Orlando Interior Design and Real Estate Services Based out of our Lake Mary Design Center and Orlando Locations
Interior Designer Products & Services
FLQ is an award winning Central Florida based interior design firm with locations in Orlando, FL and Lake Mary, FL. We invite you to visit our retail showroom located at 152 N 4th Street Lake Mary, Florida 32746. FLQ is unique because our designs are not repeated and we work within your budget and at your pace. “Each design is a reflection of you.” – Erika Benfield.
Our Lake Mary interior design center features a variety of fabric and wallpaper vendors exclusive to the trade such as Stout, Duralee, Kasmir Fabrics, Clarke & Clarke, Maxwell, Fabricut, Michaels Textiles, Romo, Thibaut, RM Coco, York Wallcoverings, Wallfab, Gianti Fabrics, Carol Fabrics, Romo, Phillip Jeffries and Seabrook to name a few.
We have a professional approach and take pride in our work, as a result each project is enjoyable for years to come. View our media page for a list of publications that renown Orlando Interior Designer Erika Benfield has been featured in.
Are you in Central Florida and ready to get started? Call us at 407-878-6657 or click on the contact us tab for more information on interior design packages on our website. FLQ can also complete your project utilizing our virtual interior design program for out of area/state clients. Locally, We service Orlando, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Longwood, Sanford, Winter Springs, Winter Park, Dr Phillips, Port Orange, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Windermere, Celebration, Altamonte Springs, Apopka, Oviedo, Mount Dora, and Maitland Florida.
You may have noticed our company van in frequented communities like Alaqua, Acuera, Alaqua Lakes, Antigua Pointe, Astor Farms, Banyan Pointe, Bay Hill, Bella Foresta, Bella Vista, Bellaria, Buckingham Estates, Camwood, Carisbrooke, Casa Del Lago, Chaine Du Lac, Comstock, Cypress Point, Emerson Pointe, Estates at Wekiva Park, Forrest Hills, Fountain Parke, Heathrow, Heathrow Woods, Island Club, Isleworth, Keene’s Pointe, Lake Brantley, Lake Butler Sound, Lake Club, Lake Forest, Lake Markham Preserve, Lake Markham Landings, Magnolia Plantation, Maitland Shores, Markham Estates, Phillips Landing, Reserve at Belmere, Retreat at Wekiva, River Crest, Springs Landing, Spruce Creek, Steeple Chase, Summer Oaks, Sweetwater Club, Sylvan Lake Reserve, Timacuan, Veramonte, Vizcaya, Waterford Pointe, Waterstone, Windermere Club, Windsong, Wingfield North, Wingfield Reserve, Woodmere Terrace
Trust our staff at FLQ to guide you through every step of your orlando interior design project. We have a strong reputation and are proud of our experience which ultimately shines through by the number of client recommendations and referrals we receive. Feel free to contact us and book your consultation today.
How much does it cost for designing a small space?
When I think of hiring an attorney or a professional for their services I want someone good that I can afford and know exactly what it’s going to cost upfront. That is how hiring an interior designer should be, and it is available. It can be nerve racking if you never really know how much a service will cost. Yes you can get an upfront cost designer quote which I’ll discuss in this segment. First, let me explain why there are different ways that interior designers and decorators charge in central Florida.
At Florida Living Quarters we have always charged a flat rate based on the square footage and no additional hidden design fees. For us it starts at $700 per 300 square feet for a home within 30 miles of the showroom located in Lake Mary. If you are further away don’t fret, we will provide a flat custom rate. That’s comparable to a small living room and dining room or a family room of an average sized home. This design fee includes 2-3 floor plans per area (including dimensions of the scaled pieces), simulation of the room using our design software, paint samples, scopes of work, cad drawings of custom cabinetry designs, free quotes on custom designs and furnishings, one site visit-we call that a “house call” for residential, window treatment renderings using our software, and all this is done in a power point digital presentation. Most recently, a client of ours located in Lake Mary shared with us how “It was the best money they ever spent.”
Some companies have rates that start from $150 an hour or a design contract fee adding a cost plus percentage above their wholesale,this concept comes from jobs that are commercial interior design projects that take longer completion and design time such as hotels or office buildings. Flat higher design rates is similar to how some architects/decorators charge.
Who are you hiring?
A decorator, an interior designer, or a retailer? The upfront cost is only half the battle. What makes Florida Living Quarters unique is that we are all the above. A company with years of design experience in a retail store. Why is a retail store important?
Because you get the backing of a stocking dealer, they are not purchasing from a local store or at a designer discount (not equivalent to wholesale dealer accounts) What are the perks from buying from a stocking dealer? You get piece of mind warranty from a reputable dealer that are trained about the products you are buying. Having dealer accounts means that you are working with a direct representative of the furnishings, your items come quicker, samples and rep support on any product that the designer will recommend and sell.
At FLQ, we get a phone call a week on a claim from an ex-competitor 2nd party seller that is no longer in business and we gladly take care of filing the claim for a customer that we didn’t even sell the product to begin with. Unheard of but that is the difference of a “stocking dealer” and upfront flat rate designer pricing. How will I know if my designer is a stocking dealer if they are not in a retail store? Most likely they have a “designer account” through a rep if you don’t see an example of that vendor on the sales floor or supportive marketing. Most times you can log online to the vendors website and view if the decorator/designer you are working with is on the list of locations for service or products.
During Spring 2014 Furniture Market, I was in a continued education class at High Point North Carolina (The mecca of furnishings in the US) , It was a classroom of decorators/designers learning about this concept. Teaching fellow designers that they should know how many hours it takes to do a job if they are experienced. At Florida Living Quarters, in the greater Orlando area, we have been charging this flat rate concept from the beginning since 2008.
Why does Florida Living Quarters charge flat rates by the project?
We feel confident that once the client designer relationship is established and the design fee is agreed upon there should not be hidden fees. We hope to win your trust and you’ll feel confident buying from a knowledgeable reputable dealer. Flat rate design fees take away the fear of how much will hiring a designer cost.
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Owning a home for the first time is a truly exciting milestone for everyone. Whether it is a grand home in a budding new area, or a sweet bungalow in a small town it is a place to call your own to put down some roots. Naturally, new homeowners may have a few questions and doubts about where to go from here. Should I begin a renovation? What will increase my home’s value? How can I add my own personality to this new home? These are all very good questions with no simple, black and white answer. I would like to discuss several answers to each of these questions to give you, the first time homeowner, a realistic idea of what you can do with your new home.
Should I begin a renovation? A seriously daunting question for new homeowners. First you need to consider your funds. If you are able to do a renovation, whether big or small, I say go for it. Renovating is a great way to add value to your home (see question number two) and put your own personality into a home (see question number three). If you bought a fixer-upper, then you already know that you want a renovation. This is a great idea, even if it is your first home. There are lots of benefits to renovating, the ones I’ve already mentioned, and many more are good reasons to get started. Improving your home can leave you with a sense of accomplishment and pride that is crucial to have.
What can I do that will increase my home’s value? Another fabulous question. As I mentioned before, a renovation is something you can do that will increase the value of your home by thousands when it is finished. Not a bad idea especially if you don’t plan on making this a forever home and selling it eventually. The kitchen and bathrooms give the most return on investment. As interior designers serving Orlando, our opinion is that the kitchen truly is the most used area in a home. When recently asked “Should we just change the counter tops?” Designer, Erika Benfield replied “No, the counter top is 20-30% of the cost for a bathroom/kitchen renovation. Minor updates such as converting the bar top design to a peninsula or updating the back splash go hand in hand with the counter top.” Doing something really unique and different like the bathroom you see on the left adds a lot of value and personality. It is not something you see in every home so that makes your home more special and more valuable. Curb appeal is also critical to think about when increasing your home’s value. It is how someone creates a first impression of your home. According to industrial psychologists, an employer’s first impression of an interviewee (the first 10 – 30 seconds), makes a HUGE impact on whether or not they will hire the applicant. Same goes for houses. If you do plan on selling in the future, curb appeal adds value and interest with the buyer. So break out the shovels and fertilizer and make the outside look just as beautiful as the inside.
How can I add my personality to this new home of mine? Everyone has a their own individual style, whether they realize it or not. As interior designers, we help people recognize their unique taste in decor. Putting personality into your home is very easy to do once you know your style. You may not like the fluffy bench in the picture on the left, but hey, you love the plush area rug. Once you know your style you can run with it and put personality in every room of your house. Personality is in the little things, your collection of vintage storybooks, or that awesome light fixture you bought on your trip to India. Your home should reflect who you are and what you love. Creating personality is exactly what you want it to be, there is no right or wrong. Display your fun pieces in extraordinary ways like built in shelves or on a fireplace mantle. Add color where you want it and most importantly, have fun with it.
Overall, there are many questions you should be asking as a new homeowner. Renovations, big or small, can be helpful in many ways. Increasing the value of your home is important for resale. Personality is an ever evolving process of making a house your home. Thankfully there are designers, architects and of course, your family to guide you on this new and exciting journey of home ownership, because this is just the beginning.
Experience the FLQ difference. What makes us unique: Premium Interior Design Services. Our Orlando Interior Designers answer a number of inquires from discerning clients looking for interior design and interior decorator inspiration. We offer in-home, business, as well as in-showroom consultations to provide valuable solutions in the Orlando area. Contact us today at 407-878-6657 for help on your design project.
- Interior Design Professionals
- Retail Store Front
- Cost: Flat rate design fee contracts. Purchase online or at consultation.
- Electronically Savvy- Simulations using Power Point Presentation and Design Manager Software to keep you up-to-date and informed.
- White Hand Glove Delivery. Sit back and enjoy your furnishings being overseen by professionals. No 800 #’s to call.
Recently Completed Orlando Interior Design Projects
- Modern interior design project in downtown Orlando which includes space planning, kitchen re-design and a custom saltwater reef tank.
- Transitional Interior Design Project in Sanford, FL which includes build-out enhancements, outdoor and interior furnishings.
- 6500 sqft Luxury residential interior design and remodel in the south Orlando area.
- Traditional Orlando Interior Design project consisting of a complete remodel
- Custom Window Treatments for a whole house in Orlando
Imagine having your own design book that has your selected vision, scanned samples of all your selections, window treatment elevations, custom cabinetry drawings, kitchen design, bathroom design, scopes of work and budget with a timeline of approximation of when it all comes together at your finger tips in our digital design book. That is what you get for a flat design fee. Last we offer a third party delivery service…that means that while all your items are arriving at different times, our warehouse is carefully receiving the packages.
At delivery, we will attend to handle it all (including any claims)- no 800 #s to call. Sound too good to be true? Following this process and continuously upgrading is how we have stayed in business and grown into the corporation we are today.
We are the only interior design firm in a retail shopping center right in the heart of downtown Lake Mary. You can also ride the Sunrail as there is a path that is a short walk to our showroom. Contact us today to get started 407-878-6657.
Being an interior design firm in Florida, we encounter a lot of clients who desire the ‘classic Florida style’. These people are often relocating to Florida for the sun and the sand. What they don’t realize is that there are many, many classic Florida styles and they are all unique in their own way. Words to describe these styles include: coastal, island, tropical and beach-y, but there are so many interpretations of those few words. I want to look at the differences between the ‘classic Florida styles’ and show you the oodles of directions to take your love for the sunshine state in tasteful, aesthetically pleasing ways.
Tropical Island Decor
This photo is a great example of the ‘tropical island’ look. Using a lot of light wood, bamboo, or rattan creates the feeling that you are on a tropical island enjoying the beach lifestyle. This is what many people view as the one and only classic Florida style. Bold prints, colors and patterns are similar to the natural colors you would find on an island. Bright blues and greens represent the ocean and the lush plant life. Warmer colors such as reds, oranges, and corals can be seen in flowers and other plant life. This is a very distinct style and it is definitely not for everyone, but it is a beautiful classic Florida style that provides a relaxing vacation-like atmosphere. It is easy to overdo this style. Accessories that scream beach is not what you want here. Subtle is better in this case. With all the bamboo and rattan it would be too much to use wall decor that says “Life’s a Beach” or “Surf’s up”. The style is already clearly portrayed through the furniture. Use accessories that are simple and put the focus on the furniture.
Coastal Interior Design
If you lean more toward traditional design, but still enjoy the coastal style, this one’s for you. Darker woods, elegant curves and wrought iron combined with rattan, bamboo, and patterns exudes a more formal coastal style. The sofa has the rattan, fun pillows and bamboo, but it also has stately curves, nail head accents and a darker finish. All of those are elements of traditional design. If you look past the furniture at the accessories there are a few more fun coastal accents. The palm plant adds some greenery while keeping it simple. The shutters are great additions to this room. The deep blue adds some color and really gives this room away as coastal. These are great accessories to use because they subtly add the coastal feeling to the room without detracting from the unique furniture.
Modern Tropical Interior Design
For the people who like clean and simple lines it can be hard to find the perfect harmony of beach-y and modern. You don’t have to go full out coastal to attain the beach house of your dreams. As an overview, modern design is clean lines, texture, simply-dressed windows, and uncomplicated accessories. Beach-y is definitely a theme and trying to mix modern and beach-y does not always look so good, but don’t fret for it can be done. A few ways to combine your two different tastes would be keeping the clean lines and simple window dressings. Plant life is consistently good for either modern or beach-y. Accessories can be unique mirrors with a fun frame, large vases with coastal designs, or other little accessories. In this style you need to be a little outgoing with your accents because your furniture is simpler than the other styles. Just be sure not to clutter up you space with too many accessories because modern is very clean cut. In the photo above you can see the dramatic use of horizontal lines. These help keep the room modern, but in this application it is beach-y in the style of the overall set of furniture. The area rug is jute or hemp. Natural textures give off a coastal vibe and texture is necessary for good modern design.
Coastal and Shabby Chic Interior Decor
Coastal chic is a cross between shabby chic look and contrasting with natural accents such as grass cloth or rattan accents that are painted in light or bright colors. Sometimes this look on a budget can be created using diy (do it yourself) makeovers of chalk painting antiques or purchasing new pieces that look like vintage inspired. The brighter colors are used on walls, accent pillows, and painting architectural details such as shutters or occasional furniture. I love to add a little whimsical touch into a space by recycling an antique or using a sentimental item into a coastal chic space because it’s a lifestyle not a look.
In conclusion, there are many different classic Florida styles. These are styles that truly portray a love for Florida. Each style is special in its own way and there are many different interpretations of each style. On one end of the spectrum you have bright colors, bold prints, and exciting patterns. On the other end there are subdued coastal tones and textures. All of the Florida styles are beautiful and if you are ready to make one of these styles your own then contact your local design professional and they can guide you toward your perfect Florida escape.
Fresh Decor Looks
Welcoming Spring can be as easy as cutting some flowers for your kitchen, but if you are looking for more than just a spring cleaning, then look no further than these fresh ideas. At a recent Toastmasters meeting in Lake Mary, a fellow toastmaster shared that his take on Spring was Spring Cleaning his home. Spring can mean a lot of things for home owners, spring cleaning, pollen season in central Florida, and those pesky love bugs that cover Orlando. At Florida Living Quarters, in the design world the season of Spring is all about refreshing and rejuvenating. Bringing a few new pieces into your home is like breathing a new life into it. You can go full out with a large renovation or small scale with a new rug, colorful accessories or fun chair. I want to talk about a few different takes on designing a Fresh Look. You can use these new ideas I am about to discuss and make them your own in your home.
Spring / Summer Colors
One of the biggest trends in Florida this spring/summer is light on light. Creamy neutrals, sweet pastels, and small pops of color are key. This look is clean and prepares your home for the new season. It is simple and elegant or clean and cozy. You can go for more of a cottage feel with distressed or antiqued furniture or more traditional with curved lines and tufting. The more traditional look is definitely in for Spring. You can go traditional without it being overwhelming. Very light fabrics and flooring create an airy feeling while the traditional look is all in the style of furniture and window treatments. Long floor-to-ceiling drapes elongate the room and create a formal atmosphere. Keeping with the light on light theme, use creamy colors and maybe a simple pattern like stripes on your windows. The traditional style can be heavy or overwhelming, which is the total opposite of spring. Using light colors you can still enjoy the traditional appearance of your furniture all while being ready for Spring.
Cozy Cottage Style
When going for a cottage-y feel you want your home to give off a cozy vibe. In contrast to the traditional style you can use more rustic or distressed pieces, a few more accessories, and a little more color. You definitely want to keep your neutrals light and airy, but you can bring in some pastels as well. Using weathered finishes can give a lot of character to your furniture and it can generate the cozy atmosphere you are imagining. Distressing is becoming very common for many styles like shabby chic, but it will also look great in your cottage-y home for Spring. Antiquing some of your current furniture is a great weekend DIY or you can find an Orlando Interior Design firm to help you select the perfect distressed pieces.
Good Use of Pastels
Pastels are very Fresh and Clean. Soft blush, blue tones, and soft gray-greens are wonderful in your home when adding color to white or gray walls. In the photo you can see the pastel blue dining chairs surrounded by the light on light color scheme. These chairs prevent the room from looking bland and also add a fresh color to the room. Pastels add color without overwhelming the room and it gives off a good atmosphere for Spring. Pastels can be used on upholstery, case goods, drapery, and accessories. Don’t be afraid to show off these unique pieces in their light and airy colors.
Use Bright Pops of Color
If you are someone who loves bright colors and would rather stay away from pastels, then bright pops of color are for you. Pastels add color while still keeping the palette neutral, but lots of color is also in for Spring. Excellent colors to use are blues, greens, and yellows, but you are not restricted to that. In the photo to the left, you can see a mostly light-on-light color scheme, but there are beautiful accent colors on the comforter and pillows. The light colors balance out the pops of color so that the room is not overwhelming, but it is still a visually appealing room. Bright colors can be used in any room in your home, but be sure to use them in moderation. Too much color can make any room seem smaller. You want to make the room seem bigger instead, so that is where the neutrals come into play. Using whites, greys or browns offers a foundation for you to experiment with colors that are more intense without overpowering your space. This is a very easy way to update your home for the new season. Simply bring in a few bright accessories or a few accent pieces and you are good to go.
Use Colorful Accents
In conclusion, there are a several fun ways to update your home for Spring/Summer. Whether its creating a light-on-light color scheme with paint, flooring, or window treatments, or solely adding some new colorful accessories, it will change the entire look of your home. Using pastel colors offers a clean style that gives you a little bit of color. Traditional looks with pastels are perfect for your formal home this Spring. Cottage-y or shabby chic is very widely appreciated for its cozy feel and antiqued look. Using bright pops of color can surprise your guests (in a good way) with how easily intense colors can be used in any space. If you are ready to take a step towards a fresh new look for your home, contact us at Florida Living Quarters and we can help you decide which Fresh look is for you.
Sophisticated Clean Lines & Elegance
We often get asked by our greater Orlando interior Design clients – What is Transitional Interior Design?
Our answer is clear and simple, Transitional Interior Design is the combination of a traditional and modern look including the furniture, finishes, materials, and fabrics. Furniture lines are simple but sophisticated and feature straight lines or rounded profiles.
Colors: The transitional color palette depends on the lack of color to create a clean, calm atmosphere. A darker brown color can add more depth to a neutral balance of taupe, tan and vanilla. These are otherwise known as monochromatic color scheme
Accessories: When selecting accessories use a more minimalist approach. For example use a potted orchid gracefully arching in front of a window, white matting that set off photographs in simple black and silver clean line picture frames, an oval wooden tray that creates a resting spot for silver candle holders. With this type of grouping you can start to provide a counterpoint to your furniture groupings.
Fabrics: The use of neutral color in fabrics give you an opportunity to use textures such as corduroy, ultra suede, unique leathers. and chenille’s
Furniture: Use furniture pieces that do not overwhelm the space but are adequate, also the use of furniture that has clean lines and incorporate curves are recommended. This keeps the design very simple but sophisticated.
Transitional Interior Design
In recent years there has been a new idea transforming the Interior Design world especially in Orlando Florida. It is the idea of mixing traditional and modern designs. It is referred to as transitional design. It is becoming quite popular because transitional design is a concoction of two completely different styles. For example, a husband may enjoy modern style, the wife enjoys traditional. Transitional style is the perfect marriage of the two so that all decision makers involved are happy.
How is transitional design defined? There are elements from modern design, such as clean lines, an abundance of texture, use of glass and chrome, large art pieces, slight patterns, and not a bunch of detailed ornamentation. The elements from traditional styles that are used include curved lines, dark woods, tufting and classic or timeless furniture pieces. Transitional design is using shapes and textures, rather than a plethora of colors and details, to make the space truly alluring in a subtle way.
Color schemes for transitional design are understated and monochromatic, but in a fun way. While many people think that beige can be dull, that is hardly the case here. As previously stated, this style relies on shapes and textures to provide interest. When choosing a color scheme for your transitional design you want to consider all the neutrals. On one side of the spectrum we have beige’s and golds; on the other side we have greys and whites. The beige’s can be more warm and inviting and the greys can be more formal. It all depends on preference and the look you desire. Much of transitional is tone on tone. Whichever color scheme you go with, do it throughout. In the picture below you can see a gorgeous transitional bedroom. Their color scheme uses the beige family, but this room is anything but boring. The tufting on the headboard provides visual interest and shadows that break up the color. The shimmery nightstand is a unique piece within itself. It is still in the beige family, but it contains curved lines and a beautiful lacquer that distinguishes it from the other pieces in the room. The textured throw blanket and pillows give that much more visual interest to the design. Colors is an important choice when doing a transitional design, but do it in way that adds interest rather than being repetitious.
Transitional design is becoming prominent in the North Orlando area. Many of our clients have fallen in love with this style and we have created designs for them displaying that. Clients in Lake Mary, Windermere, Orlando, and Sanford are jumping on the transitional design band wagon. Normally when it comes to design, you should stay far from band wagons for fear of not being original. This however is the exception to the rule. Transitional design is so different from any other style and there are so many different avenues you can go with it. No transitional design looks alike. Of course you can pick out the main elements such as neutrals and textures, but each design is uniquely its own.
Here are a few examples of stunning transitional designs. In this photo you can see the modern use of mirrored glass on the bedframe and chrome on the table. The large picturesque windows and light wood are nods to modern design. However, the traditional headboard and ottoman are what distinguishes this space as transitional rather than modern or contemporary. The use of glass, neutrals, and chrome offer the crisp modern look necessary for transitional deign. On the other hand the curved lines on the chairs and the pattern on the rug provides the traditional elegance that proves this space to be transitional.
This is an exquisite example of the more traditional end of transitional design. There are several details that are traditional such as the wood detailing, tufting, curved lines, and intricate wall sconces. The modern elements include the neutral palette, the chrome on the tables, and the artwork
Orlando Interior Design & Interior Design Orlando Services provided by Florida Living Quarters and FLQ Interior Design – Real Estate Provided By Paul Benfield PA