Park Avenue Lobby Design, NYC

From the bustling boroughs of NYC to the serene suburbs of Westchester County and beyond, one theme remains consistent in the world I live in: achieving consensus is a Herculean task. However, with more than 30 years in business and hundreds of successful projects, my firm, Sygrove Associates Design Group, has unlocked the keys to gaining that elusive agreement.

Why is Achieving Consensus Such a Challenge?

It’s no secret that residential building renovations bring out a myriad of opinions. Whether it’s about the choice of wall paint or the intricacies of an architectural detail, everyone, from the Board president to the newest owner, has a perspective. However, in my experience there are three concerns that stand out as universal concerns:

  • Staying authentic to the building’s architectural era.
  • Ensuring the renovation positively impacts the building’s value.
  • Achieving stakeholder consensus, or in other words, avoiding disaster!

Let me take you through our 4 tried-and-true approaches that enable our firm to gain consensus and ensure every one of the renovation projects we take on run as smoothly as possible:

1. Make Everyone Feel Valued

When we’re brought on board, we often hear residents complain, “The Board always does whatever they want, regardless of our opinions.” In order to change this narrative right from the start, we create a forum where all stakeholders feel free to express their ideas and concerns. When everyone feels valued and integral to the project, it leads to a smoother process and happier outcomes.

2. No Voting

If your Board or the interior design firm itself encourages residents to vote on important decisions, beware. It’s a very bad idea. We learned early on that voting breeds more division than unity. Voting creates a breeding ground for resentment because there will always be winners and loser. The aftermath includes phone calls to Board members all day and night and impromptu resident-led petitions. We advocate for a different approach…surveys.

Park Avenue Lobby Design, NYC

3. Well-Designed Surveys

The most effective tool to gauge residents’ preferences without sparking contention are surveys. A survey designed with thoughtfully curated questions provides you with invaluable data that empowers the Board to make decisions that resonate with the majority. Surveys enable our firm to maintain a harmonious atmosphere before, during and after the project.

4. Communication – Communication – Communication

You, as a Board member or property manager simply cannot communicate too much. It’s crucial you do everything to keep the stakeholders calm. We always recommend posting frequent and regular notices explaining what’s going on, what’s going to happen next, and when it’s going to happen.

You may also want to consider holding a one-time forum where the final selected design is presented. We recommend you call it a Special Meeting. This way people don’t automatically assume there will more forums (because there will not!). Invite the design team so they can answer questions that you may not be able to.

Park Avenue Lobby Design, NYC


Achieving consensus during lobby and hallway renovations isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s a journey of understanding, patience, and collaboration. If you’re on the brink of a renovation, hire an interior design firm that values consensus as much as design, style, and craftsmanship. The end result? Warm and welcoming spaces that everyone loves coming home to.

Sygrove Interior Design Services

Sygrove Associates Design Group is an NYC interior design company. Our company’s founder Marilyn Sygrove is the lead interior designer on all projects. And she’s as tough as you are when it comes to quality, aesthetics, and coming in on time and on budget.

It all starts with a design consultation with Marilyn. She takes the time to thoroughly understand your design needs then personally directs all interior design, planning, and installation activities. Her work has been delighting clients, co-op and condo boards, and homeowners for over 30 years.

You can reach Marilyn by email at or call her directly at 212.757.0631.

Share This Article