Modern Living: Designing a Tech Savvy Home…

We live in an age of constantly changing and evolving strides in technology. We use our phones, tablets and laptops as  convenient portable devices that help us  get from place to place, provide us with important information, and chronicle our lives. In our homes, the tech aspect has become a vital element when designing and laying out a living space.

Tech savvy homes can make life easier and save time. From the Kitchen to Bedroom, and Bathroom, adding technology to  residential design can add to functionality and also cut costs. From lighting to computer controlled heating and air conditioning, to floor warmers, screening rooms and spa features, a smart home can add to our quality of life. State of the art Kitchens and hydroponic gardens are  leading the way in residential design. From induction cooktops to convection ovens, clients are more and more often requesting these cutting edge appliances to enhance their busy and informed lifestyles and assist in cooking and entertaining.

Tech generated materials, solar panels, laser printed fabrics and engineered wood are products that are environmentally compatible and beautiful. They withstand the elements and produce green energy thus contributing positively to our environment.

Our homes are not only living spaces. They have become our place of business too. More and more the home doubles as the office and clients want the accessibility and features of a professional space. An audio visual expert can survey the space and install electronic systems that are appropriate for the space, adding to the client’s wish list of functional features.

With the quick advancements in technology, these updates can be made to our homes, increasing the value of the property and also providing the most cutting edge innovations to our clients. There is no denying that tech savvy living is beneficial, with ever changing innovation clients want to keep up with the newest design trends for them and their family.

These trends in home design have given birth to centers for sustainability and education  like Project Farmhouse in New York City  https://www.projectfarmhouse.org/ where we can learn more about the environment and how to live in a healthy and socially conscious way.

 

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White Noise…

In my past blogs about color, I have talked about the Psychology and the Science of color in Interior Design and beyond. White, even though defined as the absence of color, can enhance a space in impactful ways.

I love the feeling white evokes, and I utilize white in my designs to create a sense of harmony and purity and to play with light and form. White invokes an airy, uncluttered aesthetic, providing a Zen like attitude in a space. It can instantly refresh a room, and with minimal expense, white paint can make what may look old, new again.

I am a minimalist at heart; for me it is not the amount of items, colors, and textures in a space that make it minimal, it is their symbiotic relationship  to each other. White  represents a minimalist attitude and  streamlined aesthetic that creates a positive and uplifting state of mind.

Incorporating white into your space can give an invigorating lift to your room, changing the dynamic and focal point. White can make a room look more expansive, with clean lines. White is a color that opens up many decorating options that can change the mood of the room by changing just a few accent pieces or adding colorful artwork.

Although to some white may seem a “non-color”, it has a lasting effect, laying the foundation of a space and to ground it. It is the blank canvas that  artists work on, allowing our design ideas to shine.  

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Why the Architect is a Client’s Best Friend….

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When a client decides to embark on a design project for their home or work space, they have many important aspects to consider:, wish list, budget, time, renovation or new construction, and much more. One of the most important decisions is to hire the right Architect for their project. An informed client understands that there is no greater ally on a design project than a trusted Architect. There are a myriad of reasons but here are just a few crucial ways the Architect will be the best friend you ever had and your project will definitely increase in value with this decision

Architects are wired to be the best listeners and to care. A good Architect is ready to listen to all your challenges and concerns, to your fears and apprehensions and assess what is needed for your particular project, and they will not stop until you are happy with the results. They care about the function, flow and harmony of your space and your pocket.

A good Architect inspires you to dream beyond your vision and broaden your horizons so that the end result is even greater than you imagined. The Architect’s comprehension of beauty, functionality and budget constraints is essential, each space is as unique as its client.

Architects identify a problem and then rise to the challenge, because they are strategists. They can discern what the best solution is, even with an unexpected bump in the road. Your Architect is the only person that will tell you the truth, even what you do not want to hear. If the client asks for a solution, that may be a good idea, but too expensive, incorrect or unsuitable, an ethical Architect will take the risk to illustrate why the idea is counterproductive for the project.

Their ability to work well with Contractors and other craftsman and workers is essential.  With a team that respects and accepts the Architect’s role as the decision maker and concept creator, the end result will reflect in how these relationships flourished. The client becomes the big winner of this well balanced relationship.

Because the Architect understands the pattern of everyday life, they are attuned to what is needed and at what moment. They are practical dreamers, working with each client and their determined budget and timeline and creating a wonderful space within those specific parameters.

This is why an Architect is the Client’s best friend on their design project. They are the diplomacy that holds the team together, the listener, the therapist, the artist and the producer of great spaces and elevate the quality of their life.

 

 

 

Creating a Bedroom/Home Office that Really Works…

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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.

 

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

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.