As the old saying goes, great minds think alike. That’s certainly the hope when designers and design committees join forces to tackle the aesthetic issues faced by co-op and condo buildings throughout New York. Whether it’s a lobby redecoration, a common area renovation, or the creation of an entirely new decorative space, the designers and committees are often called upon to make decisions on a scale that will impact each and every building resident. Trying to reach consensus on those decisions takes skill, tact and a shared desire to reach the common goal of a good design.
“It’s a very challenging task, but it’s part of what makes working with co-ops so exciting,” says Michel Franck of Manhattan’s Owen & Mandolfo, Inc.
With that in mind, it’s obvious how important a healthy and harmonious working relationship between all of the individuals involved in the process truly is to the success of the project.
Where it All Begins
When the time comes for a building to get a new look or a little tender loving aesthetic care, boards often will turn to that rare breed of volunteer: the design committee.
Most committees are comprised of board members or residents with an interest in design and the visual arts. “It works best when the committee is a cross representation of the people who live in the building, because they’re the people who know the building best,” says designer Liz Morehouse of Morehouse Design Associates, Inc., based in Manhattan.