Posts Tagged ‘ urban ’

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  https://www.projectfarmhouse.org/ where we can learn more about the environment and how to live in a healthy and socially conscious way.

 

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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.

 

The Architect’s Inner Dialogue: Inspiration and Information…

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Creative people tap into their inner dialogue and use it to fuel inspiration and in the decision making process in their chosen medium. Artists, actors, singers, and dancers all have this heightened sense, and use it to their advantage.

How does the Architect use this inner dialogue to better their designs and aid in their execution? The Architect’s language is specialized combining the technical and artful to bring their designs to reality. The inner dialogue surfaces at any given time, there is no downtime for an Architect, ideas  can come to them anywhere, anytime… it is this freedom to enable the inner dialogue that creates lasting structures, beautiful design and functional structures.

Design is about the evolution of an idea through revision and trials and thought. It is about the process of a design and how the idea can be translated to be useful for the real world. Form, function and beauty are mainstays to Architecture and this inner dialogue of the Architect allows the ideas and dreams to flow, to evolve and challenges to be solved. It is the way the Architect creates this inner speak that can develop a project and create something for their client that they never imagined. Positive inner dialogue can bring excellent results, as they expand the boundaries of their design acumen and utilize them in their projects.

An Architect relies upon their technical knowledge plus their artist’s sensibility to design successful projects and make their clients happy. It is how they utilize their inner dialogue and how they question themselves that can bring innovation, based in their acquired knowledge of this very difficult and demanding field. Tapping into the inner dialogue and speaking within themselves to question or affirm, can bring about new ideas and design techniques and lead them to more clients and larger projects.

 

http://www.orastudionyc.com

 

Green Spaces that Work… Beyond Concept to Functionality

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Escapism…. Creating a Nook at Home…

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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 Power of Intuition…

Lexington Ave. High Rise

Lexington Ave. High Rise

Intuition is the natural ability to recognize and understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning to make decisions. Being an Architect/Designer requires keen decision making skills, and the ability to discern and to interpret what the client needs, through being in tune with their feelings and ideas.

Intuition is an important tool in the Designer’s process when doing a Project. Most often the end results come from the process of intuitive decision making derived from a natural sequence of events.

Intuition and creativity go hand in hand; one informs the other and combined with inspiration lead to a successful project. It is an integral part of the design process and the formulation of good client rapport.

Architects and Designers can turn what could be seen as chaos into order, solving challenges and providing the resolution to create a beautiful space. It is the relationship of intuition and scientific facts that are the basis of design triumphs.  A Designer who has a strong intuition serves their Client well and maintains a level of innovation and sophistication in their work.

It seems now more than ever “intuition” is in fashion again, has become a trend, and topic that is widely discussed, and written about, but has intuition ever gone away? This is a human trait; everyone has the potential to tap into their intuition, or their “sixth sense” and trust it when dealing with Clients or personal situations. What has changed in the zeitgeist to make intuition a “buzzword”? I think that people are looking more and more into themselves for the answer, not everything can be solved or answered by reading it or solely based on information from the internet. Our intuition is a muscle that needs to be exercised, to enable us to evolve and become a better-rounded and informed person.

 

 

 

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.