Imagine buying a timeshare vacation place. Next…picture sharing it with everyone in your building. Finally, visualize the place you choose cannot be changed, at all, for the next twenty years.
Now, where do you look? In Florida? The Hamptons? Cape Cod? St. Thomas? Maybe a quaint little cabin the woods?
That’s what it’s like to redecorate the lobby of your building. Everyone in the building uses it, strangers have access, and building employees spend countless hours in it. It should look good, but not so good that you get sick of it quickly; it should fit the architectural style of the building, and convey nice things about the place, providing everyday pleasure and increasing the resale value of your unit.
A thankless task? Just a bit. Indeed, decorating the lobby is arguably the most important design element of an entire building, and is the most difficult project to get everyone to agree on.
The First Steps
Just getting started can morph into a nightmare quickly. First, a designer must be selected; since most fancy themselves as experts of interior design, many push for their referrals to do the job. “The selection process can be brutal, because everyone has a friend or a decorator who they recommend,” says Marjorie Hilton, a designer and owner of Marjorie Hilton Interiors, based in Manhattan. “There’s often a beauty contest of 50 people who are trying out to design the same lobby.”