Graduate Feature: Chantal Marion - QC Design School
Chantal Marion - QC Design School graduate and owner of Aloma Home Staging and Design

Name: Chantal Marion

Location: Embrun, Ontario, Canada

Current QC Courses:


Twitter: @AlomaDesigns

Pinterest: @ChantalMarion

Houzz: Aloma Home Staging & Design

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am the Lead Designer and Owner of ALOMA Home Staging & Design. I am married to Patrick Marion for 12 wonderful years and have 2 beautiful boys, Alexi (10 years) and Loïc (7 years). Nothing means more to me than my beautiful family. I believe that doing what you love and being happy is the biggest gift you can give to your children, your husband, and yourself. And now, I am doing just that!

I am determined to help others find their “happy”—be it by falling in love with their home all over again or by quickly selling their home, allowing them to move on and into their new dream home.

Before Aloma Home Staging and Design work of Chantal Marion After Aloma Home Staging and Design work of Chantal Marion

Why did you decide to start a professional interior decorating and home staging career?

I have always had a passion, love, and an obsession for design. In the last 15-20 years, I have helped friends and family with color schemes, room designs/redesigns, and accessorizing for their homes. I have also had the privilege of organizing and designing themes and décor for many events in my community.

I have a very artistic side. I love painting and dabbling in DIY projects. My sense of art, design, placement, and color psychology manifested into the desire to follow my dream. I decided to learn every aspect of interior design and enrolled with QC Design School. Since graduating with my home staging certification and my interior decorating certification, I have started a full-time, full-service home staging and design company.

How would you describe your decorating style?

I wouldn’t say that I have a specific decorating style. I try to understand the unique vision of each and every client. I carefully listen to their exact desires and work very closely with them throughout the process. The goal is to expresses their personalities through the design of their homes, down to the most precise details. The space should always be a reflection of my clients’ personalities and styles.

Aquatria Retirement Residence – Lobby.

You were the lead designer for Aquatria, a retirement residence in Casselman, Ontario, Canada. How did you land that interior decorating job? What was your biggest challenge?

Yes, I had the most wonderful opportunity to be the Lead Designer for Aquatria! This was a 2-year project, and I loved every minute! This retirement home had 11 investors from the Casselman region. One of the investors was a real estate broker who I had pleasure of working with on her and her agents’ listings in the surrounding area. She recommended me for the project, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.

The retirement home is almost 70 000 sq ft, which is the biggest commercial project I have done so far! I landed this job in the early stages of my design business, but I was ready for the challenge. The investors wanted to create a unique, modern oasis that would look and feel like a resort. The biggest challenge was achieving that resort look and feel while implementing traditional design aspects that would be more familiar to the people living there. I think that I did just that!

Describe your favorite project so far.

Aquatria was one of my favorite projects so far. The people I had the pleasure of working with on this project made it easy and so much fun! I worked closely with a general contractor who was also one of the investors of the project. We worked very well together, and in the end, created exactly what they had all envisioned.

Aquatria Retirement Residence – Common Areas

Some of the people started moving into the retirement home before the interior decor was completed. Every week, when I would walk into the building with my shopping bags and new deliveries, they would greet me with excitement to see the beautiful things I had gotten for their new home. The joy and happiness on their faces were priceless, and I will never forget it. Some would say that they would never imagine that they would live in such a calm, inviting and beautiful place—a paradise!

Do you prefer servicing smaller private residences or large-scale buildings? Why?

While I do enjoy servicing larger-scale buildings or commercial spaces, I really do love working with private residents. With private residences, I really enjoy the personal aspect and of creating a home that they will fall in love with. To see their appreciation and happiness is why I do what I do.

Do you have any career highlights you’d like to share?

I feel complete joy every time I see my client’s reaction to my design proposal or concept. It is so rewarding to see their excitement and satisfaction. When someone tells you that you have completely changed their lives while making their space feel like a home… there is nothing better than that!

Aquatria Retirement Residence – Basement Amenities

Why did you decide to earn your home staging certification online instead of off?

I decided to take the Home Staging Certification Course online because it was easier for me at the time. I was working with an agency for 10 years when I decided to follow my passion and change my career path. Working full-time, it was hard to attend in-person classes. I also had two boys in competitive hockey and soccer, and I felt that it was much easier for me to learn home staging online.

I completed both the ISRP (International Staging & Redesign Professional) and IDDP (International Design & Decorating Professional) programs online. The courses were very well organized, and I had amazing support from QC as well as my tutor throughout the process. I totally recommend it!

Do you have any advice for those looking to become a home stager?

I would recommend going out and meeting/connecting with as many real estate agents you can when you first start out. Explain to them what home staging is and the benefits of staging. Meeting them face-to-face has worked better than a simple phone call for me. They will get to know you, understand the process, remember your face, and hopefully connect to work with you in the future.

Aquatria Retirement Residence – Suites

What’s on the horizon for your home staging business?

I work very closely with many realtors already but would like to connect with more in the upcoming year.

Where can you find home staging and design professionals to connect with? Check out this guide to networking your design business at tradeshows!

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