Posts Tagged ‘Design’

We don’t always buy our furniture in sets. Over the years, we tend to collect a hodgepodge of different pieces that we’re not really sure what to do with. Thankfully, when it’s done well, mismatched furniture can bring a lot of personality and interest to a space. Read more for our top tips on how to make mismatched furniture look great in three rooms of the home. For even more decorating ideas, check out QC Design School’s Interior Decorating course.

Don't let mismatched furniture get you down

Living Room

The accessory options for the living room make it the easiest to work with mismatched furniture. You want to create visual balance in the space, so use accessories and textiles to pull everything together. For example, if your couch is green and your chair is blue, toss a blue throw pillow on the couch, or vice versa. Repeat the same accent colors in your artwork or curtains to create a unified look. Patterns also work well to tie all the colors in.

Dining Room

If you’re using all different dining room chairs, there is one rule to keep in mind – height. If the chairs are all different heights, it will start to look messy very quickly. To don’t need to collect six different chairs to create a mismatched look. Just have two or three that stand apart, either using paint color, cushions, or style. If your dining set is wood, make sure the stains on the table and the chairs complement one another.


You can take a few more liberties when decorating with mismatched furniture in the bedroom because for the most part, you’re the only one who gets to see it. However, if your bed frame, dresser, and night stand are all different shades of wood (like light and dark), it might be too much of a miss to look pleasing. Paint the furniture all the same color, or different colors to create your own unique color scheme. Again, use accessories like pillows and hardware to tie it all together.

July 6, 2013 9:00 am

Beautiful Chandeliers We Love


Chandeliers are a great way to add drama, interest, and something extra special to a room. In this post, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite beautiful chandeliers. There’s something for just about every style, so be sure to let us know which is your favorite in a comment at the end. Enjoy!

See the image at  Cool Tone

This ultra cool, interesting black chandelier is the perfect addition for a Scandinavian designed room or modern home. We love that it looks just as beautiful with or without lights!

See the image at Pinterest

This turquoise chandelier is a beach house must-have. We love that it not only provides light, but also acts as a central decor piece for the room even without the lights turned on. We suggest using coral or red as an accent color to really make it pop!

See the image at The Photo Graphix

This incredibly romantic chandelier would be beautiful in a master bedroom or dining area. The sharp contrast between the white walls and clear crystals with the black iron draws our eye to the chandelier immediately.

See the image at Pinspire

This shell chandelier is GORGEOUS. It’s incredibly feminine and would be the perfect addition to a front foyer. It’s soft, subtle, but eye-catching all at the same time.

See the image at Island Child

Last but not least, this sea shell chandelier would be adorable in a powder room or beach home. The white wash would go well with wicker furniture and allows you to go wild with color in other areas of the room.

Which is your favorite? Comment below to let us know!


careers in interior decorating and design

The opportunities for someone interested in a career within the field of interior decorating and design are plentiful. In this post, we’ll go over the different opportunities available to you regarding careers in interior decorating and design.

There are several different paths you may choose to take when considering a career in professional design. The most popular and lucrative choice is to start your own decorating business. As your own boss, you’ll have the greatest level of organizational and creative decision making power. You’ll also be able to choose which projects you take on and which you don’t. Plus, you’ll get to work with your clients face-to-face. When starting your own business, you have a lot to consider – but we outline the process clearly for you within our courses at QC Design School.

A second option would be to work for an existing decorating company or consulting agency. If this is the option you choose, you’ll be an employee of someone else and will have less control than if you were to own your business. Working for someone else, however, does have its perks. For one, you are not liable if something happens to the business. You will also work more set hours and may benefit from other things like vacation time, medical benefits, and not having to pay for your own computer equipment or office space.

Another option would be to take on design work on a part-time basis and continue working at your existing job. This could be a permanent option, and a way to make some supplementary income, or a temporary solution until you build up a large enough client list to start your own business with a little more security.

As you can see, it’s quite easy to incorporate a love for design into your life with a little help from QC. There are many people pursuing successful careers in interior decorating and design, and you could join them. Visit QC Design School today and start your own journey towards success!


April 14, 2013 11:28 am

What is feng shui room design?

You’ve probably heard the term feng shui before; maybe it makes you think of bamboo or yin and yang. But do you really know what the concept of feng shui room design means? We’re here to help you out.

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese theory that believes the balance and energy of a space directly influence the health, wealth, and luck of the people within that space. Proponents of feng shui know that it can be a powerful design tool – it’s as much about the structure of a home as it is the objects within it. A feng shui designer will map the energy and balance of a home using a bagua map – an octagonal map that helps you identify how the different areas of the room are affecting one’s lifestyle.

One of the most important elements in good feng shui design is the energy flow to the front door. It’s important not to block the energy flow coming into the front door, and to choose a good front door color (depending which direction your door faces, red is a good one!). Once you enter the door, the front entrance is the first touch point for good feng shui within the home. Here, you need to focus on things such as the alignment of the staircase, the careful placement of mirrors, and creating a good landing space for the energy coming in through the front door (through accessories like a side table, a lamp, or a rug).

Do you want to learn more about feng shui design? Visit now to check out our course in feng shui!

Image via

March 14, 2013 4:06 pm

New Pinterest Layout 2013

We’re one of the first to admit our addiction to Pinterest (check out our boards here), and loved how clean and fluid the layout has been since it first launched. The ability to comment on pins without having to click them first was great, because it allowed users to scroll through pages of pins and like, pin, and repin away without having to lose their spot and go back. We also loved the look of a user’s account and how all the boards seemed to flow seamlessly side-by-side. The new Pinterest layout has changed some of the things we loved most, but we’re getting used to it – and here’s why you should too.

pinterest page

1. Larger Images

The new Pinterest layout allows for larger images with less border, so you get more out of each and every image. We like this especially for horizontal images, because they were simply too small in past versions to really make out the subject. Yes, they’re still a little small for our liking, but it’s a step in the right direction.

2. Hover Effect Pin It Button

When you hover over an image, the “Pin It” and “Like” buttons pop up. They go away the second you leave the image. We love this because it lets us see more of what we’re there for in the first place – images! Plus, we like that the use of the hover pin is more consistent with the pin-it gadget a lot of people are using on their own web pages. Consistent branding makes us happy!

3. Larger Single Image View

When you click an image, you get a whole new layout. The image is larger, there’s a clear “Website” link that allows you to go directly to wherever the pin came from, you can preview other pins by the same pinner, scroll through a large preview of similar pins by the same pinner, and have four sharing options – Facebook, Twitter, Email, and Embed.

New Pinterest Layout 2013


As far as main page commenting goes, the option is gone. However, you can always click on an image and leave a comment at the bottom. For us, this is just fine because the majority of people don’t actually leave comments on Pinterest – the main actions are generally repin (obviously) and/or like. If you do want to leave a comment, you can, so we’ll get over the minor layout change where that’s concerned.

What do you think of the new Pinterest layout? Do you prefer the old layout or the new? Let us know in a comment below!

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.



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


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.


Whether you’re just starting out on a solo business venture or are already a working professional, you probably already have or are thinking of, setting up a home office space. It can sometimes be tough to carve out a space that’s just for you, so we’ve compiled our top tips for keeping that space – however big or small – organized and efficient.

Choose your space wisely
Take into consideration all of the possible distractions you may encounter in each space, and choose the one with the least. If your desk is currently in the living room and there are little ones underfoot, it may be time to move it to a quieter location.

Now it’s time to de-clutter. What do you use every day and what hasn’t been touched in 3 or 4 months? Discard of anything that you don’t use on a regular basis, or simply move it to another room.

A clean space is a happy space, and when you’re happy you’re more productive. It’s been proven people! Wipe down all surfaces, throw away any garbage, and open a window for some fresh air. It’ll make you feel refreshed and ready to get down to work!

Are there objects in your space that don’t really need to be there? Take, for example, that television across the room. If you end up watching it more than you actually work, than maybe move it to a different area of the house.

Now it’s time to get down to business. Take inventory of all the items left in your space and decide what you want to keep out on display (books, magazines, a decorative pen holder, etc) and what you want to keep hidden (the less than sitely pieces can be hidden away in desk drawers or attractive storage bins).

Lastly, you want to make sure your space is well lit. If painting the space is an option opt for a light clear color (light blue or yellow), as it will distract less and have a calming effect. If not, try to place your desk near a source of natural light. As well, add lamps that shed white light instead of yellow, as it will help keep you alert.

Try going through this list about once a month! And, if you’ve got a passion for organization take a look at our Professional Organizing course!


Lighting is one of the most important components in interior design because it has such a huge impact on the overall mood of a space. However, it’s usually the last detail many of us see to as it can be quite a daunting task. Incandescent, fluorescent, high intensity discharge, LED, etc. There is an overwhelming number of options, and even just the idea of having to choose one can leave me feeling lost, frustrated, and pondering if living a life in darkness would really be that bad…? Read on to learn how to choose the best indoor light bulbs for you.

How to Choose a LightbulbThis weekend I revamped my living room with a new light blue paint color and some new dark brown shades for the table lamps on either side of my couch. You’d think that I would have purchased some light bulbs to go along with those, but when the sales clerk asked me if he could help me select some, I broke out in a nervous sweat and decided it was a detail that could be left just a little while longer.

But once the new paint was dry and the lamps were all set up, I realized that my old general service light bulbs just weren’t going to cut it any longer. The light was starkly white and made the room feel cold and uninviting. So, I mustered up some courage, put on my brave face, and timidly ventured back out to my nearest hardware store. That same sales clerk was there and he promptly schooled me in what is apparently the fine art of light bulb selection. Yep, there’s much more to it than simply choosing the right wattage.

Wall color, paint finish, furniture color and fabric, lamp shade thickness and color, and what overall mood you want your space to have are just a few of things to take into consideration. My living room is my place to relax, and I wanted to add as much warmth to the space for maximum comfort. I ended up walking away with low voltage Tungsten-halogen incandescent bulbs. I had originally wanted to go with LED as they are generally more efficient, but I found that they didn’t offer the right kind of light for me. I wanted something warmer to offset the cool blue walls, and these incandescent bulbs pair well with my lamp shades to give off a warm buttery glow. They also have a significantly longer life than most and provide more light per watt than standard incandescent bulbs.
In the end it took me, the hardware store clerk, and countless authors of online articles to choose two light bulbs!

What sort of light bulbs do you use throughout your home? Let us know in a comment below!

January 28, 2013 6:15 pm

Liven Up Your Home

You may have already heard, but emerald is the color of 2013. Here at QC Design School, we’re pretty excited to start seeing this bright, fresh color more often. Although green is often considered a calming, earthy tone, emerald is vibrant enough to stand out…especially in your home decor. Have you figured out how to add this gorgeous trend to your own space? Browse through the following photos for some great, emerald green ideas!

Are you incorporating emerald in your designs this year? Are you waiting to see if this trend is here to stay? Let us know on our Facebook page!

The green against white in this dining room set works so well together. In fact, we’ve been seeing this color combination all over the design blogs, and we love how it makes the green pop! A simple chair is a great place to try out a new trend, because it can be easily and inexpensively repainted if you get tired of this bold color. The cleverest aspect of this design is the touch of tree branch on the backs of the white chairs. It’s a great way to bring back the earthy element to the green, but in a super modern way.

This example is certainly more permanent than the last – wallpaper is notoriously difficult to remove, although many of the newer varieties are getting easier. Although this might not be the best place to try out a new trend, we have to admit that we love it anyway. The print is so delicate that it’s not overwhelming; it would look great as an accent wall to a home office.

Emerald + chevron = perfection. This design would actually be very simple to create on your own, with some good quality painter’s tape and a ruler. You could have some extra fun with this design by adding some funky drawer knobs.

We can only imagine how beautifully the light would play off this emerald glass and crystal chandelier. Often people think that with a classic piece like a chandelier or furniture, you have to choose classic, neutral colors. But choosing a bold shade can add so much more drama and interest to a room. It’s oh so elegant, and very fun.

Are you bold enough to go green all over? Surely we’ll start seeing some green walls this year. Since green is said to evoke feelings of wealth, luxury, and imagination, it might not be such a bad idea to surround yourself with this hue. This particular design even brings the color up to the ceiling! While it may not be for everyone, we’re loving the way the glossy finish of this paint brings such brightness to the room.