Posts Tagged ‘ Italian ’

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.




The Power of Color: The Endless Possibilities of White


When we think about color for a space, it does not always have to be bold, electric, intense color that snaps us to attention…What about the power of White? The clean, fresh and expansive feeling that white can bring to a space. It can elongate, delineate, exaggerate, and expand a space, creating light, form and shape.

As a Contemporary Designer, I have always been drawn to white for these reasons, because it is transformative. It can refresh an already existing space or be the powerful backdrop to a new one. White can be the basis for walls, accessories, carpets, furnishing, and anchor a room with its bold un- color. White is evocative of feeling fresh, clean, renewed. Why do we wear white mostly in Spring? It is a time of renewal and of dazzling possibilities.

I love the feeling of a white Kitchen, I want to use the example of a custom Kitchen I designed for a Project in Mid-Town Manhattan. The Kitchen is a gathering place, an entertaining space and a completely functional space. By utilizing white, it creates the illusion of a much larger space and gives a clean and sleek feel. I designed the custom Corian island in the center of the space to serve as a prep station, dining table and utility space. By using white I create a beautiful, modern and unobtrusive centerpiece that complements the white cabinets and flooring.

In this open floor plan white creates dimension and reflects light in this open space, it does not compete with the panoramic views and is practical and beautiful.

White can be one of the most powerful colors in your design palette, try adding some white accessories to a room and see the way all other materials and furniture take on a different look. It is complementary yet still holds it own.

The Science of “NOW” …

GREYGROUND Landscape -Crop

Everything in Modern Society, in advertising, marketing, and media is about the “NOW”. In 2001, when I started my firm here in New York City, I chose the name ORA studio because ORA means “ NOW, of the moment” in Italian   and because I am in the field of  Architecture and Design, I wanted to represent Design in the sense of  “now” pertaining to  Modernity and  a Contemporary sensibility.

Fast forward to 2013 and it seems absolutely everything from hair salon to dental office is called “ORA …. ” How did the “the NOW” , really come to the forefront of  society’s attention?  In this uber technological age of speedy acquisitions and immediate information, have we lost our patience, lost the sense of anticipation as a good thing ?

In Design, I subscribe to the philosophy of looking to the past to create for the future. I was raised in a small town in Puglia steeped in Medieval Architecture and History which shaped my aspiration and dreams to become an Architect and Designer. I also fell in love with the work of Antoni Gaudi, Frank Lloyd Wright and Oscar Niemeyer, and Mies Van Der Rohe who boldly went to the future to create their  mark on Design History.

In Architecture and Design I always think of the client’s NOW, what are their needs for their space  and  for  their lifestyle at the present time. What is important to live in that space right now and how as the Designer I can facilitate that. By explaining my vision clearly to my Client, they can see the development of their Project in real time and have a clear idea of what it will be like at the finish of the Project.

I design with the “of the moment” attitude… What is contemporary, appropriate and functional for my Client’s needs at the present time.

In the Age of NOW, Good Design is  always “of the moment” ….

Take the Tour of our Website NOW  and learn about ORA studio :


and Watch our recently produced video “A Testimonial from a Happy Client” :

Science of Color Part 3: Color and Texture

LR 40 Mercer dinig tableBLOG

When looking to add color in a neutral room a carpet is  an effective tool to introduce . When designing in a minimal style you have the freedom to inject color through objects and artwork and carpets and floor coverings. Not only do carpets add color but they provide a tactile and textural addition to your space. They are seamless and therefore unify spaces, but also can be used to mark off zones, or areas of activity. They permit versatile solutions for our interior design due to the colors, textures, and finishes they come in.

In  Contemporary Design, there can be a more minimal and neutral palette in the furniture selection, lighting and wall coloring. This leaves the door open for Art and Objects that have a bold color and also different texture. In a room that may seem more stark, a carpet is an accessory that adds depth to the space and  also luxury. In the image presented here, this loft style apartment  is  one of our (ORA studio) Projects in Soho NYC. It  has an open floor plan and a neutral palette . I wanted to show some separation of space and also inject color into the room. The carpet underneath the Dining Table is multicolored and  multi patterned and works well with the table and chairs. It is thin enough and has the correct dimensions to create the illusion of a separate Dining Room although there is no separation  by walls. A carpet in a high quality material such as silk or wool also elevates your space and adds a dose of luxury. Not only does it protect the floor but also can serve as an investment much like a piece of Art.

Carpet selection can be daunting especially when examining what color would be best suited. First you have to think about the room and what it will be utilized for. The carpet in this image is for a Dining area with an adjacent Living Area. The table is a light grey and has some pattern and the Dining Chairs are white and chrome. With these colors as the reference point I needed to choose something that was  complementary and also worked well with the other furniture in the space, as it would be next to the Kitchen area and Living area. I also needed to think what colors would be best with this much light in the daytime and evening exposure as well. The patchwork of colors and patterns   give an ethnic feel to this contemporary room. The color palette of the carpet adds depth and also adds life to the Dining table and chairs.

The omnipresent color in this carpet is blue. Blue is the most common color used in interior design – it relaxes and refreshes, it provides for a feeling of safety, clear thinking, diligence and organization. But blue is a cold color, so balance it warm or neutral colors. The grey and white colors of this space are a wonderful counterpart to the carpet and its bluish theme. this also brings the aspect of color to another level.

I want to  talk briefly about Analogous Colors. These are  Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Teaming analogous colors like  red and orange, green and blue – creates visual harmony in a room. As you can see in the image, this is exactly why this carpet is successful in this space. The blues and greens of one of the panels works well the  reddish orange of the others. The placement of the more neutral beige and grey toned panels highlights the bolder colored panels, thus creating a focal point.

The impression of a color and the message it conveys is of utmost importance in creating the psychological mood or ambiance that supports the function of a space. In this case it is a Dining room, a focal point of entertaining,  of family and friends meeting and sharing a meal. Every item that is placed in this space takes thought and care. This carpet is a welcome addition and also acts as an artistic piece to enliven and enrich the space.

As we continue on in the series, the Science of Color,  I encourage everyone to think about how color affects you in your home. Where is the space or room that you feel best?

Stay tuned for further exploration into the world of Color!

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From Giusi Mastro…

In this blog, I will explore ideas and practices as they relate to Architecture, Design and Lifestyle…As an Italian Architect/Interior Designer I strive to create harmony and have a clear creative vision keeping in mind the idea  of simple luxury that is modern and comfortable. This quest for harmony expands into daily life . I hope you enjoy my new blog and I look forward to our conversations…i encourage an exchange of ideas  and helpful tips on living well and designing well.