Monday, October 24, 2011

Condo Lobby Project

This summer I was asked by the Board in my condo building to help redesign the lobby in our building.  I was especially excited about this project because the lobby was in desperate need for a new look.  Imagine a room with just white/beige walls, a stained garage mat, fishnet ripped curtains that hid the beautiful floor to ceiling windows, and a cliche digital print that looked like it was an afterthought that the builder threw up at the last minute.  It really wasn't representative of the hip, urban condos and people in our building.  My mind was racing with different ideas as to how we could improve this look and I decided to go with a blend of modern regency...clean, straight lines in the furniture and foundation of the space with elegant and soft details. 

There are several permanent fixtures throughout the space including an asymmetrical gray brick wall in one corner with jewel-colored tiles running up the ceiling in that area.  The tiles on the ceiling were the inspiration to the color story for the room with blue, green, and punches of aubergine.  Not only did the color combination allow us to work with these permanent details in the room, but the deep blue (which technically wasn't the jewel-toned blue that I had originally picked but it's a long story with how this color blue ended up on the walls and not one I'm ready to rehash) and green presented the modern look while the aubergine softened the bold colors while adding a unique color scheme.

The other challenge this project presented was we had to do this design on a very tight budget, therefore we had to be creative with how we found pieces for this design.  The President of the Board, Mark (who is a design genius), found this couch for a steal on craigslist.  Seeing the lobby presents a high traffic area that goes through a lot of wear and tear, the dark color and leather material offered the durability we needed, and the mid century modern shape was perfect for the look we were trying to achieve.  The other bonus was that since it was a sectional, we were able to break up the furniture and place it around the room.  This saved our budget since we didn't have to buy additional furniture and provided the right level of balance that we needed when creating these seating areas.

When considering artwork, I thought this is where we could add some great dimension and interest to the room.  I couldn't love the artwork more but I can't take credit for finding these pieces.  Mark found the horse at Home Goods and I instantly fell in love with it.  It reminded me of a Roberto Dutesco photograph and offered the same drama, power, and emotion that his photographs evoke.  The texture and color scheme was also perfect against the bright blue wall we painted.  The mirror was also a piece that Mark had recently purchased at One Kings Lane for his own condo.  He was generous enough to put it down in the lobby and even let me take a can of green paint to it so we could add a pop of color against that wall.  We also had a fantastic flower display in the corner next to the mirror but alas, someone stole the vase and random and rude!

The final piece was adding the accents.  I really wanted to incorporate pillows for three reasons.  First, it added more color and interest, second, it softened the hard lines of the sofa and made the seating look more inviting, and finally, since we had used the same couch for all the seating throughout the room, it visually created a unique seating area.  I would have loved to add a few more natural elements like coral or colored minerals but I splurged on the Trina Turk pillows and we had exhausted the budget.

We're probably going to tweak a couple things but overall so many of our neighbors have thanked us for creating a unique, welcoming, and eclectic design.  This project really offered the opportunity to think outside the box and find a look that represented a hip, interesting building.

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