Whether it’s new construction or a value-add renovation, design matters in multifamily. There appears to be no end to the recent popularity of renting; keeping up with design trends and creating welcoming, appealing communities for residents can only benefit both the tenant and owner/investor. BAM looks at some current multifamily design trends that are on the rise…


According to Building Design & Construction.com data, they’ve seen design features like:


Common areas – Many communities are designing common areas to interface with their residents’ tech needs. This includes features like charging stations, reliable WiFi, and plenty of access to USB ports. They noted that some residents, like younger Millennials, will utilize common areas as their own work space and are planning accordingly. Still other multifamily properties ensure that a wide variety of residents can use common areas for different pursuits, including socialization or fitness classes. According to the BD&C site, newer multifamily designs for common areas closely resemble hotels and resorts, especially in luxury properties.


Technology – We’ve written articles before about the rise of tech in the multifamily industry. According to BD&C, design is moving toward residents having tech control over their own living space through a variety of different products. Features like smart thermostats allow the residents to control temperature with an app, and there are plenty of other tech innovations like smart cameras and security that the industry is also embracing.


MultiHousingNews.com has seen design trends like:


High-end Features – Renters have become accustomed to a certain appearance and type of amenities. According to MHN, high-end interior design features like quartz counter-tops and attractive pendant lights have replaced their old standard utilitarian counterparts from years past. The bathroom has also seen a shift to a spa-like appearance, with glass shower doors and rain-style shower-heads instead of the common tub/shower and basic shower-head combination common to many apartments.


From Carpet to Faux Wood – MHN reports that renters seem to prefer faux wood throughout the apartment, and are foregoing the previous style of having wood in some areas and carpet in bedrooms. This has been a cost-saving move for many investors and hits the wish list of many renters.


Plenty of Amenities – According to MHN, renters desire amenities like pet spas or bike storage. They note that the coffee bars in many properties have transitioned to juice bars, reflecting an overall focus on improving health. Multifamily properties also are investing in high-end fitness centers with “fitness-on-demand” tech. The outdoor spaces see improvements like fire pits, resort-style pools, pet areas, and more.


Investors and owners should pay attention to shifts in design; by creating a modern, relaxing environment, the property will have increased value and attract residents and improve occupancy. While not every property needs every upgrade, there are plenty of cost-effective improvements that will benefit both the resident and the investor.