Residential lobbies come in different shapes and sizes. They can be grand and luxurious or small and cozy, they can have high or low ceilings, elegant furnishing with a vintage vibe or be modern and hip. It doesn’t matter what type of building you're renting, what matters is welcoming your potential tenants in a beautiful lobby that has nice lighting and is comfortable.
Whether you're managing a small unit in an apartment complex or a spacious house, it's important to invest some time and money in the lobby design. A comforting and welcoming area will make a great first impression, especially if your guests will be spending a few moments there.
Property managers should think of the lobby as the front door of the property. There are certain key features that can improve the lobby area without blowing a hole in your budget. A few modest investments from time to time can make potential tenants very interested in your property.
Here are five interior design features that can make your lobby more attractive:
1. Secure and safe entryway
In apartment buildings that don’t have a concierge or a doorman, it’s important to take additional safety measures to protect tenants. You can install deadbolt key systems or opt for real estate technology used by hotels like modern fob key systems or magnetic cards.
Buzzer systems for visitors in areas that are well lit and safe will prevent tenant’s guests from waiting in darkness, that may not feel safe. A home security camera is also a good investment, as high quality surveillance systems are becoming more popular and affordable to install.
If you install good lighting both inside and outside the property, tenants will feel safe and it's likely they may rent for longer periods of time. Furthermore, having solar powered lights in the area surrounding your property is also quite an affordable solution.
2. Avoid slippery floors
When it comes to property management, daily upkeep is always something that must be taken into account. As a property manager, you must consider things like heavy rain, snow, dirt, and mud and do your best to prevent the mess that these can create. To protect flooring and to prevent accidents, you should consider installing rubberised mats.
Here are some of the most affordable and durable floors that are good for lobbies:
- Laminate hardwood and hardwood flooring
- Porcelain tiles that imitate other materials like wood or stone
- Vinyl tiles
- Stained concrete for high traffic areas
- Natural stone (if budget permits)
3. Have a designated mail area
If you are responsible for managing an apartment building, delivering packages and mail to each apartment every day is time consuming. Instead, ensuring there is a designated space where tenants can collect mail. Lock boxes should be installed for security.
Many apartment buildings, especially the ones with larger facilities budgets, have electronic boards in the apartment complex lobby where residents can check their mail. Often, these systems come with apps that tenants can download on their mobile devices.
4. Suitable colour palettes
Opt for warm or neutral colour palettes such as browns and greys for residential lobbies. If you want to repaint an interior, choose neutral colours and shades as they will appeal to larger audiences and compliment furniture much easier than bold colour palettes. If neutrals aren't your thing, try adding colourful accents and interior decorations.
If you've considered installing wallpaper in an apartment building lobby, you may want to rethink your decision. Property owners and managers avoid investing in this type of wall decoration as wallpaper is usually quite expensive to install and not as practical as paint, especially now that you can purchase vinyl that can resemble meterials such as stone and wood.
5. Choose the right furniture
If a residential lobby is spacious enough for furniture, choose furniture that is modern and light as opposed to vintage and heavy. Modern furniture will create an illusion of space. If your building already has vintage character, try and stick to it by choosing furniture that matches the era of the building.
Want to make the space look bigger? Choose furnishings that have glass surfaces and hang mirrors on the walls. This will open the space up and create an illusion of space in the area.
Professional designers tend to install mirrors in elevators and hallways. It's always a bonus for an elevator to look more spacious than less crowded. A lobby on the other hand, that looks large and spacious is more likely to become a place where residents interact instead of just circulate.
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