The build-to-rent market is in an era of evolution. The communities at the heart of schemes are becoming increasingly important to residents for a number of reasons and communal and amenity spaces are crucial in facilitating them.

Alec McKenzie

Having space for residents to bond in and spend time with people in is key. It’s proven that residents will stay in the building longer if they’ve made friends, found a place they can call home and feel like they belong to part of the community.

The happiness and welfare of the people living in these buildings is the single most important marker of a scheme’s success, and well-designed, functional spaces within them play a key role in facilitating that.

The traditional configuration of PRS schemes is outdated and, therefore, does not necessarily work with the demands of today’s residents. Amenity spaces are often the face of the building, the first thing potential and existing residents will see and experience when they enter the building. The brand identity of the development is often communicated through the interior design of the communal spaces.

A well-designed place promotes emotional wellbeing and boosts the productivity of residents. At LOFT we focus on the psychology behind the design of our spaces and pick fabrics and colours to create the right ambience and mood. For example, lots of greens and blues create a calming effect, as do plants. Capturing the essence of a building and its surroundings can be beneficial, for example using blue tones if it is built next to a river. This is a sure-fire way to give a scheme the wow factor both on first impression and over time.

Anti-technology spaces are also becoming an important design feature; people increasingly want to detox from their tech to relieve themselves from the stress of being ‘on grid’.

Promoting sociability within the buildings is a must so that residents have the space to socialise and build their community. Subdividing spaces, such as communal kitchen and dining areas where residents can cook and eat together and invite friends and family over for dinner parties, allows residents to make meaningful connections.

The flexibility of modern living is also driving a shift in the way that people are working, so we are seeing more focus on providing adaptable working environments within schemes to accommodate flexible living. Many more people are working from home so common areas in BTR schemes need to be usable for this purpose, which, again, comes down entirely to the design.

Functional spaces

It is important not to fall into the trap of headline-grabbing novelty when designing amenity spaces, however – they need to be functional and add value for the residents. Developers must design spaces that can be reshaped and repurposed to meet ever-shifting trends and demands to keep their buildings current. BTR operators are offering residents yoga classes, business coaching and even cooking courses. But over time, the activities residents will want in order to build and maintain their residential community will change, and the spaces must be able to move with them. This is a key advantage in a very competitive market.

LOFT is a pioneer of the BTR market and understands the impact of design on wellbeing. We can help you create a unique style identity in line with your brand message through design-led products and interior design. Our dedicated interior design team can work with you or with your own architects and designers to create the perfect BTR interior.

Union Wharf

LOFT’s most recently completed BTR scheme, Essential Living’s Union Wharf (pictured), was the first to be specifically designed for the family market. It comprises 249 premium apartments, multiple amenity spaces and roof terraces across two towers. LOFT worked with the developer throughout the design and building process. In doing so, we were able to make sure that in a market where strong competition means developers and operators need to offer something different and special, we were able to deliver a truly unique design that delivered exactly what residents were looking for in a home.

We communicated with all the stakeholders on the scheme, including the fund, developer, operator, site team and potential future residents, to ensure their vision was fully realised. LOFT can offer a bespoke service to help you create a unique style identity in line with your brand message through design-led products and interior design.

We recommend instigating the design process as early as possible so that we can fully understand your vision and begin to realise it from day one.

The design team at LOFT can also collaborate with your chosen creative agency to ensure that the interior design direction of the building blends with the branding of the scheme.

The interior design services we offer include a full review by the interior design team of the floorplans for the development, which allows us to identify any improvements required to the internal and electrical layouts not only to maximise the space, functionality and fluidity of the scheme, but also to use our understanding of the target demographic to maximise its appeal to potential residents.

The team also offers interior specification advice – we can create an initial design theme for the internal finishes, which will include conceptual mood boards. Services include bespoke procurement of furniture, bringing our clients a unique and tailored interior.

Developers must design spaces that allow the space to be reshaped and repurposed to meet ever-shifting trends and demands to keep their buildings current

Our team of six interior designers has a wealth of experience and knowledge. Its experience covers a vast range of industries, from residential interior design and show homes to student accommodation and hospitality. Full of passion for its work, the team will always put its own stamp on projects, using its creative flair to make the design fresh and vibrant.

Since LOFT began in 2003, we have been dedicated to providing products and services designed for both our clients and the end user alike. As the residential marketplace evolves, LOFT continues to adapt, fulfilling aspirations and expectation. We have the product range, infrastructure and expertise to deliver a bespoke furnishing solution across the entire residential sector.

The recent launch of LOFT as the parent brand symbolises another new chapter in our company history, helping to further strengthen the business and introduce a stronger emphasis on interior and product design. LOFT consistently adapts to the demands of the marketplace: our organic growth, brand development and bespoke products and services reflect this.

About LOFT

LOFT has dedicated sales and interior design teams based in London with a showroom in Fitzrovia and warehousing facilities close to Heathrow Airport. Recently completed projects in the capital include Union Wharf for Essential Living and Hawley Wharf for LABS. In 2018-19, LOFT furnished more than 1,000 BTR units nationally, with a further 2,000 units due for completion in the coming months – visit for more information.

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