During bad weather, coop or condo lobby and hallways need a bit of extra attention to keep them looking and feeling fresh. Wet conditions such as rain, sleet, snow and New York City’s famously annoying slush can wreak havoc on the public areas of your building. And can turn your warm, welcoming space into a dirty, muddy mess.

When we work with boards and management companies to renovate their lobbies, there are three items we always recommend to tastefully prepare for bad weather:

1. Bad-Weather Mats

The most basic items to reduce the effects of inclement weather in your building are bad-weather mats. These mats serve three important purposes:

  • They keep your lobby and hallway floors dry
  • They keep salt and ice-melt chemicals from damaging floor surfaces
  • They minimize the risk of slip-and-fall accidents

By monitoring the weather, your staff will know the appropriate times to lay down your bad-weather mats – before things get messy. In most cases, mats should only be used when necessary. Keeping them down when it’s sunny and clear outside can make them look tired and worn-out. Plus, you don’t want to hide your beautiful floors unless it’s absolutely necessary!

2. Umbrellas & Umbrella Stands

Your door staff is frequently called upon to help residents and visitors get out of a vehicle in front of your building. Staff helps with packages and groceries, too. So…they’re always going in and out.

One or two umbrellas handy at all times for your door staff to grab reduces the chance that your lobby floors will become wet, slick, and dangerous.

But…where to put those soaking wet umbrellas? In an umbrella stand, of course!

We love helping our clients choose the perfect umbrella stand for the design of their lobby. It’s such a small thing that goes a long way in terms of convenience – and design. To see some of our favorite umbrella stand designs, check out An Array of Beautiful Umbrella Stands.

3. Try Using Scent!

The right atmosphere is important for both the physical and mental health of coop and condominium residents – especially during this pandemic. But you may never have had a thought of adding an olfactory element to your lobby and common areas.

Using scent to enhance the mood of your building is a fun and inexpensive way to create a sense of welcome for residents…and prospective residents.

Evergreen, for example, is a fresh and crisp scent and a great choice for winter. There’s even evidence it can reduce stress (we all need a little of that right now!). Lavender is known to evoke feelings of calmness and serenity. And I’m totally gaga over the scent of fig! Fig is a beautifully rich fragrance that imparts a sense of warmth and luxury.

Branding Your Building

And while you’re thinking about keeping your lobby and hallways fresh during bad weather, consider “branding your building”. As part of our lobby and hallway interior design services, we consult with many of our clients about creating the brand for their building.

Branding creates an identity for your building that enables you compete with flashy new (branded) buildings in your neighborhood. You can hire a graphic designer to create a custom logo and color scheme then use your “brand” to make your building more memorable – on your awning, floor mats, umbrellas, and even staff uniforms.

Another aspect of branding is giving your building a name instead of just using your address. A number of our clients have chosen new names that reflect the building’s history, architecture, or neighborhood.

As you can see, with just a few additions it’s not hard – or expensive – to keep your building fresh during bad weather. Spring will come eventually, but in the meantime, try some of the suggestions above to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere – and to get you through the rest of this long winter.

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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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