It’s holiday time. You have the whole family and close friends coming over for a meal. If you are anything like me, you decide on the table settings and menu in advance and find that as much as you plan, you are cooking non-stop for 2 days before the event. But…I also decide to make new things – oh why do I torture myself with this unnecessary pressure? Because I love to please our guests, of course!

I begin with the basic structure of how I would like the meal to go. How is this like designing a lobby you ask? It is all about the flow, logistics, space-planning and the ambience. I decide on a color scheme and a theme, set out the china, crystal, silverware, table cloth and napkins – the basics are covered. Then I decide how to bring in the warmth and wow factors. To me, that sounds just like a lobby!

Honestly, I find inspiration in the tons of magazines I subscribe to from cooking and lifestyle to architectural and design periodicals. Interior design and cooking is all about your resources. I particularly miss Gourmet Magazine – it had it all – dishes, table settings, centerpieces as well as room interiors and travelogues. It was a sad day when it was no longer in print. Thankfully, I still have a library full of the old copies to refer to and….as with most things today, you can find it on line:

I do the same for lobby design projects. My library is full of beautiful books that I regularly peruse for inspiration – color, details, ambience. I love the touch and feel of paper. That will never change for me!

The format for preparing a meal is so similar to how I approach a design project, it’s crazy! Shopping for ingredients is like shopping for materials. Having all of the ingredients lined up before I start cooking is like having all of the furniture, area rugs, wall covering and light fixtures ordered before construction starts. While the the last dishes of the meal are cooking I chill the beverages and open the red wines to breath. As the punch list is completed, we unwrap the furniture and place it where it belongs.

The guests arrive and they are offered a drink. Voila’ – just like the lobby reopening!

All is right with the world!

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.

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