3 NYC Lobby Renovations That Perfectly Reflect The Building Architecture

Just as the vibrant colors of spring blossoms give way to the lush greenery of summer, architectural design trends fade in and out of popularity – and New York City has examples of nearly every single one.

From the building boom of the 1890’s continuing into the modern day, the Big Apple has always been a bustling cacophony of architectural wonder. Apartment building residents are more conscious of the architecture around them. Today, NYC lobby renovations more and more involve staying true to the building’s architecture.

It’s disconcerting to walk into a traditional 1920’s apartment building and be confronted with an ultra-modern lobby, wouldn’t you agree? Therefore, in addition to everything that we are on top of to ensure the residents’ convenience, the needs of the staff, and comply with all the complex New York City building requirements, we also focus on the architectural style of the building when we plan our lobby renovations.

Successfully and seamlessly incorporating the needs of modern urban life into a lobby of a building that was built decades, or a hundred years ago, is the kind of challenge we thrive on.  And we’ve had tons of experience doing it.

To illustrate what I mean, here are three of our NYC lobby renovations projects. They illustrate how we make the connection between the architectural style of a building – and the needs of modern city life:

NYC-Building-renovations

  1. Architectural Style: Mid-Century Modern Design

    The Mid-Century Modern trend can be spotted all over New York City. Think Mad Men and white bricks, and you know what it is. To make this lobby harmonize with the building’s exterior but feel more current we incorporated midcentury modern shapes and angles into all the furnishings then chose a lovely color palette of grey-blues, lavenders, and soft burgundies. It is a much more welcoming experience than the original lobby with its dark burgundies, oranges, olives, and teals.

Lobby-interior-and-Exterior

  1. Architectural Style: Modern/Moderne

    This post World War ll architectural style marks a distinct departure from the fussy traditional buildings of earlier decades. We loved the drama of this spectacular apartment building in Forest Hills, Queens with its sweeping, curved lines. But the lobby was downright depressing.

    We wanted to stay true to the “less is more” character of the architecture so the lobby provides residents and visitors a delightfully smooth transition from the street into the living space. We preserved the open feeling and took it a step further by using more metal than in the original décor and choosing materials that help preserve the excitement of the architecture but with a more welcoming – and less ‘outer spacey’ – feeling.

  2. Architectural Style: 1920’s Traditional

    Residents who live in pre-war buildings love that pre-war feel. We often hear, “We bought into this building because it is so exquisitely detailed and we don’t want to lose that.” So, when approaching NYC lobby renovations in 1920’s traditional buildings, we salvage everything we can of the original details – then add our secret sauce so it will function well in the 21st In this example, we restored the coffered ceiling and replicated the original patterned tile flooring.

    Then, by using clever solutions we added all the necessities of a modern lobby. For color, we traded the traditional original palette of burgundies and hunter greens for blacks, charcoal greys, camels, and navies.

For every NYC lobby renovations project we take on, our mission is to ensure the residents and building staff have everything they need for today’s urban lifestyle. But staying true to the architectural expression of each building is also the trademark of our work. We are honored to be chosen so often to work on wonderful lobby interior design projects like these in the New York metropolitan area.

Ready to update your building’s tired old lobby? Please call us at 212-757-0631 for a
consultation.

Residential-interior-designer

The New Trends to Watch For in Residential Interior Design for Family Apartments

If you’ve ever wondered how New York City got to be known as “The City That Never Sleeps,” you’d have to venture back to the 1970’s and listen to John Kander and Fred Ebb’s song “New York, New York.” Ironically, however, parents in the modern day are bringing a new meaning to the moniker—as people are choosing to raise their kids in the city.

Couples are moving into large apartments (or, combining apartments) and even restoring full brownstones to accommodate their growing families. These urban parents want the newest trends in residential interior design but they also want homes that are child-friendly.

In this staircase area I chose carpet treated with a special finish that makes water bead up and keeps soil on that top for easy cleaning. The seat cushion is vinylized fabric so it wipes off easily. All the painted finishes can be wiped down.

As anyone who has ever worked with small kids may know, “trendy” and “child-proof” are two realities that rarely (if ever) mesh together. But just because you have kids it doesn’t mean you can’t update your home with an eye to the newest trends in interior design.

So, if the above scenario speaks to you and:

  • You want to reduce the wear and tear on your furniture and flooring
  • You want to entertain guests in your home without it looking like a medieval war zone
  • You want to incorporate the newest trends in interior design and create a safe place for your kids, too

. . . then an interior designer who is familiar with creating high-traffic environments that withstand the brutal forces of human nature is a great choice. Over the years I’ve discovered that what I’ve learned as a lobby interior designer enables me to create family oases in the city that stand the test of time.

To mesh the newest trends in residential interior design and with the needs of a growing family, I focus on the three most important elements of the interior design process:

     1. Choosing The Right Fabrics

When designing residential spaces I look for colors and patterns that will maintain their allure while also being able to hide soil. For you parents out there, this is a huge stress reliever because your furniture will require cleaning less often (and you won’t be embarrassed when you have guests!).

Living-room-designer

In this gorgeous yet kid-friendly family room, I selected concrete tables that are super durable and a snap to clean. All the fabrics I used have a finish that makes liquids bead up and soil stay on the top for easy cleaning.

If your apartment is really bright, I choose fabrics that resist fading (fading is a big problem in lobbies). But, if your family can’t give up that favorite couch, then we can add a film to the windows to reduce the intensity of direct sunlight.

One of my other tried and true tricks is to use fabrics manufactured with non-toxic surface protection that makes them easy to clean. So, if your child (or, your partner) has a knack for plastering peanut butter on the couch, these fabrics are phenomenal.

      2. The Latest in Traffic Patterns and Flooring

Furniture is always about placement, placement, placement. For example, I wouldn’t locate a valuable lamp right next to the kitchen. I’m sure you would hate to see it knocked over by a running child before dinnertime!

Domestic-interior-design

I used stone top and limestone floors have been sealed with a “bullet sealer” preventing stains in this family kitchen. The bar stools are a covered with vinylized patterned fabric that easily wipes clean.

And the process I use to analyze traffic patterns in a child-friendly interior design plan is nearly identical to what I use for lobby interior design projects. If your living space sometimes feels like Grand Central, then listen up:

Your high traffic areas should have hard flooring because it can be easily cleaned. Your low traffic areas are where you will use your carpet or rugs. Keeping this in mind makes floor cleanup a breeze and helps preserve your valuable carpet and rugs.

One piece of advice to bear in mind about carpet and rugs is that natural materials are often easier to maintain that their synthetic counterparts (i.e. wool vs. nylon). One of the newest trends in residential interior design is custom Rug installations. These are available from local Rug manufacturers I have built relationships with over the years for lobby project. I’ve ordered custom rugs from them for various apartment interior designs – all which are durable and easy to clean.

      3.  Types of Wall Coverings

For adult apartments, paper and fabric wall coverings are spectacular, but they’re not easy to keep clean. A design trick I learned as a lobby interior designer is to select wall coverings that look just like fabric, but are made of vinyl, instead. These are remarkably easy to clean (sticky hands, we’re looking at you!), don’t require a special application of surface protection (whereas expensive wall coverings usually do), and because there are so many choices I can usually spot when a new interior design trend is starting.

But, if you’re not in love with the idea of vinyl, there are some lovely options in fabrics coated with a really powerful stain and spot resistant. They can be quite costly but are worth it if your budget allows.

In closing, if you are raising kids in the “City That Never Sleeps”, focus on durability, easy maintenance, and easy wear. You deserve a home that withstands the onslaught of your kids and the other members of the traveling circus, while still incorporating some of the newest and interior design trends.

—Marilyn