I can’t believe how many compliments we received when we posted a few photos from a recently completed a hallway redesign project.

It took me by surprise!

As interior designers who are frequently hired for hallways and lobby projects in NYC coop and condo buildings, our work is complex. It requires us to be experts to help our client select fabrics (will it hold up to wear and tear?), lighting (do they meet the new energy efficiency standards and requirements?), traffic patterns, artwork…the list goes on.

One particularly tricky aspect of our work is choosing a color palette all the owners will love…maybe not everyone will love…but agree on. Having consensus on something as important as what they’ll be seeing every day, at least twice a day, is an art. One, I can proudly say, we’ve mastered.

However, often we can obtain only smallish swatches and samples to show to our clients. Colors can look very different when applied to a large surface compared to a swatch. As designers, it’s our job to gain the trust of our clients, so when we gently steer them away from colors that we know won’t work in “real life” – they believe us.

For example, we definitely advise our clients to stay away from colors that may be controversial or objectionable. And, the palette also must stand the test of time. Colors like pumpkin orange, Pepto Bismol pink, and basement teal come to mind. They were very popular in the ’60s, but today they just look dated and, frankly, garish:

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Before & After

Yet, sometimes we’re surprised by what our clients ask for. At a recent meeting, a member of the design committee pulled up a photo on our website and said, “This is exactly the look and feel we’re looking for!”

The photo is a project we completed many years ago. We keep it on the website because it’s beautiful, and we’re proud of it, but I really didn’t expect someone would ask for the same palette. Why?

It’s beige!

In the interior design world, beige is thought of as “so passé.” Yet, here was a very sophisticated owner (who had asked for a color palette that was classic yet contemporary and fresh and modern), asking for beige!

What do I know?

So, we took inspiration from the older project and warmed up the beige it with soothing taupes, grays, and greens. This is the photo that got so many rave reviews:

hallway interior design in NYC

Here's what I learned

  • Beige (obviously) is not out of style
  • It’s the approach (not the colors), that make a palette feel modern
  • You never know what your clients are going to fall in love with, so show them your entire body of work
  • We have a ton of loyal fans on social media! Join us: Instagram / Facebook

So, if you live in a coop or condo in NYC or northern New Jersey and are ready to spruce up your hallways and/or lobbies, we’d love to have the opportunity to be a part of it.

Thanks for reading!

— Marilyn

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 hello@sygrove.com or call her directly at 212.757.0631.

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