To many people, the elevator isn’t just a device to get you up or down. Wood paneling, exotic woods, carpets, mirrors, chandeliers, brass operating panels—that’s what you’ll see when you go into many elevators in high-end buildings.
Time was, before 1920 or so, when just living in an elevator building was considered a luxury. Many of the elevators of that period reflected that, with chandeliers and velvet couches. Then, elevators became more common and more utilitarian. Now, many designers want to redefine the elevator as a luxury item once more.
The total effect of entering one of today’s luxury elevators—whether made by Schindler, Dayton, Concord or another manufacturer, or just custom designed—is that you’re not just entering an elevator but entering another, luxurious room in the lobby.
“Luxury elevators are really custom-made pieces of furniture. They could have rich traditional wood design, contemporary glass design, woven wire mesh, stainless steel, brass, stone—there’s a whole variety of what can be done,” says Doug Gilman of Elite Elevator Cab Remodeling in Garden City Park. Mirrors, which give a sense of space, are also common, but most experts agree that wood is the most common décor.
Moreover, if you think such elevators can only be found in the equivalent Trump Village, you’re mistaken. “They’re all up and down Fifth and Park Avenue, almost every building. We have them in Brooklyn now, and even in Forest Hills,” Gilman adds.