Top Multifamily Property Design Trends

As population demographics shift with many baby boomers looking to downsize and millennials moving out of their parents’ homes, multifamily properties are increasing at a steady pace. A Hoyt Advisory Study commissioned by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) revealed an unprecedented demand for these properties that reached a height of 346,900 completions in 2017, up from 129,900 in 2011. The market is getting very competitive across the nation, including major metro markets like New York. That’s not lost on multifamily property builders/developers and owners who are pulling out all the stops in their properties’ design to attract buyers and renters in their condo, co-op and apartment projects. Here are some of the hottest design trends in multifamily properties.

Modern Luxury Reigns
Modern design is everywhere in multifamily properties, reflected in everything from luxury amenities to the use of finishes that denote luxury but at a lower cost point.

Imagine living in a luxury hotel — that’s what many of today’s most-sought-after multifamily properties are like. They offer pools, gyms and concierge services. Multifamily properties are using commercial finishes that resemble the finest residential treatments. Durable vinyl wallcoverings are used in high traffic areas. Koroseal, which is available in cost-effective wide widths, resembles fine wallpapers. As for the color palettes, they vary based on the property’s overall brand concept, but we are seeing brighter, bolder patterns being used.

Composite and blended materials are being applied for solid surfaces, such as countertops that look like very expensive stone. There has been a transition from granite to quartz, which projects a more modern aesthetic. Apartment flooring is no longer the typical light brown plank; rather, we’re seeing more European-style planks that are more than twice as wide as what was previously used. Dark traditional cabinets are being replaced with light-color doors and more luxurious grained cabinets.

Ceilings, also known as the fifth wall, are getting some new attention in multifamily buildings. Some builders/ developers are saving ceiling designs for high impact areas like lobbies, dining areas, and clubhouses. Crown molding is still being used, but there’s also a trend toward featuring distinctive materials, colors, and patterns on ceilings to create a striking focal point.

Leveraging Synthetics
Multifamily properties are also featuring synthetic materials on key exterior components such as the roof. One example is synthetic roofs that look like cedar. Other synthetics mirror slate. Synthetic siding is replacing natural materials without sacrificing high-end aesthetics.

Selling the Outdoor Lifestyle
Just as private homes are emphasizing open-air entertainment spaces with outdoor kitchens and pizza ovens, so, too, are multifamily properties. Designs now provide outdoor grilling stations, fire pits, and even dog parks.

Tech Accommodations
Many apartment buildings and clubhouses are being equipped with USB ports and reliable WiFi. Some also feature iCafés. Smart building technologies to promote comfort and energy savings are also more common.

Design That Projects the Brand
Today’s multifamily properties have brand identities that are captured in everything from the property’s name and description to its building design and architecture, landscaping and outdoor areas. It is important to establish a strong brand for your property and convey it across all areas of that property. That will help a property appeal to the right target market and give it a distinct competitive edge.

Roxane Mosleh, Allied ASID, Assoc. IIDA
Roxane Mosleh & Associates, LLC
P.O. Box 5065
Southampton, NY 11968

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