Podcast, Ep. 305: Behind-the-Scenes of ‘Design School’ with Justin Q. Williams

Justin Q. Williams, Interior Designer

We welcome the wonderful and multi-talented Justin Q. Williams to our show to chat about his episode of ‘Design School’ on QVC+. Justin is not only an interior designer, but also an artist, furniture designer, and TV star who you might remember from Design Star: Next Gen on HGTV. The Atlanta-based designer talks to us about his journey from creating 3D plans as a 12-year old to now mentoring others. He emphasizes the importance of interior designers learning photo styling and business, and being able to pivot quickly. Justin also discusses designing restaurants vs. residential homes and why his special episode of Design School will be perfect for those living in a townhouse or row house. Additionally, Justin reveals more about his furniture line and art collections, which he named after family members to honor his amazing support system.

Design School QVC+

What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

  • Special shout out to Justin’s dad who bought him architecture and design programs at 12 years old, that he jumped into and fell in love with the process.
  • How mentorship and working in many facets of design helped Justin develop the skills he has today.
  • How the experience of making the season finale episode of Design School differed from his show on HGTV, Design Star.
  • How Design Star changed his life (many months of 12 hour days) and business once the show was out.
  • The importance of learning how to pivot and be able to change plans quickly as a designer.
  • More behind his furniture business and why he named certain pieces after his family members to honor his support system.
  • The importance of building great relationships with people, because you never know what they can turn into.
  • The difference between designing a restaurant vs. a residential home.
  • A sneak peek into some of Justin’s highlights of his Design School episode!

Design School QVC+

Decorating Dilemma:

Hi Ballard team,

I LOVE your podcast and listen to it while I work on projects around our house.

I’m hoping you can help me solve a new dilemma: We’ve recently made the decision to purchase a new mattress. Our old house was much smaller than our current one and we’ve always had a Queen-sized bed. My husband was really excited to use the new mattress as the reason to get a bigger bed overall. So, now we need to change everything.

My struggle is primarily with the lamps and bed-side tables. But the art looks a little “off” now too. The wall is 112 inches long. And the bed is 82 inches. I have about 14 inches of space on either side. The bed needs to go on this wall due to an odd old chimney bump out, vents and window placement.

I found some great vintage lamps but they are also too big. I’m assuming I need to find sconces but what’s the right scale? Any ideas on what kind of table could work? I’m afraid a small table won’t have the weight it needs next to the bed. Is there a way to balance out the scale at all? Anything else you can think of that will help the space feel finished and balanced?

Thanks so much in advance!


Thanks Gloria! First off, your room looks so good, and we love your wall color. And, you nailed the bed. For what you can change, Justin thinks you should focus on the sides of the bed. Whether it’s adding mirrors or some sweet art, that will make the size seem bigger. Then, over the bed, adding something round and textural will compliment the art and mirrors on both sides of the bed and balance the wall. Justin would switch the lamps on the tables and for accessories..remember: fashion is second and function is first.

There is no such thing as too big of a lamp, unless it can’t fit! Layering is a good thing and also makes the room feel full and curated.

Thanks so much and we can’t wait to see the updates!

Also Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home and is always searching for that perfect "finishing touch" antique piece. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.