Common Rooms Go Flexible, Functional, and Furry

Properties work to woo new residents with multi-use common areas and helpful amenities.

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As the standard apartment size shrinks, tenants’ expectations for common areas grow. It’s an inverse relationship that seems to be working: Owners get more renters in their buildings, and residents—especially millennials—get more amenities to facilitate the kind of flexible, comfortable lifestyle they seek. Some of the hottest amenities include multi-use spaces in common areas, well-outfitted laundry rooms, and pet-friendly accommodations.

Mixing It Up in Multi-use Spaces

Renters today want common space in which they can work and play, making flexible design a must. Tables, chairs, and other furniture should be lightweight and easy to move so renters can reconfigure the space at will. Tenants want this freedom to customize the common area so they can easily meet in-the-moment needs, like having a drink with friends or finding a nook so they can hunker down and work. As such, multifamily interior design has become more functional, durable, and attractive.

Similarly, easy access to top-of-the-line, 24-hour fitness centers with dual-purpose rooms for classes such as yoga or Pilates are also making waves as properties try to further the appeal of their common spaces.

Loads of Laundry-Room Amenities

While laundry rooms’ proximity to high-traffic areas remains a priority, it’s not the only one. These rooms must also be well lighted, well maintained, and, of course, clean. There must also be plenty of (energy-efficient) washers and dryers, so renters don’t have to wait to get their laundry done. Flexible payment options, including vended and card-operated machines and loyalty programs that earn free cycles, are smart trends that are making a positive difference in resident satisfaction.

Wi-Fi access and flat-screen TVs have moved up the priority list from nice-to-have laundry-room accessories to standard features, especially for tenants who want to be able to multitask.

Love Residents, Love Their Pets

Pets have moved out of the doghouse and into the main house. Renters love their fur babies and expect properties to accommodate this member of the family. This makes the trend toward hardwood flooring, rather than carpeting, in common areas not only aesthetically pleasing but practical, too.

Pet-friendly properties are also providing easy access to dog parks, and some even offer in-house pet spas fully equipped with grooming stations and washers and dryers designated for pet laundry.

Tenants aren’t just looking for a place to call home, they’re looking for a community in which to live, play, and grow. Property owners and managers that offer flexible common areas and amenities that make residents’ lives easier and more fun understand this need and are prepped for success.

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