by Cathy Doherty
Whether it’s columns at the front of an estate home or a sunshine yellow front door, the entrance is the first impression of who is behind that door. Real estate agents know this. Invariably, their first suggestions before listing a property focus on that front entrance—moving plants, repainting, fixing steps—and inside the doorway ensuring the space is inviting. That first impression is just as important in a condominium highrise. For owners, their suite door is the secondary entrance; the lobby is where guests and potential purchasers will form their first impression.
If tiles aren’t cracked, or wall coverings aren’t damaged, sometimes updating a lobby is not at the top of the priority list for a Board of Directors. But over time, the once welcoming entrance, now stale and outdated, becomes nothing more than flow through space that says “we’re too busy to worry about this now”.
This was the case at YRCC 591. The lobby had gone well beyond its ‘best before’ date. Though the lobby was still fully functional, the furniture still in good shape and the colours weren’t offensive, there was a tiredness about the space.
Imagine being a visitor, sitting in the front lobby of your building, waiting for a real estate agent, or a friend to come from their suite. If your wait is anything more than 1 or 2 minutes, the colours on the walls, the layout of the space and design of the furniture become either an irritant or a pleasure. As a potential buyer, owners hope that the lobby is inviting, chock full of the ‘wow’ factor to keep your interest peaked even before seeing the suite. As a guest, owners want to impress and garner compliments rather than explain away dreary colours and fading fashions. If the lobby isn’t presenting an inviting first impression, then it might be time to rethink the look.
When the Board of Directors at YRCC 591 brought in Trevor Kruse, from Hudson Kruse Design, to present a new look, they knew the time had come. Owners and residents alike agreed a change was needed. Trevor knew they were demanding something dramatic and unique.
Everyone may want a new image, but how easy is it to renovate a lobby while residents continue to traipse in and out? It becomes easier when a well-planned project is in place, with open communication and scheduled deadlines being met. For a short time residents may feel like they are living in a construction zone, but the enthusiasm for a project like this far outweighs the short-lived inconvenience. When asked how difficult it was to get residents and owners on side for the project, Trevor Kruse happily reflected on his experience at YRCC 591, “There wasn’t any resistance.” Kruse noted that the lobby had become so outdated the community was eager to update it. “When a refurbishment is started so long after it should have been, it is easy to make improvements.”
There was an eager anticipation at YRCC 591 for the completion of the project. The residents, owners, and management were greatly impressed with the new dramatic entrance that graced their building.