Posts Tagged ‘ Interior Design ’

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.

 

 

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.

 

Summer Escapism…. Creating a Nook at Home…

Bertoni_2_010

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

 

 

 

 

The Art of Simplification…

Lexington Avenue NYC

Lexington Avenue NYC

As we close in on  another year, It seems that there is a lot  reflection during this time of year; about life, career  and  space, whether it is a work space or home. I think that many people use this year end period as a time for simplification to de-clutter their minds and spaces in anticipation of the new year, a fresh start. What better place to start that in the space where you live. The home provides shelter, comfort and functionality. There is a newer movement towards sustainability and simplicity especially in an urban setting. With space already at a minimum and also increasingly costly, urban dwellers have looked to a new way to live in smaller spaces and use design elements to help them achieve the optimum use of their home.

As an Architect/ Designer living in New York City, one of the largest and most crowded cities on this planet, I use my sense of perception and imagination to create fully functional homes in any space, whether large or small. This is a challenge, and an opportunity to use my design vision and skills to bring to my Client a new way to live in their home. I first assess what their needs are for their home; what rooms they use the most and an important question…storage. Is that a concern for them? Creating a harmonious space that looks uncluttered and simple utilizes the building of storage spaces that can provide need organization in a home.

Whether it be a single person, couple or a family with children storage is always important. I like clean spaces, effortless rooms that look lived in but not overdone. How can I create a space that is perceived to be larger, when the square footage is not? This is where a Designer who understands space can create a home that suits their client and exceeds expectation.

Simplification is cleansing, especially in a home. Our lives are so fast paced; we do not have time to breathe sometimes. When we simplify our space, we simplify our life. We reflect on what we really need to live and what is important. We prioritize. In a large city where overcrowding is the norm, simplification is key to an enriched quality of life. I think it is something we can learn from and makes us resilient, and knowing that we are not tied to possessions, we can realize what is important.

 

 

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