QAQ Blog

QAQ Blog (51)


Named after the coastal town of Eden, NSW, this decorative screen design features a starfish-like floral pattern with a high privacy and sunlight block-out rating. Though this modern design could suit many interior decorating styles, we've indulged here in the blissful, light and airy coastal delights that its beautiful namesake inspires.

First, one of the best installation projects that I have here to show you is 'Eden' in gold-painted compressed hardwood installed at a Metricon display home. The pool here lined the back wall along the street, so 'Eden' was installed to give the pool area much needed high-level privacy.


Unfortunately, there are not enough high-res images of this design to show you more installation examples; an issue that will be the case again in the future as I feature more and more of the lesser-known screen designs QAQ can make--which is exactly why I am creating these posts to give these hidden gems more 'screen time'!

So, let's move on to the coastal decorating style and products that 'Eden's' namesake inspires:

Coast decorating is one of the easiest grasp as it involves just a few very consistent elements:


  • Light and airy color schemes inspired by the colors of the sand, the sea, and the sky
  • Decor made from things found around the sea, natural fibers, fabrics, and natural wood types
  • Nautical decor from ships and marinas
  • A weathered, naturally distressed wear and tear to certain things


All the photos above are from the same house featured on, and it is a perfect example of tasteful coastal decor. I stress tasteful because we have all seen this style abused to death in beach cafes and cheap beach hotels that clutter every surface with kitschy, tacky, nautical clutter! Don't over do this style with that variety store garbage. Please. It's better to make your own beautiful DIY decor with found objects from the beach than to buy or use stuff that evokes a factory in China more than it does the serenity of the sea. I have gathered a few examples here for you:





  1. Beach Sign - handmade by I See The Sea Shop via Etsy
  2. Stunning handmade pillow with a delicate coral design by Island Home Emporium via Etsy
  3. Rope-wrapped vases handmade by Belle Decor By Andrea via Etsy
  4. Simple, yet beautiful handmade mobile made of driftwood by Moss Wood Decor via Etsy
  5. Tastefully adorable whale bookend by the wonderful site The Beach Furniture & Accessories, which really is a one-stop shopping mecca beach house decorating, with distressed furniture, nautical themed decor, rugs, throws, etc. for every room in a typical beach house.
All of these sellers are Australian and affordable. Etsy is an online market for all handmade products that is a wonderful, highly addictive place to shop and support independent designers from around the world.

I hope you've enjoyed this foray into coastal decor inspired by the 'Eden' decorative screen namesake. It's a coastal town in NSW that is worth a stop to see its beauty, learn its whaling and gold rush history, and probably have some very fine seafood, I would guess, though I have not been there yet myself! To see photos more photos of the town of Eden, the 'Eden' screen, and of coastal interior decorating, see QAQ's Pinterest board 'Eden' Screen Design.  Let me know if you've enjoyed this post by leaving a comment and telling me what you love about the beach house decorating style.





With its clean, and orderly quilt-style pattern, and subtle ecclesiastical, classic aesthetic, our 'Washington' decorative screen design is aptly named, and inspires an early American, colonial interior decorating style. It is also a highly versatile design, however, and looks just as fabulous in modern settings as in the installation projects we share here among colonial style inspiration.


This charming pattern nimbly rests between classical folk and stylishly modern. It has a 60% block-out rating, making it the ideal choice for a very light scattering of sunshine if used as a shade as in the photograph above, or as a privacy partition in the one below.



'Washington' was the choice design of this year's House Rules contestants Danielle and Ben, who painted it bright red and installed it as a side partition on the patio of their backyard reveal.



Though this design looks fabulous in these modern settings, if it were to be styled around its more classical aspects I imagine it would suit an Early American colonial interior decorating style extremely well. It could be used as a shade cover on the outside of upper floor windows,  as a foyer partition, stair and balcony banister, or for something simple such as a wall hanging over a bed.  Here are some good examples of the early American colonial style:


It's a clean, uncluttered aesthetic that features functional, versatile furniture with a natural or rustic finish in a plain or classical style. It is composed with natural colors with warm undertones of black or brown.

Pewter, brass, and tin metal decorative objects are a common element, as are handmade textiles like hooked rugs, needlepoint pillows, knit blankets, and crocheted doilies. If you like this style, here are some rustic colonial products I found online that are available now:


  1. Folk crow dinnerware by Park Designs via Flower Patch Blessings. This online shop is overflowing with absolutely charming rustic country table linens, tableware, and decorative objects.
  2. Ladderback raffia chairs are an extremely iconic colonial furnishing. I found this set available on eBay for a mere $70 (located in Katoomba, NSW).
  3. Beautiful white magnolia needlepoint pillow by Richard Rothstein. There is a large and beautiful selection in his online shop.
  4. Traditional diamond pattern handmade oilcloth rug by Beautiful Floor Cloth via Etsy
  5. Napkin and Salt & Pepper Caddy via Flower Patch Blessings.
For more colonial interior decorating style inspiration and to see the other rustic products I found online, see QAQ's Pinterest board 'Washington' Screen Design. All the 'Washington' screen installation projects will also be added there-- modern and traditional!




Friday, 24 July 2015 13:58

How to Create a Chinese Style Garden

Written by



Oriental gardens have an allure of peace, tranquility, meditation, and mystery because they are specifically composed to create such. What are the elements used to create this atmosphere in an oriental garden, and how can they be copied in our own backyard?


Following on my last post on QAQ's 'Bamboo' decorative screen feature, I wanted to take a look at oriental style gardens--specifically, Chinese style gardens, leaving the Japanese style garden for another day--because there are specific differences that make each give a different sort of feeling when you walk through them. Chinese gardens are a little more bold and colorful; a bit more ornate; whereas Japanese gardens are more restrained, less ornamental, and more conducive to Zen meditation.


Elements of a Chinese Garden


There are three main elements of a Chinese garden that have representational meanings to encourage a meditational stroll:


  1. Water - Represents the constantly changing flow of life and of nature
  2. Stones - Represents strength, endurance, and stability
  3. Plants- The beauty and texture that gives life its meaning



Japanese gardens have these elements but express them differently: typically, Chinese gardens will be centered with a large, ornate building as a focal point while buildings are less important in a Japanese landscape, and may even be hidden from the garden path views. Stones are larger in a Chinese garden, and again, serve as focal points. A larger variety of plants and flowers are used in a Chinese garden, and in a less tightly manicured fashion than in a Japanese garden. However, there are many more similarities than differences between the two styles, as both incorporate these key elements:

  • A Welcoming entrance - A round 'Moon Gate' or 'Torii' gate, or two potted, manicured 'bonsai' trees
  • Bridges - Rounded arches or as zig-zagging, flat platforms
  • Tea houses and private pavilions
  • Lanterns - hanging or in stone statues
  • Statues - though never too dominating as used in Western gardens
  • Moss - for the less sunny areas between pathers, rocks, and statues
  • Garden gravel
  • Meandering pathways for easy contemplation
  • Water - a water feature, a pond, a creek


The plants and trees specific to a Chinese style garden are:


  • Bamboo - Bamboo -used as railings, fences, and as a plant, and representing flexibility in life
  • Pine - representing endurance
  • Lotus - symbolic of spiritual purity
Other plants you'll often find there are: magnolia, azaleas, chrysanthemums, olive, and spirea
Now, get ready for some beautiful eye-candy! These Chinese flowers are colorful and exotic, and simply stunning!

Specific Chinese Garden Flowers:










The easiest to grow--and for that reason the most common--of these beauties are the magnolias and wisteria.

Now, as we are a decorative screen company, I can't help but suggest beautiful garden screens to evoke the Orient in your garden or home, so I've curated what I consider the most oriental of all QAQ's screen designs...



To see a Chinese garden in Australia, visit the Sydney Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbor which is a superb and beautiful example of a traditional Chinese garden.


Hope you have enjoyed this little foray into Chinese gardens. Please leave a comment if you have, and if you can suggest where any other Chinese gardens may be within Australia!



Page 6 of 13