“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.
As a child, my first memories of the hospitality industry were far from luxurious. Each summer, my parents loaded up our vintage Pontiac Bonneville wagon along with our alligator rafts, paddle boards and other essentials, and drove me and my two sisters on an 18-hour journey down I-95 to our favorite South Carolina beach vacation destination – Hilton Head.
Clearly, an 18-hour car ride with three kids required lots of stops. Some breaks, like to go to the bathroom, were expected. Other times, we stopped because it was the only way my parents could get my sisters to stop fighting. Then there were the dark stops, which were hours long with the engine off. While we cried and protested about having to sleep in the car and not a hotel, we let our tears fall, cracked open the car window, piled onto our suitcases and dozed off into oblivion. Luckily, once we saw the ocean waves and the felt the warm sand between our toes, our sorrows melted away. Our attention was then focused on who could build the biggest sandcastle or who could get away with eating two servings of ice cream before our parents noticed.
Soon after I came back from these epic summer vacations, all sorts of questions jumped in my head: “Why couldn’t we just sleep on a comfortable bed in a safe, air-conditioned, hotel room like all my other friends did when they went on vacation? Did my parents not have the money or were they just being frugal?” Spending my childhood sleeping in a makeshift car motel yet secretly dreaming of the feel of 800-thread count sheets and fresh white bath towels made me destined for a career as a Hospitality Interior Designer. Once I got to college to study Interior Design and started earning my own money, I jumped at the first chance to buy flight tickets and book a room at the best hotel I could afford and haven’t looked back.
Fast forward to today, the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The days of getting on a plane and staying at a luxury hotel feel like distant memories. Almost all air travel has been grounded. Even the hotels I’ve designed are closed. The silver lining in all of this is that I’ve realized that hospitality is as much of a mindset as it is about the spacious hotel lobbies, or water-front views. It’s the excitement I get from packing my bag and journeying to a new or familiar place. Most of all, it’s the appreciation I have for being able to make new memories with the people I’m traveling with.
After my daughter was born two years ago, I now understand why my parents made the decisions they did when we were kids. It was about teaching us to embrace the journey and make the best of our family time together, even in tight quarters. My new journey of hospitality is about embracing car trips instead of airline travel (for the time being) and staying in small, quaint hotels that are less about size and five-star amenities are more about home-like comfort, convenience, and keeping guests safe.
333 East 108th St. Suite 6D
New York, NY 10029