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

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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

 

 

 

 

Losing our History…The Erasing of our Architectural Footprints

St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church NYC

St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church NYC

May’s Blog is dedicated to the memory of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava in the Flatiron District NYC, which was ravaged by a large and quick consuming fire Sunday May 1, 2016.

The church building was constructed in 1850-55 and was designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn in the English Gothic Revival Style. In 1968 the city of New York declared this church a landmark.

As one of the oldest churches in New York, Saint Sava served as not only a spiritual anchor for the community, but also an architectural anchor. In a neighborhood which one could say is plagued by developers who are eager to construct new residential and commercial spaces for their financial gain, Saint Sava served as an historic Architectural marker, a memory. In a fast changing cityscape this church was a reminder that our buildings are our memories, our reference to eras gone by and are preserved to remind future generations of how people constructed and ultimately how they lived in the past.

It has been a longstanding practice of war and territorial domination that the first destruction begins with a city’s buildings and landmarks. The oppressor seeks to erase the memory and footprint of the former ruling body, therefore erasing history so their domination can be seen as new. With Architectural treasures destroyed, a new regime, government, ruling body can form history in their own manner for future generations. If there is no Architectural footprint left, history is lost.

Our Architecture contains not only history but emotion; these structures have been created to evoke a feeling, to elicit an emotion for those who enter. As an Architect and Designer, buildings are the keepers of our history and evolution, and the destruction of this church is a tragedy, not only for the church family but for the community at large who received such joy when they passed, when they took a photo or entered to find some peace amid the art, painstaking details and beauty of the structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Blooms…Bringing Nature Inside

Lexington Avenue NYC

Lexington Avenue NYC

Spring is a season of renewal, the weather becomes increasingly warmer, and we are all coming out of winter’s hibernation. One of the most notable arrivals is the blooming flowers and buds that this spring season brings. The essence of nature can be easily brought into a space. Flowers and plants are a decorating tool that can enhance, calm, brighten and some can fill the air with fragrance. Plants and  architectural floral compositions can highlight a design element or make an otherwise neutral space come alive with color.

The placement and object that will hold the blooms also becomes part of the design decision. Plants are considered good feng shui (a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy), an element important in creating the balance, flow and harmony in a home. They are alive and therefore add living energy to a space. Plants are a long term commitment and need to be cared for and maintained. You can invest in a long lasting plant that will live many years if you want to make that commitment. Flowers are more temporary and can be switched and placed with more creativity and variety.

Flower arrangements work very well in an entry way, as a greeting to your guests, as a centerpiece of a dining table or kitchen table or as a calming element in a master bedroom suite or master bathroom. In a living area a beautiful and tailor made arrangement can highlight a statement piece of furniture or a mantel of a fireplace.

As an Interior Designer, I like to stage all my projects for professional photography, and I love the way that flowers create an instant personalized feeling to a room. They add color and texture and when arranged in a beautiful object adds visual impact to an otherwise minimal space. They can really make a room pop and come alive.

Spring is the optimal season for integrating Nature indoors; most flowers and plants are accessible and affordable in the Spring. Adding this item may seem a small design tweak, but a room with flowers cultivates a homey atmosphere and will bring that spirit of renewal inside your space. It is a design aspect that can easily transform a room and change the ambiance.

Spring is the time for new beginnings, for fresh creations, and starting over. We have come out of our cocoon and it is the time to begin anew. Home is a sanctuary and by bringing nature inside your home can be a welcome refresher to your décor.

 

The Importance of Color Balance

Lexington Avenue NYCBalance is a key word that illustrates what my design philosophy is. It is by definition: a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. In design, this is the equal distribution of visual content or weight. Our sense of balance is innate, so when elements of design are not balanced, we are instinctively made uncomfortable and feel this sense of instability. Balance can come from layout, furnishing, volume, structure, and lighting

In this month’s blog I want to focus on color balance, and how to identify what tones and hues work well together to create design harmony.

Determining the right color scheme for your space starts with how the space is lit, if there is a lot of natural light in, or not. Is there is enough artificial light or does the lighting need to be redesigned. Without light there is no color, there is a void. Choosing a color scheme is not only related to the color of the material per se but how the color is read in that specific space with its own specific light.

The feeling of being in the space is dependent on the placement of color throughout. When thinking about how to use color in a home or commercial space I think about how those colors will be seen as a whole. I first choose an atmosphere that I want to create, how they will complement each other creating calm, productive energy, or comfort.

Color can be bold and create a strong juxtaposition or soft and monochromatic to create calm and fluidity. It can also be a strong pop of color that draws the eye to a certain structural detail, piece of furniture, artwork or object. It is all about the space as whole, with the elements working well together to create that desired feeling. Color can determine mood, it can alter thinking and establish inner centeredness and peace.

Determining what colors work well together comes from the designer’s expertise and vision. It is our job to understand the big picture to see beyond the singular notion of design elements and realize their potential to work together to create this harmony. It is also our job to work with the Client who may have a color preference that has a visual appeal for them or is a trend of the moment, but that might not work well in their specific space. There is a lot of psychology of color to take into consideration when choosing a palette and making the Client aware and to have them understand this psychology (See our Blog Archive: https://orastudio.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/the-science-of-color-part-1/ )

Creating a successful color palette is a science, it is an important element in the design process and whether it is multi-color patterns carefully matched and placed together, a neutral color palette, monochromatic scheme or strong accents of color, this requires an eye for symmetry and visual appeal. The mark of a good designer is their perception of this balance and cohesion.

 

 

The Power of Intuition…

Lexington Ave. High Rise

Lexington Ave. High Rise

Intuition is the natural ability to recognize and understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning to make decisions. Being an Architect/Designer requires keen decision making skills, and the ability to discern and to interpret what the client needs, through being in tune with their feelings and ideas.

Intuition is an important tool in the Designer’s process when doing a Project. Most often the end results come from the process of intuitive decision making derived from a natural sequence of events.

Intuition and creativity go hand in hand; one informs the other and combined with inspiration lead to a successful project. It is an integral part of the design process and the formulation of good client rapport.

Architects and Designers can turn what could be seen as chaos into order, solving challenges and providing the resolution to create a beautiful space. It is the relationship of intuition and scientific facts that are the basis of design triumphs.  A Designer who has a strong intuition serves their Client well and maintains a level of innovation and sophistication in their work.

It seems now more than ever “intuition” is in fashion again, has become a trend, and topic that is widely discussed, and written about, but has intuition ever gone away? This is a human trait; everyone has the potential to tap into their intuition, or their “sixth sense” and trust it when dealing with Clients or personal situations. What has changed in the zeitgeist to make intuition a “buzzword”? I think that people are looking more and more into themselves for the answer, not everything can be solved or answered by reading it or solely based on information from the internet. Our intuition is a muscle that needs to be exercised, to enable us to evolve and become a better-rounded and informed person.

 

 

 

2016 and the NEW Meaning of “Designer” …..

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As we welcome the year 2016, what does the future hold for the Designer? Gone are the days of niche designers, who specialize in one medium, style or genre. That concept is antiquated. It has become the age of the Multi- Talented  Designer/Entrepreneur. In today’s design market and design business, the Client looks for that designer who can adapt, innovate, and solve all the challenges of their new design or renovation. It is essential for the designer to be multi-faceted, able to work in not only Architecture and Interior Design, but lighting, space planning, custom furniture, and Art.  More and more the emerging “new normal” is for the designer to have multiple talents, even outside the design world of interiors and architecture. A focus on art and fashion is desirable, even film and photography. Clients trust in someone with a vision and  an artistic sense that creates concepts beyond what they thought possible and  the designer who can execute them.

It is the age of the Designer/Entrepreneur, the self-contained company that provides guidance in all aspects of design, focusing on space design and renovation but also catering to an ever more savvy and worldly clientele that are knowledgeable and well-traveled and that want their space to reflect their style and taste levels, and they do not have to hire 4 different professionals to do each task separately, it is a convenience for the Client.

Coming from a family of artists and ceramists, this has always been a quality that I have integrated in my designs. I continue to be that designer who can do design tasks and also create and select art and fabrics and objects that work well in my Clients’ spaces. It is with my knowledge of art and fashion and history that I can be that well rounded and versatile designer.

I look forward to new Projects and challenging spaces for 2016, I always strive to innovate and use my creative abilities to elicit the best results for my clients, whether it is a commercial, public or residential space. By being well rounded, the Client reaps the benefits and has a cohesive and harmonious design.

Get Inspired ….