boxes in lobby, nyc lobby interior designer, marilyn sygrove, sygrove associates design group

New Yorkers love eCommerce

We choose to live in the greatest city in the world, but we do everything we can to avoid leaving our apartments. To the outside world, this doesn’t make sense. Why live here if you don’t want to go out and enjoy it?

Our apartments are our sanctuaries. They provide a safe space that protects us from the cacophony and endless parade of humanity down on the street. Don’t get me wrong. We love the Big Apple – but it’s intense. So, when we’re at home, we just want to stay there.
(Besides, we can’t run down to the store looking the way we do when we’re cuddled up on the sofa eating Ben & Jerry’s. Someone might see us!)

Our friends who live in other cities used to be envious of our ability to order Chinese food, bottles of wine, and even groceries and have them delivered right to our door. All they had was Domino Pizza (and we know how true New Yorkers feel about that kind of pizza).

Traditionally, however, we had to leave home to purchase items such as clothing and shoes.
Until eCommerce came along.

Nirvana! New Yorkers can now buy anything, have it delivered and never leave their apartment. Do a search on Google for “the most unusual things you can buy online” you’ll find everything from a zombie survival kit to a full-sized tank!

Box-Ageddon Is A War For Your Doorman

A quote from an article in the New York Times back in 2015 shows that this problem was already brewing three years ago:

“Residents accustomed to having packages delivered to their apartments may have to pick them up in the lobby, and buildings where every outside delivery person was once accompanied by a staff member might, under certain circumstances, allow some to go unchaperoned.”

Your doorman probably won’t sign for a tank-sized cardboard box, but he is expected to deal with the avalanche of packages that arrive in the lobby every day. This is making his job a lot harder.
And while online shopping fits very nicely into the New York state of mind, it’s probably wreaking havoc in your lobbies.

For your doorman, package management has become a huge and frustrating part of the job. As soon as one package is claimed by a resident, three more take its place. I wouldn’t be surprised to if the number of packages delivered daily in NYC has at least tripled in the past three to four years.
(It reminds me of that famous scene in Walt Disney’s Fantasia (the original). In an attempt to destroy a magic broom, fledgling sorcerer Mickey Mouse becomes completely overtaken by thousands and thousands and thousands of them.) Broom-Ageddon meet Box-Ageddon!

The scene below is typical of what many residents encounter when they arrive home every evening. Is anyone even at the doorman desk? It’s hard to tell!

The unwieldy stacks of packages and boxes in your building lobby are not only unsightly, but they pose a safety concern, as well. A box could fall on an unsuspecting child or (heavens, no!) your dog! Untended packages are a lure for thieves. And, those piles of packages can block your doorman’s view of the front door.

It’s not surprising, then, that my interior design firm is busier than ever. In previous eras, coops and condos could put-off a lobby renovation. But because of box-ageddon, we now get several calls every month from frantic building management companies or homeowners associations whose number one reason they want to renovate their lobby is to have a place for the enormous number of packages delivered every day. Package rooms and closets are at the top of their lists of lobby must-haves.

The Problem Is...

The majority of New York apartment buildings were erected during the era when teeny-weeny mailboxes were perfectly fine for daily deposits of mail. And, many of them have relatively small lobbies.
So, one of the first things they say is, “We can’t imagine where a package closet could be located in our lobby. There’s no space for it!”

Lucky for them, we have in-depth knowledge of architecture and many decades of lobby interior design experience. I’m proud to say that we have been accomplishing miraculous feats of interior design magic to solve these kinds of problems. We’ve tucked closets underneath stairways, hidden storage behind partitions, and we have even discovered how to more efficiently use space in existing mail rooms. (Much to the delight of our clients.)

Are You At War With Boxes In Your Building?

If your lobby has seen better days and a re-do has been discussed, now’s the time. Don’t let box-ageddon lower your property value…

Let’s fight the good fight against box-ageddon!

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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