Real Estate Trends

5 Apartment Design Trends to Consider if You're Ready to Renovate

| 3 min. read

Whether you're on a condo board or renting out a home you inherited, featuring on-trend rental property renovations can help you to stay on top in a competitive market. So, which apartment renovation trends should you implement if you're looking to update your property now?

5 Apartment Renovation Trends to Consider

#1: Less Space, More Shared Amenities

In tight, expensive markets like New York City and San Francisco, multiple trends have arisen that balance smaller private spaces with appealing amenities. In cities, micro-apartments and shared living spaces mean that people have less square footage in their individual units, but they enjoy shared amenities like gyms, yoga studios, and communal kitchens. Tiny homes are part of this trend as well: Many of the popular models are housed on large lots, where outdoor space and community areas are abundant.

This tiny living trend has an implicit trade-off: Spaces are smaller because the real estate market is expensive, but the smaller square footage makes these units more affordable. If you're not in an expensive area, compact units may be less popular.

#2: Healthy Homes

People want homes that are healthy. If you're renovating, it's the perfect opportunity to make sure that the home is free of environmental contaminants like mold, radon, asbestos, and lead paint. Your local zoning authority may already require this, but if not, making sure the environment is free of toxins is a selling point for those with young children or certain health conditions.

In addition, high-quality air filters are standard, and water filters are popular. Be sure to use non-toxic paints too.

You may also want to take advantage of the shared amenities and healthy homes trends by focusing on green living. Rooftop gardens and other community green spaces are very appealing to residents.

In addition, you can add bicycle racks that promote exercise and a green commute will attract those with a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

#3: Environmentally Friendly Design & Features

Sustainable, environmentally friendly building practices are becoming a necessity in many areas. They are also popular with renters, both to reduce energy costs and to lessen their carbon footprint.

If a major renovation is in the cards, you may want to consider adding large windows to take advantage of natural light. In the summer, window shades can help to keep homes cooler without air conditioning; and the same is true for winter, when shades can help to insulate windows to keep cold air out.

Solar power can significantly reduce energy costs in certain locations—potentially enough to repay part of your renovation costs.

Smart thermostats should definitely be part of the renovation, as they allow renters to use energy only when they are in the home or heading back to it. Thermostats with automatic timers are a less expensive option.

If you are renovating an older home, it may need new insulation in the attic. Caulking around windows and doors can make sure that less warmth escapes in the winter and less cooling is needed in the summer. All energy-related renovations will eventually pay off in smaller energy bills.

#4: Smart Home Technology

Smart homes are popular. In fact, one 2015 survey indicated that 45% of homeowners either owned smart home technology or planned to invest in it during 2016--and these rates have undoubtedly risen since then. Of this group, roughly 33% did not consider themselves early adopters, which is even more proof that the smart home trend is no longer avant-garde: It's becoming mainstream.

The most popular smart home features are centered on entertainment, so depending on your market, you could add capabilities for smart televisions and speakers. The second-most popular category of smart home tech relates to temperature control and security management. We're already mentioned smart thermostats, but smart locks and security cameras are popular as well.

#5: Natural Wood Floors

Natural wood floors have been the most popular flooring trend for some time. They continue to be, but with some new trends. Wide plank floors are currently the most popular option. Dark wood floors have recently gained popularity because they provide good contrast with neutral-colored walls and moldings. Gray wood floors are also popular for their neutral look and modern appeal.

If you currently have an older home with wall-to-wall carpeting or other flooring, wood floors are one of the best renovation-related investments you can make.

Remember: Property Managers Can Help

Does this seem like a daunting list? Remember, you don't have to do renovations by yourself. Experienced property managers can help you to develop renovation plans and see them through to completion. When you're ready to find a property manager in your area, All Property Management will be here to help.

Megan Wild
Megan is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate, home improvement, and coffee consumption. Follow her on Twitter @Megan_Wild, or check out her blog, Your Wild Home’s weekly newsletter.
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