‘What Renters Want’ with Jessica Fiur: Are You Sick of these 5 Apartment Design Trends?

5 min read

Who knows why things go into style. For a while, everyone wore bell bottoms. Now, you couldn’t find a pair unless you went to a vintage store. But everyone from toddlers to seniors can find a pair of skinny jeans. Do you know what’s cool now? Mustaches and bacon (independently of each other, of course, […]

Who knows why things go into style. For a while, everyone wore bell bottoms. Now, you couldn’t find a pair unless you went to a vintage store. But everyone from toddlers to seniors can find a pair of skinny jeans. Do you know what’s cool now? Mustaches and bacon (independently of each other, of course, though I’m sure you could find a fake mustache made out of bacon if you really tried). You could get pillows with mustaches on them. Mugs. Seriously anything. And don’t get me started on bacon. Why are they popular? Who knows. But it seems like almost everyone is in on the trend.

But not me. Bah, humbug! Skinny jeans are hard to walk in (and even harder to look at). Mustache paraphernalia makes me want to tie you to the train tracks. And there’s something that’s just not kosher about all this bacon nonsense. (My dream is for some dude on a drum to follow me around all day playing rim shots when I make a snappy zinger.)

Luckily, trends come and go, so hopefully we’ll see the end of these soon.

And guess what, there are trends when it comes to apartments as well. Currently, there seems to be several elements that are included in today’s apartments that everyone has. And if you don’t feature them in your community, good luck attracting new residents, because they’re what everyone wants as well.

Or are they?

Here are some current trends for apartments. Do you think they’re here to stay for the long run, or are they going to go the way of frosted glass bricks in bathrooms, avocado-colored refrigerators and shag carpeting?

Stainless steel appliances

Enough already!

These are all the rage, and have been for several years now. They’re easy to clean, and they’re attractive (ooh, shiny!). Stainless steel appliances make kitchens look more professional, even if all you use your refrigerator for is storing batteries (but, still, a noble pursuit).

Why they should go: Top Chef, Chopped, Iron Chef, I blame you guys. Now everyone thinks they need a professional-grade kitchen to heat up their spaghetti. Plus, what’s the point of a refrigerator if magnets won’t stick to it? How else will people rub it in their family’s or roommate’s face when they get a personalized response from the I Heart Justin Bieber fan club?

But will they go? My prediction: Probably not for a while. They are pretty striking, and stainless steel is gender neutral, so it appeals to all kinds of renters. Maybe the colors will change slightly though, with darker shades of silver or something.

Granite countertops

So pretty! They come in different colors, so renters can feel like individuals while still being exactly like their friends (like high school!). And they also look more expensive than other types of countertops (probably because they are).

Why they should go: Did I mention that granite countertops are expensive? They totally are. Plus, they’re super heavy. Developers and designers could save some money by going with a nice laminate that looks like granite anyway.

But will they go? My prediction: They’ll still be there, but the popularity might start to wane because of the cost. And, while attractive to renters, it won’t be a deal breaker if they’re not there.

Hardwood floors

Way to class up the joint, right? Who needs to beat a rug (do people still do that? I just dustbust. Is that totally gross?), when you can just easily vacuum or mop the floor. They’re classic, and color neutral, so they can go with any decor.

Why they should go: It’s not as comfortable to sit on, and if you run around in socks you can’t shock your little brother (I don’t care that we’re both adults). In all seriousness, though, hardwood floors are beautiful, but often expensive. Plus you can get a little more creative with tiles. And, if you still want that hardwood floor-feel for your residents, there are some really nice laminates that mimic that look.

But will they go? My prediction: No way. If you’ve got them already, flaunt them. If you’re building and can afford them, do it. If not though, consider the other options.


Simple, cheap, and easy to paint over if the walls get dirty.

Why they should go: Go for neutral colors, and it could be a little drab. Go for bright colors, and it could look really gaudy. Enough already. I’m officially starting the “Bring back wallpaper” movement!

But will they go? My prediction: For rentals, neutral paint will stay—it’s the easiest way to appeal to all sorts of renters. But, while paint might stay, wall decals are gaining popularity, especially in nurseries. These can often be removed without damaging the walls too, so renters might start going a little design crazy on their own, and then remove them when they leave without you even knowing.

Open floor plans

Again, because of cooking reality television and celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain and the Swedish Chef, everyone fancies themselves a chef. Entertaining is also pretty popular, but why have guests over if you’re going to be isolated in the kitchen and can’t hear the compliments on your grilled cheese?

Why they should go: Actually, they shouldn’t. It opens up small apartment spaces, and allows people to watch TV from their living room while they’re slaving over a hot stove in the kitchen. What more could you want?

But will they go? My prediction: Nope. Open floor plans are here to stay.

What do you think? Are you sick of any of these apartment design trends as well? Do you see any of them changing? What other design trends should be retired?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: Elena Elisseeva 

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