I started this blog on Saturday, October 31, 2008. It was Halloween. Ever since I hit publish on my first post, a day never goes by when I’m not thinking about what I’m going to write next.
My nephews William & Markus
Since Halloween was the day it started and I am not a fan of anything scary, it’s my nephews dressed in costume that makes this day fun for me!
I’ve been so busy with travelling and courses lately, I haven’t had time to get a collection of pumpkins and gourds carved for the occassion.
At 4:40 PM Friday night, we realized we better start preparing for the parade of kids that come to our door each Halloween, I jumped in my car to get some photos of my nephews before they went out and when I came back, Terreeia had moved all the candles to the edge of the dining table which is close to the front window in lieu of carved pumpkins at our front door.
Desperate times call for desperate measures ; ) ; )
Here’s the one thing you need to do before you do anything else inside of social networking:
Build Your List
It doesn’t matter what kind of a presence you have on the web. Even if you don’t have a blog, even if you don’t sell anything else right now except your services on your website, come up with something of value that you can give a subscriber in exchange for their email address.
Before you do anything else, this is the most important!
Put yourself in your readers shoes. What are some of the most important tips about your business that you would have LOVED to know when you were starting out?
Write them down and create a special report that you can give away for free.
Your list is your biggest asset on-line. No one can take it away from you so if all else fails, you still have your list.
Of course, you still need to give your list great content or they won’t stay with you. Do both and you’ll be able to work anywhere your laptop is and that life can be pretty fun, if you like writing!
Also I want to let all of you who send me emails over the years with your thoughts on my blog, tips on how you think it could be better, I read them, forward them, go deeply into my head thinking about them, and sometimes I forget to actually thank you for your contribution or respond to your email.
I lay awake at night, worried that I haven’t responded to all the emails I get and now, don’t know how to find yours again.
So if you’ve sent me one and I didn’t respond, please accept this note as my official thank you! I’m clear if one person takes the time to write one piece of feedback, you are speaking on behalf of hundreds who are thinking the same thing!
Since it’s the beginning of year seven for me, I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask you, my lovelies, what you’d like to learn next? What questions do you have that I have not answered? Please post them below!
And thanks again for following me, I could never come this far without you! xoxo Maria
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Happy Anniversary Maria! Your blog is one of my absolute favorites. Thank you!! I hope your blogging for many more Halloweens to come!
A friend introduced me to your blog a few years ago, and it has been such an integral part of my life ever since. I look forward to reading your blog with anticipation of learning something new, and feel like I’m part of an extended online family of very supportive people. Well done Maria and congratulations on your success.
I was hooked on your very first blog prior to this one. Always great content Maria.
Happy birthday Maria! Am a newish reader, but enjoying every bit.
Or, as we say, happy blogaversary:).
Happy Anniversary Maria! The things I have learned from you on your blog and courses have enriched my business tremendously! So happy I found you!!! THANK YOU for being so generous with the things you are willing to share! Hugs to you!!!
Enjoy all of your successes! I always learn something by reading your blog and I am happy that we will be meeting up soon!!
Yes, Happy Anniversary! Thank Goodness my daughter introduced me to your blog. The very one on white kitchen cabinets and thank goodness that i consulted with you as a result of that blog. Today my old oak cabinets are a beautiful white and I’m so happy with my “new” kitchen. I get so many compliments! Also no one can tell that the cupboards are painted! I doubt i would have undertaken that job without your blog and your advice. Thank you so much and keep on blogging.
Happy Anniversary Maria! Yours is one of my favorite blogs too. I’ve learned so much about color from you. Thanks!
Happy anniversary Maria! I too have learned a lot from your blog over the years, actually I can truthfully say more than any other design blog. I consider myself very lucky to have recently taken your colour course. It will be a tremendous help for my new business! I’ve had two new consults since I came back from Toronto and what a difference!
Congratulations Maria! I echo the sentiments above, so thankful for your always informative and educational blog! In answer to your question, I say keep updating us as you see the trends change. Keep showing fresh ways to incorporate new trends into existing furniture and finishes. You have such an eye for fresh design! And, I have loved most the posts you do that show your work….the process of choosing, befores and afters, naming the paint colors, etc. Personally I never tire of those, you could do one every day and I would lap it up! Thanks for doing what you do!
Hi Maria, I still love reading every single post, I would echo Cathy’s thoughts here about before &afters! I always have to remind myself to take lots of befores.
Can you do a post on slanted ceilings? I’m having a debate about it with a realtor, in conjunction with a remodel I’m involved in. In this case, the slanted ceilings are not tall. I think the color should go all the way up.
What thinketh thou?
I think slanted ceilings in general look better painted the wall colour because they do seem like an extension of the wall and usually look odd in white. I love befores and afters like all the rest, however, since I do so much consulting, I rarely have clients send me ‘after’ pics which is why there is not a plethora of befores and afters on my blog.
SEND THEM TO ME 🙂 Maria
I can’t believe it’s been 6 years. Where does the time go?
Since you asked…I like the Ask Maria posts. I would love to see more of those.
Happy Anniversary!!!! I’d love to learn more about styling! As well as being the colour queen, you are the styling queen too! Xo
I forgot to mention what I would like to learn! I agree with the above request – styling tips would be a great help. Budget alternatives are good too!
Not only do you share, you teach. A good thing that! But you bless me because what you teach translates into every income bracket. Us upper lower class appreciate that! Happy anniversary, Maria! Bless you!
Your blog is the first thing I look at every morning. I have sent yout two emails and you answered both. As I told you before, I feel like I have been acknowledged by a “Rock Star.” Your advice is always spot on.
Happy Anniversary, Maria, and I wish you many more! You teach each me so much, and I’m so grateful for that!
I love you more than my luggage, Maria! I discovered your blog (and you tell me I was the first to subscribe to it) while I was looking for happy color! You have changed all our lives for the happier colors with your brilliant understanding and teaching and sharing all things color with us!
Congratulations Maria, I have found your blog very inspiring, I have a few more months of planning before tackling our renovation, so I must thank you for your help! I must aknowledge that I find your advice open to all budgets and the way you write is easy to follow. Maybe the next step is to try a second language!!?? And well done to your close ones that support you too. Here’s to another 6 successful years!
Maria, Everyone has said exactly what I would say. We all love you for the wonderful inspiration that you give us. I have grown over the years with your help understanding undertones. I recommend your blog to every designer that I talk to and even those who are not. You have given me personally so much more confidence in my own business and for that I am so grateful to you. Just keep on doing what you are doing.
Happy anniversary and so many more!
Happy anniversary….and many thanks for all the great tips in your blog…especially about undertones and pinky-beige. Your advice has been a huge help to me (as I like whites and pale neutrals, with just a bit of colour). Wishing you another great year ahead..and many more to come!
Furniture arrangement and more design tips!
Congrats on 6 years! And I totally agree about the list building when you’re a blogger — it’s so important. I learned that the hard way when Facebook stopped sharing our posts with all of our followers. You really can’t rely on an outside party to connect you with your readers.
Wishing you continued success — love your blog! 🙂
Happy Anniversary, Maria. I love your blog. And since becoming a regular reader, my home has never looked better. I did a big painting project in the summer of 2013 and am so happy with the result. And your advice to me on your front door webinar transformed my front door, from blah to WOW! So, please just continue to take inspiration from the things around you and share your insights with us. One thing that would be great for the holidays is a post on decorating a fireplace mantel. I need to change mine up and would love to see your ideas! Congrats on your first 6 years and hope to be reading for many more!
I agree with the mantel decorating for the holidays.
Happy Anniversary. Yours is one of only two posts (Seth Godin’s is the other) that I read religiously. Thank you!
Maria, Happy Anniversary!
And thank you for explaining HOW color works! Your help gave me the information I needed: why my bus-stop-yellow LR/DR was so stressful instead of helpful! I had needed a light & bright room…
The new color did that Meta-thing and I loved it! Your advice on painting ceilings totally changed the look in my last house! It also helped to sell the house a year later!
I’ve learned a lot from your early posts on basic things about paint & color… And I also love your “Ask Maria” posts! Thank you for a blog that is very well done (& my favorite!)
LOVE your blog, Maria! I would love to hear more about how to make a room unforgettable.
i’m in the throes of color consulting every day. i never know who will walk in the door, or who will bring in a terrible pink beige floor that they’re trying to match with a yellow beige wall. thanks to you i am learning (always learning, always looking and thinking) about how to manage these difficult situations. i have an art background but you have supplied me with a strong, nuts-and-bolts foundation to deal with so many problems that crop up. i call it color triage and it’s extremely stimulating and creative but sometimes i need more help. that’s when i fall back on your practical advice. some day, when i have time, i would love to take your class. thanks for all your hard work! it really shows in your blog posts.
Happy Anniversary! Oxox
Happy Blogoversary Maria! Your insights are always enlightening and have transformed the way I now specify color. It would be great if you would address how to select color in open concept spaces (family rooms and kitchens) where the fixed elements are fighting each other and will not be replaced. Specifically, how to prioritize the clashing undertones of wood cabinets, fireplace brick and tile floors that collide. Yellow, orange and pink beige nightmares!
That sounds like a great idea as more people remove walls to create great rooms. But making all those colors work together sounds as tough as living on Mars! Sometimes, ya gotta replace a fixed element.
Congrats on the 7th year. My consultation with you was well worth the money. I remember when you announced your pricing and some readers reacted. I would rather pay you than pay for a mistake. Your expertise is worth it, PLUS you are generous with your knowledge on this blog.
Looking forward to your book on whites. What is the target date?
Thank you so much for writing about color in a way that those of us who are not design professionals can understand and use to make our homes more enjoyable. Perhaps most important, thanks for teaching me that having a professional consultant help me choose paint colors is well worth the price!
I would like to see more question and answer. Thx!
I would love those too! However, lately the questions have dwindled to most that don’t have photos which are hard to blog about.
Send me photos! That’s what I need. Maria
I’ve benefited professionally from your many postings on undertones. I bought your large paint samples years ago and they have paid for themselves many times over.
Years ago, your postings often were dealing with beige undertones and specifying colors. It would be great if you did the same with grays.
I’m also getting requests from clients that are stuck with the 80s pinky pickled cabinets but don’t want to paint them. How would you handle that?
That’s so much for all the info you’ve provided!
The best way to handle clients that don’t want to paint or replace dated elements is to show them using large sample boards, their limited options if they choose not to paint.
That’s it really, there’s not a lot of magic you can offer if they are not even willing to paint.
Congrats on your anniversary and all of your successes. I love and look forward to your blog and have learned and affirmed my decorating senses. Your warmth and generosity as a person really shines through. Love it!!!
Happy anniversary, Maria!
I love your blog. If it weren’t for you, my new kitchen would not be nearly so beautiful. You opened my eyes to undertones, and although I’m no expert, I now understand enough about them not to make hideous mistakes in my decorating.
As for content, some of my favorite posts are those where you answer readers’ questions, especially when there are pictures. And I love before-and-afters–never tire of them. I realize that many of your readers are design professionals or other bloggers who benefit from all your specialized advice and tips, but for ordinary people like me, the “real-life” posts are the most fun. Also your posts that deal with timeless surfaces and decorating (e.g., white kitchens, medium brown wood floors, wood floors in kitchens). You have an especially effective way of incorporating examples that illustrate your points, rather than just posting a lot of pretty pictures.
Of all the decorating blogs I read, yours remains my absolute favorite.
I just wrote a nice response that went out in the ether world! So, I’ll just recap and say that I think your blog is so popular because you explain the “why” of color and decorating, so keep up the good work! Oh, and THANK YOU for sharing your expertise!
Congratulations Maria, I found your blog 3 years ago when we where building our home. I had googled ‘What are the undertones of travertine’
You continue to be such a good source of information. I am always amazed at how you keep the blog so fresh and appreciate the work that goes into it. I would like some information on the effects that snow and its reflection into the room has on the colour choices we make.
congrats Maria and thank you for sharing your wonderful blog with us. I, too, have emailed you three times and always received a prompt and helpful reply. It is my hope you will be smiling on us from your blog page for many years to come.
Congratulations on 6 years! Fantastic. I have learned so much from your design wisdom in all areas, from finishes to undertones to advice about how to communicate concepts to clients. I appreciate your straightforward honesty on everything you write about. Thank you so much for all you provide! I can honestly say I’m a better designer because of you.
Your blog was the very first one I found (about 4 1/2 -5 years ago) I’m not sure I even knew what a “blog” was before I found yours! After all this time it is still my favorite one!
People will also sign up if the content is valuable.
I think your blogging success is mostly because of all the GREAT information you provide in every post!! You freely share so much of your knowledge in a very enjoyable writing style that it is always a pleasure to read.
PS you have answered the 2 questions I asked –and like Sue said I felt like I got an email from a “rock star”!! Did you ever think about answering questions in the comments so everyone can see the answer? Sometimes when I see a question that someone asks, I wonder the same thing —so it would be nice to see your answer.
I also enjoy (and would like to see more of) the “Ask Maria” posts and I can’t ever get enough “before & after” posts
Congratulations. I’ve read your blog first thing. You helped me so much on my BF’s LR/DR which was difficult due to the arts&crafts stone fireplace. It sets the warm and cozy tone for the entire house, but now it doesn’t clash with everything! Hope to seek your help with the exterior when he gets there finally. 🙂
You response to a personal email also made me feel like a celebrity had graced my inbox! I love the “Ask Maria”, “before & afters”. However, I would love to see a detailed tutorial of your personal furniture painting technique you wrote about to me. YOu did two beautiful side tables in your old? bedroom that looked so professional and factory-finished as opposed to the distressed look that I can already achieve.
I realize you’re NOT a diy blog, but you have that nailed. (I’d also like to hear abit (ALOT) more about your little potager and what’s planted.
Thank you for caring about us all!
I would love to see more on tablescaping. For instance, my round glass coffee table – I puzzle over centering items or not as I love a relaxed look. My condo is a mix of antiques and contemporary items. I love my antique sideboard but I’d love to have guidelines on dressing it to make it appear current.
Maria, my dear friend. I feel like I have known you forever. You will never know how much you have helped me make decisions in selecting colors. My orangey oak kitchen cabinets have been painted white and marble-like quartz installed. Stunning. Thanks to you. Current project: The “white” dilemma again. I am purchasing all white leather furniture and trying to select the “right” white, however, selecting the right one from a 3″ x 3″ sample is challenging. Thank you for being “you” and sharing your amazing talents.
Morning Maria, you have many people saying congratulations! I will add my voice to that. What I most appreciate about you an the work you do is that you have paid forward, by giving generously of your knowledge and discriminating eye! These are hard won observations, often made by having made mistakes…most people tuck these things into their own personal bank, so that they don’t make that mistake again. You don’t, you share so that others won’t err. Thank Maria! I am a big FAN!
Happy teachaversary! i think of you first and foremost as a teacher.
when I left my retail job and 35 yeas of working for someone else I got busy looking for like-minded people who could help, inspire and educate me on my consulting business.
That was 2008 and your blog was the first I found.
Colour Me Happy – I loved the name! Thanks for all your profound help with not only color but everything surrounding it.
Happy Anniversary Maria! I would like to see what you have to tell us more about small spaces and how to accessorize in rooms – rooms that have front room, kitchen, dining room all in one. I know you love pillows.
Your blog was one of the first ones I started following when I entered this scary world of blogland and I have enjoyed watching it, and you, grow. Here is to seven more because, no matter what they say, blogging is not dead! Happy Anniversary and love the candles with the mercury glass pumpkins…you go Terreia
Your “before-and-after” posts are so helpful!
What are your opinions concerning “full spectrum paint” vs. paints including gray/black colorants?
Thank you for your help:).
Maria, happy anniversary! Reading your blog has been my pleasure, and has added greatly to my color education! I can’t thank you enough for your knowledge, and how much it’s helped me. – As far as the future, I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, the whole world isn’t in the same place about color trends!!! Please don’t exclude the people who still prefer warmish, earthy colors in their home. They don’t care if they’re not trendy, they like what they like anyway. Personally, you couldn’t pay me to use grays in my home, ever. Diversity applies to color preferences, not just people :).
Congratulations and happy anniversary on your blog, Maria!
Your website is a perfect example of how to drive traffic with fantastic content each and every week. We actually use your site to show our clients how to be a successful blogger and how to become an authority in their niche.
Thank you for being a client of ours for over 2 years now and we wish you many more blogoversaries from your “web guys” at Coronation Internet Marketing!
I too discovered your blog before I knew what one was. I also have a refreshed 80 ‘s oak kitchen now in white, that I love. I still smile about that infamous blog about oak, husbands loving wood and convincing them about painting it.
I so appreciate all your information and knowledge you share.
I would like more teaching on how to refresh, update and renew, even in small ways:)
Happy Anniversary, Maria! I was telling my husband a couple weeks ago, that it was you that introduced me to the idea of using color to make your home a HAPPY place (I love your title Color Me Happy). That one can make a home feel a happier place just with the colors you choose. I had never looked at it that way before, and can “happily” say, now having tried it, it works! Before, I was just about making everything “go together”, all the colors in our home, usually with “neutrals”, which always kind of depressed me. Now my bathroom is black, white, and red, and I really do feel so much happier walking into it (my husband wanted to use neutral colors, like we usually did, and he loves it too)! Same with the laundry room, black and white and gold (we loved the bathroom so much… we couldn’t resist).
The exterior, too, we’ve changed, the colors, and the kitchen is next, too. And our home makes us so much happier, literally, this way. We love our home so much more. We were always kind of complaining because we need more room, but we don’t even do that so much anymore. Who would’ve thought? You always think that it ALL has to come from the inside, but loving your space, and loving looking at it, and being in it, really does have a huge impact. Much more so that I would have ever thought. You are the only person, color/design expert, I have come across, that has put it that way. And made it seem do-able. And you are so unique and special that way. (You are YOU!). Just think, you are actually making/helping people happier, and that is such a gift. Thank you for sharing such a gift.
Congratulations on your blogoversary! What amazes me is that after 6 years, you still have so much to say. I have followed you for nearly 5 years and read every blog post and it has changed my life! Thank you does not suffice for the blessings you have brought me and that I hope to pass on to others! I hope you celebrate in a special way!
Best wishes on the start of year 7 Maria, may it be your best yet! You amaze, and what energy you must have to keep this up!
I would love to see posts on:
– tips for photographing a home to sell.
-styling for minimalist tastes
-staging a home to sell
-your mom’s carriage house
It’s all good- any topic you tackle…much appreciated Maria 😉
I second the request for more of your Mom’s carriage house! I love those posts, especially when you incorporate all the little things SHE loves, ie. her doilies! Instead of granny in a bad way, you made them look cute and actually current.
Happy 6th to you. Thank you for all the work that you put into your very informative and “fun” blog. I love it!
Your blog is GREAT!!! I would like to know more
about what lines make a style “classic” like light
fixtures for example or Faucets. What finishes chrome, gold
polished nickel etc never go out of style?
What are the most versatile neutral colors to work
with besides white?
Happy Lucky Number Seven Maria! I’ve been with you for nearly 4 years now and yours is the only blog that I follow faithfully. Cheers for consistently providing great content; thanks for offering your colour course that has changed my life and I’m so appreciative of your large colour boards. Because of you, choosing Colour for clients has gone from being the most terrifying to the most enjoyable part of my job! xoxo looking forward to another seven baby!
HA HA! Ok, just saw it’s 6 years, but you are in the seventh. LOL! You get my point 😉
Congratulations on your 6 years of success. I can never see too many examples on how to fix colors that don’t work. Before and after pictures and explanations on why. That is something that you do better than anyone.
I also started 6 years ago and we have followed each other since then. You have been an inspiration!
Happy Anniversary Maria! You will definitely be getting an “after” photo from me! We finished the roof, removed all of the shutters, and painted the exterior. Have been toying with the idea of a stained wood screen door, instead of an accent door, but going there this week, and will send a photo as it is currently! Thanks for all of the great advice, and all the best to you and yours!!!
I’m not sure what I want to learn next, but it’s a sure bet it will be whatever you choose to talk about. You write about things I want to know before I even know I want to know about them. And you don’t use run on sentences like that last one, lol. I’m impressed how you keep coming up with more ideas and are able to keep it all interesting. I’m very glad you do:) Happy Anniversary, and thank you for the entertaining knowledge you share. Best wishes for your continued success!
Congrats, Maria! I’ve learned so much from your blog. Looking forward to the next six years (and more)!
Happy Blogaversary! What an accomplishment.
The thing I would like to learn about, and none of the color courses I’ve taken have really gone into this too much, is WHERE to put different colors. Beyond the “accent wall,” what about soffets, unique angles, hallways, etc.
Happy Anniversary!!! There are several blogs I look forward to reading every time I spot them in my inbox but yours was my first and you are and always will be my favorite. In fact, I just went back and looked at the first post I saved from December 2009 on choosing the most timeless paint colors. I pulled it up and my mouth fell open when I looked at that first picture of the room with the bright yellow green curtains – I know I loved those curtains that day but I had no idea how much – they are the color of my living room curtains now and I’m wild about them. In fact, that entire room, though totally different from mine in just about every way has become an inspiration. That’s my serendipity for today! I can only echo everyone else who commented and repeat the comments I’ve made before – I’m an eternal student and you are an extraordinary teacher, and I feel very blessed to experience a class every time I read your blog. I for one appreciate your response to my questions or even your response to my comments. It says so much about you that you take the time to read everyone’s comments and respond to some even though there’s no specific question. No wonder so many of us feel as though we are good friends even though we’ve never met you. This time of year is exciting because I know you’re working on your 2015 Goals and it’s so encouraging that you’re asking us for ideas. I have a question but I’ll email it separately since it’s a bit long for here. I’ve really enjoyed the various series you’ve done (31 Days of Undertone, Fix My Colours, etc). I loved Summer School and hope you’ll do some sort of “where are they now” as well as another Summer School in 2015. And I definitely think a series on gray would be great. The gray “trend” may be moving toward phasing out, but gray can be beautiful (while totally different) in the eyes of many beholders and it worthy of a series. After all, it’s not the color’s fault it got dubbed a “trend”. Looking forward to everything that’s coming next.
My congratulations to you, Maria, for all you have done to make our choices and decisions easier. I love your blogs and read them as soon as they show up! I am a condo person and, although I can modify and use many of your ideas, if you had the time — and I can understand if you don’t! — to entertain questions and share ideas related especially to condos, such as dealing with smaller spaces, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be the only grateful reader!
Congrats Maria and so well done. I hope you take immense pride in your achievement. Any number of sites have been and gone over the years but it takes determination and perseverance (and dare I say, a wonderful partner!) to build the great reputation and following you have. Long may it continue!
I love you all!! Thanks so much for your supportive and awesome comments!! xoxo Maria
I enjoy your teaching posts. I’m always amazed by your before and after posts. And I love all the photo posts.
Happy 7th Year and many more!
Dirty little secret here…as part of a coaching program I’m in at the moment I was asked to remove all incoming content for 12weeks while we focused on our goals. Guess what… I removed all blogs but yours. Just could not do it.
You blog is enjoyable for the content,style and personality that comes through. Thank you!!
What would I like to learn? Perhaps the process you go through with a client when you go to their home for a color consultation.
PS. I love the color boards. They have changed everything for me.
I know I am late to the party buy catching up on all my favorite blogs tonight. Congratulations Maria. Your blog was the very first one I subscribed to and all these years later I have yet to miss reading it..although sometimes late. Look forward to many many more to come.