Communal living spaces in BTR developments are essential if you want to ensure your scheme is a success. They’re the main areas where residents will meet up, hang out, and ultimately, develop strong bonds that will make them want to become long-term residents. In turn, having people to socialise with regularly can add a much needed boost to residents’ mental health, too.
Designing communal living spaces for BTR residents means understanding what they’re looking for in rental accommodation. At LOFT, we’ve been helping BTR developers and providers design perfect social spaces for years. In that time, we’ve learned exactly what it is residents are looking for.
Create Big, Open Spaces
BTR properties are well known for their potential to help residents form close-knit communities. However, a poorly designed space can actively drive residents away from each other, as they won’t feel comfortable in their surroundings.
In a BTR development, communal living spaces need to be big and open. This is so many residents can meet up at the same time without anyone feeling overcrowded, which helps create a laid-back atmosphere. With the right setting, residents can find opportunities to talk with one another and form friendships.
To get the most out of your communal living spaces, you’ll need to consider how residents will interact, and the best way to encourage interaction is through Interior Design. You’ll need plenty of comfortable seating, expertly arranged to allow for conversation. Statement pieces and themes give residents something to talk about or to break the ice, and the right colour scheme can make the area much brighter, seem more spacious and feel more inviting.
Our award-winning Interior Designers specialise in designing BTR developments, paying particular close attention to how the layout can improve the residents’ mental wellbeing. They have the skills and experience to turn any communal living space into a thriving social hub.
Provide a Variety of Amenities
One of the big selling points of BTR properties is their expansive range of amenities. For some people, it can be hard to build strong friendships, as they may be shy or unused to being around others.
Having access to games rooms, cinemas, gyms and restaurants can help create lasting relationships without anyone feeling pressured to constantly come up with topics for conversation. And naturally, with that pressure lifted, conversations will start to flow of their own accord.
Remember Your Target Market
Many BTR developments are aimed at Millennials and Generation Z, but they aren’t the only demographic that’s shown an interest in co-living. BTR solves the issue of affordable housing for many people and provides opportunities to form communities, so it’s no wonder that the student, family and retiree markets are growing in popularity.
As the ideology of BTR becomes more widespread, developers will need to consider how to best design communal living spaces for different demographics. Students will need group study areas, families will want access to play rooms for their little ones, and retirees will require non-slip flooring, no-rise entry, handrails and increased lighting to ensure their safety.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to designing communal living spaces for BTR residents. You have to take each project one step at a time and tailor your approach accordingly. We took this approach when we were asked by Essential Living to advise them on their family-orientated development in Greenwich, London. With our help, they now have perfect communal living spaces where residents of all ages can unwind and build friendships.
Add a Touch of Luxury
BTR attracts a wide variety of people because it’s an affordable way to live a life of modest luxury. The younger generation in particular expect high living standards since they have become so used to the subscription model, i.e. paying a sum of money on a regular basis for the right to use quality services. If you don’t reach the level they’re looking for, there are other options they can choose from.
Keeping residents happy is therefore the key to success, which can be achieved in part by providing them with communal living spaces fitted to a high standard. Furniture that feels cheap and is hard to clean and maintain can give residents the wrong impression. In a worst case scenario, they won’t want to use the communal living spaces at all.
Make sure to invest in furnishings that have an air of quality to them. Not only will this keep residents happy and make them want to visit the communal areas, it creates a good impression when new potential residents are given a tour. We offer a range of expert property staging services if you need help in getting the best out of your community spaces.
The “New Normal”
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of businesses to re-evaluate their future plans, and the BTR sector is no different. We’re expecting the demand for co-living to still be high, as so many people living by themselves have realised it’s not healthy to live in solitary. However, social distancing will continue to play a part in how we go about our daily lives.
Residents will expect more room in communal living spaces to allow a greater amount of smaller groups to meet up. In some cases, developments may think about redesigning existing areas to accommodate the growing need for personal space.
Your goal should always remain the same, though; to meet the expectations of residents and to ensure their happiness and wellbeing. This requires adapting to the needs of your residents and designing your communal living spaces carefully.
Communal Living Spaces That Work For Residents
LOFT has been designing communal living spaces with BTR residents in mind for years. We’ve advised Essential Living on their family-friendly Union Wharf development, helped Chapter Living create a student-orientated social spaces, and our team even fashioned the amenity area for Anaconda Cut, the second tallest tower dedicated to BTR in the UK. You can see more of our projects here.
We have a huge amount of expertise, knowledge and experience on our team, and we’re always looking to help other BTR developers create perfect communal living spaces. If you’re looking for professional assistance, make sure to get in touch.