Four Ways to Make Your Lobby Look Welcoming Without Seating

Covid-19 has exacerbated concerns about residents and guests sitting in apartment lobbies, but there are still many ways to make a lobby shine without chairs or sofas. A lobby can still appear warm, elegant, and appealing with the right materials and design. As I always say, if you must do less, you must maximize the quality of what you do—and this philosophy most certainly appeals to designing a lobby sans seating. 

In order to make your lobby appeal to your community, building type, and neighborhood, you’ll want to keep the following four tips in mind.


Master the Well-Designed Doorman Desk

A doorman desk should not be the place for jumbled wires, visible computer monitors, piles of papers, and the like. This setup reeks of disorganization, poor maintenance, and inefficiency, which are certainly not qualities you wish to portray to residents, visitors, and, of course, potential buyers. To avoid these pitfalls, take a few preventive steps. Streamline files and go digital where possible. You may also wish to install doors or cabinets behind a desk to stow essentials. Invest in a desk with a high front that allows computer monitors to remain out of sight from those passing by. A sleek setup will make your building feel more luxurious and orderly in an instant.


Maintain Quality Flooring and Wall Treatments

You certainly don’t want your building to appear as if it’s a sterile place with zero welcoming qualities. Ensure that flooring is well-maintained; carpet and area rugs should be cleaned frequently, while natural floors and terrazzo should regularly be buffed and polished. All floors, whether porcelain or natural, should be kept free of debris. Artwork should be engaging—while by no means do residents expect to see priceless works in their lobby, the pieces hung should be sophisticated and reflect the overall building’s aesthetic, complementing its architecture, surroundings, and color. High quality, professional photographs of the surrounding neighborhood are one simple solution.


Add Statement Artwork

A statement art piece will capture the eye’s attention immediately upon walking through the door. Murals, photographs, or abstracts are all excellent choices. Large-scale works have a certain ‘wow’ factor and will always serve as a stunning focal point in the lobby. This may be the opportunity to invest in a one-of-a-kind piece, as your statement art will likely remain hanging for many years—even decades.


Incorporate Fresh Flowers or Live Plants

If you need assistance in creating a welcoming setup, take a look at this post (link to my other post), where I go into detail chronicling the essentials needed to design a beautiful indoor garden. Plant life will add so much energy to any lobby and keep a space feeling well-curated and fresh. I recommend that buildings with an operating budget that allows for a flower service take advantage of this option; however, buildings that are home to interested and talented residents may wish to draw upon the skills of these individuals to create eye-catching displays each season.

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.