Posts Tagged ‘Interior Decorating’

In the UK it is fair to say that unlike a lot of other countries, some of the things we are not blessed with are space and reliable weather.

Unfortunately nothing can be done about the weather (other than embrace it!), however the good news is that there is plenty you can do to maximize space in your home.

I work for WOW interior Design, a bespoke furniture specialist based in Kent and we are posed with a whole host of different design and storage questions almost every day of the week.

In this article I am going to highlight some of the things you can do to give you more space when planning your bedroom decor, but of course the underlying principles can be employed to other rooms in the property.

Here are my top 3 tips…

bedroom decor

1) Prioritize

Clutter is one of the biggest consumers of space in any bedroom. For those hoarders among you, tough decisions may need to be made in terms of prioritizing what you want to be in your room and what you don’t. I personally live by the rule “If I don’t use it, I don’t want to see it”.

Spending some time organizing the items that are on display that don’t really need to be is often an essential thing to do before starting any design or renovation project in the home – it can help to show you just how much space you really have.

2) Innovate

There is now a whole host of different things you can add to your room to help give you more space. For example, when putting together the specification for a wardrobe in one of the many fitted bedrooms we design, we can now offer trouser rails, tie wracks, sliding drawers and pull out shoe tidies.

These space saving devices do a great job of making it easy for you to tidy away your belongings. Long term this is the best approach, as if it’s easy to use then you are more likely to use it going forward.

The best thing is that there is now an abundance of accessories out there that you can use in your wardrobes or drawers, so take a look around and look at some of the innovations out there. In most cases you do have the space, it’s just poorly managed. Creativity is the key here, and there are many DIY possibilities as well!

3) Don’t Give Up!

To finish, I think my number one tip is to stay on in there and persevere. Even though it might get a bit frustrating, there are often some ingenious ways to make the most out of the space available in your home.

For example, our company recently added some much needed drawers by installing them along the entire width of the wall under the stairs. Not one area was wasted despite the unhelpful angles. This allowed the homeowner to move items in from other rooms and store them, helping to open up more space elsewhere.

Often the biggest limitations is your imagination! If you are struggling though open up your mind to some new possibilities!

Are you interested in a career as an interior designer? Check out QC’s Interior Design Program today!

About the author: Tom Key works on a behalf of WOW Interior Design, who have over 20 years experience working in the interior design industry. For more information or a free design quote on fitted bedrooms, kitchens or libraries, please contact


May 2, 2014 10:00 am

Decor Tips: Creating a Floor Plan

According to QCs tutors and student support specialists, designing a floor plan is considered one of the most challenging aspects of the QC course.  It’s very complex, after all.  Your measurements have to be precise and your plans detailed enough for your tutor (and eventually your clients!) to see what’s going on.

floor plan

Here are some of our top tips for building a usable floor plan.

Open Concept or not?

An open concept isn’t always right for everyone.  If you’re working with a busy household, for instance, walls and doors can be your friend!

Choose furniture before choosing layout

Choosing the furniture first based on your client’s personality and style will be less of a hindrance once you’re looking to place it around a room.  Of course, you’ll still want to avoid oversized pieces for smaller spaces, but once you’ve picked your main pieces of furniture, use your floor plan as a blank canvas to meld these pieces into the room.

Don’t let the door hit you… or your furniture!

When designing a floor plan, make sure your measurements are accurate for all doors and windows, and that these will not be obstructed by any furniture or cabinetry that you are placing in the room.  This can be difficult in a 2D floor plan, so if you believe this to be a hindrance, consider building a digital 3D floor plan instead.

Our two favorite free 3D floor plan programs

There aren’t many free programs out there, but a few have caught our eyes over the years. They’re easy to use and require very little graphic skills.  Many programs have a “drag & drop” interface making it extra simple to design your perfect space, whether it’s a single room or an entire floor!

Home Styler is one of my personal favorites because it’s an online program, meaning you don’t need to install anything to your computer. You can easily draw your space in a regular 2D floor plan, and then click the “3D” button to instantly see your creation from top to bottom.  This program has tons of furniture and décor options built into it, but you do not have the option of adding other types of pieces, so you’ll have to be a bit flexible.

If you’re looking to give your client or tutor a good idea of your overall design, with the understanding that some pieces might not look exactly as shown, then this program is a great choice!

This program is more suited to designers who want to decorate an entire floor or home at once.  It works similar to the home styler program above, and is especially useful when it comes to scaling the model up or down.  With several added features it’s a little more complex to use, but for those of you who are tech savvy and up to the challenge, it’s worth a try!

Looking for more information on building a floor plan?

The tutors here at QC Design School are trained professionals in the design industry and are ready to help you achieve your interior decorating dreams! Check out our courses today or request a free brochure to learn more!

February 21, 2014 10:00 am

Color Your Child’s Room Classic

Your child’s room can be a challenge to decorate and just as frustrating to organize. Especially boys’ rooms. Let’s face it, their tastes and favorites seem to change all the time. One second they want to be the next superhero, the next its James Bond. Then they are off to University in a flash. Choose a color palette that is kid enough without being too “baby.” Why not go for a light grey which feels “boy” without feeling “baby boy.”

Keep it basic!

Keep the basic shell of the room tasteful, neutral (meaning, no theme), and timeless. Inspire the fun personality in things you can easily update or change as your child’s tastes evolve – and it undoubtedly will.  Who can afford to redecorate an entire room every year (the cost could creep up if you have more than one child!)? Try to veer away from cheap flat pack furniture as this doesn’t last as long, especially with children! Go for more robust, sturdy furniture like solid oak beds and wardrobes.

Choose a paint color for the walls that you feel you will be able to live with for a significant period of time, unless you love painting walls. I have an aversion to painting – tedious and boring! So once a room is painted in our house that is it. No more. Choose furniture that you like, not just furniture that your child likes.  So when buying furniture make sure that you like it, so that after he gets sick of it or grows up and goes to college, then you can incorporate the furniture into other areas of the house.

child's room

Don’t go OTT…

Try to keep things in proportion; children’s rooms really don’t need a lot of over-decoration. They have colorful and interesting toys that they would probably love to display, no need to buy more things, it will only clutter! Keep things simple, classic and clean and it will usually makes for a more pleasing overall effect. Make the most of what they already have and use the best of it to decorate the room. Put up colorful hooks or pegs for hats, whilst toys can be easily displayed along with their own artwork.

Chalkboards are ideal for children! Not only can they use them to develop their writing and drawing skills but you can also give them chores to do and daily schedules so they feel they have played a part in the organization of the day – the uses of chalkboards are endless.

Be creative – involve everyone!

If you happen to be a budding artist (or know one) and would love to personalize your kids’ rooms, try decorating one wall, a desk, a wooden chair or canvas to show their personality. Even better why not involve your child too? With hand prints to paint balloons you really can get creative, and it’s something meaningful they can keep.

Put up bookshelves wherever you can find space, particularly in close proximity to the bed to encourage them to read – this will provide huge educational benefits and also allows you to spend time with your child every night before bed. Always make a plan before, color charts, fabrics and get all of their artwork together so it is ready to accessorize.

Bio: Karen has three children and four grandchildren and is now an expert in decorating children’s bedrooms on a budget, to give an effortless and timeless look. Her inspiration for the color palettes come from her favorite interior furniture company; Homeward Bound Interiors. When she hasn’t’t got her hands full with children, she runs two businesses and enjoys long walks with her dogs on the beach.


February 15, 2014 10:00 am

Bathroom Decor – Give it Some Style!

bathroom decorThe bathroom may not be associated with the lush glamour of the bedroom or the social warmth of the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean a bathroom can’t be stylish. In fact, there are countless looks, colors, and attitudes to choose from when it comes to bathroom decor. Start dressing up yours today with some of these easy bathroom remodeling tips.

Go Green

We’ve all heard the phrase “go green” a thousand times, but how can you actually apply it to your bathroom? Use green products, like CFL bulbs instead of incandescent. You can even make green “products” yourself, such as using simple baking soda to scrub stains from your tub, instead of irritating or toxic chemicals. Take the concept in a literal direction by transforming your bathroom into a jungle with plants and flowers, which not only add a splash of gorgeous color, but help to cover any unpleasant odors.

Mix and Match Lighting Levels

Lighting is crucial in any room of your house, and the bathroom is no exception. Instantly boost the appeal of your bathroom by replacing bright, harsh light sources with dim, cozy alternatives, perfect for relaxing baths and showers. Alternately, you might want to consider bright lighting near the sink and mirror, where tasks like shaving and applying makeup require better visibility.  Vanity lights around the bathroom mirror are a fun (and functional) retro touch.

Create the Perfect Palette

Bathrooms offer multiple opportunities to experiment with different color palettes. For minimum financial damage, you can take home matching or contrasting bathmats and shower curtains from any department store. You can also try out different colors of paint on your below-the-sink cabinet doors, or on the frame of your mirror. Cool colors like aqua blue and mint green give a refreshing, nautical feel, while deep shades like ruby red and burnt orange are lush and relaxing, like a day at the spa.

Use Accents

It’s highly likely that your bathroom is largely comprised of some sort of tile. (When was the last time you saw a plush, carpeted bathroom?)  You can dress it up by interspersing a few accent tiles into the normal pattern. You don’t have to go crazy spending – even adding just a handful of accent tiles can disrupt monotony, add character, and draw the eye around the room.

Stock up on Goodies

We don’t normally think of items like body scrub as decorating tools, but in the bathroom, that’s exactly what they can become when utilized creatively. Imagine how different the same tub or shower looks when it’s completely barren, as opposed to stocked with aesthetically pleasing bath accessories – isn’t the latter more inviting? Tastefully arranged candles, incense, bath salts, soaps, and other care products can all radically alter the appearance of your tub or bath, while of course being functional at the same time.

Revitalizing your bathroom doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or expensive. A few quick and easy tweaks can completely alter the feeling of your space, and transform utilitarian into gorgeous overnight.

About the Author: Shannon Carpino is a writer from Philadelphia on topics such as bathroom renovation, and home remodeling.



December 20, 2013 8:04 am

How To: Transform Your Home with Flooring

In home decor, the importance of flooring is sometimes minimized. However, it can have a huge impact on the overall appearance of a home. That’s why it’s important to choose the right kind of flooring to achieve the look you want for your home decor. Read below for information about several types of flooring and how it can impact the overall ambiance of your home.

Choose the right flooring for your home decor

Bold colored carpet

Choosing a bold colored carpet for your flooring gives you the ability to make an impact on your home’s look without changing the paint or furnishings. For example, pairing bold a red carpet with either beige or white walls and muted furnishings creates an attractive, contemporary look. Bold, colored carpet is also a great choice if you want to draw the eye away from old furnishings or a less than perfect paint job.

Natural carpet

Carpet made of natural materials in neutral colors make a great addition to a room full of color and patterns. For example, pairing a bold green couch and bright walls with a neutral carpet is a great way to prevent overdoing the look. Too many patterns, too many colors, and too many areas of focus can create chaos. However, focusing on the furnishings and the colors of the walls alone is possible when you choose a natural carpet.

Cost of carpet: The cost of carpet is comparable to other types of flooring. However, the price does depend on the type of carpet you get. Keep in mind that high-end carpet will look good longer. If you are planning on replacing the carpet within a year or so, you can choose a cheaper carpet. However, if you plan on keeping the same carpet for several years, it’s wise to invest some money up front in a good carpet.

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring is a cheap option for floor covering that offers you a wide range of looks. Vinyl flooring can come in a variety of patterns that mimic natural materials like rock or stone. Vinyl flooring is a great option for rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom where carpet is not ideal. Its price is its biggest selling point. However, vinyl floor has come a long way since its inception and now looks exceptionally real and high quality, all while providing an easy cleaning floor space.

Wood floors

Real wood and synthetic wood floors have become increasingly popular in recent years. The desired look seems to be either extremely dark wood floors or extremely light. Wood floors can help you achieve either a contemporary look or perfect a country look. Thankfully, synthetic woods are very affordable, making wood floors accessible for virtually anyone.


Written by Laura Waite

Laura writes for Selby Carpets who provide flooring services across London and are experts in wooden flooring and fitting, carpet tiles and designer vinyl floor tiles, as well as providing commercial flooring services.

July 8, 2013 12:43 pm

Featuring QC Graduate Tracy Black

Meet QC graduate Tracy BlackTracy Black knows the key to a career you love is passion and perseverance. With that outlook, she is now the owner and Principal Decorator of soulstyle, an interior decorating and home staging business. We’re proud to say that she’s also a graduate of QC Design School’s Interior Decorating course. Her approach to design is to create warm, comfortable and dynamic spaces for her clients.

We got in touch with Tracy to get her insight on the design industry and share her story. We encourage you to visit her website and Facebook page, and scroll through to view some stunning photos of her work below.


Company Name: soulstyle Interior Decorating & Home Staging
Description: Interior decorating, renovation design, home staging
Region: Greater Toronto Area
Phone: 416-508-8717 or 519-217-8717

What motivated you to start your career as a design professional?

My interest in decorating and design began with my first home purchase, and for years was just a hobby (or obsession!). I was teased about losing square footage in my house because of all the coats of paint! When the opportunity to begin a new career presented itself I took a leap of faith, left the corporate world after 15 years, and began my own business in a field I was passionate and excited about. I have been very fortunate with success thus far, and have never regretted the decision.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

I’ve had many features in blogs, which have been wonderful exposure to my projects and my business. However, the real highlights of my career have always been the clients I work with.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

It’s good, sound training with practical and very applicable lessons. I am often emailed by potential students asking about my experience at QC, and I always recommend it. No course can teach creativity, but QC definitely provides the basis for developing yourself and your skills.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out their career?

Persevere. Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do. We are given the very unique and trusted privilege of helping people create their homes – treat it as such. Lastly, work with a set of design principles that you truly believe in, and know why you believe in them! Be yourself and realize that your creativity is distinct. Don’t be concerned with trends or “magazine rooms”. Create spaces that your clients love.

A snapshot of some of Tracy’s designs…

A cottage-style bedroom design by Tracy Black

A gorgeous ensuite by QC graduate Tracy Black

Tracy Black, owner of soulstyle, designed this family bathroom

A family room design by interior decorator Tracy Black

A kitchen design by QC Design School graduate Tracy Black

A beautiful kitchen design by Tracy Black

A neutral master bedroom by Tracy Black


interior decorating jobs

The life and career of an interior decorator, or any design-enthusiast for that matter, is always changing. No two days are quite alike, and that’s part of the fun of it all. Whether you’re tackling a paint job, redesigning furniture placement in your living room, or undergoing a complete home overhaul – there are many different interior decorating jobs you may tackle. Read on to learn more.

Color Consulting

Color selection and pairing is one of the most difficult tasks for a home owner. It can be overwhelming to consider all the options, and downright impossible at times to narrow it down. That’s where an Interior Decorator would come in. You may even find people hire you to simply help them choose colors and nothing else – and this is totally normal. A large part of your job as a decorator will be working with color theory and creating spaces for clients that reflect their own personalities, wants, and needs.

Complete Overhauls

Certain clients may hire you to take on an entire room or house overhaul, meaning you’d be in charge of everything from color selection and dealing with contractors to selecting fabrics, textiles, and arranging furniture. These sort of projects are very time consuming, but typically pay quite a bit of money. This sort of interior decorating job requires a lot of careful planning and budgeting, so be sure you’re ready to take on this large a task before you say “yes”!

Furniture Placement

Furniture placement, either initial or re-arranging, is actually a very fun part of working as an Interior Decorator. You get to play around with the placement, positioning, and angle of furniture pieces to create different effects and feels within the same space. Sometimes, an Interior Decorator will be hired to work with a client’s existing furnishings in order to achieve a little change or give the illusion of “something new”. This is often the case with a client who has a fairly tight decorating budget and isn’t willing to purchase all new furniture, or just wants a little freshening up for their space and not something entirely new.


You know how rooms always look gorgeously accessorized on TV shows? Well, a lot of thought goes into the selection and exact placement of any accessory. This can be difficult to do if someone lacks a trained eye, but a great way to make some extra money as an Interior Decorator. You could offer clients the chance to have you come in and put the finishing touches on one room or many, and leave them feeling like they have an entirely new space – even though you only made a few tweaks and added some stand-out accessories like throw pillows, vases, picture frames, or other decorating pieces.

Of course, there are plenty of other interior decorating jobs available to you as a working interior decorator. You’ll encounter them gradually and naturally within your career, but these are a few you’ll probably encounter frequently. What do you think? Which would you be most interested in doing? Let us know in a comment below! If you’re interested in learning more about Interior Decorating, check out our course from QC Design School.


April 20, 2013 8:30 am

How to Become an Interior Decorator


If you’ve ever wondered how to become an interior decorator, this post has been written with you in mind. Design and decor is an incredibly lucrative and popular field, and it’s quite easy to get started, too! Many design lovers, DIY enthusiasts, and decor addicts alike consider building a career doing what they love at least once – why not do more than consider it and really make it a reality? Read on to learn how. I promise, it’s easier than you think.

All it really takes to get started is a knack for choosing colors that work together well, and an eye for design (untrained or otherwise). If you have the passion, you can absolutely learn the tools to help turn your love for decorating into a career. Here at QC Design School, we offer five comprehensive courses in decorating and design including: Interior Decorating, Home Staging & Interior Redesign, Interior Redesign, Professional Organizing, and Feng Shui Design.

Within our courses, we cover the ins-and-outs of color theory, creating floor plans, working with textiles, and more. You also receive full business training so you can rest assured you’ll graduate from QC Design School not only with the practical kn0w-ho, but the business savvy that you’ll also need to launch a successful business of your own.

While you’re working through an Interior Decorating course, such as the one offered by QC Design School, you’ll also want to ensure you’re staying on top of current and forecasted trends in the decorating industry. This means checking out blogs, reading magazines, and even attending local trade shows. It can be easy to focus too much on a single decorating style, but it’s important you know how to decorate using many different styles – so regular research and reading is key.

Now that you’ve learned how to become an interior decorator, why not take the next step? Explore our website, give us a call at 1-800-267-1829, and enroll in our Interior Decorating course. You won’t regret it! We even offer a 21-day money back guarantee to back up our promise. What are you waiting for?




April 16, 2013 10:50 am

The 6 Most Common Decorating Mistakes

Moving can be a bit overwhelming as a new space can seem like a rather large blank canvas. It can be hard to decide where to start, especially if you’re a decorating novice. As a design school we do see quite a few interior decorating mishaps, and thought we’d share the ones we see most often. Becoming acquainted with the 6 most common decorating mistakes should help you get decorating on a more confident foot!

1. Many of our students who are new to the interior decorating course at first shy away from color and choose rather bland palettes. Don’t get us wrong, it’s fine to paint your walls Snowbell White, but you should try and bring in color through other accents in the space. See for example the room below, where small touches of lavender and bronze help to bring life into this elegant living room.

2. Most beginners will place their furniture lining the walls. When deciding on furniture placement plan to bring couches and end tables about a foot out from each wall – if space allows. You might think this will close in the room but it will actually do the opposite, giving the space a loftier feel. Take the living room below as an example, and imagine how the space would look with the furniture placed right up against the walls. Having the chairs and couch pulled away from the walls make the entire room feel more spacious.

3. More often than not we see a theme get lost or forgotten throughout the decorating process. We can’t stress how important it is to keep a theme going throughout every space, though it needn’t be overly obvious. Just bring touches of the same color in through accents like pillows, curtains, and throws. The living room below is a perfect example; see how the pink in the curtains was mirrored  in the flowers and the coffee table books? The gold table also mirrors the gold curtain rods, all helping to tie the room together and keep it balanced.

4. Starting to decorate from nothing can seem like quite the financial challenge, and many people make the mistake of spending too little at first. When you’re newly decorating it’s important to invest in your key pieces like couches, rugs, and tables. You want your statement pieces to hold up to daily wear and still look good 10 years from now. If you’re looking for unique quality pieces spend the money now so you don’t end up spending double or triple the amount for replacement pieces.

5. Alright, this last one is the most commonly made mistake (that we’ve seen). Placing pictures too high or too low on a wall can make or break the overall balance in a room, and is such an important thing to consider when deciding on picture placement. To ensure a room is kept balanced pictures should be placed at around eye-height. It also helps if all the pictures in one room are all hung in line with each other. Take a look at the room below. See how the subject of the picture would be in the direct line of sight of someone standing? A perfect example of perfect picture placement.

6. Not following QC Design School on Twitter!

Design Twitter

Keep these common decorating mistakes in mind before you begin your next decorating adventure and we’re sure you’ll see great results!


March 15, 2013 1:51 pm

How To: Make a Rental a Home

I’ve been a renter for the last five years and as all my fellow renters will know, it’s quite a challenge to find a space that has everything on your wish list. In fact, more often than not we end up with retro kitchen cabinets (not the good kind), laminate floors that have definitely seen better days, and seriously outdated fixtures and hardware. I can’t tell you how many hours I spend dreaming of marble counter-tops, bleached hardwood floors, bay windows, and grand fireplaces. I’ve spent years looking for ways to spruce up my rentals, and I’m here today to share them with you!

Paint the Walls

If your landlord allows you to paint, definitely go for it. Choose colors that make you feel happy and comfortable, as you always want to feel like you’re coming home when you walk through the front door. Keep in mind that landlords are a lot more open to paint color if you choose something neutral, so if you absolutely love aqua blue, try finding a subtler toned down version of it. Take the room below as an example. The subtle buttery yellow really warms up the space, and is probably landlord-friendly.

Consider Window Treatments

Deck out your windows in pretty new curtains. If your apartment already has blinds installed ask your landlord if you can temporarily take them down for the duration of your lease. If not, simply install your new curtains over top. Rentals are usually pretty standard and don’t have a lot of architectural interest, so try going for a patterned or colorful material to bring some character to the space.

Replace Light Fixtures

Those unflattering fluorescent lights have got to go! Switching out dated light fixtures will make a huge difference, and make your space just that more unique. Look for fixtures that will softly diffuse the light, and if possible, add dimmers. Keep the old fixtures in storage, and simply switch them back when you’re ready to move again.

Spruce up Cabinets

Updating kitchen cabinetry can completely transform even the most hopelessly out-of-date kitchen. Since your landlord probably won’t look kindly on you painting them or ripping them out, you can try one of the following two approaches. Unhinging cabinet doors and going for the open-storage look is a quick and easy way to modernize the space. Just keep them in storage and re-install them when you’re ready to move out. However, if you’re slightly ashamed of the mismatched dishes you’ve been hauling around since college, you may want to keep those cabinets covered. In that case, opt to purchase new cabinet hardware. It’s a quick and sure way to bring new life to a space. Again, keep the old hardware stored until you’re ready to move.

Keep it Clean

It may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your apartment clean will make it a more comfortable and relaxing place to be. A well-made bed and tidy kitchen will do wonders. Also try using attractive storage containers that double as furniture to hide away clutter. I love the idea of using vintage trunks as a side-table/storage. The more creative the better!

These may not all be options for you, but even just implementing one or two will help! Have you rented before? Do you have any tricks for making the space your own? Let us know in a comment below!