10 Steps to a Well Designed Room!

Let’s face it… for most people, if this isn’t your career of choice, design can be completely OVERWHELMING and will definitely stop you in your tracks!

I’ve broken down the process into 10 simple steps to help you create the room(s) of your dreams!

Step 1 - Find your STYLE

I know what you’re thinking…DUH NAN!  But figuring this out is truly one of the most important aspects when starting to design a room.  Listen, I get it – there are waaaaay too many amazing ideas, Pinterest boards, blogs & websites and if you’re a bit on the “easily distracted” side (like I am), you can start to go down the rabbit hole & get distracted very quickly!  Once you figure out your style…things will quickly start to fall into place.  Use 2-3 descriptive words to describe how you want your room to feel – is it peaceful, cozy, formal, casual, glam, lively, vibrant?  Now write them down.  Over time these will likely change…but this is the first step. 

Step 2 - Find the PURPOSE of the Room

How could your room function better for your needs?  What is it currently missing?  Do you need more storage?  If space is limited, how could you use furniture that has a dual purpose such as a sofa bed?   What changes could you make that would make your daily routine easier when you use the space?  Once you have decided on how the room will function, this will help you choose the décor!

Step 3 - Write a Wish List

Hold a brainstorming session!  Write down EVERYTHING you can think of that your perfect room would have in it and use this as a starting point to help decide how much you will be looking at spending.  Does this fit within your budget and where will you need to cut corners to get what you love?  Start to prioritize your list from the things that are most-important to least-important and then have a really frank discussion to decide what projects need to be done and what items need to be purchased so that everyone in the home will be happy and comfortable!


Step 4 - Get Comfortable with the 'B' Word

Yup, you guessed it…the dreaded BUDGET (insert scary horror movie music here)!  Be prepared to get real with the numbers…right down to the penny!  It’s important to include EVERYTHING for the project including paint brushes, nails and any little things that will add up very quickly.  Try to leave a little bit of wiggle room to help with unexpected expenses.  Start shopping around. Get at least 3 quotes and talk to friends & family about who they have used.  Will this be a DIY project or will you hire a contractor?  Watch for sales & compare prices among competitors.  Where do you want to break the bank and where do you want to save money?  Create a spreadsheet listing every price as you make your decisions so that you can see at a glance what the project is costing.


Step 5 - Who Will use the Space?

It is extremely important to design around YOUR family and the people who live in YOUR home.  What may work for your neighbor, may definitely not work for you, so this is one of the most important questions to ask yourself when planning out a space.  Do you have pets?  Will children use the room?  Do light colored textiles make sense in your space or do you need more heavy-duty, darker colors?  While white silk slipcovers may be a beautiful, sophisticated choice for an adults-only room, this would definitely not be the best choice for a cozy, casual area that is a play area for kids and pets!


Step 6 - Do your Homework

Start looking through design magazines, go through Pinterest boards, spend some time on websites and save photos that you love!  Use your “style” words to go back & review your favorite “looks”.  These images will tell a story of what you like and what your room should be and will embody your style words.

Step 7 - Take Measurements & Lay out the Space

How many times have you “eyeballed” a room and then ended up with a piece of furniture that is either way too big or too small??  A simple sketch of the room on graph paper will help avoid costly mistakes.  Draw a floor plan of your room to scale (1 square = 1’ for example).  If you have your home’s blueprints, make a few extra copies and use these to mark up!  Draw out the actual size of the furniture you are considering before you bring them home.  Ultimately you want to match the scale of furniture to the size of the room.  


Step 8 - Continuity is Key

Now that you have an idea what your actual “style” is, it is important that you keep a general flow going from room to room.  This will make your home feel larger and provide a calm, continuous feel.  When you do one room, you have to think about all of the spaces connecting and everything that touches that room as well!


Step 9 - Neutral is NOT a No

Neutral rooms often get a bad rap, but if you’re not in love with color and aren’t inspired by a specific shade, an all over neutral palette is the way to go.  Whether it’s white, grey or cream, use pieces that are one shade but different textures.  Velvets, metals, leather, linen & wallpaper all work together beautifully if they’re in one shade.

Step 10 - Add Personal Touches to Tell your Story


Often, an item you already have & love can become inspiration for the rest of the room!  Maybe it’s a chair, or a pillow or a beautiful accessory that you picked up on one of your favorite vacations.  Perhaps those great black wire baskets you found on a weekend flea-market adventure could be the inspiration for the modern farmhouse vibe you are dreaming about!  These things are what turn a house into a HOME…a reflection of your family!  Plus they’re pretty fab conversation starters when guests come to visit too! Creating magazine-worthy spaces are pretty to look at, but they often lack soul – nothing can beat a room that is decorated from the heart.

As always, if you have any questions please comment below! 

Happy Planning! 


February 2020

What’s up for February 2020

Chelsi, our social media specialist, talks about everything we have lined up for February 2020! And it’s a lot!

We will continue to explore our designers favorite things and new products coming into the designer center on our social media, and we have a blog post lined up walking you through how to pull a room together just like a designer! You don’t want to miss it – it’s super informative! 

Also on the agenda is a new series talking all about product care & maintenance for your home. We get a ton of questions from clients about how to take care of the new items going into their home, as well as a host of general questions about the product itself. So this month join us as we explore the items you will find in your kitchen & bathrooms, giving you expert advice on how to keep those products tip-top! 

Be sure to check it out, and comment below with any questions!

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Welcome to designQ 2020


Welcome to designQ, and to our brand new blog! We are super excited to showcase what we are all about at designQ and keep you informed on all things design throughout 2020.

If you have never heard about us before, or even if you have but you just aren’t sure what the heck we even do, then read on my friend! In our introduction blog post, we go back to grade school and explain the 5 W’s – Who we are, What we do, Where we work, When should you come see us, and How any of this benefits you! 

But before you scroll down with excitement – do yourself a favor and sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts, how to design video’s, featured designers, events, and so much more. 


Nan Marshall

Who are we, and what do we even do?

designQ is the state of the art design center for 3 of Edmonton’s most prominent new home builders – Pacesetter HomesSterling Homes & Streetside Developments

When you buy a new home from any of the above new home builders, you will in some way be affected by our team. 

The talented designers at designQ conceptualize, design, and execute all showhomes – so before you even step foot into designQ you have already experienced the stunning work of our design team in over 80 showhomes throughout the city. 

Once you decide to build, then you get to come see us where we will walk you through selecting every detail and finish inside of your home. 

Learn more about us here. 

And if the above wasn’t enough, designQ is adding one more tool in our belt this year. Stay tuned in the next few months to learn about an amazing opportunity for you and your home. 

Who says you can’t have your new home, and furnish it too? 

Which Builders do we work with?

Each of the new home builders we work with offers a variety of home plans, and options. Click on their logo’s below to read more about them! 

You can also stop by to visit them, and check out our talented designers work, in any of their show homes throughout Edmonton and surrounding areas. 

Where & when can you visit us?

** Preview Nights currently CLOSED due to Covid-19**

If you aren’t building a new home quite yet, but want to come and check out what we have to offer, come and see us on a Preview Night. 

Every Thursday evening from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m, designQ opens it’s doors for you to come and take a peek at every item you will be able to select in your new home. We have designers in each room answering any questions you may have, and showing you the standard items for each builder as well as any upgraded products. 

We are located at 3203 – 93 Street NW in Edmonton. 

How will signing up for these blogs benefit me?

We LOVE giving information – even on things non design related 🙂 

So what can you expect? 

  • We will bring you the latest design trends & how to achieve the look in your own home
  • We will show you how to stage a room – ever wonder exactly how to lay out your master bedroom for maximum efficiency and relaxation?
  • We will also show you where to shop to get the showhome look in your own home
  • Be the first to know when new products get brought in to the design center
  • Promotions. Need I say more?
  • And SO much more! 
  • We also do video’s – which means blooper reels. Oh yes.