Category Archives: Thoughts On Design

A Gallery Of Beautiful Apartment Building Signage

Have you ever paused at a street corner to think to yourself, “why does a stop sign look like that?” This may come across as a weird question at first. After all, we follow stop signs every day, what’s more, to know? However, a stop sign has more going on than you may think. Its sharp red color shows oncoming traffic when to hit the brakes; its reflective coating makes it easy for nighttime drivers to pinpoint its location in the dark, and its unique octagonal shape is designed to alert drivers (facing the back of the sign) of oncoming traffic’s impending stop at an intersection.

As an interior designer, I am admittedly somewhat obsessed with signs. But the signs I’m obsessed with are indoors and serve some very mundane functions, such as informing you what floor you’re on, or what to do in case of a fire, or which direction to turn when you get off an elevator. The choice of signage (fonts, materials, placement) is an important part of residential lobby interior design and hallway interior design.

 I must admit, designing interior signage is one of my favorite parts of a project. When all the other design decisions have been made, it’s fun to design them. I don’t think anyone has ever written a blog before about apartment building interior signage designs, so this may be a first.

My personal gallery of beautiful apartment building signage

 

1) 140 East 56th Street, Manhattan

Building SIgnage ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The period typeface “Neutra” (named for the modernist architect Richard Neutra) was perfect for this midtown Manhattan mid-century modern building built in 1956. The emphasis here is on the apartment line, which presents larger than the floor number (kind of sexy, right?) To emphasize this fun juxtaposition even further, the chocolate brown door is layered with a lighter oiled bronze metal etched around the border, so you have the dark door, a light border, and a dark field behind the lettering.

Also, “Neutra” just sounds cool.

2) 1230 Park Avenue, Manhattan

Top Door Signage designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



This Upper East Side Carnegie Hill 1930 pre-war has an exquisite lobby encrusted with molded plasterwork on its ceilings and walls, marble and terrazzo floors, and luscious paneled doors. Our task was to provide signage designs and hardware that indicate the stairwells but fit beautifully into the elegant interior design.

 In this case, we chose a classic serif font for the letters (Times New Roman) and mounted them over the lovely period-style door hardware. The effect is super luxurious and gets the job done.

 

3) Holland House – Forest Hills, Queens


For the Holland House, we used some of the original advertising materials that were created when the building first opened in 1929. We were able to match the font (“California”) and it perfectly fits in with the lobby interior design. You can see it on the sign on the right-hand side in this image.

Here’s something really cool, too! The building originally had floor indicator signs above each elevator. But when the elevators were renovated, the indicator signs were removed. We gave them a new life and today when residents and guests step out of the elevator they are greeted by the old elevator indicator, which is set to the floor they’re on. We also matched the apartment “wayfinding” letters and arrows with the same font and material that leads visitors to the right apartment in style.

 

4) The Endicott – 101 West 81st Street, Manhattan

Door and Laundry Room Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this 1900 pre-war building’s proximity to Central Park, the residents requested that we find a way to bring the verdant lushness of the park right into the building. We found lots of ways to do this in our work as NY lobby interior designers and NY hallway interior designers but when it came to the signage design, we had to make a decision. How could we keep the signage from overtaking the delicate interior design elements we had created?

The answer was to use a weathered and antiqued aluminum, which looks like real silver for most of the signage design. On each floor, we hung a simple rectangular mirror framed in aluminum. The text looks like it’s sandblasted into the glass, but it’s actually a custom designed decal! The simple yet elegant “Palatino” font was a perfect choice here.

At The Endicott even the laundry room sign is distinctive. We stayed true to the overall design again with the horizontal shape and white lettering in “Palatino”. The striking white line around the perimeter keeps the effect from being stodgy. Note the braille, which is now part of ADA requirements, of which we are experts (we have to be!).

 

5) 45 Sutton Place, Manhattan

Sutton House Interior Design by Sygrove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we chose brush brass for the signage and, despite similarities to signs at The Endicott (they both are brushed metal, use a serif font, and have white borders), the 45 Sutton signs are more traditional in feeling. The font is “Times New Roman” and “ the white border gives it a fresh, up to date look.

6) The Atrium Palace Condominium – Fort Lee, New Jersey


Sygrove Design Fort Lee's The Atrium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We call this sign “balls” because of the tiny balls that are mounted on the top and bottom of the apartment identification signs. Believe it or not, this inspiration came about when I visited the sign factory and saw braille signs they were making. Since the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requires that all new signage include braille, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be unique to use the balls as a design motif, too?” Imagine my delight when the residents agreed with me!

 The “balls” eventually became a design motif for the entire renovation project of this large residential building in New Jersey.

 

7) Residential Apartment Building – Upper West Side, Manhattan


Sygrove - NYC Door Signage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sign was designed for a pre-war Upper West Side of Manhattan rental building whose owner really loves his buildings and appreciates quality, too! The signs have some real heft to them. They are 1/8” thick solid polished brass with two etched borderlines and a flower motif, which was inspired by the frieze on the exterior of the building. In this way the building’s distinctive exterior is incorporated into the interior design.

 These signs are affixed to each apartment door and in addition to looking just gorgeous, provide residents with a peephole for security and incorporate their doorbell button, too.

 If this blog makes you start obsessing over interior signage where before you walked past with nary a glance, share them for me. I have a soft spot for lovely fonts and clever design.


— Marilyn

 

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Residential-Interior-design-idea

My Favorite Interior Design Services

Our core obsession, lobby interior design, is just one of several primary interior design services here at Sygrove Associates Design Group. In fact, we provide a quite wide variety of interior design services. In addition to our noted work in high-end apartment, condo and coop buildings, our capabilities include corporate offices and family homes, as well (see below).

According to the National Interior Design Association (IIDA), “Throughout the…the creative process, designers are constantly defining themselves and redefining their work.” I like to think of my team as versatile method actors being constantly exposed to new challenges that sharpen our ability to capture the emotional appeal and artistic expression of each project we undertake.

I’d like to share three projects with you to demonstrate what I mean:
a chic lobby redo on the Upper East Side, a park-inspired hallway total update on Central Park West, and a stately family home in Scarsdale. All stay true to our mission of delivering interior design services that satisfy our clients’ aesthetic desires and also, stand the test of time.

Three of our Favorite Interior Design Services

Favorite Interior Design Projects

Lobby Interior Design – 14 E. 90th Street

Doesn’t this space make you feel like an aspiring urban hot shot? The owners wanted us to freshen-up their pre-war lobby so that it could be more appealing to a younger professionals and families without losing the pre-war charm. This required us to introduce elements into the space that are just a sliver on this side of edgy, but are chic and elegant, as well. This beautiful space today is the total opposite of stodgy.

What I love about this lobby is the delicate balance of artwork and accessories. Stylized butterflies and classical landscape plans give way to hand-colored architectural prints arranged in such a way that they look like mosaics. The accessories such as lamps and furniture are like precious jewels in perfect settings.

I loved being involved in every one of our interior design projects, and this one really stands out.

 

Hallway Interior Design – 400 Central Park West

What a delight to live on Central Park West across from the verdant environment in Manhattan. The design committee asked us if we could come up with a way to integrate the lushness of the park into this hallway interior design project. We were thrilled with the challenge!

First, we designed a gorgeous carpet that features a stylized branch pattern. It looks ultra luxurious yet it is manufactured in such a way that it repels dirt and mud (and there’s lots of dirt and mud when you live so close to the park. The wall covering, despite looking like organic linen, is hard wearing and durable, too.

Here’s the piece de resistance: In order to keep the long hallways from feeling so endless and bleak, we created twig-inspired wall murals at each end. Having artwork at the end of each corridor creates the feeling of “something to look forward to” as people walk down the hall.

I’m sure you can appreciate why this hallway redo is one of our favorite interior design projects.

Residential Interior Design (Scarsdale Residence)

As a mom and an interior designer, I can appreciate why some parents struggle with how to make their home as comfy and child-friendly as possible, but luxurious as well. If you think that child friendly and luxurious can co-exist, think again!

In this interior design project we started with a typical Scarsdale Tudor void of most of its Tudor interior elements, and went on to reintroduce period-inspired details such as a plaster ceiling, stone and wood flooring, and wall moldings throughout. Our choice of color palette fosters a light, bright, airy and super comfortable home. This living room, one of my favorite interior design projects to date, was also one of our most challenging because the owners have a lot of kids!

And with kids come sticky fingers, dirty sneakers, spills, and more. But my clients wanted a light neutral color scheme. Quite a conundrum, right? Wrong!

During my career of as a lobby interior designer, I have had this challenge many times before and I’ve become an expert on sourcing luxury materials that are soil-resistant, durable, long lasting, yet look and feel luxurious.

If you cringe when you imagine a bunch of toddlers climbing all over the incredible furniture in this irresistible living room, don’t. All of the sumptuous mohair, velvets and nappy carpets are, believe it or not, child-resistant! The luscious palette of taupes, creams, and aqua…creates a sophisticated living room for entertaining and the durability of the materials gives the family a comfy space they don’t have to worry about ruining.

I love my job. My firm is so blessed to be able to provide interior design services that make our clients happy an enable us to explore the limits of our creativity and experience. I’m fired up every morning to tackle the next adventure.

Let’s Make Beautiful Spaces Together.

— Marilyn

Founded in 1982, Sygrove Associates Design Group is the premier New York interior design firm for lobby, hallway and common area installations at high-end cooperatives, condominiums and real estate developments. Our residential and commercial interior design is timeless, functional, durable and easy to maintain, and projects are consistently on time and budget. That’s no accident – our president and founder Marilyn Sygrove is as tough as you are when it comes to quality and aesthetics.

Working closely with boards, residents and other stakeholders to build consensus, all design, planning and installation activities from concept to punch list are directed by Marilyn personally. She listens carefully before ever putting pencil to paper to make sure your space is as functional as it is beautiful. For a consultation please contact Marilyn directly at: 212.757.0631 or [email protected]