Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ 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.

 

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Leaving a Legacy…. An Architect’s Wish for 2017

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As another new year approaches, we wax sentimental about what we did, felt and accomplished in the 12 months leading up to the changing of the year. As I look back on my year, I want to remember the good, which I think is important and focus on what was positive. I think I can say for most that this year was challenging, it tried our patience, faith and tested our trust that there is good in this world.

For an artist and designer, I want to end the year acknowledging the happy clients, and successful projects completed. But what is beyond that wish not only for the year but for years to come?

I think that an Architect of great passion and innovation strives to create their legacy, which is written in their structures. The desire for an Architect is to leave a lasting and important contribution to not only the history of design but for history itself. To have a structure that stands the test of time is the ultimate dream. To add to the lexicon of global history is the catalyst for innovation and creativity in the design world. It is with that dream, masterpieces are created, wishes exceeded.

An Architect’s passion and perseverance stem from their dream to create innovation and lasting structures that are both beautiful and functional that change the way people live.

I believe that each year is a step in leaving our legacy, our mark on this world even after our physical presence is no longer. In this New Year I continue to build my legacy step by step, pushing the boundaries of what can be and creating from a place of honesty and love and sincerity. I wish the same for everyone; build your legacy in what you do and who you are and how you can help your fellow human. Continue on that path to inner harmony and peace and use the gifts the universe has given you for good.

Ps I began my new path in August of 2016 as I walked down the aisle of a church and got married….

 

 

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

The Globally Conscious Architect

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As the world becomes more globally conscious and connected, so has industry. We are seeing the rise of conscious industry, of products and services with a globally aware purpose directed at the betterment of our society. The Architecture field has long been associated with a tailor made service for a certain clientele who are fortunate enough to pay for a design professional to design their home or office or commercial space. This is a very specified and small percentage of society. In this new age of awareness how can an Architect/Designer tap into the larger percentage of society and make positive changes in the world through their talents and knowledge?

There is a whole market that is still untapped that can be helped by our industry. Customization can become a conceptual idea that can benefit the masses with the development of products and design concepts that can serve the global community at a high level. The digital revolution has affected every aspect of industry, we are more aware of the happenings on a global scale because of the internet age.

As we become aware of humanity’s needs, we can also search for projects and develop connections that can utilize our designs and partner in affecting communities all over the world. Whether it be sustainable housing in Sub Saharan Africa or weather proofed elevated homes is water ravaged countries like Indonesia, there are avenues that Architects can take to have access to designing for a humanitarian purpose.

While focusing on conscious Architecture, at the same time, Architects can maintain their private clientele and their custom design work. The niche, market system is becoming something of the past. Diversification, globalization, and every aspect of design whether it is residential, commercial, hospitality, and public works or urban planning is possible with the Architect of the 21st Century. The principles of good design are universal.

Architecture is the study of building, construction, proportion, volume and how these elements can create a structure that is functional for society. The design concepts that endure in society are those containing these basic principles. With the need for stable and sustainable architecture all over the world, the Architect of today can search for projects in locations where they never thought a client could be. They can work with NGO’s, or governments to develop structures that can change lives. Their reach is so much wider and vast and their contributions to not only their field, but the global community will be produced and utilized by many people in this world for many years to come.

It’s a different way of thinking about how to deploy our services to a large number of people all over the world. It’s strategic, and it’s creative, and broadens the scope of our vision and legacy.

 

http://www.orastudionyc.com

 

 

Green Spaces that Work… Beyond Concept to Functionality

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There have been many trends in Architecture and lifestyle, but I think the “green” trend has inhabited every aspect of our lives. In its concept, “Green” living refers to… “a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources. Practitioners of green living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet.” As defined by Wikipedia. This concept has permeated the zeitgeist and made positive strides in health and well-being. Green living has affected how we live, shop, eat and exercise and in Architecture it has affected how residential and commercial construction is designed.

From reducing our carbon footprint, saving energy, consuming less, eating well and living in a less excessive style, everyone can benefit from a green lifestyle. In designing a  home, office or commercial space, what materials will we use and how will we heat, cool and light spaces? In a true green space, the ultimate goal is reducing energy consumption, reducing cost and maintaining and supporting the environment.

How does the designer take aspects of making a green home or office from the drafting table to reality? There are many aspects to include in this equation: geography, space, building codes, and how to make the space as green as it can be within certain guidelines. Lighting, heating and cooling, and energy sources come into play as well as plant based design to incorporate within areas of a home or office, to create energy and improve air quality and even create a food source.

Materials that aid in this concept are another major component of a green space. Using recycled materials, natural materials that are sustainable and durable are important. A truly green space considers every alternative to wasteful and high cost materials and strives to create a new and more affordable yet still high quality design.

Building codes and regulations also should be included within the design plan, in an urban environment especially. There are many regulations put in place long before sustainable homes or workspaces became popular, so the designer must adjust to these rules. How will the designer incorporate these new ideas into an old framework of codes and regulations? For example, the Client wants a “living” wall, of plants or an indoor vertical garden for a food source or air quality source, will their building allow this and how will it be maintained. These types of new features must be studied and researched and the designer must be sure that not only can it be installed but that it can also be maintained by the client.

I think that in the flurry of excitement around having a “green” space, sometimes the functionality factor can be neglected. When designing this type of home or office, it is more imperative that the research, development and execution of these new features be more examined and that the proper experts are involved in the installation of these green features. “Green” is not just a trend, when done successfully the Client’s daily life is improved and their home or office can truly be economically more sound and their well-being improved.

 

 

 

 

 

T.R.U.S.T.Talking/Rapport /Understanding/Service/Trust

Architect-Drawings

T.R.U.S.T is a  simple acronym I created to understand some important steps in selecting an Architect/Designer for a project. Whether it be commercial, retail or residential there are principles that can apply to all. This can be very helpful when Clients are new to the process of  working with a professional and choosing seems daunting.

The first letter is “T” for Talking: If a Client is considering a renovation or new construction for a home or commercial space, they can ask friends and colleagues if they have experience working with Architect/Designers and if that experience was successful. Talk about what the aim is and ask them if they have any connections that can help you in your search. Most Architect/Designer selections are made through a word of mouth referral. Talk to people who have gone through the experience and have a space to show for it.

The second letter is “R” for Rapport: In any endeavor between a client and a professional, a good working rapport is crucial. After doing research either through referrals or online searches and professional sites, make an appointment to speak with the potential Architect/Designer of your dream space. This first impression will give some important information and help to understand if there is potential for a good Client/Designer rapport. Without good rapport, questions can be unheard and ideas and challenges unsolved.

The third letter is “U” for Understanding: The ability for an Architect/Designer to understand the needs of their Client is everything. It is with the Client’s wish list and questions that the Architect/Designer can envision your space and have it reflect the personality and lifestyle of the Client. Understanding each other is elementary in the design process. How communication is received and given can determine your project’s success.

The fourth letter is “S” for Service: What can the designer provide as far as design services and client services? Are they the right fit for the Client’s needs? The level of service that an Architect/Designer gives to their clients can be seen in the way they ask questions and how they react to challenges and strengths in the space. Former Client testimonials  can also help with this decision if they are right for the Client’s specific wishes.

The fifth letter is the most important and is the acronym itself, “T” for Trust: A Client must trust in the Architect/Designer that they hire, that comes from  feeling that the goals of the project are being met and that  any questions are given the time to be answered and also have solutions and ideas offered. With this trust, the Client can have that sense of peace and comfort that they may seek,  as with any endeavor working with a professional, trust is integral to success. Knowing that the Architect/Designer can take the project through to fruition, deliver quality results, provide updates and work within a designated budget is everything.

I hope this simple tool, Talking.Rapport.Understanding.Service.Trust can help to keep in mind how to select the right Architect/Designer for your project and illustrate some beneficial aspects which will serve a Client in the long run.

Remember a key to a successful project in addition to hiring a talented professional Architect/Designer, is that the Client also does their homework, before hiring the Architect/Designer, to give the most information possible and during the process of the work to respond in a timely manner and contribute to the smooth sailing of the project.

 

http://www.orastudionyc.com

Summer Escapism…. Creating a Nook at Home…

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In this age of technology and a sometimes unnatural attachment to smart phones, computers, and social media, there are times when we need a break…Summer is the season to “escape” whether it be to go on holiday, a weekend trip, or basking in some at home escaping… what is now called a “staycation”. A peaceful nook devoid of electronic devices can be a perfect escape from the reality of this techno-centric society. Homes with nooks and places to reflect will become more popular in the coming years, this tech free zone will be on client’s wish lists. We will seek to create havens of calm and tranquility, whether it’s a bedroom or a retreat we can escape to, for reading, thinking, napping or quiet conversation.  

In the image presented is a small but bright room in our Lexington Avenue Project. While there is a workspace, there is a calming environment, a comfortable sofa, whimsical carpet and a fantastic city view. The client wanted to create a guest space but also a  fully functional quiet corner for anyone who needed some serenity. With a simple and clean design, there is no sensory overload, just a relaxing atmosphere for contemplation. City living is energetic, dynamic, bustling and fast paced. Urban dwellers especially in NYC, are fully aware that the pace is fast and that sometimes solitude and peace are the best therapy.  

Summer is all about taking a breath, and this is reflected in design, creating those simple, minimal spaces that are transporting, that can alter our emotional moods and create well-being. A summer bloom on the custom desk brings that element of nature inside and a living element to the space. The carpet is soft and warms the room and the pattern is fun and graphic without it being overwhelming.

If you feel like changing your home décor and adding freshness for the summer season, creating this type of room in the home will add that peaceful oasis Maybe by having this tech free zone, you will be inspired to read that book you have had for months sitting unread, write a note to a dear friend, or create some art, or sleep, something which is so good for the body. A cozy nook  in the home is essential. Our home is our sanctuary, our respite from the outside world, and creating that zen feeling within can only be beneficial to our minds and body.

http://www.orastudionyc.com

 

 

 

 

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