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Millenia Architects Awards Scholarship

As part of the Millenia Architects Guiding Light Initiative launched in June of 2018, a scholarship for tuition covering a one-year Architecture Associates degree program at the Dominica State College was awarded to Ms. Nerrisa George of Calibishie.


“The Millenia Group, comprising of Millenia Architects, Sorell Consulting Ltd., Kaliber Construction & Homes, and Millenia Realty, believes that sustainable development goes far beyond bricks and mortar that is why we have decided to invest in the development of the human resource that is needed to create a resilient economy for decades to come.” – Executive Director of the Millenia Group, Alistair Grell.


This initiative has also benefited two other young people so far.  The intern who went through our six (6) months internship last year has since been employed as a permanent member of our team.  Also, there is one person currently participating in on-the-job training and mentorship from our team.

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Office Space Layouts

As an employer or business owner have you taken the time to consider how the layout of your office affects your employee productivity and work experience? Having an effective office layout enables productivity, and also makes workflow efficient. Different office layouts work best with different types of businesses or organizations. If you are searching for a new office space or planning on remodeling your existing space this article will help you learn more about the different types of office layouts and their functions.

Open Plan Office Layout  

The open office layout’s main benefit is that it encourages communication and teamwork. Due to the lack of interior walls / barriers decisions tend to be made faster which results in swift action and increased productivity. Offices with this layout are ideal for fast paced business and businesses with a flat organizational hierarch. Open plan office layouts also allow employers to give more attention to their employees, and can help employees develop better relationships with their employers as well as their coworkers. The disadvantages of this layout is that it lends itself to a lot of distraction; it offers very little privacy and the office can get very noisy.

Private / Closed Office Layout

The private / closed office layout works best for businesses where confidentiality is extremely important (such as law offices). Thus employees would need solitude to take private phone calls, or meet individually with clients. The main drawback to using this layout is that it does not offer the same level of effective communication as the other office layouts. It is also more costly. For one, you would need a larger office space than with an open layout and more artificial lighting and cooling would be needed to maintain a conducive working environment.

Cubicle Office Layout

Cubicles use a series of partitions allowing workers the benefits of a private / closed office layout (privacy, limited distractions, decreased noise levels), while offering an adequate level of openness. Cubicles do not take up as much floor space as private offices. They are also beneficial to companies that require confidentiality and those that do not have the budget to offer everyone a private office. Similar to the private / closed office layout cubicles offer limited natural light. Using glass panels will allow more natural light to come in and allows the space to appear larger. Half partitions which are like cubicles (except the walls only go halfway up) can also be useful, however they offer less privacy.

Team Enclosures

Team enclosures offers a private area for teams working on a single project and those who work on similar projects. This layout allows increased communication and encourages cooperation between team members while minimizing external distractions. This layout is beneficial to organizations and businesses such as advertisement agencies, news offices, or architectural and engineering firms.


Remember, with many people spending more time at work than they do at home, choosing the right office layout is an important decision to make not only for you but for your employees as well. Also, in many cases, it may make sense to have a variety of different layouts in one office space.


Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.

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Designing With Art!

From original paintings to stunning prints, including works of art in the home is one of the best methods of personalizing your space. Here are a few tips that you can use to both artistically and effectively incorporate art in your home:

  • One of the basic principles of interior design is that every room needs a focal point. Walk into the room and notice the first place your eyes land. This is ideally the perfect location for a piece of statement artwork. Whatever piece is chosen should help the eye connect all the pieces in the room while creating a unifying statement in your overall design.
  • When you are hanging art on your walls you want to ensure that they are positioned at eye level. Whether you are hanging multiple pieces in columns or rows you should keep this in mind and hang the lowest piece at eye level. This will help create a unified design statement. Also, if you have a large collection of artwork consider splitting the pieces across different rooms.
  • Ensure that you fill the space you have with the right scale of artwork. A small and subtle piece can become lost on a large wall while a large bold piece will feel constricted if not given space to breathe. Hang a big bold statement piece on a large empty wall, this will make the room feel uncluttered and will bring more focus and attention to the artwork.
  • Think of how the colors of the artwork will affect the mood in the different rooms. A calming grey art piece would be ideal for the bedroom while yellow which is a more welcoming and cheerful color would be perfect for the living room.
  • It is helpful to note that you can use your artwork to imitate the life of the room. For example, artwork of food is best used in the kitchen while a family portrait or a happy group of friends would work well in the living room. The subject of the artwork is also a way of tying the pieces in the room together. Using animal prints for example fits well with organic or botanical imagery.

With all this in mind you should also remember that when you decide what piece you should use or where to hang art in your home there are no rules. While these tips aid in creating a more aesthetically pleasing and well-designed environment, bringing art into your home is personal. Above all else the choices you make should bring you joy.


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Home Improvements That Add Value to Your Property

Whether you are planning on selling your home or you are simply interested in updating your home for your personal enjoyment consider implementing these home improvement tips that will increase the market value of your property.

  • Ensure that your home’s exterior is appealing and inviting. Planting trees or a flower garden, keeping a well maintained lawn, and keeping shrubs and bushes pruned are simple ways to improve your homes curb appeal. In addition, including a focal point such as a well-designed walkway can add major property value.
  • Utilize excess yard space by including outdoor living spaces such as a deck, patio, porch, pergola etc. to increase the value of your property. Investing in outdoor spaces provides the opportunity for more outdoor activities. This adds resale value to your property. Homebuyers tend to be more interested in homes that offers this feature.
  • Adding an additional bathroom may be the best home improvement decision you can make. Having an additional bathroom not only increases your home’s resale value, but it also provides the home with greater functionality.
  • Consider updating your home’s décor by replacing your old fixtures with new updated ones or adding modern fixtures such as moldings and chair rails that give the interior a crisp design.
  • Doing small repairs may seem insignificant, but by maintaining and fixing the small things it gives the impression that your home has been well cared for over the years. Take a walk around the property and take note of what is broken and can easily be repaired. Also, staying on top of maintenance now provides the benefit of eliminating issues before they become too problematic.


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Being A Good Tenant

You have finally found the perfect place to rent. It is moving day and you are thinking “How can I make the best of my stay here? What should I do to be the best tenant I can be?” Well these 6 handy tips will show you how to make your time at the rental as pleasant as possible.


  • Read the rental agreement over a few times before you sign it because it will govern the Landlord-Tenant relationship. Now it is your duty as a tenant to respect the terms of the agreement after you have signed it.  The slightest breach of the contract on your part gives the landlord the right to evict you regardless of payment in advance. If an unforeseen situation arises which may cause you to go against the terms of the agreement, promptly explain to your Landlord with the hope that your situation will be considered.  Please remember that the Landlord has a prerogative to say no and that prerogative should be respected.
  • Try to maintain a cordial relationship with your landlord because proper communication is essential to a productive living arrangement. You do not have to become best friends, but if you are having problems or difficulties you need to be able to speak openly with the landlord to see if the issue can be resolved before tension escalates. Also, remember that communication is a two way street; you also have to be able to listen and pay attention to your landlord’s concerns and requests as well.
  • It is extremely important that you pay your rent in full and at the agreed upon time, every time. In doing so, you avoid disputes between you and the landlord regarding occupying their property without payment. This is an issue that will more than likely always create tension, especially if done frequently. In addition, when looking for a new rental property your landlord will be contacted to give a report, and complaints regarding payment will be detrimental to your chances of being accepted by a new landlord. If you are going to be late for a particular month, week, etc., pass on the information in advance with a reasonable explanation.
  • Always remember that at the end of your lease, you must leave the property in good condition. Therefore you should keep the building and the environment as clean as possible during your time there.  Avoid damages to the property, furniture, etc. Remember, the cost of damages will be taken from your security deposit or even from your own finance, if damages exceed the deposit.
  • The landlord may on a few occasions want to take a look at the property while you are living there; try your best to accommodate their request. It may be considered an invasion of privacy by some, but remember it is their building and if the roles were reversed you might feel the need to do the same. It does not take much to assure the landlord that you are taking care of their building.
  • When your stay is over leave on good terms, avoid having to be evicted; leaving with unpaid bills; rent being owed; or unreported damages to the property. This is the best way to ensure no legal action is taken against you, which will cost you more than you already may owe. Remember the reports of your current landlord play a determining factor in whether or not someone else will be willing to accept you.
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Using the Design Element of Shape

We cannot discount the natural sense that many people have of design but when designing with an untrained eye, you either hit or miss terribly. Our architects have been trained in design, and thought it would be helpful to share with you some of the elements of design that are useful in achieving a functional and aesthetically pleasing room. This article will shed light on the “shape” element of design.

The shape element of design involves the use of shapes to achieve a specific effect. Using different shapes of objects in a room can have an effect on its atmosphere. Curve shaped objects in a room create a soft/warm effect while rectangular or square shaped objects make a room appear hard/cold. Here are a few tips which would make simple for a homeowner to use the shape element of design.


  • When designing or furnishing a room there must be a plan as to what effect you want to achieve in that particular room. The effect you seek to achieve in your study/work area would be different from your game/entertainment room.


  • Having a mish mash or a melee of shapes, which is often the case, reduces the rooms visual appeal. So it is best to decide before hand whether you are sticking to round edges or you are sticking to triangular shaped pieces.


  • Using different shapes can be used in a room but it would be used to highlight a focal point or unique piece (furniture/décor item). Also, different shapes can be used to show the difference in use of space in a room. For example, if your dining area is open to your living room. In addition, you may use a different type of shape for center room furniture from those that are touching or hung on your wall.


  • Finally, the shape element can be incorporated into the arrangement of your furniture and décor items. Your placement of these items can be used to create a shape. This will help your design be more organized.


Look out for information on the other elements of design in the near future.

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5 House Painting Tips

Painting the walls of your home is a very important task. From choosing the right paint colours, ensuring that paint is applied properly, and taking measures to make the paint last longer, there is a lot to consider. Today we offer you 5 house painting tips to get your project done right.

  • Think Carefully When Choosing Paint Colour:

When selecting a paint colour for a particular room think about what the room is going to be used for and how you want to feel while being in the room. Soft, cool and neutrals colours create a quiet and peaceful feeling while stronger, more vibrant colors add drama to a room. Warm, contrasting and brighter colors create a social atmosphere. Deep blue-greens and neutrals will give off a formal setting. The colour wheel is an excellent tool for modifying and intensifying numerous colours. For example, blue and orange, which are complementary colours, provide greater intensity when they are used together

  • Clean Dirty Surfaces:

Before you start painting ensure that the wall is free from dirt and oil which can cause the paint to peel off quickly. When the surface is cleaned, fill in any cracks before painting. Use a solution of 3 tablespoon of laundry detergent to 1 gallon of water. For protection, use safety goggles and rubber gloves.

  • Mix the Paint:

If more than one can of the same paint is being used, it is best that they are mixed together in a larger container or bucket. This is because the same colour paint is slightly different in each can. If a new can is opened in the middle of a wall a difference can be seen. Mixing the paints together eliminates the problem. The remaining paint can be poured back into the cans.

  • Start with the Trim:

If your home design includes trims (material used for decoration or embellishment) paint them first, then the ceiling, and then paint the walls. It is both easier and quicker to tape off the trim than the walls. In this case neatness is optional; any paint that gets on the wall can be covered when it is being painted.

  • Consider Lighting:

It is important to consider how different lighting situations will affect the look of the paint. Natural daylight illustrates the truest color. Incandescent lighting gives off warm tones and yellows. Fluorescent lighting creates a sharp blue tone. Therefore a strong color might be too bright next to large windows, but can be effective as an accent wall with indirect light.

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3 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Home Design

One of the most exciting milestones in an individual’s life is building their own home! Choosing the right home design that both suits your personal taste, and meets your functional needs can seem difficult, however when you know what to look for, you realize that it is not as hard as you thought.  The size of the home, the layout of the different rooms, among other factors can either enhance, or diminish the functionality of a home design. Here we discuss 3 factors to consider when choosing a home design.


  • Before you settle on a home design it is wise to think about your individual needs and wants as well as those of the other members of the family who will be residing in the home. A lot of consideration should be placed on the number of individuals in the family, and the type of family structure. Single-parent families, nuclear families, extended families have different needs. Given the same size lot, the design of the home will be different to achieve maximum effectiveness (for example the size of the kitchen should differ based on the family type). It is also important to take a look at where you are now and where you plan to be. Have you only recently been married, are you expecting to have your first child or another child soon, are your children just about ready to leave home, do you plan on expanding in the future, are you almost at the age of retirement? You need to ask yourselves these questions before settling on a design.



  • While focusing on the floor plan and the overall layout of the home ensure that you consider how the layout of your furniture will fit into the home. If you have not bought furniture as yet it would be easy to incorporate them into your home design. Consider whether or not the floor plan will accommodate the arrangement of the furniture. Ensure that the room sizes are of adequate size. Will the windows be blocked by furniture and appliances? Will the furniture layout utilize or hinder the flow of natural lighting into the home? All of these should be considered.


  • Do you consider yourself a very private individual? If yes, you should consider designing your home with an L or U shaped layout. Also consider how much privacy you would need and from whom. The home can be designed to limit interaction between your neighbors through the window and door plans, and from other family members with the addition of interior walls. Would you want a lot of privacy in the bathroom, bedroom, and your home office?


Which one of these factors do you find most important? Share with us and our readers in the comments below.

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5 Tips When Viewing a Home to Buy

Have you ever heard of anyone buying a home by only looking at the photos, or hearing good reviews? Most likely your answer is no. Before purchasing a home the prospective buyer should always schedule visits to the properties they are interested in. However, viewing the property without knowing what to look for or knowing what to do can have the same effect as not viewing the property at all. This is one of the most important decisions anyone can make especially because it is usually more difficult process to sell a home than to buy one.  Here are five tips to guide you when viewing a home.

  • Ensure that everything that is supposed to work actually works. If electricity and water are currently available to the property check the water pressure, light switches, circuits to be certain that no additional maintenance has to be done on your part. If you have already been informed of any issue that may already exist then it is not necessary, however you still can do this to determine the extent of the problem.
  • While walking through the property look at the structure of the building, pay close attention to both the exterior and interior walls. See if you can find cracks which can be a symptom of structural problems, or for the presence of mold. If you find something wrong with the home ask questions to find out whether the problem can be fixed before you decide to buy the home.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the community where the home is located, it is wise to ask the agent, homeowner, and neighbors about the surroundings. Is it peaceful or noisy? Does a lot of criminal activity (burglary, etc.) occur in the area? Do the schools nearby provide quality education? If you eat out often, where can you get a bite to eat in the area? What time does the bus service shut down in the area? All these should be considered when deciding whether you should buy the home or keep on searching.
  • A common mistake that many home buyers make is making a decision after viewing the property only once. If you are interested in buying the home ensure that you schedule a visit with the agent or homeowner at least two or three times. The next time you visit you may find problems that can deter you, or aspects you love but did not notice at first. It is recommended that you view the property at different times of the day to take note of the changes in lighting and surroundings.
  • Do not rush the final decision. Whether you fall in love with the property at first sight or not take your time before you make a decision. A home is a serious and often lifelong investment. Hence necessary thought and consideration should be given. When looking at the property together with the agent or homeowner. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions about the property as possible.
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Bathroom Design Tips

The bathroom is the most widely used room in a home. Not only does it serve the entire family and guests on a daily basis, but it also serves many different functions. Such an essential part of the home should be granted a substantial amount of attention, and should be well designed. Here are a few things to consider when planning and designing your bathroom.


Ensure that the first thing seen when entering the bathroom is NOT the toilet. Very often bathroom doors are left open providing a constant glimpse as to what is within. While we are all aware of what a toilet looks like, it is not aesthetically pleasing, especially when you have visitors. Design the bathroom in such a way that the toilet does not directly face the door. According to the size of your bathroom space, a well-designed stall that fits with the style of the rest of the bathroom can be installed to provide privacy. This also provides the benefit of allowing more than one individual to use the bathroom at a time.


For quality lighting, install lights on each end of the bathroom mirror at eye level (do not install light fixtures directly above) to improve illumination when doing tasks such as makeup, or shaving. If you love having works of art inside the bathroom use recessed directional lights to help them stand out. For a calm and relaxing feel in the bathroom, candles can make an excellent addition.


The frequent use of water makes the bathroom vulnerable to mold build up. To reduce and prevent the occurrence of mold infestations in the bathroom ensure that there is at least a small window for fresh air to enter. Another but more expensive option to consider is the installation of a fan that vents to the outside.


It is for more than just appearance. If the vanity is too small countertops become clustered. If it is too large it can take up much needed space. If the wrong materials are used constant maintenance will be required. The vanity should be placed in a location that does not hinder movement in and out of the bathroom. Materials such as wood veneers, laminates and thermofoil are ideal, as they are more resistant to humidity and moisture.


Whether you decide to install a bathtub or a shower, it all depends on your personal taste as well as the space you have available. For small bathrooms a shower is the ideal choice; however there are small bathtubs that make use of the space provided.


When tiling the bathroom have the layout pattern planned out beforehand. Consider the areas you want tiled, whether it’s only the floor, the floor and the entire wall, or parts of the wall. Other details such as working around doors, windows and bathroom fixtures should be considered. Ensure that you use appropriate tile sizes for the various surfaces, and that the design works together.