Posts Tagged ‘ contemporary design ’

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.  

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

 

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

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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