy Anniversary! I’m not sure how many years I’ve been following you, but I am truly grateful for all your advice. I would love to win one of your color boards! I have all your ebooks, exterior Masterclass and love them. I even did a consultation with you years ago. I’m a homeowner with a two rentals and apply your advice when ever we update fixtures, paint, flooring (though I still can’t find a green beige carpet – maybe a blog post on current carpet styles and a few suggested brands/colors?). You do help me narrow down my choices, though I still struggle and did just buy eight exterior sample colors for our cabin we painted (no fixed elements so SW Dried Thyme was the winner). Will be using all I’ve learned when we update the inside of our cabin too. Timely article for me again! You Rock!

  • Avatar Heather Helm says:

    Happy Halloween and Happy Anniversary! I am so happy to be learning from an expert and I always look forward to your Instagram and blog posts. I would love the Sherwin-Williams neutrals and whites board set.

  • Avatar Julia Holt says:

    Hi. Maria. Congrats on 12 years! Your blog, IG posts and ebooks have helped me make choices with my home, and fixing up our childhood home to sell (under contract in 10 days!). Yep! Black is an accent…my parents built our home in 1976 with a black bathroom and a yellow one. What’s old is new again!

  • Avatar Jackie says:

    I still have an email saved from 2010 about turquoise. So I know I’ve been following your blog for at least 10 years!!

  • Avatar Barbara says:

    You had me when I came across your post about pot lights. I never liked seeing so many of them but now I know why.

    I would choose Benjamin Moore Neutrals and Whites.

  • Avatar Megan says:

    Congrats on 12 years. I’ve been a follower for almost that long. I found your blog searching for paint colors that wouldn’t clash with a large brick fireplace that couldn’t be changed. The biggest gift was learning about the difference between dirty and clean colors. I so appreciate that you share your tricks! My husband is always calling me the “diabolical decorator” but all my best ideas have been from reading your blog.

  • Avatar Jamie Gage says:

    I love your posts and look forward to them every week! I would love to win the large neutral boards for SW. Crossing my fingers!

  • Avatar Carol says:

    Great post. Do you still believe that if you use a very, very dark brown, it works somewhat like black. I am not a black fan. I did like the grey trend. I am happy to introduce some very dark brown or even better very dark navy (love navy). I do like the bathroom tiles you show with some black and white. I already own your SW boards. I would love to win the Ben Moore set: Neutrals, Colours and Darks. Happy blog anniversary, Maria!

  • Avatar Kristine C. says:

    Happy Blog-iversary, Maria! I’ve been following your blog for about 6 years now and have learned SO MUCH! Thank you! Too bad I didn’t know about your blog since the beginning though because that could’ve saved me a lot of heartbreak, pain and money — as far as color and design go. I’d love to win the BM VIP Collection!

  • Avatar Kim says:

    I’ve been with you for 12 years and have learned so much from your blog. Today’s black post is great. I got rid of my black leather sectional in January and bought a cognac leather sofa instead. Instant facelift for the room. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win the BM Neutrals, Colours & Darks collection.

  • Avatar Gina says:

    Your advice on your blog has been so helpful through our process of building our home last year and continuing to decorate this year! I would love to win the SW Neutrals and Whites set!

  • Avatar Emilie says:

    Okay, okay, okay!! I will read the blog post in just a minute but I just HAVE to enter the contest first!! Pick me!

  • Avatar Linda says:

    Thanks so much for another helpful and informative article. Happy Halloween from the cold east coast.

  • Avatar Christina says:

    This is a great post. I’m always telling clients how quickly black can take over a space and look too heavy. Thanks Maria

  • Avatar Tina Jagros says:

    I quite agree with your thoughts on Black doors. It’s a little drama without a big commitment.

  • Avatar Whitney says:

    Thank you for your blog! I have a lot to do with my house and need to read more of them!

  • Avatar Margaret Anna Robertson says:

    Your blogs have changed my life! I’ve loved reading and studying them for the past five years or so. I even have a black chair which goes with a black floor lamp and some black in the rug in my living room. It feels fresh and new every time I enter, thanks to your help! Would love SW color boards to help my young adult children decorate their new spaces.

  • Avatar Christian P. says:

    Happy Anniversary, Maria. Thank you for inventing your system and generously sharing your insights with us. You have saved me tons of money with your advice! I enjoy your blog because you always teach us something valuable.

  • Avatar Carey says:

    I have followed you for several years and have learned so much! Thanks for your dedication to keeping this blog going so that we can learn from you. I’d love to have the Benjamin Moore neutrals and white collection

  • Avatar Sharon says:

    Congrats on your anniversary! I’ve followed your blog at least before you moved into this house – not sure how long! Thanks to you, I totally nailed our beige paint choice in our main living area – when we repainted after the house flooded from a toilet valve leak. Once we repainted, I finally loved my house!

  • Avatar Michelle says:

    Only since 2012 I think. Back then I read all your posts that I had missed so I feel like I’ve been here from the beginning. I love black but I find with my tiny apartment one has to be extra careful not to overdo it. I did learn from you that yes, I can paint the walls of my walnut sized bathroom black because everything else in it is white(timeless) my fixtures are chrome and if I change my mind, I just have to paint out the walls, change out the black decor and boom I’ve got a new look for my bathroom! I also took to heart what you wrote about how people often are unhappy when they can’t see the final result. My boyfriend balked at black bathroom walls till I painted black colour boards, stuck one on each tiny wall and brought in the accessories. He got it right away. One of my favourite posts about black is the guest post written by the late Susan Hargraves many years ago, which is around the time I found your blog. Happy Blogiversary!

  • Avatar Lisa says:

    Congrats on 12 years! Your blog is my most favorite of the many interior design blogs I follow because you offer real advice that anyone can put into use immediately. Thank you for that!

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! Your post are so true and easy to understand. I am relatively new here but have learned so much already. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Avatar Ann says:

    I enjoy all your blogs; with no background in color, they have been my color college. At first I couldn’t understand how you saw undertones. But with about two years of reading your blog, and learning from your examples, I feel well on my way. We are going to be building a new home soon in the mountains and will need to apply everything you’ve taught. Heartfelt thanks!

  • Avatar Ginny K, says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you for such an informative post and happy 12 year bloggiversary!

    If I won your giveaway, I would like the Neutrals and Whites by Benjamin Moore Boards.

    Thank you!

    Ginny

  • Avatar Keira says:

    I have been following you for seven years. Happy Blogaversary!

  • Avatar Malinda says:

    While black can be stunning in photos of rooms that are professionally decorated, I agree with your comment in another post, that the only way to decorate with black is using it as an accent color. I couldn’t live with black kitchen cabinets. Cheerful mornings? I think not. Pairing black with cognac, terracotta, and lighter earthy tones is such a nice look. I like those combinations in clothing too. Black slacks and terracotta turtleneck sweater…good to go!

    Thank you for your insights, Maria!

  • Avatar cyd says:

    I haven’t been following you for 12 years but sure wish I had. Your thoughts on undertones rule my life.

  • Avatar melanie klein says:

    Congrats on your 12 year anniversary Maria! I’ve learned so much here, thank you! Would love to win a set of your boards.

  • Avatar Andrea says:

    Congratulations Maria!! You know I’ve been with you the whole 12 years. My color boards have come in so handy – I definitely need a new set! Thanks for bringing your color knowledge to the world!

  • Avatar Kristin says:

    After almost 20 years in our home, we can finally afford some updates and your blog, ebooks and Instagram have kept me on the right track! Thank you so much!

  • Avatar Jane Morlok says:

    Hi Maria! Congratulations on your blog anniversary! This is my first time posting! I love a well-done black-accented space but agree it is tricky to get it right. Since I love layered and serene neutrals with little pops of color, your posts have been so helpful to read. Am planning a bathroom redo so this post on black shower doors was a good reminder regarding how to keep things timeless! Thank you for your open-hearted and fun sharing and teaching! I would love to have the SW Neutrals and Whites boards. I have your neutrals color wheel but am still working on truly “seeing” the undertones.

  • Avatar Lori H says:

    Hello! I’ve been reading your blog and following on instagram for around a year and enjoy every post! I just need a push to start executing on your advice. Almost every room in my house is painted yellow, and I’m pretty sure yellow is not a neutral lol. Congrats on 12 years!

  • Avatar Lori Loucks says:

    My goal to attend your live training in 2020 was postponed, like so much, due to COVID, but it’s on my calendar for next year! I’ve been following you for many years – not sure how many now. I’m always quoting you when I try to help people make color decisions. Thanks for all you do to make the world beautiful and Happy!

  • Avatar Linda says:

    I like to wear black, even all black for everyday wear. But in rooms, I like it as little punches of accent–tho I do love me a black piano. Many many years ago, as a young woman, I decorated a bathroom in black and white and yellow, and was very happy with its drama. I would not choose it today, but then again, if I had the right situation, I could see a black and white bedroom dressed in toile, with a bit of some bright color to give relief and oomph. But then…I could decorate a thousand rooms!

  • I’ve only known you for four years but you’ve changed my business and consequently my life, if that’s not too dramatic to say, with your no nonsense color advice and timeless and classic movement. 💛🧡💛💙💛💚💛

  • Happy Blogiversary! I am a fairly recent convert to your color wisdom party. I love black & have lost the battle of a black front door to my husband for the last 4 decades. I frequently choose paint colors for house prep as a realtor/property manager and typically use the Benjamin Moore classic colors. I love that your blog is all about creating a timeless look. The Benjamin Moore neutral color board set would help make our color decisions easier and more accurate.

  • Avatar Whitney G says:

    Happy Anni- I think people think I’m paid by you I recommend you so much! I’ve been following you for at least the last 8YO but I think it’s really longer. We loved our home exterior paint consult your team did last year- we finally painted this summer and it turned out great!

  • Avatar Brenda says:

    Maria,
    I have followed you for at least 10 years. The training from you has taken my business to another level. And, my husband knows exactly who “the Maria” is that I talk about all.the.time!

    Thanks for pouring into me!

  • Avatar Patti says:

    Hey Maria!

    I love a little black in EVERY room! It’s so chic! I recently used Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore SW 7069 on an accent wall in a client’s downtown loft and it was the PERFECT backdrop for a beautiful wooden TV console..and somewhat HID HIS SEVENTY-FIVE INCH TV HE HAD TO HAVE! Ugh! (Sometimes we just have to work our color Consult magic!) 😉

    Thank you for sharing this amazing post! You’re the best!
    With love from Minneapolis,
    Patti

  • Avatar Sharon Rubi says:

    I wish I had found you before we had picked our exterior black windows which my husband insisted we install in our whole house renovation! Fortunately, I found you after that decision had been made but before our siding was chosen and you steered us to a beautiful combination. This interior advice will keep us on track with black. My husband wants it everywhere – thank you!

  • I do love black too, but in my own house I use it sparingly. Lovely blog!

  • Avatar Theresa says:

    Congratulations. Love your blog. Have been following for years. I have learned a lot. Thank you.

  • Avatar Lana Smith says:

    Congratulations!! I love your posts. I would love to have some of your new boards.

  • Avatar Liz in Oregon says:

    Congratulations Maria! I’ve been here since the spring of 2011 and your posts have helped me move to four different rentals. Thank you! (Just want to mention that your poster at the beginning of this post says 2018 instead of 2008…I want to make sure you get credit for all your years. :-))

    I would LOVE to win the “Neutrals, Colors and Darks” color boards!

  • Avatar Karen says:

    Congratulations on a dozen years of blogging!!! Way to go and please keep going!

  • Avatar Pam says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! I started your blog at least 5 years ago maybe longer. I would love the BM neutrals and lights boards.

  • Happy Blogiversary Maria!
    You’re such a gift to the world! Love all the timely color and advice tips you give so generously!! In the right setting, love
    SW 7020 Black Fox (satin) for interior doors. Super classy & warm. I purchased the SW Foundation Collection last year. Use them all the time, best money ever spent! Would love to add Benjamin Moore boards to complete my color world. Hope to meet you in San Diego 2021!!

  • Avatar Donna says:

    I enjoy your blog. Happy 12th! I’d like the BM neutral boards! Thank you!

  • Avatar Dusti says:

    Congrats on 12 years of filling the internet with beauty and amazing insights on creating fantastic spaces! You’re incredible, Maria!

  • Avatar Arlene says:

    Another informative blog. I have a black leather couch so will be seeing what to change. Thanks.
    Maria I have follow you in your blog for possibly 10 to 12 years. I really don’t know. Somehow I came across your blog and never left plus have friends now following you. I resonated with you in your timeless decoration, color expertise and still do.
    If I win I would like neutrals, colours and dark.

  • Avatar Diana says:

    Hi Maria, I have been reading your blog from the beginning. Whenever we are contemplating a change in our home I tell my husband “my color expert blogger says……”. We’ve moved/purchased three different homes since you began. We now are in our age-in-place home. We’ve been here only one month but I have referred to you and your blog several times for guidance and direction.
    If my name is drawn I would love your BM collection of Neutrals and Whites. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge here on your blog.

  • Avatar Kathleen says:

    I love some black in decorating. I have some lamps in my living room with black iron weave look bases with white shades.

  • Avatar Connie says:

    Unfortunately, I only discovered you this year as I was online searching like a crazy lady during my renovations in July. I’m so glad I found your blog and I’m now addicted! I actually just had a “Maria” moment this morning when I heard myself say ” That green is too clean for the sofa. It makes it look dirty” Joining your master class is not in the cards for me right now, but I do have the electronic book and it’s on my wish list for my retirement in 2 years!!! For now, I have my stack of painted poster boards. 🙂

  • Avatar Wyn Hofeling says:

    Thank you Maria for your blog, ebooks and exterior masterclass! I’ve learned so much to help me in my interior design business and beyond!!

  • Avatar Linda Trammel says:

    Happy Blogaversary! Love your posts .I am actually a fan of black and white but not in my own home! Sounds crazy but I started long ago with light colors and never made that change to black anything. However I did just have my kitchen cabinets painted white. My counter top is a dark brown caesar stone so I decided that dark brown knobs and pulls would look better than the silver I had and I am overwhelmed with how stylish it looks. So dark brown is a little close to black I guess! My island is a medium brown and I think I will keep it brown for contrast. The island counter top is a cream with white in it which I may change later when I find the right top. Since it is small I am finding it hard to find something that I don’t have to buy a minimum footage of. Wow. This tuned into a long story. Sorry. Keep up the excellent blogging. I read every single one with anticipation of learning something.

  • Avatar Kim says:

    Congratulations on your blog anniversary, Maria! I always enjoy reading and much of your advice has been incorporated into my home over the years. Keep doing what you do!

  • Avatar Pat Nelson says:

    Would love to receive the Ben Moore neutrals and whites packet if I win.
    What a lovely and helpful gift idea! I’ll be redoing my entire kitchen soon, and painting some of the bedrooms and the bath.
    Happy blogiversary, and many years of continued success!

  • Avatar SDC says:

    You wrote . . . “But the overuse of black quickly becomes boring, masculine, harsh, flat and predictable.”

    While I agree with the intent of your message, I don’t understand why you’re lumping in “masculine” with the other pejorative decorating descriptors (i.e., boring, harsh, flat, predictable). There’s nothing inherently wrong with either a masculine or feminine vibe, it all depends on the overall look you’re going for.

    And congratulations on 12 years. I’ve been a reader from the very beginning and always enjoy reading and learning from your posts. It’s exciting and a pleasure watching you develop and grow your business as you save the world from wrong color choices!

  • Avatar Pinkie Crabtree says:

    I think I found your blog about 8 years ago. You helped me with paint for my Great Room and some light fixtures about 6 years ago.

    I have started incorporating more black so this post is timely. Also appreciated your recent post about antiques as I have a lot of those and have been reluctant to part with them.

    Thanks for all your tips and tricks!

  • Avatar Stephanie Calkins says:

    Here’s to you and all the troubles you’ve saved us through your blog!

  • Avatar Tara says:

    We were going to buy a black velvet or chocolate brown sofa to replace a recently purchased (2017) off-white sofa that the fabric had shown undue wear with minimal use.

    Long story short, the fabric options from the two vendors for the new sofa did not have any black or brown offerings that looked good… so we chose a light wheat/beige color with a green undertone.

    I’m sure we’ll need to reupholster the existing transitional wingback chairs once the new couch arrives. It’s always something.

    Maybe I’ll add two black occasional chairs – using your handy guides above.

    Thank you for this deep dive into decorating with black!

    Happy Halloween 🎃

    Tara

  • Avatar Pat says:

    Congratulations on 12 years love your blog & love neutral colours !!!

  • Avatar Kathleen says:

    Hi Maria, you are always so spot on and ahead of the pack. I found your blog 4 years ago on another designer’s Recommended websites, and have learned so much following it and your IG. You put everything into logical context and made it easier to learn. Now I recommend you all the time to any friend struggling with color. And while I am posting, I would love a set of the BM Core Collection.

  • Avatar Rocky Kirkeby says:

    Maria…. I’d love to win a set of SW boards! I’ve been with you for 4 years, 4 very thankful years. Without you’re help I’d have been in the middle of many disasters. I’m certainly appreciating the black blog today….I’m in the middle of a flip where we are using black at bit.
    Xoxoxo to you!

  • Avatar Marlene says:

    I love all of your posts on black and particularly the current popularity of black windows and why they won’t work long term.
    Keep up the good work. Love reading it!

  • Avatar Jennifer B says:

    Really helpful thank you. The right amount of black looks stunning and its too easy to use too much and tip into trendy without having good advice.
    (BM please 😁)

  • Avatar Joyce Fowler says:

    I signed up April 20, 2014. Have saved most of your blogs. Enjoy very much. Not a decorator just interested in decoration and love color. Happy anniversary and many more.

  • Avatar Christy Hostert says:

    12 years! Congratulations Maria and thank you for your continued blog posts and offerings. I so appreciate and enjoy your work ❤️🙏

  • You have come a long way baby! I’ve been here since the beginning and have enjoyed the ride! Congrats on your longevity . Wishing you many more years ahead and looking forward to what will be next.

  • Avatar Michelle says:

    I wish I had known about your blog 12 years ago! I’ve been reading for almost 2 years. I’d love the Benjamin Moore Core collection!

  • Happy Halloween! What a fantastic post filled with useful tips and principles! I am a photographer and consult with clients as we are planning their large wall portrait installations! I would love the treat of winning your large sample boards!!

  • Avatar ML says:

    I’ve been faithfully reading your blogs for the better part of the decade, so Happy 12th Blogiversary!
    IMHO, you’ve taught me to think of white tile as the same as a white blouse, and the color in the removable decor accessories as being similar to a neck scarf or necklace or earrings. It was this relationship (for me) that made me understand that the tile is just the canvas for the color we choose to add on top of it at any moment in time. By using white, it allows us to constantly change our decision about our decor. Just like I wouldn’t want to wear the same jewelry every day, removable color decor items allow me to change my interior design decisions.
    Anyway, thank you for all you do. It has been an education!

  • Avatar Kelly Carter says:

    Congrats on 12 years, Maria!! I am a 10 yr follower and look forward to every post! You have taught me so much!

  • Avatar Barb says:

    Happy Halloween and 12th Blogiversary! I’ve been following your blog for many years (10+) and I’ve learned so much (how to pick classic & timeless finishes, how to identify undertones, the importance of lamps, how decor creates a look and feel, and so much more). I love a touch of black as an accent but won’t be using too much more than that in my home. I live in deepest, darkest Deep Cove so black walls or black sofa’s are not something I’ll be considering anytime soon as the forest and fog make for a gloomy vibe. I need some happy colours in my home to keep me going in the winter.

    Thanks so much for all your helpful posts.

    P.S. I’d love to win the BM VIP Collection (you never know what could happen on a Blue Moon Halloween eve in the midst of a global pandemic!!).

  • Avatar Monica Behl says:

    Congratulations Maria! I have followed your blog since taking your color course ~3-4 years ago, as a “color enthusiast”. You have saved me from making some decor mistakes – my thanks!

  • Avatar Sandy says:

    When your blog notification comes to my email list, it’s the first one I open!
    We’re in a Condo built c. 15 years ago, where all the kitchens have black subway tile and black granite countertops. Apparently there was a black trend in the early 2000s too, or maybe a sale on black? I’m a “black clothes- yes, black furniture- no” person. Black decor shows every little spot or smudge, and also sucks in all the light.
    Your ‘Neutrals, Colors, and Darks’ would be a great choice when the time comes that we can redecorate.

  • Love this post! Black doors and windows have been a favorite of mine for a while. Black furniture scares me though because of my animals. I would be happy with any of your color boards but the neutrals would help me the most with my cabinet refinishing business.

  • Avatar Fern Regular says:

    I’d love the neutral and dark board. I would like to incorporate black into my new suite.
    I’m new to this area and have just come across your blog within the past few months. It’s amazing!

  • Avatar Alissa says:

    I love your posts and I am so in love with black at the moment. I painted our media room Black Panther but chickened out on black kitchen cabinets. Just doing black on the island cabinets.
    I would love a set of Benjamin Moore colours.

  • Avatar Pam Ferentchak says:

    A very timely post! We were just discussing painting a interior door black. I think it might work after reading your post! Congratulations on 12 years of blogging!

  • Avatar Erica says:

    Maria, Congratulations on your blog anniversary! Thank you for being so generous with your information. I loved your color wheel concept and was shocked it was free. It prompted me to buy two of your ebooks. I wanted to learn more and so I took your color class last year. I would absolutely love to get my hands on the color boards. They are best way to learn to choose color.

  • Avatar Michele says:

    Happy Halloween! I was just speaking with my client about decorating her dining room in black and I’m glad I crossed this post. I will review the rest of the links within the blog and feel comfortable moving forward with black in the dining room. I’ve done it before and it looked great, so I’m excited to see what we come up with.

  • Avatar Hannah Winebarger says:

    Thank you so much for this timely post (and generous giveaway). I’ve been “scared” of black so appreciate the advice of how to use it well.

  • Avatar Janice says:

    Happy Blogiversary and Happy Halloween. Have been with you since May 2013. I was renovating a house with selling in mind, madly lost and searching the internet for even just one tiny little clue. Though you never knew about it the reno was a hit and the house sold in 2 days for above asking price. Timeless hard finishes sell houses. Thank you for that! Would love to enter the giveaway for a color board. The current house needs help. Don’t love black with anything but white and the palest of pale wood floors. Great post as always.

  • Avatar Jane says:

    Maria, I love your blog and it feels like you’ve become my friend as I read your blogs:) if I won I would definitely want one of the cream and neutrals!! I want to put a lighter sand or beige color on my walls soon and want to put a lot of samples up.

  • Avatar Lynn says:

    Crazy how I used to choose colors, now I know a bit better since following you. I at least stop to think about how the color “works” to pull the room together or add the right accent. Thank you!

  • Avatar Maddie L says:

    Just bought a house with lots of oiled bronze details which read as black. Thanks to you our color choices have made them look good. You always brighten my day ☀️Thank you Maria!

  • Avatar Renee says:

    Your blog is so helpful and inspiring – wish I would have discovered it many years ago. Reading your posts and viewing the photos really illustrate how black used as an accent enlivens a room. We’re planning a kitchen remodel next year (classic white cabinets) and after reading your posts, are considering a black soapstone or quartz countertop. I’d love the Benjamin Moore neutrals, colors and darks collection. Happy 12th anniversary!
    Renee

  • Avatar Helen Kap says:

    Maria, Happy 12 Years. I find your blog very interested. I love working with colours on my quilts and hand hooked rugs, but when it comes to my walls, I am a bit hesitant with my choices. I can now see the undertones of paint colours, flooring and finishes, thanks to you. I’d love to win some colour boards as well. Thanks for running this Giveaway.

  • Avatar Laura says:

    Happy 12 year anniversary! I was late to the party and found you in 2010. Your site has grown so much. It’s been a pleasure watching you succeed. Best wishes.

  • Avatar Joan says:

    Keeping a blog alive for 12 years is no small undertaking, so congratulations! A friend of mine on Facebook recommended your site many moons ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love black in interiors in small doses, but not particularly on walls. I have two bedrooms with elements of black and I think picking the right contrasting colors makes all the difference. Thank you for allowing us to follow your work and wisdom. I would love the SW neutral and white boards as those are the ones I have the hardest time picking. I second guess myself A LOT!

  • Avatar Elizabeth Putney says:

    I now ask myself “what would Maria do?” Thanks for freely sharing so much of your knowledge! I’ve learned a lot.

  • Hi Maria,

    I recently painted my shutters on house SW Tricorn Black and have received many positive comments.

    I would like to win the Neutrals and White Color Boards from Sherwin Williams!

  • Avatar Cyntia says:

    I really wish I had discovered you 12 years ago!!! But I’ve been rigorously following you the past five years 🎉🎉🎉 Thanks for your amazing work and Happy blog anniversary xx

  • Avatar Angela says:

    🖤touch of masculine black goes a long way
    🎁Neutrals, Colors & Darks

  • Avatar Janice says:

    I found your blog only a year or so ago, but have learned so much through your ebooks since then! Congratulations on your 12 years of blogging!

  • Avatar Angie King says:

    Such great information Maria! And that leopard print sofa ….wow! ❤️

  • Avatar Conni Mainne says:

    When I painted my bedroom, I made it a soft sage-y green. I HATED it from the day I finished. I finally painted it again, BM Iron Mountain. Very, very dark charcoal. I think it’s a purple undertone? (I’ve learned SO much from you, thank you!) I have LOVED it every single day I wake up in it. What makes it work is that the ceiling, the trim, the door and the sliding closet doors that take up a whole wall are all a creamy white. BM Vanilla Ice Cream. I have repeated that creamy white on the ceilings and trim and even kitchen cabinets throughout the house. I have a large beveled mirror with ornate gold-leaf frame that came from my grandmother. The raw silk curtains are sage green. That sounds dirty, but they’re a brighter sage green than dirty. My duvet covers are always creamy or light green or silvery-grey prints that work with the floor and the curtains. Most of the furniture is a warm brown and the floors are old wood-fir, which turns pretty orange. Ok, my king bed is a Restoration Hardware black-tall headboard. The masculinity of it balances the soft, feminine decor. I just love it, thanks to all of your expert help in these posts.

  • Avatar Vicki Cobb says:

    Having been a follower for about 4 years, I own a set of color boards and have purchased your design services. I’ve recommended your blog to the friends and family who will appreciate your wisdom based on years of experience. I too appreciate classic and timeless, tiring of trends quickly. Though I agree with the person who said we cannot “unsee” the mistakes we’ve made, I’ve learned that we can take away the attention from them with decorating. Your photo examples, especially the before and afters, speak volumes. By helping those who love beauty in their surroundings to build their color and decorating muscles, you do a great service. Wishing you many more anniversaries…

  • Hi Maria! I’ve been a reader for a little over a year now, and I’ve learned so much from you! We just redid a bathroom and I introduced a small amount of black and repeated it, thanks to your blog. It looks great! We are painting soon, so if I won the giveaway, I’d love the lights and neutrals from Benjamin Moore. I own both your ebooks – the boards would complement them! Congrats on your blog anniversary, and thanks for being a great teacher with a great system! 💛

  • Avatar Julie says:

    Maria: congratulations on this milestone! I’ve been with you for about 4 years. I was very very late to the blog/internet party as I was uncomfortable with the tech. I thought all this was for tech savvier people, lol!! But I was looking for info and help, finding it on your site. Thank you for the amazing amount of info you put out. I love your books as those helped me pick the BM Classic Gray in much of my house. I would really love the BM neutral, colors and dark Board collection or the BM neutrals and whites collection. Today’s post is oh so timely as the color black is totally mainstream now as the new neutral. Your pics that show how to do it right versus total overkill are spot on. Thanks for the explanation of the details. I do enjoy going back and reading much older posts. You are always well ahead of the trend curve and do a fabulous job of helping us stay fresh, but keep the bones classic! Thank you for everything Maria!! Looking forward to many more years with you!!

  • Avatar michelle says:

    Congratulations on 12 years and thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’d love a set of BM neutrals and whites!

  • Avatar ALISA says:

    Yours was one of the first blogs I started following. I found it when I was shopping for a bed and you happened to have the one I was looking at in your own home. That was about 10 years ago. I would love the BM whites and neutrals as those are always the hardest to see on the smaller samples.

  • Avatar Yehudit J E Main says:

    Happy Blogversity to you! I appreciate everything I have learned from you. I would really like the SW collection.

  • Avatar Susan S says:

    I believe I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning, but it sure doesn’t feel like 12 years!! I’ve learned so much and love your design aesthetic and joy of color!

  • Avatar Elizabeth M. says:

    Congratulations on your 12 year anniversary! I have been reading you posts for years and first heard of you way back when the HGTV website had a paint and color forum. I am grateful for your explanations regarding undertones in paint, dirty and clean colors and for the wise advice of not having too many busy hard surfaces in decorating. Thank you.

  • Avatar Marianne says:

    Congratulations! You’ve made me stop and look at color in a new way. I love that bathroom’s black and white mosaic tile floor.

  • Avatar Tara Redenbach says:

    So glad this came out now…just when my kiddo’s are thinking of painting their basement black. Bang on advise every time

  • Avatar Doris Samson Betts says:

    Twelve years of blogging! Congratulations! And although I only found you in recent years, I have read a PILE of your wonderful, educational and informative blog posts from the past! And I recommend your blog to many others on decorating Facebook pages I’ve joined, often linking specific blog posts you’ve written to cover a topic in question. I think you are spot on with your advice concerning timeless choices and have enjoyed your e- books. I would absolutely LOVE to win your Benjamin Moore colour boards! I did purchase your colour wheel in the last year, z terrific tool. The boards would add even more to my design arsenal…I’ve learned so much from you! Keep up the great work and thank you so much for being so generous with your colour and design knowledge!

  • Avatar Judy says:

    I have used black in every room in my home, but no black walls…yet. I love black, but for me, it has to have balance. Our large great room has a very large area rug with a black background and green ivy trellis with a cream border. I’ve had it for years and I love it, so it’s staying. When I was going to have my sofa reupholster, I did think of black, but decided to match the rugs cream border. Now I am reupholstering my smaller chair and ottoman and their fabric is a textured black. I have other pieces in patterned black and cream and one chair in green to match the rugs trellis. The comments are always that they never imagined black could be so rich and beautiful.

  • Avatar Annette Baity says:

    Hi Maria,

    I’ve been reading along since 2009, so 11 years (maybe 11.75 ha!) And hired you WAY back when it was just you doing the phone consultations for my living room…it was the best money spent for that living room! I painted my own color boards on your recommendation, and we landed on BM Monroe Bisque (loved it). After that my husband became a believer in hiring a designer…”What did Maria say about pillows you picked out?” LOL!

    We have now moved into a new home for our growing family (still in California) and are remodeling the “new to us” kitchen and great room. The BM Neutral’s and Whites boards would be perfect for choosing a “barely there” neutral for our modern farmhouse (we live in the country now).

    Thank you for 12 years of WONDERFUL articles, AMAZING advice, and design service that does not disappoint!
    ~Annette

  • I’ve been following you since the beginning, Maria! Your advice is as sound as ever and I couldn’t agree more than when it comes to using black in interiors, the “less is more” rule is the wisest approach. I love that it works so beautifully with warm wood tones, cognac, colors and grieges alike.

    • Avatar Jane B says:

      I found your blog in 2011 as I was renovating a neglected 1920 craftsman bungalow from top to bottom: new kitchen, bathrooms and every surface throughout. Your blog posts pointed me in the right direction to create a timeless home. White cabinets and white subway tile along with honed black granite (looks like soapstone) for the kitchen. One bathroom has white subway tile and we were able to repair an original white hex tiled floor with medium blue greek key border. What may seem to be “boring” choices are completely versatile and timeless. Changing out accessories is all it takes to transform the space for very little money. Maria …I’m so grateful that I found your blog 9 years ago! Thank you!

  • Avatar Summer says:

    I use a lot of black—the Parade Home I did in 2018 had black cabs—I LOVED them and so did many others. They look great with natural wood. I also love the black fixtures youve shown, but it’s so important to have a water softener, otherwise they get gross so quickly!

    Love the post! Thanks.

  • Avatar Cheryl says:

    Thank you so very much for opening my eyes to undertones! I enjoy your blog and your instagram posts and have taken the exterior color class and read your ebooks. Thank you for sharing all your “color” knowledge so freely with us.

  • Avatar Susan says:

    What about the saying everyone should have a little Black Dress!

  • Avatar Rache says:

    Love the penny tile In The bathroom and and the happy colors of the cabinets.

    I would love the Benjamin Moore VIP set.

    Congrats on your 12th Anniversary!!

    You are amazing. Rachel

  • Avatar Kathy says:

    Congrats on 12 years of writing your blog Maria. I found you in 2012, and booked a consult just before a painting update started in my home. Then I took your course in 2014. I’d love a set of boards – BM Neutral and Whites (or SW) to start on my kitchen reno and helping my kids choose colours as they launch into places of their own. Thanks.

  • Avatar Laura Campbell says:

    We just embarked on the journey of building our retirement home in Texas. I find myself visiting your site daily for tips and things to consider. Your black blog was perfect timing as as my hubby wants everything to be black + white.

    I hope I win one for of yours color boards – especially the whites!

    Thank you!!

  • Avatar Phelan Kathy says:

    Happy Blogiversary. I have followed you for 5 years and love everything you do. Your specifying color with confidence was the best investment I made for my business. Thanks for all you do.

  • Avatar Gretchen says:

    I’m pretty new to your blog but your advice has kickstarted our home refresh after living here for 9 years! I love your classic, timeless style!

  • Avatar Donna Whalley says:

    Hi Maria…great advice on how to include black and not go overboard. I have done exactly that in my place so good to know I did it right. I do still think your dining room table would look FAB in black but understand/appreciate your words of wisdom.

  • Avatar CLAIRE S says:

    Thx fir for your help with my house, i love my new wall colors! Id like the neutrals, lights and darks set if i win, thx!

  • Avatar Lori says:

    Hi Maria! I’ve been following you for about 6 years. I’m grateful that I found you before we built our dream home!! White subway tile and medium brown wood floors… I will never tire of it!!🥰

  • Avatar Katie Stewart says:

    Thanks for all the years of sharing great resources -I’ve loved your posts, online classes, and just started a landscape plan with Mary White!

  • Avatar Heddy Bing says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. 12 years of writing is remarkable, especially because you write at least once a week and I know from my experience that every blog takes considerable time and research. There are many times when I think ‘what are they thinking ?’ (designers/decorators/architects). They should have taken Maria’s courses! Huge kudos to you!

  • Avatar Marcia says:

    Happy fall! I was glad to see go with your favorite color for a couch. Now to be brave enough to do it.

  • Avatar Debbie says:

    I have been following you for years and words can’t express how wonderful those color boards are. I have the full collection of Benjamin Moore that have been priceless, using multiple times. I would love the Sherwin Williams collection!
    Thank you for your wonderful blog that I have followed for years. You are a color genius and congratulations on 12 years!

  • Avatar Regina Harkleroad says:

    Maria, While at home during the Covid 19 crisis, I really felt the need to redecorate and have been contemplating adding black to my decor but wasn’t sure where to add it. I am so glad I read this blog because I think I was about to go overboard with black. Your blog has realigned my thinking and clarified that I need to add black in smaller doses so as not to overdo it. Accents in black is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so very much for the advice. I look forward to reading more of your blogs to get other ideas for color additions and paint colors. Thanks again.

  • Avatar Laura Wilkin says:

    I have no talent for design and will probably never be competent at seeing undertones, but I’ve subscribe for about 7 years for my own education and enjoyment. If nothing else, I have learned how to tell when other “designers” are making things up as they go. Thank you!

  • Avatar susan says:

    Hi Maria: I do love reading your blog!!!You have the gift of an “eye” for seeing how to make a room “timeless” but contemporary. I am always inspired by your blogs. My wish is for you to do a series on “form” vs “function”. Sometimes I see images of a house or a room which seems so stylized that I wonder how people can cook, sit or just live in the space. Things get moved by children, grandchildren, partners etc and do not stay looking like the photos for long. While visiting relatives in Scandinavia , particularly Finland, I was amazed at how any room could look lovely yet liveable and I yearn for this!!! Thank you for all your work.

  • Avatar Vivien Wulff says:

    Great post! Love your example photos-the cheetah sofa!!!! Love black but sticking to my green-black front door. If name is selected I would like the neutral, colours and dark boards. Thanks!

  • Avatar Laura says:

    Great post as always! Although I can appreciate the trend I’ve already done it years ago. It was fresh for me I love to experiment but no one got it, guess I was ahead of trend.

  • Avatar Kirsten says:

    I only found your blog a few years ago, but it was a great help when it came time to renovate the basement bathroom of our home – the first thing I’ve ever renovated in my life!

    At first I considered a “rustic spa-themed” bathroom with porcelain “wood” plank tile floors, a rustic wood vanity, and aquamarine walls. After reading many of your posts about choosing timeless finishes, and because we plan to move sometime in the next five years, I realized it would be better to take a less personal approach to the room so the next owners wouldn’t feel the need to rip everything out, or grit their teeth in resignation whenever they used the room.

    Our house was built in 1957 and while it’s not “cool” mid-century modern (although the little foundation window in the bathroom sort of looks like a clerestory window if you squint really hard at it), I decided the bathroom should keep to the spirit of the house’s era. Therefore, we installed floor-to-ceiling Pepto Bismol pink everything.

    Just kidding! We installed grey tile floors, white subway tile with metal edging strips for a clean, modern look, a walnut vanity with a plain white countertop, and brushed nickel everything. There’s plenty of wallboard if someone wants to have fun with color down the road. (That black wall with the subway tile in the last picture of this post looks really sharp, but I’m not that brave.) Yes, it definitely taps into the mid-century revival trend that has been so popular, but in our case, I think it suits the house. It’s not hyper-feminine or masculine and it doesn’t stick out from the rest of the house the way a “rustic spa” room would. Every time I go in there, I feel so happy that my first renovation turned out so beautifully. I’m glad I had your blog to help me stop and consider my choices more carefully.

    And since you asked, the Neutrals and Whites set would suit me best were I fortunate enough to win them.

  • Avatar Jennifer Parsons says:

    I’m pretty sure I found you about 10 years ago! And I still enjoy your blog as much today as I did back then, I think I’ve read every post. Love your style !!!

  • Avatar Lesley says:

    Love getting your emails! My black cabinets are 12 years old and really need refreshing, a new paint colour perhaps plus new countertops so I’m just getting up the courage to going on that. I’ll be in touch!

  • Avatar Barb Kass says:

    Thanks for the great insight as always! Happy Halloween 🎩

  • Avatar Michelle Holland says:

    Maria,
    Congratulations on your 12th blogiversary! I’ve learned so much about color from reading your blog and I want to thank you for generously sharing your knowledge, you certainly are the color expert!
    Here is to 12 more years!
    Michelle Holland

  • Avatar Heidi Tryon says:

    🖤 black and your blog!

  • Avatar Amy says:

    Thank you for straightforward advice. I often know when something doesn’t look quite right, but can’t put my finger on exactly why it looks a little “off.” You eventually post an explanation for why something doesn’t look as good as
    It could. I look forward to each of your blog posts. You have saved me a lot of money and grief by helping me to avoid mistakes with color. Despite my increased understanding and confidence, I still want your help with the big decisions and am using a gift to purchase an e-consultation with you!

  • Avatar Ange Mills says:

    Happy 12 years. I’ve been following you since 2014. I appreciate all the hard work you put into your blog. It’s the best definitely very informative. Since I’d like to paint my cabinets and baseboards, I think the Sherwin-Williams white and neutral color boards would be very helpful.

  • Avatar Alison says:

    Hi Maria, I think I found you sometime in year 1, my daughter was a toddler and she just turned 15! I too attended True Colour Expert Training in Vancouver 2011. I’ve always wanted a full collection of your colour boards and often end up painting my own samples I actually think the idea to make the boards came up at dinner during the training! I think I would choose the BM Neutrals, colours and darks. Thanks for the generous gifting opportunity! Cheers Alison

  • Avatar Katie says:

    I think I’ve been following you for the full 12 years! I love your advice, I love the stories about your beautiful family and I love now reading about your amazing wife’s journey to health! Congratulations 🎊 and heres to 12 more! And I would love to win the VIP collection!

  • Avatar Emmylou says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! I’ve been following your blog for about five years and have learned so much about color from you! I have your e-books and I re-read them whenever I am making a color decision. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge.

    Emmylou

  • Avatar Margarette says:

    Great article! We are remodeling our home and you already had me thinking about doing a timeless decor. I finally get it. Remember Lynette Jennings (1996) when she was on TV? Her theory was yes to black but in small doses. This still applies as you’re teaching us in 2020, it is a trend. Off to see what you and Terreeia are up to on IG. Happy 12th! SW neutral for me.

  • Avatar Joanne says:

    Hi Maria,
    I love your blog and am so impressed with your knowledge. I have bought all of your e-books, as well as the Master Class on Exterior Color Selection – which I am trying to start!
    If I had to choose one of your Color Board Selections, it would be The Foundation Collection – Neutrals & Whites by Sherwin Williams. Will be tuning in on Monday to see if I am the lucky winner!
    Thanks again for all of your information and inspiration. I always look forward to your topics and learn so much from them.

  • Avatar Arien says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! I have been following your blog for at least 10 years. Your insights have saved me time and money and helped me create a beautiful home. Thank you!

  • Congrats Maria! I LOVE your blog and have learned so much from you over the years!!! I would jump for joy if I won your Benjamin Moore collection!!!

  • Avatar Charlotte Ivancic says:

    Hi Maria. Congratulations on your huge success! Thank you for bringing so much fabulous colour and decorating advice, as well as joy and happiness to our inboxes each week. It’s mail that I actually look forward to opening! I think that I’ve been following your blog for over ten years. I know that you have helped me and my family make our home more beautiful over the years, as well as helping me be a blessing to others with your advice. Right now I am in the process of decorating a suite for a women’s shelter. In January 2020 I used my (your!) colour wheel to replace the dark wall colour with Manchester Tan. It looks fabulous! On Monday I will finish decorating with pillows, plants, art and textiles to make it a warm and welcoming haven and refuge for the next woman who moves in. I would LOVE to be considered for your generous gift of the Neutrals, Colours and Darks Colour Board. Thank you!!

  • Avatar Lynn D from West Van / now Victoria says:

    Hey Maria – weren’t you doing your Colour Me Happy Blog waaaay back in 2003 when we first met? Congrats on all the years, do you have helped thousands and thousands of people!

  • Avatar Lisa says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! I found your blog 3-4 years ago and took your course in Houston 2+ years ago. Many times I’ll be watching HGTV renovation shows and almost gag at the color choices made by the “Designers”. There are so many that would benefit from your understanding of undertones! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I always enjoy your posts.

    I would love the BM-VIP Collection: Neutrals, Colours and Darks.

  • Avatar Jane says:

    I’ve learned a lot from you, Maria! Thank you for your blog!

  • Avatar Irina says:

    I’ve been reading since 2008 or 2009. I see undertones everywhere now :). I’d like the BM neutrals and whites.

  • Avatar Jill Jones says:

    Congratulations, Maria, on 12 years of blogging. That’s a big accomplishment. I love your blog and learn so much from you.

  • Avatar Carol Kocan says:

    How I found you I do not know…that I found you is such a blessing! I would have made SO many decorating mistakes: busy kitchen backsplash and counter and floor, paints with the wrong undertones, trendy and not classic and timeless. The list could go on! The BM Neutrals and Whites would be so helpful! Thank you for all you do to educate the decorator inside all of us!

  • Avatar Christine Anderson says:

    I love your posts and learn so much from you, Maria! Thank you for entering me in the drawing!

    Happy Halloween, everyone!

  • Avatar Sandy says:

    I have to agree. Little doses of black is far better than a whole sofa or kitchen cabinets in black. Too heavy looking. This is too trendy. Thanks Maria again for teaching us how to handle this trend.

  • Avatar yolande says:

    Maria,
    Thank you for all of your time and hard work on your blog! I’ve been reading it for about 11 years. I found you when we were building our home back in 2008-2009. I had already made several mistakes, but when it came to the backsplash I held my ground with the tile setter and my husband. They both kept insisting on a “design” behind the cooktop or some accent tiles. I chose a tumbled travertine to go with the busy granite but used a subway tile style. I’m so thankful for that one “save”. I’ve bought your books and colorwheel and attending one of your color weekends is on my wish list! Thanks again!

  • Avatar Karen M says:

    Congratulations for 12 years writing the blog! I remember finding your blog & website after I provided the contractor the paint color to paint our oak kitchen cabinetry. I was so stressed because I thought I knew what I was doing as we renovated our kitchen, but had no one to confirm I was in the right path. Thankfully, after reading your blog I determined I was going in the right direction and SO GLAD I didn’t listen to the people who told me I needed backsplash accent tiles!

  • Avatar Amy S says:

    Congratulations, Maria! Thank you for all your wisdom, so freely shared. You are the best.

  • Avatar Lynn says:

    Benjamin Moore Neutrals and Whites!

  • Avatar Carol says:

    So insightful! I have always loved black. I’m considering black slate entrance and laundry floors. Timeless?

  • Avatar Carolyn Wooten says:

    Maria, I found your blog 6 months ago, and I was quickly addicted, reading everything you have written. As a former hairstylist I have struggled with seeing/and being bothered by 5 million shades of color. You put words to my madness. I am grateful for the wisdom you have shared in both of your books and your blog. I would love to be entered for your sample board giveaway, that would be such a dream come true.

  • Avatar Carolyn Wooten says:

    Maria, I found your blog 6 months ago, and I was quickly addicted, reading everything you have written. As a former hairstylist I have struggled with seeing/and being bothered by 5 million shades of color. You put words to my madness. I am grateful for the wisdom you have shared in both of your books and your blog. I would love to be entered for your sample board giveaway!!

  • Avatar Joanna says:

    I think black should be used in small doses. All the black/charcoal grey homes being built now will scream 2020 in years to come ( certainly not timeless).
    Congratulations on 12 years of blogging. You have built a successful international business since inception. I have learned so much about undertones from reading your blog over the years. Thank you for taking the time to educate us for free with your blog posts. 👍

  • Avatar Jody Nakashima says:

    I am a recent follower of your blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and life with us. You feel like an old friend. (Sherwin-Williams would be my choice of boards.)

  • Avatar Ange Mills says:

    Hi there, congratulations on 12 years. I’ve
    been following you since 2014.
    Thank you for all your amazing posts.
    Since I’d like to paint our base boards and cabinets
    I think the Sherwin-Williams neutrals and white Color boards
    would be very helpful. Thank you! ❤️

  • Avatar Maureen Byrne says:

    I have been following your blog for many many years. Once on a sleepover night, my granddaughter wore a nightie that said “Colour Me Happy” and I laughed, took a photo, and showed her your blog. That was in 2012 and I had been learning from you for a few years already by then !. Can’t thank you enough for your wisdom and enjoyable writings. Congratulations, Maria! Cheers, Maureen

  • Avatar Ana says:

    Hi Maria!
    Thank you for your wisdom for your on-trend as well as classic design ideas! I’ve been in the design business for over forty years and your blogs and commentary are always spot on. I have almost worn out my VIP neutral SW sample boards and would LOVE to have the VIP neutral BM boards!

  • Avatar D says:

    I love how you explain the science and rules behind design.

  • Avatar Dianne Egan Buquet says:

    Maria, J first found you when I was building my home and had no clue what I was doing. I now have white subway tile and no bossy finishes anywhere. I’m so great full for your guidance! I’d live to receive one of your sets in neutrals, beiges, whites!
    Thank you!

  • Avatar Robin W. says:

    All the photos you posted show white sinks… thankfully. Black sinks always look dirty! There is always soap / hard water residue no matter how regularly the sink is rinsed. Not sure how far the black trend will go, but you need to know this just in case fashion trends towards black sinks.

  • Avatar Michelle says:

    Congratulations and happy 12 year blogiversary! I love your blog, and I’ve been reading since 2011, when I found it after painting my living room a grey that turned out looking baby blue. I’d love the BM Core Collection boards!

  • Avatar Pam says:

    I discovered your blog about 5 years ago but I have read every.single.post you’ve written for the past 12 years! I’d LOVE the Benjamin Moore whites and neutrals!🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Avatar Tracy says:

    Fantastic round up! I’ve had a club chair and ottoman upholstered in a large scale floral fabric on a black background for at least 15 years. Now I’m super tired of it so black won’t be in my next color palette. I’m also embracing navy, a color I’ve never used much. I’m thinking of a navy sofa as my starting point.

  • Avatar Ali says:

    Would love to get a set of the BM VIP collection to go with the Core collection I use all the time!

  • Avatar Alita says:

    I love the drama of the black walls and leopard sofa (I would choose zebra maybe) for a room that was all mine. I love some drama in decorating (it is, however, overrated in other categories)!
    Congrats on your blogaversary, and for having so much great content available.

  • Avatar Heidi says:

    Hi Maria, I’m a new reader but a big fan! I would love the neutral, colors and darks samples if I win.

  • Avatar Christine M. says:

    Congratulations on 12 years, Maria! I’ve been with you for at least 8 of those 12 years and have learned so much. I love all aspects of your blog and count it among my top 5 that I love! What a generous giveaway… I’d love to win either The Hybrid Collection or the SW Foundation Boards! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Here’s to many more years of success and inspiration! xo Christine

  • Avatar Laura Ganja says:

    Always my favourite read Maria! Thanks for all the wonderful posts over the years.I agree with Black in small doses. Can give the eye a rest in a colourful decor palette as well.

  • Avatar Jody Scully says:

    This is one to be saved for future reference! I just bought a house that needs a lot of updating and your advice will help so much!

  • Avatar Chrissy S says:

    Happy Blogiversary!!! I always look forward to your divine wisdom on all topics. My only regret is not finding you sooner!! I would love to be entered to win a set of the BM Core Collection. Thank you for everything

  • Avatar Mary Anne says:

    Thanks for all of your terrific posts filled with timely, and timeless, advice. I appreciate all that you do! It would be great if you could offer your true colour expert training class in Denver some day, but short of that, having a set of your boards, in addition to the e-books I have already purchased, would be a huge help to me. Thanks, again!

  • Avatar Janie says:

    Happy 12th Blogiversary! Your blog helped me tremendously with designing my new build! When confronted with any design or color choice, I would ask, “what would Maria do?” Now the house is finished and we love everything about it, thanks to you!!! Timeless and classic. No black, though. =) Thank you a million times over for the content you produce and the insights you have into color and design. It would be a true honor to win the Neutral and Whites colour boards in Sherwin Williams.

  • Avatar Glenda says:

    I’ve been reading for at least 9? You’ve been to my house and helped me so much. Keep going,please!

  • Avatar Lora Merrill says:

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog, and what a fabulous resource for any current or potential homeowner! Thank you for the wonderful design advice!

  • Avatar APT says:

    Happy 12 years! This is a super helpful post on how to tastefully incorporate black.

  • Avatar Ronda says:

    Love your blog and have gotten so much inspiration from reading your posts. I have your color wheel and several of the ebooks. I’ve recommended your blog to many of my friends. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!

  • Avatar Margo Wahlquist says:

    Congratulations Maria! It’s been a number of years that I’ve been following you and look forward to your post everyday. Wish I had been there at the beginning. Thanks for all your great advice.
    If you’re still doing a giveaway I’m thinking the VIP collection would be nice. Thank you

  • Avatar Ann says:

    Maria –
    You are the Queen of Colour!
    Thanks,
    Ann

  • Avatar Tricia Heliker says:

    I recently painted my bedroom and all the wood trim SW Illusive Green. I rescued a beautifully shaped reverse camel back sofa from the alley and had it upholstered in an animal type print of black and silver. I think it is stunning against the painted wall. The other black in the room is a lampshade and the top of my nightstand. I’m still searching for the right rug for the foot of the bed, but it will have some black in it as well. Every room in my house has some black, but most people are not aware of it. Although my kitchen is mostly gray I have painted the two large window frames and sills black, the stove top is black, and a large unframed piece of art has a lot of black in it. Oh, and the door knobs (not the backplates) are black. Four doorways and two windows, all with 5″ trim, are painted OC-23. If asked people would say my kitchen is gray and white. If you include the 24″ TV screen, there is a considerable amount of black in the room. This is how black works for me..it makes all the difference in setting off the other colors in the rooms, but probably would never be mentioned as one of the colors in any of my rooms.

  • Avatar Kathleen Ledgerwood says:

    Congratulations Maria on 12 years of helping us learn about color. You are a wonderful teacher. I found your site 10 years ago when I was redoing my living room I have learned so much over the years, Thank you,

  • Avatar Joyce Ward says:

    Congratulations Maria!
    Wow, I’m enjoying your posts but this one helps me reconsider my decorating choices while going for the timeless and classic look I so desire. Thank you.
    Please enter me in THE BM VIP COLLECTION.
    All the best,
    Joyce

  • Avatar Meredith says:

    Congrats on your anniversary! I’m a new follower and found you over the summer when I was struggling to figure out what white to paint my downstairs. I am not a designer by trade, but consider it a hobby. I have slowly introduced touches of black…a mirror, a lamp base, a few black frames in my family room. Black handles and new light fixtures in my master bath. I would love the SW whites and neutrals. Thank you for all the great advice and for doing a giveaway.

  • Avatar Barbara says:

    I found your blog this past year and I’m hooked.I only wish I would have found you sooner.I love the emphasis on timeless and classic and also the in depth study of color and undertones.I would love to win your Core Collection of color boards.Thank you for the wonderful blog!

  • Avatar Pam Tiberia says:

    Hi Maria! Happy (Belated)Halloween! When I did my staging training in 2008 my instructor told us that every room needs a some amount of black. I think of this all the time… it’s that contrast we always seek. I am a happy reader of your posts, and a former alumni of your course – Chicago 2015. I would love the core collection. Mine is torn and tattered, well used, and ready for retirement.
    Thank you as always, for your continued sharing of information and pro tips.

  • Avatar Heather W says:

    I enjoy using black in very small changeable accents around my home. It’s a nice contrast but doesn’t become too much. Great article and reminders about black!
    Thank you!

    SW Neutrals and Whites

  • Avatar Elizabeth Matthews says:

    Thanks, Maria, for helping me to see that black cabinets in my small kitchen would be absolutely wrong! And your colour wheel has been a lifesaver several times now. Your blog is always one of the high points of my week.

    I would love to be entered for the BM VIP collection.

    Hugs to you for all you do!

  • Avatar Nagle Gaile says:

    Happy anniversary. Love the blog. I have used two or three of you e designs and am very happy with the results . I hear you in my head every time I look for lamps !

  • Avatar Ali says:

    Congrats on 12 years!!🎉❤️

  • Avatar Karen says:

    Love you, Maria! I have been with you for a very long time, and have read all of your posts – many more than once.

  • Avatar Marsha says:

    Brilliant post, Maria! Your perspective is so helpful and I feel ready to dip my toe into this trend.
    I think I’ve been with you for the majority of your 12 years of blogging. Love it and appreciate your colour savvy! Thanks again!

  • Hi Maria, I’ve been following you for about one year. I am a retired healthcare designer and needed help with some problems in my own home. Your blog has been a game changer for me and has enabled me to be more deliberate in my choices. I am now helping friends with their homes and loving that I now understand how to work with undertones. -Andrea

  • Avatar Rhoda Keating says:

    Hi Maria…I’m a newcomer (within the last year) and just in time. We are doing a kitchen Reno this winter (it is almost 40 yrs old!!!) and we are going timeless & classic and Never boring 😉 thanks to you!!!

  • Avatar Kari says:

    Hi Maria, I read all of your blog posts. Your approach to color has helped me make informed decisions about my home. I share your classic and timeless style and I love how you advise to make trendy choices the most easily changed items in your home. I would love to win your color boards- what a treat that would be!

  • Avatar Heather Benton says:

    Can’t believe it’s been twelve years already…I think I’ve been following you since early 2009. You’ve taught us all so much…I follow your advice every time I make a design decision. Congratulations!

    If I win the boards, I would love the BM Neutrals & Whites.

    Thank you

  • Avatar Gina Roberts says:

    Excellent!

  • Avatar Linda Cauchy says:

    Hello Maria. I think that I came across your blog in 2012 or 2013 and have since enjoyed and appreciated the advice you share so generously. If I could be so lucky, I’d love the BM VIP collection. Congratulations.

  • Avatar Cathy says:

    Happy blogiversary. I’ve been following you since the early days when you lived in that lovely house in Vancouver with the great large windows. You’ve taught me a lot and give great advice. Wishing you continued success!! Cathy

  • Avatar Michelle says:

    I think every room should have a little black. Not because it’s trendy. But I think it gives the eye a place to rest. But that may be because I love color and use it liberally. 🙂

  • Avatar Robin Mansfield says:

    That’s a lot of info over 12 years you have gifted your followers with. Thank you for your generosity! I have been a follower since 2012. Haved always loved color, but in our previous home, I overdid it on the walls! In our new home, I was unable to make any decisions, because of the old home mistakes. Then I found the Color Expert, Maria Killam. You have been my blog educator and my Benjamin Moore color boards, ebooks, and Masterclass have been my tools. Thank you!!! Now I need Sherman Williams color boards

  • Avatar Sheila says:

    I love all your posts on black. Your examples of using black in exterior finishes, with your online course, has stuck with me and helped me navigate my exterior finish selections (esp. when my architect specified black windows and I said ‘no’). Thanks for giving me confidence💝

  • Avatar Suzie Hudson says:

    Maria, thanks for all the advice that I have used over the last 12 years! I am a realtor and property stager and needed to feel confident in choosing colors in my personal life and my business. I read your first book and have followed your blog ever since. My favorite post was on how to update an oriental rug in your home. I even bought the Serena and Lily modern wing chairs you showed in blue buffalo style and have loved them! You have become a star in the color world and I will continue to look forward to your blog posts!

  • Avatar Brenda says:

    Thank you for all your painting advice!! It really helps! Thanks for this giveaway. I will be picking out paint for
    a lakehouse soon, so would come in handy!!

  • Avatar Courtney says:

    Wow, 12 years. That’s a lot of creativity and commitment and showing up. I didn’t find you a dozen years ago but it’s been a few and I have learned so much and genuinely look forward to your posts every single week. Much love to you and Terreeia and your mom.

  • Avatar KM says:

    I am curious when masculine is used as a negative — I have never loved decorating that is super-feminine and I still like wood. Can we get some more posts about darker colors or decorating for men and boys? Also, the thing about black and dark is dust!

  • Avatar Jan Mondics says:

    Hi Maria!
    I am a new follower and have been enjoying all of your posts. I learn so much from your blogs especially as it relates to color. I am a fan of the neutrals and whites of the Benjamin Moore colors because I am most familiar with these – would love to have their set of Color Boards! Since I am a Realtor, I often am consulting with clients on how to best stage their home to sell; while this seems to come naturally to me when advising my clients, it’s not so natural for me in my own home – wondering if you’ve ever covered that in a blog before? Congratulations of your Anniversary!

  • Avatar Louise Long says:

    Thanks for all the good tips. I like black as an accent colour.

  • Avatar Nicola says:

    Hi Maria. I have been following your blog since 2010 when I was first renovating a home. You helped me out with a front door-trim colour. Now we are looking to build and I come back to your blog posts to find all the golden nuggets you have shared on the “do’s” and “please don’ts”. This black blog post is great!

  • Avatar Christine says:

    Happy Anniversary and thanks for sharing your knowledge! I only found your blog over 6 years ago when I was planning my kitchen. It was your advice, books and an redesign for my backsplash tile that allowed us to build the kitchen that people still tell me looks gorgeous and like a magazine. It’s perfect to me and I think will be classic. I’ve also recommended it to many people when they ask for help with an issue. It’s always easy for me to find a blog entry that provides people with insights that help their choices.

    I would love a set of the Neutrals & Dark Colour Boards. I love your house but I’m making safe choices I have very little colour in my house and would love to branch out but having some great colours that you’ve selected would give me more confidence. I’ve built my own very small set of Boards (about 15) which people ask to borrow at times but it isn’t enough. I’m also at the life stage where so many of the young people we know are starting to get their own places and would love to be able to share with them the knowledge gained to get them started on the right step.

    Thanks for continuing to share your insights with all of us!

  • Avatar Renata says:

    Great and timely post as I’m selecting tiles for 3 bathrooms in a new home. After reading the post I will not introduce black tiles but rather opt for black paint and use white subway tiles.
    I would love to receive THE BM CORE COLLECTION
    50 Benjamin Moore Neutrals & Whites.
    Thanks!

  • Avatar Diane says:

    I have read your blogs for many years and hence have used a lot of white subway and BM classic gray in my projects. Love that combo with Carrrera marble tile.
    Would love to win the SW color collection as many painters seem to prefer SW over BM (price point). And color matching NEVER works, does it?

  • Avatar Marcia Flanagan says:

    Happy Blogversary! No black furniture and/or paint for me but I love my black and white hexagon tile bathroom floor. My first choice would be the Colour and Dark boards.

  • Avatar Julie Martin says:

    Hi Maria! Love this post. Yet ANOTHER PERFECT explanation of why, what, where, when & how for creating that classic and timeless look we all are dreaming and scheming about! Your posts are always on point with just the right amount of professionalism, inspiration and humor. Thank you for always keeping it REAL. I would love to have the Sherwin Williams Boards. Attended your class in NJ (worth EVERY PENNY for anyone even considering) in May 2019 and bought the BM Boards. But would love the SW ones!! Hope I’m the lucky one! Cheers xo Julie Martin

  • Avatar Debbie Clements says:

    I tend to buy beige couches so I can update the look with pillows, paint and tablecloths, etc. I like the idea of picking a couch in your favorite colour but my husband would not go for a purple couch!

  • Avatar Gail Rees says:

    Colour is complicated. You make it understandable. Congratulations on your anniversary! I like black used sparingly. My preference is the BM White and Neutrals collection. Thank you for having a give away.

  • Avatar Bette says:

    Hi Maria!,
    Wow it’s really been 12 years? Happy Color Me Happy Anniversary! Wink 😉 I’ve been following for a very long time.
    Who knew color would still be such a hot topic especially in 2020. While being at home 🏠 our walls have spoken asking us to “paint attention, and paint with a purpose”. The more we know the better we do especially with Black. I like to think of Black as the little Black dress in the room especially if it’s velvet it’s classic and adds a touch of sharpness like top stitching on a tailored jacket.
    🍁 THE BM VIP COLLECTION is my choice 🍁

    All the Best for 12 more years of Color us all Happy learning fun!

  • Avatar Anita Morgan says:

    I have only been following you for about a year, but have learned so much! I not only benefit from your color expertise in interior/exterior design, but also love seeing your gorgeous outfits! Congratulations, and thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  • Avatar Helen Nusinow says:

    I shy away from having a lot of black in a room too. Accent pieces, lamps, or black stair railings are great. I love the drama of black but most people’s lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to black walls or flooring. Having had a black car made me realize how difficult the upkeep is, every dust particle, dirt, ding REALLY shows up on black.( That saying, there isn’t anything prettier then a black car.) I like different colors and I can appreciate the drama of a black wall. And I love a black door. But I would be a slave to the maintenance factor. Thanks Maria for sharing examples of this trend.

  • Avatar Terry A. says:

    Congratulations on your 12 year blogiversary!! I’m not sure how long I have been following you, but I know it was at least a computer (or two?) ago, and it was when I had an older email address, too. Your advice has always been much appreciated and useful. Thank you!

  • Avatar Marina Nash says:

    Yet another super helpful post. Thank you!

  • Avatar Franci says:

    Hi Maria. I have been following you just shy of the 12 years. I value your advice and would be beyond thrilled to receive the Benjamin Moore VIP collection boards. Thanks for 12 years of coloring us happy!

  • Avatar Carolyn C says:

    Happy anniversary, Maria, from Kelowna, BC. I have been reading your blog for over a decade and have learned so much! Recently painted the ceiling in our new lounge BM Black Beauty for some drama and it is lush and warm.

  • Avatar Nada Atwy says:

    Hello Maria. Congrats on 12 years! I love and appreciate all you advice when it come to colours as well as design. You are truly an inspiration to me. I would absolutely love to have the BM full Collection. Thank you for all you do!

  • Avatar Maggie S says:

    Maria,
    You were the very first blog I found and followed -11 years ago (YIKES!!). After I found you I spent a weekend going back and reading ALL your posts from the very beginning. I believe that your success is due to your freely sharing your knowledge (as well as lots of hard work, of course). I love ALL your posts and I have learned SO much from you!!

  • Avatar Diane says:

    Maria, thank you for keeping us so informed with color! All has been fascinating to learn from you!
    Best,
    Diane

  • Avatar Susie says:

    I get enough black in TVs & coffee makers, etc. Too much black brings me down so a little goes a long way. I love to read your blog even though I am clueless when it comes to decorating. You have such great ideas.
    I would be interested in the Neutral package if I were fortunate enough to win.

  • Avatar Ruthie says:

    Hi Maria! Love the idea to just paint the doors black! As usual, you are brilliant! thanks!!

  • Avatar Alison says:

    Hi Maria,
    Hopefully you don’t get this message multiple times! I’ve been having trouble leaving a comment.
    I would love to win the BM Neutrals, Colours and Darks Boards!
    Love your blog, your way and style and your aesthetic…I think i’ve been with you for the12 years although not from the first post!
    I ddi attend the True Colour Expert Training in Vancouver in 2011. I think the idea to sell the colour boards came up around the dinner table at that course?!
    xo Alison

  • Avatar Beth parentice says:

    Insightful as always. The photos add understanding to the well-thought out concepts you present here. Thank you for sharing. I always learn something new reading your blog.

  • Avatar Janice Lee says:

    I wouldn’t decorate because something is trendy. Decorate with what you love including colour. Furnishings are too expensive. If you love it and it really reflects you, then it becomes timeless. As far as black goes, a little bit of black is great to ground the room. There , my two cents worth! Lol…

  • Avatar Janice Lee says:

    I agree. Maria.I wouldn’t decorate because something is trendy. Decorate with what you love including colour. Furnishings are too expensive. If you love it and it really reflects you, then it becomes timeless. As far as black goes, a little bit of black is great to ground the room. Happy anniversary …

  • Avatar Lita Weaver says:

    I agree black can be Dramatic, Chic when well placed. Recently I was in several large rooms with black walls in a variety of high end homes. The rooms were not well lit and to me they felt confining and depressing. These rooms showed me that painting the walls black and calling it a day does not work. I think that Planning, Contrast, Lighting, and a Focal Point are required. I am going to toss black throw cushions onto my white sofa and add some black and some white pieces to the existing mix on my shelving. I am starting small as you recommend. I would love to have the BM Neural and White Colour Boards or whatever I can have. Congratulations. You are the Best,

  • Avatar Karen Fuller says:

    I’m learning so much from your posts!! Thank you Maria for sharing and helping woman like me!!!

  • Avatar Beth Cugal says:

    Happy anniversary, Maria! I love your blog so much and have purchased your ebooks, which were invaluable for getting the whites right in my kitchen and the best pale blue gray Neutral for the walls. Now we’re in a new house—whew!—and have the bossiest slate tiles on the main living area floors. Hoping your large color samples can help me decide what colors will look good with those tiles and hopefully soften the dark, masculine look of those tiles.

  • Avatar Audrey Driscoll says:

    Thank you for all the information and guidance you share! Congrats on the anniversary.

  • Avatar Clare Harris says:

    Would love to win a set of your painted boards! Getting ready to start a new build and your blog has been so helpful.

  • Avatar Carla Phelps says:

    Congratulations on your blogiversary! We got our first house in 2008 and shortly after I discovered your blog, a couple of your posts saved some big projects we were working on at the time. I have been a happy follower since then! My two kids always ask: “what would Maria say?”. Wishing you many more years of happy colour advice!

  • Avatar Brenda Turner says:

    Thanks for the great post. We installed an unpolished black granite counter top in our small kitchen last year. We love it for its feel and look. I would love any set of color cards.

  • Avatar Pat says:

    Maria, Congratulations on your blogaversary! Have been following you since the early days. We hired you for an in-house colour consult in 2012..we took your recommendations and were very happy with the end result. Love your blogs and instastories and watching your business grow into such a success…hard work pays off girl!!

  • Avatar Marion says:

    Hi Maria,
    I started following you about two years ago and I’ve learned so much already! Would love to attend one of your in person trainings and almost did pre-lockdown!
    Fingers crossed I win the drawing!🌸🌑🌷
    Best,
    Marion

  • Avatar Heather Parker says:

    12 years?! I honestly can’t believe I only recently found you. Your advice is always so spot on and is changing the way I style my home and how I shop for items too… it makes it so much easier when I feel like I understand which direction I’m going in and why! Love all your posts. 🙂

  • Avatar Christina says:

    I have referenced these posts on using black (including on our front door) so many times over the years! They have been so helpful, as always! Thank you and happy anniversary!

    I would love the SW collection boards!

  • Avatar LynnB says:

    What a great base post and linked posts. I am a relative new comer to your blog, about a year now I believe. I have learnt so much from your posts. This blog and the undertones colour wheel have helped me find wall colours to go with difficult tiles. The SW Neutrals and Whites boards would be the practical choice for this household. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

  • Avatar Leah Tweed says:

    I wish I had found your blog 12 years ago! As the saying goes better late then never. 😊

  • Avatar Deb says:

    Great article! I’m so excited about having a black quartz counter and marble mosaic floor tile for our bathroom renovation that’s starting next week !

  • Avatar Suzanne Howard says:

    Have loved your blog for 7+ years, Maria. Congrats on your Blogiversary! You are always so generous in sharing your knowledge and expertise.

    I enjoyed this post about the perils of decorating with black. It is definitely a case for “less is more.” It can, however, be stunning when done well.

    Suzanne

  • Avatar Kristie Madsen says:

    Congrats on 12 years!
    I would love to win the BM VIP boards!

  • Avatar Catherine Nollner says:

    I have learned so much from your posts. Thank you! I would love the Neutrals collection by Benjamin Moore if my entry is chosen but either of the neutral collections would be wonderful. What a great giveaway!

  • Avatar Kathy Leyden says:

    Hi Maria,
    I love to wear black in my clothing quite often but I agree that when it comes to home design, less is more. I attended your colour training in 2017. I will hopefully be attending next June as a refresher. I have learned alot from your training and your blog. Thank you and Cheers!
    SW colour boards would be my choice.

  • Avatar Pat Becker says:

    I love color. My bedroom is BM Limesicle (2145-50) with a magenta glaze. I painted the glaze and then put a plastic dropcloth on the wall and scrunched it around for a subtle play of color. Trim and ceiling BM Cotton Balls (2145-70). The room has a NE exposure and enchants me when the morning light comes in.
    Taking inspiration from a favorite painting I plan on more greens plus blue and magenta. Of course my favorite living room chair has to be navy, indigo or a deep royal blue because blue in one of my best colors.
    Not sure which board set compliments my choices. Am I BM neutrals and whites or BM neutrals, colors and darks. I think I’d like the neutrals, colors and darks, mostly for the neutrals and colors.
    Always fun reading your blogs, Maria. I refer back to them when I’m making choices.
    Pat

  • Avatar Sally says:

    Congratulations on 12 Years, Maria! I enjoy your blog and value the information and your knowledge!! If I am chosen to be the winner of your giveaway I would love the Neutrals, Colors and Darks Set. Keep up your colorful blog and knowledgeable information… Thank you!

  • Avatar Arlene Sauter says:

    Hi Maria
    Great post as always. I learn so much from your posts. Thanks. I would love to win you color boards BM neutrals
    Arlene

  • Avatar Debra Rubert says:

    I love your posts and would love to win your whites and neutrals!

  • Avatar Ryan Gaylord says:

    Thank you for this post. For some reason I’m
    Just not drawn to black or bronze. I am looking at a vinyl floor for my bathroom- off white hex with a little black hex tile look here and there. Can black be ignored or is it just too strong? I like this vinyl (and I’m not finding many I like) but I’m not that excited about adding black into my color scheme.

  • Avatar Fran W. says:

    Congratulations on 12 wonderful years! I’m so glad I found your blog 10 years ago and that I had an opportunity to take your color course in Atlanta. You’re an inspiration! Here’s to the next 12!!!

  • Avatar Lynn says:

    Happy Anniversary! Keep doing what you do, educating us to give inspiration that is always spot on !

  • Avatar Minda says:

    Hi Maria, I’ve been a devotee since the days of Color Me Happy. You are incredible and so.giving of your time and advice and buoyant spirit. I’ve bought your books and had some econsultations as well. You are my go-to and trusted source for guidance and inspiration. xo

  • Avatar valerie says:

    Having The training you offer has changed how I do business As a furniture retailer and decorator. So much so I need a new set of neutral and white paint samples they have worn out

  • Avatar Stacy Wiegman says:

    I painted the back of my front door black because it was yellow and my reaction was to go the completely opposite direction! It was a great choice, and I can’t imagine ever tiring of it because the walls are pale gray with white trim. The black pops nicely. It’s an accent, not a domination of black. I think black is very elegant, but too much is grim, like you said.

  • Avatar Katie says:

    I have learned so much from your blog. I am building a house now and we bought a black front door. Reading this to make sure we make it look like it belongs. Thanks for your post. Happy 12th blogiversary!

  • Avatar Jeannine520 says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! And thank you for this handy wrap up on using black. I’ve always loved black and incorporate it everywhere in small doses but I’ve been trying to get the nerve up to add a little more. I’d like to paint my interior doors black but I’m afraid of not liking it and having to paint over them. It’s hard to beat the glam factor of black doors with antique brass hardware and crystal doorknobs, I’m always wowed when I see it in pics just need some courage and a shove, I guess.

  • Avatar Maria says:

    Hi Maria
    I really enjoyed this post. I see black being used everywhere and wonder how long it will last, especially tapware. I’ve always like it as an accent colour. Love hearing your advice on colour.

    Regards
    Maria

  • Avatar Deborah says:

    Maria,
    Congratulations! I’ve been following you for several years, have your ebooks and exterior color training. As a freelance design consulation, I frequently reference your blog, not just for your color expertise, but also your sensibilities on timeless materials and design. I would love to win a set of neutrals, colours & dark boards!

  • Congratulations on a dozen years of blogging!!!! Way to go and please keep going!!

  • Avatar Jessica says:

    Congratulations on 12 brilliant years! Can you even begin to imagine how many “bad” options you’ve made “right” in that time?!

  • Avatar Jennifer says:

    Thank you! This is such an incredible blog. I am a collie enthusiast and Lover of all things home design. I am about to buy my first house and simply overflowing with the mix of anticipation (& dread) of this life long dream about to materialize: I get to decorate the entire house! (Yikes!) thank you for inspiring me and encouraging me (and millions others I’m sure) as I embark on this glorious unpredictable adventure! I’m SURE I’ll be drawing from lovely voice and expertise all along the way! (Colour package for the whole house please)! 💛💙💙

  • Avatar Marla Kossick says:

    Hi, Maria. I really, really, really love reading about your life and times every day on Facebook. Congratulations on 12 years. Keep at it!

  • Avatar Jennifer says:

    😂 (who doesn’t love a collie, right??) but that was clearly supposed to say “ I am a colour enthusiast!”

  • Avatar Cheryl Swarthout says:

    I am wondering if you consider charcoal grey to essentially be black? I am planning on using it quite a bit as an accent color in multi-room addition that will include a new kitchen, dining room, great room open plan with an adjoining deck. The main wall color will be Revere Pewter with light wood floors and an ash veined cast stone fireplace mantel. There will be Dove White kitchen cabinets and bookcases around the fp, a large navy island, and driftwood ceiling beams. I have my heart set on a Pottery Barn camel leather chaise sofa and oriental style accent rugs. I am thinking of using charcoal on some doors and on lighting and metal trimmed accent furniture. The other accent colors will be navy and other blues and light neutrals. Will the charcoal play well? Should I go dramatic with the rugs or keep them closer to the taupe walls? Thanks,Maria.

  • Avatar Crysttal Steiner says:

    I agree with you totally. Black is a powerful color that should be used judiciously. When it’s not, even if it’s only paint, it can be a pain to change.

    When we bought a big, new house with more bedrooms than we needed, my husband declared that he wanted one of extra bedrooms to be his “man-cave.” He promptly bought himself a huge TV that took up most of a wall when mounted. As a birthday surprise, I painted the walls, trim, and door with a Benjamin Moore semi-gloss black. I added a black, grey, and red area rug to go with his charcoal grey sectional and hung charcoal light-blocking curtains. He was blown away with the room and was in man-cave heaven!

    While I admit the TV did look pretty amazing against the black wall, I never liked the room that well because it was too dark and heavy for me. When we decided to sell the house, the black walls had to go. It took two coats of primer and four coats of Benjamin Moore paint to bring the room back to a more normal bedroom color. I don’t regret painting it black, only because my husband loved it so much, however I won’t be adding that much black to any other room I decorate.

    If I were lucky enough to win the boards, I would choose the color set because I have the neutral set. It has already paid for itself by preventing a paint choice mistake!

  • Avatar Nancy says:

    Thanks Maria for all your great advice, and congratulations on your blogaversery! I’ve been following you since 2010 and have learned so much. I love your accessible and clear writing style too.

  • Avatar Jane says:

    Congratulations on 12 years, Maria! I’ve been loving your blog since around 2011 and I have learned so much about color from you! I’m not a designer, just a devoted color enthusiast who has taken your e-course, love your e-books, and keep my color wheel in my bag – what great references! I look forward to the day I can attend a live color course but in the meantime, color boards (BM Core Collection) would be spectacular. Thank you and Cheers!

  • Avatar Judy says:

    Hi Maria,
    I have followed you from the days when your header/logo was a blond girl in front of a rainbow!! I first found you after we had painted a room a light beige, and saw it was pink!! I started Googling and reading, found you, and have been a loyal follower since. I’ve learned a lot from you!! One of the most enduring concepts I have picked up is that of timeless, enduring design. It makes so much sense!!
    Yes, please enter me for the board giveaway!! I am interested in the Sherwin Williams Neutrals and Whites boards!!
    Thank you for all your teaching and advice over these past years, and happy, happy blog anniversary!!

  • Avatar Margaret Winegarner says:

    Thank you for this post on using black. I’m thinking that after my flooring comes in for my basement that I will buy a color consultation. I was thinking of painting Some cabinets black but now I’m not sure that is the way to go. If I am selected, the Benjamin Moore VIP collection is my favorite. Thanks for sharing your wisdom on this post I just found you this year and have already learned so much!!!

  • Avatar Yvette says:

    Great blog with lot of valuable info.

    Neutrals, Colours and Blacks sounds like a great package.

    Thank you.

  • Avatar Kristy says:

    Happy blogiversary. I like black, but small accents.
    I love all of your work. Super informative.
    Not sure what boards I would want. 🤷‍♀️

  • Avatar Kara says:

    Good information !

  • Avatar Corinne Wright says:

    Congratulations on your blogging anniversary.
    I have learned so much from all your posts.
    I now look at colour in a whole new light thanks to you..
    Hope your enjoying our beautiful island and the gorgeous fall days!

  • Avatar Val says:

    I love your posts

  • Avatar Carly Heung says:

    Love the high contrast that black brings to so many spaces! It adds just the perfect amount of mystery while being grounding.

  • Avatar Samantha says:

    Love your style and your tips. Moved into a new house several months ago and we are in the long process of furnishing it. Choosing two different sofas in my favorite colors instead of going for boring neutrals like we’ve done in the past!

  • Avatar Glorianna Hadermann says:

    Love this post

  • Avatar Liz says:

    You really are a one-stop-shop, Maria! I can’t think of anywhere else someone can get such a breadth of sound colour advice that’s foundational for both design & decorating. This post is a fine example 👍🏻 I’ve learned a lot, Thk u! 💕
    PS – if I were ur random winner, I’d be happy w any of ur board sets 🙏🏻

  • Congrats on 12 years! Love that you are always on trend or ahead of it to keep all of us informed!
    I’m building a spec house and did black exterior windows, and only black interior windows in the main area (kitchen, family room and dining room) and not the bedroom or lower level. I’m planning on painting just the doors that are in the rooms that have the black windows black and keeping the bedroom doors white. I’m a little nervous about painting spec house doors black, but think it will be awesome, especially after seeing your picture above. But what about not doing them all? Think that’s OK?
    Thanks! Paula

  • Avatar Deb says:

    The exterior black and white trend is slowly creeping into Wisconsin, and it looks pretty out of place here. I’m pretty good with leaving the black trend behind, although I did paint one wall in my powder room black. Problem is, it doesn’t relate to anything else in the house, but on its own, I really do like it. I love following your posts, and we plan on signing up for a renovation package soon. Thanks for all the great information!

    I would enjoy any of the large sample packets, but I think the neutrals, colors and darks would be the most beneficial.

  • Avatar Jackie says:

    You are my “go-to” person when I have a decorating dilemma. I always know I can search your blog to find answers.

  • Avatar Marianne K says:

    Happy 12th Blog-o-versary! I signed up for your mailing list over nine years ago and one of my favourite posts was the one where you introduced Terreeia to us. It was beautiful. Regarding the subject of this post, I’m drawn to decorating with black because I like the contrast it brings but those big black overstuffed “comfy” sofas – the subject of a few blog posts over the years, I believe – well, those I just could not do. Thank you for bringing us your wonderful content over the years and if I we’re fortunate enough to win a set of your colour boards I’d truly appreciate the Benjamin Moore set.

  • Avatar Trudy W says:

    So much great and valuable information within this and all your posts! You guide us with perfect examples of why and why not!
    Congratulations to you and your team and your family, all the best for the next 12 and beyond!

  • Avatar Monica says:

    Great round-up! Just painted 2 cabinets in my home black & cream–everything was brown, brown and brown and it’s a nice change-up.

  • What a great post. Black is great in so many spaces, but you are right, it is best as an accent. I would love to have the Triple Set of boards so I could start recommending more Sherwin Williams and some more Benjamin Moore darker colours for exteriors 🙂 Congratulations on your Blogiversary. I learn something with every post.

  • Avatar Jacqueline says:

    I love the classic and timeless animal print on the sofa in your latest post Maria.

    I would love to win the Benjamin Moore VIP Collection.

    I have been a big fan for many years and have learned so much from you. I already own your Benjamin Moore Core Collection, your colour wheel, and your books, and find them so useful! Not only do I help my family and friends with colour choices, I also help them paint their homes. It’s a true labour of love as I am 69 years old!

  • Avatar Pam says:

    Such wonderful guidance. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, wisdom, and experience.

  • Avatar Joanna says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! We are doing a while house remodel right now and I think I’ve read every single blog post to try and gather as much info as possible! I would pick the VIP color collection because I love color!

  • Avatar Alona Ayer-Ziegler says:

    Happy Blogiversary! Thank you for sharing so many great insights over the years. Your new posts in my inbox are a treat, and whenever I’m considering colors and finishes, I always search your past posts to confirm or correct my choices. These recent posts with links to past posts on the topic are great!

    Re: black, I’ve always loved it in moderation. In our previous home we had a black front door (inside and outside), black slab cabinets in a semi-open galley kitchen (it turned out so much better than our neighbors’ similar kitchens in white and maple), photos in black frames, and some black furniture mixed in. In our current home, we have a black island, black pendants and lantern, black interior doors, black laundry base cabinets, and the same black frames and furniture.

    On the slim chance that I’m not too late to enter and my name is drawn, the BM VIP collection would be greatly appreciated.

  • Avatar Julie Burkhardt says:

    Maria, I’ve been following your blog for at least 5 years and have learned so much!! I may still not be good at recognizing undertones or decorating like a pro, but I am better at picking colors. I appreciate the info you share and seeing your family adventures.
    I would love to have the neutrals and darks collection!

  • Avatar Colleen Flake says:

    I’m not someone who would normally do black walls, but that first photo with the leopard print sofa is amazing.

  • Avatar Joan Stead says:

    Hello Maria,
    I have followed your blog for many years now, and have been so grateful for your blog and ebooks!
    They have been such a blessing to me to learn about the importance of the undertones (love my colour wheel!) and balance of repeating colour and accents.
    Also, love that you consistently present classic and timeless, yet present unique ways to experiment with trends safely. That, to me is the essence of what u do, is provide safety and security, along with joy and peace, as that is what should be in our homes.
    And never have we needed that more, than in this year! Happy 12th blogiversary, and thank u for the opportunity to win the Colour boards!

  • Avatar Courtney says:

    Our kitchen – black cabinets, Wilsonart organic cotton countertop, natural oak wood floors, and BM gray owl on the walls. I love the contrast between the cabinets and the floor and chose the other elements to balance the dark cabinets.

    Despite the neutral feel of this room, I absolutely love color. I have considered purchasing your colour boards several times, but have always chosen not to simply because I don’t work in the design field. It is so kind of you to offer this product as a gift to your readers and I would get great enjoyment from the one that includes non-neutrals.

  • Avatar Gale Abello says:

    Love your blog. Full of valuable advice. It would make me happy to win a set of your Sherwin Williams Neutrals and Whites colour boards.

  • Avatar Margaret Valois says:

    Just recently we had our roof painted a very dark grey. I wanted black my husband said NO it will make the house too hot.
    So dark grey it is and it looks fabulous.The neighbours have commented also passers by. Our brick in grey and our joinery is white. Our home is 33 years old and now looks up to date.

  • Avatar Jeb says:

    Hi Maria -(you prompted my first comment and brought me out of lurker status by offering your large color boards, well done!) 🙂 I found your site last year whilst searching for color advise. I was touched by your and Terreeia’s story, so I subscribed to your blog. Our house gets amazing light play throughout the day, and the sunsets have been spectacular.
    I have since taken your exterior master class and see the value of large color boards! We’re considering black for our exterior entry, and this post makes me consider our interior doors. We have inherited granite countertops- and I wonder if black doors might highlight the black flecks in my countertops. The background color of the granite blends nicely with the straw color of our bamboo floors. So that is my question – can I use black (or nearly black) instead of brown in this case?

  • Avatar Nikki says:

    I’d love the neutral boards. I’m currently deciding on an all-over the house color and keep going back and forth on colors. I know I want warm and moody but the previous owners chose a lot of cool toned things (counter, tile, etc). It’s a very expensive decision to make!

  • Avatar Diana Tremblay says:

    I’ve always followed the advice that a little bit of black anchors the room! I love the sophisticated look of the new black rooms but I don’t think I could live with it. Do you need good sunlight to pull it off or is a low light room best?

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    Happy 12th blogiversary! I have learned so much from you over the years. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and creativity!

  • Avatar amber says:

    Hi Maria,

    I love reading your blog! I always learn something that I can apply to working with my clients! Thanks so much!

    Best,
    Amber

  • Happy Anniversary, Maria! I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for years and you gave me the confidence to offer color consultations. I’ve learned all of my color knowledge from you, and I’m so grateful to you and your generosity in sharing your knowledge with us. I’d love to win the SW collection of boards, as I already have the BM sets and need the SW ones since my current painter prefers SW! 🙂

  • Avatar Shari Tockstein says:

    I discovered you about 6 years ago now and have been an avid follower ever since! Thank you for helping us! I love your blog!

  • Avatar Brenda says:

    love you! yes, I’ve been following you for more than 12 years! Yikes! I would love the Sherwin Williams color boards!

  • Avatar Jennifer Cabrera says:

    Happy 12th blogiversary! Thank you for all that you do to inspire more colorful and coordinated surroundings.
    Blessings!

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    Happy anniversary! I love your blog for so many reasons … You’re the best!

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations Maria!
    I have been reading your posts for all 12 years, and absolutely love each one!! You have so much passion that shines through and I have loved getting to know you and your family!
    When I started reading I had just started a job where I was asked “after starting” if I could recommend colors for Pet products. I knew I had a knack for color combinations but was feeling completely overwhelmed. I started googling and found YOU and have been following every word ever since! I was lucky enough to join your class in Dallas a couple years ago…You’re the best, thank you for being you and for all the knowledge, experience, ups and downs, humor…… that you share with us!!!

  • Avatar Jennifer says:

    Maria, I have learned so much from you about keeping my hard finishes classic and getting playful with things that can be replaced in expensively!

  • Avatar sue navilhon says:

    Love the black accents, had heard years and years ago that every room should have a little bit of black in it. I think the black painted doors would be an easy way to incorporate the black trend without being overcommitted for years and years – you can always paint them another color when the black becomes yesterday’s trend.

  • Avatar Diana Stirratt says:

    Your tips really helped me with our new build! I would love a set of Neutral and Whites color boards in Sherwin Williams.

  • Avatar Christine says:

    So many helpful tips! I love big bold colors in rooms and am seldom seduced by the neutral of the moment, but I am very much taken by the DRAMA of the black trend. I’m working on incorporating it into my dining room decor now—I think I’m going to paint my six dining room chairs black. Reading all of your black decorating advice first!

  • I’ve been following since 2007 and I don’t think a week goes by when I dint refer someone here or mention something I learned from you. Thank you!!

  • Avatar Marte Rieser says:

    Your post came just in time. I am redecorating my bedroom and renovating my bathroom. I still enjoy my dark greige walls in my bedroom I painted two years ago when we moved in however I have Honey Oak window trim, baseboard, and flooring which sticks out as orange against the paint. My house is very Tuscan Brown and this is the only room in which I have that is greige, I love the moodiness and serenity of its color. I am thinking about painting my window trim and baseboards black. I was wondering if I should go with BM Black or more of a smokey black for the trim . Is there a such thing as a black with brown undertones? I also wonder what color I should paint the interior of my doors to the bedroom.
    I am also painting my adjoining master bath vanity black with a white/grey marble counter. It is currently the same Honey Oak with a green marble top. The rest of the bath is white tiled half walls, white tiled floor, and a lighter greige painted top of the wall. Should I use the same black I choose for the bedroom?
    I would love to win the BM Neutrals, Colors, and Darks if I have responded in time for your giveaway.

  • Avatar Cindy Ansley says:

    Happy Blogiversary!!

    The Core Collection – Benjamin Moore – Neutrals and Whites…….please

    I Painted my dining room wall black after adding a square patterned wainscotting about 5 years ago. It was beautiful. Took an unimpressive room to whole new level. The color was Black Beauty and it was paired with Muslin on the bookshelves. I added a an Irish linen tablecloth and the room was warm and oh so inviting. I am loving the black trend – but too much black is toooooo much black! My favourite pallet right now is green, cognac, black, with soft whites or creams. I definitely need to delve into your complex cream exploration.

    Thanks for all the great info!

    Question??? What makes some light paint colors turn bright mint green? Examples – Monteray White and Revere Pewter. I have had 2 people ask me this and really do not know the answer. Any thoughts?

  • Avatar Meg says:

    Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for all the inspiration! Look forward to each of your posts!

  • Avatar Alecia says:

    I love the black and white bathrooms. Thank you for the post.

  • Avatar janet says:

    Good post. I have recently discovered the use of black in decorating and I do like it. Thanks for all the tips.

  • Avatar Angela says:

    Hi Maria! I love reading your blog! So much good advice. You are a gifted clarifier (someone who takes something complicated and makes it easy to understand)

  • Avatar Lucinda says:

    My son just suggested a black bedroom! I’d love a copy of the Sherwin Williams boards. Congratulations on 12 years – almost a teenager:)

  • Avatar Barclay Stone says:

    Many CONGRATULATIONS on 12 years of colorful paint tips and tricks for all of us to read and enjoy!
    Your color boards are genius, though! (wink, wink!)

  • Avatar Paige Krueger says:

    I’ve been considering the ways in which we could incorporate black in our small space home outside of the stair rail and kitchen hardware, so this is perfect!

  • Avatar Renee says:

    Happy anniversary Maria! I’ve enjoyed your blog for 10 years – since you helped me choose my kitchen’s exotic black granite countertop. The centrepiece is the uniqueness and depth of the pattern on the island; everyone is in love with it. I still love it as much as the day it was installed. Black is a great accent shade.
    Thanks again for your service and all the best for ongoing success.

  • Avatar Shannon says:

    Hi, I just discovered your blog this year and have really enjoyed reading more in depth information about color. Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar Patricia says:

    Love the leopard print sofa! Love that room!

  • Avatar Susan says:

    Congratulations on your 12th year as a total game-changer! I’ve followed your blog for a long time as well as a few other home decor ones, but I always come back to yours for solid advice and the wonderful humour.

  • Avatar Christine Goldman says:

    Congrats on your 12th anniversary!!! I have never been happier with using black as an accent color. I painted the wall behind my bed Tricorn Black a few years ago and it still gives me the same feeling as the first day. I absolutely love it!! Best black color choice out there!

  • Avatar Michelle says:

    My daughter (pictured) and I are casual artists so we have some color experience on paper but interior decorating is a different can of worms. She’s more Bohemian and I like Wabi Sabi, so we both benefit from your expertise. Believe me when I say, we will never be able to “unsee” pink beige again! It’s everywhere, and it’s not always a bad thing (think Grecian statues). We’ve learned that “Intent” and “coordination” can make any room come alive. Thanks for all the years of helping regular consumers make design choices that can last for more than a decade. We are trying to fight the environmental impacts of our throwaway culture, so buying something that can last is important to us. We understand things wear out and break, so for many people it’s a matter of replacing a few things at a time. People have noticed both my and my daughter’s homes have transitioned into more curated spaces over time. Our artwork looks great in a neutral backdrop, really pops. It’s fun to explain that finding your blog and figuring out undertones of more permanent surfaces has made such a difference! Thank you Maria!

  • Avatar PeggyP says:

    Hi Maria,
    Love your blog. I remodeled my baths with black and white. They are small but look elegant now. Thanks for all your help!

  • Avatar Stephanie Gittins says:

    Congratulations on 12 years, Maria! Your blog has taught me so much, and saved us a ton of money on our home improvements. I love your perspective on choosing timeless finishes so they don’t have to be replaced every 5 years. It’s so responsible, both fincancially and environmentally.

  • Avatar Kara Rau says:

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Insightful post, as always. I have learned so much about colour selection and design from following your blog. Thanks, Maria!

  • Avatar Nicole says:

    Congrats on 12 years! I know I’ve been following for a loooonnnng time and continue to enjoy each snd every post.

    I personally enjoy accenting with black. 😊 I’m not bold enough to do more than that!

  • Avatar linda h says:

    Congrats!!!! The neuetrals colors and darks would be wonderful. I was using F&B paint before it was trendy and am weaning myself off it because of the cost (and I have to get it shipped) Show your blog to DH all the time

  • Avatar Anne-Marie says:

    I’m a Canadian transplant to the US who found your blog years ago (but not 12) and have been reading faithfully ever since. I’m really grateful for all the advice you’ve dispensed over the years. We’re about to paint our living room and dining room, and I have a long term plan to turn my oak kitchen white. When picking paint I always try to think like Maria!

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