An indoor/outdoor space with retractable walls, designed by Mary Cook Associates.
Mary Cook Associates An indoor–outdoor space with retractable walls, designed by Mary Cook Associates.

“Whether renting or buying, today’s residents are looking for amenities that go beyond the apartments themselves and out into the front lobby, shared common areas, and outside spaces,” says Mary Cook, founder and principal of interior design firm Mary Cook Associates. In order to achieve this connection between residents and community amenities, Cook highlights in her Huffington Post blog five elements she believes multifamily builders, developers, and architects should always keep in mind for communal spaces.

The first is allowing for connectivity, or designing spaces and including amenities based on opportunities for residents to build a community. Keeping spaces flexible, the second element, lets tenants customize common areas for their specific needs—a consideration Cook considers especially important for millennials.

The third component, making durability a priority, means ensuring that your spaces will resist the wear and tear that comes with everyday use. Adding options to transform spaces, the fourth concept, has multiple possibilities: one can use retractable walls to partition rooms, for example, or create indoor–outdoor spaces. Finally, making sustainable choices enables residents to live happier, healthier lives at your properties.

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