One of my clients renovated their kitchen about three years ago. I asked her how her family is holding up during the Quarantine and if the kitchen/family room has helped them thru it?

I LOVE what she said:

“Turning our outdated Colonial into a more modern, open floor plan was the best decision we made. We have loved the space that Michele designed since the moment we saw her initial drawings. Her philosophy of Poetic Modernism created a space that is modern, but not stark or cold. The cool colors bring a sense of tranquility, and the amount of natural light that fills the space makes it feel warm and inviting. The space has influenced everyone’s well- being during this time being locked up. Our favorite part of the space is the island in the center of the kitchen. It is our family gathering space and has increased our productivity and creativity. It provides ample space to spread out and do work, gather for meals, or even play games together. We are grateful for our updated space and would not change a single detail.”

“Ample counter space to make my own pasta too!”

My heart sings when I read something like this knowing that design can impact and shape lives, especially this wonderful family!

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POETIC MODERNISM™, an Evolution of Modern

POETIC MODERNISM™, an Evolution of Modern

Hear the evolution of my story…

In college I was an applied mathematician. I also loved the arts- painting, drawing, sculpting, and jewelry making. I decided to apply to Architecture School thinking I would combine the disciplines I loved- math, science and art. Applying to architecture schools, the Dean of Architecture from Syracuse University told me on my interview that I was “too much of a romantic to become an architect.” Something inside me broke at that moment; it nestled itself in the back of my thoughts for all the years I practiced architecture…. Needless to say his words didn’t stop me from going to architecture school at UB and becoming an architect but the ghost of his words had an effect. I later learn how…

Iwataya Tunnel Japan
Iwataya Tunnel, Fukuoka Japan Design: Walker Group CNI/Michele Alfano

For most of my career, I worked for architecture firms in NYC, working on amazing projects like JFK Terminal One Airport, 34th street partnership revitalization, high end residential and an underground Interior Tunnel in Fukuoka Japan. I even went to Japan for the opening of the tunnel to see the fruits of my labor which earned an AIA honors award and a Business week/Architectural record award with the firm Walker Group/CNI. I am grateful for those times.

I was a disciplined architect but I felt like something was missing in my work and in my life. I wasn’t sure what was tugging at me, if it was those words from years past but I decided to start a blog called Mod Design Guru to express my voice on topics around innovation in the architectural interior worlds. To my surprise, brands were listening.

DXV Hygge Bathroom
DXV Spa Bathroom. Design: Michele Alfano Design

Rolling the tape ahead in 2017, I was selected by DXV, American Standard’s boutique bath brand to design a bathroom that would become their World of DXV – AD campaign for 2017-2018. The design was published in multiple trade magazines like Vanity Fair, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Metropolis, Interior Design, The New York Time T-Style and a four page spread in Metropolitan Home. With new found confidence, I left my high-end residential architecture job and went out on my own to establish Michele Alfano Design, a boutique design firm specializing in architectural interior design. residential and commercial.

If I didn’t realize what I was creating then for DXV,  I realize it now.  I created my signature style –  calling it Poetic Modernism, “modern design with a pulse.” A modern design which beckons the human connection to be at the core of every design solution. I realize now that every corner of that DXV bathroom space invited discovery in a very tactile, visual and visceral way.

But why was this so important to me? I think because I truly am a “romantic!” I want the spaces I design to touch the people that live in them with warmth, functionality,  honesty and discovery; Core values where you are able to discover your best self, to be the most productive, the most creative and the most well.

Click here to see more images of the DXV Hygge Bathroom.


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If you would like to set up a conference call, please CONTACT Michele.





1. BRAIN GAMES: put a few selected items that inspire you on your desk. It ignites your brain to get to work. I was watching Shark Tank and was impressed by this toy. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety called the Fidgetland Noah – As Seen on Shark Tank. Its a handheld device that stimulates the mind with movement.

2. COLOR: Different colors have different effects on your brain. The color green boosts your imagination and is called the “strength provider” where its good for your immune system and can be used in your spaces to portray nature and growth. I painted my walls SW Soft Sage 9647 which coordinates nicely with the abstract wallpaper that reminds me of slices of earth from Carl Robinson. Spreading some botanicals or images of nature abound you has health benefits like lowering your blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels.

3. LIGHT: carve out space that has natural light. Open space with light stimulates creativity and productivity.

4. GOOD AIR: air purifiers are good for your home office. They will trap a high percentage of the airborne allergens and irritants that flow through the filters like getting rid of dust, mold, Volatile Organic Compounds, smoke odor, pet dander, or pollen.

5. TRANSFORMABLE FURNITURE: there are sit to stand tabletops on the market that can adjust to your liking. The movement of the table keeps your business stuff in place. I came across Autonomous desks.

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Headsup: my posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, you will not pay a penny more, but MAD will get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!



Are we living Groundhogs day? Everyday seems like the same day over and over to me.

Everyone by now has needed to carve out a space in their home to find a place to get work done, if they didn’t already have an office.

Are you finding home office success for your mind and your body? Here are some ideas that have helped me:

#1 Tray:

How about a funky tray to sit on your desk? It not only helps organize your sticky notes, clips, stapler, and whatever, but also a place for water. Go hydrate!

Modern tray with Geometric shapes

Modern Desert Color Shapes Serving Tray

#2 Good Lighting:

Make your workspace as inviting as possible-  ambient lighting that will increase your productivity. I love this terrazzo lamp as it adds some whimsy to your desk and interest to your eye.

Modern Light fixture with Terrazzo base

Terrazzo Table Lamp

#3 Yoga Mat:

I have been exercising on my rug while watching exercise videos and found that a mat would be helpful from getting rug dust into my lungs. phew.. its defeating the purpose of staying healthy here! Love this abstract modern graphic on the Yoga mat. It inspires me! Does it inspire you?

Modern Geometric Yoga Mat

Sol Abstract Geometric Print in Multi Yoga Mat

#4 Nature

Having a plant on my desk makes me happy! How cute are these succulents cement planters?

Modern succulent planters

Mini Succulent

Let me know if any of these items could bring you home office success…

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Headsup: my posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, you will not pay a penny more, but MAD will get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Happy 2020!

Happy 2020!

2019 brought challenges and successes! To clients, editors, vendors and friends – THANK YOU SO MUCH for continuing to motivate me to be a better designer and entrepreneur.

What a decade, I worked day and night to get Michele Alfano Design off the ground and I am proud of what I have created.


Here are a few highlights from the past couple of years: 


  • Interviewed for Forbes, three-part series on 2020 Kitchen and Bath design trends:


Forbes 2020 Macro Trends for Kitchen and Bath

Forbes 2020 Kitchen Trends
Forbes 2020 Bathroom Trends

 Check in on the website and Instagram for new projects, and design adventures I take in 2020.

 Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!