The Princeton Club
Project: Modernize Main Lobby
Time Frame: July & August 2013 to reopen for post Labor Day event
The existing lobby interior had not been professionally redone since the 1970’s when noted Princetonian architect Robert Venturi renovated the space. According to historical photographs Venturi lowered the once high ceilings and dramatic dark paneled walls were fronted with plywood and shellacked in a now orange tone.
The floors were poured terrazzo contained in typical chrome grids. By 2013 four worn Chesterfield sofas, Italianate carved coffee tables and reproduction Orientals filled the two seating areas and oil portraits of past Princeton presidents lined the walls. The space was dark, dated and shabby, turning off potential new members and discouraging use of an expensive renovated restaurant and event space on the 3th floor. The most nostalgic remnant was the wall of vacant phone booths that made way for phone and computer charging stations.
A limited budget and time frame required a careful evaluation of what to attempt. The poured terrazzo floors would be impossible to replace with the budget so the taupe and cream stone became the foundation of color for the room.
My Westchester team of painters scraped off the thick shellac throughout the lobby, check in area and elevator banks and wire brushed the oak plywood to accept a new taupe stain. All counter tops , check in desk, coat check, computer charging stations in handsome contrast ebony tone. Carpeting down the side lobby walkways and up the stairwell replaced a dark green carpet with industrial camel colored carpeting with 6” black borders.
Seating areas were furnished with custom made espresso color soft leather sofas with wood arms and legs, contemporary open armchairs in Ivory kryptonite stain resistant fabric and simple bench made parsons style end tables and coffee tables with glass tops, topped by Restoration Hardware columnar lamps. A pair of bordered area rugs anchor the twin seating areas to left and right as you enter the club.
As you enter the elevator cars the plywood walls were wire brushed and glazed in ebony to allow a consistent experience for guests to step into the rich dark paneled 3rd floor bar and restaurant.
Sources of Inspiration:
Glazed oak walls in a château ‘hotel’ in southern France we stayed in during a recent trip
The magnificent camel and black bordered carpeted stairway at Channel headquarters on 57th Street for color scheme of carpeting
Princeton tiger mural that wraps around the staircase to the second floor in earth tones.
Before & After