Alison Cork

Alison Cork’s house clinic


We’re a houseproud nation, there’s no denying it. Filling our homes with beautiful decor, furniture and lighting from stylish brands brings us joy. We at QVC love bringing you fabulous pieces from fantastic brands, and we also love to introduce you to the design forces behind the names.


We had a chat with the wonderful Alison Cork recently, and got to asking her about some of her top home hacks. She has been involved in he world of interiors for over 20 years now, and has picked up some valuable nuggets of information along the way!

So, it’s over to Alison for some tips which I bet many of you will find extremely useful.

Wooden floorboards are great, but not when they squeak. Simply shake a little talcum powder through the gaps and problem solved!

Hang two mirrors opposite each other (if you’re looking for the perfect statement mirror try the Elysee or the Versailles from Alison’s collection) and you will get an endless reflection that will make your room seem much bigger. Or you can place a mirror at the end of a dark entrance hall, facing the front door if possible, and you will throw light in and transform the space.

Put a bowl of vinegar in the corner of a freshly painted room and within half an hour or so the strong smell of paint will have disappeared.

(We had to try this one out, and it really works! Plus you can use the vinegar afterwards for giving your windows a streak-free clean. Just add to cold water in a spray bottle. )

Use wall cupboards in place of floor cupboards in a narrow galley kitchen to create more circulation and floor space.

Use large tiles not small ones if you want to make a small bathroom seem bigger – exactly the opposite of what most people think!

Make brass and copper sparkle with a mixture  of lemon juice and salt.

Avoid white paint as it is too stark – always look for subtle shades of white.

Alison Cork

Play with symmetry and asymmetry- sometimes it’s more interesting if something isn’t perfect!

Use glass and mirrored glass ornaments to inject light and energy into a room setting.

Try raw linseed oil, available cheaply from most DIY stores, to feed wood and give it a lovely natural sheen- so much better than silicone polishes.

(And it’s much better for the environment too!)

Look for cheap, car boot fair picture frames and reset them with new glass for an authentic mirror.

Move furniture and accessories around regularly – it can transform a room without you spending anything.

(This is what we love about Alison’s pieces such as the set of pineapple picture frames or the light up apothecary jar pictured below, they’re extremely versatile and will look stunning in a bedroom or living room setting.)

Alison Cork collage

Always have more lighting than you think necessary – side lamps in particular will add pools of light and atmosphere that will enhance your enjoyment and use of a room.

Put all main lights on a dimmer.

(Harsh overhead lighting is not a ladies’ best friend.)

Embrace colour – it will liberate you.

Do let us know in the comments below if you try any of these tips and how they worked for you, or feel free to share any other household tricks you’ve discovered.

Shop Alison Cork’s glamorous range now, you can also follow her on instagram and twitter


  1. Susanne July 10, 2016 at 2:12 pm -  Reply

    The best interiors trip my aunt taught me over 40 years ago is to find a colour palette you love – and stick to it. That way, tablecloths/runners, rugs, cushions, curtains, throws and furniture can be moved from room to room and still ‘fit’ with the décor.

    I’ve stuck to ivory, pink and sage green with Ash furniture for my last three houses and to this day, every time I walk into my home I love it as much as I did the first time.

  2. Jean Sherman October 24, 2016 at 9:33 am -  Reply

    Thank you for the tips it is so useful.

  3. Sue Stewart October 24, 2016 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison love the hints and tips for putting all these wonderful things you have brought with you today. Love the TSV tree. What a fantastic price. Keep bringing us fantastic piece’s

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