What do trendy urban lofts, high-rise condos, and garden-style suburban apartments have in common? Kitchens and bathrooms that feature contemporary designs and modern aesthetics.
Popular stores like IKEA and West Elm, which stock a variety of European-inspired inventory, are influencing more than just bedding and furniture. From Euro-styled cabinetry to sleek faucets, mid-century modernism is resurging, says Joe Stein, director of residential architecture at JDavis Architects, a Raleigh, N.C.-based design firm. “As people focus on bringing nature into their living space, clean lines and simple finishes are showing up more and more,” he points out.
In fact, many experts contend that apartment residents and condo owners are looking to boutique hotels like the W for design cues. They are increasingly interested in styling their homes like these hotels, which use luxurious fabrics like velvet and suede, vibrant colors like purple and silver, and bathrooms with simple silver or nickel hardware.
Allan Domb, president of Philadelphia-based Allan Domb Real Estate, has seen increased demand for modern design and that is influencing the décor and style of his current project, the redevelopment of an historic building overlooking Rittenhouse Square. The 275-unit condo project, Parc Rittenhouse, features modern, open kitchens, and contemporary bathrooms.
“I think multifamily residents today have different tastes in furniture and lifestyle than they did in the past,” Domb says. “They want cleaner, sleeker lines in their kitchens and bathrooms which reflect their desire for a more simple, less cluttered lifestyle.” Moreover, contemporary kitchens and baths have the ability to blend seamlessly into living and sleeping areas, regardless of their décor, he adds.
Today, more apartment and condo projects are incorporating modern architecture and design elements to attract younger residents, says John Sheehan, principal & design partner with San Diego-based Studio E Architects. “While contemporary design is timeless, it seems that younger people really appreciate it,” he notes.
In fact, Domb notes that the majority of Parc Rittenhouse buyers are under 40 years of age. “But people over 50 like it too,” he says.
Jennifer Popovec is a freelance writer in Fort Worth, Texas.