Good Questions: Front Lobby redo for under $1000

Good Questions: Front Lobby redo for under $1000

Aug 1, 2006

Enrique wrote in to tell us he has a fun project and needs your help with ideas!

Dear Fellow Apartment Therapists:

The homeowner's association of my building is planning to update our main entrance and lobby area. Attached is a floorplan (not drawn to scale) and pictures of the current space. As you can see, the area has the great bones and lines of a mid-'60s apartment building. The best features of the room are: the black terazzo floor; a 9.5' ceiling; and a deep earth-toned mosaic tile accent wall. The worst: the outdated '70s chandelier; the '80s loveseat and console table; and the textured parchment-colored wallpaper.

Immediate plans are to: scrape the cottage cheese ceilings; remove the
chandelier; install recessed lighting; polish the terrazzo floor; replace the existing furniture; and remove the existing plants—all of which have been budgeted for. The existing aluminum mailboxes will remain. In order to save money, the board is leaning towards using the 20-year-old black leather couch from our community room in the space and adding 2 small cocktail tables. But I had other ideas…

I persuaded the president of our board to allow me to present a design
proposal for a budget not to exceed $1,000 for furniture, new wall treatments (and associated labor), and possibly plants. Without a budget for a designer, I appeal to you all for your color and décor suggestions, as well as ideas for recessed lighting placement. Also, lower-cost source options like would be preferred. Keep in mind that with approximately 40% of the owners in their retirement age (some with mobility challenges), comfort and a design aesthetic that isn't too edgy are key for this common area. I have some ideas, but am curious to hear everyone else's input!


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