Demand for multifamily housing has remained steady due to lifestyle preferences and demographic trends, according to recent reports from Freddie Mac and the National Association of Home Builders. As a result, the need to design and furnish multifamily housing in a way that reflects contemporary design has become more important than ever before. Here are four trends multifamily construction builders, owners, and developers need to keep in mind:
- Connected spaces: Consumers want connected home features that make their lives easier. The Whirlpool® Smart Home Survey, published earlier this year, revealed that a major benefit of smart appliances is the ability to control the appliance remotely. Multifamily builders can create a space that meets these needs by installing smart locks, outlets, and appliances. One example is the Whirlpool® Smart Kitchen Suite, introduced to the multifamily industry at the National Apartment Association Expo in June 2017. The new kitchen suite allows users to access the appliances remotely, integrate with other devices, and even replenish supplies.
- Cerused wood and wood accents: The ever-popular hardwood has gotten a makeover. Cerused wood was originally created with a white lead-based pigment to fill in the grain to create a unique finish. These days, nontoxic waxes bring texture and depth to smaller spaces, while the hardwood helps provide sound control for residents. Beyond flooring, wood accents in décor and furniture bring a natural element into a room, say experts from the Whirlpool Corporation Global Consumer Design team. They have even incorporated wood accents into appliance design, such as the KitchenAid® Counter-Depth French Door Platinum Interior Refrigerator, for more than a year.
- Large windows: Residents in single-family and multifamily houses alike desire clean lines and open spaces in their homes, and the increased use of larger windows is a result of this trend. Apartments and condominiums with large windows reap the added benefit of making a smaller space feel airy and open.
- Unexpected colors and finishes in the kitchen: Colors such as matte black, bronze, and champagne have made their way into the kitchen. Satin and matte finishes, such as those found in the new Whirlpool® Fingerprint Resistant Black Stainless Steel Kitchen Suite, blend seamlessly with other materials in the room. Another new finish is that featured in the Whirlpool® Sunset Bronze Kitchen Suite, a warm, painted stainless steel that blends gold, copper, and bronze tones that fit any kitchen aesthetic while providing an unexpected pop of color.