Americas Mart

Do you ever wonder where we find all of our amazing pieces? Our website chachkies.com contains more than 20,000 gorgeous items that are designer approved. Designer approved means that our most knowledgeable designer, Erika Benfield hand picks each and every one of the items found in our two retail locations as well as our brand new website. Although the website does not carry every brand we sell- they are a select few designer approved brands that allow us to service customers across the nation. Staying ahead of the trends our designers’ find accessories and furnishings that you, the client would approve and fall in love with.

FLQ designers travel across the USA visiting home shows and markets to view new arrivals.
This weekend, our interior designers attended The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market, also known as AmericasMart Atlanta. Recognized internationally as the leading gift, home decor, and area rug market open to 93,000 attendees. It is here where we get inspired, keep up with the latest trends and pick only the best pieces for you. The best for the best!

Emporium Home

While browsing through the hundreds of vendors in the market, we noticed several trends repeating throughout and couldn’t wait to share them with you. Ombre, the dipped effect is still being used in pillows, vases, wallpaper, and more! No we’re not talking about chocolate, ice cream or fondue; we’re talking about furniture and accessories. The effect looks as if the item has been dipped in a different color to create a beautiful contrasting/color blocking result. This effect is also created using items such as vellum and agate stones to accent furniture pieces such as bar carts, chandelier, cabinets and more! Items such as lamp shades, chairs, plant pots and dressers also had the dipped effect. To view more examples check out our Instagram account at @DESIGNDIVA124 or #dippedfurniture

Pillows

Glass table top items from unique vendors such as Global Views, Arteriors Home, Uttermost, and Elk have a carved texture that is hand chiseled. We have purchased a few pieces earlier this year but now see it in a variety of items such as vases and lamps. Gorgeous hand chiseled vases and lamps in lime green, blue, gray and orange colors. Coming in just in time for spring are some fun and unique arrivals for this hand chiseled collection.

Vases Vases

Area rugs are being made to look antique on purpose? Machine made and power loomed with polypropylene and polyester- very soft to the touch! They provide the aged look without compromising quality and easy on the eyes price point. We picked over 50 new rugs from Loloi and you’ll be able to see them all in our Lake Mary location at Florida Living Quarters early this spring.

Area Rugs

As you can see Florida Living Quarters is deeply passionate about every aspect of design. We educate ourselves with everything that there is to know in the field to make sure we provide superlative service to our clients. Come visit us at Chachkies located in the Artegon Mall on International Drive Orlando and Florida Living Quarters for Interior Design services at the Lake Mary location on 4th Street. Stop in to view quality picks for this season and then stop by again to see our spring collection handpicked from the AmericasMart Atlanta market by our top designer. You’re going to love it!
Written by: Margarita Tavera 01/13/15

Decorating for the Holidays

The Holidays can be the happiest and most fun time of the year, but also the most stressful time of the year. Between trying to plan what to cook for Thanksgiving dinner, planning the kids’ doctors’ appointment on their winter break, and making time to tidy up for all of the company you are having, there is little time left to decorate. Decorating for the holidays does not have to be as daunting as it sounds! Of course you can decide to entrust a designer to help you out! That will be one less thing off of your very full holiday plate. If you decide to do it yourself then use these simple tips when you are decorating your home.

As Interior Designers we know all the do’s and don’ts of holiday decorating. One very important thing to consider is proportion. You do not want to overwhelm your friends and family with a giant wreath that swallows up your front door. Nor do you want to tell your guests to bring a magnifying glass to see your decorations. A wreath for example should have a few inches clearance on each side of it when on a door. This way it will fit centered on the door. Wreaths can be used as wall decor as a fun alternative. You can temporarily place a wreath somewhere where you plan on putting art after the holiday. It still needs to be proportionate to the space. Consider the wall size, if it is a large wall in one of your bigger spaces you can use a large wreath, around forty eight inches would be right for a bigger space. Twenty four inches would be befitting for a smaller space.

A garland for either a mantel or the stair rail is a fun way to bring some holiday greenery into your home in other places besides the tree. Again, it needs to be proportional to your space. Don’t overcrowd your mantel or stair rail with a very full garland if it is not proportionate. The bigger the space, the bigger garland you can have. If you have a small, intimate gathering room with a fireplace a shorter, thinner garland would be best suited for you. Now if you have a great room with a two story ceiling, then it would be appropriate for a long, full garland that wraps along the mantel. As for stair rails, it works the same way. A unique, open stairway with lots of space around it would be perfect for a large garland. However if your stairs are simply functional, not in your entry, a thinner garland would best suit you.

As for the Christmas tree, this classic holiday tradition does not escape the proportion rule. Just like a wreath or garland your tree needs to be balanced with the room size, not smothering it. Designers recommend at least an eighteen inch clearance about the top of the tree to your ceiling. The star or angel, whichever you prefer, should be eighteen inches from the ceiling. The placement of the tree is also crucial. It really needs to be the focal point for the room. If you have to move some furniture to accent the tree, then do it! You want the tree to be the most important part of that room because you have all of your keepsake ornaments that tell your guests a story about your family.

The holidays are such a crucial time for family and friends. Decorating is just one small part of the season, but it can have a huge impact on your guests and it can serve to bring your family closer together. Just remember that decorating for the holidays is fun! You only need to know a few simple tips on having a truly impactful space. Between all of your crazy holiday planning, find time to do a little decorating. You will be glad you did.

 

Happy Holidays from Florida Living Quarters Interior Design

 

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High Point Furniture Market Highlights 2014

It’s always exciting to view the upcoming furniture and lighting lines for the next season!  As an experienced, market goer, I started my trip a day before market began to save myself a day from the large crowds of fellow designers, buyers, bloggers and just enjoy the show!  I planned the trip by quadrants of the map to ensure that my time management stayed on par.  No parties and red carpets this time- all business!

My first day, I viewed Tomlinson Showroom where #trending designer Barry Dixon was featuring his new upholstery line!  I was impressed and look forward to offering a new mix of transitional upholstery pieces to our market area in Orlando, FL.  Christopher Guy Showroom was next and as I strolled through noticed a more eclectic mix of wood tones and even noticed a little canning detail added to what normally would be an all “Zsa Zsa” room to make the vignette appear more relaxed. This was the start of what I saw throughout the market:  mixing older collections with new with a few surprises in the details!

What did I see over and over at market??  Gold metal accent furniture/lighting and the color of the year- Pantone color tones everywhere…on accent walls, lighting, leather, fabrics, and rugs!  I couldn’t resist and yes I purchased a few accent pieces for our showroom to give our store a fresh look!  Some of the unique finds were agate encrusted light fixtures and decorative agate accents such as trays and boxes. Sliced agate stone pieces are polished and added to sconces and decorative accessories.  The tricky part of selling these items is that each one is unique and special!  I sure hope my Emporium Home star-burst sconce orders looks similar as they will be showcased as a pair in our showroom.  Fun fact about agate- they are the oldest stones in recorded history!   Shagreen hide texture is still hot but now more affordable- Shagreen is a textured parchment or rawhide made of vinyl or actual animal hide from sting ray or shark used to accent tables, lamp bases and accessories.  It has been described as sting ray or elephant leather look.  We recently added a soft touch of shagreen wallpaper made by Thibaut at our newly expanded showroom reception curved wall from far away it looks neutral but up close you can appreciate the subtle texture.

Let’s talk about rugs…I love rugs because they anchor any room.  I visited rug showrooms such as Nourison and Feizy this market to confirm that transitional rugs are taking a more front and forward aisle placement than the hand knotted more traditional rugs near the sides or backs of the showrooms.  To make rugs more affordable vendors are adding viscose or blend wool/art silk to give the rugs a soft hand than a more traditional rug would have by using silk only.  I also enjoyed seeing the new Loloi collection called Journey- it is made of wool/viscose, power loomed and the color story is easy to blend with most neutral transitional designs.

High Pont Market 2014

Because our interior design showroom is based in Florida…I was on the hunt for outdoor furniture and accent lines to offer our commercial and residential interior design market.  I succeed my outdoor mission by visiting Elaine Smith pillows, Kanoa, Sunpan, and few others!  Special attention to details in fun prints and colors in Elaine Smith’s pillows- they are rain and drool proof which makes these pillows a gem of a find for Florida weather.  Meeting the owner/designer Elaine was a real treat because she certainly takes pride in her work- we look forward to being a retailer and receiving our first order.

On to accessories!  I am always happy when strolling through Cyan Design’s showroom because their marketing team does a great job at creating color themed vignettes that are vivid and creative.  Highlighting their colorful blown glass chandeliers, accent furnishings and accessories…I did not see Pantone (purple) colors in their showroom but noticed rich candy apple red accents on their main entrance (could this be a hint for an upcoming color of the year?)  Congrats Cyan design for another successful and beautiful display showroom at market- I took plenty of photos for product questions that may come up for our chachkies online store and showroom customers.

I’m not sure if it’s because Spring is here and color is blooming but I picked up on several showrooms featuring custom color painted accent furniture and fabrics.  Yes, you read right…”painted framed furniture and fabric”  not to be confused with stained finishes.  I think this would be fantastic for a beach cottage, beach condo, or guest house!  Because it’s Florida…I have to admit we’ve designed a few tropical themed home away from home oasis!  I’m not the hit you over the head with palm trees or beach themed accents for such spaces but a splash of color using painted furniture accents is a more sophisticated way to add that tropical flair!  Last day was spent getting reconnected with Stanley Furniture, Lorts furniture, Marge Carson, Curate, and Vanguard Furniture.  It was refreshing to see a more transitional, eclectic mix of finishes such as silver/gold, and neutral greys and white finishes mixed with darker furniture.  Mix and match of collections using artisan glass and antiqued mirror accents is the way to revive your older traditional pieces with a fresh new look.

Now the downside of market is half of my orders are on back order until late summer to early fall!  In a nut shell, market was refreshing and inspiring  yet I was ready to go home and catch up with work and home life- we can’t all live in fantasy forever!  I made new friends from all across the country and connected with social media experts as myself (It’s always fun to finally meet in person).  We look forward to featuring the new lines and updating our showroom for our open house on May 22nd.   Believe it or not our travel agent is already booking us for the next  Fall High Point Furniture Market to do all over again!

How to Select a Paint Color

Paint DeckToday I witnessed 12 different paint color samples painted on a 30′ exterior wall.   As the main decision maker stood back looking across the span of 15″ square patch colors, I had already honed in on the two I liked from the 12 painted patches. Why is it so easy for me I asked myself and not for others? A gift, practice, or maybe I have my formulas that help the decision-making process easier. All of the above! Working with an interior designer takes the stress out by giving you access to the trade tools such as a room view simulation and access to larger paint swatch sizes than a paint store. It is not easy to decide on a color from a 2″ swatch; which is how people become “patch victims.”. If you plan to select a color, ask yourself: How often do you prefer to change your colors? Are there kids or pets that can dirty the walls more frequently? I recently moved into a new 5 bedroom home that the builder selected flat paint on the walls….flat WHITE paint on the stair well-Not a good idea for a family friendly home. I should buy stock in “Mr. Magic Eraser”-lol! All these questions can also help you determine the color and finish of the paint. Let’s start with the basic three finishes used. Semi-gloss is commonly used for base boards and smooth surfaces. Flat paint is a matt version of a paint color (hardest to keep clean). My choice for main walls is eggshell or satin- it is the perfect balance of light reflection and still remains durable. When viewing the paint deck; take a look at the darkest color of a swatch run. A swatch run has a gradient scale of 5-7 colors within a certain hue or color. The darkest color in the run shows the dominant color in the batch. If you still love the color in it’s darkest form on that swatch run then you are ready to commit to a color within the swatch run. As long as you have four walls you can do any color you love. I prefer colors found in nature. To prevent becoming a “patch victim” select a paint color with a design plan on what furnishings will go in the space. Every room starts with an inspiration item such as a rug, art work or a fabric. By doing so, you are considering the color story of the space “Whole to Part” and not “Part to Whole.”. This means that if you have other items pre-selected it makes it easier to select a paint color vs. selecting only paint and worrying about what else the color would work with later! In order to select a paint color remember my suggestions above: Use a paint deck, know what main furnishings are going in the space, durability, and commitment to the color. When in doubt or to make it less stressful- hire an interior designer “best money I ever spent” quoted words from a local client who too was a “patch victim!” Florida Living Quarters

 

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