Posts Tagged ‘ Texture ’

The Blueprint of Design …Combining the Technical, Creative and the Psychological to Achieve Success

IMG_1262Giusi Re Touch- GiusiBeing an Architect and  Interior Designer is not for the faint of heart. Design incorporates technical, creative, and psychological skill. It is with the harmony of these aspects that a good Designer flourishes.

The Technical: Studying Design and Architecture is a calling and a commitment to intense study and practice. It commands great passion and talent involving mathematics, geometry, science, art and creative inspiration. It is the combination of these elements that make a Designer of merit. There is also the need to keep up with design trends and adapting those trends to your particular style. In the profession of Interior Design, this is beneficial in creating Projects that are successful and having happy Clients.

The Creative: An  Architect/Interior Designer is an artist, a visionary, someone who strives to innovate in their chosen industry. Following a creative path is not easy; it comes with challenges and bumps along the way. Sometimes an intensely creative person suffers because their mind works in such a different way and so quickly. Sometimes this creative spirit is stalled, this is the creative resistance. Focusing too much on always having to produce can be stressful therefore stifling the freedom of creativity. It is the ability to manage the creativity in a business format that helps the designer through tough challenges.

The Psychological: An  Architect/Interior Designer deals with Clients, whether it is a family or an individual, a corporation or an organization. This requires diplomacy and highly evolved social skills. In dealing with Clients, a Designer must know, especially in Residential Design, the Design process is very personal. To be in someone’s home and make changes to improve their quality of life is deeply rewarding. Establishing the trust between Client and Designer is necessary.

Being an Architect/Designer is a courageous  profession. The Designer is an artist, a therapist, a problem solver, a knowledgeable source, and an innovator. What sets apart a good designer is the  balance in these skills.

 

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The Power of a Contemporary Dining Area…

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In Contemporary Design, the balance of form and function holds great importance. Finding the balance can come from mixing colors and textures, different materials and keeping the shape of functional items proportional and unique. A Contemporary Dining Area contains clean lines and the aesthetic beauty comes from the shape of the furniture, and  high quality materials.

This image is from our Project at 58th Street NYC, this is a high rise modern building with spectacular panoramic views of Midtown Manhattan. The views are also an element in the design of this Dining Area. Everything chosen has great symbiosis with other elements in the space. We begin with flooring in a light tone then work with that color palette.

A Modern Dining Table of lacquer and chrome in a neutral complementary color enhance the simple unfettered beauty of the floor and white walls. The chairs in velvet bring the softness, the tactile element that a Client can appreciate in an area of their home as important as the Dining Table.

Whatever style of design, the Dining area holds precedent because it is there where the emotion of the home is displayed and the hospitality shown to family and friends. Whether Contemporary or Traditional in Design the space has to flow and the emotion and feeling is the same, comfort.

The layout in this space became crucial, how can we place the table so that all seated can have a clear view of NYC especially at night when it is at its most magical. The fireplace is in perfect range in regards to the table to create atmosphere if the Client wishes, giving options is always good.

The neutral palette of the table and chairs also works with the Living Space that is adjacent; this is an open floorplan so the layout and placement of elements is crucial for overall harmony.

In such a luxurious space, there is a call for a special Dining Area, to provide a place to dine, and entertain to make the house a home and to create a chic ambiance to enjoy.

All about the Mix…

West 56th St. Project by Giusi Mastro/ORA studio

West 56th St. Project by Giusi Mastro/ORA studio

 

The movement  towards a mixture of styles, materials, and eras, in Interior Architecture and Design has become a leading trend. This “nouvelle eclecticism” is not so much mix and match, as it is mix and mix. For an Interior Designer this opens the door to new conceptual ideas of what a space can look like and also perhaps some new challenges when dealing with a Client with many ideas that need to be developed into a cohesive plan. A concept is still imperative for good design. The mixture of pattern, materials, and colour still need to be cohesive.  There is also this movement to mix periods, decades and styles. Modern with Traditional….Urban with Ethnic and so many other combinations that is interesting and innovative.

How do we work with the Client and organize their eclectic desires? It all starts from preference, what the Client’s likes and dislikes , what makes them feel comfortable and happy in their space and what works for their lifestyle. The designer is there to conceptualize, organize, and suggest the best solutions for their needs, resolve challenges that the Client once saw as unresolvable, and sometimes even be a mind reader .

The word Eclecticism literally means (from the Dictionary)

“a tendency in Architecture and the Decorative Arts to mix various historical styles with modern elements with the aim of combining the virtues of many styles or increasing allusive content”

With this literal definition, it is truly an “art” to mix styles and elements of a certain period in a way that looks fresh and “now”.  There is serious thought to what can really work in regards to colour, pattern, shape, material, and proportion.  I think the “mix” is a very trendy way to say this type of approach and this mix is not only in Interior Design, but in Fashion and Beauty, and even Cuisine. There is this reenergized movement to look to the past, derive what you like from it, and then translate and interpret it into something innovative, aesthetically beautiful and modern.  As a Designer, fitting into only one niche can be precarious. Modern does not necessarily mean spare and minimal, but it means fresh, unbothered, harmonious and functional for today.

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The Power of a Grand Entrance…

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What becomes a home most? The entrance is that first impression, that indication of what is to come. In a grand space, you need a grand entrance, something that is  harmonious and sets the tone for the rest of the home. What creates a grand entrance is not necessarily the size of the space  but it is how it is designed, lit, and dressed. These are the components of a memorable entry.

Whether it be traditional or contemporary, the foyer or entry is the first “hello” and welcome for guests. This image is from a project we completed at UN Plaza in Manhattan, the apartment is a stunning duplex with panoramic views of the East River and United Nations compound on the east side of Manhattan. The client  had specific ideas about the home’s aesthetic and what he would like to see come to fruition. This entry is Contemporary in feel  and works symbiotically with the elliptical staircase, industrial fireplace  and the Living Area.

A bright colored, contemporary carpet warms  and saturates the space and creates contrast from the floor and walls, the table in wood also warms the space and the accent piece is artistic and unobtrusive

When a home is on such a large scale, the entry must neither detract or distract from the overall feeling of the home. Objects and accent pieces are carefully placed and it is a nice addition to bring  some nature inside  to create a homey and warm  atmosphere.

 

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The Power of Harmony: The Home Office

Tribeca Loft

For those who work at home or have a home office that is utilized regularly for household tasks, creating a harmonious and flowing space is crucial. The home office is the epicenter of organization, where we can be comfortable and productive doing household business or professional job related tasks. I want to explore the concept of “office symmetry”, having tools, workspace, and storage space organized in such a way that items are easily accessible, available and maximized in their usage.

If my Client is fortunate to work at home, that is an important aspect of their space design or renovation. How does working in the home affect all other activities? Lighting, layout, storage and office placement in the home become that much more important.

My goal is to design a space that spurs my Client’s productivity in a positive and calming way. Ease and simplicity of color for walls, lighting and furnishing all play a role in creating that harmonious work environment at home. The image presented is from our Tribeca loft project, this workspace is clean, fresh and comfortable.

At home work spaces are becoming the new normal. As more and more people have their own enterprises, a home office becomes a necessity for their space and part of the concept of their design. This movement towards working at home adds another dimension to our design task and allows the designer to be creative in more than just a residential capacity, what we are really doing is two types of spaces in one that can work harmoniously in one home.

The Power of Color: The Endless Possibilities of White

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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 Wall is Your Canvas…

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When looking to add some color, texture or drama to a space, the walls are the ideal  surface . By transforming with paint,  large scale graphics or fabric, you can create an Art Gallery in your own home.

The image in this post, is a modern, custom graphic in the Master Bedroom from our Soho Loft Project at 40 Mercer, NYC. This graphic evokes an atmosphere and mood and transforms a large wall into a statement Art piece.

By keeping furniture and objects clean and streamlined, the structural walls become the star of your room. Color and texture on the walls create depth, warmth, and light.

This is a large scale canvas and you are the Artist. Anything can be created, with the most innovative materials, rich color tones or lush and luxurious textures.

Adding these elements can be the makeover that was needed, a fresh viewpoint on an existing room, or add charm, whimsy, and beauty  to your home.