Category Archives: Tips For Clients

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!

Your Decorating Budget and 8 Sure Fire Tips to Get It Right!

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Hands down….THE #1 question asked by our clients is “what should our design project cost?”

What I tell my clients is they must be clear about the project scope and the level of finish, furniture and materials they are willing to pay for. The amount of structural change will also have significant impact on costs. This would include building a larger package closet for all of those Amazon packages and weekend golf clubs, relocating the doorman station for better function and a security presence or changing the building entry façade.

We always visit the project site and prepare a Preliminary Budget Estimate. This is a menu of costs derived from years of experience with similar projects. Generally, these are numbers for construction related non-furniture/furnishings costs that are estimated with the help of a General Contractor. Examples of these costs would be the labor and materials to do painting, wall covering, flooring whether carpet, wood or tile, cabinetry, hardware, counter top materials supplied and installed, electrical work and any partition changes.

The following is a list of tips that will help you dot every “i” and cross every “t” when you do your fiscal planning for any upcoming interior design project.


  1. Understand everything that is listed, what the costs are and why. If there are items named that you have never heard of before, don’t be shy – ask what they are!
  2. Note anything that may have been over looked. Are your “wish list” items addressed?
  3. Are there cost saving options and alternatives offered? These may help you make some of your decisions quickly.
  4. Expiration date – how long will this budget be valid? Do you need time to consider the finances and scope to decide what you can afford? You don’t want to find out that the budget will change in 30 days. And if there isn’t an expiration date – ask for one!
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  5. Sales taxes and delivery charges – are these costs included? If not, they should be,  so you have the complete picture.
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  6. Is there any additional material figured into the budget to keep on hand, just in case there is damage in the future? This is very important and very often over looked! We call this “attic stock”.
  7. Designer Fees – is the budget clear so that you can easily identify labor charges, products costs and the Designer’s fee?
  8. Contingency number – we always recommend that your budget have a “fudge factor” for those unforeseen site conditions or even some goodies you may want to add. Always add in a contingency figure so there are fewer surprises!  Generally, 10% is a good number.

Need any help with any upcoming projects?  I’d love to hear from you!