Michele Alfano, MoD Design Guru

mod design guru logoTell us a little about what you do? What inspired you to create MoD Design Guru?

I wear many hats. I am an architect, designer, and blogger.  I am presently working at a NY architecture firm where our focus is residential design. There I get involved in not only the exterior massing and design of homes but also the interior design. My real passion is the details, materials, millwork, furniture that help to create spatial experiences. My excitement for new products and materials stems from my father.  Growing up with a physicist dad, I was surrounded with innovation. He is a pioneer in the field of photonics (lasers) and he instilled in me to be passionate in whatever I do. Our talks about inventions are priceless and MoD Design Guru was inspired by one of these conversations: he challenged if concrete foundations in buildings could be transparent? It seemed ridiculous but we found it on the Internet. Some genius already thought of it and it left me wondering what other cutting edge ideas could be out there? It became clear at that moment that new materials breed innovation and pave the way for designers to bring the latest in creative design. I needed to celebrate innovative design across architecture, interior, decor and product design, and the innovators behind the designs.  MoD Design Guru is this platform that successfully connects me to the design community.

How did you end up in the design world?

I was basically a math geek in college who wore funky clothes and loved art. During my junior year, I went to Florence, Italy to study and was immersed in all its beauty, art and fashion.. I was inspired. Design was it for me. My scientist dad guided me to combine my math and art skills; so off I went to architecture school for my Masters in architecture. While there, my MoD design sensibility ignited, bold, clean geometric lines with elements of mystery. Part of my heart was left in Barcelona, Spain where my masters studies took me to study fantastical and expressive architecture of the Modernism style. (Catalan for “modernism”) These experiences are still vivid in my mind and shaped the designer I am today.sagrada familia

How would you describe your style?

Modern. The MoD essentials for me are pure, novel, tactile and wondrous design. I love design that strives for geometric purity imbued with the unexpected, or amusement; embraces the tactile and dimension, injects love in its details and construction; whether it be high-tech or handcrafted and design that layers a story and is memorable. Attached is a charcoal drawing I did showing my love for perspective and the depths inside Piranesi’s etchings. piranesi

What’s a hot decor trend you’re excited about? 

I’m lovin’ how graphic patterns shown on the fashion runways are now hot in home decor. Bold and graphic geometric patterns are covering products, springing up on floors and walls and shaping furniture and lighting. The images below show the angled furniture by Ramone Esteve; rug designs by Karem Rashid and 3d printed Materialise – Quinn.MGX lamp by designer Bathsheba Grossman.quinn

Materialise- Quinn.MGX lamp


Karem Rashid for Vondom


Faz by Ramone Esteve for Vondom

What item would people be surprised to find in your home? 

Considered mod, people are surprised to see the nostalgic collage of black and white wedding photos of my family on my living room wall. It showcases the generations…family photos

Any summer vacation plans? 

Every summer we head as a family to Cape May, a beautiful historic seashore area on the Jersey Shore that has a large concentration of Victorian homes. We spend a lot of time on the beach and the arcade. I cannot wait to get away with my husband and kids.cape may

What’s your favorite part about arriving home?

Home is family, love and laughter and I can’t lie a bit of chaos. I love spending movie-time together in our renovated Zen-Mod space… a destination in our home, which allows us to decompress from all the pandemonium. The space has large windows, serene slate gray and cream colors, a waterfall, a textural rug, natural elements like branches and moss and soft Mongolian pillows to curl up in during movie night.zen mod space

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