Archive for the ‘ Architecture ’ Category

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

An Architect’s Signature Style…

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There are some professions which carry many “myths” or “trends” having to do with the way they dress. I think an Architect has a sort of uniform, a standard to which they adhere to, that presents a professional and chic image to their clients and colleagues. Your look and way of dress is an investment towards your success

Many Architects love to wear black. In a depiction of an Architect in film or TV or even live theater, they are swathed in black, a minimal chic ensemble usually punctuated by standout glasses  a chic bag, or a statement accessory. But what is the science behind the all black ensemble. I have some theories….

Black, or a dark neutral like grey or navy blue,  is versatile, it can go from day to night, casual to elegant and can last on the jobsite, through busy travel days and still look polished at day’s end. It is a neutral color and can be combined with many jackets, accessories and shoes, therefore making it somewhat of a “uniform” but not staid or stuffy, it can look artistic but not boring, having a dramatic flair.

Architects show their designs to potential clients, their work is the star of their show, the crown jewel of their achievement, so a black outfit does not detract from the page, computer screen or the rendering. Black can look professional but not distracting, without the garishness of a multicolored ensemble.

Finance:  Architects are hardworking and diligent and at the beginning of this career, one that can only be chosen because of a deep passion, black can be affordable, especially when that project has not landed yet and your client roster is less than overflowing. One quality piece can take the Architect a long way and be in under the budget. Spending your money on a few key simple and neutral colored pieces can last for years with only minor additions from season to season.

Architects have great glasses, while this can be considered a stereotype or cliché, I know many who invest in a chic and unique pair of spectacles, they can make an otherwise non-descript outfit look interesting and creative.

It is how the Architect puts themselves together that is also an art, never stuffy but professional with that creative edge for this highly demanding and creative field.

Dressing for success is important, the way you are perceived in a professional setting can be determined by how you carry yourself and how effortless yet captivating your attire is, our clothes are our armor. Looking well put together says to that potential client, that you have pride in not only your abilities, but yourself.

The Architect’s job is to not only interpret their clients’ vision and dreams, it is also to  inspire them to expand on those dreams.  They are a representation of their field, a highly trained and talented group of people who construct spaces and structures that become a part of history. Looking fashionable, chic and timeless goes hand in hand with this challenging and rewarding field.

 

The Architect’s Inner Dialogue: Inspiration and Information…

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Creative people tap into their inner dialogue and use it to fuel inspiration and in the decision making process in their chosen medium. Artists, actors, singers, and dancers all have this heightened sense, and use it to their advantage.

How does the Architect use this inner dialogue to better their designs and aid in their execution? The Architect’s language is specialized combining the technical and artful to bring their designs to reality. The inner dialogue surfaces at any given time, there is no downtime for an Architect, ideas  can come to them anywhere, anytime… it is this freedom to enable the inner dialogue that creates lasting structures, beautiful design and functional structures.

Design is about the evolution of an idea through revision and trials and thought. It is about the process of a design and how the idea can be translated to be useful for the real world. Form, function and beauty are mainstays to Architecture and this inner dialogue of the Architect allows the ideas and dreams to flow, to evolve and challenges to be solved. It is the way the Architect creates this inner speak that can develop a project and create something for their client that they never imagined. Positive inner dialogue can bring excellent results, as they expand the boundaries of their design acumen and utilize them in their projects.

An Architect relies upon their technical knowledge plus their artist’s sensibility to design successful projects and make their clients happy. It is how they utilize their inner dialogue and how they question themselves that can bring innovation, based in their acquired knowledge of this very difficult and demanding field. Tapping into the inner dialogue and speaking within themselves to question or affirm, can bring about new ideas and design techniques and lead them to more clients and larger projects.

 

http://www.orastudionyc.com

 

The Art of Simplification…

Lexington Avenue NYC

Lexington Avenue NYC

As we close in on  another year, It seems that there is a lot  reflection during this time of year; about life, career  and  space, whether it is a work space or home. I think that many people use this year end period as a time for simplification to de-clutter their minds and spaces in anticipation of the new year, a fresh start. What better place to start that in the space where you live. The home provides shelter, comfort and functionality. There is a newer movement towards sustainability and simplicity especially in an urban setting. With space already at a minimum and also increasingly costly, urban dwellers have looked to a new way to live in smaller spaces and use design elements to help them achieve the optimum use of their home.

As an Architect/ Designer living in New York City, one of the largest and most crowded cities on this planet, I use my sense of perception and imagination to create fully functional homes in any space, whether large or small. This is a challenge, and an opportunity to use my design vision and skills to bring to my Client a new way to live in their home. I first assess what their needs are for their home; what rooms they use the most and an important question…storage. Is that a concern for them? Creating a harmonious space that looks uncluttered and simple utilizes the building of storage spaces that can provide need organization in a home.

Whether it be a single person, couple or a family with children storage is always important. I like clean spaces, effortless rooms that look lived in but not overdone. How can I create a space that is perceived to be larger, when the square footage is not? This is where a Designer who understands space can create a home that suits their client and exceeds expectation.

Simplification is cleansing, especially in a home. Our lives are so fast paced; we do not have time to breathe sometimes. When we simplify our space, we simplify our life. We reflect on what we really need to live and what is important. We prioritize. In a large city where overcrowding is the norm, simplification is key to an enriched quality of life. I think it is something we can learn from and makes us resilient, and knowing that we are not tied to possessions, we can realize what is important.

 

 

The Power of a Contemporary Dining Area…

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In Contemporary Design, the balance of form and function holds great importance. Finding the balance can come from mixing colors and textures, different materials and keeping the shape of functional items proportional and unique. A Contemporary Dining Area contains clean lines and the aesthetic beauty comes from the shape of the furniture, and  high quality materials.

This image is from our Project at 58th Street NYC, this is a high rise modern building with spectacular panoramic views of Midtown Manhattan. The views are also an element in the design of this Dining Area. Everything chosen has great symbiosis with other elements in the space. We begin with flooring in a light tone then work with that color palette.

A Modern Dining Table of lacquer and chrome in a neutral complementary color enhance the simple unfettered beauty of the floor and white walls. The chairs in velvet bring the softness, the tactile element that a Client can appreciate in an area of their home as important as the Dining Table.

Whatever style of design, the Dining area holds precedent because it is there where the emotion of the home is displayed and the hospitality shown to family and friends. Whether Contemporary or Traditional in Design the space has to flow and the emotion and feeling is the same, comfort.

The layout in this space became crucial, how can we place the table so that all seated can have a clear view of NYC especially at night when it is at its most magical. The fireplace is in perfect range in regards to the table to create atmosphere if the Client wishes, giving options is always good.

The neutral palette of the table and chairs also works with the Living Space that is adjacent; this is an open floorplan so the layout and placement of elements is crucial for overall harmony.

In such a luxurious space, there is a call for a special Dining Area, to provide a place to dine, and entertain to make the house a home and to create a chic ambiance to enjoy.

All about the Mix…

West 56th St. Project by Giusi Mastro/ORA studio

West 56th St. Project by Giusi Mastro/ORA studio

 

The movement  towards a mixture of styles, materials, and eras, in Interior Architecture and Design has become a leading trend. This “nouvelle eclecticism” is not so much mix and match, as it is mix and mix. For an Interior Designer this opens the door to new conceptual ideas of what a space can look like and also perhaps some new challenges when dealing with a Client with many ideas that need to be developed into a cohesive plan. A concept is still imperative for good design. The mixture of pattern, materials, and colour still need to be cohesive.  There is also this movement to mix periods, decades and styles. Modern with Traditional….Urban with Ethnic and so many other combinations that is interesting and innovative.

How do we work with the Client and organize their eclectic desires? It all starts from preference, what the Client’s likes and dislikes , what makes them feel comfortable and happy in their space and what works for their lifestyle. The designer is there to conceptualize, organize, and suggest the best solutions for their needs, resolve challenges that the Client once saw as unresolvable, and sometimes even be a mind reader .

The word Eclecticism literally means (from the Dictionary)

“a tendency in Architecture and the Decorative Arts to mix various historical styles with modern elements with the aim of combining the virtues of many styles or increasing allusive content”

With this literal definition, it is truly an “art” to mix styles and elements of a certain period in a way that looks fresh and “now”.  There is serious thought to what can really work in regards to colour, pattern, shape, material, and proportion.  I think the “mix” is a very trendy way to say this type of approach and this mix is not only in Interior Design, but in Fashion and Beauty, and even Cuisine. There is this reenergized movement to look to the past, derive what you like from it, and then translate and interpret it into something innovative, aesthetically beautiful and modern.  As a Designer, fitting into only one niche can be precarious. Modern does not necessarily mean spare and minimal, but it means fresh, unbothered, harmonious and functional for today.

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