Posts Tagged ‘ minimal ’

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: and we can send you a Space Analysis Consultation form.




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.



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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Looking towards 2012 … Architecturally Speaking

A Style for every Emotion…

You look to the  future and allow yourself to imagine the impossible… As designers we do this with every project. What are my client’s dreams? and how can I make them come true or even transcend them? It begins with a vision, when creating a home,  emotion is an integral part of the design process. Who will be living in the space and what are their needs? hobbies? passions? Something so personal as  designing a home comes with great responsibility. Not only to create a functional space, but one that is warm and inviting, one that feels safe and comfortable. Especially when dealing with renovations, you need to reassure your client that you are making their home better, more accessible, without erasing the emotional feeling they had from the home before. Having a “stylish” home is relative and based on the people who will spend a good part of their lives there. In modern Architecture, we use words like “minimal”, “zen” but that doesn’t necessarily mean an empty room. Harmony is crucial, whether you have a room full of furniture or just a few select pieces, how do they work together??? This is what is important. there are so many aspects to what makes a home “work”… Inspiration is also a big part of making the Client/Architect relationship work. Do we inspire each other? What can we bring to the table that will make the project, the one that client is dreaming about. Innovation is also key. To innovate within the boundaries of an existing space can be a challenge and a blessing. If the “bones” of the space are good, that is key to creating and honoring the original structure. As an Architect and Designer my goal is to create my best work every project, give the best of me to my clients and from that I will reap the benefits.

Here’s looking to a propserous New Year… by design!