Once upon a time, you were a fresh college graduate. The first thing on your agenda was to get an apartment. If you were lucky, you were able to buy a fixer upper of sorts with a few leaks here and there. You then started from scratch, literally. From buying thrift store furniture to purchasing basics from Ikea or Walmart. It was more than just an apartment; it was your home.
But that was then. Now, the game has changed. You either have a new house or a family of your own. But you don’t want to part with your apartment. You have a light bulb moment. What if you rented it out?
Question is...where do you start?
An apartment, by definition, is a room within a building that serves as a residence for any tenant. They often vary in size, number of rooms, aesthetics and amenities. So when it comes to designing or redesigning an apartment, ask yourself these questions. How big is the apartment? How many rooms? Are the basic utilities like plumbing and electricity working? How many occupants will there be? What can I provide for my renters? Do I need a few upgrades? What will make my apartment stand out?
Start with some minor repairs like fixing a crack or changing the ceilings or even the plumbing. If the repairs are extensive, hire a professional contractor, plumber or electrician. Once you’re sure the apartment is primed and ready, it is now time for the fun part. Think of what type of interior you would like to have. There are many designs and styles to choose from. Here are a few styles that are currently on trend.
A. Contemporary - a very popular trend that doesn’t age, contemporary style which often means “style of the moment”, which utilizes modern and classical pieces to create a completely new and adaptable style. It utilizes both straight and curved lines in achieving the desired look. More often than not, neutral colors are used. This is also called the current style, as it utilizes what is popular.
B. Minimalist - as the name implies, it is a style that is described by using as little furnishings as possible. It utilizes mostly neutral colors such as whites, greys, blacks and browns. Most minimalist furniture pieces are those that are multifunctional like sofa beds, coffee tables with storage and for the more practical approach, which will often be built into the interior.
C. Smart Living - a relatively new concept, it utilizes smart appliances such as smart TVs, inverter air conditioning, WIFI, etc. This type of design is often favored by those who like to enjoy what modern technology can offer them; especially those who enjoy staying at home with conveniences. Most designers will combine smart technology and furnishing to create a uniquely smart home.
D. Environmental - another relatively new concept, it combines the use of sustainable living and green design. This particular theme is for those who are attuned to living a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Components include the use of LED lights, indoor herb gardens, or even the use of all natural and recycled materials like hemp and repurposed wood. This particular design is often favored by those who wish to reduce the consumption of utilities such as electricity; as well as save money.
After deciding on your style, it is time to set it in motion. First think of the budget and how much it will cost. Then, divide the process in different phases.
Phase one is the completion of renovations and replacements. You can change the flooring with either wood planks or tiles, depending on what your desired style is. Then the walls are next. You can either paint them or add some wallpaper, or even some decorative moldings.
Phase two can occur while you are still in phase one. While the renovation and repairs are taking place, you can go out and browse through furniture and home stores for furniture pieces you would like. At the same time, you can take note of prices and if and when there will be upcoming sales, so that you can enjoy a few discounts here and there.
Phase three is the more tricky part. While you search for your desired pieces, you may encounter the point where you can’t decide what fits best. As such, it’s best to consult an interior designer who can help narrow down the choices and find what fits best. Another way to do so is to take measurements of the furniture as well as the overall floor plan. Try to see if the furniture will fit and will still allow you ample space. This will also ensure that when you do decide to buy, at least you won’t go through the hassle of regrets due to spacing restraints.
Once you’re done with the bulk of the redesign, it’s time to consider some bonus amenities you can provide for your renters.
1. If your renters have children, consider creating a play area for them or a playroom. You can put colorful puzzle foam mats on the floor and even a built in space for their toys. Make sure to include curved edges on furniture pieces or portions of the room as straight edges may harm children, especially when they are playing.
2. If your renters are senior citizens, apart from employing curved edges on furniture and cabinets, consider putting hand rails in bathrooms and in the hallways. If they are not completely disabled, pre-empt their concerns by employing the use of non-slip tiles and orthopedic furniture.
Redesigning your apartment, if you look at it objectively, is more than just preparing it for the next renter. It’s sharing what you had in mind for the apartment with someone else. Sort of like adding another chapter to the apartment’s life. And in a way, it’s fun. It revives the spark you had when you first got the apartment.
After achieving your ideal apartment design, and If you are located within the Portland metropolitan area, an experienced property manager is recommended, such as Princeton Property Management. Princeton is a property management company that can collect rent online for you! Simplify your life as a landlord. Be sure to contact them at 800-275-4313 for more information on property management services!
So with all these tips, don’t forget to have fun when designing your apartment. You’ll enjoy it and pretty soon, your renters will too!