Archive for the ‘ Architecture ’ Category

Wellness and Luxury: An Emerging Trend in Hospitality Design

In the 80’s and 90’s health and wellness was more a question of look, fashion, and outdoor experiences but now after almost 40 years many countries, (especially the U.S. who is experiencing the plague of obesity, depression and anxiety) consider health and wellness a necessity. People are more aware and there is proof of success in the practice of yoga, meditation, biking, holistic medicine, and organic nutrition.

Our health and wellness are reflected not only in our daily life but also in how we spend our vacations. The hospitality industry is factoring in what the client is looking for in a hotel or resort.

It is no longer just about a pool, hotel bar/restaurant, and silly group activities, but about the wellness amenities, spa services, health-based classes, and fitness options that the hotel or spa/resort has to offer based on the clients’ need for rejuvenation and serenity. The hotel has become an “experience”, a luxury oasis to play, relax and revive in an environment that is idyllic and Eco-conscious.

One of the first objectives when designing a successful destination hotel or resort is to understand and embrace the environment, and to use the natural resources and elements to create a complete immersion into their surroundings by using local materials and craftsmen and paying homage to the culture. Understanding the social history and the contemporary culture of the area allows the creation of a destination that honors the land.

In the phase of choosing a location and beginning to think about a concept for the design, more often developers, investors and Architects/Designers also pay attention to the challenge of Climate Change and the occurrence of natural disasters. More attention is given to structural standards that are more technologically advanced to better respond to earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding or tornadoes.

Hospitality design has pivoted to the needs of the ever-growing wellness lifestyle. A spa vacation is one of the most popular, where fun, fitness and nutrition marry to create a refreshing respite from our vigorous work lives and our daily stresses, this idea in itself is a luxury.

 

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Bedroom Zen…

Our bedroom is our sanctuary, our private space to dream, relax and unwind. There are a lot of design options out there but to create a more “Zen” like feel here are a few tips that may inspire you:

Color Palette/Art Selection: Selecting the right color is an integral component in the making of a serene space. Colors in the bedroom should be soft and neutral, and if you want to add a complementary color or one bold statement, a wall graphic is a wonderful way to personalize the space and enjoy Art at home. The juxtaposition of the soft neutral tone with one pattern or color is inviting without being obtrusive and jarring.

Clean Sleek Design: If you desire a minimal feel, opt for a clean look in both furniture and layout that promote an uncluttered atmosphere. Consider blackout shades and window treatments that filter the light for optimal sleeping, and research furniture that is functional but has a more modern feel (nothing overpowering). If you really want that Zen environment leave the TV and technology out, install a sound system for soothing sounds or music for relaxation. Fragrance is another way to fill the space with a sense of calm; lavender, vanilla and clean linen scents will soothe your mind. Create texture with a warm fuzzy carpet, enhancing the softness of the room. An uncluttered space promotes an uncluttered mind. Have personal items stored and evoke harmony in your bedroom.

Invest in a Comfortable Bed: Research the most comfortable beds on the market and try them all. The bed in our image is called the “Tufty” by Italian company B&B Italia. It is the essence of luxury sleeping with its soft material and quality craftsmanship. While it is an investment, you will marvel at how comfortable it is and how your sleep can improve.

Bring a Little Nature In: flowers in the bedroom promote growth and good energy. Consider a small arrangement of flowers on the nightstand with beautiful fragrance. If you’re fortunate to have a view, looking at the world outside can be inspiring and comforting, it is in the quiet times that we can have great revelations or ideas. Maximize your view by putting a bench or a chaise lounge near the window to read or work or simply reflect.

Create the space of your dreams, your bedroom is the most intimate room in your home, the reflection of how you live, refresh, and relax. Use these tips to curate your own oasis of serenity and calm. Enjoy!

http://www.orastudionyc.com

 

 

The Luxury of an Outdoor Space…

Any urban dweller knows what luxury means when speaking about apartments… closet space, two bathrooms, washer/dryer in the apartment, and the ultimate luxury…outdoor space. The coveted outdoor space has become a premium when looking for a home to buy or rent. It also reflects in the rental or sale price. What does having an outdoor space,  in a city like New York mean? It is the ultimate oasis and entertainment center of the home in the warm months or even in the cool autumn. It invokes the spirit of privacy and serenity. If you are lucky enough to find a space with a terrace, backyard or front patio, grab it.

New York City has a strong café culture, with restaurant after bar after café lining the streets filled with people enjoying the outdoors.The idea that you have that in your home and can decorate and creating mood lighting and decide the amenities, is heaven. When I am doing a project with outdoor space, just like the indoor space, I ask the client what is on their wish list. Do they want a garden, barbecue area, outdoor kitchen, specially designed lighting, built in seating? The options are wide ranging. If it is a small space, what is their goal? Entertaining? Outdoor eating space? An extension of the kitchen or dining area? There are so many ideas and budgets for an outdoor area.

 Luxury is not always based on a monetary value, it is based on the convenience and freedom that a luxury item or service can give to someone. An outdoor space is a welcome addition to any home, it brings nature to an urban dweller and space for family life and entertaining and creating memories.

Whether it is a barbecue grill, comfortable chaise for lying in the summer sun or a flower or vegetable garden promoting sustainability, an outdoor sanctuary is a luxury and something that a lucky few will have in a crowded city

Making the Most of an Interior Design Consultation…

I have had experiences with Clients that began with a consultation and then the decision to do a project came later. I am a firm believer in a thorough and no commitment consultation option for Clients thinking of doing a renovation on their home. In my practice I offer what is called a Space Analysis Consultation which gives the Client some ideas, conceptual layouts and preliminary budget for their potential upgrade (see image above). There are some Clients who need to see a visual representation and have many questions before they embark on a renovation journey. This is where this type of meeting with a designer is incredibly beneficial. For a reasonable fee, they receive a report concerning their space and some idea of budget and basic layouts, color and material consultation, basic lighting and some guidance as to the best improvements for their home.

A site visit is included in the consultation, so the designer can visualize the area and meet the potential clients. My consultation does not require the Client to continue in the process with me. This is a stand-alone service, which I think entices the client to invest in this type of consultation. They do not feel forced to enter into a contract with me and are free to use their report with any designer of their choice.

The decision to do a renovation is a huge commitment, especially if it is the first time for a client. There are so many questions they have, most importantly, the budget to fulfill the items on their wish list. That is why this consultation is beneficial. It can give the client a sense of the big picture and the perspective to fully understand what their home can become with the proper renovations done by a skilled designer and a trusted contractor. A trusted designer can be a client’s best friend. The money the client invests in this Space Analysis Consultation in the long run will save them money if they decide to sign a contract and proceed with the renovation. The designer will have already made some decisions that can further the process along without any trial and error discovery. The designer also has spent time in the space and begun the creative process.

If you are considering a renovation of your home or office,and would like more information on ORA studio’s Space Analysis Consultation please email us at:

info@orastudionyc.com and we can send you a Space Analysis Consultation form.

 

 

How to Quickly Decorate Your Kitchen & Bathroom….

ORA studio is pleased to present our guest blogger this month from Graham and Brown, purveyors of beautiful wallpaper, coverings and home accessories.

Irina Scalabrino from Graham and Brown explains a little bit of what they do and their philosophy on decorating and design….

 

How to Quickly Decorate Your Kitchen and Bathroom

Whether you live in a busy household or your own personal little hideaway, no one likes an untidy mess greeting them in the rooms they use the most. Disrupting your daily routine, home maintenance tasks in high-traffic areas such as the kitchen and bathroom can often take time, but not with our help! You don’t want to be greeted by tins of paint or rolls of soaking paper when all you want is a long hot soak or a good meal after a day at work. When you’re planning a new kitchen and bathroom, you need to be in and out in a flash to resume regular order and that’s why you need Superfresco Easy wallpaper by Graham & Brown. The gorgeous range of non-woven paper boasts sophisticated designs with a practical application method. Instead of cutting your paper and waiting for each sheet to soak, with Superfresco Easy you simply apply the adhesive directly on to your walls, line up your paper and go!

It’s time to abandon the traditional wallpapering method and keep things simple. Revamp both your kitchen and bathroom in a day with our stunning range of easy-to-apply wallpaper.

Afternoon Tea Wallpaper from Graham and Brown

Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more contemporary? The typography wallpaper makes a great choice for kitchens that need a more modern finish. The Afternoon Tea wallpaper in particular looks fantastic in large open-plan kitchens, providing a white backdrop that bounces light around the room. A quirky twist on the traditional kitchen look, this creative motif brings a sense of coziness to your kitchen.

For bathrooms, the stunning Nature Trail Duck Egg wallpaper adds an exotic twist. Pamper yourself with this pastel blue tone that transforms your bathroom into a chic salon. With just a flicker of pink and green from fluttering butterflies and dragonflies that swoop across the design, this gorgeous backdrop gives speedy style to your home in a matter of hours.

 

Graham & Brown also has a contrasting typographic wallpaper too! The Coffee Shop black/white wallpaper really gives your home that chic barista vibe. Coating your room in coffee lover quotes, this wallpaper brings a charming touch to your room. You’ll be done so fast with this DIY project you’ll be kicking back with a cuppa in no time!

 

 

Creating a Bedroom/Home Office that Really Works…

Soho Loft Project

Soho Loft Project

In today’s world, especially in our urban centers the use of minimally sized spaces for multi-function is at an all-time high. We live in smaller areas, and our work is sometimes done  at home not at an outside office. There is an increasing consideration for a home office to be incorporated in the design process. Clients with a minimum of space come to me asking how to create that home office as a shared space in a master bedroom for example.

My job as a  designer is to configure not only the best possible physical layout of the space but also the best psychological perception of the space by the client. Sleep and work are juxtaposed in the same scenario so the Client’s view on which area is designated for what function becomes crucial.

Clients ask “what are the items to consider when creating a useful bedroom/office?” Here are some tips to remember when your space is at a minimum but your creative vision is wide.

I think that customization is important, having a custom desk fitted to the client’s specifications and needs. A desk facing out is ideal, so when you arrive “at the office” you have a different vantage point, such as a city view… this can separate work from rest and psychologically propels you into your work mode.

Appropriate lighting is always on the top of the list in any home but in the bedroom/home office it is essential. How can your office lighting be integrated so that the workspace is well lit and the sleep space has its own ambiance as well? Overhead work lights above the desk are great and bedside lamps for the sleep area can work well so that the delineation of work and sleep is clear.

Personalization is also an important detail. Create the work environment you feel is most productive and arrange computer, files and stationery accordingly so that your work day has its own world apart from where you rest. Storage space that can be hidden is great so that when the work day is done, you do not see the tools of your productive day and can fully decompress and sleep.

A private door or curtain that can create a separation can really help to delineate the functions of one room divided for two purposes. Create the worlds you live in, by thoughtfully dividing the space into work and productive mode and rest mode. By clearly separating the areas, you will not be tempted to get up and do work in the middle of the night or when overtired or stressed because you see your work area and are compelled to do more work.

Having a schedule of work within the bedroom is important. Treating your workspace like an offsite office  helps to enable the harmony between relaxation and productivity to  be achieved.

 

Our Holiday Blog… Dreaming Bigger: Surpassing the Client’s Expectations

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The role of the Architect/Designer is multi-faceted. Innovator, Educator, Therapist, Trusted Professional. But at the center of these facets is the aspect of bringing a project to life and creating a satisfied Client. Dreaming is encouraged, and with the client’s thoughts and suggestions and the Architect/Designer’s vision and guidance, their dreams can be exceeded.

The Architect/Designer’s role is defined by the strength of vision, the skills to resolve any challenges in the project and the humanity to provide comfort, information and assurance that the Client’s needs will be met and surpassed.

As we end the close of another year in design, our dreams allow us to defy what we think cannot be accomplished and our determination makes those dreams a reality. Our client’s come to us because they have a dream, a need that requires a professional’s expertise and skill to come to fruition. Our role as Designers is to give them the key to unlock how big they can dream. This freedom to expand outside what they even thought possible is why we are respected Design Professionals.

Though 2016 has had many challenges not only in the design world but in our global community at large, our call to action is to dream bigger, work harder and have that “audacity of hope” to design and create havens of happiness and functionality for our Clients… and in turn make them dream bigger.

The Best of Holidays to All!

http://www.orastudionyc.com

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