The lobby of any residential building creates the initial impression hence, it is important to make it attractive and appealing since visitors may need to wait in the lobby for a while. Home interior decor experts suggest making some efforts to design or decorate doors or surroundings particularly, irrespective of the size and since it is a waiting area, it is necessary for it to be comfortable, inviting and chique.
Each building has its own identity but the first impression of the apartment building has an impact on tenants and visitors hence, it should look its best since you want it to leave a positive and long-lasting impact that people will remember fondly. Whether you pick a Victorian, contemporary, minimalist or any other style, you must do your best effort to create an enticing lobby to welcome residents, guests and most especially prospective home buyers or tenants.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Charu Gupta, Director of L’ Institute De Dessins (LIDD), suggested, “Guests while sitting and waiting should be sitting on comfortable seat, able to read and relax at the same time. Creative lobby interior design can offer a fantastic first impression, creating a welcoming and reassuring entry for residents, owners, and guests as they take the steps or wait for the elevator, regardless of the size of the building.”
She listed some tips for designing residential building lobby:
1. Art work – Should be interesting that coordinate with the wall and furniture.
2. Candles – Delicate scented candles and decorative lamps create the perfect warm ambience in the foyer.
3. Carpet – Will enhance the look of your lobby by adding colour on the floor. It will also break the vastness of the flooring.
4. Ceilings – Are usually high and could have intricate molding design play with chandeliers with long drops, besides lighting they will enact as a piece of art.
5. Colour – Palette should include warm and welcoming tones. Combination of neutrals like white or ivory, highlight it with green yellow, aqua blue, purple or a subtle gold which adds colour and looks striking.
6. Columns – Incorporate them into the design in a spectacular way. Turn them into a beautiful gallery and display wall painting and framed artwork, perhaps even include an interesting sculpture this will add color and glamour.
7. Concierge – Desk is mandatory for mail delivery , packages on regular basis it is a good idea to have a space them.
8. Console – An elegant console with a large piece of artwork or mirror above. You can emphasize it further with scones on each side.
9. Flowers – Placing natural and fresh seasonal flowers on entryway or on both corners of front doors is really inviting. It will add colour, life and lingering fragrance to any space. You can also place indoor plants at the corner of the lobby to give an aesthetic look.
10. Furniture needs to be selected suitably. Comfort should be kept in mind while choosing chairs, sofas, ottomans or couches. You can add coffee tables, end tables, perhaps a magazine rack. Its a good idea too install a coffee machine and water dispense while your guests or some delivery boys wait down.
11. Lighting – Good lighting inside the apartment lobby and directly outside the building will make anyone entering or leaving feel much safer. With huge skylights, the lobby area might be totally drenched with natural light during the day. Illuminate lobby with different types of fixtures. Chandeliers floor, table lamps, sconces and candles are good options. Install lighting on separate switches and with dimmers to vary lighting levels, for reasons of safety, decor and aesthetics.
12. Maintenance – Daily maintenance is a must, particularly with heavy rain, which brings in mud and dirt. Rolled out rubberized mats protects floors and keeps people from slipping and falling.
13. Mirrors – Full length mirrors with intricate but exotic frame with scones on either side add glamour to the room.
14. Security – In buildings without a doorman or concierge, installing deadbolt key system available or magnetic card or fob key system is a good and idea for security and safety. Cctv video camera to record all comings and goings is a good idea.
15. Wallpaper – Add a customised subtle design one for that stylish and hospitable look.
According to Hetal Jujare, Interior Designer and Founder of Aarcs Interior Design Studio, following are simple 8 tips to deck up the lobby space of a residential building:
1. Have security at the front door – The first thing to greet the residents and guests should be the security guards. Security speaks to luxury experience for the residents and guest too. Having someone to check bags, luggage and packages will bring peace of mind makes it feel safe and secure.
2. Provide elegant staff uniforms – Team with elegant uniforms that match the theme and ambiance of the building is one of the key aspect of discipline of the building. It is important to choose garments that are business casual which makes staff look neat and refined but also approachable. The most important factor which is to be considered is that the uniforms must be clean and odourless.
3. Lobby colour combinations – Add an accent colour to enliven your lobby design. Select colours and materials in keeping with its function and you’ll end up with a welcoming entrance. Try to incorporate lighter shades to make it feel relaxed.
4. Lighting is vital –
i) Recessed ceiling lights: Place these as a dimmer switch and timer, so the lighting can be dimmed during daylight hours. Also the lights may be connected to Time so that during night time one can save electricity.
ii) Overhead light fixures: Depending on the lobby size and size of the overhead light, you’ll probably need more than one.
iii) Table lamps: Avoid table lamp as it may not be taken care due to people’s traffic area.
iv) Floor lamps: Avoid floor lamps as nearby activities may damage the piece.
v) Wall sconces: A wall sconce can provide both up and down lighting that is especially helpful near elevators and doors.
5. Add a touch of nature – Nature always is a stress reliver. Adding touches of nature does not just add to the quality of the place, but it also improves air quality and people’s quality of life because they feel more productive, energised and positive. Planters, dish gardens, bonsai plants, and lovely flowers are all good choices.
6. Use tough materials – As lobby is a place for all where personal care is neglected. Hence, material selection is considered a most important part for it. Select such materials where durability is a necessity. Few examples of material used for luxurious lobbies are metals, Veneer, Laminate, Tiles cladding, Italian marbles etc. Try to use water resistant materials.
7. Install a quality furniture – It is essential to have furniture strategically situated in your lobby to allow individuals to sit down and rest, be it to wait for a driver, wait for a friend, or communicate with the receptionist. Select high-quality items that offer both comfort and style.
8. Signages and boards – A lobby is incomplete without the signages. Lobby signages and reception signs provide an excellent way to use the otherwise bare walls. Reception signs invite customers and guests into your space, it introduces guests or owners to your brand, and create a warm and inviting environment. Also the signboard introduces the neighbours around which comforts each family.