Tips & Advice

  • 4 Reasons Design Matters

    Sale of this apartment garnered the highest price per square foot in the building.

    Sale of this apartment garnered the highest price per square foot in the building.

    Whether you are contemplating  a renovation to your personal residence, your business, or hospitality venue – hotel, restaurant, spa – it’s very important to hire an architect and an interior designer with experience in that area. (more…)

  • Design the Ultimate Romantic Interlude for Valentine’s Day

    Design the Ultimate Romantic Interlude for Valentine’s Day {Time to Read: 3 1/2 minutes}  Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other?  Why not create a Spa Experience and try being a “spa butler” within your own home by designing a love-infused bath? Setting up a luxurious bathing experience can become a romantic interlude for you and your love.  It’s easy and affordable, and more importantly, it is one of the most thoughtful gifts for Valentine’s Day.

     

    With just a little effort, you can put a personalized spa package together for the special person in your life, that just transforms the bathing experience into something romantic or even create this sensuous experience for the two of you, as a couple. Here is how.

     

    What You Will Need

     

      • ❤  Purchase 3 or 4 candles ideally with your significant other’s favorite scent. Arrange them around the bath and create a romantic setting.
      • ❤  Get Kniepp herbal bath essential oil – lavender for balancing or muscle soothing juniper, or a bathing ball – a fast dissolving orb – rose petal is a favorite.  These items are available at bathing stores such as: Sabon,  Bed, Bath and Beyond, Bath and Body Works, The Body Works,  Frontier Coop.  Your local Walgreens, WalMart, or CVS will also carry a line a aromatherapy salts for the bath.  At a minimum, some inexpensive Epsom salts will work just fine and only cost about $4.00.
      • ❤  Try some aromatherapy and select a preferred scent.
      • ❤  Pick up a loofah brush or sponge for exfoliation.  Also, works as a body massager in the bath.
      • ❤  Gather their favorite lush towels, in their favorite color and arrange artfully within the room.
      • ❤  Depending on your budget, you may decide to purchase a luxurious new robe and/or slippers for after the bath

     

     Spa Butler Duties

        • ❤  Display his/her robe in a convenient place.

    Design the Ultimate Romantic Interlude for Valentine’s Day

    • ❤  Have their favorite music playing softly in the background
    • ❤  Draw and prepare the bath, fill the tub deep enough to submerge up to their shoulders
    • ❤  Add some of the bathing oils and/or salts. Lavender or rose blossom are nice, or chamomile if you want to really relax.
    • ❤  Light all the candles that have been strategically placed.
    • ❤  Spray some aromatherapy into the air, if the candles are not aromatic.
    • ❤  Offer to scrub his/her back or give a massage.
    • ❤  Apply oils after the bath that replenish the skin and/or again offer a massage.

     

     

    This is really the perfect gift for that special person in your life, exhibiting thoughtfulness in terms of choosing their favorite scent and type of soothing bathing mixture.  It is also affordable and can provide a really transformative experience right at home. It’s the ultimate gift for Valentines Day!

     

    ❤  Robert Henry
    roberthenry@rdh-architects.com
    www.rdh-architects.com
    212.533.4145

  • Health = Wealth

    Robert D. Henry, http://rdh-architects.com, discusses the importance of well-being influences in the home.Our last blog, Healthy Home Part 1,  we talked about the healthy renovations a City apartment dweller has made to her home.  This attention to personal health and well being has also made it to the suburbs, as Part II demonstrates.

     

    Healthy Home – Part II

     

    A young couple who have two children recently approached us to design a new house for their family in Rumson, New Jersey.  It is a beautiful estate property that offers views to the Navesink River with a full dock, episodic gardens, and terraced pools. They want to create a place for entertaining friends, family and business clients.

    We designed the lower level to be a dedicated entertainment and relaxation space with a  comprehensive spa, fitness, and wellness enclave, with walk out “social garden space” with a 10’h green wall and a 20’ long fire place.  The design also contains a grand relaxation room,  wine tasting room and home theater, complimented with a fitness room and nurturing couples massage room.

     

    We designed a pool that combines several features:

     

    – A lap pool

    – A waterfall Jacuzzi for 6 integrated within the pool

    – A water aerobics space with aqua-bike and resistance equipment

    – A deluge experiential shower that massages and invigorates sore muscles

     

    From the lounge and pool areas, you can visit the outdoor garden area where a dynamic green wall and stairs guide back to the upper level gardens connecting to the rest of the property. The pool, lounge and even the fitness room, focus out to this green wall and light filled outdoor space.  This sunken garden brings light down into the lower level spaces and provides a calming view of nature.

     

    We are finding that people are becoming more invested in their sense of personal health and well being.  They are taking proactive measures by asking us to design their home and integrating wellness into their lives for them and generations to come.

     

    Robert Henry

    roberthenry@rdh-architects.com
    www.rdh-architects.com
    212.533.4145

  • The Growing Investment in Personal Health and Well Being

    We are finding that we are getting a lot of response from residential clients who have visited our spas, hotels and resorts and have had such a memorable experience that they’re asking us to design a spa inspired home for them. They are investing in their personal sustainability by integrating wellness into their own daily lives and creating home sanctuaries.

     

    Healthy Home – Part I

    Robert Henry, http://rdh-architects.com/, discusses the increase of health and wellness in architecture.

     

    We recently completed a home spa on the upper West Side of Manhattan for a client interested in creating a master bedroom suite in a healthy, nurturing environment.  Since she has asthma and allergies, we designed a 5’x 5’ experiential shower and steam room with a bench where she could sit and relax while inhaling curative steam. An experiential shower allows her to control multiple water jets from a rainwater shower head at the ceiling, and body sprays along each side.

     

    Robert Henry, http://rdh-architects.com/, discusses the increase of health and wellness in architecture.

     

    She also loves taking baths, so we integrated a steeping tub within the plan that allows her to soak up to her shoulders in water infused with restorative minerals and sea salts. She can recline and relax aching muscles within that deeper tub or pep up the water with invigorating eucalyptus or pine infusions. This bathing area opens up to the master bedroom with wrap around views to the city beyond.

     

     

    Robert Henry, http://rdh-architects.com/, discusses the increase of health and wellness in architecture.

    As part of her master bedroom, we incorporated a very large library and reading area connecting to an outdoor deck and terrace. We surrounded her with what she loves- books and art that nurture her mind and soul. We have motorized shades and sheers that provide a complete blackout to ensure a good night’s sleep. About one in three New Yorkers have sleep issues so, we carefully orchestrated her bedroom to provide the utmost in sleep hygiene eliminating even small LED “on” lights, even alarm clock lighting was diffused ensuring a higher quality of life.

     

    In our next blog, we will discuss another design project that emphasizes the benefits of integrating health and wellness elements into a home.

     

    Are you incorporating elements in your home to increase your health and wellness?

     

    Robert Henry
    roberthenry@rdh-architects.com
    www.rdh-architects.com
    212.533.4145

  • Evidence Based Design

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    In our last blog we asked, “Can wellness design improve healing?” The conclusion was yes, indeed it can, and we discussed a few points that promote a more healing environment. Now I’d like to further discuss some of the technical and scientific aspects that support achieving a higher quality of life through wellness design.

     

    Light, in particular natural daylight; noise control or acoustics; and air quality all contribute to a higher quality of patient care, staff satisfaction and the wellness experience.

    (more…)