Multifamily Design Trends: Workspaces in the Lobby

Color, functionality and a social atmosphere are three very important aspects when designing a community for the younger generation, according to Jules Escalona, art director at Straight Designs. Another key feature is the revamped version of the classic business center.
Jues Escalona, art director, Straight Designs
Jues Escalona, art director, Straight Designs

When designing multifamily communities, inspiration should come from today’s trends but also residents’ needs. In an interview with Multi-Housing News, Straight Designs Art Director Jules Escalona revealed the story behind one of the company’s recent projects—the renovation of ELY Spring Valley, a luxury community in Las Vegas—and how residents’ lifestyle changes transformed the design process.

Escalona also touched on the expectations that the younger generation has when it comes to common areas and why art is essential in modern homes.

What are the main interior design trends for multifamily properties?

Escalona: One of the main design trends we are experiencing in multifamily properties has been open concept lounges and lobbies that can also perform as communal workspaces. Business centers that were once tucked away in overlooked corners have now taken center stage as a premium amenity catering to digital nomads. Innovation and multi-functionality are driving design with case goods offering charging ports, occasional tables doubling as laptop landings, and modular seating providing spaces for individuals and/or groups.

One of your recent projects included redesigning the ELY Spring Valley Apartments. Tell us a bit about the process.

Escalona: Currently, we are working on redesigning the pool and common areas. However, we just completed an overhaul of their two-bedroom model apartment. In the beginning, we assessed the client’s needs and their target demographic. Using this information, we created a potential resident profile and generated a mood and style that would appeal to this segment. We also took into account the functionality that this person would need from their apartment in order to live their lifestyle.

The end product was an eclectic collection of furniture that provided space to work from home and entertain when friends visited. We also injected a vibrant color palette that engages with unexpected pairings of furniture and texture, a glass table with wicker chairs, sculptural brass legs supporting a walnut desktop and a velvet blue sofa paired with two rattan accent seats just to name a few.

Name three aspects that you take into consideration when designing a community for younger residents.

Escalona: Color, functionality and a social atmosphere are taken into consideration and can speak volumes to younger residents when done right and with a little bit of sophistication. I’m sure we can pander with trendy interior design offerings, but those ideas will become outdated quickly. At Straight Designs, we want to wow them right off the bat. It needs to be loud and memorable, and make tenants want to show off to their friends that this is not only where they live but how they live.

What design trends is the younger generation looking for?

Escalona: The younger generation loves designs that have a lot of flavor. Art plays a huge part and this can be implemented in many different ways from gallery walls showcasing an eclectic and humorous mix to vivacious wallpaper or sensual 3D paneling. You can’t get away with a collection of abstracts anymore. Open concept workspaces are becoming less of a concept and more of a need to attract the millennial demographic.

This generation, who is always on the go, needs a well-designed place to land for either a client meeting or a place to spread their work outside of the confines of their apartment. It’s quite evident that the old 9-to-5 cubicle is transforming more into satellite mobile type of positions and they need various great amenity spaces to socialize and work within.

What aspects do you take into consideration when planning the interior and exterior design for a property?

Escalona: Demographic and surrounding location is key to any property. We make sure that our designs cater to these two important factors. Our design goal is to always maximize potential in every space and provide the best function with innovation to give everyone the resort style living they deserve.

Images courtesy of Straight Designs