In the never-ending competition to fill multifamily units, having a better grasp of up-and-coming design aesthetics can mean the difference between vacancy and saturation. More and more, we are seeing that potential renters and buyers are willing to trade square footage for the right amenities and design touches, and there's a demonstrated correlation between these investments and rising rates of occupancy.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the latest trends that builders and owners may want to use:
- No more conference rooms. The traditional conference room, which used to be a mainstay on every property, has gone the way of the dinosaur. Today's resident is used grabbing a laptop and doing work at the coffee shop, so our shared spaces should reflect that. For instance, turn those old stuffy conference rooms into lounge-style spaces that can accommodate a gathering, but can also be easily reconfigured to give an individual solo quiet time. That means light, moveable chairs and a mix of space styles.
- Smart tech. Millennials, and even empty-nesters to a degree are looking for smart home features and are willing to pay more to have them (and even give up other amenities). How do you do this? Look into electronic locks, thermostats and lights that can be controlled via a smartphone app. Think about equipping the lobby with a package handling center and any communal spaces with lightning-fast WiFi.
- Several companies are designing simple, easy to use retractable wall systems that can add versatility to any space. Imagine being able to move a wall in seconds to create a grand space for a pilates class and then just as quickly create two rooms for meditation or yoga. These can even be used as exterior glass walls that can make an indoor space outdoor and vice versa, allowing you to hold community events regardless of the weather.
- As always, renters and buyers are also looking for the latest interior design trends. For you, that means anticipating those trends before they happen. Most indicators are pointing to shifts in a few specific areas.
- Matte appliances will overtake the stainless steel look. Designers have been using shinier hardware and matte is a great counterbalance.
- Cerused wood is going to give hardwood a run for its money. Cerused wood is versatile and can be used to create any number of looks, from ultra-chic to traditionally elegant.
- Granite countertops are still king, but marble is making a strong push. When it comes to colors for countertops, residential design site Houzz did and survey and found that 30% preferred multi-colored, while 26% wanted white and another 18% would opt for black. When it came to cabinet color, white won out by a large margin.
When you incorporate any of these trends into your property, whether it's a remodel or a new build, it's important to look at the surrounding area and your potential clientele. For instance, if there's an incredible gym right down the block, putting your dollars into a high-end workout space may not be your best choice. By the same token, if the closest market is far, having a shopping service might be a worthy investment. Remember, the idea is not just to create living spaces; it's to create a community.
Daniel N. Bailey - HOLLYHILLS IS THE INDUSTRY LEADER IN CONCEPT MASTER-PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT FOR THE FUTURE REVITALIZATION AND PROSPERITY OF EMERGING COMMUNITIES.