Miami Green Homes


4 Ways You Can Upgrade Your Living Room, guest post by Karl Kennedy

Your living room gets a lot of use. It’s the place where everyone gathers and goes to relax. You want to have a space where family and friends are comfortable. You love spending time in your living room. The only downside, the room is in desperate need of an upgrade.

When the furniture is comfortably worn, and the artwork is noticeably sun-faded, it’s time to start thinking about an upgrade.

Furnishings

How a room is furnished says a lot about your tastes and personality. Do the furnishings in your living room reflect yours?

It might be a table that doesn’t fit your style or a couch that looks outdated. When you’re redoing the furnishings in the room, it doesn’t mean everything must go. Instead, there will be pieces you want to keep and others you don’t want to see again.

Replace an old couch or chair with a new piece. Don’t be afraid to go for bold colors or patterns. One statement piece will completely change the room. It can even be a coffee table. Consider a mix of antique and contemporary.

Lighting

It’s amazing what the right lighting can do for a room. It sets the mood, adds ambiance, and it’s practical. As necessary as lighting is, it can also be used as a form of art.

Art deco lamps are elegant, unique, and fun. They’re also functional. Put a floor lamp by a favorite reading chair or set one on a side table to complete a design. Lamps with carnival glass shades set off rainbows every time the sun hits it. There are also interesting industrial lamps with Edison light bulbs.

Track lighting is another option, and it’s dramatically improved. The tracks are hidden so all you get is a brightly lit room. Sometimes, all you need is to update the lights to give your living room a fresh, new look.

Window Treatments

Plastic blinds are in the past, and you have other options than the dated window treatments. Indoor plantation shutters are elegant and classic, along with wood or vinyl blinds. You can even have roll-up blinds installed.

It’s amazing what getting rid of heavy drapes and plastic blinds will do for a room. It brightens up the room, making it look new. It also makes it easier to control ambient lighting when you’re settling in to watch a movie on your laser projector.

Incorporate Art and Textiles

Changing a floor rug adds color, and it’s an easy way to start upgrading an old space. Bright, bold colors are in style. Consider blues and yellows, along with other brilliant hues.

Art is often the focal point of a room or a decorative arraignment. Unique crystal and glass globes, along with colored and patterned vases easily make the statement you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to go for a piece outside your comfort zone. It may be the one piece that pulls the whole room together.

Conclusion

You spend a lot of time in your living room, so shouldn’t you love the way it looks? It may only take replacing a lamp or adding a piece of art to update your space. Others may find that the furnishings need replacing or the window treatments. Whatever changes you make, it’s worth it when you have a space you’re comfortable in and proud to show off.

Karl Kennedy
Author of ProjectorTop.com



Hurricane Names For the 2021 Season – Frozen anyone?

What does Disney’s Frozen have to with the Atlantic Hurricane Season in 2021? We shall find out… below is the name list.

Learn how hurricanes are named, and see the names for the 2021 season. Did your name make the list?
— Read on www.farmersalmanac.com/hurricane-names-31223

  1. Ana
  2. Bill 
  3. Claudette 
  4. Danny
  5. Elsa
  6. Fred
  7. Grace
  8. Henri
  9. Ida
  10. Julian
  11. Kate
  12. Larry
  13. Mindy
  14. Nicholas
  15. Odette
  16. Peter
  17. Rose
  18. Sam
  19. Teresa
  20. Victor
  21. Wanda


AIA Miami virtual townhall – How the Pandemic Will Affect Design: Focus on Residential, Retail & Hospitality.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Noon via ZOOM

Panelists:

Max Strang – Strang Design 

Sebastian Eilert – Sebastian Eilert Architecture 

Jorey Shoshanna Friedman – SB Architects

Registration link: click HERE

 

No photo description available.

 

 



Design after COVID 19. How the virus may affect architectural design for the home – Part II: work, friends, and family

There is no doubt that the “after” will bring with it some changes and lasting adjustments. After looking at how the home needs to adapt for our personal use, what changes may be needed for work from home and visiting friends and family?

In the home – Part II:

The first part of this question is relatively easy: “Remote work from home” now includes some area with a computer setup that has a reasonably clear background for video calls and conferences. Few homes are designed with an extra room or space with this function in mind, so there is another change that will be forthcoming for future design. A home office or home office nook will be a feature that will be standard in post COVID-19 residential design. Even for professions that do not need this setup for their basic livelihood, the feature is sure to become a standard, much like the entry foyer noted in the related post, in the home Part I. Beyond work, this area can be used for a new type of happy hour, remote classrooms and other social interactions. But what about multiple people working or learning from home in the same schedule? To create a home office space for each family member is not feasible, so creative partitions with sound isolation may be the answer.

Built-In Home Office Ideas by Paul Raff Studio

Integrated Home Office Design

Creating an office nook can present a solution to carve out space in an easy arrangement and configuration to shield from view and sound. Similar to an open studio setup, multiple stations may be created in this fashion. Designating an existing room, where possible, allows for more functional use and setup but may be especially challenging for renovations and existing homes that look to adapt. After all, most homes were not designed with a spare room for future use adaption in mind, a concept that will likely change in new design thinking – adaptability!

work nook
Front Entry to the Left, Office Nook to the Right

The challenge with creating a small space or using an existing room within the home however, lies with the psychological burnout, that is showing up in many workers already who are being “on” all the time. The kitchen becomes the breakroom to fill up on coffee, the living room reminds of the chores that are typically left for the end of the workday and the school books on the dining table remind of homework and classes that need attending to. The 8-hour workday stretched to 10 hours, to 12 hours, and blends with the home life. The workday itself is now part of the design challenge.

A better design solution is to revisit the home office space as a separate structure that allows for a mini commute, by taking a few steps into the office and when at lunch or at the end of the day returning to the home. Planning and zoning codes will need to change and adapt, to allow for this to happen. Auxiliary structures are already allowed under most zoning codes, but property size may restrict this function due to requirements for building separation, connectivity, and setbacks.

Let’s return to the design opportunity of the home office as a separate structure: Former site design program choices such as pool cabanas, covered BBQs, granny flats, or storage sheds now present the opportunity to create the at-home office studio instead. The design should be complete with a kitchenette to include the coffee maker, sink and a small refrigerator, etc. as well as a bathroom. This function can be accommodated within a fairly small footprint, 10’x 12’ to start. If more space is available, multiple stations for all members of the family, as well as a meeting area or miniature conference room may complete the layout.

Garden office ideas – garden office pods and garden office sheds ...

The work from home studio would likely be connected to the home with an open covered walkway and allow for independent direct access for clients and visitors from the outside. The home office transforms into a true work from home set up, and at the end of the day, the commute also reduces the carbon footprint!

Prefabricated design solutions provide a great opportunity for quick installation, rather than lengthy construction, as these spaces have urgent need. Design options are growing in this industry, including modern solutions, like the Coodo.

coodo

What about friends and family? The Home office studio ideally should not become the weekend hangout to maintain a dis-association form the work week. Instead, the transition into the home for visitors should start at the foyer, as noted for the personal use in Part I. Just like for our own use, this space will function as a transitional area that allows for an initial disinfecting and reduction of the viral load that comes into the home. Removing shoes should become standard as is already common practice in many cultures around the world. The focus now, however, is on minimizing the introduction of foreign particles. An integrated shoe storage compartment in the foyer will facilitate this process. Hand sanitizing stations and even a small sink may be items that are incorporated into the design. The latter will most certainly be part of the mudroom transitional space on larger homes that feature a garage. This access point, however, is unlikely to be used for friends and family.

Once the initial shedding has been completed more spacious furniture arrangements to allow for groups to maintain a small degree of physical distancing will influence future designs to create overall larger spaces. The need to fill these rooms with a lot of furniture should be balanced with the function and anticipation of people other than the immediate family. If the in-laws visit frequently or the home is the go-to spot for the crew to watch the game, keep it open and spacious.

powder room

Foyer with Powder Room

Already a popular design feature, the powder room will become an important post-COVIT element for families that have frequent visitors. The private bathrooms need to remain just that – private to avoid contamination. The solution is to provide a half-bathroom near the general living areas. Depending on the layout and adjacent functions, this room may expand to include a shower if connecting to the outside or other uses of the home and yard. The powder room should include a small changing area, think mini locker room, that double serves as guest storage and is large enough to comfortably allow for a change of clothes. Ideally, the location is in close proximity to the foyer as well.

Lastly, the space every party always ends up at. The kitchen! Already a focal point in the home for daily use, this is the spot that inevitably any group ends up at some point. To avoid close quarters, the center island, already a popular feature in larger homes will become the single most important post-COVIT-19 design feature. An accessible island without a cooktop or sink provides an excellent workstation during normal use, easily extends to include informal seating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and maintains good physical distance for gatherings – the larger the counter, the better.

SEA_SAKA-4664

Oversized Kitchen Island with Integrated lower seating counter – classic design style

Inspired to adapt your space or design your new homes yet?

www.SebastianEilert.com



AIA Miami, USGBS and Blink present – EV Infrastructure & Sustainable Building Practices Tickets, Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

Eventbrite – Blink Charging presents EV Infrastructure & Sustainable Building Practices – Thursday, February 20, 2020 at The Miami Center for Architecture & Design, Miami, FL. Find event and ticket information.

— Read on and Register:

www.eventbrite.com/e/ev-infrastructure-sustainable-building-practices-tickets-70508267125



There Goes The Neighborhood: Miami – Part 2 (From The Stakes) | WLRN

The fear of mass displacement isn’t paranoia for black people in Liberty City. It’s family history. WLRN and WYNC studios present the second episode of a
— Read on www.wlrn.org/post/there-goes-neighborhood-miami-part-2-stakes



Climate Gentrification – study applied to Miami – Interesting podcast. There Goes the Neighborhood: Miami—Part 1 (from The Stakes) | WLRN

First of 3 parts looking at the concept of climate gentrification in Miami. Does seawater change where future developments will happen? Taking over high ground LIttle Haiti and Liberty City for future developments may suggest that it is a real consideration.

Listen to the podcast through WLRN.

The sea level is rising–and so is the rent.  WLRN and WYNC studios present the first episode of a three part series on climate gentrification.
— Read on http://www.wlrn.org/post/there-goes-neighborhood-miami-part-1-stakes



2019 Hurricane names

Hurricane Season starts tomorrow…. June 01, 2019 and we already have a name off the list… here is the rest. More information coming soon.



Why Prepare a Local Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan? (Guest post by Natalie French)

Recovery is the most complicated, lengthier, expensive and least appreciated phase of emergency management. Some recoveries can take years, and communities will never be able to go back to normal levels.  In fact, it is not realistic to create a false image that things will go back to “normal”.   Long-term recovery also has a toll on the people in charge of the process.   Experiences across the country include cities with administrators and staff who have a difficult time handling the external pressures.  After the floods of 2015, some cities in North and South Carolina saw half of their department heads resign in a three-year span, and a turnover of three to four City Managers in the same time period.

As recommended by FEMA’s “Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for Local Governments (February, 2017)”, a Recovery Plan helps avoid confusion and improvisation.  Having a plan in place improves capabilities prior to a disaster by helping city governments to:

  • Establish clear leadership roles, including the Mayor’s office, City Council, and City Manager’s office, for more decisive and early leadership.
  • Improve public confidence in leadership through early, ongoing, and consistent communication of short- and long-term priorities.
  • Avoid the often difficult, ad hoc process of post-disaster discovery of new roles, resources, and roadblocks.
  • Gain support from whole-community partnerships necessary to support individuals, businesses, and organizations.
  • Improve stakeholder and disaster survivor involvement after the disaster through a definition of outreach resources and two-way communication methods the city and key organizations will employ.
  • Maximize Federal, State, private-sector, and nongovernmental dollars through early and more defined local priorities and post-disaster planning activity.
  • Provide for more rapid and effective access to Federal and State resources through better understanding of funding resources and requirements ahead of time.
  • Enable local leadership to bring to bear all capability and more easily identify gaps through a coordination structure and defined roles.
  • Better leverage and apply limited State and nongovernment resources when there is no Federal disaster declaration.
  • Maximize opportunities to build resilience and risk reduction into all aspects of rebuilding.
  • Speed identification of local recovery needs and resources and ultimately reduce costs and disruption that result from chaotic, ad hoc, or inefficient allocation of resources.
  • Improve capability and continuity through pre identification of when, where, and how the local government will employ and seek support for post-disaster planning, city operations, recovery management, and technical assistance.
  • Proactively confront recovery and redevelopment policy choices in the deliberative and less contentious pre­disaster environment.
  • Improve the ability to interface with State and Federal Recovery Support Function structure.

A pre-disaster recovery plan provides a local-level framework for leading, operating, organizing, and managing resources for post-disaster recovery activities. The plan can then be used to implement the post-disaster recovery process and carry out post-disaster planning and management of recovery activities, such as restoring housing, rebuilding government facilities, schools, child care services, recovering businesses, identifying resources for rebuilding projects, returning social stability, and coordinating other community planning processes.  By working in advance to develop an understanding of needs and vulnerabilities, identify leaders, form partnerships, establish resources, and reach consensus on goals and policies, the community will be prepared to begin recovery immediately rather than struggle through a planning process in the wake of a disaster.

*****

Natalie French

Media & Emergency Management Specialist