Posts Tagged ‘ green ’

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 where we can learn more about the environment and how to live in a healthy and socially conscious way.



Green Spaces that Work… Beyond Concept to Functionality



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.






The Science of Color Part 2: Green is Good…


In my continuation of this blog series, the Science of Color, I want to examine what certain colors accomplish and evoke in a space, here I delve into the benefits and uses for Green in Interior Design.

Pantone named Emerald the color of the season for 2013, everyone is talking about “green” juice and the important health benefits it provides, and it seems that the whole world is “going green” with the importance of recycling and sustainability…

What does green signify? Especially in Architecture and Interior Design.

Green is evocative of the colors of nature, in addition, this color helps transfer clear perception, compassion and self-recognition. Somehow spending time in a green room calms us, refreshes us and creates balance. Whether it be Commercial or Residential, the success of any room relies on a combination of color and Architecture. Fresh accents of green help to lift and freshen up a pale interior, keeping a room calm and cohesive. The image seen accompanying this post is an image of my first Project here in the U.S., a restaurant called Savannah in Miami’s Art Deco District. A James Beard Nominee for Best Restaurant Design in 1997, the use of color in this space is integral to the overall feel and cohesiveness of this restaurant. Green is represented here in the wall colors and furniture chosen. With the mix of this soft green along with exposed brick, wood, and modern lighting, a luxurious and warm feeling was achieved. Using green in this space created an expansiveness and a sophistication carried throughout the space.

The reason that green is a fantastic color for Interior Design is because it is like a neutral color . It works well with bright accents colors and provides an anchor and can also work equally well with softer and more subtle colors, thus proving its versatility.

Green also expresses regrowth and rejuvenation, a sense of moving forward, a crispness and freshness. Green enhances a space and adds an element from nature.

When working with Clients, as always the aspect of color in a space is an important topic to discuss. Whether it be bold colors or soft neutrals, human response to color is a key focus when designing a Commercial or Residential space.

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Sustainable Happiness…

While on my travels in the wilds of New York City, I saw this sign and it said “Sustainable Happiness” and I thought about how this word “sustainable” has become part of the vernacular, and associated with a new way to think…now everything is “green”, “recycled”, “re-purposed” even “de-constructed”. These  are common  words that roll off of everyone’s tongues these days…Sustainable Architecture has a cache and “cool” factor among progressive, innovative and creative minds. To have a “sustainable” home filled with “sustainable” goods and powered by “clean” energy has become the “right” thing to do.

So, now Happiness should be “sustainable” too. I think that every human being does his or her best to be happy, and sustenance of said happiness  is inherent. Happiness has been around longer than solar panels or “green” energy as a concept. This is a concept as old as humanity because it comes  from within, guided by our experiences and emotions and relationships.

Then what can lead us to “sustainable” happiness???  Living well? Loving well? Eating well? Working well?

Sustainable Happiness is  rhetorical…While on this earth, being happy is the ultimate luxury and every day I do my best to be luxurious…