This is my first blog!
And it’s a great opportunity to tell the story about how I got started in the industry and built an interior design practice that has not only survived, but has thrived for over three decades in the toughest market in the country – New York City!
My father was a “big time” retail store designer and one of the pioneers in the field of visual merchandising, store planning and decoration. He designed Louis of Boston, Princeton Skate + Ski, and Braddock’s Menswear and was considered the top in his field. I was always in awe of him and when I graduated from college I could not wait to get a job at his firm. I ended up learning more from my father I had in four years of design school!
Dad was instrumental in getting me to understand the most important tenet of interior design I ever learned (and one that I still employ every day): all interiors are visual merchandising in one way or another. Dad’s theories around coordinated themes and artful vignettes that at the same time foster function and practicality are the basis for the design decisions my staff and I make for our clients every day. And it’s the reason why our projects are not only beautiful, but practical as well.
My design experience was further developed in my next job, which was to
design hotel lobbies, hallways, and guest rooms. Clearly, my tutelage in store planning was applicable to the sometime fantastical hotel design world as the “visual merchandising” of such spaces sets the tone for guests as they are making the decision where to stay.
My design range and scope expanded with working on New York City, national and international hotel projects. This is where the connection between residential, public space and commercial design jelled in my work. Hotels were looking for unique decors that made them stand out, whether contemporary, traditional, classic, or edgy. The level of detail and quality becomes the signature of a space, and I was perfectly suited to understand that.
In 1982, when I started Sygrove Associates Design Group I was armed with all of the knowledge and experience needed to catapult me into public space design for existing buildings that were converting from rental to cooperatives. My commitment to high standards, being eternally creative and solving tough design problems stems from a long history of design influences and years of direct experience, starting with my dad.
Thank you, Dad!