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'Tis the Season What You Should Know When Decorating Your Lobby

You don’t need a calendar to know that the holiday season is almost upon us–just look around: from elaborate window displays in department stores to the subtle decorations like wreaths and lights, it’s hard to ignore the various decorations this time of year. But perhaps your co-op or condo board is still contemplating how to convey the spirit of the season within your building. From simple to elaborate, co-ops and condos can feature an array of decorating ideas. What’s right for your building depends on several factors including size, budget and whom you pick to decorate.

Before You Begin

"The board should discuss decorating during the October or November board meetings," suggests Bram Fierstein of Gramatan Management in New Rochelle, New York. In the planning stage, the decorating budget will help determine exactly what can be done with the lobby and surrounding areas. "Boards have to decide how much money they want to spend. That price determines the limit to decorating," he adds. "I’ve seen buildings spend thousands of dollars on hiring a decorator to do it, and I’ve also seen buildings who leave it in the hands of the super."

In the case of holiday decorating, less is more. "Holiday decorations should be simple and tasteful," says Fierstein. Something simple gets the point across without looking overdone and also makes it easier to maintain the tastefulness of the decorations as well. Going overboard on one aspect and not another may offend some residents, so keeping it simple is a way to prevent potentially overlooking decorative possibilities.

The most common or traditional decorations are still wreaths and artificial trees for Christmas and menorahs for Hanukah. However, though Fierstein hasn’t seen it himself, a growing number of lobbies are starting to include the African American celebration Kwanzaa as well. With several holidays occurring around the same time, you should be sensitive to all observers. Fierstein believes this can be accomplished by:

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