INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECT KICK-OFF MEETING GOALS – How to start your project on the right foot

I find that the success of an interior design project; lobby, halls, facade, community room or private residence is closely tied into an overall “game plan”. So to call together all of the players before anyone lifts a hammer is crucial to the order of things leading to a smoothly orchestrated project.

Everything leading up to the start date should be put to bed; all of the design work completed, approved and competitively bid out. The selection of the general contractor and specialty subcontractors have been made, contracts signed, deposits  paid and the work schedule has been coordinated among all of the parties.

We always recommend having a “kick-off”meeting at the jobsite. The team should include the property manager, building superintendent, project liaison, designer and the contractors. This introduction and “bonding time” is essential to success. It is the perfect time to establish the chain of command and the communication flow.


  1. Establish spaces that workers can use to change their clothes, eat their lunch and use a bathroom facility.
  2. Familiarize the entire team with the existing conditions and discuss any challenges.  Walking through the project to review the logistics of moving residents, workers and materials in and out of the site safely on a daily basis is essential. For example, if a stone floor installation is part of the project scope, it is good for the Team to visualize the residents’ path during the course of the installation. Team generated solutions typically come out of this collaboration.
  3. Work hours – noisy and quiet work will be discussed and worked out within the work day schedule.workhours
  4. Deliveries – anticipated dates and who will receive them. This can get tricky. An example would be items not purchased by the contractors which can included decorative light fixtures or wall covering. Sorting out whether the contractors’ workers or building staff will be lugging in things like the hallway light fixtures or wall covering.
  5. Security – workers to sign-in and wear company t-shirts.Unknown
  6. Communications and notification for residents – the property manager and superintendent  will post information prior to all work in advance so that residents have notice.images-1
  7. Set up formal site meetings on a regular (weekly or every other week) to review work, problem solve, prepare “look ahead” notices for residents and generate meeting notes for attendees and others.
  8. Confirmations – all certificates of insurance are correct and current, work schedules, and target dates are still up to date.

After years of large lobby and hallway design projects under my belt, I know that anticipation can really pay off.

If you have any questions on how to organize your Interior Design Kick Off Meeting, please feel free to send me an email.

How this Designer got quoted in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL!

Secretly (and not so secretly) I had always hoped that after years in a career of long hours, early morning meetings, night meetings, conference calls, stress and deadlines that one day I would get quoted in one of the main stream, worldwide circulation publications, like The Wall Street Journal. I’ve asked myself so many times – “how does this happen?”


It still amazes me that my business started before the internet became THE source for everything. We had a very basic website to show our work and how to contact us. Mistakenly, I thought that was all we needed and rarely updated our photos or freshened the look of the site itself. I had no headshot or any of the basics I have come to learn are critical when marketing yourself and your services.

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Thankfully, during one of my breakfast get togethers (the rare time I have to socialize) with a friend of mine, I mentioned there seems to be this buzz about all of this new stuff on the internet and I needed to get with the program. My friend gave me the name of my now social media and marketing “guru”, Betsy Kent of BeVisible and the rest is history. Betsy got me mobilized – interviewed me, re-wrote the content of the new website, recommended a website designer and made sure that we were tracking who we were reaching through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). She helped me think like an expert!  The things I took for granted are actually the things that people want to know.

What I learned is that our area of design filled a void in the interior design industry. Back in the 1980’s, rental buildings were being converted to cooperative buildings where residents had the opportunity to buy their apartments. No one was specifically designing the interior spaces of these buildings to enhance their marketability. I became the expert on designing lobbies, hallways, elevator cabs, facades, doorman stations, package closets which all stemmed from my experience in hotel design. It was a natural progression to multifamily dwellings with the exception of the client base. The new dimension was working for Boards and with Committees – a specialty unto itself…..

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I now find myself regularly consulting with my social media “guru” as well as my millennial son and Sygrove team members on how the world views us and what we do and what attracts them to our site. I have asked long term clients what makes Sygrove different. Building on this information is what I believe propelled the Sygrove name in front of a journalist who was writing an article about lobby storage space. Sygrove is the expert and the media quotes experts.

I believe it has been through our high work standards, industry reputation and the hard work keeping our website and social media presence fresh and current contributed to why The Wall Street Journal singled me out for a quote. As the saying goes…”hard work pays off.”



Sygrove got quoted!