I appreciate the email update on the project received today.
In looking at the pictures the first item that stood out to me was the carpeting. I ‘m sure the image does not truly depict what you are looking at as it appears to be solid in color which would reveal dirt and wear very quickly. I did want to suggest that we consider the carpet squares which can be replaced due to damage as needed. We seem to always have multiple AC leaks and particular wear outside elevator areas and this type of system may allow us to replace on an as needed basis to maintain the beauty of our hallways longer.
Thank you for sharing the initial concept design for the hallways – I think that the design is a fresh and modern look that is consistent with the feel of Key Biscayne. Very beautiful choice of colors and materials.
Can’t imagine who designed a color combination as mismatched as this for any style decor-dark blue solid carpets (which will show every speck of lint, dust and sand ) , white , beige color walls but white trims and BLACK DOORS .. Please rethink this , it looks awful !!!!
You need a real decorator which obviously this company and design committee are not.
I would like to add one recommendation to consider a type of door knobs under same style and approved colors/models that can be substituted or upgraded for an electronic version to be connected with Alexa (amazon) or Google Nest or Cortana (Microsoft) personal assistants so owners and their family can lock in/open their doors automatically using their mobile, finger print with built in camera. Since the Design Committee goals is to think ahead, we need to have flexibility and the investment now future proof for what is available in the market that will increase attractiveness of our property and in line with the new demographics of the community too.
The base line should be the traditional door hardware/handles with the option to upgrade for an electronic one at owners discretion.
Thank you for making the design committee virtual presentation possible. It was wonderful to see the presentation and hear the designers explain their thinking and approach. As part time residents, we have often felt overlooked, but the communications from the management and the board in the last 18 months have dramatically improved. In addition to the design committee, we have especially appreciated the improved reporting on the on-going projects at TKB.
We really like the proposed design for the hallways. The color palette is elegant and thematically relevant to the key. The glossy paint on the doors is a good idea (we would prefer black over the navy blue). The improved lighting would be a very welcome upgrade. We agree that the light features (sconces) that extend into the hallways may be bashed by movers and others carrying bulky items.
Thanks again for all you work and patience in leading the design team — it is much appreciated!
I wanted to share some thoughts about what’s important for my family as owners at the Towers. I understand that from a design point of view, it is impossible to please everyone so I’m not expecting to like or agree with everything and that’s perfectly fine.
Regarding the design presented by DW, I generally like it. Like the wall tones, lightening, etc. Would rather go with tile for the floors but that’s significantly more expensive and will be harder to sell to owners. But our vote is for tile.
I hate the doors, the honeycomb pattern is so outdated and really looks like 70s. We should seriously consider new doors. But if replacing all the doors is not desired, would you consider an optional door that owners can chose to have installed or not at extra cost? You can’t see more than two doors at the same time so it is not that big of a deal. But more important than the door is the door lock. The current interlocking lock is not upgradeable to smart lock. I would like to consider an smart lock to start with but if not, an standard two piece lock that can be upgraded without affecting the external look. I think this is really important to keep in mind. It makes no sense in 2021 to carry keys in your pockets.
As for the DW proposal, the black color hides the honeycomb pattern which is a good thing but black? Really? There has to be a better choice. I think it would be good to have a sample door painted though, maybe when you look at the real thing it looks fine. If you would consider it, I volunteer to have my door painted black as a sample with the new lock installed. I would be happy to pay for the lock myself.
I would like to suggest that we do away with the light scones. Totally unnecessary and old fashion. Neither of the two they suggested help in any way. The suggested long strip of LED light along the hallways, besides a modern look, will provide enough illumination. If anything, we could use some light in the door well.
The first thing I thought of when I saw this was an Eastern Airlines Boeing 767 circa 1980 Don’t get me wrong, I love that look. I did my first conversion van using EAL blue carpet I got from the airport.
However while dark colored carpets are necessary to hide dirt and stains, we’ve come a long way with floor coverings in lighter palettes and materials. They don’t stain, or show dirt, come in quiet, durable, and waterproof. Some can easily be repaired by maintenance staff, which will not require contractor assistance.
Wallpaper- no matter what it is made of wallpaper is not impervious to damage as some claimed and grass cloth is extremely problematic to match when repairing. This becomes relevant because our old building is always going to have a constant parade of movers, contractors and remodeling. They destroy elevators and do a number on walls and corners. Why invite maintenance issues? Additionally that much grass cloth in a long narrow hall is overwhelming.
Same with the ship lap, lots of horizontal and if it’s anything like my hallway in F tower the chair rail is level but not straight. New shiplap and chair rail lines will magnify these imperfections in the wall. craftsmanship and attention to detail during installation will have to be better than it was last time or this could actually detract value.
Doors. Not a fan of our doors EVER. I understand there’s some concern for history of the once-upon-a- time faux portcullis appliqué but I’ve done many historical renovations on old buildings and homes and this is not one of those.
Practically speaking it is going to be virtually impossible to obtain a perfect, high gloss, lacquer finish on the old doors. While they were originally black it looks like was more of a matte finish was used The Styrofoam core honeycomb appliqué has many imperfections which will be amplified by a high-gloss black finish. stripping and repairing the complicated honeycomb is going be a major undertaking & if it’s not done perfectly it’s gonna look like crap. Craftsmanship is critical. Do one door first to see if it’s even possible to achieve perfection.
Personally I know it’s a cheap pop out Styrofoam and fiberglass accent so it to me it’s always going to look cheap.
Hallway lighting. Don’t fix what’s ain’t broke. It’s dark but fixable. Adding LEDs on the soffits looks dated and LED rope lighting does not add substantially to ambient light
I’m not sure how the ceiling is constructed but if there is a few inches of clearance, using existing wall lighting location and retrofitting a downlight wash from low profile 3” recessed lighting will add a dramatic flair and complement the ambient light from any sconces
Either way it would be a half-day project to mock up a hallway and see it under real world conditions. Most modern fixtures are adjustable over a wide color range so checking lighting color from warm to bright white in the actual location is very simple and we don’t wind up with the same unfortunate situation as the restaurant or windows.
Thank you very much for sharing Duncan Weber’s initial design proposal and for opening it up to the owners to give their feedback. Thanks a lot for your hard work. It is not easy, on a subjective matter to get everybody on board but from the feedback in the meeting I feel the reaction was positive and constructive.
I like the concept you are working with which is an ocean theme that is timeless, light, with natural textures and ocean/beach colors. I really like the color scheme, the blue of the carpet and white wall panels reminiscent of a beach house or wooden boat. The textured paper linking to beach grass also.
Lighting – I agree that the most important objective is to light up the hallways and give a sense of spaciousness. It was pointed out that proposed wall lights stuck out a lot. I agree. They will be broken more easily leading to additional costs. The wall lights are a timeless design but also very classical and I don’t feel support the ocean theme. There are many marine design lamps with a modern twist available that I think would be better. The picture attached is just from a quick search. There are many others.
Doors – I agree with several comments about the door. I prefer a navy blue door (don’t like black at all). Matte or satin preferably. More in line with the ocean/marine theme.
Art – I like most of the art chosen. Art is very subjective but your choice of art which is neutral navy or black and ocean themed is nice. I would stick to one type of art form rather than mixing them. Using prints like the fish, bird and coral rather than mixing in photography (the turtle) or the ocean landscape (oil like print) (at least within each hallway).
Wallpaper – I think the resident’s comment about the cost to repair any rips on the vinyl/grass wallpaper are valid. A scratch on a painted wall is an easy repair. What about the torn or marked vinyl paper.
I really like the decor in the lobbies and they were recently done. The hallway design should incorporate its elements so it it blends in well. We should not spend budget on this.
I feel very strongly that the design committee determine a budget and that the redecoration stay within this budget. I do not think there should be a special assessment for this. It should be the committee’s primary objective and the designers should use their creativity and experience to stay within budget.
Thank you very much for taking my comments under consideration.
Total waist of money. I don’t want the entrance to my home the color of a funeral home!!!!!! I will definitely say NO, NO, NO!
What are we doing with the walls except spending unnecessarily the money? It is same color and it will cost us a fortune?
Who needs that amount of light in the corridors? Those lamps were very, very expensive!
Why do not spend the money in the carpet, which is what we all care about and the reason for this project? Where are the samples? That is what we need…instead of all these other superflous and unnecessary expenses?
Please, be reasonable! The world is not in the position of making these superflous expenses!!!
I cannot find the email from the committee, but I must strongly object to ANY wallpaper in common spaces. As a retired allergist , I can tell you that wallpaper in our climate is a magnet for dust and mold. Many owners will get sick. Please stick with paint!
Joan Gluck MD
Hello. We are Bonnie and Ken Backes in F603. We purchased the condo about 14 mos ago but have been renting here at Towers for 8 years and enjoy living here very much. We very much appreciate the hard work of the management and staff especially during this difficult period.
We wanted to give you some feedback after seeing the photos submitted online. Both of us very much like the hallway selections offered especially the glossy black doors and hardware. The blend of color with wallpaper and new carpet is lovely as well as the wainscoting always a favorite near the seashore. We would like to see some photography and paintings etc based not only on a seashore theme but also in line with the beauty and sights on our beautiful Key, perhaps including some historical depictions as well.
Thank you so much for your dedicated work on these projects and for helping to improve the beauty of our surroundings.
I would like to share some reactions and suggestions for the design project – both content of design and project process:
My understanding of the objective of the project is to arrive at a design that is symbiotic with both the existing lobby design and the fact that we are beachfront property. With that in mind, I was surprised and disappointed with the proposal of the blue carpets and black doors.
o Those colors have no relation to the lobby or the elevator interiors. So, when you enter the proposed hallways, I don’t get the feel that anyone had tried to continue the look or feel of our existing, relatively new, and attractively neutral existing spaces
o I gather from the designer’s comments that the blue is their attempt to introduce “the waterside” aspect of our property. But with no other core element associated with blue, it looks like a color was picked just for the purpose of introducing color (and selecting a darker color carpet that would ostensibly show less dirt).
o A lot of residents commented on the fact that they don’t want the hallways to appear dark – yet typically the introduction of dark colors (carpet and dark doors) contributes to a heavier/darker feel
My understanding of the condo law underlying the project is that we will need a 75% vote of the ownership to proceed with a “material alteration” and/or an assessment that is not related to the safety of the building. This raises a number of challenges, and therefore requirements for flexibility in the proposed approach
o I can easily envision a scenario where owners will vote to make design changes (i.e., away from green and yellow) – but WILL NOT vote for changes that will result in another assessment.
o For that reason, it is imperative that the designers be given some guidance with a general “replacement” budget – so they can present a range of alternatives: — from a fresher look that will fit within a strict budget, to a more expansive design that might require additional funding.
o The “replacement” budget design will have to focus primarily on the color choices for the walls and carpets, and hopefully lighting. The reality is that changing hardware and adding artwork adds tremendously to the cost, and those elements may not make the cut. I suggest that the sooner that the designers have a sense of the bare minimum budget (aka the minimum viable product) the better it will be to set expectations all around as to the practicality of the proposed designs. Think of it as buying a great suit, blouse and shoes, that have to live on their own even if you don’t have your jewelry.
I and other owners were expecting to be presented with alternate scenarios: of color palates, as well as the “master” vision for the integrated design and color scheme – inside and out. That is why this project was scoped as a master design plan rather than simply a hallway renovation. While all of those projects won’t be implemented at the same time, voting (or even selecting) just a piece without understanding how it fits within the bigger picture can lead us down a costly and suboptimal path.
In that spirit, I am attaching a video that depicts the recent hallway and lobby renovation at my condo in NYC – completed in mid 2019. The red brick building was designed in the 80s –when brass and terra cotta coloring were the rage, and an interim hallway refresh had introduced a blue/grey color scheme that was never consistent with the lobby. The video emphasizes a lot of the lobby elements – which is helpful for TKB because it displays a lot of variety of complementary neutral shades, including the blend of both brass and silvertone hardware in different places. At the end, you get a few views of the hallways – which were tied into the whole design concept. Interestingly, the lighter, neutral tones have held up quite nicely even with the grit of NY. The board member who led the design project also shared some tips for our consideration:
o We had to cut down on certain items to keep the budget under control and we decided against replacing hardware on doors. We did however, put new apt ID plates on the doors which upgraded the look. We polished the existing hardware on the doors to achieve a fresh look
o Carpet was more expensive than originally thought as we decided to keep the flow of the grain/ weave of the carpet consistent throughout the turns on our hallways.
o We decided against a cheaper flush light ceiling fixture for the hallways and instead put that money towards nice scones and mirrors as that is what people see. People do not really look up and notice the ceiling lights. So you can save money there.
o We installed corner guards on the turns of our hallways to protect them. That was added later in the project, so we had to adjust the budget.
o We decided against buying art for the lobby as that would have been yet another cost item and difficult to find something that everyone likes.
o We had a high level budget in mind from the get-go to which we steered the bids as our resources were limited.
o We went through multiple iterations as a 5-person committee before we presented to the full Board and then to the entire ownership.
I hope that you find this helpful, and that it opens up more ideas to consider for TKB.
Artwork such as pictures in the hallway are not necessary nor are they a good idea. You are only inviting troubles. As of now each time we have done the elevators over, their interior has been scratched and marred over by outside deliveries. Hallways should not be turned into a fuzzy, cozy thing, they are a common space not a personal space. That is the reason the light fixtures and the texture of the wallpaper is outmost important they give a statement.
You asked for input on the common rooms. I strongly believe that a business center with spaces for residents to bring their laptops or iPads to do video calls (or review emails) is critical. Although our apartment is currently being renovated, and I have not been there since June 2020, one of the issues I have faced in the past is the noise level of apartment renovations or outside construction being a huge distraction while working from home. It would be wonderful to have a quiet space to use, along with a printer, as an alternative to working from the apartment. As more and more people will be working remotely at least part of the time going forward, I think that business center space would be both well-utilized and appreciated.
I would like for the Towers to have a larger Gym. I am a resident since 1998, and back then most of the owners were from up north, or older residents, and now there are many young couple with family, living all year long, so both gyms are very busy in normal time not now with the pandemic, and because the Towers has around 500 units the two gyms the Towers has right now is not enough, especially that one of the gym is really small.
On the common room question, a few ideas would include designating a quiet room/library. The card room often gets used by tutors or others in conversation, so it makes it much less inviting for work or reading. Any interest in making a couple of individual cubicles that could serve as “zoom rooms’”? The game room equipment needs to be brought up to date. We will keep thinking about this question.
I wish to express opinions about the bridge room as well as the common areas. To make sure that we are in the same wavelength, I took the liberty to copy a statement from the board.
Also, as discussed at the last Board Meeting, the Committee is embarking on the development of a recommendation for the renovation of our common rooms. There will be more about this in the coming months but encourage you to share your thoughts now on the best use of those spaces. Which of our rooms do you use the most? Do you have ideas of how they might better serve our residents? For example, would you prefer to have a dedicated business center for residents? A larger gym? A gathering place for teens? Share your ideas and priorities by sending an email to DesignComm@tkbonline.com
A dedicated business center for residents
To dedicate the bridge room to a business center would be at the expense of the elders here. Business is usually conducted at work. Besides, we have a number of rooms that most times are empty. I am not advocating to use these rooms for business center. This is a residence place, period.
A larger gym
We have one gym under-utilized. By the fall, thing should go back to normalcy. This means that we can place more than one couple in the big gym. Prior to the pandemic, we had no problem with the size of the gym. I don’t expect any problem in the future. Be mindful, the small gym is more than adequate and it is now under-utilized.
A gathering place for teens
You may not be aware of this, but we have a community center that serves exactly that purpose. It will do more good than harm to walk or bike to the community center. If you do have a room for teens, you are going to invite vandalism, rowdy behavior and major security problems. We would need to hire more security.
I notice that everything proposed here is for the young ones, nothing for the elders. I proposed to Joe ten years ago a bocce court which the young and the old can benefit from. Joe and others on the board were initially enthusiastic about it. It just proves that talk is cheap. We are talking about $500 investment. The latest BS from MGT is that it requires 75% approval of the residents. Yet, all other recreational areas, boats, pool, bridge room, tennis repairs, etc., don’t require the 75% rule. This type of logic is enough to kill a horse!
You are dealing with children below ages so the parents of these children would hold the Towers liable for any harm there should occur to these children even though they are inflicted by the children themselves.
A proposal to have a gathering place for teenagers is a very bad idea. The Ocean Club decided to have one last year but they had to close it up, since it caused too many legal problems. +
Besides the children brought a lot of their outside friends into the gathering place. We would need a lot of security details. We don’t need this, let them walk down to the community center, where we have a teen center with supervision.
As far as possible updates for common areas the idea of a larger more airy gym would be so nice to have. Not sure a teen area would work out since this could lead to more supervision on the part of the staff. Maybe the addition of a basketball or volleyball area would be something worthwhile for that age group. Personally we would also like to see an additional bbq area near the back patios of Tower II. That would be a very welcome addition even on a smaller scale as it is difficult on weekends especially to share the one near beach. Perhaps these last suggestions are not for design committee but could be passed along to the Board.