Posts Tagged ‘ Color ’

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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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.

 

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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 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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Spring Color 2015: Poppy Brights or Subtle Hues??

ICFF5442When spring nears,  Clients bring me ideas about painting and freshening up their space. A wonderful new color of paint can really change the dynamic of a room and with a few small changes can really create new harmony in a home.

When I think about color in my Client’s space I think about natural light, dimensions, shape, existing furnishing and how all of those elements can help me to choose the right color for the paint.

2015 is the year of extremes in the spectrum in color. Pantone, a leader of trending color and tones in Interior Design has created a list for 2015 that is as diverse as it is beautiful. 2015’s color of the year is marsala, a deep wine tone that really brings the drama. This year  Pantone’s color  choices run the gamut from sea blue to marsala to sandstone and strawberry ice, dusty blue and titanium.

The Designer’s  challenge is to decide what is best and suitable for their Client. What direction, tone, mood, feeling, purpose of the room…these are all pertinent questions when talking about color.

In my previous blog the Science of Color, https://orastudio.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/the-science-of-color-part-1/,  I explored in an in depth way,  the ideas and philosophy of choosing hues and how they affect mood, productivity and human emotion. These points all interplay in making a decision regarding a change in the home.

Economically speaking, painting a room is a great way to refresh and revitalize without a huge investment. This is also why color choice is so important. Think about existing items of furniture, lighting fixtures, and accessories and how they will harmonize (or not) with that new paint color.

Colorful Artwork can also help a newly painted space. Color combinations are powerful and can help to elevate the emotion of a room and also aid to appreciate home’s value.

While I do not like to use the word “trend” in choosing color, I am drawn to the “now”, what works for my Client in the present and what can create an even better living space. Spring is here and a home upgrade is a great solution to create renewal and cohesiveness in your home. Whether your tastes go to POP colors or dusty, powdery pastels, the “trend” I can support is what is  best for my Client, what serves their purpose and what enhances their space.