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.

 

Unique design comes to those who subscribe. Sign up get more MAD news!

LEARN MORE ABOUT MICHELE

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

 

 

5 WAYS TO SPARK INNOVATION FROM YOUR HOME OFFICE

5 WAYS TO SPARK INNOVATION FROM YOUR HOME OFFICE

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.

Please subscribe and get more MAD news!

LEARN MORE ABOUT MICHELE

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!

HOW TO FIND HOME OFFICE SUCCESS

HOW TO FIND HOME OFFICE SUCCESS

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…

Please subscribe and get more MAD news!

LEARN MORE ABOUT MICHELE

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!

Michele

 

 

 

Is there fear of the Smart Home?

Is there fear of the Smart Home?

What is a Smart Home? By definition it is a home equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by phone or computer. At the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry show (KBIS), Kitchen and bath appliances for the home were featured showing connectivity to communication centers like Home Connect and Alexa. Designers like myself were very excited about these new steps in technology for the home and see the potential of not only making our clients lives easier but also saving time so family and friends can be the priority.

For example, Thermador’s Connected Experience is your gateway to “exceptional culinary experiences.” With the Home Connect app you can control your dishwasher, refrigerator, wine refrigerator or coffee machine, and access a world of culinary inspiration with recipes and product tutorials.  At the show, I asked Alexa to make me a cappuccino. Can you imagine doing that at home? This also would be great for aging hands. Samsung’s family hub incorporates cameras inside your refrigerator to capture images and transmit the images to your smartphone. You then know what to order if you are at the store. Or order directly from your refrigerator panel.  This saves you a trip to the market since your food will be shipped right to your home….Talk about saving time and helping people who are not feeling well. Signature Kitchen Suites True Sommelier App makes wine recommendations, including food and wine pairings based on the wines stored in your collections. Become a real wine expert!

Unlimited personalization possibilities heighten entertaining and cooking at home. But will our clients embrace this technology? There are always budget concerns since these appliances are more expensive than your typical appliances. However, I think budget concerns may be a cloaking devise for a true technology fear.  These systems rely on the Internet connection, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Questions have come up like, “what if something will happen with the Internet or if your Bluetooth isn’t working?  What if the system fails in the middle of a dishwashing cycle? What if my grocery information gets lost in the hub? These are true fears that our clients, especially the baby boomers are thinking about and maybe they may feel more secure with the typical home versus the smart home.  

Unless there are clear answers to these fears, what is supposed to amplify our lives for the better may turn into a headache that needs constant user attention. We live in a connected world and I think each company should calm the nerves of homeowners with product assistance. I know Thermador offers remote diagnostics within their app when product assistance is needed. However, knowing that there will be a human being on the other end to help may calm the nerves of folks who are on the fence about buying smart home technology. As a designer who believes in innovation, I will not only be speaking to the kitchen and bath brands about human assistance but also educating my clients the benefits of technology in the home outweigh the fears.