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Overheard at a birthday party with some of my designer friends last weekend:

“When I work with builders I always tell them that WOMEN buy houses, not men.”

Men want a large TV room

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam

{via pinterest}

A Garage

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam

{via pinterest}

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam

Isn’t this amazing! Now this is an organized person! {source}

And, No Nagging!

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam

{via pinterest}

Women want above all else a really nice kitchen, with good finishes,

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam


This kitchen is sooooo trendy, but it sure is pretty!

Good lighting all over the house

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam


A really well designed ensuite

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam

{via pinterest}

What Women Want vs. Men (in a House) | Maria Killam

{via Centsational Girl}

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam

{Soaker tub with seamless view via pinterest}

Well I had to have a reason to post this tub. OMG just heaven!

And good finishes (tile, wood, carpet etc.).  

What Women Want vs. Men (In a House) | Maria Killam

{why does this curve immediately say this staircase is found in Paris? source}

“I have specified finishes for one builder on five homes now and convinced him to use better quality lighting (coordinated by me) and his houses sold before anyone else.   Above all else builders should use the services of a designer to assist with material specifications, inside and out, including colour.” 

Well there you have it my lovelies, wise words from my good friend Irene Fraser from Design Happens in Coquitlam.

Do you have anything to add? I’m thinking she’s right on!!

PS. Don’t forget to come and see me speak at High Point Market on Sunday, October 19. 2014, get the details here.

Related posts:

An Open Letter to my Lover on Decorating

Danger: The First Two Hours After you Take Possession

Is Hiring a Designer a Luxury or Necessity?

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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  • Ange says:

    Wow…the soaker tub with seamless view is to die for!

  • Heather says:

    Great post.

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    My husband would also like a urinal in his garage. And so would I. When he’s changing the oil in my car, there would be no reason for him to come back in the house & make a mess in the bathroom.

  • Loribeth says:

    That staircase says Paris, because the curve of it matches a French Curve used in dressmaking.

    You’re absolutely right on all points. Most men would be perfectly happy with a recliner, a remote and a 65″ or larger tv. Women have a few more “must haves.”

  • Diann says:

    Forget the kitchen – I’d rather have a room full of vending machines with a large wastebasket in the corner. Oh yes – and maid service as well.
    Seriously – this was a beautiful post.

  • Ingrid Aller says:

    I completely agree with your friend’s comments regarding builders using designers. We just moved into a home where we were fortunate to have a very accommodating builder who let us make changes in both the plans and some of the finishes. As a result, another couple walked through our house and offered to buy it on the spot before we moved in. Still, looking around now (admittedly still surrounded by boxes and chaos), I kind of wish we’d had some additional designer input.

  • Beth from Beyond White says:

    Should I admit I’m the one who’s garage obsessed, and recently remodeled ours with a charcoal epoxy floor, painted walls (mostly light blue, some light gray, white trim), white Elfa shelving, everything labeled – and art on the walls?

    My husband originally would say, “It’s a garage!” as if I was nuts, and I’d respond, “And your point? Do you know who I am?” Now he admits he really likes it, makes it easy to *put things away in the right place* (yay) and likes driving in.

    I tell my clients that their garage is often the first part of your home you see – so why not treat it like a welcoming entryway? For one client, we made one wall a gallery wall – with their shovel, rake, etc. in between the posters that she had on hand.

  • Connie says:

    Closets, closets, closets!!!! (with good lighting and good finishes…lol!)

  • Arlene says:

    All so true Maria! I hugely agree that contractors should have a designer at the beginning of building. Show homes are obvious who choose what. It just does not all go together.

  • Lucy HAINES says:

    Great post as usual and spot on!

    Good luck at market Maria. Wish I could go this year.

  • deb says:

    Okay, I’m not very trendy, so I’m not sure what about the kitchen is “soooo trendy.” Can anyone enlighten me? (Okay, so I do know that brass finishes are out of style, but coming back I think.) But white subway tiles and farm style sinks are pretty current, aren’t they?

    • Maria Killam says:

      The brass finishes are trendy as are the blue grey cabinets. What I mean by trendy is that you can say which era it was installed. Harder to do that with a white kitchen, etc. Maria

  • Mary says:

    Totally agree about the lighting! We passed over some houses because the fixtures looked too cheap in an otherwise beautiful home and we didn’t want to deal with changing then all out.

  • Donna says:

    As someone who’s still swapping out builder finishes on a 20 year old home, I definitely agree that builders should have a designer help them with this part!

  • sandyc says:

    Wow! Totally bliss with that water view from the soaker tub. However, I’d be equally happy with that almost total bliss forest view out the window of the second bathroom. Unfortunately, I’d feel claustrophobic and almost psychotic in that House Beautiful mirrored affair.

    Regarding garages, it’s amazing how just a wall and floor paint job can turn a dark, drab utilitarian space into an almost-nother room in your house where you’re comfortable stashing or downright storing good stuff ’til you need it.

    Thanks, Maria, for the serendipity of the referral to Irene Fraser. Checked her site and found several rooms of great interest which I’ve copied and saved (with even more questions) to my hopefully soon “flooring consult with Maria” file.

    I totally agree with Irene’s advice to builders to get good designers involved – I think it could be a huge and very positive marketing tool.

  • One of my favorite posts! It’s a shame more builders don’t take this advice. Love the pictures and advice is totally spot-on!

  • Kim Freeman says:

    Great post Maria. It’s always a challenge putting a design together for two people in one home but such a wonderful experience having that couple thrilled with the results.

  • Alberto says:

    Maria, you are such a talented, hardworking, and honest designer. Sometimes, like this one, you indulge in the gender card game which creates some noise and makes your blog sound like a girl’s club. I will keep avidly watching how you keep growing as a designer, a blogger, and a person. I deeply admire your accomplishments and am positive you will soon outgrow this.

  • Hi Maria,
    I’ve worked as an interior decorator here in the UK for the last 28 years, and except for a handful of occasions, it has been the woman of the house making all the decisions about the interior design choices, when there’s no professional designer involved.
    I’ve only recently found your blog as I’ve only recently started blogging myself, and look forward to looking at more of your posts.
    All the best from across the pond!

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