“Creativity is Everything” is the mantra that has fuelled AJC Design’s work since its inception in 2007. A vivid, unhindered imagination is at the core of every one of our compelling projects, no two which are the same. That’s why our company logo depicts a hardy walnut shell. While one half references our own passion for dreaming up one-of-a-kind designs and our dedication to making them a reality, the other is an ode to our clients, whose ideas and visions are just as integral to the design process.
Built on communication, this mutual, respectful relationship is the foundation for all of AJC Design’s intricate, timeless interiors. We are energetic and honest and keep our clients well informed, involved, and comfortable, learning and laughing along the way.
Alicia Cannon, founder and principal of New York-based AJC Design, flaunts a signature style that melds dramatic, pop-inspired pieces with tailored, classic settings, fostered by her collaborations with the likes of luxury brands and urban artists.
Cannon’s vast expertise spans full-service and luxury hotels, inviting private residences, and vibrant workplaces. Consider the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, awash in coastal Connecticut charm; the Lanes, a multi-use, ground-up Long Island City residential building capped with a rooftop terrace; or the Long Island headquarters of the brand-new Opal Wealth Advisors
In 2015 Cannon was named one of Hospitality Design’s Wave of the Future honourees, the same year that she won a Stevie Award Bronze, attesting to how she infuses each of her projects with both professionalism and ingenuity, her top priority always capturing and nurturing a client’s vision. That’s why the Woman Business Enterprise-certified designer loves spending ample time getting to know every single one of them personally and embarks on a true partnership to unite functionality and rich, aesthetic details.
Recent AJC Design work includes the Sheraton Mahwah in New Jersey, which draws on the hotel’s past as the former Ford Motor headquarters; the Sheraton Wilmington South hotel, complete with soaring atrium; the lobby at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio that calls to mind the Spanish Colonial era; and a design competition culminating in two guestroom schemes for the Bellagio in Las Vegas that telegraph the Italian village of Bellagio in Lake Como. AJC Design has also completed the Thayer Hotel in West Point, New York, Hotel Indigo in downtown Brooklyn, and the Westport Inn in Connecticut, and is currently working on the Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel, slated to open in 2020, as well as the Thayer Resort and Spa scheduled for 2022.
Cannon is a graduate of the Pratt Institute, where she cultivated her childhood passion for transforming humdrum interior spaces into enduring, matchless designs.
We’ve all heard the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth”. Although an extra set of hands is always a welcome resource, too many can sometimes steer a project off course. The interior design field certainly isn’t exempted from this contingency. As an interior designer, I have to constantly keep tabs on myriad professionals that are part of each project I take on. From mechanical engineers to architects to contractors, we’re all focused on executing a project with precision and integrity.
Fortunately, I’ve been in the industry long enough to have tested out some approaches that I think help to streamline almost any project involving multiple contributors. Over the years, I have realized that you can extract order out of chaos, without having to invite conflict or confusion with your colleagues. No, I’m not talking about sprinkling fairy dust over everything and hoping for the best. Instead, it has everything to do with self-awareness and discipline. I have prioritized two main factors that I believe will help navigate the team through a project effectively and also help guarantee a successful outcome.
Firstly, it all starts with communication. If you’re find yourself faced with similar predicaments as me, exercising and improving your communication skills will have a significant impact on getting the team to work together cohesively. Secondly, working proactively and encouraging your team to follow suit saves time, unnecessary stress, and money. A proactive attitude highlights the need to plan ahead and inject organization into your work schedule. I mean, there’s nothing better than having a team that is energetic, productive, and gels together seamlessly. Moving on, both of these boil down to transparency and how well it is maintained throughout the stages of the workflow. It might sound easier said than done, but I find that using these factors and approaches consciously and diligently greatly improves success rates. If anything, you can take me as living, breathing example of the process.
All of this reminds me of an African proverb I came across once. It read, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Suffice it to say that in all my years of experience, the latter has always determined a project’s success.
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