Posts Tagged ‘ decor ’

The Luxury of an Outdoor Space…

Any urban dweller knows what luxury means when speaking about apartments… closet space, two bathrooms, washer/dryer in the apartment, and the ultimate luxury…outdoor space. The coveted outdoor space has become a premium when looking for a home to buy or rent. It also reflects in the rental or sale price. What does having an outdoor space,  in a city like New York mean? It is the ultimate oasis and entertainment center of the home in the warm months or even in the cool autumn. It invokes the spirit of privacy and serenity. If you are lucky enough to find a space with a terrace, backyard or front patio, grab it.

New York City has a strong café culture, with restaurant after bar after café lining the streets filled with people enjoying the outdoors.The idea that you have that in your home and can decorate and creating mood lighting and decide the amenities, is heaven. When I am doing a project with outdoor space, just like the indoor space, I ask the client what is on their wish list. Do they want a garden, barbecue area, outdoor kitchen, specially designed lighting, built in seating? The options are wide ranging. If it is a small space, what is their goal? Entertaining? Outdoor eating space? An extension of the kitchen or dining area? There are so many ideas and budgets for an outdoor area.

 Luxury is not always based on a monetary value, it is based on the convenience and freedom that a luxury item or service can give to someone. An outdoor space is a welcome addition to any home, it brings nature to an urban dweller and space for family life and entertaining and creating memories.

Whether it is a barbecue grill, comfortable chaise for lying in the summer sun or a flower or vegetable garden promoting sustainability, an outdoor sanctuary is a luxury and something that a lucky few will have in a crowded city

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Making the Most of an Interior Design Consultation…

I have had experiences with Clients that began with a consultation and then the decision to do a project came later. I am a firm believer in a thorough and no commitment consultation option for Clients thinking of doing a renovation on their home. In my practice I offer what is called a Space Analysis Consultation which gives the Client some ideas, conceptual layouts and preliminary budget for their potential upgrade (see image above). There are some Clients who need to see a visual representation and have many questions before they embark on a renovation journey. This is where this type of meeting with a designer is incredibly beneficial. For a reasonable fee, they receive a report concerning their space and some idea of budget and basic layouts, color and material consultation, basic lighting and some guidance as to the best improvements for their home.

A site visit is included in the consultation, so the designer can visualize the area and meet the potential clients. My consultation does not require the Client to continue in the process with me. This is a stand-alone service, which I think entices the client to invest in this type of consultation. They do not feel forced to enter into a contract with me and are free to use their report with any designer of their choice.

The decision to do a renovation is a huge commitment, especially if it is the first time for a client. There are so many questions they have, most importantly, the budget to fulfill the items on their wish list. That is why this consultation is beneficial. It can give the client a sense of the big picture and the perspective to fully understand what their home can become with the proper renovations done by a skilled designer and a trusted contractor. A trusted designer can be a client’s best friend. The money the client invests in this Space Analysis Consultation in the long run will save them money if they decide to sign a contract and proceed with the renovation. The designer will have already made some decisions that can further the process along without any trial and error discovery. The designer also has spent time in the space and begun the creative process.

If you are considering a renovation of your home or office,and would like more information on ORA studio’s Space Analysis Consultation please email us at:

info@orastudionyc.com and we can send you a Space Analysis Consultation form.

 

 

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.

 

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

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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