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Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + my Last two Homes

By 09/20/2014January 28th, 201727 Comments

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes

I’m so delighted to have my entire house which was featured on the cover of Style at Home this Spring spotlighted again in the September issue of Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine!

For those of you who haven’t seen the ‘before’ photos when we started the renovation project a little over two years ago, you can see them here.

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes


Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes

Julia from Hooked on Houses posted a review of her house for the past 11 years the other day so I thought it would be fun to give you a recap too!

This is the house we lived in when I first started my blog way back in 2008:

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes

I was so embarrassed by my old, hand me-down furniture at the time, I think I only ever showed this room once.  I did love this old 50s house though! The view of the city of Vancouver from the top of the hill where we lived was spectacular.

Because of all the fabulous windows, when it snowed we felt like we were in a snow globe!

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes

This was where I installed the television. You can see that the walls are slightly pink and normally, even though I was renting I would paint the walls but because the living room was mostly windows, I left them.

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes

Here’s a photo I found of the mustard banquette in the ancient kitchen, which is also where the washer and dryer was located. That’s how they built them back in the 50s. Certainly made it easier to manage the laundry.

Then the owners of this house decided they were ready to tear it down and build their dream home so we had to find another place to live.

We looked for three bedrooms again because we needed office space. Renting a single family home in Vancouver is very expensive, so after looking around and feeling like $3,000 or more per month plus utilities was just way too much, we found a three bedroom townhouse for $2,400 including heat and hot water. Crazy right? That’s Vancouver.

In some neighbourhoods you pay a million dollars for a tear down.

old furnitureBefore

Unfortunately, the only one that was available at the time was north facing and you can see the tall Rhododendron shrubs outside (better pic below).

It was DARK! And the furniture that looked okay in the first house looked so bad in this big box of a living room/dining room.

Because we had so much sun in the previous house, the slipcover faded and you can see the outline of my coffee table on the side of the chair, haha.

While I was waiting for my new sofa and furniture to arrive, I barely sat in the living room, it so depressed me.

Check out the pink sheers that were four inches too short!

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes


Here’s a before photo of the dining room:

Dining Room


Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes


Also I realized I only had this angle taken for holiday photos so that’s why it’s so dressed up!

Bedroom Before


Here’s the master bedroom:

Maria Killam in Small Spaces, Big Ideas Magazine + My Last Two Homes


Every day I wake up now and feel so lucky to own my own home. Renting in Vancouver for so many years was hard, I had to move three times over the years (not to mention every other time I moved just because of my circumstances) because the owners had sold the place and that’s the worst! It always felt so awful to be told to move when it wasn’t your choice.

Hope you enjoyed the trip back down memory lane, there were some before photos I’ve never shown ; ) ; )

Have a great weekend everyone!

PS. for those of you who were interested in my assessment of the row homes I posted the other day, my response can be found at the bottom of the post, here.

Related posts:

Maria’s Happy Living & Dining Room

Before Photos of my new house (after photos in the magazine above)

We’re moving to the Country

If you would like help creating a palette for your home, become a client. Online or In-person.

To get your exterior colours right, download my How to Choose Exterior Colours with Confidence webinar and get my go-to list of colours.

Download my eBookHow to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

And, if you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.

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  • Sherry says:

    I so enjoy seeing the photos of your home now. You’ve done such a beautiful job of balancing colors, textures and visual weight! It’s a real treat to page through the photos, so I can imagine what a comfortable space it must feel like. Congrats on your magazine spread! I’m sure many others will enjoy seeing your work as well.

  • Congrats on being featured in another magazine! That’s very cool.

    I love seeing how your spaces changed over the years, Maria. Your rooms are even more impressive when we see what you started with!

  • Betsy OShea says:

    M, what happened to the b&w polka dot pillows w raspberry flanges? They would be great in your new LR to echoe the raspberry drapes…..said it before, just would like to see that beautiful raspberry color repeated more than just w flowers

    • Maria Killam says:

      HI Betsy,
      Adding raspberry to the room looked to busy and bitty (I tried). It needs to be in the chair or the carpet to work.

      So I’m colour blocking instead. It works in my opinion because the yellow and raspberry are the same value so they balance each other.

      Not a huge fan of my raspberry drapes anyway but after 18 months of looking for the perfect yellow or green fabric and coming up empty handed, I ended up with the raspberry and it’s not my favourite in the end.

      But they got my house on the cover of Style at Home so I’m not complaining 😉

      They will be the first thing I change in my living room eventually.

      • Maryanne says:

        You don’t know how reassuring it is to hear (or read I mean!) that there is something you of all people would change in such a beautiful looking space. I was frustrated with myself when I end up with something that is just ‘fine’ but not the look I hoped for. I will now just live with it knowing I can just change it eventually. Will repeat your words!

        • cathy gibson says:

          I second that! I sometimes beat myself up for making a choice that I don’t love…..thank you Maria for letting us know that you do that too!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Hi Maria,
    I enjoy seeing pics of your home from back in the day. You’ve come a long way.
    The sun damage on your old slipcover is crazy! I have a friend that never opens her blinds because she’s afraid of sun damage. Why have windows then?
    I couldn’t live in the dark like that. A chair that I purchased 2 years ago is starting to fade from the sun. I’ll have to have it reupholstered at some point in a Sunbrella fabric.
    Your bed is beautiful. Have you done a post on how to make a bed yet?

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    I’m sorry…I forgot to congratulate you on being published again. So proud of you!

  • Maggie S says:

    Congratulations! I’m sure it is a thrill to have your beautiful home featured.
    Thanks for sharing your photos of your old homes–it is interesting to see how your style has evolved over the years.

  • kelly says:

    Congratulations Maria! I love looking at my before and after photos too. Everything looks so beautiful! I am so happy for you both! xo

  • BillP says:

    Congratulations, Maria, on the latest publication.

    I have a room photography question. I noticed that in some pictures you have all lights on, some not. I know that with professional photography there is also lighting, but it still looks better to me when all lamps are on. What is your advice on this issue? Thanks and welcome home. Did you make it to PEI?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Great question, the photos of my house in the magazine (and also for the summer house I recently posted here: were shot without any lights on or using additional lighting which photographers normally use but by using aperture which in my opinion gives a way prettier light without the hot spots created by the use of lamps, etc.

  • franki says:

    I’m seeing “shots of yellow” all over the “design magazines.” KUDOS on your “pubs!!” franki

  • Gloria says:

    Maria…fun to see all your before and afters. The last photo of your master bedroom….what is the color on the wall? Thank you.

  • teresa says:

    I so loved this post, although I’m sad that gorgeous 50s house was a tear-down. this is the first post I’ve been able to make out the floorplan of your current house. I know you don’t like the drapes as your 1st choice, but they look fabulous and really make your room so unique and custom. I don’t think the room would have the same punch without them. Your rooms are always so happy.
    p.s. congrats on the pub.

  • Ellen says:

    Congratulations again! Love the photos and the yellow.

  • Maria Pereira says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you give up a trip to Italy because you were waiting for the raspberry-coloured drapes to be delivered? It’s a shame they didn’t work out the way you had hoped!

  • carol anne says:

    Congratulations Maria, so pleased for you…
    we moved 3 times in Calgary, first 2 times because someone sold the building for condo’s, last and one we are in was into a condo we purchased. No one can slip a “your moving notice” under our door again… nothing like moving from a home you just finished designing! x

  • Melissa says:

    Your home is so beautiful! I recently found your blog and it’s been a huge help to me. I love your wood floors and have been searching your blog trying to find some information on them. Could you tell me what type/color of wood they are. Thanks so much!

  • Carol in FLA says:

    Maria, congratulations on having your beautiful home published. It truly is a WOW!

  • Hi Maria,
    Just ran across your blog in search of info regarding the supplier of the wide overstuffed chair on the front cover of the recent Small Spaces, Big Ideas 2014. I absolutely LOVE it and it would be great addition to the cabin renovations in my living space. Wondering if you would be so kind as to share the info. Truly love your style and color combinations which I can appreciate as I am an artist myself. Great job!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Well that is not my space but if you take that image to any good upholsterer in your town, they will make it for you custom! Hope that helps.

  • Deborah says:

    That bedroom is Edgecomb Gray? Wow — I could have sworn it was Baby Fawn LOL 😉

    Congratulations on this feature, Maria, and thanks for your help this morning!

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