Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

August 12, 2013 8:30 am

Best Decorating Magazines for the Home

best decorating magazines

Sure, Pinterest and Google can be incredibly helpful in finding decorating inspiration – but for us, nothing quite beats a good old fashioned magazine. In this post, we’ll list off our top picks for best decorating magazines for the home. Know of one that’s missing? Please leave it in a comment so we can add it to our list. We hope this helps out both the professional decorator and the DIYer out there!

1. Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens doesn’t stop at just homes and gardens. Rather, it covers everything from decorating and hosting to crafts, cooking and remodeling. With some of the most beautiful rooms we’ve ever seen, Better Homes and Gardens is a favorite among the office staff here at QC.

2. Traditional Home

Traditional Home magazine’s contents are just what its name promises – pages full of traditional and traditional-meets-contemporary design inspiration. The magazine also offers fresh entertaining, hosting, collecting, and travel ideas.

3. Martha Stewart Living

Martha Stewart Living is your one-stop-shop for all things decorating, entertaining, and food. If Martha Stewart does it, you’ll find it in this magazine. We especially like this one for around the holidays – no one quite does a party like Martha Stewart herself!

4. House Beautiful

House Beautiful is a fresh and modern take on decorating inspiration. With inspiration for just about any decor preference, there’s something for everyone in this magazine. We especially like this magazine for its inclusion of accessible DIY projects.

5. Elle Decor

From the same team that brings you the hottest in beauty and fashion, Elle Decor offers you countless ways to spread style all throughout your home. Elle Decor is an office favorite for its many celebrity home profiles. Who doesn’t love imagining what you’d do with an endless decorating budget?

6. Architectural Digest

While any decor enthusiast will likely love Architectural Digest‘s beautiful photos, it’s a more “expert” choice on our list. Warning: reading this magazine may cause you to increase your decor budget by about 1000% – possibly more!

7. Country Living

Country Living magazine is a modern take on country style. Whether you’re an urban dweller looking to bring a little country comfort into your home, or you live on a 5,000 sq ft ranch – there’s something for you in the pages of this one. It’s a top pick for us because of its inclusion of more affordable furniture options. Everyone enjoys a bargain now and again!

8. Country Sampler

Country Sampler is a little more casual and a little more true-country than Country Living (above). If you’re a true Southerner or wish you had grown up on a farm, this magazine will let you bring that fantasy into your home – with plenty of plaid, stripes, and rooster motifs to boot.

9. House & Home

House & Home magazine offers just as much DIY advice as it does decor inspiration. We particularly enjoy reading helpful tips from their many design insiders – from celebrity home stylists to HGTV greats.

10. Create & Decorate

Create & Decorate is a DIY crafter’s paradise – trust us. If you can’t pass up an opportunity to refinish, rewash, or repurpose a piece of furniture, we recommend you subscribe to this one.


What do you think of our list? What are we missing? Let us know in a comment or submit your suggestions to julie@qccareerschool.com!

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Add Some Window Boxes to Your Mini-Garden

Spring is officially springing and summer seems almost right around the corner. I always get an itch at this time of year to head outside and start puttering away in my garden. I call it a “garden”, but frankly it’s still a major work-in-progress. I am experimenting with which plants work where, how to create interest and mixture of height and color, and how to keep them all alive. A green thumb I am not. But that doesn’t stop me from trying!

Even if you don’t have too much in the way of outdoor space, or don’t want to tend to a huge array of plants, there are some really ingenious ways that I have spotted to create mini-gardens.

Using old pallets or other constructed planks to create vertical gardens is so clever. Wouldn’t it be great to do this with a variety of herbs?

The other item on my own outdoor to-do list is a window box. Whether you construct it yourself or pick one up at your local hardware store (all of the big box hardware stores carry them), they add a little bit of greenery and colour and warmth to any house. Such a great curb appeal booster.

Even if you don’t actually have a window to hang one under, you can get creative like these guys did here and hang one from a faux window. Let’s take a look…

Click on the following links to be taken to the images/blog posts:

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Gemma Bonham-Carter
Written by Gemma Bonham-Carter
The Sweetest Digs

Gemma Bonham-Carter has made it her mission to DIY her house into a stylishly decorated home, one project at a time. She believes that good design doesn’t have to break the bank. You’ll find her posts focus on reusing pre-loved items in surprising ways to create something new and exciting.

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March 25, 2013 9:12 pm

Make Your Own Wedding Playlist

When it comes to weddings, it might just be the end of the Macarena.

That’s because more and more couples are opting to save money on DJs by creating their own wedding playlists. They also feel like choosing from their own iTunes collection adds an extra personal touch that a DJ simply cannot give.

It seems relatively easy – go through your iPod, choose a few hours’ worth of your favorite tunes, and you’re good to go! But creating a good reception playlist takes quite a bit of thought and careful planning if you want to pull it off successfully. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

People love to dance

People especially love to dance at weddings. If no one’s on the dance floor, you can bet that your guests will not have a positive lasting impression of your special day. Your very favorite songs just may not be the most danceable. If that’s the case, you have to let them go and opt for more poppy numbers that will have your guests grooving. But don’t forget the slow songs as well!

What’s the age range of your guests?

Try to be considerate when putting together your playlist, and include songs that can appeal to every generation. Personally, my grandma loves a good polka, and I would absolutely love to see her cutting a rug to an old polka tune on my wedding day. That’s what memories are made of.

It’s all about the flow

It will feel really strange to your guests if you follow up a modern pop song with 1970s rock. Instead, group songs into categories (like oldies, slow songs, and hip-hop), and send them out a few at a time. It will feel more natural, and people will stay on the dance floor for longer.

Have people heard this song?

If you’re the type of person to want to make your own playlist, you’re also probably the type of person to have an eclectic taste in music. That’s great! But this is not the time to introduce your guests to a new, unknown band. Play a wide variety of music, and choose songs that most people are sure to know.

We want to know: what songs must be played at a wedding reception? Leave us a comment below with your top picks for wedding songs!

Image via www.flickr.com


March 14, 2013 1:55 pm

Try These Do-It-Yourself Closet Doors

Do you have any of these closet doors in your house? You know, the flimsy, sliding kind? Well I do, and they happen to be in our master bedroom. They aren’t a total eyesore, but they definitely aren’t pretty either.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

My closet, pre-DIY

Well, I was ready to do something about these doors. I thought about just painting them a solid color, but then the idea for a pattern came to mind. I hummed and hawed about doing something intricate or colorful, but then realized that a simple rectangular box on each door in grey and white (so that it would blend with the walls) would be the way to go.

The first step was to wash down the doors to remove any residue or dust. I didn’t need to sand since these doors aren’t wood, but if you have wooden closet doors you would want to use sandpaper, first with a medium and then a fine grit to prep the surface for paint. To wash down the doors I just used some basic soap and water. If they had been glossy or had some other finish, a de-glosser might have been necessary.

Then I needed to measure out where I wanted the rectangular boxes to go. I started by measuring out the box and putting X’s where the corners would meet. I marked 3 inches in from the outer edges for each door.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

Next up I grabbed my painter’s tape (you want a high quality brand for no bleed through) and taped out the boxes. I cut the edges of the tape at the corners to make sure they were nice and crisp. Since I wanted to paint inside and outside of the tape (and then take off the tape to reveal a white box), I needed to make sure the corners were perfect.

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Then it was paint time. I used my leftover paint from the walls (“Coventry Gray” by Benjamin Moore), my mini-roller, a paint mask, and got to work. Two coats of paint later and this is how things were looking. You couldn’t even really see the tape anymore.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

We’re almost there…

After some easy-peasy pealing off the tape, I was left with nice crisp white lines. The pattern totally looks like molding and makes the doors seem much more upscale than they are.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

Voila!

Doesn’t it add a nice bit of pattern without being over the top? It’s simple, but feels classic and adds another layer of interest to the room. The bedroom is slowly getting closer to how I’d like it to look. I still don’t quite know what that final version will be, but it’s fun to add different elements over time and see how it comes together.

Do-it-yourself closet doors

Post-DIY. I’m so pleased with the results!

The doors just sort of blend in with the room now and actually make the space feel a bit bigger. It was such an easy and quick (half-day) project, with great results. Even if you don’t happen to have sliding closet doors like these, you could use the same technique and pattern on any other kind of door or even a piece of furniture to give it that two-toned/molding look. Have fun!

Gemma Bonham-CarterWritten by Gemma Bonham-Carter
The Sweetest Digs

Gemma Bonham-Carter has made it her mission to DIY her house into a stylishly decorated home, one project at a time. She believes that good design doesn’t have to break the bank. You’ll find her posts focus on reusing pre-loved items in surprising ways to create something new and exciting.

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